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Archive for October, 2011

24-30 October: Political Prisoners Continue to Suffer Despite the Claim that Change has Come to Burma

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa recently undertook a mission to Burma in which he sought to determine whether the country has made sufficient changes to be granted the chair of ASEAN. Sadly, it appears that Mr. Natalegawa did not visit […]

October 31, 2011 | Read more >>

Political Prisoners Continue to Suffer Despite the Claim that Change has Come to Burma

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa recently undertook a mission to Burma in which he sought to determine whether the country has made sufficient changes to be granted the chair of ASEAN. Sadly, it appears that Mr. Natalegawa did not visit any of the ethnic states where conflict is ongoing and heinous human rights abuses are rampant. He also failed to meet with activists from the 88 generation who requested the opportunity speak with him. This may help to explain why Mr. Natalegawa’s comments at the conclusion of his visit focused on recent initiatives by the regime and declared that political reforms appear “irreversible.”

While change may be coming to Nyapyidaw and Rangoon, there is little evidence of change for those civilians living in conflict areas of Karen, Shan or Kachin State. Similarly, the 1700 political prisoners still behind bars have not experienced any positive change at all. Fifteen of these political prisoners being held in Burma’s notorious Insein prison, have attempted to bring some change to their situation, beginning a hunger strike to protest a ruling barring the majority of prisoners from the right to have their sentences reduced […]

October 31, 2011 | By Burma Partnership | Tags: , , , | Read more >>

Local Authorities in Kachin State Issue New Order Regulating Bible Study, Sunday School, Fasting and Prayer

Burmese authorities are imposing new restrictions on religious activities in Kachin State, according to information received by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). On 14 October, 2011 the Chairman of Maw Wan Ward in Phakant Township, Kachin State sent a letter to local churches, titled “Concerning Christians conducting cultural training”. The letter refers to […]

October 31, 2011 | By Christian Solidarity Worldwide | Tags: , , | Read more >>

Discrimination, Conflict and Corruption: The Ethnic States of Burma

Since achieving independence in January 1948, successive Burmese governments, elected and military dictatorships, have sought to address the complex issues involving the country’s many ethnic groups. They have sought to do this primarily through confronting […]

October 30, 2011 | By Ethnic Nationalities Council | Tags: , , , , , , | Read more >>

Statement Calling for the Release of U Gambira

President U Thein Sein and his government have declared that they are leading Burma towards a democratic country but there are still many monks and others who are political prisoners and who are tortured in various ways.

Ashin Gambira, a leader of ABMA, was tortured in different ways. As a result, his health is now in a grave condition […]

October 29, 2011 | By All Burma Monks Alliance | Tags: , , | Read more >>

In Brief: Activists call for delay in Myanmar’s ASEAN chairmanship

Activists are calling on the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to postpone Myanmar’s chairmanship until all political prisoners are released.

“We should not rush in and give the carrot away too soon,” Khin Omar, coordinator for the Burma Partnership […]

October 26, 2011 | Read more >>

Exiles Want More Change Before Burma Given Asean Chair

Recent reforms by the Burmese government are not enough to warrant the country’s taking the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in 2014, say long-time opposition exiles.

The Burmese government is pressing to head the ten-state regional bloc, after being refused its turn to hold the rotating Asean chair in 2006. Incumbent Indonesia is sending Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa to Burma to discuss the matter, prior to an upcoming Asean summit in Bali scheduled for Nov 17 […]

October 26, 2011 | Read more >>

Lawmakers and Civil Society Call on ASEAN to Delay Burma Chairmanship Decision

Representatives from Burma’s civil society based in the Thai-Burma border areas held a press conference today calling on ASEAN to delay their decision about Burma’s bid for the 2014 chairmanship until the country takes substantial key steps […]

October 26, 2011 | By Burma Partnership | Tags: , , , , | Read more >>

Opium Cultivation Surging in Constituency of Burma’s New Ruling Party

A new briefing paper by the Palaung Women’s Organization (PWO) exposes a dramatic increase in opium cultivation in Burma’s northern Shan State in the constituency of a drug lord elected into the new military-backed parliament […]

October 25, 2011 | By Palaung Women's Organization | Tags: , , , , , | Read more >>

Still Imprisoned: Opium Cultivation Soars in Palaung Areas Under Burma’s New Regime

Almost one year after Burma’s long-awaited elections were held in November 2010, Palaung communities in northern Shan State are suffering from the effects of an even greater upsurge in opium cultivation than in previous years. Local paramilitary leaders, some now elected into Burma’s new parliament […]

October 25, 2011 | By Palaung Women's Organization | Tags: , , , , , | Read more >>