Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Flood hits in Bago

The floods hit Bago starting from 29/08/2010 and the water is still rising. Around 200 households, nearly 600 people are temporarily refuge at the Shwe Nant Thar monestry. The Sayadaw (Monk) said they had to give 15 bag of rice everyday and it’s possible that the flood victims might be increase.

http://www.bdcburma.org/ActivitiesDetails.asp?id=15001 Sep 2010


Sunday, 29 August 2010

US Press Briefing

August 25, 2010



QUESTION: The Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi has given a call to
boycott the elections on November 7 in Burma.

MR. TONER: To what the elections?

QUESTION: Boycott the election – general elections in Burma. Do you
support her appeal? What’s your stand on that?

MR. TONER: On her appeal for --

QUESTION: -- to boycott --

MR. TONER: I didn’t hear.

QUESTION: Boycott.

MR. TONER: Boycott. I apologize. I didn’t hear the word “boycott.”
Well, we’ve said many times that we don’t feel that credible elections
can be held in Burma at this point.


Saturday, 28 August 2010

Kachin majority rejects regime’s order to disarm

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – A majority of participants at a congress of ethnic Kachin groups has rejected disarming despite a Burmese military junta threat to end the ceasefire between the two sides, a spokesman said. Meanwhile, the main Kachin militia are gearing up for war, a soldier told Mizzima.

Women soldiers of the Kachin Independence Army parade in the ethnic group’s Sino-Burmese border stronghold of Laiza. The militia is gearing up for war with the Burmese Army as a junta-imposed deadline for it to disarm approaches next Wednesday, a KIA source said on Friday, August 27, 2010. Photo: Mizzima

The junta deadline for the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) to reply to its order for the group’s estimated 20,000 troops to disarm is September 1. The congress opened today in the Kachin stronghold of Laiza, a town near the Chinese border in Burma’s far north, and will end tomorrow (Saturday).

The 140 delegates from 18 districts who attended the congress all passed on their views that the KIO should retain its arms, one of the participants aid.

“The congress will continue tomorrow as we haven’t made a final decision. The aim of today’s meeting was just to collect the opinions from the delegates. From my point of view, we shouldn’t hand over our guns to the junta,” the KIO spokesman said.

Delegates from the KIO’s armed wing, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), were absent because they were preparing for war, a KIA soldier told Mizzima.

The deadline was delivered on Sunday at a meeting between the junta’s main negotiator with ethnic armed groups, Military Affairs Security chief Lieutenant General Ye Myint, and KIO delegates, at the Burmese Army’s Northern Command headquarters in Myitkyina, the state capital. He told the KIO that if the KIA failed to surrender its arms in the time allotted, the ceasefire would end.

Ye Myint went on to meet Zone Teet Yame from the junta’s Border Guard Force (BGF) and Lasang Aung Was from the people’s militia and told them to arrest former KIO staff from the beginning of next month, an officer from the militia, who attended the meeting, said on condition of anonymity.

The KIO had said it would neither contest nor disturb the forthcoming elections on November 7.

It held a meeting with Kachin leaders and Christian leaders to gain their input from August 14 to 16, views that will be taken into account while reaching the final decision at this weekend’s congress.

In the last month, Ye Myint has been touring the country, pressuring armed ethnic ceasefire groups to bring themselves under junta command within the Burmese Army’s BGF and imposed the same September 1 (next Wednesday) deadline on the New Mon State Party (NMSP).

Last Friday he told United Wa State Army leaders in Tangyang that the junta would send the army into four townships in Wa-controlled territory the same day as security for electoral commissioners. The Wa leaders said they would defy the move.

Burma's ailing dictator resigns military post

Burma's reclusive and ailing dictator, Than Shwe, has resigned his military post, exiled Burmese media have reported, paving the way for him to become president in Burma's government after the elections.

Shwe, the despot who has brutally ruled south-east Asia's poorest country as commander-in-chief of the armed forces since 1992, yesterday handed control of the army to his adjutant general. However, the 77-year-old will remain head of the Burmese government.

More than a dozen other senior military officers also resigned, in an ominous sign for the country's forthcoming elections. Inside Burma, Shwe's resignation of his military role is being seen as a significant step towards ensuring he and his military cadres remain in charge after 7 November's national elections, the first to be held in Burma for two decades.

"I think this means only one thing – he wants to be president," a source inside Burma told the Guardian.

The country's new constitution says the presidency can only be held by a civilian, but it does insist the president and vice-president "shall be well acquainted with the affairs of the Union, such as … the military".

The junta's second-in-command, Maung Aye, also resigned, as did the regime's numbers three and four. It is understood they will stand as candidates for the junta's largest proxy party, the Union Solidarity and Development party (USDP), in constituencies in the capital, Naypyidaw.

An unnamed military official said 15 senior army officials had resigned their posts, but did not confirm that the junta's leader was among them. But a second source told agencies the resignations went right to the top: "All top leaders have given up their military positions."

It is the second major reshuffle since April, when 27 senior military figures, including the prime minister, Thein Sein, resigned to lead the USDP.

