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Weekly Highlights (237 found)

28 March – 3 April: President’s Inaugural Speech Fails to Inspire Hope in Burma’s New “Democracy”

On 30 March, Senior General Than Shwe officially dissolved the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) to transfer authority to the nominally civilian parliament elected during the flawed November 2010 elections. However, the dissolution of the infamous SPDC has not led to the change that many inside and outside Burma had hoped to see.

“The now disbanded SPDC and the current government is one and the same. The military regime is transferring power to none other than themselves – how is that democratic progress?” stated Naing Aung, Secretary-General of the Forum for Democracy in Burma (FDB) […]

April 4, 2011  •  Read more ➤

21-27 March: Shan State Earthquake Victims in Need of Urgent Relief Effort

On 24 March, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Loimwe, Shan State, causing many deaths and significant destruction to homes and buildings in the area. Affected communities are in great need of humanitarian assistance as they begin to address the damage and rebuild their lives. It is imperative that Burma’s regime and local authorities facilitate the delivery of timely and unimpeded relief in a transparent manner.

As of 27 March, state-run media was reporting the official death toll from the quake as 74. However, eyewitness reports suggested that more than 150 people were killed. Many of the casualties are from Tarlay, where almost every building was damaged and many collapsed. The quake destroyed at least 240 buildings, including houses and monasteries […]

March 28, 2011  •  Read more ➤

14-20 March: Burma’s Military Regime Refuses to Address Human Rights Abuses at UN Human Rights Council

Last week, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma, Tomas Ojea Quintana, held an interactive dialogue with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) following the submission of his progress report to the United Nations General Assembly. Quintana painted a stark picture of Burma’s human rights situation, including the deprivation of social, economic, and cultural rights. Burma’s military regime representatives were once again unwilling to face facts and address widespread human rights violations, credible allegations of crimes against humanity, and criticisms of current political reforms […]

March 21, 2011  •  Read more ➤

7-13 March: Quintana’s Report Illustrates Military Regime’s Failure to Promote and Protect Human Rights; Calls for Commission of Inquiry into Abuses

On 7 March 2011, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma, Tomás Ojea Quintana, submitted his progress report to the UN General Assembly. The information in the report reinforces Quintana’s recent assertion that “[d]espite the promise of a transition [in Burma], the human rights situation remains grave.”

The report notes that 2,189 prisoners of conscience remain in detention in Burma as of January 2011. Freedom of expression is still curtailed. Armed conflict between the military regime and ethnic armed resistance groups has continued since the November 2010 elections, and tensions remain high. Quintana notes that reports of ceasefire groups re-arming in anticipation of resumption of armed conflict. Rohingyas continue to flee persecution […]

March 14, 2011  •  Read more ➤

28 Feb – 6 Mar: Burma’s Military Regime Entrenches Rule Through New Budget and Laws

Despite promises of change, the SPDC is delivering only more of the same. During Burma’s alleged transition to civilian rule, the SPDC has refused to cede power even to their military-dominated […]

March 7, 2011  •  Read more ➤

21-27 February: Asian Countries Place Business Interests Before ‘Grave’ Human Rights Situation in Burma

This week, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma, Tomás Ojea Quintana, provided a succinct description of human rights in Burma’s post-election environment: “Despite the promise of a transition [in Burma], the human rights situation remains grave.” Meanwhile, the investment situation remains lucrative, with countries and companies pumping billions of dollars into ongoing and new projects. By placing business interests over human interests, the military regime and countries in the region continue to fail to advance and protect human rights in Burma […]

February 28, 2011  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Read more ➤

14-20 February: Ethnic Armed Groups Form New Alliance

Twelve ethnic armed groups in Burma have agreed to operate together as the Union Nationalities Federal Council (Union of Burma) during four days of meetings on the Thai-Burma border. The military regime has repeatedly ignored the grievances and aspirations of ethnic communities for political, social, and economic equality and […]

February 21, 2011  •  Read more ➤

7-13 February: There’s a New Parliament, but the SPDC is Still in Charge

Despite the inauguration of parliament on 31 January 2011, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) remains firmly in control of Burma’s political landscape. In the lead up to the official transfer of power, which will reportedly occur on 15 March 2011, current and former SPDC members continue to shape Burma’s political future to ensure […]

February 14, 2011  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Read more ➤

31 January – 6 February: The Military Regime Lives on in the New Parliaments

On 31 January 2011, Burma’s parliament began its inaugural session, allegedly ending decades of military dictatorship. However, as the first week has shown, the military regime is still alive and well in the new Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) controlled government. This parliament is not a step in a slow transition to democracy. It is simply a new phase of the same old military rule […]

February 7, 2011  •  Read more ➤

24-30 January: Challenging Burma’s Military Deception in Geneva and Naypyidaw

Burma’s military regime continues to falsify and deny facts and attempt to fool the world with their distorted reality. Four days ago at the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, Switzerland, nations challenged the SPDC delegation’s fictitious presentation and expressed disdain at Burma’s “alarming” human rights record […]

January 31, 2011  •  Read more ➤