Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Suu Kyi Insists Her Trial Will Test Rule of Law in Burma

The Irrawaddy News

Aung San Suu Kyi insisted after Tuesday’s final session of her trial before Friday’s scheduled verdict that the proceedings would show “whether or not the rule of law exists in the country,” according to her lawyer Nyan Win.

Suu Kyi made the comment to Nyan Win after the court announced a verdict would be announced on Friday. Suu Kyi is charged with breaking the terms of her house arrest order by giving refuge to an American trespasser, John Yettaw, and faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment if convicted.

Nyan Win, who is also a spokesman of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, told The Irrawaddy that his legal team had tried its best in accordance with the law.

Suu Kyi was innocent, Nyan Win insisted. “She [Suu Kyi] did not break the law. According to the law, it will be unlawful if the court even sentences her.”

During Tuesday’s two-hour morning session, a defense plea for more witnesses to be heard was rejected by the court, Nyan Win said.

Win Tin, an NLD executive leader who joined Suu Kyi supporters outside Insein Prison on Tuesday, said her two female companions and Yettaw also appeared at Tuesday’s session.

Suu Kyi’s companions Khin Khin Win and Win Ma Ma also face a charge of giving unlawful refuge to Yettaw. They are represented by Hla Myo Myint.

Nyan Win was one of four lawyers representing Suu Kyi at Tuesday’s session. The others were Kyi Wynn, Hla Myo Myint and Khin Htay Kywe, according to Khin Maung Swe, an NLD spokesperson.

Diplomats from Japan, Singapore, Thailand and the US were allowed to attend Tuesday’s session, according to an Associated Press report.

Last weekend, Suu Kyi told Nyan Win that she is unhappy with the continual delays in her trial, which she said gave the prosecution more time to prepare its final arguments. The trial began on May 18 and has been interrupted by several adjournments.

The proceedings against Suu Kyi have drawn wide international condemnation.

Last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and several Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) foreign ministers called for the release of Suu Kyi and more than 2,100 other political prisoners during the Asean Ministerial Meeting and Asean Regional Forum at Phuket in southern Thailand.

The Burmese state-owned newspaper, The New Light of Myanmar, carried an editorial last weekend saying that “demanding the release of Suu Kyi means showing reckless disregard for the law.”

The opposition leader has spent nearly 14 of the past 20 years under house arrest. Her latest term of detention began in May 2003, when she and her supporters came under attack by junta-backed thugs while traveling in central Burma.

READ MORE---> Suu Kyi Insists Her Trial Will Test Rule of Law in Burma...

Legally Suu Kyi is innocent: Defence lawyer

by Mungpi

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The over two-month long trial of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi points to her innocence, legally and the verdict to be pronounced on Friday will put to acid test the rule of law in the military-ruled country, her lawyer said on Tuesday.

Nyan Win, one of Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyers told Mizzima after the arguments put forward by the defence on Tuesday that testimonies of the witnesses, arguments of lawyers of both the defence and the prosecution have all proved that the Burmese pro-democracy leader is innocent.

“As far as I have analysed the trial, legally there is no evidence to convict her [Aung San Suu Kyi,” said Nyan Win, adding that it would surprise him and the other members of the defence team if the verdict pronounces her guilty.

On Tuesday Nyan Win submitted his clarification on the prosecution’s arguments stating that there are no grounds to charge the Nobel Peace Laureate and the charges filed by the prosecution are not valid as the 1974 constitution is no more in effect.

Fellow party member and one of the spokesperson of the National League for Democracy, Ohn Kyaing told Mizzima earlier that he believed legally there is no ground to charge and convict the Burmese democracy icon but expressed concern that the court might not independently take a decision.

“I think the court will convict her because that’s the junta’s plan,” he said.

Like Ohn Kyaing, observers and critics believe that the junta is using the incident of John William Yettaw’s visit to Aung San Suu Kyi’s home as an excuse to charge her and sentence her to yet another prison term, in a move to keep her out of the 2010 election scenario.

But Nyan Win said, the defence team has not given up, and is willing to go to any extent in trying to bring justice to the pro-democracy leader.

“Aung San Suu Kyi has agreed with us and has given us permission to continue fighting the case legally and we plan to take the case to higher courts if the verdict pronounces her guilty,’ Nyan Win said.

Opposition activists widely believe that the military has chalked out a plan to sentence Aung San Suu Kyi before the end of July to avoid the verdict coinciding with the ensuing anniversary of the 8.8.88 uprising on August 8.

But the junta, which initially thought of sentencing Aung San Suu Kyi in a short trial, is also taking into account the possible reaction – both international and domestic - that may erupt in the wake of her being sentenced.

