Wednesday, October 31st, 2007


More than 100 monks in Pakokku Township in Burma’s Magwe Division marched in a peaceful demonstration through the town on Wednesday morning. The monks paraded through the streets chanting the “Metta Sutta” (the Buddha’s words on loving kindness).
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Buddhist monks Wednesday staged a protest in Myanmar calling for the release of political prisoners including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, reports said.
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Free Funeral Service Society chairman Aye Than resigned on Monday after wrongly announcing two weeks ago that actor Kyaw Thu and other respected members had been expelled from the charity.
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Sittwe: Cartoons are being used to hit out at the Burmese military junta for its crackdown on Buddhist monk-led demonstrations. Students in Sittwe, capital of Arakan state in Burma are creating cartoon posters and hanging them in the entrance wells of famous Buddhist temples and monasteries, said a student from Sittwe.
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Maungdaw, Burma: The junta authorities of Arakan State have  ordered the administration of northern Arakan on October 29 to check family lists, tighten security on the border and watch the movement of monks, said a local in Maungdaw.
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Thai police arrested about 1,200 migrant workers, most of them Burmese, in a raid on a market area in Thailand’s Samut Sakhon province early on Wednesday, the Thai News Agency (TNA) reported.
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A National League for Democracy member from Mandalay division has been given a six-year prison sentence for making accusations against Union Solidarity and Development Association officials.
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Burma’s gem stone industry, one of the largest in the world, is now dominated by Nay Win Tun, who controls Burma’s largest gem trading business. (more…)

The Salween River dam hydroelectric project in Burma should continue because it is important for energy stability in Thailand, according to a high-level Energy Ministry official.
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Dhaka:Bangladesh is likely to give up the idea of developing and importing power from Burma given the high cost and security concerns, according to a report of Bangladesh press.
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Ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra proposed increasing an Export-Import Bank of Thailand loan to Burma by one billion baht, according to the Assets Scrutiny Committee (ASC). The former Thaksin administration is being investigated for improprieties over the loan, which was increased to four billion baht from three billion. (more…)

China is pivotal to strengthening UN efforts to bring about reform in Myanmar and must push the military junta to talk with the democratic opposition, France’s foreign minister told AFP.
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Myanmar endorsed the appointment of the first North Korean ambassador to the country after a 24-year diplomatic rupture, officials said Tuesday.
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Malaysian security forces have detained 15 children from Myanmar, some as young as six months old, and six adults along the porous border with Thailand, according to a report Wednesday.
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Malaysian security forces have detained 15 children from Myanmar, some as young as six months old, and six adults along the porous border with Thailand, according to a report Wednesday.
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UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari will arrive in Myanmar on Saturday for his second visit to push for democratic reforms since the junta’s bloody crackdown on protests last month, a diplomat said Wednesday.
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Add to the many hardships in Myanmar today one more danger: being a boy. According to a report to be released Wednesday, the military, struggling to meet recruiting quotas, is buying, kidnapping and terrorizing boys as young as 10 to fill its ranks.
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The White House says President Bush called UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ahead of the return of a UN envoy to Burma.
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Washington – US lawmakers are considering a widely supported new bid to punish the Burmese military rulers by banning gems and timber, most of which are exported to Thailand.
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In order to see positive political change in Burma it’s clearly necessary to understand the psyche of Than Shwe and his men.
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