March 2009

A court in Rangoon’s Thingangyun Township sentenced six members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) to five years in prison on Monday and extended the sentence of another party member to 18 years, according to sources close to Insein Prison. (more…)

The International Labour Organisation has stated that complainants of forced labour in Burma are at greater risk of imprisonment if they have affiliations with political opposition groups. (more…)

Uranium is being explored on the pretext of searching for gold and associated minerals by a Russian company, which arrived in Burma’s northern Kachin State, last year, said local sources. (more…)

Bangladesh yesterday sought official version from Myanmar on its planned fencing along the border professedly to stop smuggling, as confusion arose over the move. (more…)

Nearly 400 Burmese migrant workers were arrested in Bangkok last week when Thai immigration officials raided a charity rock concert held to raise money for HIV/AIDS sufferers and orphaned children. (more…)

Activists of the Neeti Gobeshona Kendra on Monday (March 30) demanded ceasing the oppression and killing of Rohingya people by the Burmese Government, as well as a permanent solution to the boat-people crisis, according to our correspondent. (more…)

Myanmar’s prime minister Tuesday said the military-ruled country recorded a trade surplus of 2.5 billion dollars over the past fiscal year in spite of the global economic crisis. (more…)

Myanmar will host the 27th Meeting of Energy Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Energy Business Forum in the second largest city of Mandalay in July this year, Xinhua news agency quoted Myanmar’s sources as reporting. (more…)

Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva says Burma remains a hideous blight on an Asian map of otherwise expanding freedoms and growing economies. (more…)

At the invitation of Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Dr Noeleen Heyzer, a Myanmar delegation led by Chairman of Tripartite Core Group Chairman of Civil Service Selection and Training Board U Kyaw Thu participated in the High-level Round Table on Regional Cooperation for Disaster Risk Reduction in Bangkok, Kingdom of Thailand, from 25 to 27 March. (more…)

People in Myanmar affected by last year’s devastating Cyclone Nargis need considerable help in restoring their lives, a UN-backed group assisting reconstruction of the South East Asian nation has said and appealed to the international community for continued support. (more…)

Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi ranks 25th in this year’s poll by the US magazine Time listing the 100 most influential people in the world. (more…)

Without Snr-Gen Than Shwe’s say-so, Burma can’t make a move. That was the subtext of his message to the nation on March 27, Armed Forces Day. It was a sobering reminder to the world and the Burmese people that this is a general who sees no need for compromise, and who expects the whole country to fall in line with his plans with the same unquestioning obedience as the 13,000 troops who paraded past him in a display of military might. (more…)

The Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB) has learned that documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in December 2007 by China Resources Ltd. state that the firm’s CFO Gerald Nugawela, a former Ivanhoe Mines employee, was “instrumental in arranging the sale” of Myanmar Ivanhoe Copper Co. Ltd (MICCL) to the China-based Chinese Aluminum Company. MICCL was the joint 50/50 joint venture between Robert Friedland’s Ivanhoe Mines and the Burmese military regime. China Resources SEC filings sharply contradict Ivanhoe’s public statements about MICCL. (more…)

In the mid-1990s, Burma began to see the emergence of a new class of foreign-educated civilian elites at home and abroad. Many Burmese youths on the border had decided to settle in a third country and Western embassies in Rangoon started to sponsor study trips and professional training for notable local personalities in media and social work who would later be known under the banner of “civil society.” (more…)

Burma’s military leader urged political parties last week to participate in the 2010 elections, whilst warning them not to criticise the 2008 constitution, which many claim guarantees a continuation of military rule. (more…)

A Thailand-based Burmese lawyers group has requested that Burma’s ruling junta abolish the Unlawful Association Act under which many political dissidents have been sentenced to imprisonment.

Burma’s top-ranking generals know that they must hang together or risk hanging separately. But that doesn’t mean that there are no real rivalries among the men who rule the country with an iron fist.

A Burmese ethnic Mon ceasefire group, New Mon State Party (NMSP), has denied a rumor of possible further talks in the near future between the organization and Burma’s military junta.

Myanmar is beset by many internal problems and the current military junta desires to crush all opposition. Therefore, many minorities fear a fresh onslaught because regional powers desire to exploit the resources of Myanmar or they hope to gain an important leverage because of the geopolitical element. (more…)

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