Win Tin, a senior leader of the NLD and veteran journalist, earlier told Mizzima that pronouncing Aung San Suu Kyi guilty and sentencing her to a prison term could provoke peoples’ anger that could lead to yet another mass movement particularly in Burma’s former capital city Rangoon.

READ MORE---> Legally Suu Kyi is innocent: Defence lawyer...

Electricity supply improves in Rangoon

by May Kyaw

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – There has been a substantial improvement in electricity supply in Rangoon after severe shortage for months on end.

The townships in Rangoon (Yangon) in the City Development Committee (YCDC) area are divided into four groups -- A, B, C & H. The H group gets round the clock electricity supply daily.

The A, B and C groups are getting electricity from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. continuously and they get power alternatively and equally for the rest of the day.

Hospitals, CNG filling stations, police battalions, army units, cemeteries and Township Administration Offices in H Group get round the clock electricity daily.

But industrial zones are getting power for only nine hours during the daytime but do not get power at night. Power generation is not yet adequate to provide electricity at night.

Though the availability of power has improved to a large extent in Rangoon, people living in the town used to severe power shortages for a long time are still worried.

“Yes, electricity has become regular but it has been so for just a few days. We are not sure how long it will last,” a local resident of Rangoon told Mizzima.

Another local resident said that they are getting power regularly in the afternoon and alternatively at night and getting continuous electricity from 11 p.m. till morning.

But in Syriam, in the outskirts of Rangoon, they do not get power even alternatively.

“I don’t know whether the townships in Rangoon RCDC area are getting power regularly or not. In Syriam we are not getting electricity regularly. It is available off and on. Currently there is no power here,” a local resident of Syriam said.

The availability of power improved in Rangoon because of supplies from the China owned Ruili Hydropower Station, a staff from the Rangoon City Electricity Board said.

“The power situation improved because of supply from Ruili Station. Three Natural Gas Turbines are still under repair because of leaking gas pipes,” he said.

Previously power supply for Rangoon came from three off shore gas turbines in Thaketa, Ywama and Hlawga, on shore gas turbine in Ahlone and the state owned Hydro Electric Power Station.

Now Rangoon and Mandalay are buying power from the joint venture company, Ruili No. 1 Hydro Electric Power Station jointly owned by the Chinese company and Burma’s No. 1 Electric Power Ministry.

Rangoon City Electric Power Board Secretary Lt. Col. Maung Maung Latt recently told domestic news journals that they would supply Rangoon round the clock electricity within this month.

READ MORE---> Electricity supply improves in Rangoon...



By Roland Watson
Dictator Watch Org
July 27, 2009

(Note: We recommend the history of China given in the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.)

The Uyghur people in East Turkestan are restless. Throughout history, Chinese emperors and warlords has repeatedly invaded their land, only to be pushed back. In the modern era, China took control in the late 19th century. East Turkestan was renamed the "New Territory." Excepting two short periods when they again won their freedom, the Uyghur people have been under increasingly restrictive dictatorial rule ever since. Since 1949, they have been under the boot of the Communist Party of China (CCP).

As the name of their homeland implies, the Uyghur are a Turkic people. They share ethnic and language characteristics with similar peoples across Central Asia all the way to Turkey itself. But, whereas these other peoples now have their own nations, the Uyghurs, because they were conquered by the Chinese, do not. East Turkestan is a colony of China.

The CCP's policy has been to dilute the Uyghur population in East Turkestan and hence their argument that it is their land. Uyghurs have been sent to China as factory workers, and Han Chinese moved in. In both cases, the Uyghurs have been the victims of discrimination. In China, Uyghur workers must slave away under terrible labor conditions. In East Turkestan, they are denied good jobs, government posts, the right to be educated in their own language, and to carry on their cultural traditions.

A basic question is if the Chinese conquest of the Uyghur constitutes genocide. Historically, it was a land grab, no different from innumerable such conquests over the ages. In the modern context, the CCP has realized that East Turkestan is also valuable for it oil and mineral resources, its barren sections - which were used for China's atomic tests and now its space program, etc. The CCP is loathe to return the conquered territory, to prevent the loss of this plunder.

According to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,

"genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

It is difficult to argue that the CCP's treatment constitutes genocide, although it is guilty to some degree of the first four conditions. Rather, what the communists are doing in East Turkestan is equivalent to their actions in Tibet, which the Dalai Lama has described as Cultural Genocide. The Uyghurs, like the Tibetans, may survive, but their culture will not.

