Thai-Burma relations under ‘unprecedented strain’

June 12, 2009 (DVB)–Thailand’s condemnation of the Suu Kyi trial and the arrival of thousands of Burmese refugees has put relations between the two countries under “unprecedented strain”, according to a Burmese state-run newspaper.

Burma has come under mounting international criticism over the trial of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose next hearing has been adjourned until 26 June.
Thailand, who holds the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc, has recently expressed “grave concern” both at the lack of democratic progress in the country and the potential for the trial to tarnish the bloc’s image.
The normally amiable relationship is likely to have been further strained by the continued influx of thousands of Karen refugees in northern Thailand who have fled a Burmese army offensive against the Karen National Union.
Last month Burma reacted angrily to Thailand’s condemnation of the Suu Kyi trial, accusing it of interfering in the country’s internal affairs. Continue reading “Thai-Burma relations under ‘unprecedented strain’”

Five Political Prisoners Placed in ‘Dog Cells’

Five political prisoners have been held in specials punishment cells, known as “dog cells,” and banned from receiving family visits since May 11 in Insein Prison in Rangoon, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) (AAPP), based in Thailand.

The AAPP said the reason for the severe punishment is not known.

Naing Naing, a member of parliament-elect; Soe Han and Aung Naing of the National League for Democracy party; Lwin Ko Latt, a member of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions; and Sandimar, a senior abbot were named as recipients of the harsh punishment.

The AAPP said that Naing Naing suffers from a hernia and hypertension, and Soe Han, a lawyer, has eye problems. Their families have been banned from visiting and have been unable to provide them with essential medicines. The families are very worried for the health of their loved ones. Continue reading “Five Political Prisoners Placed in ‘Dog Cells’”

“When your own homeland is poisonous to you” a poem by Min Ko Naing posted by Feraya

How life has been merciless

When your own homeland was poisonous to you?

False hopes and endless despair

Tears of iron

Could not wash away the

Blood entrenched jungle paths that

Led you out of your motherland’s

Ruthless,

Ambitious willingness to sacrifice You

A beautiful child of a Paradise No More

Someone was watching over you

To come through

Such a horrendous Hell

More Or less Unscathed

Heavy burden You will bear

To carry your fellows

To show the world

They are there still crossing

With their babies on their back

Such a bloody path

Of such peaceful people

Betrayed

Dominated

Deceived

By a motherland that used

You

It was worse than If they were

Your Worst Enemy

Motherland

Had gone

Headed

The wrong way

Corrupt

Heartless

Unimaginable Ruthless hold on to power

Power

That

Eternally Transformed

The actions

From Human

To Beasts. Continue reading ““When your own homeland is poisonous to you” a poem by Min Ko Naing posted by Feraya”

French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he tried to telephone Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi but was prevented by Burma’s military government.

Mr. Sarkozy made the statement Thursday in Paris at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The French president said he and Mrs. Merkel are very concerned about Aung San Suu Kyi, who faces a possible five-year prison sentence for allegedly violating the terms of her house arrest.
Mr. Sarkozy said the two leaders have asked China and India for help in pressing their concerns about the Nobel Peace laureate.
Also Thursday, Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyers filed an appeal with Burma’s Supreme Court to allow two more defense witnesses to testify at her trial.
Her legal team filed an appeal after the court hearing her case barred three of her four witnesses from testifying on her behalf.
An appeals court this week reinstated one of the witnesses, but upheld the ban on two others, who are both senior members of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy.
Only one witness has testified in defense of the pro-democracy leader so far, while the prosecution was allowed 14 witnesses.
A member of her defense team, Nyan Win, said Aung San Suu Kyi told them to file the appeal after a brief meeting Wednesday inside Rangoon’s notorious Insein prison.
Nyan Win said Aung San Suu Kyi also said that the charge against her is politically motivated.
Her charge stems from an uninvited visit to her lakeside Rangoon house by an American man.
Critics of the government say the trial is a pretext for Burma’s military rulers to keep the pro-democracy leader in detention through next year’s election.
The 63-year-old Aung San Suu Kyi already has spent more than 13 of the last 19 years under house arrest.
Burma has been under military rule since 1962. Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won elections in 1990, but the military refused to recognize the results.
VOA

Nyan Win, a member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal team, said an official notice arrived in his office stating that the High Court had cancelled the June 17 court hearing and postponed it for later.

Rangoon court postpones date for arguments
by Mizzima News
Thursday, 11 June 2009 22:12

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The Rangoon High Court on Thursday indefinitely postponed the date for the submission of arguments over the request of defence counsels to reinstate two defence witnesses in the on going trial of Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Earlier in the day, the High Court received a petition by Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyer to reinstate two witnesses, whom the district court had barred, and fixed June 17 for the hearing of arguments on the request.

But hours later, Nyan Win, a member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal team, said an official notice arrived in his office stating that the High Court had cancelled the June 17 court hearing and postponed it for later. The notice did not specify any other dates but simply said that it will be notified later.

“The notice came at about 4 p.m. (local time). A Deputy Director of the High Court came to my office, and informed that the court had cancelled the June 17 court hearing and that a fresh date will be notified later. I was not in my office at the time, but I was informed,” Nyan Win told Mizzima.

On Tuesday, the Rangoon divisional court, at the behest of the defence legal team allowed a second witness – Khin Moh Moh – to testify in the trial against the Nobel Peace Laureate.

The district court in Insein prison, where the Burmese pro-democracy leader is being tried, earlier rejected three out of the four witnesses presented by the defence team while allowing 14 prosecution witnesses to testify. Continue reading “Nyan Win, a member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal team, said an official notice arrived in his office stating that the High Court had cancelled the June 17 court hearing and postponed it for later.”