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Defections Show Deep Dissatisfaction Within Burma’s Military Regime

On 4 July, the second highest-ranking diplomat at Burma’s Embassy in Washington, DC defected, claiming frustration at a lack of tangible change in the political system in his country.

Kyaw Win, a career diplomat, sent a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton upon defecting that outlined his reasons for leaving the embassy and seeking asylum. He asserts that his suggestions of “actions to improve bilateral relations between Burma and the US,” have resulted in him being “deemed dangerous” by the regime. In his letter, Kyaw Win continued, “Because of this, I am also convinced and live in fear that I will be prosecuted for my actions, efforts and beliefs when I return to Naypyidaw after completing my tour of duty here” […]

July 11, 2011  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Travels Outside Rangoon Despite Regime’s Threats

Today, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi flew to the ancient city of Bagan in Mandalay Division for a personal trip with her son Kim Aris, marking her first time outside of Rangoon since her release from house arrest in November last year. The first of the leader’s planned trips, it came less than a week after the regime issued threats against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy (NLD).

On 28 June, Daw Suu and NLD Chairman U Aung Shwe received a letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs pressuring the party to cease their “unlawful” activities. State-run New Light of Myanmar followed up the letter with a commentary quoting the threatening letter: “If they really want to accept and practice democracy effectively, they are to stop such acts that can harm peace and stability and the rule of law as well as the unity among the people including monks and service personnel.” […]

July 4, 2011  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Calls for a Commission of Inquiry as Conflict Continues in Eastern Burma

Earlier this week, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi vocalized her strong support for a UN-led Commission of Inquiry in a video message recorded for a hearing of the US House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. The hearing was held to highlight the fraudulent November 2010 elections, as well as the ongoing conflict in Kachin State.

The Congressional Committee hearing was entitled “Piercing Burma’s Veil of Secrecy: The Truth Behind the Sham Election and the Difficult Road Ahead.” Representative Don Manzullo, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on East Asia, criticized last year’s elections and drew on the ongoing fighting in Kachin State to highlight the lack of change in Burma: “The recent news of clashes in Burma’s Kachin province between government troops and ethnic minorities, which has been the heaviest fighting in 17 years, adds further evidence to the argument that the situation in Burma has not changed,” wrote Manzullo in his statement […]

June 27, 2011  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Kachin Conflict Highlights Deep-seated Ethnic Concerns and Dire Need for a Commission of Inquiry

Yesterday, democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi celebrated her birthday in freedom for the first time in 7 years. However, her 66th birthday was marked by ongoing conflict between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Burma Army that broke a 17-year ceasefire between the two sides.

During an address at the National League for Democracy (NLD) headquarters, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi stated that there are “sparks of war flying” in Burma. With as many as 10,000 civilians displaced by the ongoing conflict in Kachin State, and documented conflict-related human rights violations, the past week’s conflict has only served to further highlight the failure of the regime to address the needs and concerns of ethnic communities in Burma […]

June 20, 2011  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Upliftment of the Burmese Refugee community by students from IIT Delhi

On World Refugee Day, a student group from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi has written about their efforts to help the development and economic stability of refugees from Burma living in their city. Please read on for more information about their project.

June 20, 2011  •  By SIFE IIT Delhi  •  Tags: , , ,  •  Read more ➤

လူထုေခါင္းေဆာင္ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ ေနအိမ္အက်ယ္ခ်ဳပ္ လြတ္ေျမာက္စဥ္မွစ၍ လႈပ္ရွားမႈမ်ား

“လိုခ်င္တာကို လိုခ်င္ေနရံုနဲ႕ေတာ့ ရမွာမဟုတ္ဘူး။ လိုခ်င္ရင္ ရေအာင္ယူတတ္ရမယ္။” ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္

လူထုေခါင္းေဆာင္ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ကို နအဖစစ္အစိုးရမွ ႏိုဝင္ဘာလ ၁၃ရက္ ၂၀၁၀ ခုႏွစ္မွာ ေနအိမ္အက်ယ္ခ်ဳပ္မွ ခၽြင္းခ်က္မရွိ လႊတ္ေပးခဲ့သည္။

ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္သည္ ဤေနအိမ္အက်ယ္ခ်ဳပ္မွ လြတ္ေျမာက္လာခ်ိန္မွစ၍ ဒီမိုကေရစီ အေရးအတြက္ ျမန္မာျပည္သူလူထုႏွင့္ ႏိုင္ငံတကာ အသိုင္းအဝန္းမွ သူမႏွင့္အတူ ပူးေပါင္းပါဝင္ ၾကိဳးစားၾကရန္ ႏႈိးေဆာ္ျပီး အဓိက ဦးစားေပး လုပ္ငန္းအျဖစ္ လုပ္ေဆာင္လ်က္ရွိသည္။ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္သည္ အေမရိကန္ကိုယ္စားလွယ္ ဂၽြန္မက္ကိန္း၊ ဂ်ဳိးဇက္ယြန္၊  ကုလသမဂၢ အေထြေထြအတြင္းေရးမွဴး ကိုယ္စားလွယ္ ဗီေဂ်နမ္ဘီယာ  အစရွိသည့္ အေရးပါေသာ ပုဂၢိဳလ္မ်ားႏွင့္ လူကိုယ္တိုင္ ေတြ႕ဆံုေဆြးေႏြးမႈမ်ား ျပဳလုပ္ခဲ့သည့္အျပင္ ကမာၻတဝန္းရွိ ႏိုင္ငံေခါင္းေဆာင္ မ်ားႏွင့္လည္း အျခားေသာနည္းလမ္းမ်ားျဖင့္ ဆက္သြယ္ေဆြးေႏြးမႈမ်ား ျပဳလုပ္ခဲ့သည္။ ထို႕အျပင္ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္သည္ လူငယ္မ်ားႏွင့္ ဆက္သြယ္ေရး နည္းပညာတိုးတက္လာေရး တို႕အေပၚလည္း အားေပးတိုက္တြန္းခဲ့သည္။ လူငယ္မ်ားႏွင့္ ကိုယ္တိုင္ေတြ႕ဆံုကာ အမ်ဳိးသားလူငယ္ကြန္ယက္ ကဲ့သို႕ေသာ လူငယ္ကြန္ယက္မ်ား ျဖစ္ေပၚလာေစရန္ တိုက္တြန္း ၾကိဳးပမ္းခဲ့သည္။ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္၏ လႈပ္ရွားမႈမ်ားထဲတြင္ လူမႈေရး လုပ္ငန္းသည္လည္း တစ္ခုအပါအဝင္ျဖစ္သည္။ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ႏွင့္ အမ်ဳိးသားဒီမိုကေရစီ အဖြဲ႕ခ်ဳပ္သည္ သဘာဝေဘးအႏၱရာယ္ က်ေရာက္ေနသူမ်ားအေရး၊ လယ္သမားမ်ားအေရး အမ်ဳိးသမီးမ်ားအေရးႏွင့္ ပညာေရး လုပ္ငန္းမ်ားကို ကိုယ္တိုင္လုပ္ေဆာင္ရံုမွ်သာမက တျခားလုပ္ေဆာင္ေနသူမ်ား၊ အဖြဲ႕အစည္းမ်ားကိုလည္း လႈိက္လိႈက္လွဲလွဲ ၾကိဳဆိုခဲ့သည္။ ထို႕အျပင္ ျပည္သူလူထုမ်ားႏွင့္ ပိုမိုရင္းႏွီးေႏြးေထြးစြာ ဆက္သြယ္ေဆြးေႏြးႏိုင္ရန္လည္း မၾကာမီကာလအတြင္းတြင္ ျမန္မာျပည္တဝန္း ခရီးထြက္ရန္ စီစဥ္မႈမ်ား စတင္လုပ္ေဆာင္ေနျပီျဖစ္သည္ […]

June 18, 2011  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , ,  •  Read more ➤

Regime Denies Violations in Review at UN Human Rights Council Amid Increased Violence on the Ground

On 8 June 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council reviewed and adopted the outcomes of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Burma, which took place earlier this year in January. International human rights groups and Burma groups such as the Burma Forum on the Universal Periodic Review (BF-UPR) expressed serious concern regarding the lack of concrete responses to vital recommendations, including those “calling for the protection of civilians in conflict areas and the rights of internally displaced persons,” and the “end [of] the practice of torture by security forces,” amongst many others. As the Asian Legal Resource Centre stated in their statement, “the Council need only look at the recommendations that [Burma] has not accepted to understand the challenges that the UPR faces in attempting to be relevant and effective concerning extreme human rights situations.” […]

June 13, 2011  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , ,  •  Read more ➤

President Aquino Should Lead Move to Probe Burma

By Patrick Pierce

President Benigno Aquino III, whose father fought and died at the hands of Ferdinand Marcos’ military dictatorship and whose late mother was the leader and inspiration of the People Power uprising that re-established civilian rule and political freedom for Filipinos, should know what the people of neighboring Burma are going through. Despite recent elections and the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, Burma’s military still controls political life.

Former military officers have formed the post-election government. Parliament is dominated by the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party. A quarter of legislators consist of active military officers. The military and those who led the dictatorship remain unaccountable to any independent civilian authority and continue to commit massive violations of civil and political as well as economic and social human rights with impunity […]

June 9, 2011  •  Tags: , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

US Senator McCain’s Calls for “Concrete Action” Distorted by Regime

Last week, US Senator John McCain embarked on a three-day trip to Burma to assess potential progress towards democratic reform since the November 2010 elections. At the conclusion of the trip, Senator McCain said at a press briefing that US sanctions on the country would remain in place until “concrete actions” are taken to improve the human rights and political situation, and warned the regime that it could face an Arab-style revolution if no progress is made. McCain went on to call for the release of all political prisoners, the guarantee of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s safety during her upcoming tour through Burma, a democratic process of national reconciliation and fulfilling non-proliferation obligations under international law.

During his visit, Senator McCain met with senior leaders in the regime, political opposition leaders, ethnic leaders and former political prisoners. He also met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, to listen to her views on the US’ Burma policy […]

June 6, 2011  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

‘It has been too long for us already—way too long’

Khin Ohmar has pledged over 23 years of her life to the fight for democracy in Burma. As a leading student figure in the 1988 anti-military uprising, she was forced to flee Burma to seek refuge in Thailand. Since completing university in the U.S., she has gained considerable experience in international and regional advocacy, working with the Women’s League of Burma, the Burmese Women’s Union, and now Burma Partnership.

Her profound experiences have not changed her warm demeanor. She remains humble and open, and generously devotes her time to Burma’s cause in any way she can – whether at prominent ASEAN summits or in spontaneous intimate gatherings at The Best Friend Library in Chiang Mai […]

June 5, 2011  •  By The Best Friend  •  Tags: , ,  •  Read more ➤