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BS: Should we care about Burmese?

beardedbruce 30 Aug 07 - 10:44 AM
Peace 30 Aug 07 - 11:01 AM
Peace 30 Aug 07 - 11:11 AM
beardedbruce 27 Sep 07 - 07:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Sep 07 - 08:05 PM
John O'L 27 Sep 07 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,Mark Alley NC 27 Sep 07 - 08:15 PM
Amos 27 Sep 07 - 08:21 PM
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Alba 27 Sep 07 - 08:44 PM
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Subject: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 10:44 AM

From the Washington Post...

At least the UN is predictable and consistant...



Courage in Burma

Pro-democracy protesters dare to take to the streets. Will the world respond as bravely?
Thursday, August 30, 2007; Page A20


THE MOST STRIKING feature of the remarkable protests taking place across Burma for the past 10 days is that they are taking place at all. That Southeast Asian nation is ruled by one of the world's most repressive and brutal regimes, led by dictator Than Shwe. Those who dare speak out risk imprisonment and torture not only for themselves but for their relatives. Yet since Aug. 19, hundreds of men and women, students and Buddhist monks, have peaceably taken to the streets across Burma to protest economic mismanagement and political oppression. Scores have been swept into prison; many more have been beaten by government-sponsored thugs. Min Ko Naing, released in November 2004 after 15 years in prison for leading pro-democracy protests in 1988, took to the streets again -- and is once again in prison, facing a possible 20-year sentence for a nonviolent demonstration.

What response does such courage call for from the outside world? A lot more than we've seen so far, that much is certain. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's special envoy for Burma has been missing in action, and Mr. Ban himself belatedly issued a mealy-mouthed statement that "encourages all parties to avoid any provocative action." Meaning what? That 50 million Burmese citizens -- disenfranchised, impoverished and press-ganged into involuntary servitude -- should refrain from "provoking" the regime by exercising their inalienable right to assemble and speak out?

The U.N. Security Council should be at the forefront of global demands for an end to repression in Burma. The military junta has been responsible for a kind of slow-motion Darfur. More than 3,000 villages in eastern Karen state have been razed, more than 1.5 million people displaced. Soldiers routinely bayonet peasants' pots so that they cannot cook and will go hungry. If this isn't a fit subject for the Security Council, it's hard to know why the organization exists.

The Bush administration and first lady Laura Bush in her own right have been far more impassioned about Burma. Yet the United States, too, should have learned by now that rhetoric is not enough; a strategy is needed. Unlike so many dictatorships, Burma (called Myanmar by its junta) has a legitimate political authority waiting in the wings: Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy won a landslide electoral victory in 1990. She has been under house arrest for most of the years since. Now the administration needs to make clear to other nations with influence in Burma -- China, India, Thailand and Singapore, to name a few -- that a democratic transition there is a U.S. policy priority and a prerequisite for peace and stability in Asia. As former South African archbishop Desmond Tutu told The Post, when "the courageous people of Burma, in spite of the viciousness of the military junta," are ready to come out by the thousands, "we in the free world cannot stand by."


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 11:01 AM

Jim Carrey


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 11:11 AM

Story here.

I have seen no protest from Canada as yet. (I just sent off an e-mail to our Prime Minister.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 07:49 PM

Washington Post:

Save Burma


Will China and Russia give a green light to a slaughter of the monks?
Thursday, September 27, 2007; Page A24


BURMA' S BRAVE monks and the thousands of people who support them have been chanting a simple demand to the country's military rulers: dialogue. Instead, the peaceful protesters in Rangoon were attacked yesterday with tear gas, water cannons and gunfire. By the regime's own account, at least one person was killed when troops fired on a crowd near the venerated Sule Pagoda; opposition accounts said as many as eight people died and hundreds of monks were beaten before being hauled onto trucks and driven away. The corrupt and paranoid generals in the ruling junta have clearly decided to face a popular uprising with the same methods used to put down a similar revolt in 1988. That means the world can expect mass bloodshed in Burma in the coming days -- unless something is done to stop it.

The United States and the European Union acted with admirable cohesion and aggressiveness yesterday, calling for a meeting of the U.N. Security Council and asking it to consider sanctions. The Western governments issued a blunt joint statement that condemned the violence and told the Burmese generals they would be held individually accountable for their actions. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was eloquent: "The whole world is now watching Burma, and its illegitimate and repressive regime should know that the whole world is going to hold it to account," he said. "The age of impunity in neglecting and overriding human rights is over."

The problem is that the "whole world" is not yet prepared to prevent a massacre of monks. Several countries that like to think of themselves as strategic partners of the West -- in particular, Russia and China -- are blocking concerted international action against the regime. China, which has taken advantage of Burma's pariah status to turn it into a virtual economic colony, came out against U.N. sanctions yesterday. Russia's foreign ministry issued a statement rejecting "interference in the domestic affairs" of Burma and predicting that "the situation will be back to normal soon" -- chilling words considering what the troops in Rangoon would have to do to return the situation to "normal."

Yesterday, Russia and China prevented the Security Council even from condemning the violence against protesters. In effect, they are giving the regime a green light for brutal repression. We can hope that the generals will be deterred by the warnings about the war crimes trials that could await them, or that their officers and conscripts will refuse to carry out their orders. If the repression proceeds, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao will have Burma's blood on their hands.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 08:05 PM

Of course we should care. But I doubt if there is much we can actually do that makes things better. It is easy to imagine ways of making things even worse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: John O'L
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 08:10 PM

Is there oil in Burma?


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: GUEST,Mark Alley NC
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 08:15 PM

Personally no.

I am sick of Western nations attempting to bring the "Great White Way" to countries with cultures and traditions dating back thousands of years.

So the Iraqis need to drink coke and open burger bars to become acceptable.

Robert Mugabe is not a nice guy because his government isn't as open and transparent as Britain or America, Thank God it's not like either of them !

Understand that all of the governments of these counties are responsible for the welfare of their own people. For God's sake half of them aren't civilised, chopping up your opponents with machetes ?

We will never change their cultures.

Stay out of their affairs and don't be dipping into your pocket yet again when you see a well orchestrated tv ad campaign.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Amos
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 08:21 PM

From a correspondent:

"The pictures at Irrawaddy.org are riveting. Saddening, maddening.
Inspiring.
http://www.irrawaddy.org/

And there are a few video clips that have made their way as far as
YouTube. One (relatively peaceful) one is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIpraH81paY

The latest reports are 7:00p.m. Myanmar time, just an hour and a half
ago (it's two and a half hours behind Tokyo). Protests seem to be
stretching into the evening.

One report is that a Japanese person is among the ten or more that have
been killed.

Hundreds of monks have been rounded up by the army. A few people have
been shot, many beaten, after forty years of repression and isolation
and previous attempts to throw off dictatorship and install a fledgling
democracy.

The first time I met a particular man, in 2003, he had just stepped off
a redeye flight, returning from opening Burma's very first Internet
connection. The pictures you see and reports you read may very well be
traversing that line. Despite some reports, the Internet is apparently
not *completely* cut off from there, as of yet. The fact that
information leaks out through cell phones and the Internet no doubt
alarms the junta, and may be a factor in staying the junta's hand.

Are we looking at fifty-six million rising up and freeing themselves?
Or are we looking at the next Tiananmen (which itself may have been
worse if not for CNN)?

Information is fragmentary, conflicting and delayed. I can do nothing
from here, nothing more than encourage those outsiders who can pressure
the junta, and even they cannot ultimately decide; only the Burmese
people can. But I cannot look away.
"


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Teribus
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 08:41 PM

According to most on this forum, and who is meant by "we", absolutely not. Nor should we care about anybody else. Because to most hear "caring" doesn't really amount to much and as such doesn't really translate into anything significant.

I have been asked to wear a red shirt today to show my solidarity. How completely useless a gesture is that?? Just excatly what does it achieve? Western window dressing to make a bunch of poseurs feel as though they are doing something. Utter crap, tell the Monks and the people of Burma literally, don't do a damn thing, total passive civil disobedience with regard to anything that affects your Government or those that rule you. As long as everybody sticks to it, the Government collapses in under two weeks, think about it.

Before anybody jumps in and says such a thing could never happen, the "Unionists" did exactly that in Northern Ireland and halted one of the first real peace initiatives in its track within four days.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Alba
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 08:44 PM

There is an orgainisation in the UK, Link
My Son brought it to my attention a while back now and we both have been checking into the site pretty much daily.
There have been no updates there since the 24th of September. Very, very troubling situation.

Appreciate you posting what you have been able to find out so far Amos.

In the Spirit of Hope,
Jude


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 08:47 PM

Yes...


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Amos
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 08:52 PM

A good plan, T. I take exception to your angry generalizations about people on this forum, but then for some strange reason, I don't butt heads with others here quite as often as you. Can't figger that out.

I hope you pass your idea along to the monks and they take it under serious advisement.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:05 PM

One man's opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:15 PM

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
http://www.mofa.gov.mm

The Ministry Of Religious Affairs
http://www.mora.gov.mm

Ministry of Commerce
http://www.commerce.gov.mm

Ministry of Construction
http://www.construction.gov.mm

Ministry of Livestock-Fisheries
http://www.livestock-fisheries.gov.mm

Ministry of Agriculature and Irrigation
http://www.moai.gov.mm/

Ministry of Co-Operatives
http://www.myancoop.gov.mm

Ministry of Hotels and Tourism
http://www.hotel-tourism.gov.mm/

Ministry of Home Affairs
http://www.moha.gov.mm/

Progress of order Areas and National Races and Development Affairs
http://www.myanmar.gov.mm/PBNRDA/

Ministry of Education
http://www.myanmar-education.edu.mm

Ministry of Health
http://www.moh.gov.mm

Ministry of Culture
http://www.myanmar.com/Ministry/culture/

Myanma Posts and Telecommunications
http://www.mpt.net.mm

Ministry of Finance and Revenue
http://www.myanmar.com/Ministry/finance/

Ministry of Forestry
http://www.myanmar.com/Ministry/Forest/

Ministry of Immigration & Population
http://www.myanmar.com/Ministry/imm&popu/

Ministry of Industry (1)
http://www.industry1myanmar.com/

Ministry of Industry (2)
http://www.industry2.gov.mm/

Ministry of Transport
http://www.mot.gov.mm

Ministry of Information Committee
http://www.myanmar-information.net

Social Welfare, Relife and Resettlement
http://www.myanmar.gov.mm/ministry/MSWRR/index.html

Ministry of Energy
http://www.energy.gov.mm

Ministry of Electric Power (1)
http://www.energy.gov.mm/MEP_1.htm

Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development
http://www.mnped.gov.mm/

Ministry of Mines
http://www.energy.gov.mm/MOM_1.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:17 PM

Each web address has a contact link at the bottom of the page that comes up. Use your typing and thinking skills to let them know what you think of the government's actions. Beat shootin' the shit with each other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:27 PM

"I am requesting that the Government of Canada cease immediately any and all trade dealings with your country until such time as you have stopped killing and jailing people who want human rights, something your repressive government seems to do so willingly and easily. I am requesting also that until such time as you release Aung San Suu Kyi, Canada no longer recognize your country."

