Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Another execution in Burma

May I borrow a text published in several blog cboxes (, :

Coporal Aung Naing from Sit Tway-based battalion has been sentenced to death after he pointed out at his battalion's-in-charge that it is not media such as BBC, DVB giving out false news but rather, they are informing the world about the true situation in Burma. Coporal Aung Naing was immediately arrested and sent to high martial court for execution. All his possessions have been confiscated and his family has been asked to return to their hometown.

Another interesting blog : John Pilger has been saying the same thing over the last ten years, with movies, articles, etc. It is impressive to see how an article wrote in 2000 (Burma in the balance) could have been written today, or a movie of 1996 (Burma - Land of Fear) show the same images as today. Very interesting; by the way, he won a large number of awards
(International Actual Award for Risk Journalism, Barcelona, Spain, 1996; Bronze Gold Special Jury Award, 'Film & Video Production division', WorldFest-Charleston, 1996; Award for Best Factual Programme, RTS Midland Centre Awards, Birmingham, 1996; Gold Apple in the category 'Politics: Social organisations in other lands', 1997 NEMN Apple Awards, Oakland, 1997; the updated version won a Gold Award in the 'Film & Video Production division', WorldFest-Houston, 1999)

The Beijing Olympics : What is being celebrated ?

Stay away from propaganda Olympics.
Don't stain your soul, stay away from the bloodshed that is estinguishing the Olympic Flame.
Don't submit your ears to hypocrital propaganda discourse about China "grandeur".
Of course China is fast growing, it is the Country with the larger number of slaves.
And its "development" pay the price of being the most polluted one.
True development is another story.
Don't be a part of this horror! Boycott the Olympics!
Your awareness can change the world.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Stumbling again on Human Rights and China

Along my search for Burma's news, I am continously stumbling on connected articles about Human Rights violation by China. For exemple in the BeijingBlogger there are few NEW (to me) exemples of violations, such as :
Beijing police round up and beat African expats (The Guardian): Chinese police officers dressed in black jumpsuits, equipped with tasers and batons, went into the Sanlitun Bar District of Beijing and arrested and beat every black man in sight. "There was blood on the streets. They were basically beating up any black person they could find," a witness told the Guardian newspaper.
China: Tibetan Schoolboys Detained as Crackdown Worsens: police detained some 40 students on or around September 7. The students were alleged to have written slogans calling for the return of the Dalai Lama and a free Tibet. One of the detainees, aged 14, is reported to have been badly beaten during or after the arrest and was bleeding profusely when last seen by relatives. “Arresting and beating up teenagers for a political crime shows just how far China has to go before it creates the ‘harmonious society’ China’s leaders talk so much about.” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
Chinese troops fired on a group of 73 Tibetans, including children, attempting to flee Tibet : Chinese People’s Armed Police (PAP) shot dead a 17-year-old girl named Kelsang Namtso from Nagchu on September 30. At least one other Tibetan, 23-year-old Kunsang Namgyal from Kardze, was shot twice and arrested, and is feared dead. Other fell on the mountain as well. They were part of a group of 73 Tibetans who were attempting to cross the border into Nepal through the 6,000-meter-high Nangpa Pass. Link to the Video showing Chinese snipers shooting at the group as they walk:

China maintains close relations with and provides aid to countries where severe, ongoing human rights violations occur : Darfur (see BeijingBlogger's previous posts on Sudan), Angola, Zimbabwe, Congo, Saudi Arabia, Burma, North Korea, Iran, ... China has NOT ratified the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights, which it signed in 1998.

Inside China, Human Rights abuses go on primarily for supressing the Tibetans, and the Uyghurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim population in Xinjiang Province. Executions, and imprisonment of Uyghur nationalists are common. In Tibet, suspected 'separatists', many of whom come from monasteries and nunneries, are routinely imprisoned for long years.

Thus, more and more, it comes out that the key player for many Human Rights deviations in the region is China.

