Thursday, 30 December 2010

ကြ်န္ေတာ္သိတဲ့ အေကာင္းဆံုးေက်ာ္ခြဆိုဒ္ေတြပါ။

ကြ်န္ေတာ္သိတဲ့ အေကာင္းဆံုးေက်ာ္ခြဆိုဒ္ေတြပါ။
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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

All commarades & friends;

Excellence sir;
I would like to send the article on 22nd,Annuel memo-ceremony of Daw Khin Kyi,spouse of our national leader -General Aung Sann and mother of our national people's leader-Daw Aung Sann Su Kyi under the following;----------.!

" THE CHIEF GUARDEN MOTHER OF THE STEEL FLOWER"
On 27th,Dec,1989,I had to sadly hear Daw Khin Kyi's death at my office of National Politic Front(N.P.F),Thati Pahtan street,Kyaukmyaung,Tamawe tsp,Rangoon,Burma because she was the spouse of our national leader-General Aung Sann and mother too of Daw Aung Sann Su Kyi,our national people's leader & nobble peace prize winner in 1990 and mother too of BIA,BDA & BDF and she was very important person in our Burma's historical cretical point and so,we shall have to always remember for her historical acivity.
For it,I with CEC of N.P.F,Reg.No;120 organized the comittee of Funeral ceremony of Daw Khin Kyi and then we with other Parties went to see Daw Su with NLD to support her funeral ceremony and then we organized the central funeral ceremony of Daw Khin Kyi as chiarman-Bo Yet Htut(the member of 30-commarades),secretary-U Win Tin and C.E.C-I with Moe Thee Zun & others too and then also Army requested to hold it as the state funeral ceremony and also my frind-Ko Myat Hein(Ko Mya Win,MP of NLD,Engapu,Now,LA) with Min Ko Naing , Min Ze Yar & leaders of students' Unions approached to hold it as the people's funeral ceremony but although Daw Aung Sann Su Kyi accepted their supports for her funeral ceremony,she permitted to hold only our central funeral ceremony but General Saw Mg & Khin Nyunt of Army recepted the guests at Daw Aung Sann Su Kyi's campus and supported Ks-6000 with their state government's flower's ring and also Min Ko Naing,Min Ze Yar with leaders of student's Unions supported the long trip of funeral ceremony from Daw Su's campus to Kantawmin park behind ShweTiGone Pagoda.
Also our National Politic Front(N.P.F) published over ten thousands poem-books-" The chief guarden mother of the steel flower" by N.P.F with Ks.1200 and at that moment,one day! we with U Tin Oo saw General Saw Mg & Khin Nyunt, came to Daw Khin Kyi's funeral ceremony at Daw Su's campus and U Tin Oo pointed them under the shawdows of their long Indian- umbrellar,take-cared of U Ne Win because U Tin Oo would like to talk them as Umbrellars at also U Ne Win's Era and now,too and we saw Daw Su's pearl tears on the romantic & trajetty words of our "The chief guarden mother of the steel flower"-poem book beside Daw Khin Kyi's status beside the habour of Inya lake and so, we with Daw Su heard back the romantic song-" SaYar Ma" by K.N.D.O and "Rowing of Love boat without troubles" by Dora-Than Aye and also Daw Khin Gyi,younger sister of Daw Khin Kyi and the spouse of ThaKhin Than Htun too recepted us with our Burma's historical romantic trajetty memo-potraits and one day! we saw Daw Su's greeting on her brother-U Aung Sann Oo & U Khin Mg Aye,X-military officer , son of first spouse of Daw Khin Gyi and I with C.C of central funeral ceremony take-cared of Daw Su's campus and we saw many kinds of attenders on Daw Khin Kyi's funeral ceremony who were P.V.Os,communists,socialists,A.F.P.L.Ls,1989-Parties, Student's Unions, Trade Unions, Peasant's Unions,Women Unions,Karen organizations,National ethinic organization,Army,Airforce,Navy and extra & extra.....
When funeral ceremony day,I with CEC of N.P.F on our publica car with NPF's Flag had to take-cared of Daw Khin Kyi's status's car and so, we have to face the sea-ocean mass from Daw Su's campus to University Avenue to Hlaedam point to Pyi-road to U Wi Sa Ra road to ShweTiGone Pagoda road towards Daw Khin Kyi's cave between among the caves of ThaKhin Ko Taw Mhile,U Than & Su Phuyar Latt at KanTawMin Park and some students would like to pick up & hold the status of Daw Khin Kyi with the songs-"KaBarMaKyaeBu" as the people's feneral ceremony infront of Rangoon University as U Thant's funeral ceremony but Daw Su requested to hold peacefully her mother's funeral ceremony and then, while I with Daw Myint Myint Khin,CEC of NLD & Ambassodrs placed & waited for the status beside Daw Khin Kyi's cave,Army & students forced to hold it on the people's funeral ceremony & the state government's funeral ceremony and so, the prince U Htun Wae non-voilent-solved those problem and then,Daw Su,her sons-Aung Sann Myint(Alexendar),Htain Linn(Kim),her spouse-Michael Aelis,U Aung Sann Oo,U Khin Mg Aye warshiped & caved their mother's status with the programs of two religons and we with Ambassdors & other sea-ocean mass saluted peacefully the historical diganity of Daw Khin Kyi as our national people's mother and so, we could mean it as our all Burma's national people's mother's feneral ceremony.
But although her funeral ceremony was acknowledged by all Burma's national peoples as their mother, our national people's mother-Daw Khin Kyi had to face also the historical troubles
after her spouse-our national people's leader-General Aung Sann's death on 19th,July,1947 because our national leader-General Aung Sann,loved deeply her family with the boiling pea was voilent-assisnated by U Saw with his companians &others who could be unknown by historians because they could be hiden by their power & enrichs from killing of General Aung Sann & other national leaders.For example! Befor Assisnation of General Aung Sann,they with U Saw had meet to kill our national leaders at the house of chinese-boss and for it,Peagu-Boss-U Sein Win donated to assisnate our national leaders but now, U Sein Win with some secaped from death-sentence on the state-assisnation and some knew it but not to dare to talk it but the grand son-Ko D of Peagu-Boss-U Sein Win told us about it and so, we would like to consult historians to write darely our Burma's real history.
Daw Khin Kyi had to stay at his old poverty house with indian cmpanion after the end of her ambassdor's life from India and sometime,her house couldn't light & save roof and so, she boiled the pea,liked by General Aung Sann in the dark & under the unsaved roof and so,the carpenters & electrical workers of our Burma Dock Yards Corporation(B.D.C,Sinmalike) went to repair her house and at that moment,she told back her romantic & trajetty family life that she could stay warmly together with our Burma's national peoples in the dark age and her younger sister-Daw Khin Gyi had to stay at the small poverty house without spouse and so, we would like to mean them as the historical unfated victims and so,they would like to see the freedom from the historical fear under Myanmar Junta Regimes and they supported our democratic activits with many kinds of tactics & strategy and C.P.B tried to elect Daw Khin Kyi as National people's leader in 8888-all Burma's greatest democratic movement,50th,Annuel golden movement of 1300-full movement(1938) and also she accepted it but her health was not good and so, her daughter-Daw Aung Sann Su Kyi arrived to take-cared of her health and Daw Su had to take of the historical duty of her mother as the steel flower of the chief guarden mother-Daw Khin Kyi and so,Daw Su with us had to stay for several years at the dark prisons for freedom of Burma under Myanmar Junta Regimes but we shall never retreat from the democratic front and shall continnue to march strongly towards the democratic goal together with all Burma's national peoples on many kinds of tactics & strategy in global democratic net and so,we should support Daw Su's second PinLone Conference(21st,PinLone Conference) with All Burma's national people's democratic united movements.
thanking you in anticipation;

best regards;
yours' sincerely!
(U Thi Ha Tint Swe)
Patron for B.D.C,U.S.A.
G.S for N.P.F,Reg;No.120(88-89).
Vice chairman-2 for G.S.C,Rgn,Burma(8888).
P.P for 14.yrs(90 to 02).
Ph;(509)582-3261.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Ivory Coast in political violence


Supporters of Alassane Ouattara, who has claimed to have won last month's presidential election, burn tires in a street in Abidjan on December 16. Supporters of would-be Ivory Coast president Ouattara urged world powers Wednesday to use military force to oust defiant strongman Laurent Gbagbo.
The United States said it was in talks with Ivory Coast's neighbours about mustering UN reinforcements, and the World Bank said it had agreed with these West African capitals to halt loans to the regime.

The new pressure on Gbagbo came after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned Ivory Coast faces "a real risk of a return to civil war" unless Gbagbo stands down and hands power to his rival Alassane Ouattara.

World Bank president Robert Zoellick said in Paris that he had agreed with the leaders of Ivory Coast's partners in the West African Economic and Monetary union that Abidjan be cut off from international funding.

"They are also convening a meeting of ministers this week to affirm and strengthen this approach," he said of the West Africans, after holding talks with France's President Nicolas Sarkozy.

"We are in discussions with other regional countries to see if there are ways in which we can reinforce the UN peacekeeping force," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said in Washington.

Crowley said Washington was in talks with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and a diplomat in Abidjan confirmed a "military option" would be at the table at the bloc's crisis summit on Friday.