Just sent that by e-mail ('signed' with my name and address) to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Burma). I will be proceeding down the list.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:32 PM

mofa.aung@mptmail.net


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:37 PM

moc@commerce.gov.mm

dotddg@commerce.gov.mm


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:38 PM

Anyone gonna add their voice to this?


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 27 Sep 07 - 09:45 PM

Just sent another. I'll post any responses. Don't hold yer breath.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: GUEST,Bobbie
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 12:00 AM

BS huh? yeah yeah yeah, great white way, we have to eat hamburgers and drink coke. you know what, america is a great nation which help other countries in need. i strongly support america getting in other countries' business, especially those in needy. for your information, the government ruling this country, MY country, is much worse than Hitler. you know why? hitler may have killed millions of human beings, but you know what he never touched the churches. NEVER did he touch the churches, he may be a totalitarian brutal lunatic white man, he still knows his own religion. BURMA's faithful leaders shoot their own religions' messengers, Buddha's son. they beat and kicked them with military boots, arrested them, hit them with clubs,stab them with spears, some in their throats.. this government needs to be get ridden of. and america is one of the answers,later, the answer to freeing the 52 million Burmese people and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi would be the whole world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 01:32 AM

Myanmar is what's now know formerly as Burma, here a link to the Wall Street Journal' story

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Teribus
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 03:35 AM

Great links Peace, your suggestions are a bit more effective than wearing a red shirt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 04:32 AM

How little some people know or care about others.
Mark Alley you are talking crap. It's oppression and military rule that need to end in Burma, they have democratically elected leaders, which the army refused to accept and put under house arrest.
Aung San Suu Kyi was elcted in 1990 to be prime minister of Burma, since which she has been under almost permanent house arrest, even to the extent of not being allowed to attend her husband's funeral.
So don't give me crap about interfering with ancient civilisations, or forcing democracy on people who don't want it. Try reading about it, and more to the point try watching a news programme that realises there is life outside the USA.
You just MIGHT learn something.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: redsnapper
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 04:50 AM

By the way refer to it as Burma, the legitimate opposition's preferred name for the country. Although also recognised by the UN and some countries, Myanmar is the name conferred by the military regime. The UK government and the BBC (and as far as I am aware, the US) still use the name Burma.

A small but nevertheless useful gesture.

Also BTW, in answer to the thread question, yes of course.

RS


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 04:54 AM

With you there Jock, though I definitely don't want to see the Shrub pushing the idea of military intervention..... Oh, hold on a minute. No danger of that. No oil.

Still, my heart goes out to those poor people who are being oppressed by a regime that couldn't exist but for the power of the gun.

In my experience, buddhists are the gentlest and most caring of people, and it is a measure of the oppressive nature of their government that they are taking this kind of action.

I have started on Bruce's list, and added one more voice to the protest.

Should we care?   OF COURSE WE BLOODY SHOULD! If we aren't ready to stand against evil, what was the use of our fathers' sacrifices through six years of WW2.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Emma B
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 05:41 AM

The Burma Campaign UK


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 06:12 AM

Burma (if I may use that name) has large gas reserves and exports them to (mostly) China which explains the reluctance of China to support international sanctions.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Emma B
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 06:28 AM

"Pressure from campaigns across the world has forced a long list of companies to withdraw from Burma. These include: British American Tobacco, Texaco, Levi Strauss,Triumph International, Premier Oil and many others.

However, companies like TOTAL Oil (of France) and Chevron (of the USA) are major investors in Burma. The Burma Campaign UK (BCUK) aims to pressure companies like these to withdraw from Burma and cease their support for the regime.

The United States has imposed tough economic sanctions on Burma. These include a ban on new investment, an asset freeze, a restriction on dollar transactions and a ban on most Burmese imports into the United States.

The UK government is a strong critic of the regime but despite supporting Aung San Suu Kyi's call for targeted economic sanctions in opposition, the government has failed to impose them. BCUK is lobbying the government to honour their pre-election position."

.....From The Burma Campaign UK site


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Emma B
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 06:32 AM

Natural resources: petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, some marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 06:56 AM

Oh S**t.

Almost enough value there to get the Shrub all gung ho again.

Look out Burma.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Grab
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 08:44 AM

Too right, Teribus. Should we care? Yes. Can we do much about it, personally? No. Western pressure hasn't worked against the Burmese government for years, and it isn't magically going to start working now. The best that Western countries can do without military intervention is make it economically hard for Burma, but North Korea shows graphically that this isn't enough to break the will of a dictatorship.

What will work is if the Army and government stop behaving like soldiers and start behaving like humans. The monks are applying as much pressure as they can here by basically damning all soldiers and government officials and their families.

Of course, the West *could* send in troops to break the Burmese government. But that's a problem. First off, the countries most likely to do this (Britain and the US) are over-extended as it is. Second off, there isn't currently a mandate for a global policeman, as much as there should be, because too many nations won't willingly submit to international scrutiny (the US joined North Korea in refusing to sign up to proposed international agreements on war crimes courts), and if the likely "policemen" won't themselves submit to the same rules then the whole thing becomes a global dictatorship. And third off, Iraq shows all too clearly what can go wrong with sending in the troops.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 08:55 AM

It seems that the protests are slowing down, and there were no monks visible in the ranks today.
Somebody on the radio suggested that if we all threatened to boycott the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese who have the most influence in Burma, would pretty soon get their fingers out and get something done.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Teribus
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 09:17 AM

Don T, I definitely don't see the Shrub pushing the idea of military intervention, the possibility of which, I believe, has not even entered anyone's head within the current US Administration. What he is doing is enforcing sanctions which is more obviously than us Brits have done and the French are just getting round to it.

The passive rebellion of Burma's first estate cannot be attacked as the Army did the general population in previous crack-downs. Very hard to maintain morale amongst the troops when they are ordered to attack the body that represents their religion.

While sanctions and economic blockade can do only so much, the regime has got to collapse from the inside and only the people of Burma themselves can do that. All they have to do is ensure that the country just does not function.

Burma does have oil but is (IIRC) a net importer, it does however, export gas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 09:41 AM

What a lot of people don't realize is that being a monk in Buddhism isn't like being a priest or nun or going into a yeshiva... all Buddhist males have to spend at least 2 years as a monk before becoming an adult, and many adults go in and out of monkeries. It isn't retiring from the world necessarily, although there are plenty of monks who are lifelong monks.

It's like Europeans having to do 2 years in the military - it doesn't mean they are career soldiers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 09:47 AM

Yes I know that, but what difference it makes to this little contretemps I don't know.
G


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: bobad
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 09:56 AM

This is what the people of Burma are up against:

Burma's intensely superstitious rulers have long been guided by a belief in portents and prophecies, cosmology, numerology and magic. The time and date of the ceremony marking independence from Britain was also chosen according to astrological dictates: 4.20am on January 4, 1948. General Ne Win was the mysticism-obsessed dictator who seized power in 1962 and steered Burma from prosperity to penury; in 1989 he introduced the 45-kyat and 90-kyat banknotes, for the simple but mind-bending reason that these were divisible by and added up to nine, his lucky number. He believed this move would also ensure he would live to the lucky age of 90. Ne Win, who insisted on walking backwards over bridges at night and other rituals to avoid bad luck, died in 2002, at the age of 92, which was either good luck or bad luck, depending on how you look at it. Even the decision to change the name of Burma to Myanmar was prompted by Ne Win's soothsayer, and announced on May 27 (since 2 + 7 = 9).

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/ben_macintyre/article2547120.ece


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Emma B
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 10:08 AM

"The military has sought foreign investment in order to rescue it from bankruptcy. A worrying consequence of the investment is the way it has provided foreign currency which has helped the regime to expand the army - in turn helping it to maintain power.

Currently the regime has around 500,000 military personnel. A country of only 50 million people has one of the largest armies in Asia yet has no external enemies." BCUK

This army was used to "assist" the building of the Unocal pipe line;
Unocal was subsequently accused of being complicit in forced labour, rape and torture allegedly carried out by troops guarding the $1.2bn Yadana pipeline during its construction in the 1990s, reaching an out of court settlement in 2005.

American, French and Chinese oil companies are sustaining this vicious regime.

Total's response to international criticism of their record in Burma....
"It's true that oil, gas and mining operations generate considerable revenue for host countries and that these funds are less likely to be used transparently if the political system does not support open debate and effective controls. But it is not the role of an oil company to tell a country how to best use that revenue. Only international organizations can legitimately impose conditions of this sort."

OK folks - get out there anyway you can, wear a red shirt, email politicians or support campaign groups ......but do SOMETHING; this violation of human rights cannot be left to the beleaguered citizens alone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: redsnapper
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 10:27 AM

That's true of Asian Buddhist males Mrrzy where it the general custom and often requirement, not necessary Western ones of course, though the length of time does vary between different Asian countries.

In this case I expect fear of retribution also extends into being a junior member of the military hence their part in violent actions. As Teribus says, that probably causes some considerable loss of morale given the regard in which the monks are held.

RS


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 10:31 AM

There are 300,000 monks and 450,000 soldiers. The monks ain't armed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 10:33 AM

The more government people in Burma that you can pressure the better. They are gonna do what they do anyway, but you will be able to tell your kids you tried. Sometimes it's the best a guy can do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Alba
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 12:16 PM

The Junta have now cut ALL public internet access across Burmha and Cell phone services are being distrupted to stop information leaving or coming into the Country.
Hotels are being raided by Troops and any Journalists or Tourists found with any kind of Cameras or Filming equipment are being made to hand them over to the thugs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Emma B
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 12:20 PM

some of the last photos to come out


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: GUEST,Fayhem
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 01:23 PM

It's actually illegal to watch news footage from Myanmar as the government has banned it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 01:31 PM

If they say it's illegal then watch it if you can, they are totalitarian despots.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: The Villan
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 02:35 PM

The first thing that should be done is stop the Olympics in China. they are just as bad and don't deserve it.
Should we care about them. Of course we should.
The UN shopuld go in and sort the buggers out.
I feel very very sorry for the poor people there who must be petrified of such a bastard regime.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 04:05 PM

from the Washington Post:

Burma's Revolt of The Spirit

By Michael Gerson
Friday, September 28, 2007; Page A19

The great virtue of Buddhism is serene courage in the face of inevitable affliction. That courage is on display now in Burma -- a nation caught upon the wheel of suffering.

The sight of young, barefoot monks in cinnamon robes quietly marching for democracy, amid crowds carrying banners reading "love and kindness," is already a symbol of conscience for a young century. On closer examination, these protests have also shown that nonviolence need not be tame or toothless. The upside-down bowls carried by some of the monks signal that they will not accept alms from the leaders of the regime, denying them the ability to atone for bad deeds or to honor their ancestors. These chanting monks are playing spiritual hardball.

Discussion PolicyDiscussion Policy CLOSEComments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.
Once again -- as in the American civil rights struggle and the end of communism in Eastern Europe -- religion is proving to be an uncontrollable force in an oppressive society. Religious dissidents have the ability not only to organize opposition to tyrants but also to shame them. Political revolutions often begin as revolutions of the spirit.