And, again, it turns out that one key occasion to bring China to face its responabilities are the Olympics. "The Olympics were awarded to China in hope that human rights and democracy would improve in the country. However, this has backfired, repression, suppression and human rights abuses are still rife, and the government shows no sign of letting". Followed up on

Again an interesting argument by BejingBlogger : Taiwan will hold a referendum next year as a precursor to decide independence, quite "suspiciously" close to the dates of Olympics. To declare indipendence during Olympics could be a move considered by Taiwan. Tibet, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang (perhaps the most repressed province) are less likely to take that step but they too may be thinking of actions during that period. Two meditations :

1. Everyone needs to keep up the pressure on China's Olympics, also more and more called Genocide Olympics even by authoritative journals as Washington Post, Boston Globe and The Economist :

The Eco : One year to go

The Boston Globe : Genocide Games
Journalist blog :

2. Taiwan, Burma, Tibet, North Korea, Laos, the Uyghurs, Inner Mongolia and other minorities should join forces to try to resist to the Chinese oppression (negative view) and help democratise it (positive view, you take what you like). And the role of Singapour and other ASEAN countries should be to help them, were their democracies be sincere.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

A serious humanitarian emergency

Joint communiqué from the humanitarian associations-NGOs : Action Contre la Faim, Aide Medicale Internationale, Asian Harm Reduction Network, Deutsche Welthungerhilfe/German Agro Action, Enfants du Monde, Droits de l'Hommes, International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Malteser International, Medecins du Monde, Norwegian People's Aid, Population Services International, Terre des Hommes, Save the Children.

"In Myanmar there is a serious humanitarian emergency comparable to that experienced by some areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, because of lack of services, poverty, economic backwardness, disinformation. Problems afflicting the people of Burma unfortunately does not appear enough on the front pages of newspapers, crowded exclusively by the political crisis. However, beyond the political dimension, the crisis is mainly a humanitarian emergency of enormous dimensions"says Giangi Milesi, president of Cesvi. "Each year over 130,000 children die before their 5 years in Myanmar ; More than a third of children are malnourished, and in the Dry Zone, where Terre des hommes Italia is, this figure reaches 50%. Despite this tragedy, aid from the international community barely reach 2 USD per person, when it was of thousands of dollars per capita during tsunami relief, "notes the Secretary General of Terre des hommes Italy.

So, sanctions or not sanctions ? Except the personal sanctions against precise individuals, I do not believe in sanctions. I believe in political solutions. The three first actors are China, India and USA. USA is moving, even if probably it is only an internal public relations stunt. India is sleeping well. China is pulling the strings, we recognize the methods (see below my transgression to Tibet). Thus, the key lever is...?.?..

Tibetan monks beaten as police halt dissent

The Sunday Times reports : "Hundreds of Tibetan Buddhist monks celebrating the award of a US honour to the exiled Dalai Lama have clashed with Chinese police, resulting in an unknown number of injuries and arrests." After a painting issue (the monks were repainting a hall in honor of Dalai Lama), "members of the People’s Armed Police moved in to stop the monks, ..., resulting in violent scuffles, according to sources. The Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao said that the clash involved hundreds of monks."

Ok painting is forbidden here, understand ?

Three thousand armed police surrounded the sprawling monastery and refused to allow anyone to leave. Local sources said that hundreds of monks may have been arrested and several injured. Similar clashes were reported at the smaller Nechung monastery.

Look familiar.

Hey (South East) Asia, is this the future for you all ? China has taken Tibet and Burma, is lurking to Taiwan and Laos, oppressing muslim minorities in western China, expanding internet and speech censorship, getting involved in North Korea, is just matter of time they are coming for YOU !!

You'll let them do whatever they want in your house ?

Executive order

Executive Order: Blocking Property and Prohibiting Certain Transactions Related to Burma

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today is designating 11 additional senior Burmese Government officials, cutting them off from the U.S. financial system. Treasury's action follows President George W. Bush's announcement today of additional measures increasing U.S. sanctions against the military regime in Burma...............
....Executive Order 13310 also blocked property and interests in property of the four entities listed on its Annex, the State Peace and Development Council of Burma, and three banks controlled by the Government of Burma.
The Burmese government leaders designated today by OFAC are Brigadier General Tin Naing Thein, Minister of Commerce; Brigadier-General Thein Zaw, Minister of Telecommunications, Post, & Telegraph; Major-General Saw Tun, Minister of Construction; Dr. Chan Nyein, Minister of Education; Colonel Zaw Min, Minister of Electric Power 1; Major-General Hla Tun, Minister of Finance and Revenue; Major-General Saw Lwin, Minister of Industry 2; Soe Tha, Minister of National Planning and Economic Development; Thaung, Minister of Science and Technology and Minister of Labor; Dr. Kyaw Myint, Minister of Health; and Brigadier-General Aung Thein Lin, Mayor and Chairman of Rangoon City Development Committee.
Treasury has previously designated 14 senior officials of the Government of Burma. As a result of Treasury's designations, any assets these individuals and entities may have that are within U.S. jurisdiction must be frozen, and U.S. persons are prohibited from transacting or doing business with them.

