October 2010

“And I would like to underscore the American commitment to seek accountability for the human rights violations that have occurred in Burma by working to establish an international Commission of Inquiry through close consultations with our friends, allies, and other partners at the United Nations. Burma will soon hold a deeply flawed election, and one thing we have learned over the last few years is that democracy is more than elections. And we will make clear to Burma’s new leaders, old and new alike, that they must break from the policies of the past.” – Hilary Clinton, US Secretary of State (Department of State)

Rangoon – The anticipated release from house arrest of Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi next month will stir a “political reawakening” in the country after half a century of military rule, her close ally Win Tin told The Independent. (more…)

Burma’s Supreme Court in Naypyidaw heard final defense arguments on Friday in the appeal by pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi against her extended house arrest. (more…)

Rangoon – MC J-Me is in the house. More specifically, he is in a house of worship — crumbling St. Theresa Catholic Church in downtown Rangoon — bleary-eyed and recovering from a late night. As the 25-year-old rapper spins rhymes in English about his ambitions (“I’m gonna put Burma on the map/ With a girl on my lap”) an elderly nun strolls by. “Good morning, sister,” the churchgoing J-Me says, bowing his head like any other young Burmese who knows how to respect authority while gently subverting it at the same time. Bells toll as he describes how to “play it tight on the mike” in one of the world’s most cloistered countries — that is, how to slip allusions to drugs or politics or sex past Burma’s notorious but often clueless censors. “I ain’t saying I’m doing it,” he cautions. “I’m just saying if a brother wanted to do it, he could play it on four, five, six levels, and the censors wouldn’t know nothing about what’s flying above their heads.” (more…)

Burma (Myanmar) goes to the polls on Nov. 7, offering its citizens a rare chance to defy its military rulers. Some believe it’s nothing more than a show designed to legitimize another dictatorial regime. (more…)

The editor of a Karenni state-based news journal has been given a 13-year prison sentence after being convicted on a raft of media charges. (more…)

A report released today by the Thai Burma Border Consortium accuses Burma’s military regime of “gross economic mismanagement, massive under-investment in social services and a climate where human rights are abused with impunity.” (more…)

Hanoi – Japan and the five South-East Asian countries on the Mekong River issued a joint statement Friday calling for free and fair elections in Myanmar. (more…)

Hanoi – Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Friday that Asean and Burma must work together to narrow the gap of expectation within the international community concerning the scheduled election in Burma next month. (more…)

HONOLULU, Hawaii – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton threw her support Thursday behind an international human rights probe in Myanmar amid growing US frustration with polls planned by the military regime. (more…)

The following statement has been issued by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay: (more…)

The military junta has no intention of surrendering power. (more…)

Violence, intimidation and arbitrary detention have no place in free, fair and credible elections. (more…)

Election ‘farce’ likely to raise international outcry, but the military dictatorship has powerful allies. (more…)

Tokyo – In what are believed to be the first public demonstrations to occur in Myanmar in the lead-up to next month’s election, more than a thousand villagers from ethnic minority regions mobilised this week in opposition to the regime. (more…)

Twenty villages in Burma’s Magwe Division and large areas of farmland were inundated when water was released from a swollen dam, according to local residents. (more…)

Mae Sot – A clinic in Thailand that has served refugees from Burma for two decades is seeing increasing demand for its services. (more…)

Hanoi – A summit meeting of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) opened Thursday with the signing of a series of agreements to harmonize regional trade, communication and transport. (more…)

Hanoi – Myanmar has said that its military ruler Than Shwe will bow out of politics after next month’s elections, but the assurances should be viewed with deep scepticism, the Philippines said Thursday. (more…)

Hanoi – Asean asked Burma to include the Asean joint observers team for the November 7 election, according to Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya. (more…)

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