But the spirit, at least for the moment, is fastened to the body, which is subject to truncheons, tear gas and imprisonment. The junta in control of Burma, as we are seeing, is capable of extraordinary brutality. A regime that employs forced labor, conducts war on ethnic minorities and engages in systematic rape will hardly balk at the murder of monks and other protesters -- something it has done before by the thousands.

Fortunately, however, the regime's aging, increasingly feeble leadership is also capable of extraordinary stupidity. After the pointless construction of a new capital in a remote part of the country and the building of luxury housing for the military elite, Burma's government is cash-strapped. So it increased fuel prices by up to 500 percent, causing bus fares and the cost of basic commodities such as rice to spike. All through the summer, the democratic opposition has wisely focused its critique of the junta on the collapsing economy -- a collapse the regime is doing its best to hasten. After 40 years of military rule, Burma's per capita income is about one-fifth that of its neighbor Thailand, and child malnutrition is widespread.


The Bush administration hopes this economic discontent injects an element of instability into the regime itself. While the upper ranks of the Burmese military are well taken care of, the lower ranks often scramble for basic necessities. The Burmese guards outside the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon, according to one U.S. official, are currently getting by on a single meal a day.

The sanctions President Bush announced at the United Nations this week are designed to exploit these tensions. The new measures focus on the main five or 10 leaders of the junta and their families, along with key Burmese businessmen who broker foreign deals for the regime. With greater pressure at the top, perhaps a second tier of military leaders will be tempted to overthrow their well-fed superiors. "There is kindling here for change," says one senior Bush official.

This strategy would have a much greater chance of success with the support of nations in the region. When the strongest outside pressure comes from the United States, France and Britain, it is easier for the regime to rally opposition against the "colonial powers." But the response of most Asian nations has run from anemic to shameful. India has traditionally been content to deal with the regime instead of confronting it because it covets Burma's natural gas. And China remains the primary economic prop for the junta.

While Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorists, China has become the leading state sponsor of common thugs, from Burma to Sudan to Zimbabwe. It has positioned itself as a great power without the pesky complication of conscience, willing to court and support any dictator who supplies a tribute of natural resources. At the same time, it has invited moral scrutiny by hosting the 2008 Olympics. China will either begin acting more responsibly in Burma and elsewhere -- abandoning its stated policy of "noninterference" -- or the Summer Games will become the focus of human rights complaints about every one of its brutal clients in the world.

It has become common in recent years to mock the "democracy agenda" as dreamy and unrealistic. That becomes harder as history focuses our choices -- in this case, the choice between the junta and the monks, which is really no choice at all. Burma's revolution of the spirit must succeed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 04:54 PM

put pressure on CHina, Burma is essentially their client state.
and right now China is quite sensitive about any possible boycott of next years Olympics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 05:01 PM

Internet cut in Myanmar, blogger presses on

Story Highlights
Internet connection in Myanmar has been cut off

London-blogger vows to keep up the fight

Woman on phone: "Who can help us?"

Student sent video to CNN because people "should know what is happening"


By Wayne Drash
CNN
   
(CNN) -- The Internet connection in Myanmar was cut Friday, limiting the free flow of information the nation's citizens were sharing with the world depicting the violent crackdown on monks and other peaceful demonstrators.

Ko Htike runs his Myanmar blog out of his London apartment and says he's trying to stop the violence.

Myanmar-based blogs went dark suddenly. But London-based blogger Ko Htike -- who has been one of the most prominent bloggers posting information about the violence -- has vowed to keep up the fight, saying where "there is a will, there is a way."

"I sadly announce that the Burmese military junta has cut off the Internet connection throughout the country," he said on his blog Friday. "I, therefore, would not be able to feed in pictures of the brutality by the brutal Burmese military junta."

Ko Htike is a 28-year-old who left Myanmar, once known as Burma, seven years ago to study in England.

He told CNN.com a day earlier that he has as many as 40 people in Myanmar sending him photos or calling him with information. They often take the photos from windows from their homes, he said.

Myanmar's military junta has forbidden such images, and anyone who sends them is risking their lives.

"If they get caught, you will never know their future. Maybe just disappear or maybe life in prison or maybe dead," he told CNN.

Why would they take such risks?

"They thought that this is their duty for the country," he said. "That's why they are doing it. It's like a mission."

Even with Friday's action by the government, he said he will continue to do all he can to get images of what's happening out for the world to see.

"I will also try my best to feed in their demonic appetite of fear and paranoia by posting any pictures that I receive through other means," he said on his blog. "I will continue to live with the motto that 'if there is a will there is a way.' "

With few Western journalists allowed in Myanmar, his blog has become one of the main information outlets. More than 170,000 people from 175 countries have gone to the blog, according to a counter on the page.

On Friday, shots rang out in the streets of Myanmar's biggest city of Yangon, marking the third straight day of violence at the hands of the ruling military junta to suppress citizen protests.

One diplomat told CNN that a Western witness had reported seeing about 35 bodies lying in rows on a street near Sule Pagoda, with civilians praying over them. CNN could not independently confirm the report, and it was not known if the bodies were from Friday or the result of earlier violence.

According to The Associated Press, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Friday he believes the loss of life in Myanmar has been "far greater" than is being reported.

China pleads for calm in Myanmar

In a country where Buddhist monks are revered, the violence against them could stir even more outrage among the people of Myanmar. "Now, there is blood shed on the monastery," Htike said.

The Internet has also spawned other Myanmar pages. On the popular online community of Facebook, several Myanmar support pages were set up with links keeping a close eye on the latest developments. One letter floating around the Internet from a group calling itself the "Global Alliance of Burmese Students" called on people abroad to stage protests.

"We call on you to take action, to take the lead, and to show solidarity with our fellow countrymen back home," it said. "The streets of Yangon bleed red, and it will all be in vain if we do not act and mobilize for change."

Other people used technology as simple as the cell phone as a means to get the word out on what was happening.

"We didn't do any terrorism, but they sharp-shoot us," one woman said by phone inside Myanmar Thursday. "I just want to say we have no weapons and no rights."

She added, "Who can help us?"

The last time the nation saw such widespread protests was in 1988, when today's instantaneous means of communication did not exist. The government used brutal force to quash that democratic uprising, with few people seeing what happened. View a timeline of events there »

Today's technology allows anyone with the means to capture what is happening. Despite the cutting of the Internet inside the country, people can still take pictures and videos with cell phones and send them to the outside world.

"They are ready to die for that," Vincent Brossels with Reporters Without Borders said on Thursday. "I spoke with a Burmese journalist this morning in Rangoon and he told me that now I don't care about anything. I'm ready to be in jail. I'm ready to die for that."

Benjamin Valk, a 25-year-old student from a university in Tokyo, Japan, sent CNN.com video of saffron-robed monks carrying out a peaceful protest earlier this week in Yangon, once known as Rangoon. The video shows thousands of monks and civilians walking together and chanting.

He said he felt compelled to share the video because people "should know what is happening in a country like Myanmar."

"In a world where democracy is considered the better or perhaps the best political system, there is huge global support for a people who dare to openly challenge a military dictatorship and call for democracy," Valk said. "I think it's good for the world to see."

Htike agrees, saying he's just trying to stop the killing in his homeland.

"If I can publish these kind of [photos] and this kind of news to the world, so maybe they may stop a little bit."


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Alba
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 05:38 PM

Thank you for the update BB and the Washington Post article.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 10:03 PM

Satellite photos may prove abuses in Myanmar, researchers say

Story Highlights
Before and after satellite pictures show disappearance of villages, scientists say

Also seen: evidence of forced relocation of villagers, military buildup

"We're watching frm the sky," interest group warns Myanmar junta


   
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Satellite photos showing the disappearance of villages and a buildup of army camps offer what researchers say is potential evidence of human rights abuses in Myanmar, the scene of bloody anti-government protests that have drawn tens of thousands of demonstrators.

At least nine people were killed in Myanmar on Thursday, when soldiers with automatic rifles fired into the crowds. Troops in riot gear also raided Buddhist monasteries on the outskirts of Yangon and beat and arrested dozens of monks, according to witnesses and Western diplomats.

The government said 10 people have been killed since the violence began earlier this week, but British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he believed the loss of life in Myanmar was "far greater" than is being reported.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, has become the focus of international pressure to curtail the violent repression of its citizens.

"We are trying to send a message to the military junta that we are watching from the sky," Aung Din, policy director for the interest group U.S. Campaign for Burma, said Friday at a briefing on the photos.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science said it has compiled satellite images that provide evidence of village destruction, forced relocations and a growing military presence at sites across eastern Myanmar.

Lars Bromley, director of the AAAS Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights project, said he had received more than 70 reports of rights violations. He then sought before-and-after satellite photos of the regions from commercial firms.

"Physical evidence of reported attacks on civilians sometimes can be subtle compared to the slash-and-burn types of destruction that we saw in Darfur or Zimbabwe. It's also a lush ecosystem where plants can quickly grow to cover burn marks and clouds and terrain often block satellite observation," he said.

Nonetheless, he said he was able to map the locations of 31 of the reported human rights violations.

"Eighteen of the locations showed evidence consistent with destroyed or damaged villages," he said in a statement. "We found evidence of expanded military camps in four other locations as well as multiple possibly relocated villages, and we documented growth in one refugee camp on the Thai border. All of this was very consistent with reporting by multiple human rights groups on the ground in Burma."

"These things are happening over quite a range, it's not just an isolated incident," Bromley said.

"We're not necessarily drawing conclusions about what happened to these villages, that comes from organizations we work with," he explained.

But, for example, there were reports of attacks on villages in April and satellite images showed the blackened remains of burned villages.

In addition, the photos showed several new villages near military camps, suggesting forced relocations.

Bromley said that since the demonstrations began in recent days satellites have been turned toward the major cities, but he noted that this is the cloudy season.

"We are hoping for a gap in the clouds," he said.

Jeremy Woodrum, director of U.S. Campaign for Burma, said he considers the images good evidence of abuses.

"When you consider that a million and a half people have fled out of the area, I think it's pretty clear," he said. "Especially when combined with dozens and dozens of reports from human rights organizations."

Satellite images showed multiple burn scars in otherwise thick green forest in the Papun district, and before and after images showed the removal of structures, consistent with eyewitness reports of village destruction.

Signs of an expanded military presence, such as the buildup of bamboo fencing around a camp, and construction of a satellite camp, also were identified, Bromley said.

Buildup of military camps and disappearance of villages and buildings were also documented in the Toungoo and Dooplaya districts.

The military took control of Myanmar in 1962 and since then has regularly clashed with pro-democracy groups. Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, a democracy advocate, has been detained by the military for years.

The current crisis began August 19 with rallies against a fuel price hike. It escalated when monks began joining the protests.

President Bush announced economic sanctions against Myanmar on Thursday, and other countries have also condemned the actions of the Yangon government.

First lady Laura Bush and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, have previously condemned human rights violations in Myanmar.


In a plea to Myanmar's ruling military regime, Mrs. Bush said earlier this week, "I want to say to the armed guards and to the soldiers: Don't fire on your people. Don't fire on your neighbors." Her remarks were in a Voice of America interview.

AAAS, a nonprofit general scientific society, previously used satellite technology to seek evidence of destruction in Darfur and Zimbabwe. The latest research was supported by the Open Society Institute and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: The Villan
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 04:30 AM

Always too bloody late.
Action against the regime should have been at least a week ago.
Is there a petition for banning the olympics in China. I would definately sign that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 04:54 AM

I have applied to start a petition to boycott the Beijing Olympics via the government petitions site at No 10.
I will let you know what happens.

Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: The Villan
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 05:03 AM

Thanks Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Stu
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 06:52 AM

Good move on the Olympics - the western desire to lick the arse of the world's most brutal and repressive regieme for a few quid is the single most sickening issue of our time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 06:56 AM

That's what happens when you squander all your own resources, and become reliant on those of others mate.
G


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 11:21 AM

"...all Buddhist males have to spend at least 2 years as a monk before becoming an adult, and many adults go in and out of monkeries."

                     Yikes - With an indoctrination program like that, how would you ever get them to come around to deal with reality?


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 12:05 PM

Bastards.

My e-mails to various government departments and ministeries in Burma were returned as "undeliverable". FYI.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Stu
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 12:11 PM

"With an indoctrination program like that, how would you ever get them to come around to deal with reality?"

Being a buddhist is about addressing reality at it's most fundamental level of perception - Tibetan and Zen monks undergo a far longer training period. You have to remember buddhism is a religion where you are encouraged to rigorously question down to the very basic levels their religious doctrines. The idea is you take no-one's word for anything but find out for yourself.

In this context it's not so difficult to understand the reason the monks lead the protests. There is not some religious agenda motivating them, but a compassion for all the beings that are cause suffering - in this case by by the Junta - they are simply trying to improve the lot of everyone in Burma. The genuinely care for all the people without exception regardless of their own religious convictions. The Jewish-Christian-Muslim religions could learn a lot from their buddhist contemporaries about tolerance, understanding and peaceful protest.

Of course, the Junta's biggest buddies the Chinese hate with a passion anyone who thinks for themselves hence their ongoing persecution of innocent Tibetan buddhist monks and institutions elsewhere on the continent - they even kidnap their Lamas and replace them with their own puppet leaders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 04:30 PM

This is what I have submitted for consideration as a petition on the No 10 petitions web site.






Your petition reads:

    We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Boycott the
    Beijing Olympics

    Unless the Chinese government, which has a greater external
    influence in Burma, than any other country, puts pressure on
    the illegal Burmese Junta to restore democracy to that country.
    We should boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

    Thank you for submitting your petition.

    [ This email has been automatically sent by the Number 10
    petitions system ]

Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 04:51 PM

"A Canadian Labour Congress statement
We need strong Canadian voices on the side of the people in Burma
Ken Georgetti – 28 September 2007

The people of Burma need our vocal and active solidarity. If the demonstrations were triggered by a rise in fuel prices that has left this oil-importing nation devastated, they mostly express a collective frustration with the junta's continued refusal to respond to the cares of its own people.
Over the last eighteen years the Canadian Labour Congress has worked closely with our colleagues from the Federation of Trade Unions of Burma and the National Coalition of the Union of Burma. We have condemned the repeated and systematic violations of workers and human rights committed by the military junta in Burma, particularly the use of forced labour. We have called for an end to this criminal policy. With the generous support of a number of our affiliated unions, we have supported FTUB activities inside Burma in the border area and have been involved with union training on human and workers' rights issues.

The military junta has made Burma the only country ever to be expelled from the International Labour Organization because of its responsibility in the ongoing use of forced labour; a practice that the ILO equates to a crime against humanity. Indeed this military has closed and isolated the country with complete disregard for no less than twenty-eight UN General Assembly and Commission on Human Rights resolutions calling for national reconciliation and an end to the crisis.

In Canada, Parliament, unanimously passed a motion in May 2005 in support of comprehensive economic measures against the military regime. The government has not gone beyond statements discouraging Canadians to do business there.

While the Canadian Labour Congress acknowledges what has been done in Parliament and the steps taken by the government, we much deplore the lack of vigour in preventing the continuous presence in Burma of a number of high- profile Canadian corporations. Their activities there only feed the military regime and aggravate the people's poverty.

There is urgency for strong voices on the side of the people in Burma. Today, as Canadians, we must call for peace and democracy in Burma if we want to remain credible when we make the same call anywhere else."


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 04:55 PM

Canadians can e-mail Prime Minister Stephen Harper at

pm@pm.gc.ca


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 29 Sep 07 - 05:35 PM

"Russia is, like China, a veto-wielding UN Security Council member and has shown growing interest in energy cooperation with Burma. China, the main backer of Burma's military government, has flatly ruled out backing sanctions."


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 30 Sep 07 - 01:35 PM

"Being a buddhist is about addressing reality at it's most fundamental level of perception... The idea is you take no-one's word for anything but find out for yourself."


                   You'd have to wonder why they'd shave their heads and dress up in orange sheets to do this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: redsnapper
Date: 30 Sep 07 - 01:50 PM

Riginslinger,

That is the custom of Buddhist monks in many countries. Same as some Jews, Moslems, Christians and others have their dress practices.

The vast majority of lay Buddhists have no such dress code (likewise lay practicioners of other beliefs and practices).

I am curious as to why you are making these remarks/questions.

RS


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Subject: BS: stand with the Burmese people!
From: Tyke
Date: 30 Sep 07 - 08:14 PM

Hi, have you heard about the crisis in Burma?

Burma is ruled by one of the worst military dictatorships in the world. This week Buddhist monks and nuns began marching and chanting prayers to call for democracy. The protests spread and hundreds of thousands of Burmese people joined in -- they've been brutally attacked by the military regime, but still the protests are spreading.

I just signed a petition calling on Burma's powerful ally China and the UN security council to step in and pressure Burma's rulers to stop the killing. The petition has exploded to over 200,000 signatures in a few days and is being advertised in newspapers around the world, delivered to the UN secretary general, and broadcast to the Burmese people by radio. We're trying to get to 1 million signatures this week, please sign below and tell everyone!

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_burma/
        
Thank you for your help!
George Clarke


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Sep 07 - 08:23 PM

Peace, my emails don't return saying they are undeliverable. They claim that there is a 'syntax problem', even though I looked up the Myanmar website and your addresses are correct, as given there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: bobad
Date: 30 Sep 07 - 08:45 PM

10 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP THE PROTESTERS

1 - PROTEST- Look below in "Recent news" for details of worldwide protests.

2 - SPREAD THE WORD- Invite your friends to this group, email all your family and friends, write to local newspapers

3 - CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIAL- they will respond if enough people contact them.

4 - EMAIL COMPANIES STILL IN BURMA their email addresses are listed here http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=24957770200&topic=3071

5 - SIGN A PETITION there are lots listed here
http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=24957770200&topic=3175

6 - KEEP UP TO DATE -READ SOME BLOGS/WEBSITES We've compiled some great resources http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=24957770200&topic=3231

7. EMAIL YOUR NATION'S EMBASSY IN BURMA, asking them to open up their WiFi networks for our contacts to utilize. We've had reports that the internet is down to keep reports and pictures IN Burma, we need to do everything we can to make sure they get OUT. Your embassy's contact info will be on your country's ministry/department of foreign affairs webpage. http://www.alloexpat.com/myanmar_expat_forum/foreign-embassy-in-myanmar-directory-t5.html

8 - CONTACT EXTERNAL MEDIA. If you have any updates pass them to the press via details listed here http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=24957770200&topic=3232

9 - BOYCOTT CHINA - Think about boycotting Chinese goods. http://leedsac.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=24957770200&topic=3223

10 - BROWSE THIS SITE At the bottom of the page is the constantly updating wall with up to the minute news on protests and what is happening in Burma.
__________________________
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=24957770200


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Sep 07 - 09:02 PM

Intriguing thought about boycotting Chinese products. Gives me an idea.

A Walmart opened here in Juneau Alaska this month. I haven't shopped there but it would be an interesting endeavor to create a picketing sign exhorting a boycott of China-made items along with information about Burma, and parade around. Probably get arrested - but might be worth trying. I'll give it some thought.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: pdq
Date: 30 Sep 07 - 09:06 PM

Burma is an unusual case.The government is accused of favoritism toward the dominant group, a sect of Buddhism. Over 90% of the country is part of that majority religion, yet they are also the protesters.

In Viet Nam, trouble was caused by a Roman Cotholic named Diem who tried to force his religion on the Buddhist majority, but the result was the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 30 Sep 07 - 11:08 PM

"I am curious as to why you are making these remarks/questions."

            redsnapper - I guess I see religion as pretty much the root of all evil, and I'm suspicious when somebody says, "No, this religion is good, but I agree with you on all the others."


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Subject: RE: BS: stand with the Burmese people!
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 12:01 AM

I hope it helps. Thanks for the link.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: redsnapper
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 05:05 AM

Riginslinger,

I can understand that view... whether I agree with it or not is immaterial... but how does it apply to this particular situation in Burma? I cannot seem to follow that but perhaps I am missing something.

RS


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Stu
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 05:08 AM

"You'd have to wonder why they'd shave their heads and dress up in orange sheets to do this."

In many senses buddhism is not a religion in the same sense the other major religions are. They have no one 'god' as such - Buddha was an ordinary man who gained enlightenment and buddhism is about following this path through direct personal experience. It's more of a way of life than a religion in many cases - Zen buddhism is quite remarkable when delved into and is deep whist at the same time being, er, about nothing. Literally.

The monks wear their robes and shave their heads as part of the process of detachment from possessions, and the robes and their food bowl is all they own. This austerity is not seen as a problem, but is desirable as it releases them from worrying about how much stuff they've got and concentrate on developing compassion for all living beings, and a desire to see them released from their suffering.

There is no Western analogy for the place buddhist monks occupy in eastern societies - they are seen as the protectors of the poor and vulnerable and carry a moral authority that simply doesn't exist within our own societies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: redsnapper
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 05:16 AM

Being a Buddhist myself stigweard, I'd go even further. In Buddhism there is no God at all. Nor, strictly speaking, is it a religion although usually regarded as such (both in the East and West)... it is more a way of living and practicing one's life. Your description of the robes and shaved heads is spot on for the monks although, of course, most lay Buddhists do not adopt these practices. Also the esteem in which the monks are held in many Eastern societies.

This is why I was asking for clarification as I could not relate the questions being asked to the situation in Burma. To me, the monks actions are the passive resistance I would have expected.

RS


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 06:09 AM

UK Petition to boycott Beijing Olympics for thr benefit of Burma.
Please sign.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: The Villan
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 07:30 AM

Done it Giok
It said taht it closed on 27th Sept, but I went for it anyway and it seemed to work and my name is on the list.

Les


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 07:48 AM

"I can understand that view... whether I agree with it or not is immaterial... but how does it apply to this particular situation in Burma?"

                Maybe it doesn't apply to Burma. What I've seen in other parts of the world--Iran is a good example--when represive governments are overthrown by religious movements, they usually end up being more represive than the government they replaced.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: redsnapper
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 08:01 AM

In that example I can certainly agree with you Riginslinger. While the Shah's regime was pretty repressive the current one is far more so.

Best regards

RS


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Emma B
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 08:09 AM

Just as important take away the massive finance that is the lifeblood of the military rule by putting pressure on the large oil companies.