Also :

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Gunpoint Radio

Unconfirmed reports say that at MRTV (Myanmar's broadcasting station), soldiers pointed guns at the news broadcasters while they read the news. This is causing a great deal of unhappiness among the staff there.

This news is reported on BurmaNews CBox. This is an occasion to encourage you to get a look, they have very fast and informed updates.

Another one says : "When Myanmar nationals, (mostly students) who are working or studying abroad, go back to Myanmar, they are arrested at he Yagon airport. They are detained for 3 days and checked with photos and videos sent from Myanmar Embassies around the world. If they were found to have participated in recent demonstrations, they would be beaten, tortured, and sent to Insein Prison. Please be extra careful."

Send your panties

Please : Find the address of the nearest Myanmar Embassy and send them your panties please. Culturally in Myanmar this is considered an insult and the superstitious generals believe that receiving dirty panties takes power away from them. Could the panties be by the thousands !!!

More details and addresses : Lanna Action for Burma

Thanks to Jeg for calling my attention on that.
He also has an excellent post on "Protesting Dogs Are Now on the Regime’s Wanted List".

Embassies' adresses wordlwide :

In the press : AP Associated Press article

It's not good to have opinions in Burma

Kyaw Khine, chairman of the Taunggok NLD, was jailed for seven and a half years on Monday, they said.

Ko Min Aung, an NLD official from the same town, received the same sentence following his arrest in Taunggok on his return home from a meeting at party headquarters in Yangon on Oct. 13.

"Ko Min Aung was sentenced to seven and a half years and Sein Kyaw to five years after a closed trial in Thandwe today," Ko Min Aung's wife told Reuters by telephone.

NLD members Tun Kyi and Than Pe were sentenced to four and a half years in Thandwe last week and Sein Kyaw, the NLD chairman in Gwa Township, was taken to Thandwe to face the close trial on Tuesday, the relatives and friends said." Etc.....

Full story on Reuters

Lawsuit to an International Criminal Court - petition

Sign the petition for a Lawsuit against General Than Shwe, SPDC and all his government officials to an International Criminal Court for crimes commited during military regime

Sunday, 14 October 2007


I will be away for one week. As I am going in one of those countries that do not allow freedom of speech, I will not be able to connect to internet and upgrade these pages. Please hold on. Meet you again on Sunday 21st.

Before I go, one video leaked recently showing the ugly face of the regime. What's going on today, away from cameras ?

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Let's try to be clever

There was an interesting discussion on another blog, Someone argued that the struggle of influence among Nations for oil and energy resources, "quite inevitably" leads to a dictature in the oil-rich but less-educated countries in favour of the more industrialised and powerful ones. In the case of interest to us, he argued that it is the interest of India and China, the two largest clients of the burmese oil and gaz, to maintain a stupid dictature in Burma so to have easier deals and cheaper bargains.

I agree almost 98% with him (I reserve the missing 2% just for being myself - kidding). Indeed there are many examples even in other continents : Africa, Latin America.... and many companies playing that game (armements, oil, diamonds...). However not all the countries rich in resources are under a dictature. For example Canada is the 7th world oil producer and it seems to be a democracy. Kuwait with its 3 M inhabitants and oil resources is prosperous while Congo-Brazzaville has the same 3 M population and oil resources but the people are living in very poor conditions. Brazil and Nigeria have the same oil production but the former seems today in a much better position than the latter.

Do you agree on these examples ? Have you other constrasting cases ? Maybe by analysing the larger picture we can understand why in some countries the struggle for oil brings to dictature and in others not.

I have found an interesting analysis (Ferraro, 2003) of the perpetual dichotomy between national realism (making money for self without respect for the others) and idealism (non-negotiable demands of human dignity such as speech freedom, equal justice, etc.) which concludes like this :

"The clearest example of a certain continuity between realism and idealism was the Marshall Plan in 1947. The US granted a considerable amount of money to rebuild the European economy after World War II. That the US had a strong self-interest in doing so is incontestable-the US needed a vibrant European economy for its own economic self-interest. Moreover, the US also believed that European recovery was the best defense against possible Soviet expansion into Western Europe. At the same time, however, the people of Western Europe benefited from the policy. It is not impossible to satisfy the national interest while simultaneously satisfying the interests of others."

Can China and the other regional superpowers understand that ?

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

How long ?

I was trying to get some more images of the prisons in present Myanmar, and fell over a research paper from the Burma Ethnic Research Group, funded by the German liberal Friedrich Naumann Foundation, entitled "Internal displacement in Myanmar". It is not my aim to re-do a literature survey, but what struck me was the literature citations, that is a further (but do we need more?) example that the situation in the country is critical and the present government has shown is evil nature since so many years. What the world and the "big powers", the so called " modern democracies", would use as justification for NOT DOING NOTHING, for so long ?

