EU Would “Help” in Burma’s Bogus 2010 Election by Buffalohair

European Union Special Envoy to Burma Piero Fassino made a few statements after meetings with Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda and Association of Southeast Asian Nations secretary general Surin Pitsuwan. He mentioned the *EU would vote to ease sanctions in Burma if the military junta eased restriction on opponents ahead to the 2010 election.

“It is impossible to achieve a free and fair election if the leader of the opposition is in prison,” he said.

Though well intended it would appear the European Union still does not understand that Burma already had a legal and binding election. The people of Burma have already spoken in the 1990 Election. And they looked to the free world to assist them in their struggle to assert democracy over a criminal regime. Sadly, though unintended, Fassino legitimized a barbaric criminal regime who continues to murder its citizens. He and the EU’s posture were likened to giving Hitler the Sudetenland if he promised to stop killing Jews. Has the European Union forgotten about the human sacrifices that were made for democracy, the ongoing blood letting, torture and imprisonment of the citizens of Burma? What about morality and human rights Fassino?

It should be noted that the European Union does not speak for the citizens of the nations who prescribe to this economical block. Fact is the people of Europe in general are appalled by the activities of Than Shwe’s Burma as well as China’s total disregard for human rights. It is not all about money and material consequence Mr. Fassino. Though the media glossed over his statements in a light of positivity for the people of Burma I found this reprehensible at the very least. In fact, I was shocked to learn the EU has sided with a murderous criminal regime and the illegal election of 2010.

The very notion the EU would make sure the elections of 2010 was fair and safe was shameful. Apparently the EU has decided to ignore the elections of 1990 by offering by participating in this criminally illegal election. This was a slap in the face and an insult to the core tenets of democracy and the voice of the people of Burma. Counterproductive at best this turn of events is totally unacceptable to the freedom fighters who are risking their lives today in Burma. This ridiculously naive approach to the crisis in Burma will surely fuel Than Shwe’s killing machine as more people are arrested, tortured and killed. Mr. Fassino’s misstatements only qualified an illegal election that is not the will of the people of Burma. How far beyond stupid are you Piero Fassino. Hopefully this was an act of ignorance rather than a calculated and intentional move to legitimize Than Shwe’s criminal regime. At some point in time humanity must take precedents over economics or civilization as we know it will cease to exist.


Your Devil’s Advocate


Will Suu Kyi Be Soon Free? And What Then? COMMENTARY

Persistent rumors have been circulating since late last year predicting that Burma’s opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi will be released soon from house arrest.

Several Western governments and international campaign groups accuse the Burmese regime of detaining her illegally and have been stepping up their demands for her release. Some diplomats in Rangoon and Bangkok even suggest that Suu Kyi will be released in May this year, the sixth anniversary of her current term of house arrest. Some analysts maintain, however, that the regime will benefit nothing from releasing her at this point in time, but say she could be freed after the 2010 election. Continue reading “Will Suu Kyi Be Soon Free? And What Then? COMMENTARY”

Junta Continually Expanding Forces in Ceasefire Areas

The Burmese armed forces has systematically and continually increased the strength of its battalions stationed in ethnic areas where armed groups have signed ceasefire agreements with the junta, according to armed forces’ documents leaked to The Irrawaddy recently.

When it took over the country in a military coup in 1988, the Burmese military government had only eight light infantry divisions stationed in central Burma under nine regional military commands.

However, since the 1988 coup, the junta has signed ceasefire agreements with more than 17 armed ethnic groups, and has formed and deployed several new battalions in former rebel strongholds, especially in the early 1990s.

At the command level, new Regional Operation Commands (ROCs) and Military Operation Commands (MOCs) have been stationed in ceasefire group-controlled areas since 1990.

The Tatmadaw, or Burmese army, opened the ROC (Loikaw) in Karenni State in 1992 to facilitate command and control in the area, and soon after it formed the ROC (Bamaw) in Kachin State to control the Kachin Independence Army’s troops. Continue reading “Junta Continually Expanding Forces in Ceasefire Areas”

Stanford scientists find new solutions for the arsenic-poisoning crisis in Asia

Every day, more than 140 million people in southern Asia drink groundwater contaminated with arsenic. Thousands of people in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Myanmar and Vietnam die of cancer each year from chronic exposure to arsenic, according to the World Health Organization. Some health experts call it the biggest mass poisoning in history.

More than 15 years ago, scientists pinpointed the source of the contamination in the Himalaya Mountains, where sediments containing naturally occurring arsenic were carried downstream to heavily populated river basins below.

But one mystery remained: Instead of remaining chemically trapped in the river sediments, arsenic was somehow working its way into the groundwater more than 100 feet below the surface. Solving that mystery could have significant implications for policymakers trying to reverse the mass poisoning, said Stanford University soil scientist Scott Fendorf.

“How does the arsenic go from being in the sediment loads, in solids, into the drinking water?” said Fendorf, a professor of environmental Earth system science and a senior fellow at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment.

To find out, he launched a field study in Asia in 2004 with two Stanford colleagues: Chris Francis, an assistant professor of geological and environmental sciences, and Karen Seto, now at Yale University. The initial study was funded with a two-year Woods Institute Environmental Venture Projects grant. Five years later, the research team appears to have solved the arsenic mystery and is working with policymakers and government officials to prevent the health crisis from escalating. continue

Burma’s Prisoners of Conscience

By Joseph Zeitlyn
Source: The Guardian

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This year’s Burma human rights day, on earlier in the month was commemorated by the launch of an international petition ( campaign to free political prisoners in Burma. Lead by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners and the Forum for Democracy it was supported by around 170 civil society groups globally with events from Dublin to Tokyo.

