We’ve just heard that from inside Burma’s notorious Insein prison Aung San Suu Kyi has asked her lawyer to thank the tens of thousands of people that wished her happy birthday last Friday.

Dear Friend,

We’ve just heard that from inside Burma’s notorious Insein prison Aung San Suu Kyi has asked her lawyer to thank the tens of thousands of people that wished her happy birthday last Friday.

Her lawyer Nyan Win just released this message: “She said she thanks those at home and abroad who wished her a happy birthday, because she cannot reply to everyone”.

Burma’s brutal regime wants the world to forget Aung San Suu Kyi. The tens of thousands of people like you that left birthday messages of support to her sent a strong message to Burma’s General’s. We showed that the world will never forget Burma’s democracy leader or any the 2,155 political prisoners currently detained in appalling conditions inside Burma.

We’d like to thank everyone that left messages of support for Suu Kyi on the website, http://www.64forSuu.org and on her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/aungsansuukyi. If you haven’t sent her a message of support yet there’s still time, just go to http://www.64forSuu.org.

Thank you for all your support, together we are making progress.

Johnny Chatterton
Campaigns Officer
Burma Campaign UK

PS: On Friday 64forSuu.org came under a sophisticated highly targeted cyber attack which took the site offline for 20 minutes, we believe the attack was an attempt by the Burmese regime to force the site offline. Our security measures worked and no data was lost. Find out more here: http://64forsuu.blogspot.com/2009/06/cyberattack-on-64forsuuorg.html
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Burma Campaign UK

Burmese Army destroys our Mu Aye Pu school/help without frontier

24.06.2009:
Burmese Army detroys our Mu Aye Pu school

We just got the news that the Burmese Army and their allies of the DKBA attacked the Karen villages in the area where also our Mu Aye Pu school is situated.

The school has been destroyed and we have to assume that its lost forever. As the school is located directly on the borderline to Thailand, that the students and their families could find shelter in Thailand. We will try to trace them and support them with what they need. We keep you informed.

http://www.helpwithoutfrontiers.org/

POLITICS-US: Playing the Hawk with North Korea

SEOUL, Jun 30 (IPS) – If the Obama administration needed a rogue nation to demonstrate its foreign policy resolve, central casting couldn’t have supplied a better candidate than North Korea. The government in Pyongyang routinely promises to unleash destruction of biblical proportions on its enemies. It has pulled out of international agreements, such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It has sentenced two U.S. journalists to 12 years of hard labour on the charge of violating its borders. And after conducting two nuclear tests, it now declares itself a nuclear power.

President Barack Obama – conciliatory in his handshake with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and his messages to the Muslim world – ca not appear too soft in the foreign policy world. Democratic presidents are notoriously susceptible to conservative charges of being weak on defence. North Korea can now function as the ‘heavy’ that brings out the administration’s ‘tough guy’ side.

To demonstrate its hawkish credentials, the administration has corralled the U.N. Security Council to issue a strong statement in response to North Korea’s April rocket launch and an even stronger resolution condemning the May nuclear test. The U.S. has established a naval interdiction regime around North Korea. It has reaffirmed its promise to South Korea to strike North Korea with nuclear weapons if it attacks the South. It has appointed a new envoy to coordinate financial sanctions against the North and pressure countries to implement them.

These moves are still not enough for congressional hardliners. “I think that the President comes across as lacking resolve,” says Representative Sam Johnson (Republican from Texas). Even more seasoned foreign policy mandarins, like former Defence Secretary William Perry, have urged the administration to consider a military response as part of a series of escalations.

In the foreign policy equivalent of the film ‘Groundhog’s Day’, the Obama administration is facing the same crisis as its predecessors and making the same mistakes. Like the George W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations, the Obama team came into office unprepared to deal with Pyongyang. North Korea was not a foreign policy priority, and all three administrations acted as if they expected the problem could resolve itself.

Obama, at least, did not start out on a hostile footing.

With a general emphasis on the importance of diplomacy, the new administration appeared willing to talk with North Korea. The relatively speedy appointment of Korean hand Stephen Bosworth as special envoy on North Korea and his offer to go to Pyongyang boded well. It turned out, however, that Bosworth’s offer was conditional: he would go to Pyongyang if it did not go ahead with its April rocket launch.