Burma's last elections, in 1990, were won overwhelmingly by the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi. But the junta refused to recognise the result and Aung San Suu Kyi has spent most of the past two decades in detention.

Her party is boycotting the poll after she was excluded from participating by new election laws which forbid people in custody from running for office. She is due to be released less than a week after the 7 November election.

Supporters of the polls say any move towards democracy, however flawed, is an improvement on the current military rule. Thirty-seven non-regime parties have registered for the elections, but few have a national presence and none have the money or influence of the pro-regime party and its proxies.

But critics of Burma's "road map to democracy", including Britain, the US and the UN, have dismissed the election as a sham, saying the poll will only entrench and formalise military rule.

"We don't regard the forthcoming elections as being a legitimate expression of public opinion," Jeremy Browne, a Foreign Office minister, said in Bangkok last month. "We continue to have a very strong view the situation in Burma is unacceptable."

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/27/burma-dictator-resigns-military-post

Friday, 27 August 2010

Suu Kyi Urges Supporters to Monitor Election Closely

In a message transmitted by her lawyer, Burma's detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said that although her National League for Democracy (NLD) is boycotting the upcoming election NLD members should monitor it closely and watch for voting irregularities.

Nyan Win, who was allowed to meet Suu Kyi on Tuesday, said: “Daw Suu said we cannot ignore the election even though we boycott it. She said all must keep a watch on the election process.”

During a press conference on Wednesday, he quoted her as saying that the future civilian government would be incapable of reining in the role of the president of the parliament, who will hold broad-ranging powers under the junta-designed 2008 Constitution.

Nyan Win said that Suu Kyi said the Nov. 7 choice of an election date showed disrespect to the people, and she also denounced state-run newspapers for making threats against the people regarding election activities.

Suu Kyi, whose current detention sentence is due to expire a week after the election on Nov. 7, said all Burmese people, including NLD members, are responsible for a free and fair election.

Suu Kyi's meeting with her lawyer followed last week's official NLD announcement of an election boycott.

Suu Kyi has said the Burmese election is unlikely to be free and fair because political parties will not have enough time to campaign.

Nyan Win said he discussed with the Noble Peace Laureate the latest election developments. According to Nyan Win, Suu Kyi said that people should not vote in the upcoming election if they have no party to support in the absence of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

“This is Daw Suu's answer to the debates she heard on the radio about what people should do without the NLD in this election,” said Suu Kyi's lawyer, Nyan Win, who met with the detained pro-democracy leader on Tuesday.

Meanwhile NLD members led by veteran official Win Tin recently toured Burma reminding people of their legal right to avoid voting.

As Burma's largest opposition party, the NLD won a landslide victory in the 1990 election but the military regime never acknowledged the result.

Although NLD members opposed to a boycott formed an opposition party, the National Democratic Force,to contest the November election, no pro-democracy party has emerged strong enough to compete with the junta's own proxy party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party.
Source: http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=19296

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Myanmar's Suu Kyi calls for close watch on election: lawyer

YANGON (AFP) – Detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi wants the Myanmar people to keep a close watch on upcoming elections and speak out if the vote is not free and fair, her lawyer said Tuesday.
"Our face should not be turned away from the election although the NLD... decided not to take part," Nyan Win, who is also the long-time spokesman of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), quoted the Nobel Peace laureate as saying during talks at her home.
"For it to become a fair election, people also have a duty, not just the government.
"People have to speak out if the process is not in accordance with the election law or if it is not balanced. People have to reveal it. The NLD has to reveal it," Suu Kyi was quoted as saying.
"She's very glad that people are interested in the political process. But she said the political process is not only the 2010 election. It's just a part of it," Nyan Win said.
"She said everyone should take interest in the election. NLD members should not turn their face from the election process just because they will not take part."
Suu Kyi has spent most of the past 20 years in detention, and as a serving prisoner is barred from standing in the November 7 election, which will be the military-ruled country's first in 20 years.
The NLD won a landslide victory in 1990 but the junta never allowed it to take office.
The party is boycotting the upcoming vote, saying the rules are unfair. As a result, it was forcibly disbanded by the ruling generals.
So far 42 political parties have been given permission to stand in the polls, which have been widely condemned by activists and the West as a charade aimed at putting a civilian face on military rule.
Among them is the National Democracy Force (NDF), formed by former NLD members whose decision to participate in the vote put them at odds with Suu Kyi, who was in favour of a boycott.
"The NLD cannot support any party. If it supports one, it will become an enemy to another," Nyan Win quoted Suu Kyi as saying. "So she said to let them do their work."
Nyan Win said that Suu Kyi had told him more of her opinions on the election and Myanmar's political situation, and he would give details on Wednesday after discussing them with other senior NLD members.
Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100824/wl_afp/myanmarvotesuukyi_20100824171247

Burma Democratic Concern (BDC): What You BELIEVE Is What You ACHIEVE (6)

Burma Democratic Concern (BDC): What You BELIEVE Is What You ACHIEVE (5)

Friday, 20 August 2010

Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) welcomes Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led NLD’s decision to boycott junta’s planned sham 2010 election (19 Aug 2010)

Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) warmly welcomes Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led National League for Democracy (NLD)’s decision to boycott junta’s planned sham 2010 election.
This is the timely decision taken by NLD to drive Burmese people to the right direction since junta’s planned sham 2010 election is purely lying international community.
There are three main specific reasons why NLD decisions are rights;
1. Junta’s planned sham 2010 election is designed to nullify 1990 election result in which Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led NLD won landslide victory.
2. Junta’s planned sham 2010 election will be held in accord with 2008 sham constitution which is designed to legitimise military rule in Burma.
3. Junta is setting up everything to win its own proxy party.
International governments must help us realising Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led NLD’s calls for boycotting junta’s planned sham 2010 election in Burma. If international governments denounce junta’s planned sham 2010 election and its results; then they are effectively supporting Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s call for boycotting junta’s planned sham 2010 which is tantamount to help us implementing 1990 election results.
For more information please contact
Myo Thein [United Kingdom]
Phone: 00-44-208-493-9137, 00-44-787- 788-2386

Khin Maung Win [United States]
Phone: 001-941-961-2622

Daw Khin Aye Aye Mar [United States]
Phone: 001 509 586 8309

U Tint Swe Thiha [United States]
Phone: 001-509-582-3261, 001-509-591-8459

Burma Democratization Strategy Presentations



Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Barclays pays $298m after sanctions breaches

has agreed to pay $298m to US authorities for facilitating payments to countries that were under US sanctions such as Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma.

The charges relate to payments made by the bank between 1995 and 2006. Barclays is alleged to have removed details from payments to hide the identity of the countries of origin.

The bank was charged with breaking the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act in dealings between 1995 and 2006.

The settlement was described in US court papers filed yesterday.

Barclays began cooperating with federal and state prosecutors in 2007.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Recommended Videos and Articles by Burma Democratic Concern (BDC)

Burma: Danu National Congress Special Conference
Sham Election and Op Pot Unity
100729 Bty Bur Child Soldier

Burma Weekly Recommended Articles

[scribd id=35973392 key=key-1vqxg9yjmpxef0tlmmi4 mode=list]



Friday, 13 August 2010

Burma Democratic Concern (BDC): “YES WE CAN” take decisive action

Burma’s dictators declared that election will be held on 7 November 2010. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led NLD boycott the junta’s planned election due to unfair election laws. Very military regime held the election in 1990 in which Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, National League for Democracy (NLD) won the landslide victory.

Junta ignores to honour the 1990 election results. In the mean time suppressions on the Burmese people intensified. Burmese people are living in prison like state under the military regime.

Addition, junta unilaterally adopted the constitution which legitimize military rule in Burma. According to the 14 years long unilaterally drafted constitution, military reserves the 25% of the seats at the parliaments which is totally undemocratic.

The Burma junta’s party registration laws issued this year are bias, undemocratic and drafted in the way like “Do as I say, not as I Do”.

Now, regime declares that fresh election will be held on 7 November 2010 based on 2008 unconstitutional constitution. Addition, 1990 election results are not yet honoured. In order to have true national reconciliation in Burma, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led NLD issued the “Shwe-Gone-Daing” declaration i.e.

• To release all political prisoners

• To take place genuine dialogue

• To revise 2008 Constitution

• To Recognize 1990 election result

Myo Thein, the Director of the Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) said that the
“International community must take decisive action in this critical time. We would like to urge the international community not to recognize junta’s planned sham 2010 election and its pre-meditated results. It is not the election but the junta’s magic show to change snake skin well before the international community’s very own eyes. We would like to call for all the justice loving people around the world to stand fully behind the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s call for boycotting junta’s sham 2010 election and its results”.

We must do everything we can to restore democracy, human rights and rule of law in Burma the following three main principles i.e.

1. Implement 1990 election result in Burma

This is the hope which we can defeat injustice system in Burma, this is the hope we can defeat military dictatorship in Burma, and this is the hope we can restore democracy and human rights in Burma under the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically elected legitimate leader of Burma.

“If this country is to achieve genuine democracy, the result of the elections of 1990 must be recognized. It must be recognized by the military regime, as it has been recognized by the people, and by the world at large. It is through this recognition that we will be able to make genuine progress in Burma. The results of the 1990 General Elections must be implemented is a resolution already taken by the United Nations. We already know that the General Assembly of the United Nations has accepted the notion that the will of the people has been expressed in the 1990 General Elections. This is something we cannot abandon. It will be to the detriment of our country if after an election has been held the results are not honoured and we do not resist attempts to trivialise it”, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi insists.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi reaffirmed again the importance of implementing 1990 election result and the necessary practical action taken by international community by saying "Since 1992, the United Nations General Assembly has been passing resolutions on the human rights situation in Burma. But resolutions are not enough. Resolutions should be implemented. We think it is time that the international community took a greater interest in getting the terms of the resolutions implemented".

What is the purpose United Nations standing for if it cannot take effective action decisively rather than playing into junta’s hands? We don’t want to see UNSC being disabled due to the China or/and Russia governments (possible) use of veto whenever Burma crisis is on the table. Now people are finding ways to by-pass China or/and Russia governments’ blockage at the UNSC.