Downloadable protest letters and petitions to Unocal and Texaco here
Free Burma : No Petrodollars for SLORC


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Stu
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 08:35 AM

"What I've seen in other parts of the world--Iran is a good example--when represive governments are overthrown by religious movements, they usually end up being more represive than the government they replaced."

You're correct in one sense, but I think you misunderstand the motivation of the monks. Buddhist regimes are not oppressive as the very nature of buddhism is non-violent and compassionate. This is about the monks opening the way for democracy and the rule of law, not military rule and exploitation by it's near and even more oppressive neighbour.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Amos
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 10:23 AM

"Now comes an unconfirmed report in The Daily Mail in Britain with a staggering claim of mass slaughter. The paper quotes Hla Win, described as a Burmese general who has deserted his post in protest of the regime's harsh tactics.

"Many more people have been killed in recent days than you've heard about," Hla Win said. "The bodies can be counted in several thousand."

Here is some additional detail from General Win, referred to in this passage by his title:

The 42-year-old chief of military intelligence in Rangoon's northern region added: "I decided to desert when I was ordered to raid two monasteries and force several hundred monks onto trucks.
"They were to be killed and their bodies dumped deep inside the jungle. I refused to participate in this."

The general is seeking political asylum in Norway, according to The Norway Post. A Norwegian freelance journalist told The Post that he met with General Win in a jungle hideout near the border with Thailand.

Norway has deep ties to the opposition movement in Myanmar, formerly called Burma, through the Democratic Voice of Burma, which runs a robust news operation out of Oslo. So far, it has posted no English-language reports of Mr. Win's reported defection, but it referred to him in an earlier piece as a "local commander" in Yangon."



Mebbe we can spare some Americans from Iraq to shift to jungle mode and enforce a regime change in Burma? There's no end of fun, if you know how to play. (Sarcasm).


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 11:36 AM

What, and upset the fu#king Chinese and Russians?


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 01:56 PM

Washington Post:

What We Owe the Burmese

By Fred Hiatt
Monday, October 1, 2007; Page A19

An upheaval like the pro-democracy uprising taking place in Burma over the past month tends to shake up certainties that had seemed self-evident. Certainties such as the primacy of justice. Or the sanctity of the Olympic Games.

Despite an academic industry devoted to the subject, no one can predict when an oppressed people will find that precise combination of hopelessness and hope, impatience and solidarity, and recklessness and anger that leads it to rebel. Nor can anyone answer the most important question facing Burma now: When will the boys and men who prop up a corrupt regime with their guns and prison cells decide that they have had enough -- that they no longer want to shoot unarmed Buddhist monks or round up young girls for possession of cellphones with cameras?

But this much is sure: The first process is rare and precious enough, and the second so difficult to initiate, that those on the outside must do whatever they can to support and encourage both. We're a long way from having fulfilled that obligation.

Over the past decade, human rights advocates have united behind the notion of accountability for dictators and war criminals. They persuaded most of the world's nations to sign on to the International Criminal Court. The theory is no mercy, no compromise, no temporizing.

No one deserves trial more than Burma's Gen. Than Shwe and his cronies. They have looted their country's natural wealth and turned its army into a monster that rapes and press-gangs its compatriots. More than 1.5 million people have been routed from their villages, often with bayonets having been thrust through their rice pots to ensure that they go hungry. Now the regime is rounding up nonviolent protesters in the most violent way, and -- if past practice is any indicator -- torturing many of them in some of the world's bleakest prisons.

Yet if amnesty for these despicable men could buy release for their country -- if we could trade their safe passage to China and a guarantee of undisturbed retirement for a chance to free 2,000 or more political prisoners, unshackle democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and help Burma's 50 million people onto a path to self-governance, would we reject such a deal? If we could split the regime by promising leniency to the generals who refuse to take part in the crackdown, would we be too pure to do so?

I know the arguments against such compromises, and they are powerful: the difficulty of achieving national reconciliation without national justice; the value of warning future dictators that they will pay for future crimes; the gall of monsters going free. And still, given the unbearable alternative of watching a people be crushed for the second time in two decades, I would do anything to guide those monsters to pleasant seaside villas.


And here's something else I would do: Tell China that, as far as the United States is concerned, it can have its Olympic Games or it can have its regime in Burma. It can't have both.

Here, too, I understand the arguments against: China's rulers are gradually becoming more responsible in the world; to threaten their Games would only get their backs up. The Games themselves offer a chance to enhance international understanding; if we let world affairs interfere, there will always -- every two years -- be some cause. The athletes have trained for years; they deserve their chance.

And yet: Hundreds of thousands of Burmese have risked everything -- their homes, their families, their lives -- to be free. They have done so with nothing on their side but courage, faith and the hope that the world might stand with them. And they still have a chance to succeed.

Whether they do depends mostly on decisions made inside Burma. But people and countries outside can have some effect. Burma's neighbors in Southeast Asia could do more. The world's largest democracy, India, could do far more. China could do most of all.

China's Communist rulers have reasons not to help Burma's democrats. They enjoy privileged access to Burma's timber and other resources, for one. Even more fundamentally, dictators will shudder when they see another illegitimate regime threatened by people power.

What could push them the other way? Their desire to be seen as responsible players, maybe. Their desire to have their one-party rule recognized as more sophisticated and legitimate than the paranoid generals of Burma, maybe. And, maybe, their deep desire to host a successful Olympics next summer.

If a threat to those Games -- delivered privately, if that would be most effective, with no loss of face -- could help tip the balance, then let the Games not begin. Some things matter more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Emma B
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 02:13 PM

Extravagent weddings and forced labour - where the oil companies money goes


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 03:07 PM

U.N. talks with Myanmar's junta leader delayed

Story Highlights
Talks between U.N. envoy and Myanmar's junta leader are delayed

Envoy Ibrahim Gambari sees opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, U.N. says

Security forces using increasing force to crack down on pro-democracy groups

Japan, Myanmar's top aid donor, reportedly considering sanctions in protest
   
(CNN) -- Talks between U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari and Myanmar's secretive military leader were stalled for another day on Monday.

The Associated Press, citing diplomats, said Gambari was taken on a government-sponsored trip to attend a seminar in the far northern Shan state on EU relations with Southeast Asia, instead of meeting with junta leader Senior Gen. Than Shwe.

Gambari had planned to tell him, "about the international outrage over what has happened and will urge him to talk with various people and try to resolve the problems peacefully," Shari Villarosa, chargé d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Yangon, told CNN on Sunday.

Earlier, the United Nations said it was uncertain as to when any meeting with Shwe might take place.

Troops removed roadblocks on Monday and moved into less conspicuous posts, according to The Associated Press.

"It's outwardly quite normal at the moment. The traffic seems to be flowing; there's a lot of military tucked away in less visible locations," British Ambassador Mark Canning told the AP. "They've obviously for the moment squeezed things off the streets."

Myanmar's ruling military junta imposed heavy security restrictions in the former capital last week as pro-democracy demonstrations began to attract tens of thousands of protesters.

Acting to crush the demonstrations, security guards have used increasing force in recent days, resulting in the deaths of at least 10 people, according to media and opposition reports, which CNN cannot independently confirm.

On Monday, a man, who identified himself as Nick, said he saw about 15 bodies floating in a river in Yangon. He described them as both men and women, monks and civilians.

In other developments, Myanmar soldiers have surrounded the campus of a technology school in Yangon, detaining about 2,000 people, who were staging a hunger strike to protest the crackdown on demonstrators, a well-known source with the pro-democracy movement told CNN. Those involved in the strike, which started Friday, include students, nuns and monks, the source said.

Buddhist monks initiated the demonstrations that began in August to protest a rise in gasoline prices.

Security forces have restricted the movement of the monks and locked most of the monasteries, effectively barring the Buddhist clergy from marching, said the opposition Web site Mizzima News. CNN cannot independently confirm that report.

Gambari met with detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday in an effort to quell tensions between the military leaders and protesters, the United Nations said.

The meeting took place in Yangon for about an hour. No other details were released.

It was a rare visit as Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest, has been barred from meeting with foreigners in the past. She has been detained for various periods since 1989 after her National League for Democracy won the country's first free multiparty elections in 30 years but the military junta refused to hand over power.

She won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her work in restoring democracy in Myanmar, also known as Burma. See a timeline of events in Myanmar »

Gambari arrived Saturday in Myanmar following a week of protests by citizens and Buddhist monks that were met with increasing force at the hands of government security guards.

Once in Myanmar, Gambari was taken to the isolated bunkerlike capital, Naypyidaw, for talks with senior government officials in hopes of finding a peaceful resolution to the ongoing clashes. See more about the nation of Myanmar »

Japan, Myanmar's largest aid donor, is considering sanctions or other actions to protest the crackdown, chief Cabinet spokesman Nobutaka Machimura said Monday, according to the AP. A Japanese journalist died in the violence.

Pope Benedict XVI offered support to the citizens of Myanmar, the AP reported. About 1 percent of the population are Catholics, according to the AP.

"I want to express my spiritual closeness to the dear population in this moment of the very painful trial it is going through," the pontiff said, according to the AP.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 05:49 PM

Groups struggle to tally Myanmar's dead

By MICHAEL CASEY, Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 49 minutes ago



BANGKOK, Thailand - One hundred shot dead outside a Myanmar school. Activists burned alive at government crematoriums. A Buddhist monk floating face down in a river.

After last week's brutal crackdown by the military, horror stories are filling Myanmar blogs and dissident sites. But the tight security of the repressive regime makes it impossible to verify just how many people are dead, detained or missing.

"There are huge difficulties. It's a closed police state," said David Mathieson, a consultant with Human Rights Watch in Thailand. "Many of the witnesses have been arrested and are being held in areas we don't have access to. Other eyewitness are too afraid."

Authorities have acknowledged that government troops shot dead nine demonstrators and a Japanese cameraman in Yangon. But witness accounts range from several dozen deaths to as many as 200.

"We do believe the death toll is higher than acknowledged by the government," Shari Villarosa, the top U.S. diplomat in Myanmar, told The Associated Press Monday. "We are doing our best to get more precise, more detailed information, not only in terms of deaths but also arrests."

Villarosa said her staff had visited up to 15 monasteries around Yangon and every single one was empty. She put the number of arrested demonstrators — monks and civilians — in the thousands.

"I know the monks are not in their monasteries," she said. "Where are they? How many are dead? How many are arrested?"

She said the true death toll may never be known in a Buddhist country where bodies are cremated.

"We're not going to find graves like they did in Yugoslavia ... We have seen few dead bodies. The bodies are removed promptly. We don't know where they are being taken," Villarosa said.

Dissident groups have been collecting accounts from witnesses and the families of victims, and investigating reports of dead bodies turning up at hospitals and cemeteries in and around Yangon.

The U.S. Campaign For Burma, a Washington-based pro-democracy group, says more than 100 people were killed in downtown Yangon after truckloads of government troops fired automatic weapons last Thursday at thousands of demonstrators. It also claims that 100 students and parents were killed the same day at a high school in Tamwe, in northeastern Yangon, after troops shot at them as school let out.

The Democratic Voice of Burma, a Norway-based dissident news organization, has received reports of soldiers burning protesters alive at the Yae Way cemetery crematorium on the outskirts of Yangon. The group also shot video Sunday of a dead monk, badly beaten and floating face down in a Yangon river.

