April 2008

Twelve ethnic parties urged the people today to unanimously cast the ‘No’ vote in the referendum to approve the constitution. The 12 parties belong to the United Nationalities Association’ (UNA) an umbrella group. (more…)

Burma’s military junta’s Ministry of Information has reportedly leaked that foreign journalists will not be invited to cover the upcoming May 10 constitutional referendum. (more…)

Advance voting for the constitutional referendum began this week in Myawaddy Township, Karen State, amid allegations that some voters were issued ballots that had already been ticked “Yes” by polling station staff, according to sources in Karen State. (more…)

Burmese at home and abroad say they don’t think the junta-backed constitution offers any democratic guarantees, but some have decided to vote in favor of it, anyway, saying that a ‘Yes’ vote could nudge the country towards democratization. (more…)

Junta authorities in Namkham township, Northern Shan State, have been forcing villagers to repair the collapsed bank of the Shweli Hydropower Dam Project which is established on the Shweli River, according to a reliable local source. (more…)

The rice crisis is threatening the livelihoods of 145,000 Burmese refugees living in nine camps along the Thai-Burmese border. (more…)

A monastery in the former Burmese capital Rangoon has been under the close watch of government authorities as the constitutional referendum draws nearer, according to locals. (more…)

EU expands economic Sanctions against Junta

Economic sanctions against Burma’s military government by the European Union were expanded when EU foreign ministers met this week. (more…)

Owners of beauty and massage parlours in Rangoon are the latest to face pressure from the city authorities to vote Yes in the upcoming referendum, according to Rangoon residents. (more…)

Myanmar is deliberating to designate Singapore dollar and Chinese Renminbi yuan as main currencies in its foreign trade transactions in order to facilitate such undertakings of the country, leading local weekly the Yangon Times reported Wednesday. (more…)

Thailand and Burma Wednesday signed agreements on natural gas production in the Gulf of Mataban and on joint cooperation in drug suppression along their common border, Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said. (more…)

Thailand has no problem with the prolonged house arrest in Myanmar of opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said on Wednesday. (more…)

Thailand’s prime minister joked Wednesday that neighboring Myanmar is striving to become a “50 percent democracy” because the ruling junta’s draft constitution would keep detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from elected office. (more…)

An annual survey of media freedom has reported a mixed picture in East Asia – with some losses and some gains. (more…)

On May 10, Myanmar holds a national referendum on a new constitution, a charter which very few of the military-run country’s citizens have actually seen and one which the media and commentators are barred from publicly criticizing in the run-up to the vote. If passed, the charter will move the country into a new political era, though one still firmly controlled by the military. (more…)

Supporters of the Burma Campaign UK are sending an email every minute to Burmese embassies worldwide. The emails are demanding the regime allow immediate access to Min Ko Naing, who has an eye infection. (more…)

Renowned Burmese monk U Kovida passed away peacefully on Tuesday at 13:07 Eastern Standard Time in New York. He was 81 and had been hospitalized that morning suffering from heart disease. (more…)

The patron of Sasana Moli (the International Burmese Monks Organization), Ma Soe Yein Sayadaw U Kovida, passed away yesterday New York time 01:07 PM at New York, USA. (more…)

The All-Burma Federation of Students’ Unions has called on students across Burma to closely monitor the May referendum to prevent vote rigging by the authorities. (more…)

The Thai-based Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners in Burma (AAPP) says that over 70 activists have been arrested trying to stage demonstrations in Burma over the last three days. (more…)

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