This year the CCP has been destroying the Old Quarter of Kashgar, one of the most important stopping points on the ancient Silk Road. The Party says that this is because of the risk to the Quarter from earthquakes, even though it has survived for thousands of years. The destruction of Old Kashgar is a cultural atrocity no less profound that the destruction in Afghanistan of the Bamiyan Buddhas. And, it is being accompanied by the forced relocation of 220,000 Uyghur people. The real reasons for the destruction are simple: cultural genocide combined with armed robbery of Uyghur property.

The Chinese say that the Uyghurs are ungrateful for "development." This development is really "theft."

The latest unrest in East Turkestan - the Uyghurs have protested numerous times in recent decades, only to be met with CCP massacres - followed the killing of Uyghur laborers in China. Some 3,000 Uyghurs protested peacefully in East Turkestan's capital, Urumqi, (videos of the march are widely available) only to be shot by CCP "security forces" when night fell (yet another massacre). The Uyghurs fled and some of the protesters turned their anger on Chinese immigrants. The Chinese then retaliated.

As also occurred with the Tiananmen Square massacre twenty years ago, the CCP has yet to give a truthful accounting of the events of the unrest and of the numbers of Uyghurs and Chinese who died. Instead, the CCP blamed the Uyghurs for everything, which is the classic propaganda strategy of "blaming the victim." Rapists blame the women who they rape, and the CCP blames everyone. (The Party never accepts any responsibility itself.) The actions of the Uyghur groups that attacked the Chinese were reprehensible, but as with all cases where both sides in a conflict commit atrocities, it is essential to recall how the problem began. The Uyghurs are upset because they were invaded by the Chinese. This began a more than one hundred year pattern of increasingly severe repression. It is the Chinese - since 1949 the CCP - that bears all the blame for the problems in East Turkestan.

The Chinese people have been conditioned by the CCP to view the Uyghurs as backward, if not savages. They are the enemy. When Chinese police confront protesters in China, they make arrests. With Uyghurs, they commit cold-blooded murder. Because of the conditioning, the Chinese people accept such extreme prejudice as completely justifiable.

This is consistent with the unprecedented brainwashing that has been perpetrated by the CCP on the people of China since the Party was formed. (The term "brainwashing" was coined to describe CCP "thought-reform" torture techniques.)

The CCP is based on the ideology of "struggle," specifically, class struggle against "class enemies." The people must fight and cleanse wayward social elements (the "black" classes) to establish a utopian state. The real goal of never-ending struggle, though, is (1) to justify the CCP's rule; (2) to purge elements within the Party and society at large that oppose its abuses; and (3) more generally to terrorize everyone through arbitrary persecution, and hence create the greatest possible conformity.

Starting under the leadership of Mao Zedong, the CCP blamed one group after another for China's perceived problems, and launched "movements" against them. There have been countless such movements. Their targets have included landowners and rich farmers in the countryside; capitalists in towns and cities; "reactionaries" and "counter-revolutionaries"; "rightists"; intellectuals (anyone well-educated); religious groups; etc.

(When the CCP targeted landowners and capitalists, including by banning private property, they effectively stole the entire nation of China, just as through invading East Turkestan and Tibet they stole these lands as well.)

Mao said that, "after chaos the world reaches peace, but in seven or eight years, the chaos needed to happen again." In other words, China required regular civil wars. In each such conflict, the CCP followed a 5%/95% formula. Five percent of the people were labeled class enemies, and who should be killed. The rest were designated "acceptable classes," and charged with doing the killing. This created a perpetual state of fear, which continues today, because you can never be certain that your class will remain acceptable.

Through this the CCP promoted the idea of "collective guilt." If you had an unacceptable class origin, you - and your entire family - were flawed, and fully deserving of capital punishment. Even the babies and the elderly in the black classes were killed.

The CCP, for six decades, has encouraged the Chinese people to kill each other. In the worst cases, such as during the Cultural Revolution, the murder became competitive, as a means to improve one's revolutionary standing.

This history has dehumanized the Chinese people. It has further caused Chinese society to be permeated by fear.

There have also been unspeakable atrocities. The use of public executions in some cases led to public displays of cannibalism, of the organs such as the heart and liver of the executed class enemies, and then to cannibalistic feasts. The last were even held in front - and with the participation - of children, many of whom became deranged.

Under CCP rule the Chinese people have suffered upwards of eighty million unnatural deaths, from murder, starvation, etc. The CCP's tyranny is without question the greatest crime ever perpetrated in human history, surpassing the crimes of Hitler and the Nazis, Imperial Japan, and Stalin.

This crime, or rather series of crimes, is also completely unpunished. The Chinese people, and the many other victims of the CCP, have yet to receive any justice.