Iran, which launched a satellite only a few months before, merited no such requirement. Continue reading “POLITICS-US: Playing the Hawk with North Korea”

Khitpyaing news 30.June Ko Zarganar

132in သ႐ုပ္ေဆာင္ ဒါ႐ိုက္တာ ေမာင္သူရ ေခၚ လူရႊင္ေတာ္ဇာဂနာကို ခယ္မျဖစ္သူ မၿငိမ္းက ျမစ္ႀကီးနားေထာင္တြင္ ယမန္ေန႔ နံနက္ပိုင္းတြင္ ေထာင္၀င္စာ ေတြ႔ခြင့္ရခဲ့သည္ဟု မိသားစုနွင့္ နီးစပ္သူတဦးက ေျပာသည္။

၎က “ကိုသူရ က်န္းက်န္းမာမာပဲတဲ့။ အသားျဖဴလာၿပီး ကိုယ္ေရစစ္သြားတာကိုေတာ့ သူက ေနမထိ ေလမထိ တိုက္ထဲမွာေနရလို႔ လို႔ေျပာတယ္။ အစားအေသာက္နဲ႔ မိသားစုဓာတ္ပုံေတြကိုပါ ေပးခြင့္ရခဲ့တယ္” ဟု ေျပာသည္။ continue
http://www.khitpyaingnews.org/news/june_09/30_6_09b.php

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING-BY MICHELE MONTAS-SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON,29.June

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO VISIT MYANMAR
At the invitation of the Government of Myanmar, the Secretary-General will visit Myanmar on 3 and 4 July.

The Secretary-General looks forward to returning to Myanmar to address directly with the senior leadership a broad range of issues, including longstanding concerns to the United Nations and to the international community.

In particular, the Secretary-General considers that three of the most important issues for the future of Myanmar cannot be left unaddressed at this juncture of the country’s political process. These are: the release of all political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; the resumption of dialogue between the Government and Opposition as a necessary part of any national reconciliation process; and the need to create conditions conducive to credible elections.

The Secretary-General also considers it important to consolidate and build on the joint humanitarian effort following his visit last year in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis.

The Secretary-General believes that the sooner these issues are addressed, the earlier Myanmar will be able to move towards peace, democracy and prosperity. He looks forward to meeting all key stakeholders to discuss what further assistance the United Nations can offer to that end.

Asked if the Secretary-General will be meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi, the Spokeswoman said that Ban Ki-moon has asked to meet with all major stakeholders, including the detained opposition leader.

Asked for the Secretary-General’s reaction to the fact that witnesses for the defense in the ongoing trial of Aung San Suu Kyi were not allowed to testify, Montas reiterated the Secretary-General’s earlier demand that all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, be released.

Montas, in response to a question on media participation in the trip, explained that the Secretary-General’s trip was only confirmed this morning. She added that there was no formal invitation to correspondents because of the uncertainties surrounding the trip, and the small group of eight reporters selected came from a list of pending requests.

http://www.un.org/News/ossg/hilites.shtml

On Myanmar, UN’s Ban “Not Talking About the Trial,” Hand Picks Press Coverage

UNITED NATIONS, June 29 — Myanmar’s courts have barred two of Aung San Suu Kyi’s four witnesses, just as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced he will travel to the country on July 3-4. In New York, Inner City Press asked Ban’s spokesperson Michele Montas if Ban has any comment on the barring of these two witnesses, Win Tin and Tin Oo of the National League for Democracy.

Ms. Montas said of Ban, “He’s not talking about the trial right now.” Video here, from Minute 17:23.

Inner City Press asked, since in previous trip Ms. Montas’ office had informed all UN resident correspondence of such trips and allow them to ask to accompany the Secretary General, if that was done in the case of Myanmar and if not, why not. Montas admitted that it was not done. She said that from among “people who had expressed interest” they “picked people willing to pool for others.” Since Inner City Press has asked numerous questions about the UN and Myanmar of Ms. Montas and others in the UN briefing room, one wonders what “expressing interest” means.
UN’s Ban Tells Only Some Media of Myanmar Chance, Bad Press Left Behind?

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, June 28 — With UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reportedly still undecided if he will stop in Myanmar on his upcoming trip to Japan, Ban’s press office has nevertheless quietly selected the journalists who would be allowed to cover his visit with the country’s military rulers.

Until now, the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General has informed at least all resident correspondents at the UN of the possibility of a trip, and to apply if they are interested in going.

This time, Ban’s office refused to confirm when asked by the Press that he would go to Myanmar, while behind the scenes pre-selecting which journalists would be allowed to accompany him.

