Friday, October 26th, 2007


They travel for days though checkpoints, across dangerous roads and past Myanmar’s bribe-hungry soldiers to make it to the Thai border. They’re not refugees fleeing the junta – they simply want to see a doctor. (more…)

At least 70 people detained by the military government following protests in Myanmar including 50 members of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party have been released, a party spokesman said Friday.
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The Myanmar junta’s talks with detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi were no more than a bid to deflect criticism of its bloody crackdown on protesters before top UN envoys visit, analysts say.
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The main opposition party, the National League for Democracy, welcomes the talks on Thursday between its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the junta’s Minister for Relations, ex Maj-Gen Aung Kyi, according to a spokesperson for the NLD, Nyan Win.
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Friday’s full moon over Burma signals the advent of the country’s Festival of Lights and the end of Buddhist Lent.
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A month after the monk-led protests’ in September, several people in yellow clothes gathered today in the Shwedagon pagoda in Rangoon, eyewitnesses said.
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Fights between the Burmese government army and ethnic rebels have been on the increase in Karen and Karenni states as the government tries to clear land for a road-building project.
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88 generation student leader Aung Naing is thought to have been arrested after not being in contact with his family and colleagues for about three days, said his wife.
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Influential Burmese leaders contacted by The Irrawaddy have dismissed a possible “nightmare scenario” raised by some Burma experts who say that-should the junta fall-the country might collapse because of a lack of civilian leaders with experience in government.
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A 24-year-old Buddhist monk who says he was one of the leaders of the recent protests in Myanmar and escaped last week painted a picture on Thursday of a bare-bones group of young monks planning and organizing what became a nationwide uprising.
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Attacks and destruction carried out by Myanmar’s armed forces on ethnic minority villages have displaced up to 500,000 people, Human Rights Watch said.
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Twelve young Bangladeshi monks were handed over by Burma’s border security force in western Burma on Wednesday to Bangladesh Rifles personnel, soon after the monks arrived in Burma’s border town Maungdaw from Rangoon, said a Nasaka official in the town.
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Two Western Oil Companies Face New Pressure on Burma
The intransigence of two major Western petroleum companies- France’s Total and Chevron of the US-to protests over their continued business dealings with Burma could ultimately backfire on them, say industry analysts.
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According to an email obtained by The Irrawaddy on Friday, the son of one of the Burmese junta’s biggest cronies, Tay Za, has ridiculed the actions of Western democracies, particularly the US sanctions targeting Burmese military officials’ bank accounts and assets. The email, however, has not been independently confirmed as authentic.
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The high-flying young Burmese tycoon Tay Za is grounded-at least for now.
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As new sanctions target Burmese businessmen and junta leaders, the regime-appointed Minister for Relations Aung Kyi met detained democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday in Rangoon, the first time in five years she has met with a high-ranking junta official.
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The United Nations envoy on Myanmar concluded talks with China on Thursday, with no indication Beijing had agreed to exert tougher pressure on the junta that runs the troubled Southeast Asian nation.
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Women workers in Philippines today “attacked” the Burmese embassy in Makati by hurling panties in a demonstration against the junta’s brutal crackdown on Burmese protesters in September.
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A leading German political foundation has accused the Burmese junta of exploiting a meeting attended by its members in Naypyidaw for the regime’s own propaganda purposes.
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