Tuesday, January 15, 2008

One on One With Burma

Prashanth Parameswaran
January 14, 2008

Under secretary of State R. Nicholas Burns's proposals for action in Burma [op-ed, Jan. 8] are archaic and unconstructive. He said sanctions will continue, but experience suggests they undermine U.S. objectives.

Western sanctions against Rangoon in the 1990s crippled an already ravaged economy, forcing it further into the dangerous nexus of prostitution, drugs and organized crime. The economic vacuum was happily filled by China and others.

Mr. Burns was also far too idealistic on the "broad national dialogue" he wishes to achieve with China, India and ASEAN nations, which have shown no unity on Burma. Unless it is politically pressured or furious at the junta, China is unlikely to change.

The United States must start bilateral negotiations with Burma now.

Source: Washington Post

READ MORE---> One on One With Burma...

KNU and Regime Trade Charges Over Bomb Attacks

By Wai Moe
The Irrawaddy News
January 14, 2008

The Burmese regime and the Karen National Union (KNU) have traded accusations of responsibility for three bomb attacks over the past three days.

Two people died and several were injured in the attacks in Rangoon, Naypyidaw and Pyu in Pegu Division.

In separate reports on the attacks, the regime’s mouthpiece, The New Light of Myanmar, blamed “terrorist saboteurs” from abroad and a KNU “insurgent.” It said the accused “insurgent” had died while planting the Pyu bomb.

KNU spokesman David Taw denied the organization had anything to do with the attacks. Only military personnel with experience of explosives could plant such devices, he told The Irrawaddy.

“When something [like this] happens in Burma, they [the junta] accuse dissident groups, such as the KNU, the SSA [Shan State Army-South], the KNPP [Karenni National Progressive Party], based on the Thai-Burmese border,” Taw said.

The junta had been unable to track down those responsible for previous bomb attacks, he said—“then we are easily accused.”

The first bomb exploded last Friday at the main railway station of Naypyidaw, the Burmese capital. One woman died in the blast.

A second bomb exploded on Friday at a football ground in Pyu Township, near the site of a circus.

The third bomb exploded near the ticket office of Rangoon’s main railway station on Sunday. The New Light of Myanmar reported that a 73-year-old woman was injured by the blast, although an eyewitness said at least two people had been hurt.

The New Light Myanmar said: “Terrorist saboteurs have been sent into the nation across the border together with explosives to perpetrate destructive acts under the scheme of a group from abroad.” It did not name the accused group.

In its report on the Pyu bomb, The New Light of Myanmar said: “A KNU insurgent, [aged] about 25, was killed when the bomb he was planting to detonate exploded prematurely. People nearby seized a US-made 0.22 revolver in a holster [and] 20 rounds of ammunition.”

The New Light of Myanmar claimed the dead man was a member of the KNA’s Third Brigade.

The KNU has been fighting for half a century for autonomy for Karen State. It is the only major ethnic rebel group not to have agreed to a ceasefire with the junta.

In May, 2005, a series of bombs exploded in two supermarkets and a convention center in Rangoon, with an official toll of 19 dead and 162 injured. It’s thought that the real toll is higher.

Information Minister Brig-Gen Kyaw Hsan claimed at a Rangoon press conference: that it was “crystal clear” that the perpetrators and the bombs “originated from training conducted with foreign experts at a place in a neighboring country by a world-famous organization of a certain superpower nation.” The “certain superpower nation” was understood to be the US and the “world famous organization” consequently the CIA.

Analysts said the attacks could only have been carried out by well-trained operatives. Some believed that since the ouster of military intelligence chief Gen Khin Nyunt in October 2004, enemies of the junta had been planning to take advantage of internal conflicts and possible security lapses.Rescued Document/Original Link not longer active:

READ MORE---> KNU and Regime Trade Charges Over Bomb Attacks...

Burmese Boxers fight for survival in Thailand

Sourced from: Sit Mone - Watch Video
Original Source: Aljazeera News
January 14, 2008

Harsh conditions in Myanmar result in residents crossing the border into Thailand in search of a better life.