Because of this, the CCP further is entirely unreformed. Its strategy has worked and it is still in power. While as mentioned people generally are no longer murdered publicly in China itself, millions have been unjustly sentenced to the Laogai (forced labor and reeducation camps), and where death is common. And, the enemy-creation movements continue, including against the students at Tiananmen; followers of the spiritual discipline, Falun Gong; the Tibetans; anyone who spoke up for human rights in the run-up to the Olympics: pro-democracy activists such as the signers of the Charter 08 document; and now the East Turkestanis.

For the Falun Gong, which the CCP despises because it promotes tradition and morality, the Party has killed a documented 3,900 practitioners, although the true number is many times this, because of the great number of practitioners who have simply "disappeared." Most of these murders involved torture, and of an extraordinarily wide variety (over 100 techniques have been identified), including beating of the genitals, electric shock, flaying of the skin and then being drenched with salt water, etc. Many women have been stripped naked and then thrown into cells with criminals to be gang-raped. And, once dead, the victims’ organs are stolen for transplantation.

In East Turkestan the CCP has launched a series of Strike Hard movements, against the so-called Three Evils of separatism, extremism and terrorism. Thousands of Uyghurs have been imprisoned, tortured and killed.

What is surprising about this history is that the Chinese people are for the most part ignorant of it. The CCP has the largest censorship and propaganda program in the world, including its Great Internet Firewall, which an army of technicians maintains (by blocking websites, censoring blogs, fabricating and disseminating lies, etc.). Moreover, the fear in China, even though it is now less publicly apparent, is still so strong under the surface that most people simply do not want to know.

The greatest recent development has been the international targeting of CCP propaganda at Chinese residents of other countries, the media, and foreign governments. For example, the propaganda has led to an explosion in ultra-nationalism, which was particularly evident with the harassment of Chinese CCP critics during the Beijing Olympics. (The height of all ironies is that the CCP fancies itself to be a new China Empire, and surely this is what Mao had in mind, even as he criticized, and destroyed the remnants of, former empires.) Similarly, many expatriate Chinese, particularly in the United States, have engaged in espionage on behalf of the Party back home.

Indeed, these developments raise an important question: What does it mean to be Chinese?

"Chinese" is a complex identity. You are Chinese, wherever you live in the world, if you are a member of the ethnic group. But, you are also Chinese if you are from China itself, even if you are a member of one of its other groups. Finally, in addition to ethnicity and nationality, there is a cultural identity as well, if you associate with and take pride in Chinese history and traditions. The CCP has destroyed traditional Chinese culture, and replaced it with Party culture. Further, an explicit goal of its propaganda campaign has been to get all ethnic Chinese worldwide to identify with this culture: with the new "Rising China," under the eternal leadership of the CCP.

The CCP is trying to create a global Chinese culture, where all ethnic Chinese people, wherever they may live, are loyal to the Communist Party.

The efficacy of CCP propaganda is also evident with other international parties, with the press and foreign governments, where the basic story line is that the CCP has been reformed, and that it is an acceptable partner in trade and diplomacy. These are lies as well, but for a variety of reasons they have achieved great traction.

For the press, and returning to East Turkestan, journalists have consistently reported the lies of the "State Media" about the events of early July, as if they were truth. They have presented the casualty count, and the breakdown between Uyghur and Chinese victims, as truth even though these figures are completely fabricated. One reason for this is that many journalists are sloppy, and accept the CCP's arguments and statistics as they are given. Another is that some journalists are willing to repeat the "party line," to preserve access.

It was extremely telling that during the unrest in Iran that followed the stolen election, most media qualified their reports by mentioning Iranian government restrictions on journalists and the Internet. Such disclaimers have been rare for coverage of East Turkestan.

Similarly, for foreign governments, China is now such an important economic factor that they appear willing to forgive the CCP virtually anything, if not work actively on its behalf. For East Turkestan, some neighboring states, notably Kazakhstan, have allied with the CCP even though the Kazaks are Turkic people as well (and with a long history of friendship with the Uyghurs). The Kazakh government recently signed a $10 billion deal with China. Identical relationships also exist with other members of the Shanghai Co-operation Organization, including East Turkestan's neighbors Kyrgystan and Tajikistan. And finally, Western partners including the United States and Europe have also been silent on East Turkestan, not only the current repression but the entire history of Communist Party domination.

The communists believed that they had history on their side: that their socialist utopia was inevitable. They were wrong. The real historical imperative lies with democracy.

Ultimately, the CCP will relinquish power and democracy in China will flourish. As part of this, China will decolonize.

