Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007


Four National League for Democracy party members, including an elected member of the people’s parliament, have each been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment by their local courts.
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Two locals were arrested in Pakhokku town in Magwe division of central Burma on suspicion of having helped a key activist evade arrest, local residents said.
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Moulmein city residents from Mon state, Burma are anxious about monks who were sent back to their home towns in upper Burma because they did not reach home but were detained by the military junta authorities.
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Mandalay, Myanmar: As the lunchtime gong chimed through a tree-shaded monastery, several hundred monks in burgundy robes lined up, all holding alms bowls.
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Following the deadly crackdown of the monk-led peaceful demonstrations on the streets of Rangoon, junta Senior General Than Shwe announced an offer to hold dialogue with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Many observers and politicians welcomed that as a significant move, even though they knew well Than Shwe’s real attitude for the past two decades. Why?
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A prayer campaign for freedom and democracy has been launched continuing to Sunday. Human rights groups are campaigning for India to recognise the status if Burmese refugees and urging New Dehli to put Human Rights ahead of commercial interests.
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Around 400 people from Chin and Mizo Christian communities held a fasting prayer for peaceful change in Burma in Aizawl, capital of Mizoram state, northeast India yesterday.
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Air Bagan, the airline owned by Burmese junta crony Tay Za, has decreased its flight schedule from daily flights to three days a week on its Rangoon-Bangkok and Rangoon-Singapore routes.
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Myanmar has postponed the date for holding its mid-year gems emporium, resetting for Nov. 14 to 26 instead of Nov. 7 to 19 which was announced earlier, according to an official press the “New Light of Myanmar” Tuesday.
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Businesses in Switzerland and South Africa, two countries that have not officially announced a boycott of Burmese products, are rejecting imports from Burma according to Burmese industry sources.
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Denmark’s largest pension scheme ATP said Tuesday it would sell its stakes in companies that have interests Myanmar Oil or cooperate with the state-owned group.
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The health condition of Myint Thein, spokesperson of the National League for Democracy incarcerated in Insein prison has deteriorated, family members said.
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The UN Secretary General’s special adviser on Burma is ‘very satisfied’ at the response of Indian authorities but he urged the largest democracy in the world to do more to pressurize the Burmese military junta for political changes.
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An environmental group appealed Tuesday to the Chinese government and a number of Chinese enterprises to stop work on a dam project in Myanmar that threatens to block one of Asia’s great river systems.
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Singapore’s military sales and economic links with Myanmar were in the spotlight as MPs yesterday pressed for details and asked for tougher action, including sanctions against the junta.
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The ruling generals in Myanmar have agreed to the first visit by the UN’s top human rights official in four years, the United Nations said on Monday.
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DFID takes no action on any key recommendations by Parliamentary Committee.
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Illustration de l´article Paris-Brussels: After the September crackdown on peaceful protests in Burma, the International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) decided to send a joint international fact-finding mission on the Thai border with Burma to collect first-hand information on the wave of repression. The objective was also to discuss with Burmese pro-democracy and human rights groups about possible international strategies to contribute to the democratization of the country. (more…)

Buddhist monks and nuns are by and large pretty special people. Perhaps they don’t get enough credit for being a political force, especially in certain parts of Asia. In Myanmar, Buddhist monks and nuns have been at the forefront of what might be a significant moment in the history of their country, the region and the world.
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The announcement of a constitutional drafting committee in Myanmar may look like another step along the military junta’s seven-step road map to such a goal, but in fact it is more bad news for the international community’s determined effort to encourage a peaceful political transition to democracy there.
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