August 2010

“A dictator in civilian clothing is still a dictator. The fact that they are moving out of uniform but still constricting the political space within Burma is a problem for Burma…. Burma has to open up its political space, have a dialogue with the ethnic groups within Burma would allow for an effective and viable political opposition and have a real competition within civil society in Burma.” – Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary, US Department of State

Yangon, Myanmar — A message from Myanmar’s junta chief Senior Gen. Than Shwe appeared in state media Tuesday, dispelling reports that he had stepped down from the army as part of a major military reshuffle ahead of elections. (more…)

Yangon – Myanmar’s two pro-junta parties have submitted large candidate lists for the country’s November 7 general election, dwarfing the number of pro-democracy candidates, party sources said Tuesday. (more…)

Rangoon—Family members of recently retired top military officers and government ministers in Burma have been collecting diamonds, gold jewelry and solid gold, according to business sources. (more…)

Burma’s ethnic Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) has put its foot down and in a statement today has reiterated that it will not transform its armed-wing the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) till a genuine federal union comes about and lasting peace is restored in Burma. (more…)

ILLEGAL immigrants to Thailand have accused officials in the border town of Ranong of selling them by the boatload to people-smugglers and engaging in the sexual enslavement of young women. (more…)

Stroke is a major cause of disability in Ayeyarwady Division, which has the highest proportion of people with a disability in the country, a survey has found. (more…)

Trust has been built between the UN and the Burmese junta in the two years since cyclone Nargis, a UN representative said at a regional conference on Monday. (more…)

MYANMAR and the other three developing members of ASEAN should open up their economic sector more in order to participate in the regional single market due to open in 2015, a senior ASEAN spokesperson said last week. (more…)

New Delhi – India on Tuesday said China was demonstrating “more than normal interest” in the Indian Ocean as two Chinese warships made a rare visit to military-ruled Myanmar. (more…)

About 6,000 Burmese refugees in Malaysia including Burmese and Arakanese have been registered by the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), according to Burmese refugees in Malaysia. (more…)

Merely “civilianising” Burma’s current situation will do nothing to transform the country, Washington has said in an apparent rebuke to rumours of a major reshuffle at the top of the Burmese army. (more…)

Seoul—A North Korean arms chief and Pyongyang’s former ambassador to the United Nation’s nuclear agency have emerged as key figures in an intensifying international effort to curb North Korea’s weapons-trading activities. (more…)

Poverty in Burma is widespread and appalling. The failure or disinterest of the government to provide a policy framework conducive to development and to direct resources to other needs than security largely explains the hard conditions under which so many people in Burma live. (more…)

The government of Burma has announced it will hold a general election on Nov 7, the first to be held since 1990. This may provide an opportunity for Burma’s military-led government to improve the country’s political governance. (more…)

Yangon – Myanmar’s two biggest pro-democracy parties running in the upcoming election said Monday they had managed to field just a tenth of the number of candidates put up by the main pro-junta parties. (more…)

Dr. Sai Kham Leng (63) one of the 17 appointed members of Burma’s Union Election Commission (UEC) has reportedly resigned from his position recently and is planning to contest the elections for the military regime backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), according to sources from Shan State and Rangoon. (more…)

Yangon – Two Chinese warships arrived at Myanmar’s Yangon port over the weekend on a “friendly visit,” marking the first such port call in recent history, diplomatic sources confirmed Monday. (more…)

Political opposition groups say the country’s first national elections in 20 years are nothing more than an elaborate pretence designed to ease power from the ruling military dictatorship to its civilian proxy, the Union Solidarity Development Party. (more…)

Up to 1000 oil workers protesting against alleged duping by an oil company in northwestern Burma last week were attacked by riot police, with two left seriously injured. (more…)

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