Ouattara's camp has welcomed international support, but his would-be prime minister, former rebel leader Guillaume Soro, had a stark message.

"After all the international pressure and the sanctions which did not have any effect on Mr Gbagbo, it's obvious that only one solution remains, that of force," Soro told France's i-Tele.

"I call on the United Nations Security Council, the European Union, the African Union and ECOWAS to envisage using force," he declared.

Every day now brings new international action against Gbagbo. On Wednesday, the European Union confirmed that visa bans had gone into effect against him and 18 close associates.

"The EU recalls that the result of the presidential election, in favour of President Alassane Ouattara, can neither be submitted to any form of evaluation nor be questioned," top EU diplomat Catherine Ashton said.

"On the contrary, it is important that transfer of power takes place without delay and without preconditions," she added.

The new measures reflect rising frustration at Gbagbo's refusal to step down in favour of his rival Ouattara, who also claims to have won last month's election and has been recognised as president by world powers.

The streets of Abidjan were lively, with traffic jams signalling the return to work for many after a month of crisis, but tensions remain high and former colonial power France urged its nationals to leave.

Many of the estimated 15,000 French expatriates have left for Christmas or to escape the mood of fear. Those who have not left should now depart "provisionally", French government spokesman Francois Baroin said.

Several other countries, including the United States, had already advised citizens to leave, and Nigeria said it was bringing out diplomats' families after a security incident at its embassy.

Gbagbo has deployed his armed forces to put down pro-Ouattara protests and to bottle up his adversary in the Golf Hotel, a luxury Abidjan resort protected by 800 UN peacekeeping troops.

"I am president of Ivory Coast. I thank the Ivorians who renewed their faith in me," Gbagbo declared late Tuesday, in a rare televised address.

The 65-year-old strongman accused the United Nations of "making war" on his people, and insisted French and UN peacekeepers would have to leave.

United Nations human rights and peacekeeping officials have accused Gbagbo's security forces of "massive human rights abuses" and are probing reports that he has hired Liberian mercenaries as death squads.

On Tuesday, Ban issued a plea on behalf of the troops in the United Nations 9,000-strong UNOCI peacekeeping mission, in particular those dug in around the Golf Hotel in Abidjan protecting Ouattara's besieged shadow government.

He warned the UN General Assembly that a "disruption of life-support supplies for the mission and the Golf Hotel will put our peacekeepers in a critical situation in the coming days."

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/world/212675/ivory-coast-ouattara-camp-urges-force-to-oust-gbagbo

North Korea 'ready for sacred war' with the South




Invited dignitaries watched the live exercises along with the South Korean president
Continue reading the main story
Inside North Korea

* Volunteers bolster S Korean army
* Why border hot-spot is war relic
* Rare peek into China-N Korea ties
* Alliance under strain

North Korea is ready for a "sacred war of justice" using a nuclear deterrent, its armed forces minister has said.

Kim Yong-chun accused South Korea of making preparations for war by holding live-fire exercises near the border.

The drills are one of the largest in South Korea's history, involving tanks, helicopters and fighter planes.

North Korea shelled a Southern island last month killing four people - the first time Northern shells had killed civilians since the 1950-53 war.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has promised immediate retaliation to any further Northern attack.

The BBC's John Sudworth says people on the Korean peninsula are used to fiery rhetoric from Pyongyang, but as the tension escalates, the danger is that one side will feel forced to act on its threats.
'Military provocation'

The South Korean army acknowledged that the drill was aimed to display its firepower.

Although the South has conducted 47 military drills this year, this is the largest winter live-fire exercise ever conducted on land.

The North earlier branded Seoul's exercises "warmongering" but until now had not threatened the South with any retaliation.
Continue reading the main story
Analysis

image of John SudworthJohn SudworthBBC News

There is no doubt that the verbal ante is being upped by both sides here at the moment.

I don't think we should read too much into it. It's the sort of thing we've heard from North Korea before. It's threatened to use its nuclear deterrent in the past.

But I think there will be people who worry that what's happening is that as each side lays down this conditional threat, a line is being drawn in the sand and it's tempting the other side to cross over it.

And the worry is that if you keep talking tough, both North and South Korea, eventually you may be forced to act on it.

During a meeting in the North Korean capital, Mr Kim, quoted by Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency, accused the South of preparing for a new Korean War.

"The South Korean puppet forces perpetrated such grave military provocation as renewing their shelling against the DPRK [North Korea] during their recent exercises for a war of aggression in the West Sea [Yellow Sea] of Korea," he said.

"This indicates that the enemy's scenario for aggression aimed at the start of another Korean War, has reached the phase of its implementation."

"The revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK are getting fully prepared to launch a sacred war of justice of Korean style based on the nuclear deterrent at anytime necessary to cope with the enemies' actions deliberately pushing the situation to the brink of a war," he added.

Despite possessing enough plutonium to create a bomb, the North is not thought to have succeeded in building a nuclear weapon.

Both China and Russia have called on the South to defuse tensions and US officials too are privately expressing their concern about Seoul's new, more aggressive stance.

South Korea and the US had already been conducting large-scale military exercises, following the apparent torpedoing of a South Korean warship by the North on 26 March, which killed 46 south Korean sailors.

Efforts to redirect the Korean issue back to the negotiating table have been unsuccessful.

China and the North say it is time to return to the six-nation talks about North Korea's nuclear programmes.

But the US, South Korea and Japan have said they will not return to such talks, which have previously involved rewards for the North if it cuts back on nuclear development.

North Korea walked out of the six-party talks in April 2009 and expelled UN nuclear inspectors from the country.
Graphic

Are you in the region? What do you think the impact of the South Korean military drills will be? You can send us your views and experiences using the form below.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12067735

Aung San Suu Kyi "A dialogue with the recently released Burmese dissident about democracy, conflict, and the need for reconciliation."

News special Last Modified: 22 Dec 2010 14:00 GMT
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Aung San Suu Kyi, the recently released Burmese dissident, has become an international symbol of peaceful resistance in the face of oppression and human rights violations in Myanmar.

The 65-year-old has spent most of the last 20 years in some form of detention because of her efforts to bring democracy to military-ruled Burma.

In 1991, one year after her party, the National League for Democracy, won an overwhelming victory in an election the junta later nullified, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Now she talks to Al Jazeera about the country's future, the need for change, and why she believes that national reconciliation is the road Myanmar has to take to get the country out of the present state of economic stagnation and political unfreedom.

She speaks about democracy, development, a strong civil society, and the humanitarian situation in Myanmar - and how change and progress could be achieved.

To put the challenges facing Myanmar into global context we are joined by a distinguished panel of experts:

Helping us facilitate the dialogue is Maung Zarni, a Burmese dissident and an academic research fellow at the London School of Economis. His first-hand knowledge of Burma allows him to share his insights of armed conflicts, resistance, and the Burmese military.

Mary Kaldor is professor and co-director of Gobal Governance. She has written extensively on global civil society, how ordinary people organise to change the way their countries and global institutions are run.

Timothy Garton Ash is a historian, political commentator and regular colomnist for the UK newspaper The Guardian. He is professor of European studies at Oxford University. His main interest is civil resistance and the role of Europe and the old West in an increasingly western world. In 2000, Aung San Suu Kyi invited Professor Garton Ash to Burma to speak to members of her party, the National League for Democracy, about transitions to democracies.

At the Crossroads: a dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi can be seen from Wednesday, December 22, at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 0030, 0730; Thursday: 1230, 1900.

http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/general/2010/12/2010122115315511156.html

Giri victims have just 45pc of basic needs, UN aid office in Rangoon says


A resident of hard-hit Myebon Township’s Pyinone village clears debris as other villagers work to rebuild the nearly 100 per cent of the area’s homes destroyed by Cyclone Giri on October 28, 2010. Although government newspapers initially said the storm killed only 27 across Arakan State, more than 40 died in Pyinone alone, villagers said. The Category Four storm had hit Burma’s western coast bearing winds in excess of 120 miles per hour (193 km/h) four days earlier. Although the devastated region needed an estimated US$57 million, it had received just US$20.5 million, the UN Country Team in Burma said in a report on Monday. Photo: Mizzima

Wednesday, 22 December 2010 21:59 Khaing Suu
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New Delhi (Mizzima) – Two months since Cyclone Giri ripped through Burma’s western Arakan State, residents affected have received just 45 per cent of their basic humanitarian needs, the Rangoon branch of a UN aid office said. People are in “dire need of more permanent shelter” and “livelihood support”, a UN official added.
Although the devastated region had needed an estimated US$57 million, it had received just US$20.5 million, the report compiled by the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) said on Monday.

Cyclone Giri hit the Arakanese coast on October 22, flattening villages in the worst-hit townships of Myebon, Pauktaw, Kyaukphyu and Manaung with winds gusting up to 160 mph (257 km/h), and killing at least 45 people. The Category Four storm affected 260,000 people and more than 100,000 were displaced, the report said.

Fifty-six per cent of schools, around 17,500 acres (7,000 hectares) of agricultural lands, nearly 50,000 acres of aquaculture ponds and more than 700 fishing boats were also destroyed in the cyclone, severely affecting residents’ livelihoods and causing problems with health care, education and other basic needs, it said.

The report also urged international donors to provide humanitarian relief for the cyclone victims.

