Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
The Asian Legal Resource Centre: An Open Letter to the Chief Justice of Myanmar (Burma)
December 22, 2011
U Tun Tun Oo
Office of the Supreme Court
Office No. 24
Tel: + 95 67 404 080/ 071/ 078/ 067 or + 95 1 372 145
Fax: + 95 67 404 059
Dear Chief Justice
MYANMAR: Appeal to review cases of 32 lawyers disbarred for political reasons
The Asian Legal Resource Centre is writing to you further to a letter submitted to the president dated 4 November 2011 by 16 lawyers who were disbarred because of alleged political crimes or politically related violations of their codes of practice. (more…)
Please note that BurmaNet News will not be distributed from December 23, 2011 through January 3rd, 2012. A summary edition will be released in early January.
The BurmaNet News staff
Thirty-two Burmese lawyers whose licences were revoked “for political reasons” must have their cases reviewed by the country’s judiciary and quickly reinstated, the Asian Legal Resource Centre has said.
The lawyers were disbarred “because of dissatisfaction of the authorities with their political activities, or efforts to defend the rights of persons accused in political cases,” the group said in a statement today
Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will travel for the second time to the remote Burmese capital of Naypyidaw on Friday morning to register her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), at the Union Election Commission where she is likely to meet several top government officials.
Burmese Minister for Railways Aung Min headed up a Burmese government delegation for peace talks in Thailand on Thursday with a delegation from the New Mon State Party (NMSP) led by its secretary, Nai Hang Thar.
“I trusted them and they also trusted me. I am very satisfied with this meeting,” Aung Min told The Irrawaddy following the meeting, which took place in Sangkhalburi, Kanchanaburi Province. (more…)
A top Burmese peacemaking official has told a Mon peace delegation that political prisoners could be released in January and February.
Nai Hong Sar, the leader of the New Mon State Party (NMSP), said on Thursday he told the Burmese government peace delegation a nationwide cease-fire and the release all political prisoners was needed to help solve ethnic issues.
Chiang Mai– The Dawei Development Association (DDA), a local social group, said that 21 Burmese villages with a population of about 32,000 people would have to be relocated for the Dawei deep-sea port development project.
More than 100,000 acres of gardens and orchards owned by local people in Launglon and Yebyu townships in Dawei District, Tanintharyi Region have to be relocated, the group said. (more…)
Although the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and the government are preparing for a new round of peace talks, the Burma Army is still sending more battalions to the battlefields in Kachin State.
On 18 December, the government sent a letter to KIO to resume peace talks. The day before on 17 December, the battalions under the 44th Light Infantry Division arrived at Myitkyina and the high command is reportedly preparing to send the 66th Light Infantry Division also, according to U Aung Kyaw Zaw, military observer on the border. (more…)
Saw Maungpu’s dead eyes point towards the bare concrete floor of a hut clinging to the side of a jungle mountain on the Thai side of the border with Burma.
”Landmines are not good but we have to use them to protect ourselves from the Burmese army,” says 20-year-old Mr Maungpu, a former soldier of the Karen National Liberation Army, an armed group that has been fighting for autonomy in Burma for 55 years. (more…)
An announcement that electricity prices in Burma will rise 50 percent in 2012 has sparked alarm among small business-owners and families who claim the government is seeking to profit on the exploitation of the country’s poorest.
The move will see cost per unit for businesses jump from 50 kyat ($US0.05) to 75 kyat, and 25 kyat to 35 kyat for domestic use. What those figures belie however is concern among the many small-scale businesses in Burma that operate out of homes, and which therefore will be charged at the commercial rate. (more…)
Yangon – Myanmar’s President Thein Sein has granted an income tax waiver for all Myanmar overseas workers, effective from January 1, officials said Thursday.
“The president’s office issued the order on Tuesday that Myanmar workers working abroad do not need to pay income tax from 1 January next year,” said a senior government official, who asked to remain anonymous. (more…)
Yangon – Myanmar’s generals were looking for a chance to improve ties with the United States. A disturbed American gave them one in May 2009, when he swam across Yangon’s Inya Lake on “a mission from God” to rescue Aung San Suu Kyi.
John Yettaw, a 53-year-old Vietnam veteran from Missouri, had hoped to smuggle the democracy champion out of the country in a burkha. He was convicted along with Suu Kyi for violating the terms of her house arrest. Instead of sending him to Yangon’s notorious Insein Prison, however, the junta let Yettaw fly out of the country with a U.S. senator.
Burma has long been known as a black hole for human rights. But the new leadership of the military junta hopes to shed its pariah image by loosening its oppressive policies. And as with other authoritarian states “transitioning” toward democracy, the state of labor rights is a harbinger of the real prospects for reform and justice. (more…)
88-Generation Students met with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday to talk about their statement: “The Attitude of 88-Generation Students on the current political atmosphere and landscape” issued on December 5. The group will not run candidates elections until all political prisoners are released. Suu Kyi and former army captain Win Htein of the National League for Democracy (NLD) attended the meeting. 88-Generation Students included Soe Tun, Tun Myint Aung, Sanchaung Ko Ko Gyi, Mi Mi Lwin, Nu Nu Aung and others. Mizzima reporter Tun Tun talks with Tun Myint Aung about the current political landscape, the by-election, Parliament, ethnic issues and the group’s future plans. (more…)
Ashin Pyinna Thiha is a prominent Buddhist monk and the abbot of a monastery in Kyeemyindine Township in Rangoon, which has recently become a popular venue for political events. The 47-member Maha Nayaka Sangha Council, Burma’s official state council of Buddhist monks, had previously banned him from giving Dhamma talks for one year. In September, he spoke at the Mandalay office of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), where he called for national unity and emancipation from fear under Burma’s new nominally-democratic government. A recorded video of the event spread among the Burmese public, and apparently citing this video, the Maha Nayaka Sangha Council issued a statement saying that the abbot was “disobedient” within the monk community and was to be evicted from his monastery. The news of Ashin Pyinna Thiha’s potential humiliation sent shockwaves across Rangoon and supporters have gathered at his monastery to show their concern. He still remains in his monastery and has sent a letter of apology to the council asking that it reverse its decision. (more…)