One of the ways for young men to make money is to put their bodies on the line in boxing contests.
Rescued Document/ Original Link no longer active:

READ MORE---> Burmese Boxers fight for survival in Thailand...

Junta Incapable of Managing The Power Supply


Original Source: Thet Naig - Democratic Voice of Burma
Translated: Nay Chi U - Who is Who in Burma
12 January 2008

Ordinary civilians who live in the towns of Magwe' Division such as Pakkoku and Ye' Sagyo are suffering because the power supplies have been cut from 6 hours a day to just one night every 3 days, it is reported.

Business owners, who can't afford to buy a generator, have had their businesses come to a halt. Consequently, labourers who depend on their daily income are in deep trouble and the local factories which produce daily goods are struggling to survive.

"Snack shops need their batter mixed daily so they just have to close the shop on the days that they can't get the electricity. Small factories producing scented candles, thanaka (Burmese natural make up, made from trees)etc., all suffer too as they rely on the regular reliable power supply."

Some manufacturers who can afford generators also found that business is not profitable as the fuel prices have gone up so steeply.

"With normal power supply, our products can be sold for K 500/- each but with generator power we have to charge K1000/- for the same goods at least. We have employed workers but they are just having non-working days most of the time. Since we have a hire contract, we still have to pay them their daily fees, and we are losing a lot," said one employer.

Every other area in Burma has similar problems as the power supply 'services' have been gradually going from bad to worse, and now virtually non-existent, since the military government took over the country in 1962. The leading generals changed - from Nay Win to Khin Nyunt to now Than Shwe. Names of the ruling bodies changed - from Socialist Government to SLORC to now SPDC. However none, after all these years, has ever been able to muster the competence, to manage to supply the country with the sufficient electric power.

Rescued Document/Original Link not longer active:

READ MORE---> Junta Incapable of Managing The Power Supply...

HIV patients living in South Dagon are developing depression


Original Source : Than Htike Oo - Mizzima Burmese News
Translated : Smile Su - Art of Patience FREE BURMA's Team
January 14, 2008

HIV patients from two houses (Township 18 and 20) opening in South Dagon are now developing depression after their respectful Ma Phyu Phyu Thin has gone into hiding five months ago.

"She is a warm and kind person to HIV patients," said one patient Ma Nu Nu Tun Wai Shein. She added, "She wants to see and speak to Ma Phyu Phyu Thin who is missing now."

All of the HIV patients from the houses are expecting Ma Phyu Phyu Thin's return and some of them died while waiting for her return.

Another HIV male patient said, "Ma Phyu Phyu Thin helped them all with their needs, took them to the hospitals, organise the drugs, cared for them all by herself. She dealt with accommodation and financial problems, now they are finding difficulties because of her absence.

Since last August 2007, she led the Yangon demonstration for commodity high prices. She has gone into hiding because Junta follow her. She took responsibility for two houses in South Dagon Township since 2002 and over (1800) patients from the whole country could obtain drugs until now. Last year, HIV patients (600) received health care directly from the houses and other (40) patients from rural were supported with ARV drugs.

Ma Phyu Phyu Thin's coworker, Ko Yarzar said, "Usually, most of them rely on her psychologically, three of them have already died". Before she went missing she received donations for drug expenses from her friends and private donors. Now the center finds itself under financial stress and other difficulties.

Ma Phyu Phyu Thin's sister, Ma Sabei Oo said, "the situation is not the same as before. The rest of the staff can do very little, supplying drugs, taking blood samples etc. they are not trained to help out with a wide range of daily tasks."

AZG clinic from RSF and Wabargi from North Okkala are famous for providing ARV drugs. Since the Junta closed the Meggin monastery HIV patients could not get health care.

According to UN AIDS records, there are over 360,000 HIV infected persons in Myanmar and Ministry of Health use only US$100,000 for HIV preventing projects. That amount is (250) times less than for each person to get medical care in comparison with Thailand.

READ MORE---> HIV patients living in South Dagon are developing depression...

Recent Posts from Burma Wants Freedom and Democracy

Recent posts from WHO is WHO in Burma


The Nuke Light of Myanmar Fan Box
The Nuke Light of Myanmar on Facebook
Promote your Page too