Committee Representing People’s Parliament (CRPP) secretary and Arakan League for Democracy joint general secretary Aye Tha Aung arrived in the cyclone-affected area today to offer support and report on the situation.

“I went to many villages. Their houses don’t have roofs. Some villages have foods for just one or two days. Some villages have already run out of food,” he said.

A resident in Ngayapwakkyaing Village in the Pauktaw told Mizzima that although the UN and social organisations had given them humanitarian relief, they were without their main means of self-support.

“Currently, we are not worried about food as donors gave rice, oil and beans to us. But our fishing boats and gear were destroyed, so we can’t go fishing. The villagers have been jobless,” the resident said.

The World Food Programme (WFP), National League for Democracy (NLD) and CRPP donated food including rice to the cyclone victims in villages within Pauktaw, Myebon and Kyaukphyu townships. Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has also donated 10 million kyat (about US$10,000) to the victims.

“The WFP and CRPP came here to donate rice. If we need it, they will help to dig a well in our village,” the resident said.

The UN children’s welfare organisation, Unicef, supported the provision of 100 temporary learning spaces by the local Parents and Teachers Association in the four affected townships and provided school kits to 7,000 children, the Ocha report said.

The Ngayapwakkyaing resident said, “My village does not have a school so we paid teachers to teach our children just to be literate. But we are jobless so we can’t pay the teachers so our children can’t receive [a proper] education.”

According to a statement on Monday from the UN Country Team in Burma, UN officials, led by the UN Resident and Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Burma Bishow Parajuli, travelled last week to several villages in Sittwe and Myebon townships in Arakan State to witness relief and recovery efforts. The delegation briefed international donors on Monday about the visit.

“Humanitarian emergency assistance is forthcoming, and people are slowly starting to rebuild their communities with what little they have left and the aid they are receiving. The resilience of the affected people has been remarkable,” the statement said, quoting Parajuli after his return to Rangoon.

He was accompanied by the representative for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the WFP country director and the Rangoon Ocha chief.

The delegation met government officials and staff from UN agencies and international and local NGOs based in Sittwe, the state capital, and Myebon, where the most severe damage had occurred. The three-day mission also brought the delegation to the villages of Minchaung and Shintaung in Myebon and Byinethit in Pauktaw.

“The destruction in these villages has been massive. Up to 70-80 per cent of all houses were completely destroyed and schools and health facilities are severely damaged. People now rely on various emergency supplies, which are distributed widely to the worst-hit areas by the government, international and local NGOs and UN agencies,” Parajuli said in the statement.

“But people are in dire need of more permanent shelter structures and livelihood support,” he said.

The statement said the main gaps in funding were in “early recovery shelter and livelihood support”. It said on Monday, US$20.5 million had been allocated from donors in response to Giri damage, including US$6 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund.

The overall funding needs for all sectors for both emergency and early recovery were estimated at US$57 million and the humanitarian community in Burma welcomed continued international funding support, it said.

The European Commission (EC) told Voice of America yesterday it had allocated almost US$4 million in humanitarian relief for Giri victims. In the statement delivered in Thailand, the commission said another US$5 million had been allocated to help victims of recent storms in Vietnam and the Philippines.

Regional EC envoy David Lipman said the contribution showed Europe’s commitment to help those most vulnerable and needy in Burma.

Australia early last month donated US$3 million in assistance to help affected communities and families recover from this disaster and provide essential food, shelter, clean water and sanitation, Ocha said late last month.

Britain, Denmark, Japan and the United States have also made donations.

http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burma/4697-giri-victims-have-just-45pc-of-basic-needs-un-aid-office.html

More Land in Arakan State Confiscated for Railway

By KHIN OO THAR Thursday, December 23, 2010

More residents in Burma's western Arakan (Rakhine) State suffer as their farm land and plantations have been confiscated or damaged due to a railway project in the area, according to local sources.

“Apart from receiving no compensation, we weren't even informed that our lands were confiscated. Some rubber plantations located along the railway were also destroyed,” a resident in the construction area told The Irrawaddy. He said about two acres of his land were confiscated and part of his rubber plantation was destroyed.

Local residents said that the authorities had confiscated more than 1,000 acres of land between Mrauk U and Kyauk Taw townships, which are on the projected Sittwe-Ann-Minbu railway line.

Last month, several ancient temples and cultural heritage sites in Mrauk U Township were damaged or destroyed because they were located on the planned railway route, according to local residents.

“By building this railway, the military regime is launching a psychological offensive against local people, rather than developing our area. It has destroyed what the locals value one by one, and it does as it wants,” said a Mrauk U resident.

He said the construction of the railway on ancient cultural land in Mrauk U began on Nov. 7. Authorities later altered sections of the route because of repeated objections from local residents.

The route is now affecting land around the Arakan State's most ancient city of Dannyawaddy, he said.

A resident of Kyauk Taw told The Irrawaddy that a dispute broke out recently between the army and Myanma Railway officials after an earth excavator that was used in the railway construction work between Kyauk Taw and Mrauk U damaged underground cables connecting local army posts.

“A battalion commander ordered them to stop the construction work immediately after their property was damaged,” he said.

The order came from the commander of Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 377 on Dec. 17. LIBs 377, 378 and 540 are based in the area, he said.

According to residents of Sittwe, the capital of Arakan State, the regime has been working on the railway line in Arakan State since 2009. Several sections have been completed, they said, but some completed sections, especially in the Sittwe area, frequently need to be repaired.

The Sittwe-Ann-Minbu railway is scheduled to be part of the regime's nationwide railway network.

http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=20389

Leaked memos highlight Burma fears

Saturday, December 11, 2010 » 10:23am

Washington has suspected for years that Burma has a secret nuclear program supported by North Korea, with witnesses reporting suspicious activity as far back as 2004, leaked memos show.

One cable from the US embassy in Rangoon, dated August of that year and released on Thursday by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, quoted an unidentified source as saying he saw about 300 North Koreans working at an underground site.

'The North Koreans, aided by Burmese workers, are constructing a concrete-reinforced underground facility that is 500 feet (152 metres) from the top of the cave to the top of the hill above',' according to the cable.

'The North Koreans are said to be assembling missiles of unknown origin,' it said, adding that the report alone should not been taken as definitive proof or evidence of sizeable North Korean military involvement with the Burmese regime.

Another memo, also dated 2004, quoted a foreign businessman as saying he had seen a reinforced steel bar, larger than for just a factory project, being unloaded from a barge in the same area in west-central Magway Division.

The cable said the source had volunteered to an US Embassy Officer that he had heard rumours that a nuclear reactor was being built near the town of Minbu.

It said that while there was no direct evidence of cooperation between Burma's generals and Pyongyang, there were increasing reports of alleged sightings of North Korean 'technicians' inside the Southeast Asian nation.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned in July 2009 about possible nuclear links between Burma and North Korea, and earlier this year she said a ship from Pyongyang had delivered military equipment to Burma.

Burma's junta -- which recently held a widely criticised election seen as prolonging military rule -- has dismissed reports of its nuclear intentions and brushed aside Western concerns about possible cooperation with North Korea.

A UN report released last month alleged North Korea is supplying banned nuclear and ballistic equipment to Burma as well as Iran and Syria.

And a June documentary by the Norwegian-based news group Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) said Burma was trying to develop nuclear weapons, citing a senior army defector and years of 'top secret material'.

The DVB documentary gathered thousands of photos and defector testimony, some regarding Burma's network of secret underground bunkers and tunnels, which were allegedly built with the help of North Korean expertise.

Robert Kelley, a former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) who inspected the files smuggled out of Burma by Sai Thein Win, said in October evidence indicated 'a clandestine nuclear program' was under way.

'This is not a well-developed program. I don't think it's going very well,' he said at the time.

'But if another country steps in and has all of the knowledge, the materials, and maybe the key to some of the things that are plaguing them, including bad management, this program could really speed up.'

Kelley said North Korea was 'certainly the country I have in mind'.

According to another cable from 2009, a well-placed source in the Burmese government said General Thura Shwe Mann had visited North Korea in 2008.

But the source backtracked later, insisting the talks were only exploratory.

The leaked memos also suggest that key backer China was fed up with the 'foot-dragging' of Burma's military junta on reform and feared the ruling generals could no longer

protect its interests in the country.

'The Chinese can no longer rely on the generals to protect their interests here, and recognise the need to broker some solution that keeps the peace,' according to a US cable

dated January 2008.

http://bigpondnews.com/articles/Technology/2010/12/11/Leaked_memos_highlight_Burma_fears_550626.html

Aung San Suu Kyi Messages

Monday, 20 December 2010

Politics Join Social Issues on Burma's CSO Agendas

Politics have found a place on the agendas of Burma's civil society organizations (CSO) since the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, according to leading members of the movement.

“Before Suu Kyi's release the CSO only focused on social work but now members discuss politics,” said Myo Yan Naung Thein, a trainer for CSO capacity building. “They are a bridge between government and public.”

Mya Nandar, a member of the New Myanmar foundation, confirmed that her CSO wanted to be involved in politics as well as perform social work. “But we have to mind our step.”

Mya Nandar said she chose to be a social worker at the time of Cyclone Nargis in 2008.

The community-based organizations were formed to rush aid to the surviving victims of the cyclone, which killed more than 140,000 people and left hundreds of thousands destitute and homeless.