“We believe that if international governments endorse Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led people leaders as the legitimate government of Burma if should the one be formed, then it will be effectively by-passing the UNSC as well as by-passing the China or/and Russia governments' possible use of veto at the UNSC since they cannot influence individual countries from UNGA taking decisions independently”, Khin Maung Win, The Director of the Burma Democratic Concern (BDC).

We would like to give clear message to the world leaders that all the oppressed people of Burma stand firmly on upholding the “Shwe-Gone-Daing” Declaration and unanimously follow the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

2. Review junta’s sham 2008 constitution

This is the sham constitution drawn unilaterally by junta’s handpicked delegation -- which we must change. This is the sham constitution adopted unilaterally in rigged referendum – which we must change. This is the sham constitution designed to legitimise military rule in Burma -- which we must change. The essence of the 2008 Constitution is to guarantee impunity indefinitely and the 2010election will implement it.

“Therefore, we call for United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to declare the unilaterally adopted Burmese junta's 2008 sham constitution, which is designed to legitimize military rule permanently in Burma, as NULL and VOID”, said U Tint Swe Thiha, the Patron of the Burma Democratic Concern (BDC).

It is reasonable to request the nullification of the 2008 Constitution by the UN Security Council. Precedence for such a move can be found in UNSC Resolution 554 regarding South Africa’s 1983 apartheid-entrenching constitution @UNSC Res 554 (15 November 1983) UN Doc A/RES/38/11

@ UNSC Res 554 (15 November 1983) UN Doc A/RES/38/11 • UNSC declares that the so-called "new constitution" is contrary to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, that the results of the referendum of 2 November1983 are of no validity whatsoever and that the enforcement of the "new constitution" will further aggravate the already explosive situation prevailing inside apartheid South Africa.

• Strongly rejects and declares as null and void the so-called "new constitution" and the "elections" to be organized in the current month of August for the “coloured” people and people of Asian origin as well as all insidious manoeuvres by the racist minority regime of South Africa further to entrench white minority apartheid rule.

3. Boycott junta’s planned sham 2010 election

Boycott junta’s planned sham 2010 election now because it is designed to nullify 1990 election result. Boycott junta’s planned sham 2010 election now because election will be held in accord with 2008 sham constitution. Boycott junta’s planned sham 2010 election now because junta is setting up everything to win its own proxy party.

“International governments can help us realising justice reality in Burma. If international governments denounce junta’s sham 2010 election and its results; then they are effectively supporting Aung San Suu Kyi’s call for boycotting junta’s planned sham 2010 election”, said Daw Khin Aye Aye Mar, the patron of the Burma Democratic Concern (BDC).

We would like to invite all the justice loving people around the world to join with us working to restore democracy, human rights and rule of law in Burma where everyone can enjoy the freedom of speech, press, beliefs, assembly and rule of law that emphasizes the protection of individual rights.

It is our duty to implement 1990 election results in which people voted for their leaders, it is our duty to review junta’s sham 2008 constitution, and it is our duty to boycott junta’s planned sham 2010 election which will legitimise military rule in Burma.

Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) believe that “YES WE CAN” to implement 1990 election result in Burma, “YES WE CAN” to change junta’s sham 2008 constitution and “YES WE CAN” to boycott junta’s planned sham 2010 election.

Together we can restore the democracy in Burma and build the better world. Let’s work together. We will win and we can bring justice realities in Burma. Yes we can since what we believe is what we achieve.

For more information please contact

Myo Thein [United Kingdom]
Phone: 00-44-208-493-9137, 00-44-787- 788-2386

Khin Maung Win [United States]
Phone: 001-941-961-2622

Daw Khin Aye Aye Mar [United States]
Phone: 001 509 586 8309

U Tint Swe Thiha [United States]
Phone: 001-509-582-3261, 001-509-591-8459


August 13th Inside Burma News

Yangon, August 13 – “The multi-party general elections will be held throughout Myanmar on November 7 ( Sunday ) this year,” the Union Election Commission ( UEC ) announced this morning.

This announcement of UEC was read out by the state-owned TV Myanmar at 10 am ( MST ) this morning.

This will be the first general elections to be held in Myanmar in two decades time. In the last general elections held on May 27, 1990, Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy ( NLD ) won by landslide capturing 392 seats out of 485 seats at stake.

But this time as it turned out the NLD, which has rejected the military government’s 2008 State Constitution, has chosen to boycott the forthcoming general elections, which is to be held under this constitution.

In deciding not to re-register with the Union Election Commission which amounted to boycotting the forthcoming general elections, the NLD has also openly criticized the Electoral laws and Political Parties Registration Law as “unfair and unjust.”

Together with the NLD, four other existing political parties including NLD’s biggest allied party namely Shan Nationalities League for Democracy ( SNLD ) also decided to boycott the forthcoming general elections.

Now all these five political parties including NLD have become defunct because of their refusal to re-register with the Union Election Commission.

However so, from among 10 political parties that have existed for two decades, five political parties including pro-government National Unity Party ( former Burma Socialist Programme Party of the late General Ne Win ) have chosen to apply for their continued existence.

As of yesterday evening, a total of 47 political parties have submitted applications to the UEC to form and to exist as political parties.