The Democratic Voice of Burma has put the death toll at 138, based on a list compiled by the 88 Student Generation, a pro-democracy group operating in Myanmar.

"This 138 figure is quite credible because it's based on names of victims," Aye Chan Naing, the chief editor, told the AP Monday. "I also think the figure is accurate because of the pictures coming from inside Burma. The way they were shooting into the crowds with machine guns means dozens of people could have died."

The Democratic Voice of Burma also estimates that about 6,000 demonstrators — including at least 1,400 monks from seven now-empty monasteries — are being held at makeshift detention centers set up at universities, old factories and a race track in Yangon. There are already an estimated 1,100 political prisoners languishing in Myanmar's jails.

The military junta did not respond to AP requests for comment Monday. It is impossible to independently verify the death toll because Myanmar is virtually off-limits to journalists.

Lars Bromley of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington said his agency has ordered up satellite images of four Myanmar cities, including Yangon, since the crackdown. He said satellite imagery — along with clear skies and exact locations from witnesses — could help locate massacre sites, and also give some sense of the military presence around cities and monasteries.

"If there are several suspected burial sites, we could help narrow it down or identify the site," said Bromley, who last week uncovered evidence that Myanmar's military destroyed border villages and forcibly relocated ethnic minorities in eastern Myanmar last year. "But we need a little information to go on."

Most analysts said the fallout from the protests was not surprising, given the regime's history of brutality. It may be impossible to ever verify how many people are dead or detained.

"We cannot say exactly and we are unlikely to know for sure," Win Hlaing of the dissident group National League for Democracy-Liberated Area said of the death toll. "(But) the junta never declares the real number of people killed."

Myanmar's military also opened fire on the country's 1988 democratic uprising. Human Rights Watch estimates that at least 3,000 protesters were killed, but other reports cite up to 10,000. The media, diplomats and activists have been denied access to documents that could shed light on the shootings.

And so, to this day, the exact death toll remains shrouded in secrecy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 06:28 PM

It's a start, anyway.

"Dear Mr. Murdoch:

On behalf of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, I would like to thank
you for your e-mail, in which you raised an issue which falls within
the portfolio of the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Foreign
Affairs. The Prime Minister always appreciates receiving mail on subjects
of importance to Canadians.

Please be assured that the statements you made have been carefully
reviewed. I have taken the liberty of forwarding your e-mail to Minister
Bernier so that he too may be made aware of your comments. I am certain
that the Minister will give your views every consideration. For more
information on the Government's initiatives, you may wish to visit the
Prime Minister's Web site, at www.pm.gc.ca.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 01 Oct 07 - 08:14 PM

I'd like to know more about the philosophy of the ruling junta.

This military group has ignored a landslide election in which the opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi - 'The Lady', as she's known - was handed power by the people.

I must assume that the military think they have better ideas for the country, but I haven't seen any reports anywhere of what these ideas are.

By the way, for those wishing to take some action, if you already know more than I (not hard!) about Burma and its rulers, may I suggest that you write gentle and courteous personal letters to those rulers quoting apposite Burmese literature that may be attractive to these specific people and making your point.

I remember meeting people on both sides of a big letter campaign. On one side, people said to me "We've got thousands of people to fill out this form letter and send it in to the government in protest." On the other, a civil servant showed me bundles of these letters and said "Oh, they're all identical, they're just a form; we just threw them all out."

While all the individuals had believed strongly in what was written in the letter, the fact that it was a formula meant the people it was addressed to paid no attention. If each of those people had written a polite, kind letter individually, they would have been listened to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 10:35 AM

Saying 'please' didn't help with Chile or Argentina. I don't think it would help with Burma, but it's lots like chicken soup: couldn't hurt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 10:58 AM

No, we filled our quote of people we can upset a while back.

Anyway what if we spend a fortune and get our young people killed and it turns out they never wanted democracy - they just want to piss about killing each other.

Different this time...?

It always is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 11:07 AM

No different than Cambodia, Darfur, Somalia--this could be a long list.

It is perhaps time to think about getting rid of the UN as it stands today. Worthless tw#ts for the most part, impotent when it matters and more concerned with how they 'look' than what they do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 11:15 AM

"Anyway what if we spend a fortune and get our young people killed and it turns out they never wanted democracy - they just want to piss about killing each other."

They have already had the vote on that. They want democracy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 11:38 AM

So you want Bush to drop bombs on them, Peace?


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 11:40 AM

Piost under your Mudcat name or fu#k off.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: DougR
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 01:03 PM

Guest Mark Alley: (Your original post) Right. Spoken like a true patriot circa 1939.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 07:52 PM

"Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: weelittledrummer - PM
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 10:58 AM

No, we filled our quote of people we can upset a while back.

Anyway what if we spend a fortune and get our young people killed and it turns out they never wanted democracy - they just want to piss about killing each other.

Different this time...?

It always is."

This one may be more unusual than you think WLD, as only one side of the argument is getting shot dead.

No Al Qaeda insurgents here, just a bunch of saffron coloured rifle targets, who are passively protesting that they didn't get the government they voted for, in spite of winning the elaction.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 02 Oct 07 - 11:33 PM

"in spite of winning the elaction."


             How do you win an elaction, anyway?


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 11:11 AM

If folks' spelling or typos become the subject of derision, we are going to be spending lotsa time off topic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: The Villan
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 11:14 AM

Agreed. Thats the one critiscm I have about Mudcat. The inability to edit your post afterwards.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 11:46 AM

Sorry! The devil would have made me do it, if there had been one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 11:55 AM

Well as with the late unlamented Saddam Hussein, and The Shah of Persia before him - perhaps the reason the guys act nasty is beacause they are sitting on a load of disparate elements whose presence isn't immediately obvious, because they are being successfully kept quiet.

It would be extremely dumb to pretend that wasn't a possibility - having experienced Iraq.


Anyway I feel a little more deliberation and fact finding wouldn't harm the situation - rather than going in there with guns blazing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 12:10 PM

wld - Yeah, I agree. Tito in Yugoslavia was the same way. Once he went away things came unglued pretty quickly. It's amazing that the US and the Brits didn't seem to consider this, at least in the public discussion.

                It wouldn't take much to blow the lid off of Burma as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 03:28 PM

Washington Post:

To: The World
From: Burma

By Hanna Ingber Win
Monday, October 1, 2007; 7:10 PM

They tried to erase Burma from the Internet last week. In an attempt to weaken the opposition and shield itself from international opprobrium, the military junta that runs the country tried to cut off access to the Web.

It did not succeed. Already, damning e-mail, photographs, video clips and instant messages had made their way around the world. And, although new reports and images slowed after the Internet crackdown Friday, they didn't stop. They continue to make their way onto news sites -- such as expat-run Irrawaddy magazine, Mizzima News and the Democratic Voice of Burma -- and blogs -- including Ko Htike's Prosaic Collection, Burmese Bloggers Without Borders and Burma-Myanmar Genocide 2007.

These photographs, depicting protests in downtown Rangoon, arrived in my inbox Thursday from an American living in Burma. In one, people are running from soldiers who have started shooting at the crowd. They are running along Sule Pagoda Road, the street where I lived in 2003 while working for the weekly Myanmar Times.

In a separate e-mail, a friend in Rangoon told me that she and many others have stored up staples like rice, onions and cooking oil. She said she stays at home all day, glued to the radio (which the junta hasn't blocked). And she worried that, if she left her apartment, she could get caught in the crossfire. She could also be jailed or executed if caught sharing information with outsiders. Still, the e-mails come.

When I lived in Burma, the junta controlled the news so completely that even weather reports were censored. A terrible storm struck western Burma when I was living in Rangoon, but I learned of it from my aunt in Westchester, New York. Apparently the generals who then ran the country, and still do, are superstitious. They believe natural disasters are omens of change. Perhaps they also want to maintain the idea that Burma is a peaceful place, with no disruptions.

That myth was shattered last week, and continues to erode with each new image and report that finds its way to the Web.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 04:23 PM

I'm no advocate of military intervention from outside WLD, but I think the situation here speaks for itself.

Nineteen years ago these bastards killed thousands of peaceful protesters, and the outside world knew little and did less about it.

This time comparatively few were killed, largely due to their actions being under scrutiny by the whole world.

It's my opinion that this lot are very lucky Burma is predominantly Buddhist, or there would long since have been a bloody revolution. As I said above, Saffron robed priests are simoly target practise for this government, and the rest of the world should apply every non military sanction at their disposal including a complete boycott of the Bijing Olympics if China makes no move to intercede.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 04:26 PM

Dammit, now some fool pedant will want to know what simoly means.

It means I hit the o instead of the bloody p,....O.K.?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 04:27 PM

Yeah, Beijing, I know. Think I might need a new keyboard.

DT


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 04:48 PM

You may be right. But if these generals are bastards - what makes you think the people that they rule are going to be any different?.

Its comparatively easy to lift the lid suppressing these situations. But I tend to think we should know a lot more about the people we are being asked to finance and put our young men's lives on the line for. Have they done so much as a learned TV interview.

Look at all the half assed regimes we have propped up from Madame Nhu to Robert Mugabe. The time to get it right is NOW, not down the road apiece.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 05:05 PM

By the way, I think a simoly is a kind of Italian dessert.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 05:37 PM

Simoly: The use of 'like' or 'as' in direct comparisons.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 06:40 PM

"Simoly: The use of 'like' or 'as' in direct comparisons."

And I always thought that was a smiley.

LOL
Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 07:38 PM

don't forget the c'noli

Clemenza in The Godfather....?


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 03 Oct 07 - 09:49 PM

Myanmar bodies 'were a warning'

Story Highlights
International aid worker describes the bloody crackdown in Myanmar

Woman saw bodies lying in the street in front of a pagoda dedicated to peace

Bodies may have been there as a warning, she said.

(CNN) -- An international aid worker who witnessed the bloody crackdown on weekend pro-democracy demonstrations in Myanmar told CNN she saw bodies lying in the street in front of a pagoda dedicated to world peace, possibly as a warning from the government's security forces.

"There was a body lying on the road, there was another body slumped over the back of the truck," said the woman, who did not want to be identified for security reasons.

"There were crowds gathered approximately 400 meters away but they were not coming closer to help out. And it just looked like (the bodies) had been left there for people to witness, for people to see what they were capable of."

She said the bodies were near Yangon's Kaba Aye pagoda, a gold-domed Buddhist shrine. Kaba Aye means world peace in Burmese.

Saturday's demonstration was a complete turnaround from demonstrations in previous days which were largely peaceful, she said.

She said "there were no military around" during protests she witnessed on Sept. 24.

Either way, the aid worker said the demonstrations are a cry for help by the Burmese, who she said "are not people who speak out."

"I think people need to appreciate the level of anger that the Burmese people would get to to even demonstrate," she said. "For a demonstration of the size of which went on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, it's quite remarkable.

"And then for the sort of cat-and-mouse skirmishes that went on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday -- these are people who just don't speak and they are speaking now."

She said the people she has spoken to are hoping the demonstrations spark international action, not just talk.

"They want to see force, they want to see people coming into their country to help them, peacekeepers," she said. "They're expecting the (United Nations), they're expecting action.