Myo Yan Naung Thein said CSO were a force for democracy because they were in touch with the common people and could tackle social work that INGOs couldn't perform.

Young people aged between 18 and 40 are involved in education, health, environment and humanitarian work for at least 150 CSO based in Rangoon. Some groups have as many as 1,000 members.

They are financed with grants from international nongovernmental agencies (INGOs), foreign embassies, donations from friends and family members working abroad and fund-raising events.

Phyi Sone Htet, a members of the “Green one,” said Suu Kyi's support had “invigorated” his CSO in its environmental work.

“Green one” organizes weekly discussion sessions, which Phyi Sone Htet said were carefully monitored by the authorities.

NLD central executive committee member Ohn Kyaing said Suu Kyi is scheduled to meet shortly with CSO leaders and members.

“We have to do our work based on understanding with the authorities and if somebody like Suu Kyi stands with us it is helpful for our work,” said Thint Zaw Than, a member of a CSO that focuses on education.

Burma reportedly has 64 non-governmental organizations and 455 officially recognized community-based associations. But there are many more CSOs in the country not registered who are working to engage the social work.
source: http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=20354

Saturday, 18 December 2010

UN Meet Minutes leaked - Some Burmese NGOs Say Suu Kyi Hampers Their Work - Irrawaddy

Thursday, December 16, 2010

By HTET AUNG

Some Burmese non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have complained to a United Nations envoy that their work has been hampered by the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and her active involvement in social issues.

The complaints were voiced in a meeting between Vijay Nambiar, the UN secretary-general's special envoy to Burma, and representatives of local NGOs during his two-day visit to Burma. Unofficial notes on the meetings, obtained by The Irrawaddy, reported that the potential for opening up the country's civil society groups to address the country's social issues in the post-election period had been discussed.

Among those who met Nambiar were Nay Win Maung, of Myanmar Egress; Khin Maung Yin and Dr Myo Lwin of the Pyo Pin Program; Thiha Kyaing of the Phoenix Association (Myanmar); Myint Su from the Local Resource Center; and officials from the Metta Foundation and the International Development Enterprise.

The notes on the meeting said Nay Win Maung and Khin Maung Yin told the UN envoy it had become more difficult to carry out their social works after Suu Kyi's release because of what they perceived as her hardline political stand. Her call for a second Panglong conference, for example, was “dangerous,” they said.

However, the notes didn't elaborate precisely on how the NGOs felt Suu Kyi's political stand could hamper their social works. The Irrawaddy tried to contact Nay Win Maung to obtain further elaboration but couldn't reach him.

Nay Win Maung is one of the founders of Myanmar Egress, which actively promoted the Nov. 7 election through voter education programs. He also owns the local weekly journal The Voice. Khin Maung Yin is a leader of the Pyo Pin Program, which is funded by the UK Department for International Development via the British Embassy in Rangoon.

“They don't view the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi positively,” said Thiha Kyaing. “They said they could do their social works better before Daw Suu was freed and that after her release the political situation became shaky. It was difficult for them to operate their works.”

Thiha Kyaing said he didn't share these views. “Most of the people who met the special envoy are not really working at the grassroots level and they spoke mostly about policy issues, neither truly representing nor knowing the real situation of the community.”

Phoenix Association is a non-profit social organization and its members are people living with HIV/AIDS. The organization was established in 2005 with the objective of supporting HIV/AIDS patients facing social and economic problems.

Thiha Kyaing said the Phoenix Association had not experienced greater difficulty in carrying out its social work since Suu Kyi's release, which the organization viewed positively.

“In fact, Daw Suu's influence can even be used to raise funds for our work.” he said. “People in the communities that I am working with strongly support Daw Suu.”

In the unofficial meeting notes, Nay Win Maung and Khin Maung Yin said Suu Kyi needs to update her knowledge of the changes that occurred during her house arrest.

They complained they hadn't had a chance to meet Suu Kyi—although Thein Oo, the National League for Democracy (NLD) official responsible for arranging all meetings with Suu Kyi, told The Irrawaddy: “There has so far been no request from Egress to meet with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.”

Ohn Kyaing, the NLD central executive committee member responsible for contacts with other local organizations, dismissed the Egress and Pyo Pin Program complaints as “baseless.” He said: “Since her release, she has already made clear that she is willing to cooperate with all parties.”

Following her release last month, Suu Kyi has advocated a strengthening of the civil society organizations. In a video speech sent to the recent EU Development Forum, she called for more investment in the development of civil society organizations, adding that it must be “accountable and transparent.”

Opening remarks at UN Headquarters year-end press conference

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
UNHQ

17 December 2010

Good morning ladies and gentlemen,

Before we begin, I want to make a statement on Côte d'Ivoire.

As of this morning, the situation has taken a dangerous turn.

Let me say clearly and directly: any attempt to obstruct UN operations or blockade the Golf Hotel is totally unacceptable.

Any attack on UN forces will be an attack on the international community.

I emphasize: those responsible for the loss of civilian lives will be held accountable.

In these circumstances, it is crucial for both parties to avoid provocations or a further escalation of violence.

The response by ECOWAS and the African Union shows the continent united in its commitment to respect the constitutional order and will of the people.

That is our message, as well: the results of the election are known. There was a clear winner. There is no other option.

The efforts of Laurent Gbagbo and his supporters to retain power and flout the public will cannot be allowed to stand.

I call on him to step down and allow his elected successor to assume office without further hindrance.

The international community must send this message -- loud and clear.

Any other outcome would make a mockery of democracy and the rule of law.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Since this is the final press conference of the year, let me take a few minutes to reflect with you.

2010 was a big year for multilateralism -- a big year for the United Nations.

We adopted a forward-looking action plan on the Millennium Development Goals.

We mobilized $40 billion for the new Global Strategy on Women's and Children's Health. And we just established a high-level Commission on accountability to ensure that commitments are tracked and results delivered.

We are making progress in the malaria fight.

After years of effort, we created UN Women and hired a dynamic new head of the agency, Michelle Bachelet.

We made advances in Nagoya on biodiversity.

In Cancun, Governments took an important step forward in building a low-emissions, climate resilient future.

They agreed on a balanced package of measures that formalizes mitigation pledges from all countries and ensures increased accountability for them. They made progress on forest protection, climate finance, adaptation and technology. We will build on this foundation as we look to COP 17 in South Africa.

We completed the first successful NPT Review Conference in ten years, and were able to advance my five-point plan on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

We supported highly sensitive elections in Afghanistan and Iraq.

We strengthened the UN's capacities for preventive diplomacy and mediation.

All told, we supported 34 different mediation, facilitation and dialogue efforts this year.

The persistent work of UN envoys helped, for example, to ease the crisis in Kyrgyzstan and keep a transition to democracy on track in Guinea. Next week, the Deputy Secretary-General will attend the inauguration of the newly elected civilian President of Guinea.

We advanced the fight against impunity by strengthening the International Criminal Court.

We have continued to assist Member States in resolving difficult issues and undertaking impartial inquiries on sensitive matters from the Flotilla incident to the Bhutto Commission to the Special Tribunal on Lebanon.

We enhanced efficiency and effectiveness on the ground through a first-of-its-kind Global Field Support Strategy, which concentrates support for various peacekeeping missions in single, more efficient regional hubs.

We responded to the devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, as well as the floods in Pakistan. And we helped amplify the voices of the vulnerable, the billions around the world facing global economic insecurity.

Looking ahead, our challenge is to carry our progress forward.

Resources are tighter. Demands on the UN are growing. This requires us to focus more on prevention, preparedness, being proactive, being persistent - all within a framework that is transparent and accountable.

I will have much more to say next month on our agenda for 2011.

For the moment, let me say:

We will continue to closely watch the situation in Côte d'Ivoire.

In Sudan, I am deeply concerned by the recent clashes in Darfur. And in just a few weeks, the people of Southern Sudan will exercise their right to vote on their future.

The United Nations remains committed to supporting the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and holding the referendum on January 9 next year. And we will work to help the two sides address common challenges in the aftermath.

We will seek to advance the Middle East peace process to realize the two-state solution, despite the absence of direct talks.

I once again urge the parties to engage seriously and be forthcoming on substance.

A meeting of the Quartet principals is expected early in the new year.

We will also continue to focus on improving life in Gaza. And I repeat: Israel must meet its obligation to freeze all settlement activity, including in East Jerusalem.

With respect to Myanmar, despite its serious shortcomings, the elections and the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi were significant developments. Myanmar can and should build on them.

Our strategy is one of long-term comprehensive engagement. We will continue to work to help Myanmar meet the objectives of national reconciliation, democratic transition and respect for human rights.

And we will seek progress on many of the longer-term challenges – including peace and security in the Korean Peninsula, the Iranian nuclear issue, bringing a stable government to Somalia, and helping to reunify Cyprus.

With regard to Cyprus, we have worked to increase the momentum in the talks, and I plan to meet leaders next month in Geneva. Between now and then, I hope they will continue to build on common ground as I urged them to do last month here in New York.

Finally, a few words on Haiti.

I am concerned about allegations of fraud in the recent elections. A second round is scheduled for mid-January.

We will continue to support free and fair elections that reflect the will of the Haitian people.

I urge all candidates and their supporters to remain calm and refrain from violence.