According to the latest announcement made by the UEC, out of 47 political parties that have submitted applications to form and exist as political parties, 40 parties including the all powerful government’s party namely the Union Solidarity and Development Party ( USDP ) have been granted permission to register as political parties.

“The remaining seven political parties are still under scrutiny for receiving the permission to register as political parties,” the announcement said.

The Union Solidarity and Development Party ( USDP ), which was formed by Prime Minister U Thein Sein and 26 other ministers and deputy ministers, who have resigned from the military posts to contest in the elections, is still by far and large the biggest and most powerful political party.

The ( USDP ) has already opened its headquarters in Nay Pyi Taw and is currently busy opening its branches throughout the country.

Posted in Aung San Suu Kyi, Aung San Suu Kyi said "The Results of the 1990 General Elections Must Be Implemented", Aung San Suu Kyi said "The Results of the 1990 General Elections Must Be Implemented". Tags: burma election, burma news, announcement.



By Roland Watson
August 12, 2010


Burma has a substantial population, believed to number above fifty million people. For context, Israel and Palestine have eleven million. Afghanistan, which is about the same size as Burma, has twenty-nine million. Iraq, with a third less territory, has thirty-one million.

Inside Burma, everyone - except the small cabal of generals and their cronies who rule the country - is suffering. The Burmese people are suffocated by fear. Anyone is subject to arrest and torture, and at any time. Moreover, there is general but severe deprivation in food, education and health care. Large regions are also war zones, with the Burma Army perpetrating scorched earth attacks against ethnic minority villagers, which attacks constitute nothing less than crimes against humanity.

A basic comparison, then, of Burma with Israel and Palestine, Afghanistan, and Iraq, suggests that the situation in the country should have far greater prominence. For years, though, international concern with the crisis in Burma has been small. This is now changing. Burma pro-democracy leaders, resistance forces and activists, by creating a great amount of publicity and pressure, have been able to force the problems in the country onto the international stage.

In fact, there is so much going on now about Burma that it is difficult to keep track, especially of what is significant. For example, many things that are not significant are being given undue attention by Burmese and international media and commentators. Foremost of these is the SPDC’s plan to have an “election,” and the actions of the different pro-junta parties that have announced they will participate.

This entire event is a charade. It is a psychological warfare operation conceived by the dictator of Burma, Than Shwe. Its primary goal is to distract everyone from the real situation in the country, and secondly, to forestall a popular revolution and other decisive bids for pro-democratic change.

For the most part, Than Shwe’s operation is succeeding. Many people are consumed by the election. Few are focused on what will actually be required to free the people of Burma, much less involved in organizing it.

The end of the Senior General?

The true situation is much more complex, and unstable. Than Shwe is under great pressure. He has experienced three major defeats this year. The first of these is that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD rejected the election. This makes it extremely difficult, as they are the legitimate leaders of Burma, for the International Community to accept the result (if and when a vote is ever even held).

Secondly, Than Shwe hatched another plan, to regain control over areas of Burma that had been ceded to various ethnic armies in return for ceasefire deals. He demanded that they reorganize as Border Guard Forces, under Burma Army - read Burman officer - control. But these groups, content with the autonomy that they have experienced since they signed the ceasefires in the mid-1990s, refused to accept the transformation. Further, they actively prepared their troops and villages to defend against Burma Army attacks.

Thirdly, the one ceasefire group of any size that had actually been willing to fight for the Burma Army, the DKBA, is now in the process of splitting over the BGF issue. A major DKBA unit, Brigade 5, has created an alliance with the pro-democracy resistance group, the KNU/KNLA. The split between the Karen that occurred at Manerplaw appears to be healing. And, if pro-SPDC DKBA units, such as Chit Thu’s Brigade 999, attack Brigade 5, there is a likelihood that his rank and file soldiers will change allegiance as well, effectively ending the DKBA. (Some 999 troops are already changing sides.) This would create a unified, potent Karen fighting force in eastern Burma.

There are also two other important factors but which are less well recognized. The first is that the morale of Burma Army troops is extremely low. There have been dozens of instances of desertion and insubordination in the last two years, all over the country, and in the police as well. Many soldiers and police are now demanding early retirement, and repayment of the portions of their pay that have supposedly been invested as pensions. It is because of the morale problem that the Burma Army has not attacked the major ceasefire groups, the Wa and Kachin, not the argument that China objected to the refugee crisis that might develop.

Finally, there is a split at the top of the SPDC over the election. The reason why the election date has not been announced is that this split has not been resolved. Than Shwe’s Roadmap, of which the election is the most important step, is intended to transfer power to a civilian administration. He believes this type of regime will protect him following his retirement. If power remains directly within a military junta, the future leading generals could purge him - and his family - at any time, just as he did to the original dictator of Burma, Ne Win.

The problem of course is that there is no place in this plan for Maung Aye, the second top general of the junta. Maung Aye leads his own clique of officers, and with their own divisions and battalions. The Burma Army - the Tatmadaw - is not unified. It has two major factions, and perhaps a third as well under General Shwe Mann.