"They say this is their second time around and they need help this time," she said, referring to the bloody demonstrations in 1988 during which the army opened fire into masses of protesters, killing more than 3,000.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Oct 07 - 01:05 AM

Went to the beach last weekend. So I read a book about Burma--British colony to now (2002)--by a reporter who has done extensive travel in Burma--including a lot of aspects the current regime doesn't want publicized. (What else are you supposed to do at the beach?)

Fascinating. And the Chinese connection is truly amazing. According to this author (in 2002) Burma provides gems, teak and food--and now meth and heroin--to China. And China in return provides--almost everything.   If you think the West imports too many Chinese goods, it's nothing compared to the stranglehold China has on Burma.

And the Burmese regime is truly loathsome. Among other things, they have deep connections to illegal drugs. Lin Mingxian, former Burmese Communist (Chinese extraction) now (2002) has control of an opium-rich wilderness bordering China, Laos and Thailand. In return for keeping the peace and "contributions" to high Burmese officials, Lin has full autonomy in the Mongla region--including business concessions in gold, timber, gems-and tacit permission to trade in opium. Also transshipment of laborers from China through Thailand.

And he is one of many.

The warlords are also branching out into meth. In 1999 a pill cost less than 10 cents to make. At the Thai border, worth 70 cents. In Bangkok up to $3.00.

The author says narcotics is Burma's only growth industry.

One of the main problems is that there is a group which Aung San Sun Kyi has called the regime's Hitler Youth. Indeed, at a rally of a "nationalist organization" called the "Union Solidarity Development Association", a Burmese general urged the crowd to kill Aung. And soon after her car was stoned by a mob in a well-planned attack. Joining the USDA (not quite the same as in the US) is compulsory for government officials, and access to education, housing, health care is often dependent on membership. Aung's group is often denied medical care.

There's a LOT more, but it's late.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 07:05 AM

"One of the main problems is that there is a group which Aung San Sun Kyi has called the regime's Hitler Youth."

                      Maybe that's the root of the struggle, the adminstration competing with the Monks for the hearts and minds of the young people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 02:06 PM

Today's Washington Post:

Burma's Bloody Silence

While the regime crushes popular protests, the U.N. Security Council prepares to . . . listen to a report.
Friday, October 5, 2007; Page A20


THE SITUATION in Burma seems to be returning to normal. That is to say, the harsh repression that has prevailed since military rule began in 1962 has been restored, after a brief wave of protests that had offered the first hope for change since the crushing of a similar uprising in 1988 and the subsequent cancellation of a 1990 election won by the democratic opposition. Troops wielding guns, clubs and tear gas have cleared the streets of Rangoon and other cities of the courageous Buddhist monks and ordinary citizens who had taken them over for the past several weeks, chanting a simple, modest demand: "dialogue."

But Burma's generals do not talk with their people. They prefer to subdue them, or occasionally to shout threats, such as the chilling words blasted from sound trucks that circulated in Rangoon on Wednesday night: "We have photographs. We are going to make arrests." This Orwellian pronouncement was apparently aimed at people who had tried to block a military raid on a pagoda earlier in the week. At last count, media reports said 2,100 people had been arrested, two-thirds of whom were still in custody, and the government acknowledged 10 deaths -- though both figures are probably considerably understated.

Burma's strongman, Gen. Than Shwe, finished crushing the "Saffron Revolution" while a United Nations envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, was cooling his heels for three days, waiting for a dialogue of his own with the general. After he finally consented to listen to Mr. Gambari's expressions of deep concern, Gen. Shwe made an offer to speak with Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader, but only if she gives up her "confrontational" position first. Such are the fruits of the international community's engagement with the regime so far.

There will be more talk at the U.N. Security Council today as Mr. Gambari delivers his report, four unhurried days after leaving Rangoon. But it's unlikely that the council will agree on sanctions or even an unambiguous condemnation of the regime; for that, thank veto-wielding China, Burma's chief economic and political patron. The response of the Bush administration and European countries has been relatively tough: The U.S. Embassy has been authorized to provide honest reports on the crackdown to the outside world, and Europe is working on a tightening of its visa restrictions and other sanctions against the junta.

The United States and Europe say they want to engage China on the issue, but it remains to be seen whether the West is willing to provoke a serious fight with Beijing. China could be offered a choice between ending its defense of the regime on the Security Council and spoiling its own intended debut as an emerging superpower at the 2008 Olympics. That would be appropriate enough: After all, shouldn't the world reject a would-be superpower that insists on shielding the world's most criminal regimes from U.N. sanction? In the absence of such an initiative, the United States, Britain and other governments that claim to care deeply about Burma will be reduced to listening to reports from Mr. Gambari.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 02:12 PM

'General' Than Shwe: He needs an Excedrin headache . . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 02:27 PM

Myanmar hunts for 4 monk protest leaders

1 hour, 20 minutes ago


YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar said Friday it had detained hundreds of Buddhist monks during last week's bloody crackdown of pro-democracy protests, and that security forces were searching for four of the monks who led the demonstrations.

Of more than 500 monks who were detained, 109 are still being questioned, the government said on state-run television.

The junta on Sept. 26-27 crushed the demonstrations that began in mid-August, inspired largely by thousands of monks, who are revered in Myanmar, marching in the streets. The government says 10 people were killed in the crackdown but dissident groups put the death toll at more than 200.

A government official met senior monks in Yangon on Friday and asked them to "expose four monks who are at large, who took the leading role in the protest," the announcement said. The names of the four were given to senior clergy, it added.

The announcement, which emphasized the official's visit to senior monks, was apparently meant to show that the ruling generals still have high regard for the Buddhist clergy despite the crackdown that targeted the monks.

In a rare meeting, acting U.S. Ambassador Shari Villarosa, a vocal critic of the crackdown, told Deputy Foreign Minister Maung Myint that Myanmar must end its violent suppression of peaceful demonstrators.

"It was not a terribly edifying meeting," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in Washington. "What she heard in private was not very different than what we hear from the government in public."

Also Friday, a U.N. envoy who met with Myanmar's military ruler earlier this week said he was "cautiously encouraged" that Senior Gen. Than Shwe is prepared to hold talks with detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi under certain conditions.

State media said the government official told the senior monks that many junior monks and civilians took part in the protests at the instigation of "a political party, members of the 88 Generation Students and dissidents."

It did not name the political party, but it referred to Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy. The 88 Generation Students is a dissident group, which takes its name from the last pro-democracy movement in 1988 that was crushed by the ruling generals. At least 3,000 people are believed to have been killed in that crackdown.

The junta statement said security forces "systematically controlled" the latest protests, and searched 18 monasteries.

Authorities initially detained 513 monks, one novice, 167 men and 30 women lay disciples, but most were released, state media said. It said "109 monks and nine men are still being questioned."

On Thursday, state media has said nearly 2,100 people were detained in the crackdown, with almost 700 released. Dissident groups say about 6,000 people were detained, including thousands of monks.

The official also told the monks that nonreligious material was seized from the monastery, including pornographic videos, literature belonging to Suu Kyi's party, headbands printed with a Nazi swastika or a U.S. flag.

The official denied foreign media reports that monks were killed and injured in the crackdown, the statement said.

It said the body found floating in Pazundaung Creek in eastern Yangon last week was not that of a monk, as reported by a dissident group, but of a man "with a piece of saffron robe tied round the neck."

It blamed "internal and external destructive elements of inciting the monks who could tarnish the honor of the religion."

State media reported that Than Shwe was willing to talk with Suu Kyi if she stops calling for international sanctions. He also insisted that Suu Kyi stop urging her countrymen to confront the military regime.

Suu Kyi "does not have confrontational attitude, nor does she encourage sanctions," said Thein Lwin, a spokesman for her National League for Democracy party. Suu Kyi, however, has in various statements to the media supported economic sanctions, saying they are effective politically.

Addressing the U.N. Security Council on his four-day trip to Myanmar following the crackdown, U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari said Than Shwe's meeting with the Nobel laureate should occur as soon as possible. "This is an hour of historic opportunity for Myanmar," he said.

"This is a potentially welcome development which calls for maximum flexibility on all sides," Gambari said in New York.

Myanmar has been ruled by the military since 1962. The current junta came to power after routing the 1988 pro-democracy uprising. Suu Kyi's party won elections in 1990 but the junta refused to accept the results.

Suu Kyi has spent nearly 12 of the last 18 years under house arrest and was awarded the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her democracy campaign.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a Thailand-based dissident group, said more than 250 protests have been taken place in Myanmar since Aug. 19.

The diplomatic moves by the military leaders appeared aimed at staving off economic sanctions while also pleasing giant neighbor China, which worries the unrest could cause problems for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Many governments have urged stern U.N. Security Council action against Myanmar, but China and Russia have ruled out any council action, saying the crisis does not threaten international peace and security.

"No international imposed solution can help the situation," China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Gunagya said Thursday.

Hamadoun Toure, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union — the U.N. telecoms agency — said the government's decision to block Internet access violated its citizens' right to communicate.

Secure access to the Internet is a basic human freedom that "needs to be preserved, no matter what," Toure said.

Life in Yangon was slowly returning to normal but security remained tight in downtown areas where protests were crushed last week. A half-dozen military trucks were stationed near the Sule Pagoda, a flash point of the unrest.

The typically busy area around the city's famed Shwedagon Pagoda was eerily quiet, with residents avoiding the area outside the temple where monks were beaten by troops.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 05 Oct 07 - 02:31 PM

UN Envoy Optimistic After Myanmar Talks
Friday, October 05, 2007 1:17:43 PM
By EDITH M. LEDERER

The U.N. envoy to Myanmar said Friday the government's willingness to talk with the detained pro-democracy leader marked a "historic opportunity" but called for the release of all political prisoners after a deadly crackdown on protesters.

Ibrahim Gambari, who returned earlier this week from the Southeast Asian nation and addressed the U.N. Security Council, said he was encouraged that Myanmar's military ruler, Senior Gen. Than Shwe, is prepared to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi under certain conditions -- including giving up calls for international sanctions against the country.

Suu Kyi has been detained for nearly 12 of the last 18 years and is currently under house arrest, although the government allowed her two brief meetings with Gambari during his four-day visit.

"The sooner such a meeting can take place, the better, as it is a first and necessary step to overcome the high level of mistrust between them," he said.

A dozen red-robed monks sat in the front row of the visitors gallery listening intently.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent Gambari to the Southeast Asian nation after troops quelled mass pro-democracy protests with gunfire last week. The government said 10 people were killed, but dissident groups put the death toll at up to 200 and say 6,000 people were detained, including thousands of monks. The government is continuing to round up suspected activists.

"I must reiterate that the use of force against peaceful demonstrators is abhorrent and unacceptable," Ban said.

The United States threatened to introduce a resolution seeking sanctions, including an arms embargo, if Myanmar fails to move quickly toward reconciliation and release thousands of detainees. But China and Russia remain opposed to council action, saying the situation in Myanmar is an internal affair that doesn't threaten international peace and security.

"Pressure would not serve any purpose and would only lead to confrontation," said China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya. "If the situation in Myanmar takes a worse turn because of external intervention it will be the people of the country who will bear the brunt."

