BurmaNet News, June 19 - 21, 2010
editor at burmanet.org
Mon Jun 21 14:53:12 EDT 2010
June 19 21, Issue #3986
AP: Death toll from Myanmar floods, landslides hits 63
Irrawaddy: Election Commission begins poll preparations
SHAN: More Burmese Army officers desert
Inter Press News Agency: Public education a drain on family incomes
Korean News Service (North Korea): Kim Jong Il lauded by Finland and
New Light of Myanmar: As regards allegations against Myanmar on nuclear
programmes, Resident Representative of Myanmar to IAEA Ambassador
ON THE BORDER
Irrawaddy: Another opposition website shut down by hackers
BUSINESS / TRADE
Bangkok Post: New Burma land route mooted
Myanmar Times: Survey finds 1.3m disabled nationally
Guardian (UK): Drug smuggling into Thailand soars ahead of Burma elections
DVB: Burmese second highest asylum seekers
ABC News (Australia): Asylum seekers protest in Darwin detention
OPINION / OTHER
Washington Post: Courageous Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi marks birthday
still under house arrest Fred Hiatt
Irish Examiner: Burma threatens to undermine EU credibility on human
rights Ann Cahill
Jakarta Globe: The thinker: Burma on a leash Kyaw Zwa Moe
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK): PM letter to Aung San Suu Kyi
Burma Campaign UK: Words must be turned into action for Aung San Suu Kyi
Burma Centre Delhi: Indian Parliamentarians urge UNSGs Group of Friends
on Myanmar to take effective action for Aung San Suu Kyis release
European Parliamentary Caucus on Burma: European MPs reject sham elections
and pledge support for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
Burma Campaign Australia: VIC ALP calls for sanctions on Burma
June 21, Associated Press
Death toll from Myanmar floods, landslides hits 63
Yangon, Myanmar The death toll from heavy flooding and landslides last
week rose to 63 as relief efforts continued in northwestern Myanmar, state
media reported Monday.
Torrential rains triggered floods and mudslides that washed away homes,
destroyed schools and damaged bridges in Rakhine state. More than 2,000
people were forced to flee the region.
The military was providing aid to victims and local authorities were
inspecting recovery efforts in the state's seriously hit Buthidaung and
Maungdaw regions, the New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.
Myanmar's military government, the United Nations and other humanitarian
organizations rushed food, clothing, medicine, and cash to the area, state
media and a U.N. press release said.
A United Nations official, who declined to be named because he was not
authorized to speak with the press, warned villagers who returned to their
hillside homes were in danger because more landslides were likely to
Many of the Myanmar victims were being housed at schools and temporary
shelters following the heavy rains that began June 13 and ended last week.
In neighboring Bangladesh, flooding and landslides killed more than 50
people last week. Flooding and mudslides are common in Asia during the
monsoon season that typically starts in late May.
Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar in May 2008, leaving more than 140,000
people dead or missing.
June 21, Irrawaddy
Election Commission begins poll preparations Saw Yan Naing
In preparation for the upcoming election, Burmese authorities have tasked
600 schoolteachers in Rangoon Division with the mission of organizing
voter lists and inputting the information on computers, according to
sources in Rangoon.
The schoolteachers were summoned by the authorities on June 9, said one
schoolteacher in Rangoon who is participating in the process and who asked
for anonymity. They were asked to take lists of eligible voters collected
from across the country, organize the lists and place the information on
The process will take at least two months. The completed voter lists will
be sent to the election commission, the schoolteacher said.
According to a report by the Rangoon-based Eleven Media Group, the
chairman of the election commission, Thein Soe, held talks with members of
the election commission who represent divisions and states about providing
election related training and activities in their areas.
The commission members also received demonstrations on and practiced how
to operate a polling center, how to set up a polling station and how to
perform the voting process. The practice sessions are intended to show
international observers and the public that the junta will hold free and
fair elections, according to the Eleven Media Group report.
The Burmese government has not officially announced the election date, but
many observers and diplomats say the election is expected to be held in
October. The Eleven Media Group report said that Thein Soe will announce
the election date after the election preparations are complete.
