Burma’s opposition marks its 21st anniversary

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Burma’s leading opposition party marked its 21st anniversary on Sunday by calling on the country’s military regime to free its detained leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Around 250 party members, diplomats and former political prisoners attended a gathering at the National League for Democracy’s headquarters to celebrate the party’s formation in 1988.

The gathering also called for the release of other detained political prisoners and the reopening of its regional offices around the country.

Jetstar denies link to Burma rights abuse

September 28, 2009
A ROW has broken out between Jetstar and the ACTU over the budget airline’s four weekly flights into Burma, with Australia’s leading unionist saying the service is helping to prop up the country’s murderous military regime.

”No company could be proud of dealing with Burma,” the president of the ACTU, Sharan Burrow, said yesterday.

”Major companies around the world are now withdrawing. Businesses who stay in there know they are helping the junta and therefore [abetting] the abuse of human and trade union rights, including child labour and forced labour.”

Ms Burrow will join Burmese democracy activists in Sydney today for the beginning of a campaign to pressure Australian companies into withdrawing from Burma.

A spokeswoman for Burma Campaign Australia, Zetty Brake, said Australian companies could be handing the military dictatorship as much as $US 2.8 billion ($3.2 billion) in ”blood money”.

Ms Brake said Jetstar’s payments to fly into the country could be used to fund more than 700 soldiers a year.

Besides Jetstar, the other enterprises targeted are the West Australian oil exploration venture Twinza Oil, Gecko’s Adventure Tours, Lonely Planet, the women’s fashion chain Millers, Andaman Teak Supplies, Sri Asia Tourism, and Chevron, a multinational company with substantial Australian interests.

Most of the companies could not be contacted yesterday, but Jetstar’s chief executive, Bruce Buchanan, denied the airline was paying ”blood money” to the Burmese generals.

Mr Buchanan said he had received a letter from the ACTU only last week, and was ”disappointed” the issue had spilled into the public domain before he had replied.

Jetstar runs its service into Burma from Singapore, through Jetstar Asia, in which it has a 49 per cent interest.

”Financially, it’s neither here nor there if we continue to operate the service,” Mr Buchanan said. ”We’re quite happy to pull it if we thought that in any way we are doing a bad thing by the people of [Burma]. Continue reading “Jetstar denies link to Burma rights abuse”

Sei Poe Kee IDP Camp Primary School close to the Thai-Burma border urgently needs water piping to extend the drinking water supply to the school, dormitory and villagers

Currently the students, who are under age 10, and villagers have to walk very far and carry drinking water back to their homes every day. The amount needed is 15,000 THB for the pipeline material only. Labour and transportation costs will be donated voluntarily by KYO and the villagers.

Kwee Lay Middle School in Kwee Lay Township, Doothahtu District (Thaton), Karen State, was built in 1962. Now the school is very old and in rainy season the roof leaks so much that the students cannot study in the building, so the community and students would really like to build a new school. They have already collected the wood to build the school but they really need donations for the following:

Zinc roofing sheets (200 sheets)
Nails (20 viss)
Labour (joiner) fees (5 people @ 2000 baht each)
Elephant hire fees (to carry the supplies)
Wood sealant/treatment
Furniture
Door handle and lock holder
Total amount needed for Kwee Lay Middle School is 40,400 THB.

Total amount needed for all three schools: 95,400 THB. Please contact us if you can help.
http://www.karenyouthktl.org/idp.html

The International Burmese Monks Organization (Bangladesh Branch) observed the second anniversary of the Saffron Revolution in Dhaka, Bangladesh on September 26 by staging a demonstration against the Burmese military junta.

Burmese monks demonstrate in Dhaka on 2nd anniversary of Saffron Revolution
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Dhaka: The International Burmese Monks Organization (Bangladesh Branch) observed the second anniversary of the Saffron Revolution in Dhaka, Bangladesh on September 26 by staging a demonstration against the Burmese military junta.

U Thila Wantha, Secretary of the group, said, “Today is the second anniversary of the Saffron Revolution. So we came here to voice our concern about the current political imbroglio in Burma. We demand that the military junta release all political prisoners including Aung Sann Suu Kyi, monk Gambira and U Ithariya.”

U Thila Wantha was speaking during the demonstration staged outside the Bangladesh high court in capital, Dhaka.

During the demonstration, over 40 Burmese democracy activists, including monks and women shouted slogans against the junta demanding the release of political prisoners immediately, a stop to oppression of monks and the Burmese people and chanted for the victory of the democracy movement.