With respect to the cholera challenge, our first priority continues to be saving lives. We are working to reassure the population that the disease can be managed through early treatment and some clear and simple steps.

It is crucial to get this message out, far and wide.

And we need more funding. The Cholera Response Strategy that we launched last month is still only 21 percent funded. Haiti needs more doctors, nurses, medical supplies, and it needs them urgently.

As you know, there are several theories on the origins of the cholera outbreak in Haiti.

Not all reports have reached the same conclusion. MINUSTAH and the Government of Haiti have conducted a number of tests. All so far have been negative.

But there remain fair questions and legitimate concerns that demand the best answer that science can provide.

That is why, pursuant to close consultation with Dr. Margaret Chan of WHO, I am announcing today the creation of an international scientific panel to investigate the source of the cholera epidemic in Haiti.

The panel will be completely independent and have full access to all UN premises and personnel. Details on the panel will be provided when finalized.

We want to make the best effort to get to the bottom of this and find answers that the people of Haiti deserve.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Looking back and looking ahead, I want to reiterate a point that I believe defines today's complex and connected world.

Truly global action requires mobilizing support, creating broad alliances and building coalitions.

In the search for solutions, progress does not come with big bangs, but with steady, determined steps.

It is the accumulation of these small steps, these steady elements of progress that set the stage for larger changes -- the breakthroughs of tomorrow.

We live in a unique multilateral moment -- a world changing in the most dramatic ways since the end of World War II.

The United Nations must keep pace.

We have made progress this year. But we can and must continue.

Thank you for all your support and now I will be happy to take your questions.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocus/sgspeeches/statments_full.asp?statID=1039#

APNewsBreak: Laura Bush speaks by phone to Suu Kyi

Updated: Dec 17, 2010 - 13:27PM

Jamie Stengle

AP

DALLAS -Former first lady Laura Bush, a longtime advocate for free elections in Myanmar, spoke for the first time Friday with the isolated Asian country's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was released last month after more than seven years of house arrest.

Bush told The Associated Press that "it was thrilling" to finally get to speak to Suu Kyi by phone.

"I was especially happy to hear how strong her voice was and how enthusiastic," Bush said.

Suu Kyi, who won the 1991 Nobel Peace prize for her nonviolent struggle for democracy, was first arrested by Myanmar's military junta in 1989 and has spent 15 of the past 21 years in detention.

Bush, the wife of former President George W. Bush, has advocated for free elections in Myanmar, also known as Burma, and has spoken out many times about Suu Kyi's plight, raising the issue at United Nations meetings and with U.S. senators.

Bush said Suu Kyi told her that during her house arrest, she listened to the Voice of America on the radio and was aware of how much support she had around the world. She said she also knew of a 2008 visit Bush and her daughter, Barbara, made to a refugee camp in Thailand for political refugees from Myanmar.

"She was very forthcoming but we both assumed the call was bugged. She was circumspect and so was I," Bush said.

Suu Kyi's release last month came a week after Myanmar's first election in 20 years, which was widely seen as a sham. The 1990 election was won in a landslide by Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party, but the military refused to hand over power and instead clamped down on its opponents.

Bush said that it appears that the government is allowing Suu Kyi to conduct the meetings and phone calls she wants.

"I hope I'll have the chance to speak with her again," Bush said. "I hope that someday we'll have the chance to meet face to face."

The former first lady said she also told Suu Kyi about an effort by the George W. Bush Presidential Center to be a repository for the papers and oral histories of political dissidents struggling to spread democracy. Bush said Suu Kyi was receptive to the idea of one day being interviewed for the project.

The center, which will be made up of a presidential library, museum and policy institute, is set to open in February 2013 on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, the city George and Laura Bush moved to after he left office in 2009.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Burma Insight: 16 Dec 2010

BDC

16 Dec 2010

Yangon, December 16 -- Chinese-aided Myanmar’s largest hydropower plant namely Yeywa Hydropower Plant with generating capacity of 790 megawatts together with its RCC embankment was opened yesterday at Pyin Oo Lwin town near Mandalay with pomp and splendour by Prime Minister U Thein Sein.

Built on Myitnge ( a ) Dokhtawaddy tributary of Ayeyarwaddy River just inside Shan State 31 miles South East of Mandalay by Chinese engineers and technicians together with their Myanmar counterparts with a total cost of US dollars 600 million including US dollars 200 million loan from China plus a large amount of local currency, it took Myanmar military government nine years from 2001 to finish building it.

In his inaugural speech at the site of the plant, PM Thein Sein hailed the opening of Yeywa Hydropower Plant “as the day the nation should be filled with great pride.”

According to Thein Sein, the Yeywa dam is not only the first-ever reinforced concrete ( RCC ) facility in Myanmar but also the third largest RCC dam of its kind in the world.

He said the plant has been installed with 790 megawatts generating capacity with four 197.5 megawatts generators. It would thus generate 3550 million kilowatt hours annually.

“The Yeywa Hydropower Plant will certainly fulfill the electricity needs of the nation,” the Prime Minister said.

In comparing the consumption of electric power needs by the people before 1988 and now, Thein Sein said before 1988 the nation could generate only 529 megawatts. “As generating of electricity have been speeded up after 1988, a total of 15 hydropower plants including Yeywa Hydropower Plant, one coal-fired power plant and 15 gas power plants, totaling 31 across the nation are now generating 3045 megawatts,” the PM added in his speech.

In addition he said more hydropower plants are being built. The statistics given by technicians on Yeywa dam is it is of RCC type, which is 2264 feet long and 433 feet high embankment with 448 feet wide spillway. Water storage capacity is 2.114 million acre feet.

Another major hydropower plant built by Chinese aid was Paunglaung Hydel power plant, which lies on Paunglaung River, a tributary of upper reaches of Sittaung River, 11 miles east of Nay Pyi Taw in Yamethin district, Mandalay Division.

This project is being implemented in two phases – the first phase namely the lower Paunglaung project was completed on March 24, 2005 and since then it has been supplying 140 megawatts electricity to Nay Pyi Taw and nearby areas.

In November 2005, eight months after the completion of lower Paunglaung the military government shifted the capital from Yangon to Nay Pyi Taw.

Upper Paunglaung phase of the project, which will also generate another 140 megawatts, is under construction.

The military government has never announced to what extent the Chinese have aided in building this Paunglaung Hydel plant and Paunglaung multi-purpose dam.

Though PM Thein Sein claimed that the newly opened Yeywa hydropower plant would fulfill the power needs of the people, the population of which has grown from 40 million in 1988 to 60 million now, some parts of major cities including Yangon up to now suffered hours long power cut off.

VALIDATED BY WIKILEAKS ON BURMA URANIUM SALES

December 16, 2010

Wikileaks is in the process of releasing over 250,000 United States
diplomatic cables. The less than 1% published so far have already changing
the way we think about the world. Hitherto secret information has been
revealed about one country after another. The cables have also made
evident that the U.S. regularly lies in its public statements about
international issues. The government isn t even close to being open with
American citizens and the people of the world.

For Burma, the Obama Administration is obliged under the Tom Lantos JADE
Act to disclose publicly what it knows about the SPDC s nuclear program.
The State Department has refused to publish the Act s Report on Military
and Intelligence Aid, even in the face of our Freedom of Information
filing, which was made eight months ago.

Wikileaks has provided an extraordinary opportunity to circumvent this
blackout. The organization has 1,864 cables from the United States Embassy
in Rangoon, and additional cables from other locations mention Burma as
well.

As of the time this statement was posted, at least nineteen of the
released cables involve Burma, and eight of these deal with nuclear and
related issues:

- The possible construction of a nuclear reactor - 04Rangoon88

- A large underground site in Magway, with North Korean workers -
04Rangoon1100

- How the SPDC s growing nuclear program is a barrier to U.S. engagement,
with reference to the detection of increasing military purchases from
North Korea and an alarming increase in the number of nuclear science
students studying in Russia (which number Dictator Watch first disclosed)
- 09Beijing2868

- The possible shipment of uranium ore to China - 07Rangoon105

- China revealing that Burma s North Korea relationship includes a nuclear
component and that the North is providing hardware and Russia software and
training - 09Rangoon502

- China promoting the idea that Burma-North Korea
cooperation is acceptable - 09Rangoon732

- An offer to sell uranium to the Embassy in Rangoon - 08Rangoon749

- Burma named as a WMD proliferation risk - 09State80163

The uranium sale cable is from September 23, 2008. It reports that a
Burmese national gave the embassy a vial that purportedly contained U-238.
The seller claimed to have 50kg of uranium-bearing rock in Rangoon, and
access to at least 2,000 kg more in Karenni State. However, it is not
clear when the offer took place. The cable header refers to another
communication from 2007 - State162091.

This cable validates intelligence about the availability of Burmese
uranium that Dictator Watch has previously published, albeit with some
differences.

At the end of 2006, we learned that a Burmese broker was offering to sell
yellowcake (low refined uranium). Our initial response was to inform the
U.S. We don t want a dirty bomb with Burmese uranium to go off someday in
New York, London or Bangkok. We were told to stay away from it - we had
offered to help arrange a sting - from which we concluded that the U.S.
already knew about it.