- Forgotten Victims of a Hidden War: Internally Displaced Karen in Burma. BERG/ Friedrich Naumann Foundation. April 1998. Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Uprooting the Shan: Shan Human Rights Foundation. December 1996. Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Dispossessed: Forced relocation and extrajudicial killings in Shan state: Shan Human Rights Foundation. April 1998. Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Total Denial: EarthRights International. July 1996. Bangkok, Thailand
- Burma: Insurgency and the politics of ethnicity. Martin Smith. 1991. Zed Books, London, UK
- Abuses against peasant farmers in Burma. Mon Information Service. July 1998. Bangkok
- All Quiet on the Western Front? Images Asia / Karen Human Rights Group / Open Society Institute. January 1998. Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Internally Displaced People: A Global Survey. Global IDP Survey 1998
- Ethnic Groups in Burma: Development, Democracy and Human Rights. Martin Smith 1994 Anti-Slavery International
- Burma Beyond the Law. Article 19. International Center against Censorship. August 1996

There is a well organised open-access library at the Burma Library website. You will find a lot of interesting links and documents. An example of what you can find in the United Nation System link, is the full text of the "Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro", February 2007 (six months updates from 2003 also available). Some sentences :

"The persecution of members of the opposition and human rights defenders shows that the road map for democracy faces too many obstacles to bring about a genuine transition. In the past, ...the UN has acknowledged that the road map could play a positive role in the political transition. Sadly, the positive momentum of the early years has apparently stalled."

"The Special Rapporteur remains particularly concerned about impunity, which has become systematic... Several groups responsible for committing serious violations of human rights, in particular members of the military, have not been prosecuted. There is also little evidence that these serious crimes have been investigated by relevant authorities."

"Grave human rights violations are committed by persons within the established structures of the Council and are not only perpetrated with impunity but authorized by law. In that respect, the Special Rapporteur is also very concerned about the continued misuse of the legal system, which denies the rule of law and represents a major obstacle to securing the effective and meaningful exercise of fundamental freedoms by citizens."

"The Special Rapporteur has been very concerned about the 10 years of intensified military campaigns in ethnic areas of eastern Myanmar and its impact on the humanitarian and human rights situation, especially on civilians who have been targeted during the attacks. The situation should be considered in connection with the widespread practice of land confiscation throughout the country, which is seemingly aimed at anchoring military control. It has led to numerous forced evictions, relocations and resettlements, forced migration and internal displacement. Given the scale of the current military campaign, the situation may lead to a humanitarian crisis if it is not addressed immediately."

So much for the non-interference ideology of China and ASEAN, and the effectiveness of the UN given the blockade built by China. Ask for more effective action to your local politicians !!!

Hits from Vatican Holy See

In a reaction to a former post (Silent Burma, below), my blog got two hits by the Vatican's "Holy See" (yes their IP is displayed like this, Holy See). In fact I wrote to them as I was quite angry that religious people can not be more solidary among them apart from few words of condemnation, without effect, even when the life of hundreds or thousands of their like were in grave danger. I wrote to a number of high ranking Cardinals and Bishops in the Vatican, recovering their E-mails here and there, most of them directly on the Vatican website.

So at least for once the "Holy See" showed that they can follow up sollicitations, keep informed about news and also read opinions like the one on this blog. This means that keeping ourselves "restless", writing around, signing petitions and so on, is not useless. Thus, please keep writing to anyone you think can mobilise some opinions in the world. It just up to your fantasy to imagine who can help.

Apart from politicians and other immediate analogues with (putative) high influence, the market niche also hosts a number of companies that may pick up a provocation or a global meaningful message. In a world where money is god, maybe this is an effective way forward.

I remain also looking forward a stronger reaction from the "Holy See".

News : I have received a written answer from the Vicar General of the Diocese of Rome and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference of Pope Benedict XVI. Here is his text : "I am answering to your last of Saturday to share with you the need of our efforts on behalf of the Buddhist monks in Burma. We have already expressed ourselves repeatedly in the newspaper "Avvenire" and will continue to do so. Have Best regards with great warmth".

I have checked on the Avvenire online, there is a small article at the bottom of the international page, essentially copying what is already said in the other laic newspapers. Nothing else significant even doing a research on key-words. Quite light the answer from this conservative, confirming that Burma people needs our help, given that the powerfuls are too confortable in their chairs.