Media in Burma
In their ruling wisdom, the military junta in Burma has severely restricted all forms of information gathering and dissemination. To protect themselves from dissention, the SPDC has made publishing any unauthorized materials a jail worthy crime and, as the rest of the world connects through the world wide web, has restricted all access to the internet.
Poems - words - have power in Burma, and the military authorities realise it. International PEN, the global writer's association, has a Writers in Prison Committee, led by Sara Whyatt, which is currently campaigning for the release of nine writers serving sentences ranging from seven to 21 years. Among them are two young poets, Aung Than and Zeya Aung, who wrote a book of verse called Daung Mann (or The Pride of the Peacock - the fighting peacock being a symbol of the pro-democracy movement). Last June they were convicted of writing "anti-government poems" and received sentences of 19 years apiece. Their printer received 14 years, and their distributor seven.
Many monks,nuns,members of parliament,members of elected Party:NLD,sympathizers are still being killed everyday in Myanmar. UN Envoy did not & will not make much improvement in Myanmar(Burma).UNSC should have the authority to stop the killing on the spot.The delaying process like sending envoy to negotiate by dialogues is not uselful anymore.
Many people were gun-shot,&thrown into rivers, fired alive by government soldiers .
We want UN Security Council to send troops for the people of Burma instead of UN Envoy.It's not the time to talk with SPDC.It's time for UN Troops to take strong action to protect thoese people from Brutal Myanmar Military.
the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC, the official name of the military regime of Burma (Myanmar)) to refrain from taking any actions that:
1. Physically harm the Buddhist monks and nuns participating in the protest marches currently taking place in major cities and towns in Burma
2. Infiltrate the protesting groups by pretending to be monks and nuns (via having the head shaven and dressing in monks' robes) and then instigitating violence from within through such pretension
3. Offer poisoned foods as alms (Dana)
4. Arresting and beating up people or persons who offers food and water (dana) to the monks
5. Arresting the protesting monks and treating them like criminals, such as catching the monks by lariats and ropes, tying them up with wires and strapping them onto electrical poles, slapping their cheeks, kicking them with military boots and hitting their heads with rifle butts.
The official New Light of Myanmar newspaper, a government mouthpiece, said that if the monks had remained in their monasteries, "the government would not have used force to prevent protests."
"If... they had not staged protest marches, demanding release of political prisoners, the nation would not have seen any chaos," it added.
State media also gave a sharply higher figure for the number of people who were detained in connection with the protests, saying 2 927 had been locked up around the country and 468 remained behind bars.
Earlier state media had indicated about 2 100 people had been arrested.
The newspaper said security forces were continuing to make arrests, despite a statement last week by the UN Security Council demanding the release of all political prisoners.
International pressure has been mounting on Burma in the wake of the crackdown.
UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari is visiting Burma's neighbours and key trading allies for talks before a planned return there later this month.
Both the EU and the US have increased their sanctions on Burma, and the US said earlier this week that it was considering further measures. Japan has cut a portion of its aid.
But Burma's largest trading allies, China and India, have not taken similar steps, and on Tuesday Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said there would be no threat of sanctions or suspension from the Association of South East Nations (Asean).
Burma's leaders, for their part, appear to remain defiant.
In a statement on Tuesday they ruled out a change of political course and questioned the need for UN involvement, saying that events in Burma did not threaten the region.
Burma’s generals are, therefore, firmly entrenched in power, and not overly worried about condemnation by the West. That doesn’t mean that their position is entirely secure. They remain profoundly despised by the population at large and, last year, an entirely new movement began to take shape. It consisted of veterans of the 1988 uprising, the most prominent among them being Min Ko Naing, a student leader who was arrested in March 1989—and released only in November 2005, after nearly 16 years in solitary confinement. In 1988 he was a 26-year-old zoology student addressing crowds of tens of thousands in Rangoon. When he was released he was 42, and his years in prison had left their mark on his face and body. In 2005, he looked old and haggard—but his fighting spirit had not been quelled. “The people of Burma must have the courage to say ‘no’ to injustice and ‘yes’ to truth,” he said at a meeting of the newly formed “88-Generation Students’ Group” in Rangoon in August 2006.