In July 2007 we mentioned the situation for the first time in an article,
Burma: A Threat to International Security and Peace. There was no
response, official or press, to our information. We subsequently described
the case in more detail in a 2009 article, Elements of a Nuclear Weapons
Program, Threat Assessment for Burma. In this piece we disclosed that the
broker had referred to a 60kg supply of yellowcake that was stored at an
industrial center near Bangkok, and that the material was under the
control of a Wa general. We also revealed that we had learned of a second
broker. There was no response to this information either.

While there are differences, U-238 versus yellowcake, and 50 versus 60
kilograms, we think it is likely that the broker that approached the
Rangoon Embassy was the same as the first that we heard about. We would
like to know the result of the U.S. testing on the sample that the Embassy
received, and why America didn t work to stop the broker. As far as we are
concerned, the threat of terrorism using Burmese uranium remains critical.

If the U.S. is interested, we can provide additional information on the
broker, from a document that mentions the yellowcake.

We have no doubt that as the bulk of the Burma cables are published, more
about the SPDC s role in weapons of mass destruction proliferation will
become known. We would also comment that these are State Department cables
- the CIA, of course, knows more than State - and that the latest cable is
from early 2010. Unquestionably, the U.S. has substantial and more recent
intelligence about the SPDC s proliferation, which in the interests of
openness it should reveal, without the need for a Wikileaks.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Problems for Burma's Freedom (Bo Gyoke Aung San Speech)

16-12-2010




We have then a big historic task which we have received from those who have gone ahead and passed, as an inviolable trust. How shall we fulfill it? Before we seek the answer to this question, it is essential in my opinion that we look round and find the threads that could lead us to the final solution. For the problems that confront humanity today are closely interwoven and form one indivisible fabric. Such is the order of the world today which is in a vast melting pot. Internationalism and nationalism, economics and politics, politics and sociology, sociology and culture, religion, ethics, etc., are but different parts of the one complex whole, each related to the other, ever changing in form and content.


We cannot think, live and move in watertight compartments only. We cannot keep on holding fixed, rigid dogmas which can no longer be in tune with the spirit of the times. Today in our country several of us have not yet been able to comprehend the phenomena of life and society in truer light. Some of us have been going still, consciously or unconsciously, about the same old way of “dirty” politics. But is politics really “dirty”? Certainly not. It is not politics which is dirty, but rather the persons who choose to dirty it are dirty. And what is politics?


Is it something too high above us to which we can just look up in respectful awe and from which we refrain, because we are just mortal clay in His hands and cannot do it? Is it, as some charlatans, roaming occasionally about in distant nooks of our country, used to prey upon the credulous imagination of some of our people, the kind of thing capable of being set aright only by fanciful tales and legends? Is it a dangerous ground which we must be wary to tread and might as well avoid, if we possibly could? Is it just a question of “race, religion and language” forever, as we were once wont to say? What is it, then, really?


The fact is that politics is neither high nor low, neither magic nor astrology nor alchemy. Nor is it simply a dangerous ground to tread upon. It is not also a question of bigoted or parochial nationalism either. It must always approximate to the truth of marching events. In short, after all is said and done, politics mean your everyday life. It is you in fact; for you are a political animal as Aristotle long ago declared. It is how you eat, sleep, work and live, with which politics is concerned. You may not think about politics. But politics thinks about you. You may shun politics. But politics clings to you always in your home, in your office, in your factories. There, everyday you are doing politics, grappling with it, struggling with it. The worker works for his wages, the peasant tills for his living, the clerk and the official toil for salaries, the trader and the broker struggle for decent incomes. It is, all, the question of livelihood. The worker wants to have higher wages and live in better conditions. The peasant desires to improve his land and his lot. The clerk and the official want something more than the drudgery of office, something more secure, more complete, more independent. The trader and broker want fair opportunities for trading and business.


Thus you have to live and get certain things that are yours for your living, and this is your politics. This is your everyday life; and as your everyday life changes, so changes your politics. It is for you to have such opportunities for your livelihood and better life that we say there must be freedom, freedom to live, freedom to create and develop nationally, and individually, freedom which can raise your and our standards without affecting others. And this is politics. Politics, then is quite human! It is not dirty. It is not dangerous. It is not parochial. It is neither magic nor superstition. It is not above understanding.

Wikileaks: Сингапур говорит Мьянмы "глупых"

Алекс Кеннеди
AP
Сингапур-Сингапур государственный Ли Куан Ю называемых лидеров хунты Мьянмы "глупый" и "плотно" в беседах с американскими дипломатами, в соответствии с секретными документами выпущенном на этой неделе Wikileaks.
Лидер Сингапура заявил дело с военным режимом в Мьянме был, как "говорить с мертвых людей", в соответствии с конфиденциальной брифинге США на 2007 разговора между Ли и посол США Патрисия Л. Herbold и заместитель помощника госсекретаря Томас Кристенсен выпущен Wikileaks.
87-летний Ли известен своей откровенной и тупой оценки мировых делах, но избегает публичное оскорбление руководство зарубежных стран. Ли был премьер-министром с 1959 по 1990 год и остается старшим советником своего сына, нынешнего премьер-министр Ли Сянь Лун.
Кабель выпущен Wikileaks пару недель назад котировки Ли вызова руководители Северной Кореи "психопатические типы с" вялый старина "для лидера, который дыбы вокруг стадионов ищет лести". Ссылкой на северокорейский лидер Ким Чен Ир из кабеля со ссылкой мая 2009 разговора между Ли и США заместитель госсекретаря США Джеймс Стейнберг.
Ли не прокомментировал релизы, в то время как правительство Сингапура уволил их как "сплетня" и предостерег от принятия их из контекста.
В самых новых кабелей, Ли сказал, что Китай имел наибольшее влияние на руководство Мьянмы любого иностранного государства и, что Пекин был обеспокоен страна "взорвать" и, таким образом угрожают китайские инвестиции там.
"Ли выразил свое презрение к руководству режима," утечка кабеля сказал. "Он сказал, что он отказался от них десять лет назад, назвал их" плотной "и" глупой "и заявили, что они" неправильно "большие природные ресурсы страны".
Ли заявил, что Индия была привлечения руководства Мьянмы в попытке свести к минимуму влияние Китая, но, что "Индия не хватало тонких понять Китая, как Бирма работал", в соответствии с кабелем.
Ли сказал, группа молодых военных менее "тупой" должностные лица могли бы взять под свой контроль и делиться властью с демократическими активистами ", хотя, вероятно, не с Аун Сан Су Чжи, которая была проклятием для военных".
После более чем семи лет под домашним арестом, лидера движения за демократию Су Чжи был выпущен 13 ноября, через неделю после первых выборов в Мьянме в 20 лет, которые были победил с большим преимуществом по про-военной партии. Критики захлопнул избирательных как обман, направленные на цементирование военного правления.
Сингапур имеет под сомнение достоверность некоторых документов, якобы просочившиеся из Wikileaks и опубликованы некоторые австралийские газеты. Доклады цитатой Сингапур дипломатов решений нелестные замечания о Малайзии, Индии, Таиланда и Японии во время встречи с американскими дипломатами.
В заявлении, опубликованном во вторник вечером, Сингапур Министерство иностранных дел сказал: "Что Сингапуре чиновники утверждают WikiLeaks, сказал не совпадают с нашими собственными записями."
"Один предполагаемый совещания (между Сингапуром и американские дипломаты) даже не состоится", сказал он.
Сингапур министр иностранных дел Джордж Ео сообщил ранее на этой неделе, что в любом случае, такие кабели интерпретации разговоров американских дипломатов, и поэтому не должно быть "и интерпретировать".
"Это в природе коктейль говорить", сказал Йео. "Это всегда из контекста. Это сплетни. "

Norway accused of funding abuse in Burma

Norway accused of funding abuse in Burma
State pension fund invested billions in energy projects, report says

By Andrew Buncombe, Asia Correspondent
Wednesday, 15 December 2010SHARE PRINTEMAILTEXT SIZE NORMALLARGEEXTRA LARGE
EARTHRIGHTS INTERNATIONAL
Forced labour on the Yadana pipeline in the 1990s

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The Norwegian government has been accused of complicity in illegal land seizures, forced labour and killings, by investing national funds in international companies that operate inside Burma on projects where widespread abuses are alleged to have taken place.

A state-controlled pension fund that is a repository for some of Norway's own oil wealth has invested up to $4.7bn in 15 oil and gas companies operating inside the South-east Asian country.

The companies are accused of participating in projects where various human rights violations have taken place. Activists claim the pension fund is in breach of its own guidelines for responsible investment. The allegations come just days after Norway hosted the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.

Land confiscation, forced labour and other abuses are happening in connection with several gas and oil pipeline projects in Burma, according to Naing Htoo of EarthRights International, which is today publishing a report detailing the alleged abuses being committed by the Burmese government. "There's every indication abuses connected to these projects will continue, and, in some cases, worsen," he said.

A number of those companies in which the Norwegian fund has investments have previously been accused in relation to controversial projects in Burma which has been controlled by a military junta since 1962. Among them are Total Oil of France, in which the Norwegian fund has an investment of $2.6bn, and the US-based Chevron Corp, in which the fund has $900m invested.

EarthRights International insists that widespread violations continue to be committed by the Burmese army in support of many oil and gas projects that earn the regime millions of dollars. The group says that troops providing security for the Yadana and Yetagun pipelines have carried out extra-judicial killings.