Inevitably this launch and most of the publicised activism occurred outside Burma, with former prisoners and activists rallying concerned folk globally, and inevitably the notion that the petition be aimed at those who hold the key to the over 2,100 prisoners of conscience’s cells is not even considered.

The petition campaign was added weight by a landmark judgement of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention this week. It stated that not only was the detention of Burma’s most famous prisoner and Nobel Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi illegal by international law but by those of her own government. Whilst such a statement may be routine from western opposition activists it is rare for the UN to make such a questioning statement about a member nation’s own laws.

The judgement hinged on the reason that Suu Kyi was in detention (already incidentally almost a year longer than her original sentence). One reason being that she would disturb the peace and ‘tranquillity of the state’, an excuse that the working group comprising of lawyers and impartial participants from Russia, Senegal and Pakistan found to be contentious. Continue reading “Burma’s Prisoners of Conscience”

Thailand supports democratization of Burma: Abhisit

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Prime Minister of Thailand has said talks with ethnic rebels, the Karen National Union, depends on the Burmese military junta and the United Nations, reiterating that Thailand supports democratization and national reconciliation in the country.

Abhisit Vejjajiva, Thailand’s Prime Minister on Tuesday was commenting on the Burmese government’s desire that Thailand persuade the KNU to begin a process of reconciliation with the junta and contest the 2010 general elections.

“The issue depends on the Burmese regime and the UN to make the discussion operational. Thailand would help as a neighbouring country. However, the negotiation should be held to solve the problem because some ethnic group members migrated to live in Thailand,” Abhisit said, according to a report in a Thai government website.

The Thai PM also added that he has not yet been informed that the Thai Foreign Minister agreed to hold talks with the ethnic group, which does not see eye to eye, with the junta’s constitution.

“At the moment, the Burmese junta has worked mainly with the UN rather than with the ASEAN,” he said.

He said the Thai government supported efforts by the Burmese government regarding national reconciliation and the restoration of democracy in the country.

In addition, he added the position of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations was clear. It wanted to see all parties take part in Burmese general elections in the coming year. Continue reading “Thailand supports democratization of Burma: Abhisit”

Permission denied to repair Mon National schools in southern Ye township

HURFOM, Khaw-Zar Sub-township, March 25, 2009
An appeal to repair Mon national schools in southern Ye township has been denied by the Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) and the local SPDC Battalion based in the area, according to the local Mon Youth Association’s members and activists who have been trying to repair the NMSP-run schools for their young people.
Members of the joint Mon Youth organizations in the villages under the control of Khaw-Zar Sub-township have tried to ask for the permission to repair their national schools from both the Sub-township PDC and the local Infantry Battalion No. 31 since the beginning of January, 2009. However, both Sub-township officials and the local military Commanders postponed the decision for more than two months and eventually gave a negative response, according to Mehm Lyeh, a 28 year old Yin-Ye villager and worker for Mon national schools.
He explained, “at first, we tried to repair the schools without any official permission. But most of the schools in this area needed major maintenance such as replacing the zinc roofs, the wooden frames and the brick fencing. On the other hand, we have been afraid of the possible consequences from the local authorities if we do it ourselves without any permission.” Continue reading “Permission denied to repair Mon National schools in southern Ye township”

Villages Threatened with Relocation for Railway


Kyauktaw: Many lands have been confiscated by the Burmese military authority for a new railway route through Arakan State and some villages are facing relocation to make way for the tracks, said a villager from the region.
“The army authority confiscated many lands that are situated on the railway route and owned by local Arakanese farmers, without any compensation, to make way for the new route from Sittwe to Ann. Some villages from Kyauktaw Township have been ordered to relocate to other places to clear a path for the railway route,” he said.

The villages facing dislocation are Tharet Thaphin, Sapa Sit, Shwe Talay, Pyin Hla, Nyung Pin Hla, and Kung Duck. They are situation near the temple of the great image of Mahamuni in Kyauktaw Township and have been ordered by the Burmese military authorities to relocate to other places in order to clear the path for construction of the railway route and station.

There is also a rumor that the military authority is preparing to build an airport in the area and the villages are being forced to relocate to make room for this. Continue reading “Villages Threatened with Relocation for Railway”

A devastating fire engulfed many buildings and houses and caused over 100 million kyat in damages in the western Burmese border town of Maungdaw yesterday evening, reports a police officer.

He said, “The fire originated inside a tea shop at about 5:30 pm and soon engulfed one government building and many other nearby buildings, including homes.”

The government tax office, Shwe Pyan Lwa tea house, a video show room, Jame restaurant, and five houses were gutted by the fire.

According to a local source, firefighters responded quickly to the blaze but were unable to control it due to inadequate equipment.

A townsperson said, “In the Maungdaw fire service, there are two fire engines, but only one truck was able to respond to the fire because the other one was unable to be driven due to the authorities not supplying enough fuel.”

The fire occurred in downtown Maungdaw and burned for at least two hours, from around 5:30 pm, until firefighters were eventually able to stop it with the help of local residents. Narinjara News