Over 40 Activists arrested in Malaysia, calling for solidarity action

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Over 40 JERIT cyclists and activists, including SUARAM staff and secretariat member, have been arrested by the police in Malaysia.

JERIT or Oppressed People’s Movement is organizing a cycling campaign throughout the nation to put forward six demands to the Prime Minister of Malaysia. The campaign officially began on the 3rd December at Wisma Darul Aman Kedah. 50 cyclists have been flagged off from Wisma Darul Aman and they would cycle for sixteen days through Kedah, Penang, Perak, and Selangor. On 18th December they will handover a memorandum to the Prime Minister in Parliament.

SUARAM is calling for protest letters to Malaysian government and police to express our strongest condemnation of the arrests and the ongoing denial of rights of expression. It also asks us to demand the Malaysian government to allow the cyclist to continue their campaign and allow them to practice their freedom of expression as stated in Federal Constitution.
Please extend your solidarity with SUARAM, a long supporter of Burma’s democracy movement. Click HERE to read updated urgent appeal from SUARAM.
In Solidarity,

Burma Partnership Secretariat http://www.apppb.blogspot.com/


NLD meeting banned

New Delhi (Mizzima)– A meeting to prepare for Burma’s Independence Day by a branch of the National League for Democracy was banned by local authorities.

The members of the Yenanchaung Township National League for Democracy claimed that the meeting at the home of the branch treasury in-charge Tint Lwin was repeatedly interrupted by the township chairman Kyaw Naing Tun.

“They shut down our offices as of 2003 and even banned meetings in our homes. We will report to the election monitoring commission tomorrow,” said party organizer Than Aung to Mizzima over telephone.
continue http://mizzima.com/news/breaking-and-news-brief/1451-nld-meeting-banned.html


pic from http://myanmarnargis.org/

Exiled lawyer slams Burmese legal system

Dec 16, 2008 (DVB)–A defence lawyer who fled Burma in October under threat of a prison sentence has spoken out about delays and restrictions in the Burmese judicial system which prevent political prisoners from getting a fair trial.continue http://english.dvb.no/news.php?id=2020
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Crackdown on Freedom of Speech Condemned

The organization also called on Burma’s partner nations in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to abandon their policy of non-interference and bring pressure on Burma’s rulers to adopt international norms of free expression.

The group cited the recent increase in unfair trials of journalists and free speech activists, followed by lengthy prison sentences meant to deter freedom of expression.

A Rangoon-based magazine editor said that the military authorities are seeking to intimidate local journalists prior to the 2010 general elections.

“It is the clear message to the journalists,” he told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday. “If someone writes critically of the upcoming election, they will be punished with long prison terms.” continue

Junta bans popular Buddhist monk’s sermon

Tuesday, 16 December 2008 19:25

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The Burmese military junta authorities in Rangoon Division have banned a sermon by abbot U Thumingla, organizers and friends said.

The ban order becomes effective when the sermon is to be held on December 18. Abbot U Thumingla became popular among religiously conscious Buddhists recently. The abbot is from Migadarwon monastery, Mandalay.

The abbot is 40 years old and has been into 20 years of monk hood. The organizers of the sermon preaching ceremonies and the monk community in Rangoon said that the authorities banned his sermons which were to be held soon in Minglataungnyunt, Mayangon and North Okkalapa Townships in Rangoon Division.

The sermons of U Thumingla entitled ‘Sasana will diminish when the sermon preaching ceremonies diminish’, ‘be swallowed by earth fissures shortly,’ ‘Khat Tine Khan’ and ‘Need to know how to choose a good leader’ are popular among the people. continue

AK-47s—Made in Wa State

The United Wa State Army (UWSA), an armed ethnic ceasefire group based in Shan State, northern Burma, is manufacturing arms and ammunition for use by their own battalions and to sell to other armed groups in the region, according to sources close to armed groups in Shan State.

Speaking to The Irrawaddy on Tuesday, Sai Sheng Murng, the deputy spokesman of the rival Shan State Army-South (SSA) said, “For more than one year now, the UWSA has been manufacturing AK-47 rifles similar to those made in China.”

Another source close to the UWSA said, “They (the UWSA) learned how to make arms from the Chinese. continue