Saturday, 29 September 2007

And Thailand Generals.....

A French newspaper has just published excerpts from a TV interwiev with General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, head of the junta in Thailand, where he took defense of the Myanmar generals and their actions, saying that they are peaceful, wowed to dialogue and that the situation is perfectly under control. Apparently these two men, Than Shwe and Sonthi Boonyaratglin, have made a reciprocal support agreement during the visit of the latter to Naypyidav, the new capital of the Myanmar generals where he assisted to the arrest of several ordinary people, and during the visit of Than Shwe in Thailand just 8 days before the ejection of the former minister Thaksin.

Dear Thai friends, be careful you too.
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I do not make a fixation on China, but...

According to several accounts, China is the largest weapon supplier of Birmania. China has constructed in the Country bridges, electrical plants, barrages, factories, in exchange of energy and raw materials. China has constructed an oil and gas pipe-line of 2.380km from the province of Arakan to Yunnan. But most importantly, China has supplied to Burma armaments and weapons for two billions of dollars, making it the second military power of South-East Asia in term of value after Vietnam, but the first in term of sophisticated technology.
Red the full story on La Stampa :
Translate it with the Google Translation Tools (link in the right side)

Full report on the connexion about China and the Myanmar junta, especially concerning military furnitures :

Again on ideas - looking for volunteers

I think we need to put pression on China if we want to achieve something in Burma. One idea is to challenge the moral of attending Olympics games in a Country that does not support democracy.

Artwork : To do so I propose to create a picture of 8 people on the 100 m starting blocks, half of them wearing sport outfits, half safran monks outfits. Beside them would be an official (or several officials) holding the starting gun in the air as they used to do in the Olympics, but wearing heavy military outfits. Since, for a better representation, it is better if the people in the picture has asian traits, I would like to ask your readers if some group supporting Burma are able to organise such a picture and make it circulating on the web. It would be very good and will force China to question itself. Let me know if you like the idea or if I have been not clear (my english is not so good). Can also be a handmade drawing. Love to all.

PS: you can also get ideas on how to interact on the Olympics website :
or write to the Olympic Movement :

Ideas on building pression

I would like to try to regroup here some ideas of international actions that could be undertaken to put pressure on the regime of Myanmar. Hope you will help me to get the list growing.

- One e-mail from Burma suggested something that could be considered seriously to force China to get off the fence. A clear statement from the international community that supporting the Olympic games in a country that does nothing to stop such violations of human rights would become impossible.This would sting the Chinese more than anything else.

- Someone on BBC suggested that the main powers should start positioning vessels around Burma, and sending airplanes on its sky. This could be a signal. However personnally I worry that everytime the use of force has been employed in the past, it has brought to something worse. Thus I would suggest to stick with the lesson of the monks, peaceful means have more and long lasting effects.

- Send instead the UN peace keeping troops. China is not the solution but is part of the big problem. China will support the dictatorship. They do not approve people demonstration or democracy. Junta is getting upper hand now. Please send in UN troops to aid people.

- Financial measures against the powerful, blocking their accounts in all the countries. Not against the poors.

- Denial of access against governmental computer resources. Some experts out there ?

- News agencies reports that companies investing in Myanmar include Daewoo, Korea Gas Corp. from South Korea, India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp. India's gas utility GAIL, Total from France. Some of these companies (Daewoo) have been charged for illegally exporting arms making equipment to Myanmar. These companies seem unwilling to suspend their activies in Myanmar. We should all suspend buying products from these companies until they change their minds.

- Continue publishing and voicing the nasty attidute of the dictatorship. This is the reason of this blog, do one you too !!. Proliferation of blog-conserved documentation will avoid what happened in 1988, about 3000 killings gone unnoticed and undocumented. That will make easier to bring, one day soon, the generals to an International Crime Tribunal.

- your ideas ???

Protests in the world

While the People of Myanmar or Burma suffer and resist .....

Some encouragement arrives from kin people all over the world :

Satellite Images -------------

Satellite Images Corroborate Eyewitness Accounts Of Human Rights Abuses In Burma (Science Daily):

Full American Association for the Advancement of Science report :
with GPS coordinates, village names and all.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Some learning for all ---------

Indeed, Burma situation is today full of meaning for all. On one side, the monks are teaching how to be engaged, listening, compassionate, protesting for human rights and democracy, and all that in a peaceful and worthy style.

On the other hand, we all have something to learn from the propaganda in the Myanmar official news. They are saying that the monks attacked the houses and forced people to demonstrate, that the riots are conducted by hooligans, drug addicts and even terrorists.... Sometime we have to worry about similar grammars in our own newspapers ; are they using the same language when something happens at home (remember the French rioting in 2006 ?).

Getting nasty ----------

Unfortunately it seems that things are getting nasty....

And we do not know nothing of what is happening in the countryside.

I just remember, in 2001, I was able to visit some villages on a training tour. Every smallest village was presidiated by army men with heavy, though old, rifles on show (and that was in a quiet period) and each smallest crossroad was equipped with a loudspeaker sending propaganda 24/24.

Ok the World, we have closed the eyes on those frightening signs for so long, what did we expect ? Let's bear responsability for once !

News - defections old and new

Italian newspapers are watching the news from Burma very closely. I have compared their information on what appears in other well known newspapers, and for once, La Repubblica, Il Corriere, Il Manifesto and many others are much more updated, have more video and photo documents and in depth information. This may be because Italians are also a compassionate people (sometime).

Especially today Corriere publish an interview of an elder soldier that in 1988 was ordered to participate in repression, and tells us about the methods employed and how he and other thousands of soldiers deserted.

Excerpt : “I know the inhuman look that can have a soldier. I know which thoughts can bred in his mind before pressing the trigger. I know as every emotion can be cancelled before killing. They have taught me also”. But today the technique, he says, is far improved.

They are moving with icy intelligence. They have for days followed the demonstrators, nearly taking part. They have identified the heads of the revolt. Then they have arrested them during the curfew, undisturbed”.

Yesterday night the last movement : “They have taken onslaught the main monasters of Rangoon and the other cities, Mandalay, Sittwe, Pakokku. They have smashed in doors with the jeeps. They have taken away the monks while they slept. Useless the attempt to call aids with the drums of the pagodas, nobody could move with the curfew”. Result: yesterday morning smaller participation and nearly no monks in the streets. “Therefore it has been easier to open the fire on the crowd, to disperse the people with minimal damage: a selective action”.

In the 1988 operation, he recalls continuing to ask to his superiors : "How can we kill those boys?”, only for being answered with sarcasm: “Ah yes? Then give them your rifles so that they can kill you”. But instead of resuming their job, a large part deserted. “Thousands of us preferred to join the protests. We escaped at night, Rangoon destination, last stage before the exile here in Thailand”. A gesture dictated from a sense of justice that then many soldiers had matured by themselves. “We knew what was right and what was mistaken. To kill, for how much they had taught to us until to nausea, remained one orribile thing for many of us".

The modern soldiers are trained with more technique. However, no matter how, anyone has his choice in front of him, of his conscience, at any time.

Good friends and good food

By the way, I have been there few years ago and have some good friends and good memory of them. They have been very nice with me and in general, all the people is nice there.

Especially, it is not like I have a food fixation, but I want to say that Burmese food, a blend of Thai and Indian tastes, is with no doubt one of the best of the world.