January 2008


Burma’s pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, turned a rare moment of freedom in the military-ruled country, this week, to urge Asian governments not to be lulled into believing the junta’s promises of political change.
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Myanmar’s junta has stepped up surveillance of the Internet, arresting one blogger who wrote about the stifling of free expression in the military-ruled nation, a media advocacy group said.
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In the reconciliation talks between Burma’s democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the junta’s liaison officer, Aung Kyi, most of the time is taken up on trivial subjects, according to sources in the National League of Democracy.
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A Magwe division National League for Democracy member who was arrested on 11 January said that he suffered beatings and ill-treatment during his four-day interrogation.
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Prison authorities have received an order stating that a poet who was arrested on 22 January for writing a controversial poem can no longer receive visits or parcels from his family, the poet’s wife said.
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The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will aid Myanmar’s milch cow farming project under a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) reached recently between the U.N. organization and the Myanmar livestock authorities, official media reported Thursday.
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The son-in-law of the head of an ethnic Karen breakaway group has been assassinated in a bomb attack, according to sources on the Thai-Burmese border.
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Maungdaw, Arakan State : A Nasaka commander Captain Aung Tun Myint of Nasaka area No.7 has become a millionaire after collecting money from villagers illegally, said a close aide of the Burma ‘s border security forces, or Nasaka.
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A skin disease affecting children in the Thai border town of Mae Sai, across from Tachilek in Burma, has caused 15 schools to close temporarily, parents said.
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While precise estimates are difficult to come by, some 250,000 children globally are being recruited to fight in armed conflicts in violation of international law, a United Nations official said today, reporting mixed progress in efforts to tackle the problem.
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A long editorial from the news agency Mizzima accuses the official Fassino of carrying out a “megaphone diplomacy” composed of nothing but press conferences and rhetoric, and says the only result has been to make the junta more unyielding. The EU and the UN are now the only organisations that still believe they can have success with the generals. Aung San Suu Kyi warns: talks with the junta can lead only to false hope.
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About 100 people were killed when Myanmar’s military government quashed anti-government protests in September, far higher than the 15 dead reported by the junta, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.
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A US White House spokesman said on Wednesday the Bush administration was disappointed to hear that Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi had reported that no progress towards a “time-bound dialogue” had been achieved in her meetings with a regime mediator.
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On Wednesday, we heard clearly the frustration felt by Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi about the way her talks with the regime’s mediator are going.
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Hope and morality have their place. And adherence to such principles is without question a virtuous stand. But, much as it may be wished, politics is a domain in which hope and morality do not necessarily translate into policy.
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With the crackdown on nationwide demonstrations in September, the number of political prisoners in Burma increased in the year 2007. There are currently at least 1864 political prisoners in Burma, not including all cases of detention since the crackdown. This is 706 more political prisoners than there were in 2006. See www.aappb.org for full detail.
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Yangon/Jakarta/Brussels: A three-level approach, drawing on the respective strengths of the UN, the country’s neighbours and the wider international community, is needed to promote change in Burma/Myanmar.
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Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been allowed to meet political allies for the second time since last year’s bloody crackdown. (more…)

Detained Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is frustrated at a lack of talks on political reform with the ruling military junta since last year’s bloody crackdown on dissent, her party said on Wednesday. (more…)

The crackdown by Myanmar’s military rulers has left few monks in the monasteries of Sittwe. The monasteries in Sittwe are half empty, only the children remain. (more…)

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