While the Communist Party will oppose the loss of its colonies with all its might (just as the buyers of the art looted by the Nazis have done everything possible not to return the art to its original owners or heirs), China one day will break up. East Turkestan will be returned to the Uyghurs and also Tibet to the Tibetans and Southern Mongolia to the Southern Mongolians. Communism is a defeated ideology, as is dictatorship more generally in all its different forms. Human rights will prevail. A basic right at the group level is the right of self-determination. The Uyghurs, Tibetans and Southern Mongolians will secure this right.

The people, governments and media of the world should support this right. It will be much easier to attain if they do.

When China, finally, is freed from the grips of the CCP, the people of the country will be able to confront their past, and seek justice for the wrongs that they have suffered. But, this should extend not only to the specific atrocities of the communists, but more generally to China's imperial, authoritarian tradition, which the communists publicly rejected but in practice simply reinvented.

The entire history of China has been based on the ideal of the unconditional acceptance of authority. (This is known as the “philosopher-king” or "benevolent dictatorship." Plato argued that it was the best form of government.) When rulers are good, this approach works: The society is at peace. But blind acceptance of authority also opens oneself to the risk of power-mad tyrants. There were bad emperors in China in the past, but no one has ever rivaled the likes of Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and now Hu Jintao. The bad emperors were overthrown, and some day - soon - the communists will be so as well. However, it is only through rejecting the underlying authoritarian tradition that has governed China for millennia, that the people of the country will ever achieve – and preserve – their freedom.



By Roland Watson
Dictator Watch Org
July 27, 2009

Burma has been in the news a lot in the last month or two:

- The regime arrested Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and her long-delayed trial is about to conclude.

- United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made a fruitless visit to Burma's dictator, Than Shwe, in an effort to win her release.

- As part of its plan to control the ethnic resistance armies, both ceasefire and non-ceasefire, the Junta forced its Karen proxy army, the DKBA, to launch a rainy season offensive against the Karen National Union.

- And, a North Korean cargo ship was dispatched to Burma, reportedly with a load of missiles, but after being shadowed by the United States Navy it reversed course and returned home.

Each one of these events is complex in its own right, and requires careful analysis to reach a proper understanding. Moreover, they are the most important elements of the larger picture of the struggle for freedom in Burma. They reveal the plan of the SPDC to stay in power, the actions of its allies and cronies in support of this, and the evolving policy of other nations, and the United Nations, which supposedly support the democratic aspirations of the Burmese.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

With only thirteen days to go before her illegal six year detention was potentially to end (not that anyone seriously expected this, and which detention followed the unsuccessful assassination attempt against her at the 2003 Depayin Massacre), Daw Suu was charged with violating her house arrest because her SPDC guards let in a visitor. (You have to hand it to Than Shwe, to dream up such a ludicrous charge.) Now, following Kangaroo Court proceedings, she is likely to be sentenced to formal imprisonment.

What is most revealing about this incident is the lack of influence on the Junta by the international community, including the U.N., U.S. and E.U. For the first, Ban Ki-moon did fulfill the request of the 680,000 people who signed the petition by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners of Burma, calling for him to travel to the country and secure Daw Suu's release. But, he left empty-handed. The reason for this is that he is still following the basic policy, set by his predecessor Kofi Annan, that the U.N. Secretariat is powerless – the belief that all U.N. power lies with the member states, most importantly the members of the Security Council. Even more, he has been unwilling to criticize the SPDC (and he certainly has this right, if not the obligation to do so), by openly rejecting its Roadmap, by calling for an end to its attacks on Burma's ethnic nationalities, etc. As Burma activists have come to recognize, the U.N. is useless, for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that the Secretary General views it - his own organization - this way.

For the U.S. and Europe, the lack of action is based on their desire to secure business opportunities in China. Burma is China's colony (like Tibet, East Turkestan, and Laos), so hands off. This position is underlined for the U.S. by Chinese extortion over its huge purchases of U.S. treasury bonds (currently over $800 billion). "Oppose us and we will stop buying your bonds and funding your deficit, and the United States Government will go bankrupt!"

Indeed, one can make the case that Than Shwe should also make large-scale purchases of U.S. bonds, using the proceeds of his energy sales to Chevron, Total, Daewoo, China and India. This would give him additional insurance against a U.S. intervention, even though pragmatically there is no such risk. When George Bush was President, the U.S. was preoccupied with Iraq, but there was still the chance that he would intervene. Even with the China card Than Shwe couldn't completely discount the possibility that he would act. Bush was a nut; you simply couldn't predict what he would do. (It was last summer, during Bush's final year, that unmanned drones were spotted by the Burma Army.) Obama, though, is rational, and - internationally - out of his depth. Than Shwe clearly understands that the threat from the U.S. has evaporated, hence the arrest of Daw Suu.

The only other high profile source of pressure for her release (we pro-democracy advocates are not "high-profile") has been from celebrities. God bless the celebrities. What would we do without them?

