October 2009

Bangkok — Burma’s military junta has stepped up detentions of its political opponents and social activists in recent weeks, with as many as 50 people arrested in the last month, according to activists and residents. (more…)

Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said that she is keenly monitoring the planned visit to Burma of a US delegation to be led by Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, according to a lawyer who met with Suu Kyi on Thursday. (more…)

Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA-ESS), based at Mongla, opposite China’s Daluo, was “advised” yesterday by Naypyidaw’s chief negotiator to resign itself to the Border Guard Force (BGF) status, according to an informed source on the Thai-Burma border. (more…)

The overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has been allowed to make an investment of up to $173.85 million in a hydrocarbon assets in Myanmar. (more…)

New Delhi – Two Nobel Peace Laureates, Jody Williams and Mairead Maguire, on Thursday reiterated their call for the immediate release of fellow Burmese Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, saying without her release there cannot be genuine change in Burma and the ruling junta’s promises of reform would be only “sweet words of democracy”. (more…)

This month Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi passed two milestones. (more…)

India — The saga of Aung San Suu Kyi’s non-violent struggle for democracy in Burma defies known descriptions of political courage, and with the country’s military rulers now deciding to use her ‘legal status’ to their advantage in an unusual and clearly one-sided game of chess to restore ‘democracy’, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate faces a qualitatively new challenge to continue her non-violent struggle for democracy. (more…)

A smug Burmese delegation, led by Prime Minister and General Thein Sein, are back home after attending the 15th annual ASEAN summit in Thailand, where they successfully accomplished their main mission – to deflect international criticism and pressure, reveal nothing about the forthcoming elections and keep a very low-profile. (more…)

Bangkok – During this sixtieth anniversary year of the Geneva Conventions, Israel’s military assault on Gaza and Sri Lanka’s refusal to distinguish between Tamil combatants and civilians have been high profile challenges to the relevance of international humanitarian law.  Out of the media spotlight, the Burmese Army similarly persists in breaking the rules of war by indiscriminately attacking civilians and causing massive displacement.  Indeed, aid agencies report that threats to human security in eastern Burma are increasing. (more…)

Japan’s new administration should protect Burmese Rohingya asylum seekers in Japan and press Burma to end abuses against the minority group, eight Japanese and international organizations said today. The groups sent a joint letter to the newly inaugurated justice minister, Keiko Chiba, and foreign minister, Katsuya Okada. (more…)

New Delhi – A number of members of a Cyclone Nargis volunteer group, ‘Lin Let Kye’, including freelance journalist Pai Soe Oo were arrested from Dagon Seikkan, Rangoon Division yesterday evening. (more…)

The National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA-ESS), commonly known as the Mongla group, is meeting junta commanders today, according to reliable sources on the Thai-Burma border. (more…)

Villagers from rural areas as well as city residents are reporting that Burma’s military government is pushing for larger village security forces all over Mon State, as part of a ”People’s Militia Strategy” that will increase the governmental control all over the state. (more…)

The raid on the homes of 10 leaders of the Karen National Union (KNU) by Thai security forces in the border town of Mae Sot on Tuesday came just one month after a previous crackdown against Burmese opposition groups in Chiang Mai. (more…)

Three Burmese monks with refugee status in Utica, N.Y., shared their personal stories from the 2007 Saffron Revolution and commented on the human rights crisis in Burma last Wednesday. (more…)

The new message from Washington: Deal with Pyongyang, win diplomatic goodies. (more…)

The United States is taking the next step in its efforts to promote democratic reform in Burma, sending a high-level diplomatic delegation there in the coming weeks for exploratory talks with the nation’s military rulers. For a more complete picture of conditions on the ground, U.S. officials will also talk with representatives of ethnic nationalities and the democratic opposition, including the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi and others. (more…)

Australia has an often overlooked key role to play in drawing military ruled Burma out of its isolation, and is well placed to play a prominent supporting position in international efforts to engage the ruling State Peace and Development Council. (more…)

Normally, the Burma issue is at the core of every Asean summit, with all eyes on the Burmese delegation’s moves. (more…)

115 civil society organizations and political parties from 20 countries today submitted an open letter to China’s President Hu Jintao calling for the suspension of oil and gas pipelines through Burma in order to prevent rights abuses and regional instability, avoiding financial and image risks to China. (more…)

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