Tuesday, October 16th, 2007


Burma’s military government still holds nearly 500 people in detention nationwide following the junta’s bloody crackdown on peaceful protests, state television said today.
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The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Tuesday it was seeking access to thousands of people detained during the recent crackdown in Myanmar, though authorities there had not yet agreed to talks.
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Until a few weeks ago, Burma had a very visible community of about 400,000 monks. Now they are a comparatively rare sight in the streets of Rangoon, Mandalay and other cities. Residents are asking: where have all the monks gone?
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Three members of the youth wing of the National League for Democracy in Mandalay were arrested on Sunday evening, according to an NLD party member.
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The Burmese military junta on Tuesday made clear its determination to ‘March on’ with its planned roadmap to democracy, despite increasing international pressure on the regime to hold a dialogue with pro-democracy opposition.
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U Indri Ya, a 23-year-old monk, was arrested from Myo Ma monastery in Maungdaw in Arakan state, Burma on September 29 for leading the recent protests by monks. He is now facing charges in the Maungdaw district court, said a relative.
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Fears are growing for the lives of pro-democracy activists arrested during the recent demonstrations and now held incommunicado in high-security prisons and interrogation centers.
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In an attempt at appeasing Buddhist monks after ill treating them, the Burmese military junta has started offering Swan and other things in different monasteries in Rangoon and other parts of the country.
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A Thai cordless telephone owner arrested on suspicion of passing information to groups in exile, was not released even thought the family paid Kyat 2 million to a military commander for his freedom.
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Even before you have arrive in Naypyidaw, it is obvious the world’s newest capital is a place like no other in Burma.
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A group of six Burmese dissidents, including one monk and two members of the 88 Generation Students Group, became the latest newcomers to Mae Sot on the Thai-Burmese border.
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Truckloads of illegal timber cross the Myanmar border to sawmills in China, while markets along the Thai border openly sell bear paws, tiger skins and elephant tusks.
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The Burmese government has more than doubled the daily wage rate for municipal refuse collectors in Rangoon, according to town sources.
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Southeast Asian nations will fully support U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari’s mission to coax Myanmar’s military government to reconcile with the pro-democracy opposition, a Malaysian minister said Tuesday, but ruled out imposing sanctions against the junta.
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Japan on Tuesday cancelled nearly five million dollars in aid to Myanmar in its first action to protest against the junta’s bloody crackdown on demonstrations in which a Japanese journalist was shot dead.
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[Report on foreign affairs by reporters Sun Xia and Ma Wenbo: "China welcomes Special Adviser on Burma issues to the UN Secretary General To Conduct a Visit to China as Soon as Possible"]
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Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont yesterday suggested his own version of the six-party talks with Burma in response to the Untied Nation’s plea for Asean nations to make more of an effort to change the behaviour of the Burmese military junta.
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UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari on Monday demanded that Myanmar’s ruling junta immediately stop arresting pro-democracy activists and targeting dissidents, calling the crackdown “extremely disturbing.”
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China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations should use their influence to help fix the “atrocious situation” in Myanmar, one of Washington’s top diplomats in Asia said Tuesday.
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A senior Burmese activist, based in Washington, wrote an open letter to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Monday, bringing to his notice the arrest and subsequent torture of members of the 88 Generation Students Group inside Burma.
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