The Maung Aye group, fearing arrest, as occurred with former Intelligence chief Khin Nyunt, has refused to retire, and, frankly, there is nothing Than Shwe can do about it. If he tries to move his units against Maung Aye’s, this will constitute civil war within the Tatmadaw, and it will inevitably collapse.

This is the real situation in Burma, and which everyone would do well to contemplate. Than Shwe’s position, underneath the apparent calm, is desperate. The election is a diversion and a farce. Its only true significance is what the lack of a date for the vote reveals.

International pro-dictatorship supporters

Than Shwe has a lot of foreign friends, who do not want to see him fall. These include China, Russia, North Korea and Singapore, and also India and Thailand. Even though the last two are democratic, with governments that presumably would support the aspirations of the Burmese, they do not. India and Thailand fear the unrest that might develop in Burma during a democratic transition, as well as a resurgent free Burma. India also worries that autonomy and separatist claims by ethnic groups such as the Naga in its northeast would be magnified following Burma’s freedom. And, business groups in both countries are profiting heavily from natural resource deals with the SPDC, and for Thailand from exploitation of migrant workers.

The lobbying of multinational corporations, who are blind to if not direct partners in the SPDC’s crimes, has also undermined the foreign policy of the United States, European Union, Japan and Australia. It is not an overstatement to say that these countries and the EU are Than Shwe’s friends as well, and this also applies to ASEAN and the United Nations.

The nuclear solution

Even with all of this international support, Than Shwe’s hold on power is tenuous. The five factors listed earlier (the situation on the ground within Burma's borders right now) are much more important:

- Rejection by DASSK of the election.
- Refusal of the ceasefire groups to transform to BGF.
- Breakup of the DKBA and re-alliance with the KNLA.
- Burma Army morale problem including desertions and unwillingness to follow orders.
- Split at the top of the SPDC.

There is no real solution for Than Shwe to these problems. Freedom and democracy for Burma are coming. In a last-ditch attempt to prevent this historical inevitability, he is trying to produce a nuclear trump card. He is working hard with his allies to obtain a functioning atomic weapon, as quickly as possible. The purpose of this weapon, however, is not - as many have speculated - to deter a United States invasion. Indeed, the nuclear program may push the U.S. to the point where it has to intervene. Rather, if Than Shwe, personally, has his finger on a bomb inside Burma - his mansion connects directly to Naypyidaw’s command bunkers and tunnels - he believes this will protect him even after he retires.

Dictator Watch has published reams of intelligence about the nuclear program over the last four years, and which intel has been confirmed by other sources. The basic situation is that the SPDC is mining uranium, milling at least some of it into Yellow Cake, and then bartering this as well as raw ore to North Korea and we believe also Iran. The junta, with North Korean assistance, and European and Japanese machine tools, is further producing components necessary to enrich uranium to bomb grade, and to extract plutonium from spent reactor fuel that could further be shaped into a bomb core. While construction of a reactor is as yet unconfirmed, the number of officers studying reactor science and operations in Russia is proof that this plan exists.

As expert commentators have pointed out, though, this is still a long-term project, potentially five years or more from yielding a functioning weapon. Than Shwe does not have this much time. He knows it. His regime could fall this year - indeed, at any time. He needs a bomb now.

We believe that this will force him to focus on the enriched uranium route to a bomb instead of the reactor/plutonium path. It would also be amazing if he did not attempt to buy a weapon directly from either China or North Korea. Probably the only thing preventing this type of sale is that both countries would be afraid of supplying one to such an unstable regime. Were it to be detonated, under any circumstances (Thailand beware!), this could easily lead to war in East Asia, and which would bring about their own downfall.

Dictator Watch has received more intelligence about the nuclear program:

- China has signed a long-term lease on the Mo Meik uranium deposit.

- High-grade raw uranium is being transported through China to North Korea.

- In return, North Korea, and with China's direct involvement, is helping the SPDC escalate its atomic weapons program. Factory construction is being accelerated.

Both North Korea and China sent ships to Burma in April. The North Korean shipment at a minimum included equipment for Burma's nuclear factories. The Chinese ship may have as well. Neither was interdicted by the United States.

More such shipments are a certainty, and may have already occurred. We think it is probable, because of the pressure on North Korea following its sinking of a South Korean naval vessel in March, that the plan for the shipments has been modified. Everything that can be transported overland will be sent through China. Some items will first be shipped from North Korea to Chinese ports. Other items will be sent in cargo flights, including from both North Korea and China. Everything that must be sent by sea will be transferred from North Korean ships to Chinese vessels in the China Sea, and then transported all the way to Burma waters, for offloading to Burma Navy vessels. Even though the U.S., under the United Nations sanctions against North Korea, could intervene to disrupt this system, it is unlikely to do so as this would require it to publicly confront China.

The Communist Party of China does not want Burma to become democratic. Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao will actively help Than Shwe obtain an atomic bomb if they believe this is the only viable option to prevent it.

It is also likely, with increased nuclear equipment and material deliveries, and with the thousands of trained scientists returning from Russia, that the junta will vastly expand the nuclear program's management structure. Just as the SPDC now has a missile directorate, we expect a similar directorate for the weapons program will be established, if it is not already operational.

