AUSTRALIA slapped financial sanctions on Burma's generals and their families yesterday as supporters of the opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, marked her 12 years in captivity with protests in 12 cities across the world.
The Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, said a ban had been placed on specified Australian financial dealings with 418 individuals who are members of the Burmese military regime or its supporters. Although there are some foreigners on the list, such as spouses of Burmese business figures, no Australians with commercial dealings with regime members in the oil, gas or publishing industries are included.
YANGON, Myanmar: Myanmar's military government stepped up its propaganda campaign against the United States on Sunday, accusing Washington of inciting last month's pro-democracy demonstrations in a bid to install a puppet government.
"Recent protests in the country were created by the loudmouthed bully, using the exiled dissidents and traitors together with communists, internal and external anti-government destructionists," said a commentary Sunday in the Myanmar-language Myanma Ahlin daily.
Myanmar state-media commonly uses the phrase "loudmouthed bully" without specifically naming the nation it is referring to, but in a context that clearly points to the United States.
As expected, detained Nobel Peace laureate and democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was taken out of her house and met “liaison minister” Aung Kyi. The meeting was a front page story in state-run newspapers.
The nature of their talks remains unknown, but the meeting lasted for more than one hour.
“They must be starting to feel a little bit encircled,” said Sean Turnell, an Australian economist who edits the journal Burma Economic Watch. “These things hurt them because they want to be seen as legitimate.”
Also named by the US have been Htay Myint, chairman of the Yuzana Company, which runs supermarkets, hotels, property-related enterprises and agribusinesses, and Khin Shwe, chairman of the Kay Gabar Group. Identified as key regime cronies, all face the prospect of their assets in US banks, or their overseas subsidiaries, being seized.
The same entrepreneurs – along with another 27 Burmese businessmen and relatives deemed to be beneficiaries of the regime’s economic policies – have also been hit by Australian financial sanctions.
Analysts say the sanctions may not have much of an obvious direct impact, as the businessmen are not thought to keep their assets in US banks or subsidiaries of US banks and no one knows how much Burmese money may be parked in Australia.
Against this background and given the difficult reality in Burma’s current political situation, the United States has to keep the lead in its effort to bring a genuine solution for the country. Instead of only demanding SPDC to come to a dialogue with NLD, the United States should initiate multi-lateral talks with China as leading co-partner and include other international allies and regional powers like India, Russia, Japan, ASEAN and EU. The North Korea six-party talk could serve as a model. By welcoming China as a leading co-partner and bringing in the regional powers and allies, the United States invites to solve the thorny issue together and thus promotes multilateral policies rather than pursuing unilateral interests. In addition, if Thailand’s attempt to restart the Bangkok process should succeed, America- and China-led seven-party talks could serve as continuation of the Bangkok process.
October 25, 2007 - Offices of pro-democracy Burmese opposition groups in Thailand will be searched by security personnel in the kingdom as part of an "operation", informed sources told Mizzima.
The nation-wide operation will be launched in two weeks. Sources say the measure follows the Burma military junta's claims that Thai-based organizations instigated or were helping recent anti-regime protesters in the neighbouring country.
The regime has linked the monks leading the demonstrations in August and September with Maesot based organizations.
The Burmese Religion Minister Brig Gen Thura Myint Maung, in the state-run newspaper today said, "Bogus [fake] Monks" who are in contact with opposition groups based in Thailand had instigated the recent protests in Burma.
Myint Maung, citing the names of monks who organized the protests, said, "All 15 monks have visited Maesot in Thailand and some of them have attended explosive training courses and community organizer (CO) courses there."
DVB reported Saturday that some soldiers who played an active role in the bloody crackdown against the monks have been psychologically affected by their own actions, resulting in defections and suicides.
One of those severely effected was a soldier from Riot Police Unit 6, which was stationed at KaMarYut Township, Rangoon. On the 16th of October at 9pm, he threw himself into Inya Lake and committed suicide, said sources. He was said to have been involved in the crackdown at ShweDagon on the 26th of September and regretted his actions.
In Mandalay, some soldiers in platoons assigned to crush protests have defected as they loathed to carry out such orders against monks and the public. These soldier were stationed at the Indoor Stadium and the prison offices.
In a move to beef up border security a significant number of new Chinese troops have been deployed along the Sino-Burma border in Northern Burma, since early this month, said sources on the border.
A middle ranking officer of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA)'s in N'bapa controlled areas in Kachin State confirmed to KNG today that the number of Chinese soldiers have suddenly increased and border military exercises have been in evidence earlier this month.
The Chinese soldiers have increased in significant numbers in seven areas on the border such as Loije Pa, Nong Dao, Kampaiti and Pangwah in Kachin State and Jiageo, Pan Sai and Munggu in Northeast Shan State, according to border officers of the two Kachin ceasefire groups- KIA and New Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K) along Sino-Burma.
11 Nov 07, 02:41
Admin: IANS : Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and senior members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party announced Friday that they were in no position to persuade Western governments to drop their sanctions against the country’s junta.
Full report at this link - www.abitsu.org...
9 Nov 07, 14:39
Admin: [Burmese DVB News] Yesterday at around 1PM, on Bo Aung Kyaw Road in Yangon, a group of young students carried out a small protest. They carried a poster with Than Shwe's head covered by woman's panty while chanting slogans: We dont want the military junta that killed the monks. The people around them supported them by clapping their hands. After a while, the police came and everyone had to run away. It is not confirmed whether anyone was arrested. [Eye witness Report]
9 Nov 07, 14:30
Admin: There are printed words "killer than shwe" on Myanmar currency. See picture at this link - niknayman.blogspot.com...
UN official starts investigation into brutal government crackdown
November 12, 2007 - Paulo Sergio Pinheiro kicked off his Burma investigation with visits to two monasteries yesterday.
Pro-junta rally in Shan state sets Bush's portrait on fire
November 12, 2007 - A portrait of US President George W. Bush was set on fire today in a Burmese junta-organized mass rally in Hnam Kham town of northern Shan state in protest against the US's rhetorical stand on the military generals.
16 Dec 07, 19:30
Admin: [Irrawady] Dhamma sermons are usually attended almost exclusively by elderly people; however, since the crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in September, more and more laypersons, especially youths, are turning up at monasteries to listen to Buddhist sermons. Attending dhamma sermons is now a way for Burmese people to vent their defiance against the military government. Full article at this link - www.burmanet.org...
16 Dec 07, 18:20
Admin: New York (PTI): The United Nations Human Rights Council has decided to send its special envoy on a follow-up mission to Myanmar to assess the situation in the country and sought a report at its next session beginning in March. Full report at this link - www.hindu.com...
Dec 14, 2007 (DVB)–The chairperson of the Burmese Housewives’ Association, Daw San San Myint, has described how she was beaten and arrested during fuel price protests on 24 August in Rangoon.
Around 20 members of the association were arrested after they staged a protests in front of Rangoon city hall.
“They only provided us with muddy water to drink there. My body and stomach became bloated after a few days of detention in the police brigade (3),” she said.
Dec 17, 2007 (DVB)–The abbot of Zantila Rama monastery has been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for defamation after complaining about the seizure of money from the monastery during a raid.
Zantila Rama monastery in South Okkalapa township, Rangoon, was raided by government security forces in early October.
Dec 17, 2007 (DVB)–The parents of an All-Burmese Federation of Student Unions committee member have been charged and denied bail after refusing to assist government officials who came to arrest their son.
U Peter and Daw Nu Nu Swe, the parents of ABFSU member Ko Si Thu Maung, were arrested by Hlaing township police after they refused to open the door to police officers who came to their house to search for their son without a warrant.