Most of the schoolteachers involved in organizing and inputting the voter
lists are members of the Union Solidarity and Development Association
(USDA), a junta-backed civil organization. In Burma, schoolteachers are
usually assigned as supervisors and polling center watchers during
The USDA, founded in 1993, claims more than 24 million members nationwide,
including schoolteachers, civil service personnel and members of the
On April 29, USDA leaders who are also government ministers and senior
officials, including Burmese Prime Minister Thein Sein, founded the Union
Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) to contest the election.
The USDA and USDP have been criticized by analysts and other political
parties for their interconnected leadership, current government positions
and ties to the military.
Thus far, 33 political parties that plan to contest the upcoming election
have been granted registration permission by the election commission, but
the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by
pro-democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi, decided not to register and was
The election will be Burma's first since 1990, when the NLD won a
landslide victory but the military junta refused to transfer power.
June 21, Shan Herald Agency for News
More Burmese Army officers desert Hseng Khio Fah
More defections from the Burmese Army have come to light following the
desertion of Maj Sai Thein Win, the source of the latest exposé of the
ruling military juntas nuclear weapons programme, sources on the
Thai-Burma border said.
The latest deserters are reportedly from the Air Defense Command, under
the command of Lt-Gen Myint Hlaing, former commander of the Northeastern
Region Command. They were identified as Captain Aung Ko Ko and Captain Aye
Min Maung, who deserted in the same month, said an informed source from
the Thai border security.
Capt Aung Ko Ko, who deserted on May 21, was from Air Defense Battalion #
3036 and Capt Aye Min Maung, who deserted on May 3, was from the Air
But there have been no reports about where the two have gone, the
Following the twos defections, Lt-Gen Myint Hlaing passed an order on
June 16, to every subordinate level command to prevent its men from
deserting. If there is someone reported fleeing from a unit, the commander
concerned will be held responsible for the desertions. In addition, he
would also be heavily punished and would be forced to resign by the
Tatmadaw, if his men are reported to have defected to opposition groups.
The headquarters has said that the reason for more desertions is because
unit commanders do not have practical measures to monitor its own
officers, especially while they are on a visit to their families or on
holidays. Another fact is commanders do not make an effort to arrest
deserters in time.
More desertions are reported from other locations, some from low ranking
officers and some just private soldiers, he said.
Top leaders are more worried about internal unity in the army after Sai
Thein Wins disclosure of the juntas nuclear programme, according to a
source close to Naypyitaw.
A border-based group the Network for Democracy and Development (NDD),
quoting documents it had compiled, reported on 23 March 2007 that the
Burmese Army, with 215 infantry battalions and 340 light infantry
battalions totaling 555 in September 2006, had been losing about 10,000
men every four months, most through desertions.
In the past few years, as many as 200 officers have deserted. Missile
expert Maj Sai Thein Win deserted in February.
June 21, Inter Press News Agency
Public education a drain on family incomes Marwaan Macan-Markar
Bangkok Once again, parents in military-ruled Burma are counting the
cost of a primary education for their children in public schools. It is an
annual ritual that comes with the beginning of a new school year, which
coincides with the onset of the monsoon rains in June.
Although the South-east Asian nation has laws affirming that primary
school education is free and compulsory, the economic headaches parents
have to cope with at this time of the year suggest otherwise, according to
a parent from Rangoon, the former capital, who spoke on condition of
It is a burden that has persisted even after the junta appeared to
reprimand public schools taxing parents to make private payments to keep
their children enrolled in the state-supported education system, the
"Many public schools expect parents who have primary school children to
pay for building maintenance, school furniture and school books,"
confirmed Aung Myo Min, director of the Human Rights Education Institute
of Burma (HREIB), a non-governmental group based in the northern Thai city
of Chiang Mai. "The first month of the school year is the most expensive
for these parents. They have to make the annual payment then."
He estimated that such financial demands for a promised "free" education
often is as high as 100,000 kyat (about 100 U.S. dollars) for the year.
