The Right Man with a Wrong Friend- cartoon about “ceasefire” by Feraya

lamposts3 copy_edited-1

A ‘non-ceasefire’ man says to the ‘ceasefire’ man who is searching the ground with a magnifying glass: “Hello buddy, what are you looking for?”

[ceasefire man] “I’m looking for my people’s Rights, which we have lost.”

[non-ceasefire man] “Oh, where did you lose them?”

[ceasefire man] “I had them but I lost them in my house, but my house is very dark as there is no light, so I can’t see them. My SPDC friend advised me to come out here and look in the gutter underneath the lamp post.”

Artwork by Feraya

Thailand, Myanmar cooperate to verify nationality of Myanmar workers- except for those of the Rohingya ethnic

RANONG, July 10 (TNA) – Thai and Myanmar officials confirmed their readiness to verify the nationality of Myanmar workers seeking legal work permits in Thailand.

The nationality verification process will be conducted at three centres in Myanmar, aiming at managing up to 600 workers a day except for those of the Rohingya ethnic minority.

The process is for Myanmar labourers to be able to legally work in Thailand with an appropriate visa.

Representatives from Thailand and Myanmar on Friday jointly checked the readiness of one of the three citizenship identification centres in Myanmar’s Koh Song, opposite Thailand’s southern province of Ranong.

The other two centres are in Myanmar’s Myawaddi province, opposite Thailand’s Mae Sot district in the northern province of Tak, and in Myanmar’s Tachilek, opposite Thailand’s Mae Sai, in the northern province of Chiang Rai.

Director Pichai Ekpitakdamrong of the Thai Employment Department and Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister, Maung Myaint inspected the Koh Song centre Friday.

Pichai said the centres were entirely ready and would start their services on July 15. In order to support the procedure, Thailand provided Myanmar some necessary equipment for the centres.

Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Maung Myaint confirmed that the Myanmar authorities agreed to cooperate with Thailand on the matter. They would neither deny nor obstruct the process in verifying the nationality of migrant workers, except for the Rohingyas, whom Myanmar denies as being one of its minority groups.

Meanwhile, Myanmar officials denied rumours that applicants could be subject to arrest or that taxes would be collected from Myanmar workers wishing to undergo the nationality verification process. They argued their government only wanted their labourers to legally work in Thailand and to be protected under Thai law. (TNA)

Surgical masks not worn in Mon State

Sat 11 Jul 2009, Mon Jit, IMNA
As cases of the globally-discussed A(H1N1), or Swine Flu roll in, the response in Mon State is one of forced ignorance and non-belief.

In nearby Thailand and Rangoon, surgical masks are ubiquitous as a preventive measure for fear of the A(H1N1) flu; in Mon State, however, the masks are relatively uncommon.

A doctor from the Government Health Department said that hospitals sell 3 masks for 100 kyat, an affordable price, but he added “nobody cares about that and I don’t see people using masks. Also we have not found A(H1N1) in Mon state.”

However, not all local villagers agree with this assessment. One Mudon woman said, “Yes, many of people have the [A(H1N1)] flu…we are afraid of it.”

Instead of wearing a surgical mask, she added, she prefers to go to the Buddhist temple to pray for health and good luck. “But if it happens, it is ok, because everyone must die when the day comes…I don’t like to wear masks.”

Educating the Mon State residents has proved to be a challenge for the government.

The same Government Health Department doctor told IMNA that they provided public safety education in the cities, but cannot go to each of the many villages. That is why people in villages are uninformed, he added.

“Mon state has flu and people have died from A(H1N1). I strongly believe [it is] because many people travel abroad and [also to] Rangoon; also in Rangoon they have found A(H1N1),” said Nai Soe, a Mudon motorbike salesman.

Villagers know about the flu from Thai television, and are afraid, but they have no knowledge as no one comes to provide education, said a villager from Kyaikmayaw.

Foreign journalists are barred from Burma, so our correspondent must remain anonymous for his own safety.

Hopes and fears over Suu Kyi trial
The trial of Burma’s pro-democracy leader on charges of breaking the terms of her house arrest has been proceeding in fits and starts at a court inside Rangoon’s Insein prison, but a verdict is expected soon.
A BBC correspondent in Burma spoke to people about their hopes and fears for Aung San Suu Kyi.
Foreign journalists are barred from Burma, so our correspondent must remain anonymous for his own safety.
In Burma’s second city, Mandalay, the streets are full of bicycles at rush hour as men and women head to their places of work and study.
But behind the picture-postcard setting of palaces and stupas [temples], is a country where people can be arrested for telling a joke or having a photograph of jailed pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Behind closed doors, in the security of their homes and among those they can trust, people hand out pictures of Ms Suu Kyi.
To be caught by police with her photograph is cause enough to be imprisoned. To be caught talking to a foreign journalist means risking a sentence to a term in one of Burma’s many jails.
But people are angry and want the world to know of their plight and their reverence for the woman referred to as The Lady.
She is the symbol of what was and what may be.

only hope
To many Aung San Suu Kyi remains the symbol of the hopes of those opposed to the generals who rule this country. continue

At UN, Ban’s Two Minute Myanmar Drill May Lead to Grill Monday Between Trips

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

UNITED NATIONS, July 10, updated — As the closed door show trial of Aung San Suu Kyi resumed on July 10, the UN’s pass the buck approach to Myanmar continued. In the wake of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s ill-fated, some say humiliating meetings with dictator Than Shwe, it was Ban’s envoy Ibrahim Gambari who briefed the Group of Friends on Myanmar on July 8, rather than Ban.

Security Council members told Inner City Press that Ban himself would brief the Council. A Council staffer told Inner City Press that it would take place in an open meeting on Monday, July 13.

But when Inner City Press asked Ban’s political advisor Lynn Pascoe on July 9, he said, “it’s up to the Council.” And when Inner City Press asked the head of the Turkish Mission to the UN, he said, it’s up to the Secretary General.

On July 10, diplomats told Ban has been requested to formally brief the Council, but since Monday will be his only day in headquarters before heading out again, to the meeting of the Non Aligned Movement in Egypt, Myanmar may be related to one of many topics at the Council’s closed door luncheon with Ban.

In terms of what Ban should expect be asked or grilled about, consider this account of Ban’s meetings with the opposition, a mere two minutes each:

The regime invited the National League for Democracy to send five CEC members to Nay Pyi Taw to meet with Ban Ki-moon. U Aung Shwe replied with a list of five, including U Win Tin. The regime replied that they would not allow U Win Tin to meet Ban. Then, Police Special Branch picked up the four CEC members on the July 2nd, brought them to Nay Pyi Taw.

On the afternoon of July 3rd, representatives from all ten registered parties, including NLD, were allowed to meet with Ban for an hour. Ban made an opening speech.

In his speech, Ban said that the government is carrying out a seven-step roadmap, and is now at the fifth step, which is to hold the election. He said that the government promised him that they will conduct the election free and fair. He also said that he and UN also will try to make the election free and fair.

Then all parties were allowed to present their stance for two minutes each. Continue reading “At UN, Ban’s Two Minute Myanmar Drill May Lead to Grill Monday Between Trips”