September 2009

Yangon – Myanmar’s opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi said today there should be no pre-conditions for the United States starting a dialogue with the ruling junta. (more…)

Yangon, Myanmar — U Win Tin, Myanmar’s longest-serving political prisoner, was tormented, tortured and beaten by his captors in the notorious Insein Prison for nearly two decades. Now, at 80, he faces a new kind of torment: watching colleagues from his political party decide whether to play by the rules of the junta that put him behind bars. (more…)

Unique mortars laced with chemical ingredients are being supplied by the junta to its military battalions in Kachin State and Shan State, said sources close to the army. (more…)

Kutupalong, Bangladesh – The authorities of the registered refugee camp (Kutupalong) destroyed about 100 houses of unregistered refugees living near the UNHCR registered refugee camp yesterday noon, according to a refugee from the camp. (more…)

A senior monk in eastern Burma has urged both sides of the Karen conflict to cease killing and begin negotiations towards achieving peace in the region. (more…)

Washington, DC – The United States believes lifting sanctions against Myanmar now, at the beginning of dialogue with that country’s military junta, would be a mistake, the top U.S. diplomat for Asia said on Wednesday. (more…)

President Obama has decided to open talks with Myanmar’s repressive government. Kurt Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia, met in New York on Tuesday with Myanmar’s United Nations envoy and a member of the government cabinet — the highest-level meeting between the two governments in many years. (more…)

Senator Jim Webb is holding his much-anticipated hearing on the Obama administration’s Burma policy today and Burma’s democratic opposition is crashing the event in a likely futile attempt to shame the Virginia senator for his coddling of the junta. The press release says that “In a sign of protest against U.S. Senator Jim Webb, dozens of Buddhist monks will attend a hearing on U.S. Burma policy….Webb was recently defeated in his drive to unilaterally lift U.S. sanctions on Burma’s military regime, after the State Department and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the United States would maintain sanctions on Burma unless the country’s military regime made concrete steps toward democracy.” They go on, (more…)

The Obama administration recently clarified its intentions to expand direct contact with the Burmese junta, starting with a meeting with junta officials in New York this week. For her part, Aung San Suu Kyi—the democratically elected leader of Burma barred by the junta from taking power for two decades—has made some moves of her own to restart dialogue, sending a letter to junta leader Than Shwe offering to work with the military regime to ease Burma’s pariah status and help get western sanctions lifted. For both the United States and Ms. Suu Kyi, there are big risks but also potential rewards for laying their cards on the table with the junta. (more…)

As the October deadline nears for ethnic cease-fire groups to capitulate to the Burmese regime’s demands to join its border guard force, it appears unavoidable that, sooner or later, major fighting will break out between government forces and the Wa army. (more…)

As I write this, an American is being tortured in Burma. Yet little is being done by the United States to secure his release and few mainstream media outlets are covering his story. So why isn’t more being done on Nyi Nyi Aung’s behalf? (more…)

To win high rank in the Burmese military, you have to work hard to carry out your commanding officer’s orders, whether they are right or wrong. This has been the key to the success of Gen Tin Aung Myint Oo, the fourth most powerful member of Burma’s armed forces. (more…)

The eighth meeting between Burmese military officials and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) got off the ground today in Myitkyina, the capital of Burma’s northern Kachin State, said KIO sources. (more…)

Youths under the age of 18, from Moulmein Township in Mon State, are being forcibly enlisted into the Burmese Army, according to soldiers from the South East Command (SEC). (more…)

Beijing – Peace has now more or less returned to a part of Myanmar which erupted in violence last month, pushing thousands of refugees into China, the country’s ambassador to Beijing was quoted as saying on Tuesday. (more…)

The Korean company heading the construction of a controversial pipeline project in Burma has announced a rise in shares after acquisition interest from one of the world’s largest steel companies. (more…)

Yangon – Over the past 60 years, China’s foreign relations not only scored numerous achievements but also made contribution to the establishment of just and reasonable international order, Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Ye Dabo said on Tuesday. (more…)

Meeting with the Wa leaders in Shan State North’s Tangyan in April, Naypyitaw’s chief negotiator Lt-Gen Ye Myint reportedly told them in effect that the ceasefire era was finished. (more…)

Asean has scrapped a plan to appeal to Burma for the release of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya says. (more…)

Washington – Announcing its policy to enter into a dialogue with Myanmar’s military junta, the Obama Administration today said it would actively consult and seek the help of countries like India and China as part of its new Burma policy. (more…)

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