"That is a big amount for a family to bear," he told IPS. That amount
already makes up about 50 percent of the monthly wage of a mid-ranking
civil servant in Burma, which ranges close to 200 U.S. dollars per month.
But that is not the only financial worry for an education in Burma,
officially known as Myanmar. A parent with a child advancing into the
secondary school in the state-supported education system could expect to
be hit by a demand of 200,000 kyat (200 U.S. dollars) at the beginning of
the school year.
"The higher you go up in the school system, the more you pay," explained
Aung Myo Min. "The demands are for the same expenses as primary schools
buildings, books, furniture. Sometimes it is for more."
While such a price for a basic education is what parents in cities like
Rangoon and Mandalay grapple with, it is far worse in the more remote
regions of the country that are home to Burmas rich mix of ethnic
minorities, such as the Karen and the Shan.
The decades-long conflict between the Burmese military and separatist
ethnic rebels has seen resources to educate ethnic minority children take
a beating, say Burmese womens rights activists living in exile in
"The schools in villages have few qualified teaching staff and parents
have to pay more to transport children to better schools," said Lway Aye
Nang, secretary-general of the Womens League of Burma (WLB), a womens
rights group based in Chiang Mai. "Secondary school students require
tuition, which means more expenses for the parents."
Consequently, groups like WLB are worried that girls are made to pay a
heavier price when the decision over schooling costs is made at homes. "In
both the cities and in rural areas, there is a greater likelihood that
parents may keep theirs boys in school and take the girls out," she told
IPS. "Family members do not support daughters going to school if there is
Little wonder why womens rights activists are wondering aloud if Burma
will be able to meet the education and the gender equality targets set by
international leaders at a United Nations summit in 2000. That year the
global body launched the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight
time-bound targets to be achieved by 2015.
Besides goals like slashing the number of people living in absolute
poverty and combating killer diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria and
tuberculosis, world leaders also agreed to achieve universal primary
education as well as gender equality and womens empowerment by 2015.
U.N. agencies working in Burma are more sanguine that the countrys MDG
education targets could be met. "The net enrolment rate in primary
education in Myanmar is 84 percent according to the latest ministry of
education and UN figures," said Zafrin Chowdhury, spokeswoman for the
United Nations Childrens Fund office in Burma. "Myanmar is well on track
to reach the MDG gender parity; the ration is 100 boys: 98 girls."
Yet she conceded in an e-mail interview that the retention rates might
check such progress. "Meeting the MDG on primary education will depend on
the rates of completion, which is currently not as high as enrolment."
But education rights activists are not convinced with this picture of
Burma, which has had a history of high literacy rates and known for being
among the regions prosperous countries after the end of British
colonisation in 1948. Since the 1962 military coup, the country has slid
in global rankings to become a least developed country.
The current juntas commitment to education is belied by available public
expenses figures in a country whose rulers have made a windfall following
the export of natural gas to neighbouring Thailand. The junta has earned
eight billion U.S. dollars from 2000, when gas export sales began, till
At the same time, the regime has used 40 to 60 percent of the national
budget to pay for its 450,000-strong military. Yet expenses for health and
education comprised only 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively, of the
national budget according to a 2007 report by the London-based
International Institute for Strategic Studies.
"I cannot see Burma meeting the MDG targets for education even if U.N.
officials inside the country believes so," said Aung Myo Min of HREIB. "If
the government is committed, there would be more money available to the
schools rather than parents being taxed through donations."
June 21, Korean News Service (North Korea)
Kim Jong Il lauded by Finland and Myanmar's figures
Pyongyang, June 20 (KCNA) -- Statements were released by figures of
Finland and Myanmar on the occasion of the 46th anniversary of General
Secretary Kim Jong Il's start of work at the Central Committee of the
Workers' Party of Korea.
The director of the "Kominform" Company of Finland in a statement on June
9 said that Kim Jong Il has fully displayed his traits as the great leader
of the Party and people with his outstanding political caliber and the
love for the people while working in the C.C., the WPK. He praised Kim
Jong Il as the great elder statesman who strengthened and developed the
WPK into an invincible revolutionary party.