"The Burmese regime has long demonstrated itself as an unsuitable business partner," said Steve Gumaer, of the Norway-based aid group Partners Relief and Development. "Business ventures conducted through official channels in Burma directly support the regime's abuse of the ethnic populations and pro-democracy citizens in Burma today."

He added: "It is said that villages in north-eastern Burma have benefited by this sort of 'economic engagement'. I have seen the devastating results; instead of schools, health and hygiene programmes, are the ashes of villages that have been burnt down. I have talked to women who were raped, men who were forced to serve as porters."

The Norwegian fund has a total of $3.6bn invested in companies involved in these projects that transport offshore gas from the Andaman Sea. Total, Chevron and other companies have denied claims that their operations inside Burma encourage abuses such as forced labour and land seizure.

The report also claims the Norwegian fund has investments in companies that are involved in projects in the Shwe gas fields, which have also been linked to abuses such as forced labour.

The Norwegian fund, established in 1990, is the second largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, with assets estimated at $512bn and investments in 8,000 companies. It is forecast to double in size by 2020. Because of previous allegations over unethical investments, the fund, controlled by the Norwegian central bank on behalf of the ministry of finance, is overseen by an ethical advisory council.

In 2007, the Norwegian authorities said they were withdrawing the fund's investments from Vedanta Resources, the British company that was seeking to mine bauxite on a mountain in eastern India many considered sacred .

In 2005, the council was asked to consider the fund's investment in Total and whether it breached guidelines. The council said it believed it likely that Total was aware of human rights violations on projects in Burma between 1995 and 1998, but this "did not provide a basis for exclusion from the fund, as it is only the risk for present or future violations of the guidelines which can prompt exclusion".

When allegations of forced labour were earlier levelled at Total in summer 2009, the company issued a statement saying, "local inhabitants around the Yadana pipeline say they are happy to have us there; they are, above all, grateful that there is no forced labour around our pipeline".

Last night, Norway's foreign ministry said it had not been made aware of EarthRights International's report. "The Norwegian government is worried about the situation for human rights in Burma," a spokesman said. The fund,he added, was "a financial investor with investments in more than 8,000 companies. It is therefore difficult for the Ministry to make comments related to a specific company in the fund's portfolio."


Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Farmers lose out in Karen conflict

By HTET AUNG KYAW 13 December 2010

Farmers in eastern Karen state’s Myawaddy township are complaining that heavy fighting over the past month has forced them to abandon crops and amass debts.

One village close to the border town, Hpalu, has seen regular fighting in recent weeks. While that appears to have eased over the weekend, the area remains volatile. One farmer told DVB that he had been unable to harvest acres of beans, corn and paddy around Hpalu.

As a result, many had been borrowing money from local business people, but remained reliant on a good harvest to repay the loans.

Thousands of refugees have moved back and forth across the border with Thailand since 8 November after fighting erupted between the Burmese army and a breakaway faction of Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA).

Many of the refugees returned days after fleeing, despite warnings that the area was not safe. Numbers of those who returned had said they were keen to tend to their crops, given that it is harvesting season in eastern Burma.

Meanwhile, lawyer Aye Myint, who heads the Guiding Star legal advocacy group in Burma, said that there had been an increase in extortion of farmers by local officials since the 7 November elections.

Burma already has high rates of illegal land confiscation by authorities, an issue which is monitored by the UN’s International Labour Organisation. One of the main catalysts of the recent increase, Aye Myint believes, is fear among low-level officials that they will lose their positions in a post-election reshuffle and thus are looking to secure land for financial stability.

Aye Myint said he had received 15 complaints from farmers over the past weekend, seven of which were over land disputes.

One Karen woman in Wakhema township complained to him that her land had been seized by village authorities, but when she refused to leave and continued to work the land was placed in detention.

Two monks that had assisted the lady were also put in jail, he added, while the village-level officials moved in on the land and harvested some of the crops.

http://english.dvb.no/

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Myanmar Music Video: Hay Man Oo Mar Shock Shi Tae

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said that she would like to communicate with people around the world. She also has said that she would like to build the democracy networking web since she releases from detention. She also emphasis that youths are the strength for the future nation building and working for democratisation of Burma. In order to play a role in our parts, Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) is producing the campaign video "Hay Man Oo Mar SHOCK Shi Tae" in order to educate, empower and encourage the new generation to work for the betterment of Burma. Since Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) believes the butterfly effect and we would be very happy if the video could be a useful tool triggering the domino effect resulting in emerging the peaceful, progress and prosperous nation. Thank you very much. For more information please visit Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) at http://www.bdcburma.org/Index.asp

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs: Joseph Y. Yun

Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs



BIOGRAPHY

Joseph Y. Yun
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Term of Appointment: 8/10/2010 to present

Joseph Y. Yun is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, the U.S. Department of State, responsible for relations with Southeast Asia and ASEAN affairs. He previously held the positions of Director of the Office of Maritime Southeast Asia of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, the U.S. Department of State, and Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs, U.S. Embassy, Seoul. Mr. Yun’s other overseas postings include Thailand, France, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

Mr. Yun joined the Foreign Service in 1985; he is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor. Before joining the Foreign Service, Mr. Yun was a senior economist for Data Resources, Inc., Lexington, Massachusetts. Mr. Yun holds degrees from the London School of Economics and University of Wales.

http://www.state.gov/p/eap/rls/ot/2010/146957.htm

Student army to join Karen fighting

By JOSEPH ALLCHIN
Published: 6 December 2010


Troops from the ABSDF during a training exercise in March 2008 (Source: ABSDF website)

A Burmese student army that rose to prominence following the 1988 uprising is preparing to fight alongside Karen troops in the volatile eastern state.

The decision was confirmed today by a senior official in the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF) who asked to remain anonymous. The group, which at its peak had more than 10,000 troops, will join sides with a breakaway faction of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) as fighting against Burmese forces continues close to the Thai border.

A delegation from the ABSDF met with DKBA commander Na Kham Mwe shortly after 8 November, the official said, when the group took key government positions in Karen state’s Myawaddy. “We are ready to cooperate with Na Kham Mwe’s group which is fighting the [Burmese army],” he added.

Than Khe, chairperson of the ABSDF, said that the group, whose numbers have now significantly diminished since the mid-1990s, approved with Na Kham Mwe’s decision to defect from the pro-junta DKBA faction which has now become a government-backed Border Guard Force (BFG).

“We can support this motive because the timing is very good,” he told DVB. “At the same time the objective is also very meaningful: it shows the people that we do not accept the 2010 elections. We show our solidarity and support to him and those men who were fighting in Myawaddy.”

The ABSDF has been linked with the Karen struggle ever since its formation in the late 1980s, when thousands of students fled to the jungle and were sheltered by the Karen National Union (KNU) and its armed wing, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA).

When the DKBA split from the KNLA in the mid-1990s and allied itself with the junta, the ABSDF was “caught in the middle”, according to its former foreign affairs spokesperson, Aung Naing Oo.

As a result of the new dominance of the pro-junta faction, and due to splits within the ABSDF, its fighting capabilities diminished. But the breakaway faction of the DKBA has given added hope that an inter-ethnic and organisational alliance is possible.

“This is part of the national reconciliation process,” said Than Khe. “Without working practically we cannot get the understanding needed for reconciliation.”

The junta’s quest to transform all 17 ceasefire groups into border militias has stumbled: few have accepted the demands, and tensions are now high in the border regions where the Kachin Independence Army and the United Wa State Army are preparing for possible attacks.

“We can co-operate with any groups who have the basic principle of restoring democracy and the federal union to Burma and freeing the people from dictatorship,” added Than Khe.

http://english.dvb.no/

Monday, 6 December 2010

AR YONE OO MAR SHOCK SHI TAE DOWNLOAD LINKS

AR YONE OO MAR SHOCK SHI TAE DOWNLOAD LINKS

အမွတ္စဥ္ (1)

http://datlone.com/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=78&func=fileinfo&id=33

အမွတ္စဥ္ (2)

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အမွတ္စဥ္ (3)

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အမွတ္စဥ္ (4)

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အမွတ္စဥ္ (5)

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အမွတ္စဥ္ (6)

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အမွတ္စဥ္ (7)

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အမွတ္စဥ္ (8)

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အမွတ္စဥ္ (9)

http://datlone.com/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=78&func=fileinfo&id=40

အမွတ္စဥ္ (10)

http://datlone.com/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=78&func=fileinfo&id=41

အမွတ္စဥ္ (11)

http://datlone.com/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=78&func=fileinfo&id=42

အမွတ္စဥ္ (12)

http://datlone.com/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=78&func=fileinfo&id=43

MEDIA FIRE DOWNLOAD LINKS

Episode 1

http://www.mediafire.com/file/2e2lub3sx5daur8/Dailymotion%20-%20Ar%20Yone%20Oo%20Mar%20SHOCK%20Shi%20Tae%20%281%29%20-%20a%20Film%20%20%20TV%20video.mp4

Episode 2

http://www.mediafire.com/file/2e2lub3sx5daur8/Dailymotion%20-%20Ar%20Yone%20Oo%20Mar%20SHOCK%20Shi%20Tae%20%281%29%20-%20a%20Film%20%20%20TV%20video.mp4