Canada is responding to Myanmar's bloody crackdown on its citizens by promising to bestow honorary citizenship on that country's leading prisoner of conscience.
The Conservative government will ask Parliament to recognize Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi as an honorary Canadian citizen, according to a copy of the Throne Speech leaked Tuesday to The Canadian Press.
The junta that rules the country formerly known as Burma has confined Ms. Suu Kyi to her home under house arrest for years in response to her pro-democracy efforts.
“Our government will immediately call upon Parliament to confer honorary citizenship on Aung San Suu Kyi,” the speech states.
“Her long struggle to bring freedom and democracy to the people of Burma has made her the embodiment of these ideals (of democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law) and an inspiration to all of us.”
Mr Bush announced that the US Treasury Department had added 11 more junta leaders to an existing list of 14 whose US assets have been frozen, including junta chief Senior General Than Shwe.
The President also said he had issued a new executive order targeting another 12 individuals and entities for sanctions, and ordered the US Commerce Department tighten controls on exports to Burma.
The President, frustrated by the thus-far vain attempt to get the junta to change course, warned of still more sanctions "if Burma's leaders do not end the brutal repression of their own people, whose only offence is the desire to live in freedom".
Mr Bush praised the response of Australia, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore to the political upheaval in Burma, but singled out regional powers China and India as countries that must do more.
Japan is halting $4.7m (£2.3m) in funding for a human resources centre in Burma, as economic pressure mounts on the military government there.
The move follows the death of a Japan's journalist during the Burmese military's bloody suppression of anti-government protests last month.
It reflected Japan's "strong concerns" over the situation, a minister said.
On Monday, the EU upped sanctions on Burma and the US urged "consequential" action against its leaders.
Ibrahim Gambari, UN Secretary General's special envoy to Burma will arrive in New Delhi on Sunday, for two days of consultations on Burma with Indian officials, a UN official said.
"Gambari will arriving New Delhi on Sunday [October 21], and will have meetings with officials on Monday and Tuesday," an official at the new Delhi UN information centre said.
While details of the Nigerian diplomat's scheduled meetings remain undisclosed, sources said Gambari is likely meet the External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherjee and other officials of the MEA.
Gambari, who is on a six-nation tour to consult key Asian nations on Burma, is currently in Indonesia after visiting Malaysia and Thailand and will continue to China and Japan from India.
The UN envoy's Asian tour is part of the world body's effort to engage regional countries for consultations on Burma for possible pressure for reforms in the military-ruled Southeast Asian nation.
Burmese women activists in New Delhi today staged a fleeting demonstration outside the office of Sonia Gandhi, President of the Indian National Congress, demanding that she and her party help free detained Burmese pro-democracy Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Wearing masks with the Burmese democracy icon's picture and holding aloft posters and placards that read – "Aung San Suu Kyi Needs Your Help", "Stop Strengthening the Killers" – about 10 Burmese women activists demanded that the Congress leader and her party's leadership influence the ruling junta and free Suu Kyi.
Nengboi, a member of the Women's League of Burma, the group that organized the demonstration, said, "Since Sonia Gandhi is also a woman, we are hoping that she would sympathize and stand by us to free our leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. And as president of the Congress, we believe that she has influence over the government, that's why we staged the protest in front of her office."
The demonstrators, who were stopped by the police and were barred from meeting the Congress leader, were, however, able to hand over a petition to a secretary of Sonia Gandhi's office.
Hilton said women in Thailand, Australia, Singapore, England and other European countries had started sending or delivering their underwear to Burma missions following informal coordination among activist organisations and individuals.
"You can post, deliver or fling your panties at the closest Burmese Embassy any day from. Send early, send often!" the Lanna Action for Burma website urges.
"So far we have had no response from Burmese officials," Hilton said.