Kim Jong Il, supreme commander of the Korean People's Army, made sure that
the army has creditably discharged its mission as the driving force of
socialist construction and defender of the country and the nation, he
said, adding that the Songun policy is the most original and successful
political mode in the world political history.
U Than Tun, deputy director general of the Union of Myanmar Economic
Holdings Limited, in a statement on June 13 noted that the works of Kim
Jong Il serve as great immortal programmes which guarantee the sure
victory of the popular masses' cause of independence as they give
scientific solution to the theoretical and practical issues arising in
improving and strengthening the party building and activities as required
by the developing historical circumstances and the times.
The WPK has led to victory the Korean people in the struggle to bring
about a new turn in accomplishing the cause of Korea's reunification and
dynamically shaped the destiny and future of the country and the nation
under the seasoned and tested leadership of Kim Jong Il, he noted.
June 19, New Light of Myanmar
As regards allegations against Myanmar on nuclear programmes, Resident
Representative of Myanmar to IAEA Ambassador
U Tin Win sends reply to Director Mr. Marco Marzo of Division of
Operations A, Department of Safeguards, IAEA. No activity related to
nuclear programme has been carried out in the past, is ongoing or is
planned for the future in Myanmar
Nay Pyi Taw As regards the allegations against Myanmar in connection
with nuclear programmes, Director Mr. Marco Marzo of Division of
Operations A, Department of Safeguards, International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) sent a letter dated 14 June to U Tin Win, Resident Representative
of Myanmar to IAEA and Ambassador of Myanmar to the Federal Republic of
The letter requested Myanmar to inform the Agency as to whether any
activities related to uranium conversion, enrichment, or reactor
construction or operation has been carried out in the past, is ongoing or
is planned for the future in the country as claimed by the Al Jazeera
Ambassador U Tin Win sent a reply letter today to Mr. Marco Marzo. The
letter stated that the allegations made by the international media against
Myanmar regarding the nuclear programme are groundless and unfounded; that
no activity related to uranium conversion, enrichment, reactor
construction or operation has been carried out in the past, is ongoing or
is planned for the future in Myanmar; that Myanmar is a party to the
Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and has signed the Safeguards
Agreement in connection with the NPT and the Protocol thereto in 1995;
that as stated in its Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA, Myanmar will
notify the Agency if it plans to carry out any of the aforementioned
nuclear activities. MNA
ON THE BORDER
June 19, Irrawaddy
Another opposition website shut down by hackers Alex Ellgee
Mae Sot The popular Burmese Web site photayokeking.org, edited by a
Burmese army deserter, was recently attacked, leaving it inaccessible and
out of operation.
According to one of the editors, who goes by the name Photayoke, the Web
site came under major attacks on May 27 and June 11, following three
On June 11, the server provider sent an email to the Web site's owners
stating that a major distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) had been
focused on their data center.
Although there is no evidence to prove it, the Web site's owners are
convinced that the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), Burma's
ruling junta, was behind the virtual attack.
We know the SPDC attacked our Web site. They are afraid of us because we
get the secret information from our close contacts inside the Tatmadaw,
said Photayoke, referring to Burma's armed forces.
Then the exiled radio stations like Democratic Voice of Burma and Voice
of America broadcast our information to soldiers on the front line in
Burma, he said.
The site received its first major attack on May 27the same day, according
to the Web site's owners, that the SPDC held a press conference in
Naypyidaw accusing Maj Aung Lynn Htut, a former senior intelligence
officer, of stealing US $85,586.45 when he defected from the Burmese
embassy in Washington, DC, in March 2005.
In response to the accusations, Aung Lynn Htut wrote a letter, which was
posted on photayokeking.org, explaining that he was unable to deposit the
money in a US bank because of sanctions, but had transferred it in
Photayokeking.org was set up in May 2008 in order to provide real
information about the Burmese military, according to the site's owners.
It relies on soldiers inside the Tatmadaw to provide intelligence about
the secretive armys activities and meetings.
We want to show that all the subordinate soldiers until brigadier-general
rank are disappointed with the military regime and are experiencing the
same suffering as the civilians, said Photayoke.