Episode 3

http://www.mediafire.com/file/2e2lub3sx5daur8/Dailymotion%20-%20Ar%20Yone%20Oo%20Mar%20SHOCK%20Shi%20Tae%20%281%29%20-%20a%20Film%20%20%20TV%20video.mp4

Episode 4

http://www.mediafire.com/file/2e2lub3sx5daur8/Dailymotion%20-%20Ar%20Yone%20Oo%20Mar%20SHOCK%20Shi%20Tae%20%281%29%20-%20a%20Film%20%20%20TV%20video.mp4

Episode 5

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Episode 6

http://www.mediafire.com/file/0c06roog6nnu746/Burmese%20Video%20%286%29_x264.mp4

Episode 7

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Episode 8

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Episode 9

http://www.mediafire.com/file/0c06roog6nnu746/Burmese%20Video%20%286%29_x264.mp4

Episode 10

http://www.mediafire.com/file/2e2lub3sx5daur8/Dailymotion%20-%20Ar%20Yone%20Oo%20Mar%20SHOCK%20Shi%20Tae%20%281%29%20-%20a%20Film%20%20%20TV%20video.mp4

Episode 11

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Episode 12

http://www.mediafire.com/file/2e2lub3sx5daur8/Dailymotion%20-%20Ar%20Yone%20Oo%20Mar%20SHOCK%20Shi%20Tae%20%281%29%20-%20a%20Film%20%20%20TV%20video.mp4

FACEBOOK LINKS

Episode 1 :http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1634863121488

Episode 2: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1637497827354

Episode 3: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1637501147437

Episode 4: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1637502107461

Episode 5: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1637523627999

Episode 6: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1637537788353

Episode 7: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1637538668375

Episode 8: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1637561388943

Episode 9: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1637581469445

Episode 10: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1637587029584

Episode 11: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1637589069635

Episode 12: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1637608550122

YOUTUBE LINKS

(1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z4aPI_h68U

(2)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP8tBVJha2s&feature=related

(3)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10kFPLNqOBw&feature...=related

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(11)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3HLqriddxI&feature=related

(12)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgiMjvUUrrk&feature=related

Download "SHOCK SHI TAE" song here!

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Imprisoned Student Leader Warns of Second Depayin

Saturday, December 4, 2010

By KO HTWE

Htay Kywe, one of the imprisoned leaders of the 88 Generation Students group, said he is worried that Aung San Suu Kyi could face another attack like the one that killed many of her supporters in May 2003, according to his brother-in-law, Phyo Min Thein.

Phyo Min Thein, who is also a prominent political activist and former member of the Union Democratic Party, told The Irrawaddy on Friday that Htay Kywe spoke of his concerns during a 45-minute family visit at Buthitaung Prison in Arakan State on Dec. 2.


In this image taken from TV from footage issued on Saturday Oct. 13, 2007 by the Democratic Voice of Burma, based in Norway, shows Htay Kywe seen in Rangoon. (Photo: AP)

He said that Htay Kywe, who is currently serving a 65-year sentence for his political activities, asked him to convey his concerns to Suu Kyi, who was released from house arrest on Nov. 13.

“He said he is worried that she could face another situation similar to the one at Depayin and asked me to warn her about that,” Phyo Min Thein said.

On May 30, 2003, around 5,000 armed thugs recruited by the pro-junta Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) ambushed Suu Kyi’s convoy in Depayin, Sagaing Division, killing an estimated 100 people.

Htay Kywe also expressed his continuing support for Suu Kyi as the leader of Burma's pro-democracy movement.

“He said that all political forces need to cooperate under the leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi to achieve national reconciliation,” said Phyo Min Thein, adding that they also discussed the lack of progress in reaching this goal.

According to Phyo Min Thein, Htay Kywe appeared to be thinner than usual and was suffering from a stomach ailment. He added that members of Burma's Special Branch police force monitored them throughout the visit.

Concerning prison conditions, Htay Kywe said that he is able to write and draw, but wants the authorities to move political prisoners serving their sentences in remote areas closer to their families.

The Burmese regime often forces its imprisoned opponents to serve long sentences in relatively inaccessible parts of the country, making it difficult for them to receive regular family visits.

In a recent interview with United Press International, Suu Kyi described conditions in Burma's prisons as “brutal.”

During another visit in August, Htay Kywe told family members that Burma's Nov. 7 election would be meaningless without the participation of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy and called on the army, political forces, pro-democracy parties and ethnic groups to work together toward an “all-inclusive” solution to the country's political problems.

Htay Kywe was first arrested in 1991 and sentenced to 15 years in prison for violating Burma's draconian security laws. Initially held in Rangoon’s notorious Insein Prison, he was transferred to Tharrawaddy Prison in Pegu Division in 1995.

He was released in July 2001, but was subsequently arrested on several occasions under Section 10 A of the 1975 State Protection Law, which allows the military authorities the right to detain suspects arbitrarily.

In 2005, Htay Kywe co-founded the 88 Generation Students group along with other prominent leaders of the nationwide pro-democracy uprising of August 1988, including Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Min Zeya and Pyone Cho.

From 2005 to 2007, the group engaged in nonviolent activities, including group visits to political prisoners’ homes and holding Buddhist ceremonies at Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon to commemorate political prisoners still behind bars.

On Nov. 11, 2007, Htay Kywe and other members of the 88 Generation group were given 65-year prison sentences for their alleged involvement in massive monk-led pro-democracy protests in September of that year.

Most of the imprisoned 88 Generation leaders are serving their sentences in remote areas, including Buthitaung Prison in Arakan State, Kengtung Prison in Shan State, Loikaw Prison in Karenni State, Kawthaung Prison in Tenasserim Division, Kalaymyo Prison in Sagaing Division, and Myitkyina and Putao prisons in Kachin State.

Buthitaung Prison is notorious for its harsh treatment of political prisoners and its severely cold weather.

According to the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, there are 2,203 political prisoners in prisons across Burma.

http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=20253

Saturday, 4 December 2010

‘Cablegate’ exposes French business concerns

Thursday, 2 December 2010
By FRANCIS WADE


French President Nicholas Sarkozy stands next to former foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner (Reuters)


France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy had considered withdrawing French companies from activity in Burma before he was reined in by advisors, leaked US diplomatic cables claim.

Washington’s ambassador to France, Craig R. Stapleton, described the French leader as “forward-leaning” in his policies on Burma in an October 2007 cable sent from Paris to the US. Classified as “confidential”, it forms part of the vast disclosure of diplomatic correspondence passed to news agencies earlier this week by whistleblowing website, Wikileaks.

“While Sarkozy seems forward-leaning (he reportedly considered French disinvestment before being dissuaded by advisors), thus far France remains unprepared to implement unilateral sanctions,” the cable said.

France’s business presence in Burma is substantial. It is led by oil giant, Total, which operates the controversial Yadana oil and gas project along with US company Chevron. According to EarthRights International, the project has netted the ruling regime $US5 billion, much of which stays out of the official government budget.

Like Washington’s policy to Burma, the EU sanctions currently in place against the junta that block European partnersips with the Burmese government but do not force the withdrawal of companies there before sanctions were implemented. Thus Total and Chevron have been able to stay, despite reports of widespread human rights abuses related to Yadana.

Moreover, the French government has steadfastly refused to order it to leave Burma. Its comment that Paris was “unprepared” to join the US sanctions programme was set amongst praise for other actions it has taken on Burma, notably in the UN Security Council.

But what lies behind the mixed bag of French policy to Burma goes beyond purely economic reasons, says Matthew Smith, head of ERI’s Burma programme.

“The main reason why Total has not pulled out is mostly to maintain a French presence in a geopolitically valuable part of the world,” he said, adding however that there are concerns that if Total pulled out, the space would be taken by a Burmese or regional company with a worse human rights record.

Vested interests in the French government at the time of the cable may also play a significant role. Five years before Stapleton’s message back to Washington, Total had paid Bernard Kouchner, who later became French foreign minister, €25,000 ($US33,000) to carry out an assessment of the company’s work in Burma.

After the publication of the report, Kouchner told Le Monde that “Nothing allows me to think that the group could have lent a hand to activities contrary to human rights”. Regarding allegations of forced labour, he added that “I am 95 percent sure that the Total people are incapable of that; they are not slaveholders”.

Smith thinks otherwise. “That project has generated multi-billion dollar profits for the regime and there have been thousands upon thousands of instances of human rights abuses directly connected to Total’s presence,” he said. As recently as February, ERI documented two targeted killings close to the Yadana site that were carried out by a Burmese army battalion providing security for Total projects.

“Kouchners’s relationship with Total would colour his assessment of the company’s human rights impact in Burma,” Smith said. He added that he was “deeply critical” of the report, which based “very definitive conclusions about Total’s presence in Burma” on a “very brief trip to the pipeline area”.

He claims that it is “these types of thin assessments that oil companies in Burma have relied upon to convince investors that they are a benefit to Burma rather than an obstacle to human rights protection”.

The cable continued that Sarkozy had “urged French companies to freeze future investments”, a policy that is more in line with the EU sanctions package and Stapleton’s demand that the US “appeal to Sarkozy to redouble French efforts within the EU to push for tough sanctions” on Burma.

http://www.dvb.no/news/%E2%80%98cablegate%E2%80%99-exposes-french-business-concerns/13183