Secret courts in jails throughout Burma are sentencing local leaders of Burma’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy to long prison terms in what is being seen as a regime attempt to crush the movement once and for all, reports Edward Loxton.
The NLD is led by Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been held under house arrest for 12 of the past 18 years. Her party has been accused by young dissidents of shrinking from political engagement, but many NLD members participated in the recent demonstrations and are now paying the price.
Several have been sentenced to long prison terms in secret trials in Rangoon’s infamous Insein prison. News is now filtering through from the provinces of other trials, apparently aimed at disrupting the NLD’s nationwide network.
Five leading NLD members in Burma’s northwestern Arakan State were sentenced to prison terms of up to nine and a half years for their part in the recent demonstrations, according to friends and family members. They included the joint secretary and the chairman of the NLD in the provincial town of Taunggok.
The situation in Myanmar tops the list of questions for oral answer when Singapore’s Parliament sits on Monday.
Foreign Minister George Yeo has been asked to give his assessment of the situation in that country and whether ASEAN can take bolder steps to press for a peaceful resolution to the problems in the country.
MPs also want to know whether ASEAN will consider imposing targeted sanctions and even review Myanmar’s membership in ASEAN if the country fails to comply with the resolutions laid down by the United Nations and ASEAN.
Meanwhile, the Transport Minister has been asked if there are plans to start operations at the Woodleigh Station along the North East Line.
Several bills will come up for second reading at Monday’s sitting.
Among them is the amendments to the Penal Code.
It will allow the authorities to better protect vulnerable persons, as victims of crime.
Nominated MP Siew Kum Hong has filed a petition on Section 377A of the Penal Code.
This section makes it an offence for any male, in public or private, to commit any act of gross indecency with another male.
The Home Affairs Ministry explained during the first reading of the legislation that public feedback on this issue had been emotional and divided — but the majority still felt the Section should be retained.
The Ministry said it recognised that Singapore was generally a conservative society and that the situation should be allowed to evolve.
October 22, 2007 – Following the recent announcement by President Bush of heightened sanctions against the Burmese junta and their supporters, United States politicians from across the political spectrum have been quick to voice their support for increased pressure on the generals.
October 21, 2007 - The Burmese military junta on Saturday lifted curfew imposition in the country's former capital Rangoon and the second largest city of Mandalay, sources said.
Authorities made the announcement, which includes lifting the ban on gathering of more than five people, by driving through the streets with loudspeaker trucks, a police official in Rangoon said.
21 Oct 07, 22:42
Admin: Reports say that Junta is arresting students and civilians, who were believed to be involved in International Campaigns against SPDC, on arrival at the Yangon Airport.
21 Oct 07, 22:39
Admin: On 20th Oct 2007, in Yangon, BaBaeDan Township, 5 Muslim males were taken away from their houses by police. The list of people who were arrested, include Ko Tun Myint Aung, Ko Myo Thant and 3 other Muslim males. Their families are very worried about their conditions. So far, over 200 Muslims have been arrested in BaBaeDan Township alone.
What Avaaz members have done so far:
789,479 petition signatures, hand-delivered to UK Prime Minister and UN Security Council member Gordon Brown. (Video here.)
$315,000 raised for the Burmese democracy movement.
33,403 emails to EU leaders urging targeted sanctions.
1,952 messages sent to Singapore's Foreign Minister George Yeo.
100+ protests in cities worldwide against the Burmese regime.
1 global ad campaign, including a full-page ad in the Financial Times pushing China to act.
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Life has changed a lot for many people. The place once full of hope is now shrouded with fear. Fear is everywhere and it's stronger than before.
With fear comes anger. This anger will never go away until this regime is destroyed forever. The anger will go away only when there is true democracy.
The soldiers act like gods treating people like slaves.
The increase in food prices will affect the poor first and then everyone else. There are millions of people in this country under the poverty line. Millions will starve to death.
The people of Myanmar [Burma] do not accept this situation. If there's no democracy, the revolution will not end.