Some see this is a reaction to the increasingly negative media coverage Ban has been receiving. As Inner City Press asked Ban during his last press conference, the Economist rated him three out of ten on speaking truth to power. continue

http://www.innercitypress.com/ban2burmapress062909.html

If Ban Ki Moon comes away without a significant compromise by the regime, he will further undermine the UN’s authority in a country where neither punitive sanctions nor diplomatic engagement have brought any obvious improvements

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, will visit Burma on Friday in a diplomatically risky effort to win concessions from the country’s military dictatorship.

Mr Ban hopes to persuade the Burmese junta to release political prisoners, including the country’s democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, in advance of an election next year, denounced by opposition groups as fraudulent and meaningless.

But if he comes away without a significant compromise by the regime, he will further undermine the UN’s authority in a country where neither punitive sanctions nor diplomatic engagement have brought any obvious improvements.

The stakes will be all the higher because of the timing of his visit – he will arrive in the former capital, Rangoon, as Ms Suu Kyi goes back on trial for receiving a clandestine visit from an eccentric American.“The Secretary-General considers that three of the most important issues for the future of Myanmar cannot be left unaddressed at this juncture of the country’s political process,” Mr Ban’s spokesperson, Michele Montas, said yesterday in New York.

“These are the release of all political prisoners, including Daw [Mrs] Aung San Suu Kyi; the resumption of dialogue between the Government and Opposition … and the need to create conditions conducive to credible elections.”

Mr Ban’s emissary to Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, was there over the weekend, his eighth visit since 2006, a period in which political and humanitarian conditions have got progressively worse.

Millions were killed or made destitute by Cyclone Nargis last year, the junta violently quashed a peaceful uprising by monks in 2007, and the number of political prisoners has doubled to more than 2000.

Despite international demands that it enter a dialogue with Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, the government has pressed on with its plans for an election in 2010 which will guarantee a continuing role for the army for years to come. Continue reading “If Ban Ki Moon comes away without a significant compromise by the regime, he will further undermine the UN’s authority in a country where neither punitive sanctions nor diplomatic engagement have brought any obvious improvements”

NCGUB Expresses Concern Over Plight of Innocent Karen Villagers

The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma has expressed its concern over the latest round of attacks initiated by the junta against the Karen National Union at the Burma-Thai border which has forced thousands of innocent Karen villagers to flee into Thailand. The following is a report released by the NCGUB on 26 June 2009:

Karen Crisis A Sign Of Things To Come

Mae Sot — Burma’s exiled democracy movement has expressed grave concerns over the recent military assaults on the Karen people in the Thai-Burma border regions, and has urged the international community and regional governments in particular to see the wider implications of the regime’s latest action.

“This year alone the issue of people from Burma fleeing into other countries has caused serious ramifications for regional governments. Yet, these crises are just the tip of the iceberg,” says Dr Thaung Htun, UN office representative for the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma.

For years now Burma has been experiencing a mass exodus from the country, with many Burmese becoming refugees or illegal immigrants in neighboring countries.

Democracy groups say many more Burmese will be forced to flee Burma in the coming months.

Burma has the third highest number of refugees of any country worldwide. According to the Washington DC-based Refugees International, around 7% of Burma’s entire population, or 3.5 million Burmese, are in other countries, many as refugees.

“Burma’s neighbours must wake up to the fact that there is a humanitarian crisis on their doorstep. They must also admit that this is the shape of things to come if the military regime is allowed to pursue its agenda of actively “cleansing” all remaining vestiges of democracy in Burma in the lead-up to the 2010 elections,” said Dr Thaung Htun, who is currently visiting the camps on the Thai-Burma border. Continue reading “NCGUB Expresses Concern Over Plight of Innocent Karen Villagers”

Police arrested three people Monday on suspicion of attempting to export a measuring instrument that could be converted to weapons production to Myanmar without a permit from the Japanese government,

3 held for alleged attempt to export measuring instrument to Myanmar
Tuesday 30th June, 05:10 AM JST

YOKOHAMA —
Police arrested three people Monday on suspicion of attempting to export a measuring instrument that could be converted to weapons production to Myanmar without a permit from the Japanese government, police officials said. The suspects, including the 41-year-old president of trading house Toko Boeki in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward and the president of a machinery maker, allegedly attempted to export in January a magnetic measuring instrument, which could be converted to produce missiles and other weapons of mass destruction, from Yokohama port in Kanagawa Prefecture to Myanmar via Malaysia, they said.

The attempted export was discovered before it took place, the Kanagawa police officials said. The Kanagawa police raided locations related to the case in February suspecting that North Korea, which maintains diplomatic relations with Myanmar, could be involved in the deal.
Japan today