Celebrity "activists" are the masters of "forgettable campaigns." The AAPPB signature campaign was significant and powerful, even if Ban Ki-moon's personal weakness reduced its impact. The Not On Our Watch's "64wordsforSuu," or U2's ridiculous Daw Suu mask idea, while they did attract a tiny amount of press attention, were essentially worthless. Celebrities really only care about themselves. That's why they support "easy activism": non-controversial causes such as cancer, or imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winners. However, even for such causes they never make strong stands or commitments. The only outcome of their so-called activism is that they get a boost in their personal reputations, because "they care."

The Karen struggle

The SPDC has been attacking Daw Suu, and also the Karen National Union. This is not a coincidence. The two are the greatest risks to Than Shwe. Daw Suu has the power to instigate a popular uprising, and even though some parties, such as the Irrawaddy, would have us believe that the Karen are defeated, they are actually still a powerful military force, particularly in alliance with the other non-ceasefire groups, and also since the SPDC's situation with the large ceasefire groups is so tenuous. With the U.S. under control, and Thailand, surprisingly - since the Democrats are in power - also supportive, this was a good opportunity for Than Shwe to attack on both fronts.

For those who witnessed it, and this includes both SPDC spies and Thai intelligence agents, the KNU's 60th anniversary event must have caused alarm. Some 6,000 Karen came out for what was a combined Karen fair/memorial. If they could have emptied Mae La Refugee Camp, it would have been 50,000 people. It was clear even to the casual onlooker that the Karen people fully support the KNU and that the struggle is far from over.

The SPDC ordered the corrupt, drug-dealing leaders of the DKBA to attack the KNLA's 7th Brigade (the site of the anniversary). The Karen resistance withdrew, and the area is now a no mans land. The DKBA are afraid to occupy the empty camps. (They suffered over 100 KIA and 220 injuries in June alone.) And, it is now undeniable that the DKBA are traitors to the Karen cause, with the result that they are suffering large-scale defections.

Dictator Watch has said for years that the simplest solution to the Burma problem (other than a Predator drone strike against Than Shwe) is to offer inducements to desert to Burma Army soldiers and their ethnic allies such as the DKBA. With a little incentive, thousands and thousands of troops would be happy to flee. The floor would collapse under the SPDC generals, and this would cause disputes and then a coup by officers who are secret pro-democracy sympathizers. Burma would be free.

We couldn't get any money for a surrender initiative from the Bush Administration. It is also doubtful that Obama will help. Maybe we can ask the celebrities. They are billionaires. It wouldn't cost them that much: pennies in proportion to their total wealth. Plus, soliciting surrenders is a non-violent tactic. Perhaps some of the celebrities from the following list, the "pro-Burma celebrities," can be prevailed upon to become real activists.

George Clooney, Sec. Madeleine Albright, Wes Anderson, Drew Barrymore, David Beckham, Bono, Matthew Broderick, Sandra Bullock, James Carville, Michael Chabon, Daniel Craig, John Cusack, Matt Damon, Robert De Niro, Dave Eggers, Jake Gyllenhaal, Vaclav Havel, Helen Hunt, Anjelica Huston, Scarlett Johansson, Nicole Kidman, Ashton Kutcher, Norman Lear, Madonna, Mary Matalin, Sen. John & Cindy McCain, Rose McGowan, Orhan Pamuk, Sarah Jessica Parker, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Robert Rodriguez, Meg Ryan, Liev Schreiber, George Soros, Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Naomi Watts, Prof. Elie Wiesel, Owen Wilson.

Does anybody have the ability to get an answer to an email sent to Not On Our Watch?

The Kang Nam 1

Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, and also President Obama, said that the return of the Kang Nam 1 to North Korea was proof that the sanctions on the North worked. In this case they were referring to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874, which denies the North the right to sell arms to other countries, and which was passed following the atomic bomb test in May and the launching of a variety of ballistic missiles. Yet even with these sanctions North Korea continues to pursue both programs. Regarding the Kang Nam 1, the U.S. is trumpeting a small success, while the overall threat becomes even more severe, at great risk to America, its allies, and the rest of the world. There is no plan in place, none whatsoever, that will actually prevent North Korea from developing nuclear-armed ballistic missiles.

To understand the Kang Nam incident, it is essential to track the actual series of events. The incident began when a South Korea television network (YTN) reported information from a South Korean intelligence source, which info in turn originated from U.S. intelligence, that the ship had a cargo of missiles, meaning ballistic missiles, and that it was being tracked by a U.S. Navy destroyer and was destined for Burma. While the following is speculation, subsequent events imply that South Korean intelligence was not authorized by the U.S. to disclose this information.

