Wednesday, October 10th, 2007


Having beaten them, abused them and shot many of them dead, Burma’s military junta says it is trying to rebuild a relationship with the country’s Buddhist monks by donating supplies of food, medicine and toothpaste.
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In the unabated clampdown on dissidents, the Burmese military junta today arrested two more 88 generation students, activist groups in exile said.
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For decades, Burmese comedians have charmed their audiences and irritated the ruling generals with their topical satire and political wit.
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A Shan cleric from Burma who recently fled to Thailand has confirmed that more than a hundred Shan monks were among those detained by the ruling military junta during the crackdown two weeks ago.
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* Inept junta is unable to control rising prices
* Daily hardship made worse by cuts in wages
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Three people have been killed by landmines in military-ruled Myanmar, state press reported Wednesday, which the authorities blamed on ethnic rebel militias battling the junta’s troops.
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Family members and colleagues of a National League for Democracy member who was attacked in June have been given five to seven-year sentences for threatening the Union Solidarity and Development Association, according to their lawyer.
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The nation wide protests in Burma have dealt a body blow to Air Bagan, the country’s leading airlines. The number of passengers has plummeted by 66 percent in the airlines owned by Than Shwe’s protégé business tycoon Tayza, an insider said.
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Singapore, one of Myanmar’s biggest investors, is under pressure from rights groups to use its economic clout to push the generals down along a more democratic path.
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Economic mismanagement by Myanmar’s ruling generals means they cannot survive indefinitely and the population was always likely to revolt in the face of excesses by the junta, Singapore senior statesman Lee Kuan Yew was quoted on Wednesday as saying.
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Fearing China’s growing influence in Asia, Japan is hesitating to cut off aid to Myanmar, whose bloody crackdown on protests has put Tokyo in an awkward position, officials and analysts say.
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The head of the U.N. Human Rights Council appealed to Burma’s military government on Tuesday to permit an urgent visit by the council’s specialist on the country.
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UN chief Ban Ki-moon briefed US First Lady Laura Bush by phone Tuesday on the latest Myanmar developments, as the Security Council pursued efforts to agree on a united response to defuse the crisis.
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The United States says it’s time to prepare for a government transition in Burma but has accepted there is a role for the military.
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It was a sad day, that morning at the United Nations, when the Asean foreign ministers confronted their Myanmar counterpart over the brutal crackdown on demonstrators in Yangon. We had just received reports of automatic weapons being used. The Thai foreign minister said to me with great sadness that the killing of Buddhist monks was particularly opprobrious.
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It is 2 a.m. in Rangoon, Burma. In the middle of the tropical night, army troops pour into the neighborhood surrounding a peaceful Buddhist monastery. The soldiers occupy nearby homes, so that residents will not peek through their windows or go outside to witness the raid. Troops then storm the monastery, brutalizing, terrorizing and arresting the monks inside.
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New York – Jewelers of America (JA), representing 11,000 member stores in the United States, has sent letters to Congress and issued an advisory to its members, detailing its deep concern about the current unrest in Burma and its military government’s longstanding human rights violations.
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Meanwhile, the United Nations Human Rights Council, meeting in Geneva, adopted a resolution deploring beatings, killings and arbitrary detentions, and called for the junta to allow an investigator into the country.
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Like it or not, Thailand does not have the luxury of pulling out of the oil and gas sector in military-ruled Burma, as advocated by activists in the wake of the bloody crackdown on peaceful demonstrations two weeks ago.
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