With all of this expansion underway, and against the backdrop of the Tatmadaw’s internal instability, we further expect an increasing flow of defectors and other sources with new intel about the program. Than Shwe will not be able to keep it secret.

The real question, then, is how will the world respond.


It is important never to forget that Burma is a failed state. It is being pillaged by a gang of mass murderers and their international co-conspirators.

There is no real government, only a collection of warlords, both inside the SPDC and in the ceasefire areas. Matched against them is the nonviolent pro-democracy movement, led by Daw Suu and the NLD, and the pro-democracy ethnic resistance armies that are fighting to defend their people.

The most apt analogy of the SPDC is that of a dog pack, but not of a collection of pampered pets. Rather, the generals of the SPDC are like the diseased mongrels that roam city streets, hide on the fringes of poor villages, and scavenge at garbage dumps. These types of dogs are always on the edge of survival, and to increase their chances they form packs. The packs are led by the toughest, meanest dogs, and they defend their territory ruthlessly, killing any intruders. As the top dog in such a pack, your life is not that bad. You get the most food, and mating opportunities. But this lasts only as long as your strength. When it fails, younger dogs in your pack, envious of your position, turn on you, tear you apart, and replace you. It is the law of the jungle - natural law.

Than Shwe is a pack leader but he is getting old. The other top dogs of the junta have their hackles up - they sense opportunity. Than Shwe’s days are numbered, and there is nothing he can do about it. Even a nuclear bomb will not protect him from his fellow generals, and more importantly fifty million angry Burmese.

One of Burma's most respected pro-democracy leaders, U Win Tin, recently commented that no one wants to see more instability in Burma. While in principle we agree with this sentiment, we feel obliged to note that this is not the way the real world works. A true democratic transition - not a “power-sharing” arrangement that allows the dictators to retain some control - cannot occur gradually. There must be a break, as the dictators are defeated, and this break will be accompanied by some form of instability. One would hope that it would be limited to violence within the junta itself, as lower-level officers initiate a pro-democracy coup. Offensives against the Burma Army by the ethnic groups and the ABSDF should also be encouraged. In summary, and as we have been saying for over a decade, the crisis in Burma cannot be resolved by dialogue and activism alone. It requires revolution. The American colonists revolted over “taxation without representation.” A revolution in Burma to end mass oppression and crimes against humanity is more than justified. It is necessary.


Thursday, 12 August 2010

Latest News on Election

Latest News on Election
Inside Burma
12 Aug 2010

Yangon, August 12 -- Though the long-awaited date for elections has not yet been declared for 2010 general elections, so far 46 political parties have submitted applications to the Union Election Commission ( UEC ) to form and to exist as political parties.

According to the latest announcement made by the UEC, out of 46 political parties that have submitted applications to form and exist as political parties, 40 parties including the all powerful government’s party namely the Union Solidarity and Development Party ( USDP ) have been granted permission to register as political parties.

“The remaining six political parties are still under scrutiny for receiving the permission to register as political parties,” the announcement said.

The Union Solidarity and Development Party ( USDP ), which was formed by Prime Minister U Thein Sein and 26 other ministers and deputy ministers, who have resigned from the military posts to contest in the elections, is still by far and large the biggest and most powerful political party.

The ( USDP ) has already opened its headquarters in Nay Pyi Taw and is currently busy opening its branches throughout the country.

From among the 10 existing political parties, which had been operating for over two decades upto April this year, five political parties including pro-government National Unity Party ( former Burma Socialist Programme Party of the late General Ne Win ) have chosen to apply for their continued existence.

Hence, all these five political parties were included among 40 political parties that have been granted permission by UEC to register.

The five political parties that have boycotted 2010 elections were Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy ( NLD ), Shan Nationalities League for Democracy ( SNLD ), Union Paoh National Organization, Shan State Kokang Democratic Party and Wa National Development Party.

Meanwhile the Union Election Commission ( UEC ) this morning designated constituencies for Pyithu Hluttaw ( House of Representatives ), Amyotha Hluttaw ( House of Nationalities ), Region and State Hluttaws.

This morning’s issue of state-owned newspapers carried a supplement showing 330 constituencies for Pyithu Hluttaw throughout Myanmar.

This is in accordance with the 2008 State Constitution, which prescribes that the Pyithu Hluttaw shall have 330 elected members plus 110 military men nominated by the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services.

Tomorrow’s issue of state-owned newspapers is expected to carry supplement showing constituencies for Amyotha Hluttaw ( House of Nationalities ) and Region and State Hluttaws.

Note: Special thanks to the news sender from Burma Democratic Concern (BDC)

Saturday, 7 August 2010

22nd Anniversary of 8888 or Burma Unfinished Revolution

22nd Anniversary of 8888 or Burma Unfinished Revolution

Please come along and support Burma

Date: Sunday, 08 August 2010

Time: 09:00 to 17:00

Venue: Room G2, Russell Square Campus

School of Oriental and African studies University of London

Thornhaugh Street Russell Square London


- Brief commemoration of 8888

- Short Video show

-Photo Exhibition

-Competition on strategy of how to breakthrough current appalling situation in Burma toward real freedom ...