After the news was released, YTN made a series of retractions. The ship was not carrying missiles; rather, its cargo was small arms. Then, perhaps the shipment was not even weapons at all. However, the U.S. Navy continued to follow the Kang Nam. The obvious explanation is that U.S. intelligence complained to their South Korean counterparts: "Why did you leak the intel? Now we are on the spot. We have to do something. We can't allow the ship to reach its destination." (Previous voyages of the Kang Nam 1, a known weapons carrier, had terminated at Rangoon.)

An extraordinary behind the scenes diplomatic negotiation clearly then began, and which was refereed by China. While the ship was en-route, military envoys from the U.S.; the heir apparent of the North Korean regime; Thailand's Prime Minister (any ballistic missiles acquired by Burma are targeted at Thailand); and officials of Burma's junta all made trips to China.

Then the ship turned around

This "solution" meant that the U.S. did not have to board the Kang Nam, as called for by Senator John McCain; or direct it to a nearby port, most likely Singapore; or report it to the Security Council. The cargo was allowed to remain unconfirmed, and, significantly, the Burma link was completely dropped. (Also, when the story changed to "a cargo of small arms," as if this were a good thing, no one publicly expressed displeasure that such a cargo would be delivered to the SPDC, for use against the people of Burma.)

The Kang Nam incident speaks volumes about the Obama Administration's dearth of ideas on nuclear proliferation (we haven't yet mentioned Iran), and its lack of real concern for Burma.

The only positive outcome of the turnaround, other than that the SPDC didn't get more missiles, is the effect of its disruption on the traffickers themselves. The SPDC and North Korea are traffickers, in weapons, narcotics and people. They are gangsters. This was a deal between two different mafias, and it collapsed. Gangsters, such as the Columbian and Mexican drug cartels, do not like to see their shipments stopped. They get upset when they are. People get killed.

A major arms deal between the SPDC and North Korea failed. We don't know the terms of the deal, including what was being bartered or paid by the SPDC for the missiles, if such barter or payment had already occurred, and whatever else the Kang Nam might have had (nuclear components, perhaps even enrichment centrifuges?). In any case, there is likely to be significant fallout from the event, to resolve the transaction, and also to resume other deals that were agreed upon when SPDC General Shwe Mann visited the North.

Furthermore, Junta Foreign Minister Nyan Win's pledge to Japanese officials to comply with Resolution 1874 (not to do nuclear and missile business with North Korea) is a bald-faced lie. Secretary of State Clinton’s comment that the pledge was “a positive development,” was naïve.

United States policy

The United States policy on Burma is already weak. Now President Obama and Secretary Clinton seem determined to make it even weaker.

If the U.S. wants to free Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, it should do it!!! The Administration should not just plaintively complain, again and again. This makes the United States appear pathetic, but it is actually a great power. It would be a simple task to free Daw Suu: just take out the SPDC with drone-launched Hellfire missiles and at the same time helicopter in special forces to the prisons where she and the other political prisoners are held. One well-planned operation could free her, and the country, in a weekend, and the fifty million people of Burma would be eternally grateful.

To hell with the Junta's patron, the Communist Party of China!!! Take a stand for Burma on principle, not geopolitical "reality"!

Similarly with the Karen, the United States has been accepting tens of thousands of Karen refugees. (The 50,000th refugee has now left the border camps in Thailand, although this includes some individuals from other ethnic groups.) This resettlement program actually helps the SPDC. The United States is completing the final stage of the Junta's plan to depopulate Karen State of Karen people. The SPDC drives the Karen from their villages to Thailand, and then the U.S. sends them to the other side of the world.

We shouldn't forget the Junta's bluster that in the future the only Karen will be in a museum in Rangoon. The update to this is: "or America."

Instead of spending millions of dollars to resettle refugees, the U.S. should give the money to the ethnic resistance groups to fight the SPDC. The refugees do not want to come to America. They want to go home. Help them do this!

A little noticed recent event illustrates the complexity - and immorality - of American policy: The United States sent forty tons of weapons to Somalia. Why on earth would it do such a thing: Somalia has no functioning government? The reason is that Somalia has al-Qaeda. Pity poor Burma, if only the country had al-Qaeda terrorists, it would get all the help it needs. Burma has terrorists, of course, the SPDC, but they are not the types of terrorists that Washington cares about.

Lastly, the U.S. should be be open and honest about the nuclear proliferation threat facing the world, including the SPDC's role therein. We are continuing our call for the State Department to publish the long-delayed Report on Military and Intelligence Aid to Burma, as required by Section 10 of the Tom Lantos JADE Act, and also to appoint the Special Envoy for Burma as required by Section 7.

