Friday, October 5th, 2007


Burmese military chief Senior General Than Shwe’s offer to hold a dialogue with opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, under a set of pre-conditions, seems to be a soothing move after a heavy blow, but critics see the junta’s voice as valueless.
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UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 5 – Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said today that the use of force to put down protests in Myanmar was “abhorrent and unacceptable” and that the government of the country must release those it has arrested and start a dialogue with political opponents.
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While the regime crushes popular protests, the U.N. Security Council prepares to . . . listen to a report.
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Myanmar’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi will consider positively a heavily conditioned offer to meet the head of the junta, her party said Friday, as a US envoy headed to meet the isolated regime’s leaders.
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Dissidents and ordinary Burmese have expressed doubts about an offer of dialogue with the democratic opposition from Snr-Gen Than Shwe following reports in the state-run media that the junta leader is prepared to meet with the country’s democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi, if she agrees to certain conditions.
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Locked inside her walled home and not seen in public for four years, democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi has been like a ghost to the people of Burma. But she can cause a sensation just peeking out from behind her iron gate.
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Several monasteries in Rangoon were left empty following raids by government security forces on Wednesday night.
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Having violently suppressed the protests led by monks and the people, killing and arresting them, the ruthless military junta is forcing the people to attend rallies in support of the National Convention across the country.
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Exiled Myanmar leaders say protest movement strong despite crackdown Bangkok
Last week’s brutal crackdown on protests in Myanmar will not stop the growing movement for reform in the pariah state, pro-democracy leaders in exile said Friday.
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The Government’s $13.1 billion New Zealand Super Fund has admitted that companies it invests in with operations in military-ruled Myanmar have “mixed” records on human rights.
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In an e-mail interview, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gave his assessment on the way forward for Myanmar, following his meeting with UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari on Wednesday.
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Thirty-two people in the arts have signed an open letter to show support for peaceful protestors in Burma and condemn the violence against them by the military regime.
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New Delhi: India has asked the military regime in Burma to release opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. New Delhi made this demand at a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Myanmar in New York on Tuesday, a MEA release on Thursday said.
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Thailand should use bilateral trade and gas deals as leverage to pressure the Burmese junta to stop its violent attacks on the Burmese people, says a member of the Thai National Legislative Assembly.
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Former Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Foreign Ministers Urge China To Press Burma’s Military Regime to Engage in Peaceful Dialogue With Its Political Opposition.
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For years, Western campaigners against Myanmar’s ruling generals have struggled to rise above the B-list of world causes.
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Despite a decision to conduct an unprecedented open U.N. Security Council debate on Friday on the recent atrocities in Burma, diplomats here say it is doubtful that the divided world organization will take any action. (more…)

On Thursday evening, Burma’s state-run media announced that junta chief Snr-Gen Than Shwe was prepared to meet with detained democratic opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. State television and radio also said the junta leader had sent this message during his meeting this week with UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari.
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UN Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari left Myanmar Wednesday much as he arrived: with the military junta firmly in control, monks in jail, and the Burmese people fearful of more violence. In the words of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commenting on the visit: “You cannot call it a success.” Indeed, junta leader Than Shwe’s offer of “dialogue” with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is transparently disingenuous because it is the same one he has put forward for years – that she abandon her support for sanctions and her confrontational approach as a precondition of meeting. (more…)

The tragic recent events in Myanmar, whose true magnitude remains unknown, are one more indication to the international community of the illegitimacy of the military junta. This position, however, is far more complex when internally viewed. To the Western world, popular elections and the delivery of goods, services and security are those elements that comprise legitimacy. Thus, to the external world Myanmar has miserably failed.
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