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Weekly Highlights (237 found)

20–26 June: 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 […]

June 27, 2011  •  Read more ➤

13-19 June: 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  •  Read more ➤

6-12 June: 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 […]

June 13, 2011  •  Read more ➤

30 May-5 June: 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 […]

June 6, 2011  •  Read more ➤

23-29 May: Depayin Massacre Remembered Amid UN Special Rapporteur’s Call for Commission of Inquiry

During a press conference held in Bangkok on 23 May 2011, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma, Tomás Ojea Quintana, said that the continued treatment and conditions of ethnic groups in the country’s border areas were seriously restricting the government’s intended transition to democracy. He called, once again, for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry […]

May 30, 2011  •  Read more ➤

16-22 May: False Amnesty for Political Prisoners in Burma

On 16 May 2011, the military regime under order number 28/2011 provided ‘amnesty’ to prisoners in Burma, by either converting death sentences to life imprisonment or reducing prison terms by one year. Under this order, only 47 political prisoners have been released, as there remained less than one year on their sentences […]

May 23, 2011  •  Read more ➤

9-15 May: 100 Days of Parliament: Many promises, little changes

The first 100 days of a new Parliament can be a defining moment for a burgeoning democracy, with respect for democratic principles, openness and transparency forming the foundation of a successful democratic government. 11 May 2011 saw the first 100 days of Parliament in Burma […]

May 16, 2011  •  Read more ➤

2-8 May: “People-Oriented” ASEAN Undermines Civil Society Efforts at Regional Conference

The theme of this year’s ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forum 2011 (ACSC/APF) was, as it turned out, ironically “Claiming a People-Centered ASEAN for a Just Global Community.” Despite the determined efforts of civil society groups throughout the region, as the events of the week transpired it was clear that the ASEAN leaders had re-claimed ASEAN for itself, rather than the people.

Beginning with an inspiring keynote video message from Daw Aung San Suu Kyi that received a standing ovation from regional civil society, the week ended with a shocking undermining of civil society, with ASEAN leaders actively controlling what should have been an open and transparent opportunity for dialogue between the leaders of ASEAN and the people […]

May 9, 2011  •  Read more ➤

25 April – 1 May: Burma Representatives Attend Regional Civil Society Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia

This coming week, eighteen representatives from Burma’s independent civil society will be participating in the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forum 2011 (ACSC/APF) and associated events in Jakarta, Indonesia. This is an important venue for Burma advocates to raise concerns about the human rights violations and the lack of genuine democratization, and to call on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to take concrete action on Burma.[…]

May 2, 2011  •  Read more ➤

4 – 24 April: Potential Camp Closures in Thailand Put Refugees from Burma at Risk

In early April 2011, authorities in Thailand announced their intention to close nine refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border, which would send more than 140,000 refugees back to Burma. That includes 100,000 refugees from Burma who have been officially registered and an estimated 53,000 who have not. This decision has received heavy criticism from local and international human rights groups. The Thai authorities have not indicated when they intend to repatriate the refugees.

The announcement of camp closures comes only 6 months after the fraudulent elections in Burma and the formation of a new parliament composed predominantly of former military officers and those sympathetic to the regime. Since the elections, there has been no opening of political space, conflict in Eastern Burma has intensified and human rights abuses continue throughout the country. Any suggestion that refugees and asylum seekers along the Thai-Burma border could be safely returned to their country in the near future is a complete unreality […]

April 25, 2011  •  Read more ➤