Burma’s 2010 election: New version of Diarchy

by Dr. Tint Swe
Monday, 30 November 2009 02:54

Mizzima News – To answer the frequently asked query – is democracy possible in Burma – is yes. But what democracy is the following question. The officially dubbed “disciplined democracy” is coming soon if everything goes smoothly. Thesaurus plainly tells that disciplined means restricted or closely controlled.

For external observers, an election can be seen as a routine and standard practice in democracy and would perfectly remark that a democrat can’t reject holding of an election. As the government in exile follows the policy and position of the National League for Democracy (NLD) as far as possible, (NCGUB) has neither endorsed nor rejected the 2010 election at this stage.

Not only foreigners but also the people of Burma are divided while commenting on the controversial 2010 election. It is normal that different people have different views on different issues. However the forthcoming election in Burma is abnormal because when it comes to Burma not everything is normal. Look at the election held in 1990, the freely and fairly held election did not lead to formation of a democratic government. It has been 19 years and 6 months and has not materialized. Bluntly speaking supporting an abnormal one is something like marrying a mad fiancée.

There may be people, who think that they are being defeated by the military, and prefer to go along with the military. Some may perceive the election after over 20 years of military rule, as an opening that may give rise to non-military people to play a role. Continue reading “Burma’s 2010 election: New version of Diarchy”

Burmese authorities in Ye township react after Mon senior official eludes surveillance

Tue 01 Dec 2009, Asah
A Burmese police Captain who was in charge of a checkpoint in Ye Township has been reassigned, and security has been tightened, after the Chairman of the largest Mon political group was allowed to pass, and thus escape Burmese surveillance teams.

On November 8th, an unidentified Burmese State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) police Captain waved Nai Hongsa, the General Secretary of the New Mon State Party (NMSP), through the Ye checkpoint and across the Thadar Phyu bridge (white bridge). According to an NMSP official, the authorities hadn’t known the General Secretary would be crossing at that point, and his car was not searched.

“The Government [SPDC] believes that Nai Hongsa is special as NMSP [General Secretary],” the NMSP official explained. “They didn’t know Nai Hongsa had crossed the bridge and that’s why the Captain who was in charge of the Ye checkpoint was reassigned to another place. The government wants to know about what Nai Hongsa is talking about and has been following him to find out what does he does.”

The failure of the checkpoint to identify Nai Hongsa, and subsequently allowing him to pass without detection by SPDC security agents, has resulted in an increase of security at that checkpoint.
A source who was with Nai Hongsa’s car explained that after the General Secretary’s departure, the authority that are in charge of Ye bridge were have begun checking vehicles and have increased security. He explains that while previously the gate would often be left open, now checkpoint police keep the bamboo pole down at all times. Continue reading “Burmese authorities in Ye township react after Mon senior official eludes surveillance”

Sweeping shortages of HIV-AIDS medication threaten lives in Mon State

Tue 01 Dec 2009, IMNA, Rai Maraoh
Hundreds of people in Mon state continue to suffer from HIV-AIDS in Mon State, but go untreated.

According to organizations that have worked to help treat and prevent HIV-AIDS in Mon state, many victims continue to go untreated or cannot access the limited supply of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs normally used to treat HIV-AIDS.

In July when IMNA initially reported on the subject, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) had doubled the number of people it was able to treat with ARV’s. However, the supply available to IOM has dwindled. One member of the IOM explained to IMNA, “Many people needed ARV [medicine] but we don’t have any more – we can only give [them] to patients who are in extreme emergency situations.”

According to IOM staff, many people who suffered HIV-AIDS in Mon state often remain unaware until their conditions dramatically worsen.

Many people are reported to have the opportunity and means to get themselves tested, but many do no want to check. Victims often find out only when an emergency situation arises, though injury or when HIV-AIDS begin to significantly manifest themselves, such as Kaposi’s sarcoma (a skin tumor often associated with AIDS victims). Continue reading “Sweeping shortages of HIV-AIDS medication threaten lives in Mon State”

Experts to debate sanctions on Burma -The debate will be streamed live on the internet from 18.45 GMT. To watch it,

Dec 2, 2009 (DVB)-A group of experts on Burma will tonight debate the efficacy of controversial Western sanctions on the country, following renewed international engagement with the ruling junta.

Panelists will include Thant Myint-U (former head of policy planning in the UN’s Department of Political Affairs), Mark Farmaner (director of Burma Campaign UK), Derek Tonkin (former British ambassador to both Vietnam and Thailand, and current chairman of Network Myanmar) and Brad Adams (executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division).
The debate comes amid renewed scrutiny on the success of sanctions on Burma, with allegations that China’s economic support for Burma dimishes their impact.
Speculation over the future of both US and EU sanctions on Burma was triggered following Washington’s announcement in October that it would begin dialogue with Burma’s military rulers, following years of sanctions and isolation.
The debate will be streamed live on the internet from 18.45 GMT. To watch it, click here. http://www.intelligencesquared.com/live

The Burma debate, 2nd December 2009
Our first live-streaming debate on the weekend was such a success – Intelligence Squared became the seventh most discussed topic on Twitter, with over 10,000 online viewers – that we are delighted to announce our next two debates will also be available to watch live on the internet.

Intelligence Squared is excited to announce that the debate “It is time to lift sanctions against Burma”, will be live-streamed to the world for free at 6:45PM GMT on December 2, 2009 on this page.

The panelists will be debating the success of economic sanctions against the Burmese military junta. The detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD (National League for Democracy) are said to be in favour of maintaining international sanctions, although many argue the existing ones have had no effect on the government’s anti-democratic stance, and have merely inflicted more unnecessary suffering on the Burmese people.

The highly distinguished panel includes Thant Myint-U (Former head of policy planning in the UN’s Department of Political Affairs), Mark Farmaner (Director of Burma Campaign), Derek Tonkin (Former British ambassador to both Vietnam and Thailand, and current chairman of Network Myanmar) and Brad Adams (Executive Director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division).