Myanmar's U.N. ambassador, Kyaw Tint Swe, also urged against Security Council action, saying his country was committed to forging ahead with national reconciliation. "Patience, time and space is needed," he said.

"Despite the recent tragic events, the situation in Myanmar is not, and I repeat not, a threat to either regional or international peace and security," the ambassador said. "No Security Council action is warranted."

Gambari told the council that "another necessary step for genuine national dialogue to take place is the release of all political detainees, particularly the sick and the elderly."

Gambari's comments came shortly after Ban spoke before the council, urging Myanmar's military rulers to "take bold actions towards democratization and respect for human rights."

While Gambari thanked the Myanmar government for its cooperation during his visit, he said that despite repeated requests he was not able to meet with members of Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy, and representatives of the monks and students who led the last major anti-government protests in 1988.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 09:34 PM

Washington Post...

More Than Talk for Burma
Where's the 'intensification' to aid a courageous people?
Friday, October 12, 2007; Page A16


ONE WEEK AGO the U.N. Security Council met to consider a bloody crackdown by Burma's dictatorship against Buddhist monks and others who had been peacefully protesting in favor of democracy. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the use of force "abhorrent and unacceptable" and urged Burma's rulers to "take bold actions towards democratization and respect for human rights." Mr. Ban's special envoy to the country, having returned from a visit to the Southeast Asian nation, relayed "continuing and disturbing reports of abuses . . . including raids on private homes, beatings, arbitrary arrests and disappearances." He said he had found "accelerating impoverishment" in Burma (also known as Myanmar) and "deep and widespread discontent." He promised an "intensification" of diplomatic efforts.

Since then, we haven't seen much in the way of intensification. The Security Council did issue a unanimous statement yesterday that "strongly deplores" the regime's violence. But it's still not known how many monks and others have been killed and how many arrested; the regime claimed to have released more than 2,000, without disclosing how many had been swept up in the first place. There's been talk of sanctions, of an arms embargo, of the need for united action, of sending the special envoy back -- but so far talk is all it's been. First lady Laura Bush has spoken out, but we haven't heard much from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Burma's dictator, Than Shwe, named an underling to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi, who -- by virtue of a landslide victory in a 1990 election that the regime refused to honor -- is Burma's rightful leader. But no meeting has taken place.

The strangest statement at that U.N. meeting a week ago came from China's ambassador, who noted with satisfaction that the situation in Burma was "calming down thanks to the joint efforts of all parties." If by "joint efforts" he meant the decision by one side to shoot and bludgeon, and by the other to submit to shooting and bludgeoning, that was true. But even stranger, perhaps, has been the silence emanating from India, the world's largest democracy and the birthplace of Buddhism. As long as India and Southeast Asian democracies put commercial interests ahead of principle, progress will be slow.

The Nobel Peace Prize is due to be announced today, 16 years after Aung San Suu Kyi herself was the recipient. In all those years, spent mostly under house arrest, she has remained true to the ideals of democracy, reconciliation and nonviolence. Perhaps, in the midst of celebrating this year's winner, global leaders will pause to think about whether they could do a bit more to support her and her unspeakably courageous comrades.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 09:36 PM

I have heard nothing back from my government. Bastards.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: goatfell
Date: 13 Oct 07 - 08:50 AM

yes we should


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 31 Oct 07 - 10:48 AM

Report: Myanmar recruiting child soldiers

Story Highlights

Report: Recruiters target children because of 'continued high desertion rates'

Child soldiers get 18 weeks of training and some are sent to combat zones

Report says some child soldiers are forced to participate in rights abuses
   
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- Myanmar's military government, already under criticism for abuses, is recruiting children as young as 10 into its armed forces, a U.S. rights group charged in a report released Wednesday.

The ethnic Karen's guerrilla army was cited in the report for improving its record on child recruits.

Government recruiters target children because of "continued army expansion, high desertion rates and a lack of willing volunteers," the 135-page report by New York-based Human Rights Watch said.

"Military recruiters and civilian brokers receive cash payments and other incentives for each new recruit, even if the recruit clearly violates minimum age or health standards," it said.

Ye Htut, deputy director general of Myanmar's Information Ministry, said the charges were "another example of biased reporting by this organization, which based its report on the baseless accusations and exaggerated lies of insurgent groups on the border."

Allegations against both the government and the ethnic groups for using child soldiers are long-standing, and have been acknowledged by both sides in recent years as the United Nations has highlighted the issue.

The newest accusations come as at least 70 Buddhist monks marched in northern Myanmar for nearly an hour Wednesday, chanting prayers for the first time since a crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations, two monks confirmed.

They marched without incident, two monks said in telephone interviews, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Myanmar's ruling junta faces international criticism for its violent crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations last month. Thousands were arrested, and the government acknowledges 10 deaths among the protesters, though critics say the real number might be closer to 200.

The junta has long been accused of other abuses, including brutal treatment of ethnic minority villagers caught up in counterinsurgency campaigns, and the use of forced labor in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

The report "Sold to Be Soldiers: The Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers in Burma" also charged that ethnic guerrilla groups in Myanmar use child soldiers, though on a much smaller scale than the government. Ethnic minorities along the country's borders have been fighting for autonomy for decades.

Human Rights Watch said recruiters routinely falsify enlistment records to list children as 18, the minimum legal age for service. It cited the case of a boy who said he was forcibly recruited at age 11, though he was only 4 feet, 3 inches tall and weighed less than 70 pounds.

According to the report, child soldiers are typically given 18 weeks of military training and some are then sent to combat zones.

"Child soldiers are sometimes forced to participate in human rights abuses, such as burning villages and using civilians for forced labor," said Human Rights Watch. "Those who attempt to escape or desert are beaten, forcibly re-recruited, or imprisoned."

Myanmar's armed forces have had regulations in place since 1973 forbidding the recruitment of minors as well as others forced to enlist against their will, said the Information Ministry's Ye Htut, responding to a summary of the new report.

Enforcement of the regulations was strengthened in 2004 with the establishment of a Committee for the Prevention of Recruiting Underaged Children from Military Recruitment, he wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

"If the authorities find out that a recruit was recruited against his will or he is under 18 years, the responsible personnel will be tried according to the military law," he said.

Between 2004 and August 2007, some 141 minors were dismissed from the military and returned to their parents, and disciplinary action was taken against nearly 30 military personnel for violating recruitment rules, Ye Htut added.

Human Rights Watch said the government committee has failed to effectively address the problem, and devoted most of its efforts to denouncing outside reports of child recruitment.

The report agreed with U.N. assessments that ethnic guerrilla armies, both allied with and against the government, also use child soldiers, though several have taken measures to curb the practice.

The Karen National Union, whose military arm, the Karen National Liberation Army, was cited by Human Rights Watch for improving its record, said it punishes officers who use child soldiers


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: saulgoldie
Date: 31 Oct 07 - 11:24 AM

Well, if we weren't so embroiled in that silly war in Iraq and we hadn't squandered the good will of the world that we had after September 11, we might be able to actually DO something. Sanctions are certainly something. More may be needed (and I don't mean militarily).

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Kweku
Date: 31 Oct 07 - 01:42 PM

Life is a puzzle. And it is almost impossible to decipher what goes through the mind of world leaders. I have seen some pictures of the protests but a typical ostrich world like this planet Earth is blind to all this and hey! people like me just don't have the appetite to bother about it because my opinion is just an opinion, it doesn't even get beyond the city in which I live.

What the rest of us can do especially those of us who believe in the power of prayer is to pray and definitely just as the iron curtain came down one day so will the military junta in Burma.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Teribus
Date: 31 Oct 07 - 03:50 PM

Absolutely amazing saulgoldie, absolutely amazing.

As with Iran, as with Darfur, as most of all with Burma - the country that could actually do something about it and bring a great deal of influence to bear is China. China act on human rights?? China act in support of the democratic will of the people suffering under a military dictatorship?? Pigs might fly but neither of those things will happen not as long as my arse points downwards. Hell the population of Burma have got it good compared to the Tibetans living under Chinese rule.

Please note saulgoldie seemed to by-pass that most useless of all international organisations the United Nations in his bemoaning of the fact the US can do nothing


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 31 Oct 07 - 03:53 PM

I have once again written to my government. This time it was to my Member of Parliament (because the Prime Minister's office forwarded the last message to LordKnowsWhere and they ain't answerin'). I will post the response if/when.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: Peace
Date: 06 Jun 08 - 11:52 AM

No response as yet.

My tax dollars at work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Should we care about Burmese?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 03:37 PM

UN: 10,000 pregnant women need care in Myanmar 36 minutes ago



YANGON, Myanmar - Ten thousand pregnant cyclone survivors are in urgent need of proper care in Myanmar, a U.N. expert said Wednesday, as relief agencies again raised concerns about the junta's willingness to accept foreign aid.

Pregnancy and childbirth were already relatively risky before Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar, one of Asia's poorest countries, said William A. Ryan, a spokesman for the U.N. Population Fund.

More than 100 women give birth every day in the area affected by the cyclone, he told reporters in Bangkok, Thailand.

"The destruction of health centers and loss of midwives have greatly increased the risks," he said. "It is clear that many pregnant women do not have anywhere to go to deliver with skilled assistance."

Ryan said that wrecked health facilities should be rebuilt and there is also a need for trained midwives.

The maternal mortality rate in Myanmar before the May 2-3 storm was 380 per 100,000 births — almost four times the rate in Thailand and 60 times the rate in Japan, Ryan said.

He said the U.N. Population Fund has provided supplies to Myanmar's Health Ministry for distribution to health clinics in 10 affected townships, including hospital equipment and rubber gloves.

Meanwhile, international aid agencies said the government's new guidelines for delivering relief to cyclone survivors could slow their response.

The rules, distributed Tuesday by the government at a meeting with U.N. agencies and private humanitarian organizations, would require a large amount of paperwork and repeated contacts with government agencies.

"Additional steps for seeking approval may unnecessarily delay the relief response," the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in a report.

U.N. agencies were assessing the new guidelines, said Amanda Pitt of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The guidelines require most activities by the foreign agencies to be cleared by a government ministry and local authorities. It also requires approval from the so-called Tripartite Core Group, comprising representatives of the government, U.N. agencies and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nation, of which Myanmar is a member.

The U.N. estimates that Nargis affected 2.4 million people and that more than 1 million of them, mostly in the Irrawaddy delta, still need help. The cyclone killed at least 78,000 people, according to the government.

Foreign aid organizations have faced a series of hurdles in trying to provide help for victims of the storm, starting with the government's reluctance to grant anything but a handful of visas to foreigners.

Although helicopters have been allowed — with some delay — to fly supplies to the delta, aid agencies say the government has continued to stall visa applications and delayed allowing foreigners access to the most devastated areas.

Also Wednesday, a state-controlled newspaper, the New Light of Myanmar, said the military rulers were breaking no laws by holding democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for a sixth straight year.

The junta's recent decision to extend her detention by one year sparked international outrage, with the Nobel Peace laureate's party and foreign defense lawyers arguing she could legally be held for only five years.

A commentary in the newspaper said detentions are permissible for as long as six years under a 1975 law.

Suu Kyi has been detained for more than 12 of the last 18 years at her home in Myanmar


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Mudcat time: 15 April 9:43 AM EDT

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