The JADE Act further originally called for tax provisions that would have forced Chevron to divest from the Yadana pipeline, but these provisions were removed at the behest of California Senator Dianne Feinstein. In their place Section 15 expresses Congress' meaningless and impotent "concern" about the at least $500 million that the pipeline gives the SPDC annually, and requests that Chevron withdraw voluntarily.

If you have not read the actual law, please visit the following link. (The JADE Act is potentially much more significant that the just renewed Burma Freedom and Democracy Act.) Section Ten is then given in its entirety.



• (a) In General- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and annually thereafter, the Secretary of State shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a report containing a list of countries, companies, and other entities that provide military or intelligence aid to the SPDC and describing such military or intelligence aid provided by each such country, company, and other entity.

• (b) Military or Intelligence Aid Defined- For the purpose of this section, the term `military or intelligence aid' means, with respect to the SPDC--

• (1) the provision of weapons, weapons parts, military vehicles, or military aircraft;

• (2) the provision of military or intelligence training, including advice and assistance on subject matter expert exchanges;

• (3) the provision of weapons of mass destruction and related materials, capabilities, and technology, including nuclear, chemical, or dual-use capabilities;

• (4) conducting joint military exercises;

• (5) the provision of naval support, including ship development and naval construction;

• (6) the provision of technical support, including computer and software development and installations, networks, and infrastructure development and construction; or

• (7) the construction or expansion of airfields, including radar and anti-aircraft systems.

• (c) Form- The report required under subsection (a) shall be submitted in unclassified form but may include a classified annex and the unclassified form shall be placed on the Department of State's website."

After we first publicized the report's delay, a journalist asked in a State Department press briefing, in general terms, if the government was obliged to follow the terms of the JADE Act. The spokesperson offered a similarly imprecise and bureaucratic response. It is unfortunate that the question was not specific to Section 10. Also, some people have speculated that perhaps the Act has not been funded. (Laws, even when passed, must receive a budget to be implemented, which is contained in another law - an appropriations bill.) But the JADE Act in part amends the Burma Freedom and Democracy Act, which surely is funded. Also, how much can preparation of the report cost?

In any event, we have evidence that the report was prepared on schedule. It just has not been publicly disclosed.

Burma is a key player in the nuclear proliferation nexus involving North Korea, Iran, Russia and China. In part because the report has yet to be made public, this status is not being given anywhere near the attention that it deserves.

We have previously revealed many aspects of the SPDC's program, including its production of yellowcake uranium. Another aspect of the overall proliferation picture is that it is known that Iran has used up the bulk supplies (six hundred tons) of yellowcake that it purchased from South Africa in the 1970s. Iran is now running 5,000 centrifuges, with another 2,000 set to come online. Its program requires a lot of yellowcake. A logical source for this is Burma, and for which we and others have some confirmation.

(As with North Korea, the Administration has no plan to prevent Iran's Islamic theocracy from obtaining atomic bombs.)

Similarly, we have anecdotal word that the SPDC has begun its own enrichment program. It was disclosed earlier this month in a Security Council sanctions on North Korea enforcement announcement (by the U.S.) that the Junta has a business relationship with Nomchongang Trading, a North Korean company that has acquired Japanese-made centrifuge components.

These are only a few of the different pieces of the proliferation puzzle, of which we have no doubt that United States Intelligence is well informed, and which information should be disclosed in the Section 10 Report.

The Obama Administration is stonewalling. We do not understand why revealing all aspects of the nuclear threat, as John F. Kennedy did when the Soviet Union based nuclear-armed ballistic missiles in Cuba, is not the right thing to do.

The nuclear and missile threat from Burma is the best reason to discuss the country in the Security Council, and in a way that China and Russia would find difficult to sustain their vetoes on Council action. It is also a legitimate rationale for an intervention in Burma.

As a final note, to the people of Burma: If the United States continues its posturing but fails to act, when your country is free - and some day Burma will be free - you should never forget that for all the strong words, America was not really your friend.

Secretary Clinton was recently in Thailand. She made some seemingly strong comments, including that the U.S. is concerned about the North Korea-Burma nuclear connection. The U.S. has only become worried because it has been forced to appear worried. Dictator Watch and others have revealed the nuclear plot for years, but the Kang Nam incident, and mistake (the leak), forced the Administration to acknowledge the problem. Such public concern, though, does not mean that the U.S. will act.

Secretary Clinton also called on Asean to expel Burma if Daw Suu is imprisoned, but this is asking others to act.

Hillary Clinton follows Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Madeleine Albright: a more than ten year record of public concern by the United States for Burma, but with no accompanying decisive action.


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