For more information

Phone: 07958314687,07762094562,07727248755
Source: http://www.bdcburma.org/EventDetails.asp?msg_id=106

Friday, 6 August 2010

No sign Burma’s coming election will be free, fair

THE people of Burma, whose dictatorial junta prefers their country to be called Myanmar, has been in the grip of its military rulers since 1962.

Burma has not had an election since 1990. By a landslide Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won that election. But the junta rejected the election results and even put her and her fellow pro-democracy activists in jail.
She has been in prison or under house arrest, with ever so brief periods of temporary liberty, these past 20 years. The junta has been adding trumped up charges against her through the years. Her allies have not been much luckier.

Except China, the socialist-Buddhist Burmese military leaders’ friend and supporter, and of late India, virtually all the countries of the world have been begging the Burmese junta to free Aung San Suu Kyi, to give back the Burmese people their political and economic freedoms and allow them to exercise their basic human rights. Their pleas, and the entreaties of UN and Asean envoys, have fallen on deaf ears.

Nargis bared junta’s self-serving cruelty
Through the years, most Burma watchers—seeing Aung San Suu Kyi’s oppression and the generals’ cruelty to their own people—have come to despise the military junta. This sentiment grew in the aftermath of the catastrophic Cyclone Nargis in 2008.

Nargis destroyed much of Burma’s Irrawaddy Delta and areas of the capital Rangoon (which the generals now call Yangon), lands and people so beautiful and romantic in the stories, novels and poems of Rudyard Kipling and George Orwell. The 160-kilometer winds and heavy rains killed more than 140,000 and destroyed the crops. There was a humanitarian disaster.

The military junta did nothing to rescue the victims. And when planeloads and shiploads of aid came from the rest of mankind, the junta refused to let food, medicine and supplies to be taken by Red Cross and other aid workers to the starving, injured, and homeless Burmese people. The generals were afraid that the foreign bearers of rescue and food packages would turn out to be like Greeks in the Trojan horse.

Elections before end of 2010 a PR exercise
On Thursday, the head and co-founder a new pro-democracy party that was formed to participate in elections Burma’s dictators promised to hold before the end of the year, resigned. Phyo Min Thein, who had been imprisoned for 15 years for joining the bloody 1988 uprising, said, “I do not believe the coming elections will be free and fair.”

What he belatedly came to realize was what wiser and less optimistic pro-democracy Burmese knew at once on reading the so-called “democratic constitution” the junta had prepared for the country. The election rules released last March and the appointment of an untrustworthy set of officials to serve as election commissioners sealed the decision of Aung Sun Suu Kyi and her NLD members not to participate in the election.

What made it obvious that the coming election was nothing more than a public relations gimmick was the junta’s rule that people who have been convicted by the junta of crimes, like Aung San Suu Kyi herself, are disqualified from running for office. This was the generals’ way of making sure Suu Kyi would not ever come out again as the Burmese people’s chosen leader.

On top of these rules obviously skewed against the opposition parties, the junta also did something to make their political party the sure winner. There is in Burma a junta-approved mass-based welfare society, the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA). It has 24 to 26 million members. It is the body through which services and doles from the government get to the poor—meaning the members. The generals recently formed a political party called the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). The USDA and the USDP were merged, with the social welfare society being subsumed in the political party.

This is the junta’s way of dominating the election. This made foreign observers—the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, various European and Asian organizations—condemn the coming elections as nothing but a farce.

“The morphing of Burma’s largest mass-based organization with the military’s political party is a brazen if predictable distortion of the electoral process,” said Elaine Pearson, acting Asia director at Human Rights Watch, last month. “The future of military rule is being shamelessly scripted and played out before our eyes.”

USDA-USDP and the Ton-ton Macout
Human Rights Watch says the military junta has long used the USDA for partisan political purposes. Since the 1990s USDA members have been marching and demonstrating throughout the country. They deliver speeches denouncing Aun San Suu Kyi and the NLD and other opposition parties. They attack the United States, the International Labor Organization and of course extol the virtues of the generals. Burma’s Senior General Tan Shwe is the USDA’s main patron. Its secretary general is U Htay Oo, a retired general who is now the minister for agriculture and irrigation.

The USDA carried out violent attacks on Aung San Suu Kyi in 1996 and 1997. It launched violent mob action against a National League for Democracy motorcade in May 2003. Scores died in that attack. During peaceful demonstrations in August and September 2007, USDA thugs intimidated the pro-democracy protestors. The USDA, now merged with the USDP, joined junta security forces that violently cracked down on Buddhist monks perceived to be anti-government in September 2007.

Doesn’t this remind one of the Ton-Ton Macout in the Duvaliers’ Haiti?

Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD loyalists are right. The election is meant to give the world the false impression that democracy has returned to Burma.

The Philippines, alone, if fellow Asean countries do not wish to take risks, must help intensify international pressure on Burma’s junta, keep on urging it to release political prisoners and enter into an honest dialogue to achieve reconciliation with the opposition. The aim is to make Burma a normal and beautiful nation again.

The manila Times