Congress Clears Rnewal Of AAFA Supported Burma Import Ban; Administration Action Expected Soon

On July 24, Congress cleared a bill that extends for an additional year a ban on imports from Burma. AAFA has long supported this ban and has urged other countries to follow suit. Although the most recent one-year import ban technically expired on July 27, 2008, President Bush is expected to sign the legislation into law shortly, which provides for a seamless extension. Bush is also expected to sign into law a companion measure that would authorize a series of additional sanctions targeting the Burmese jade and gem industry.

Die Hard’ spirit of 7-July; Burmese activists vow to march ahead

by Mungpi
Tuesday, 07 July 2009 21:45

New delhi (mizzima) – Burmese activists and Indian supporters on Tuesday reiterated their call to the Indian government to stop supporting Burma’s military regime and instead support the movement for democracy in the country.

Marching along Parliament Street in New Delhi, India’s capital, scores of Burmese and Indian activists held protest rallies on Tuesday marking the 47th anniversary of 7-July, on which day in 1962 Burma’s military rulers’ cracked down on student protesters in Rangoon University.

Protesters said, with the world witnessing the latest injustice by the Burmese regime – the trumped-up charge and trial of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi – India and China should stop adhering to their soft stand on the regime but join the global outcry and pressurize the junta.

While with the spirit of ‘7-July’, Burmese students will continue the fight for human rights and democracy in Burma, it is crucial for the international community, particularly neighbouring countries, to keep up their support in order to usher in changes in Burma, the protestors said.

The protesters, many of them former students in Burma, who fled the junta’s brutal crackdown, urged India to be a responsible neighbour and called on Russia and China to refrain from exercising their veto power to block a Security Council resolution against the regime. Continue reading “Die Hard’ spirit of 7-July; Burmese activists vow to march ahead”

At UN, July 8 Briefing on Ban’s Burmese Failure by Gambari, Japan Says “Too Early”

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

UNITED NATIONS, July 7, updated — While by nearly any measure UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s two day visit to Myanmar was a diplomatic failure, on July 6 when Inner City Press asked Japan’s Ambassador to the UN Yukio Takasu to assess the trip, he said it was “too early” for that, that when Ban returns from Europe they will get a full briefing and address the issue. Video here, from Minute 6:43.

But the so-called Group of Friends on Myanmar, Inner City Press has learned, will be briefed on July 8 by Ban’s envoy to Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari.

Some view this as distancing Ban from the lack of accomplishments on the trip, which they view as having provided some legitimacy to the regime of General Than Shwe. Gambari, recently offered up to replace Rodolphe Adada for the UN in Darfur, has been to Myanmar eight times and has little to show for it.

Gambari’s supporters blame the “Western powers” for not giving him any carrots with which to tempt the generals. But perhaps the Myanmar regime, like Sri Lanka’s, doesn’t need the West’s carrots. continue

Than Shwe is using the United Nations as a way of buying time or distracting people from the main issues, so it isn’t very constructive,”

YANGON, Myanmar – Myanmar’s ruling junta wanted Ban Ki-moon to go into a grandiose drug museum through the back door to prevent the U.N. secretary-general from making a rock-star entrance.

Ban eventually did walk through the front door _ a small victory after he had lost far bigger battles, notably a hoped-for meeting with jailed democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced ong sahn SUE CHEE).

After a two-day visit in which the generals tried to stage-manage the world’s top diplomat at every step, Ban left the country with few prospects of even slightly loosening the iron grip on power held by military regime and its junta chief, Senior Gen. Than Shwe.

If people saw Ban acting independently in Myanmar “that would cause Than Shwe to lose face,” said Donald Seekins, a Myanmar expert at Japan’s Meio University. “So they want to manipulate him.”

By snubbing Ban, the country’s military rulers lost an opportunity to improve its standing among many of the world’s nations that view the struggling country with rich reserves of gas and minerals as a pariah.

Inside Myanmar, Suu Kyi’s opposition party said Than Shwe (pronounced TAHN SHWAY) showed he is unwilling to permit real change ahead of the 2010 elections, which would be the first in two decades. Continue reading “Than Shwe is using the United Nations as a way of buying time or distracting people from the main issues, so it isn’t very constructive,””

khitpyaingnews on 7.July Studentuprising


ဇူလိုင္ (၇) ရက္ ေက်ာင္းသားအေရးေတာ္ပုံေန႔ က်င္းပ
စစ္အာဏာရွင္စနစ္တည္ရွိသေရြ႕ ေက်ာင္းသားစိတ္ဓာတ္ မည္သည့္အခါမွ ကြယ္ေပ်ာက္သြားမည္မဟုတ္ေၾကာင္း ယေန႔ က်ေရာက္သည့္ (၄၇) ႏွစ္ေျမာက္ ဇူလိုင္ (၇) ရက္ ေက်ာင္းသားအေရးေတာ္ပံုေန႔တြင္ ဗမာႏိုင္ငံလံုးဆိုင္ရာ ေက်ာင္းသားသမဂၢ မ်ားအဖြဲ႔ခ်ဳပ္က ေျပာၾကားသည္။

ထိုင္း-ျမန္မာနယ္စပ္တြင္ ယေန႔က်င္းပသည့္ (၄၇) ႏွစ္ေျမာက္ ဆဲဗင္းဂ်ဴလိုင္ အခမ္းအနားတြင္ ဗမာႏိုင္ငံလံုးဆိုင္ရာ ေက်ာင္းသားသမဂၢမ်ားအဖြဲ႔ခ်ဳပ္ (ႏိုင္ငံျခားေရးရာေကာ္မတီ) မွ တာဝန္ခံ ကိုမင္းႏိုင္က စစ္အာဏာရွင္စနစ္ႏွင့္ တဆက္တည္း ေပၚေပါက္လာသည့္ ေက်ာင္းသားလႈပ္ရွားမႈကို ရည္စူးေျပာၾကားျခင္းျဖစ္သည္။ continue

Ethnic Burmese among world’s ‘most threatened’

uly 7, 2009 (DVB)–Nine ethnic groups in Burma have been ranked fifth on a table measuring groups of people throughout the world deemed to be most under threat of genocide, mass killing and other systematic violent repression.

Burma’s myriad ethnic groups, thought to number 137 in total, have long been marginalized by the ruling State Peace and Development Council, which is made up predominantly of the Burman group, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of Burma’s population.
The conflict between government forces and the ethnic opposition Karen National Union (KNU), which appears to be nearing an end, is thought to be the world’s longest running, and has forced 140,000 Karen into refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border.
Burma stands out in the Peoples Under Threat 2009 table, compiled by Minority Rights Group International (MRGI), as being one of only two countries in the top ten where Islam is not the dominant religion.
It is the threat of conflict in Muslim countries, in the context of Western countries tackling Islamic extremism, that dominates the top of the table.
Burma also takes a surprisingly high place given that, unlike Iraq, Afghanistan and, to an extent Pakistan, who rank second, fourth and sixth respectively, Burma faces no external interference.
Continue reading “Ethnic Burmese among world’s ‘most threatened’”