In order to avoid problems with Burmese spies and hackers, the Web site's
owners took the precaution of using a more expensive server in the US,
instead of Thailand.
The server, based in Los Angeles, has since said that it would no longer
be able to host the Photayokeking.org because of the dangers it posed to
other customers Web sites.
The cost of creating a new Web site is $8,000 per year, making it
difficult to re-launch the site, according to its owners.
This isnt the first time a Burmese opposition Web site has come under
attack. During the September 2007 Saffron Revolution, when thousands of
monks and civilians took to the streets to protest against continued
military rule, several exiled media sites were disabled by cyber attacks.
Professional hackers infected The Irrawaddy Web site with a Trojan virus,
which left the site inoperable at a time when the world was relying on the
exiled media for information about the brutal crackdown.
In September 2008, The Irrawaddy was targeted again, this time by a DDoS
attackthe same method that closed down photayoke.org. Jammed with fake
traffic by robot visitors, The Irrawaddy's online news service was put
out of operation for three days.
A DDoS attack is orchestrated by hiring a hacker who controls thousands of
PCs around the world and uses them to attack the victim Web site. Fees for
the services of the hacker vary according to the size and duration of the
attack, but usually start at around $500.
INET, the second largest host server in Thailand, confirmed that The
Irrawaddy Web site, www.irrawaddy.org, became the target of a DDoS attack
on Sept. 17, 2008.
The CAT Telecom Public Co. Ltd and some ISPs blocked the site as a danger
zone following the attacks.
The attacks coincided with the first anniversary of the regimes brutal
suppression of the Saffron Revolution and also put other exiled media
sites, such as Mizzima, Democratic Voice of Burma and the Bangkok-based
New Era Journal, out of action.
Mizzima has been repeatedly attacked by pro-SPDC hackers in an effort to
shut down its Web site.
In October 2008, a group of hackers calling themselves the Independence
Hackers from Burma shut down mizzima.com for nearly ten hours.
In an interview with The Irrawaddy, former SPDC spy, Kyaw Myint Myo, said
that SPDC intelligence has hired foreign computer technicians and hackers
to monitor e-mail messages and telephone conversations at home and in
They [the technicians and hackers] are North Korean, Singaporeans and
Like other Web sites that have been blocked, photayokeking.org has been
moved to a blog address, photayokeking.blogspot.com, until its
administrators are ready to re-launch the site.
BUSINESS / TRADE
June 21, Bangkok Post
New Burma land route mooted
The government plans to develop a land transport route linking Thailand's
Kanchanaburi province with the port of Dawei in Burma as a gateway to
markets to the west of the country.
Authorities say better land transport is needed because the Pak Bara
deep-sea port in the southern province of Satun province cannot be
developed on a scale to compete with other other deep-sea ports in the
As well, communities in Pak Bara oppose the expansion because they are
worried about the environmental impact, so it would remain a domestic
port, said Putthipong Punnakan, vice-minister to the Prime Minister's
The Transport Ministry will study the construction of a highway of 180 to
190 kilometres to link Kanchanaburi with Dawei, also known as Tavoy.
Mr Putthipong said a link with Dawei would have great benefits for
Thailand because China also wants to use the town as a possible site for a
major trading port with western and eastern markets.
The Dawei-Kanchanaburi road link would also be connected to a new 1,360-km
highway network linking India, Burma and Thailand. the route would run
from Moreh in India to Mae Sot in Thailand via Bagan in Burma.
Situated in the southwest of Burma, the deep-sea port at Dawei is being
built and should be completed in 2013. It will be capable of handling
300,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent) containers a year for ships sailing
between Europe and Africa, and the Middle East and South Asia, plying the
India Ocean and Andaman Seas.
Dawei Port is a major component in the overall strategy to create an
East-West Economic Corridor (linking Danang in Vietnam to Mawlamyine in
Burma), the Southern Economic Corridor (Ho Chi Minh City to Dawei), and
the North-South Economic Corridor (Kunming-Bangkok).
Transporting goods via the North-South Economic Corridor (NSEC) would
shorten the journey from southern China to the Andaman Sea from 16-18 days
to just six days, bypassing the congested Straits of Malacca.
