Protest at the UN Headquarters for 2nd Anniversary of Saffron Revolution

Monks and Democratic Forces for Burma will be holding a 2nd Anniversary remembrance of the 2007 Saffron Revolution/protest in front of the UN Headquarters.

In September 2007, tens of thousands of monks and citizens demonstrated across Burma (Myanmar). The peaceful protests, dubbed as “Saffron Revolution” after the color of robes worn by Buddhist monks who played a leading role, were Burma’s largest anti-regime movement in two decades.

Burma’s brutal military regime crushed peaceful protesters with overwhelming forces. They were beaten badly, some shot dead and thousands were detained. Despite over 2,000 political prisoners still held in inhumane conditions throughout Burma’s notorious prisons – arbitrary arrests, detentions, and disappearances continue as we stand here today, many Burmese remained committed to march toward freedom and democracy.

Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Time: 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Location: UN Headquarters – Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
(E 47th Street, between 1st Ave and 2nd AVe)

Contacts: U Pyinnya Zawta 415-518-7663, Nay Tin Myint 510-491-5157 Email: uscb.ny@gmail

Organized and sponsored by Monks and Democratic Forces for Burma along with Iran and Tibet freedom movements.


Beginning of Burmese junta’s total annihilation phase on ethnic resistance?

It seems the Burmese junta has been painting quite a rosy picture or overly confident, regarding its demand of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) converting itself into Border Guard Force (BGF) and become part of the Burma army, under its Commander-in-chief.

An article of Khaing Myo Nyilar Aung, which recently appeared in the New Light of Myanmar reported that the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), an ethnic cease-fire group with the government, is co-ordinating with the government on a transitional process of formation into a frontier force, also known as BGF, under the command of the central government before 2010 general election,

On Monday, 14 September, Kachin News Group (KNG) said that the KIO will maintain the cease-fire agreement with the junta for as long as possible but will not accept transforming KIA to the junta-proposed BGF. The KIO might agree to transform the KIA to a Kachin Regional Guard Force (KRGF) or Kachin State Security Force, which would be solely made up of Kachin troopers.

The Irrawaddy news magazine wrote, on August 31, that the BGF is designed to have more control of ethnic armed groups by the Burma army and put all ethnic armies under the command of its commander-in-chief, currently Senior General Than Shwe, head of the military junta. Continue reading “BURMA’S ETHNIC CONFLICT by Sai Wansai”

The boy whose teachers are birds

Can you believe that, after seeing a flying bird over his head, a stateless child gets a chance to fly to Japan to compete in an origami airplane competition, representing a country which is not his motherland?

But Mong Thongdee, the 12 year old migrant boy from Ban Huay Sai Primary School in Chiang Mai, has made his dream come true that way. By this time tomorrow, he will be in Japan, ready to show his wonderful art in the 4th Origami Plane Competition on 19-20 September, to be held in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.

With his know-how and perseverance, he had broken the record in an origami plane competition, organized by the National Metal and Materials Technology Center in Bangkok in 2008. His plane stayed in the air for 12.50 seconds and he was chosen as the champion of the national origami plane.
mongthongdee001 Mong, called by his parents as Sai Mawng, said, before this competition, he used to contest in the Marathon race held in Chiangmai and won a gold medal.

In a recent profile interview with Mong and his family, who hail from Namzarng Township in southern Shan State, he told the Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN) how he had tried to make his paper planes despite difficulties. Continue reading “The boy whose teachers are birds”

to participate in the 2010 elections (if allowed to do so – there is not yet a new party registration law) might give them a small opposition voice in a new government, but it would effectively eliminate the victory the NLD won in the 1990 elections.

A vote for Webb’s Myanmar opening
By David I Steinberg

United States Senator James Webb’s recent visit to Myanmar has come under fire from the Burmese democracy movement. The protests, while sincere and well-intended, miss the point of Webb’s visit – he was not there to praise or legitimize the ruling junta but to help craft a more effective policy aimed at its removal and the restoration of democracy to this proud land.

