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Posts Tagged ‘Burma Partnership’ (399 found)

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 ➤

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 ➤

Regime Unwilling to Meet Key Benchmarks for ASEAN Chairmanship

This week, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa will be travelling to Burma to assess whether the country is ready to assume the chairmanship of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Civil society groups, including the Task Force on ASEAN and Burma (TFAB) and Solidarity for Asian People’s Advocacy (SAPA), have expressed their concerns that awarding Burma this position will remove the incentive for the regime to improve the political and human rights situation in the country. In their open letters to the Indonesian government, both networks included a list of key benchmarks that Burma’s regime must meet before they assume the ASEAN chairmanship, which Mr. Natalegawa can use as indicators on his assessment mission to the country […]

October 24, 2011  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Released Political Prisoners Reaffirm Their Commitment to Working for Human Rights and National Reconciliation in Burma

On 12 October, the regime released 6,359 prisoners from prisons across the country. However, the amnesty included only 220 political prisoners, leaving as many as 1,800 behind bars. The international community overwhelmingly responded by urging the regime to release the remaining political prisoners, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma, Tomás Ojea Quintana.

Burmese language media and blogs carried many moving interviews with political prisoners who were released, in which they spoke about detention conditions, the disappointing number of political prisoners released and how they would continue to work to improve the situation of human rights and democracy in Burma […]

October 17, 2011  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

ASEAN should delay Burma’s chairmanship to help ensure it moves towards democratic transition and peace

Since it requested the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2014, Burma’s regime has engaged in a campaign designed to make the country appear ready to chair the regional bloc. However, despite these attempts to win over ASEAN member states, the changes made by the regime have been superficial and far from being sufficient.

Granting Burma the chairmanship at this point would be premature, and a waste of a unique opportunity to encourage Burma along a path to genuine democratic transition and national reconciliation […]

October 17, 2011  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , ,  •  Read more ➤

Update: Release of Only 220 Political Prisoners Shows Regime is Not Committed to Real Change

The day after the amnesty of prisoners, hinted at in recent weeks by Burma’s regime, many inside and outside Burma expressed their disappointment and frustration over the number of political prisoners included in the amnesty.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), 220 political prisoners were released yesterday from different prisons across the country. This number is unsatisfactory, especially since key leaders and high-profile prisoners, including Min Ko Naing, Khun Htun Oo and U Gambira, remain behind bars.

As Daw Aung San Suu Kyi expressed, “The freedom of each individual is invaluable, but I wish that all political prisoners would be released.” A well-known dissident from Burma and popular comedian, released from prison yesterday morning after 3 years, Zarganar said, “I will be happy, and I will thank the government only when all of my friends are freed.”

Burma’s regime most likely announced the amnesty of 6,359 prisoners in an attempt to have EU and US sanctions lifted. It is the latest development after several months of the regime’s “charm offensive,” designed to win over the international community by giving the impression that change is underway in Burma. After yesterday’s event, it is even more clear that the regime has not made any genuine democratic changes. Democratization and national reconciliation in Burma will not be possible as long as the regime’s critics remain behind bars. Asked about change in Burma, Zarnagar said, “Since this morning, I lost belief in them” […]

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

Ongoing Conflict Continues to Engender Human Rights Abuses with no End in Sight

While the attention of the international community remains on developments in Naypyidaw, armed conflict between the Burma Army and ethnic resistance groups continues in Karen, Shan and Kachin States, largely outside the view of the international community. As part of these conflicts Thein Sein’s government has been targeting civilians for attacks that likely constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes. On Friday 7 October the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) released a report entitled Burma’s Covered up War: Atrocities Against the Kachin People. The report describes the atrocities, including rape, torture, forced portering, murder and the use of human shields, committed by the regime and its army in the four months since the regime launched its attack on the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), breaking a seventeen year ceasefire […]

October 10, 2011  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

UN and ASEAN Must Ensure Regime’s New Promises are Followed by Real Actions

After months of extensive public mobilization to save the Irrawaddy River from development, President Thein Sein took yet another calculated step this week announcing the suspension of the Myitsone dam project amid controversy within the regime. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi welcomed the decision, as did community and environmental groups campaigning on the issue. However, Burma Rivers Network pressed for further steps, namely that the China Power Investment corporation issue an official declaration to confirm Thein Sein’s announcement, and immediately remove all personnel and equipment from the dam site. The network also called on the regime to cancel the 6 other dam projects planned on source rivers of the Irrawaddy.

At the UN General Assembly in New York this week, Burma’s Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin said that the regime would grant an amnesty to prisoners “at an appropriate time in the near future.” However, he failed to clearly state when this would be or whether this would include any of the nearly 2,000 political prisoners who remain imprisoned in Burma […]

October 3, 2011  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Statement on the 4th Anniversary of the Saffron Revolution

“We Want Real Change in Burma, Not Public Relations Games”

On the 4th anniversary of the Saffron Revolution, an alliance of Burma‐related organizations in Chiang Mai has organized this candlelight vigil and rally to call on the international community to maintain pressure on Burma’s regime until it carries out a genuine democratic transition by immediately and unconditionally releasing all political prisoners and ending impunity for human rights abusers […]

September 27, 2011  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Activists Demand Real Change in Burma Rather than the Regime’s “Charm Offensive”

In September 2007, the world witnessed Burma regime’s violent crackdown on the thousands of monks and people from Burma peacefully demonstrating for change in Burma. Four years later, 2,000 political prisoners including 222 monks remain behind bars. Those responsible for the brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in 2007 are still in power behind a democratic façade thanks to the sham elections in 2010. They continue to run the country with impunity, free to continue committing serious human rights violations, especially in ethnic areas.

To remember those who sacrificed their lives for their country and to remind the world to keep an eye on what’s happening in Burma, as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi asked this week, groups inside Burma and around the world are hosting events calling on the international community to maintain pressure on Burma’s regime until it carries out genuine democratic transition, beginning with the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners and bringing an end to impunity for human rights abusers […]

September 26, 2011  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , ,  •  Read more ➤