June 20, Myanmar Times
Survey finds 1.3m disabled nationally Khin Myat
AN estimated 1.3 million people in Myanmar are living with a physical or
intellectual disability, according to a survey completed last year.
The survey of 108,000 households across all states and divisions
conducted in 2008 and 2009 by the Department of Social Welfare and NGO The
Leprosy Mission International found that one in 10 households in Myanmar
contain a person with a disability and these households are at a
significant economic disadvantage.
Households with a disabled member are less likely to own cultivatable
land, valuable domestic assets or domestic livestock and are more likely
to be dependent on casual labour as the main source of household income.
Just 10 percent of people with a disability have completed school, only
15pc have a job and just 1.5pc have completed tertiary education,
according to the survey.
Its findings have provided useful background for the recently drafted
National Plan of Action for Persons with Disabilities 2010-2012; in
particular, that the survey revealed only a small minority of persons
with disabilities are aware of the existence of social services and even
fewer have ever had contact with agencies offering services.
The stated goal of the plan is to improve opportunities for people with a
disability to contribute to the countrys development. The three-year
plan, to be implemented in 120 townships, aims to reach 10pc of disabled
people 130,000 nationally and this is expected to increase in future
Dr Mike Griffiths, a consultant with The Leprosy Mission International,
the focal point agency for the implementation of the national plan, said
an emphasis would be put on creating barrier-free environments for
people with a disability.
In Myanmar, there are very few models of a barrier-free environment. For
example, a hospital would need to have slopes, accessible toilets, and
wide entrances for people with a physical disability; would need to have
information in Braille or audio form for people with a visual impairment;
and would need to have sign language interpreters for people with a
hearing impairment. We need more examples of simple, low-cost,
barrier-free environments, Dr Griffiths told The Myanmar Times.
However, several operational constraints have been identified, including
the limited capacity of agencies, particularly given the extreme needs,
lack of financial resources, few employment opportunities for people with
a disability and the limited number of agencies willing to focus on
disability issues in Myanmar.
Country director Dr Zaw Moe Aung said the mission was limited in the work
it could do by its US$1 million annual budget.
This cannot cover all the work that we would like to do to create better
conditions for people with a disability in Myanmar, Dr Zaw Moe Aung said.
The international donor community is yet to demonstrate a willingness to
participate in combating disability issues, as they are mainly involved in
HIV/AIDS, child protection, womens protection and issues like that.
The Myanmar government is also working proactively on disability issues
there is good progress on the government side but they also need to commit
more funding, he said.
June 21, Guardian (UK)
Drug smuggling into Thailand soars ahead of Burma elections Ben Doherty
Rebels manufacturing massive quantities of drugs to sell for missiles and
guns as they plan fight against junta
A field of opium poppies In addition to heroin, Burmese drug barons are
making huge amounts of amphetamines and methamphetamines. Photograph:
Elections promised for Burma this year have sparked an explosion in drug
trafficking into Thailand, as rebel armies, fearful of a final, pre-poll
crackdown by the ruling junta, trade heroin and amphetamines for guns.
For decades rebel armies, most notably the Wa State Army, have financed
their fight against the oppressive Burma junta by running drugs over the
border, from where they are trafficked all over the world.
A decade ago the Golden Triangle between Thailand, Burma and Laos supplied
half the world's heroin. Afghanistan now produces more, but drug barons in
Burma have turned to manufacturing massive quantities of amphetamines and
methamphetamines which can be produced cheaply in small, hidden
laboratories, without the need for acres of exposed land.
Now Burma's illicit drug trade and the country's flawed electoral process
appear set to collide. The Burmese junta has promised elections sometime
this year, probably in October, though few in the international community
expect them to be free or fair. The ruling generals have vowed to bring
the rebel armies under their command, and turn them into border guard
forces, before the polls are held.
With the deadline for the Wa to come under central government control
gone, its leaders have become increasingly worried about being attacked by
government troops. Colonel Peeranate Gatetem, head of the Thai army's
anti-drug Pha Muang task force, said the number of drug runs had increased
exponentially in recent months, as a desperate Wa outnumbered and
outgunned by the junta's troops prepares to fight.