U Thila Wantha said, “We also protested against the constitution drawn up by the Burmese regime for the 2010 elections. The constitution is not beneficial for our country and will be dangerous for our people in the future. The constitution is only to legitimize army rule in Burma in perpetuity.”

The demonstration began at 10 am and concluded at 11 am.

During the demonstration, the monk’s organization distributed a statement in both English and Burmese to journalists and Bangladeshi people, who gathered in support of the demonstration.

In the statement, the monks urged and reminded Burmese people to seek protection against the new constitution drawn up by the junta and the 2010 elections. The statement added that the constitution and 2010 election are only for the political benefit of the military rulers, not for the people.

The Burmese monks observed September 26 as the annual Saffron Revolution day because many monks were killed by the Burmese junta in Rangoon when monks staged demonstrations against the regime.

During the second anniversary of the Saffron Revolution, the junta deployed hordes of security personnel throughout Burma, including in Sittwe, the capital of Arakan state.

According to sources among monks, the authorities not only deployed security forces in Sittwe but also closely watched many monasteries in the town. Monks in Sittwe had to spend time inside monasteries during the second anniversary of the Saffron Revolution.

The All Arakan Student and Youth Congress (AASYC) said on Friday that the Burmese junta’s accusations of plotting domestic terror and sabotage were baseless,

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By Takaloo: The All Arakan Student and Youth Congress (AASYC) said on Friday that the Burmese junta’s accusations of plotting domestic terror and sabotage were baseless, that the junta itself was using charges of terrorism as a tool for smashing political dissent in Burma.

The statement came after the junta-run medias MRTV_3 and New Light of Myanmar reported the AASYC is a terrorist organization plotting unrest and sabotage in western Burma’s Arakan State and in the former capital Yangon through internal connections.

The New Light of Myanmar on Thursday reported details of the arrests of five AASYC members, alleging they possessed explosives and satellite phones, as well as the arrest of Burmese-born American Nyi Nyi Aung, aka Kyaw Zaw Lwin.

“The accusations of the Burmese military junta are totally baseless and those arrestees mentioned in the media are not members of our organization,” said the AASYC in its statement.

The statement added that the All Arakan Student and Youth Congress is a political organization that is fighting for democracy in Burma by non-violent means. Its general headquarters is based on the Thai-Burmese border.

Earlier this month, the Burmese authorities arrested more than 16 Arakanese youths in two different places on suspicion of links to the AASYC. They first arrested seven youth in Yangon, and then continued to arrest others from Arakan State in western Burma.

According to their relatives and friends inside Arakan, they were arrested from their residences without evidence of links to any exiled or internal political parties. All of them are currently being detained in undisclosed locations by the authorities.

“Recently there were a series of anti-government activities and mass movements in Arakan State due to increasing military oppression and rights abuses against the local populations,” the AASYC stated.

They further stated that the regime had apparently forced the arrested youths to confess to being members of the AASYC and claim responsibility for recent bombings in Yangon so as to denounce the AASYC as a terrorist organization.

An Arakanese politician said that the Burmese military regime usually suppresses civilians who speak out for their rights with arbitrary arrests on charges of terrorism or other criminal activity.
Narinjara

The Yunnan TV-1 broadcast was aired at 11:45 p.m. China Standard Time. The announcement directed all Chinese citizens to come back home quickly, given Burma’s political situation is deteriorating, where civil war is likely to break out on the border

In a late night broadcast, Yunnan TV controlled by the Yunnan provincial government said the Chinese government has asked all Chinese citizens from eastern Burma to return home quickly, said local observers.

The Yunnan TV-1 broadcast was aired at 11:45 p.m. China Standard Time. The announcement directed all Chinese citizens to come back home quickly, given Burma’s political situation is deteriorating, where civil war is likely to break out on the border, local TV watchers told KNG.
Yunnan TV has a total of six channels but the Yunnan TV-1, satellite channel mainly broadcasts news about Yunnan and neighbouring Burma.

The announcement, especially called on Chinese citizens in the two main States of Burma— Kachin State and Shan State, bordering Yunnan province as well as the Burma-Thailand border to come back home, said TV listeners on the border.

Two days before the Yunnan TV-1’s announcement, construction of three more camps for Burmese refugees was begun at Manghai, Pengjiazhai and Xiaozhai villages close to the Burma border east of Salween River (also called Saphkung Hka in Kachin) on the direct instruction of the Chinese central government with a supporting budget. Continue reading “The Yunnan TV-1 broadcast was aired at 11:45 p.m. China Standard Time. The announcement directed all Chinese citizens to come back home quickly, given Burma’s political situation is deteriorating, where civil war is likely to break out on the border”