Writing in the Washington Post recently, U Win Tin, a founder of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party and a former political prisoner (from 1989 to 2008) lamented that Webb’s visit was “damaging to our democracy movement”. I believe he misses important aspects of the Barack Obama administration’s continue
A vote for Webb’s Myanmar opening

The Burmese government has selected more than 300 proxy candidates to run in the general election in 2010.

Three hundred candidates were selected from military personnel who are now attending the National Defense University in Naypyidaw.

According to the sources in Rangoon and Naypyidaw, the candidates will run under the banner of the National Politics Party, a proxy party for the military, which has yet to be formed.

The candidates will undergo a three-month training process prior to the election, sources said.

Included among the government-selected candidates will also be members of the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) and the Myanmar Maternal and Child Welfare Association (MMCWA).

While some members participate with the new political party, the two organizations will retain their current status as “social welfare groups,” according to the sources.

Sources also said the government will also provide campaign funds and offer its own candidates to other political parties that will take part in 2010 election. Continue reading “The Burmese government has selected more than 300 proxy candidates to run in the general election in 2010.”

Myanmar’s ethnic peace groups urged to adhere to new constitution

People’s Daily, China

Myanmar’s official media on Tuesday urged ethnic peace groups in the country to adhere to the approved new state constitution in light of the upcoming general election next year.

“The national race armed groups will have to reconsider formation of their political parties if they wish to work for their regional development within the framework of the constitution,” the New Light of Myanmar said in an article in the pen name of Ye Kyaw.

“To do so, those groups that existed as armed organizations for many years will have to seek ways to transform themselves into political parties,” the article said.

“Some anti-government groups have worked to keep their own forces as national race armed organizations that have made peace with the state,” the article complained, warning this would cause disintegration of the union.

“Before the elections to be held in 2010, the national race armed groups that have made peace with the state are to act in accord with the constitution regarding their armed forces if they want to stand for elections,” the article said.

The article disclosed that the government had made arrangements for the ethnic armed groups wishing to form political parties to retire for the engagement and to reconstitute their existing armed groups as frontier forces.

Criticizing calls by some anti-government groups for more time to undergo transformation, the article said peace agreements had been in place for a couple of decades, allowing plenty of time.

According to the government’s seven-step roadmap announced in 2003, a multi-party democracy general election is to be held next year in accordance with the 2008 new state constitution to produce parliament representatives and form a new civilian government.

Since the present government came to power in late 1988, 17 major anti-government ethnic armed groups and more than 20 small groups had returned to the legal fold by signing respective ceasefire agreements with the government.

Some of the armed groups were resettled in special regions with arms retained, conditionally enjoying self-administration.

There also remain 10 legal political parties in Myanmar.

Local authorities deny rights of unregistered refugees

News – Kaladan Press

Kutupalong, Bangladesh: The concerned authorities of an official refugee camp (under UNHCR), refused to solve problems between registered refugees and unregistered refugees, said a refugee committee member.

Last evening, Yousef with 15 other registered refugees beat up Hamid from the unregistered refugee camp of Block B 1, with an iron rod. Hamid was seriously injured and the unregistered refugee committee members went to complain about the matter to the officer in-charge of the registered camp. However, they were unable to find him in the camp and then the committee members went to Camp Security Officer Sub Inspector (SI) Monir, who refused to file the case, the committee members said.

Given his serious condition, the refugees tried to get medical treatment for the injured man, from the clinic of the registered camp, which is operated under UNHCR. But, Hamid was denied treatment there too since he was not a registered refugee, said Abu, another Local authorities deny rights of unregistered refugees
unregistered refugee, had gone with Hamid to complain to the concerned local authorities.

Later, the refugees admitted Hamid to the MSF clinic near the camp, where he was admitted as an indoor patient, Abu added.

“I know the UNHCR works for refugees, although why in Bangladesh it follows the divide and role policy among refugees of Kutupalong area is unknown. It is their duty to save a life and the reasons for the UNHCR clinic’s refusal to admit the patient are still uncertain,” said Kalam from camp.

It has been learnt that Hamid had taken Taka 40 from Yousef last week, but had paid back only Taka 25 yesterday and requested for some more time to pay the rest. But, Yousef attacked Hamid with an iron rod, while 15 others joined in, to help Yousef. In the skirmish, Hamid was seriously injured.