"This year will be the biggest for amphetamines," Peeranate said. "In all
of last year we intercepted 1.2m pills. This year, in just six months,
already we have seized 5m." He added that they were uncovering what they
believe to be only a tiny fraction of what is being brought across the
border, by most estimates between 1% and 2%.
"The amphetamine trade is huge now, we think it will be around 300m to
400m pills this year. But it is hard to know."
Sources from within Burma say the drug laboratories are working around the
clock, with more under construction. In February, 15 smugglers were
intercepted carrying 1.2m pills between them, and there have been reports
of up to 30 Wa soldiers, in full uniform, marching through the forests
The UN's Office on Drugs and Crime has also registered a rise in drug
trafficking. "Minority groups that feel under threat from the central
government are using drug trafficking to sustain themselves and keep
control of their territories," Gary Lewis, a UN representative, said.
With the money it is making, Peeranate added, the Wa was arming with
surface-to-air missiles bought from China, and AK-47 assault rifles. "They
are preparing for war.
" The Burmese government wants the Wa to disarm, come under government
control and become a border guard force. But the Wa will not ever agree to
do that, so they are preparing for the government troops to move in on
"They are getting ready to fight. They are selling more and more drugs so
they can buy weapons to fight the government."
The Guardian spoke to Wa soldiers just over the border, in Burma, about
halfway between the Thai army border camp and Wa camp. "Burmese Army bad.
They come shoot, shoot," one soldier said through an interpreter,
mimicking machine gun fire.
The Wa will not participate in the election, he added, because it refuses
to co-operate with the junta it says is illegitimate and brutal. "We
protect our territory. We fight for [our] people."
TheWa refuse to discuss drugs, but he added: "Our life here is hard
always need to make money some way, any way to feed our people. We need to
In Thailand a former Wa drug runner, who now works undercover for the Thai
army gathering intelligence on shipments, said: "The Wa are very worried,
they think junta's soldiers are coming soon
the soldiers are afraid.
They sell the drugs to buy many, many guns, so they can fight.
"The Wa fighters will be ready, and they will fight."
June 21, Democratic Voice of Burma
Burmese second highest asylum seekers
Nearly 50,000 Burmese nationals last year applied for asylum with the UN
refugee agency, around three-quarters of these in Malaysia alone.
The figures released by the UNs refugee agency rank Burma as the worlds
second-highest country in terms of the number of people who sought asylum
in 2008-2009. Zimbabwe was by far the highest, with 158,200, while Burma
counted 48,600, Eritrea 43,300 and Ethiopia 42,500.
Malaysia received the largest number of new requests from any nationality,
with 40,000 people last year lodging asylum claims. Of these, 37,600
people were from Burma. Burmese nationals also had one of the highest
Total Recognition Rates (TRR), with 80 to 90 percent of asylum claims
granted out of a world total of 47 percent.
At the end of 2009, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) counted
496,542 Burmese nationals of a 50 million-strong population as people of
concern, 42 percent of which are refugees documented by the UN. The UN
also assists 67,290 internally displaced persons (IDPs), although there
are estimates of more than one million IDPs spread across the country.
By contrast, Iraq, with a population of less than 31 million, had more
than 3.5 million people of concern, while Afghanistan had 3.2 million
and Pakistan three million.
The UNCHRs acknowledgement that the Burmese refugee count may be well
below actual figures was echoed by David Mathieson, Burma consultant at
Human Rights Watch.
How many refugees flee into China and dont seek formal protection under
the UNCHR? he said. How many refugees are unregistered in camps along
the Thailand border? Its about 40,000. India too, and how many Rohingya
in Bangladesh arent formally registered?
He said that one of the key problems for the UNHCR is that it works
through governments, and if governments put the impediments in its path
then theres very little they can do. They could advocate harder, but then
theres a balance between pushing hard and being kicked out of the
Concerns have arisen about the effect that Burmas elections later this
year will have on the flow of refugees out of the country. Aid groups have
warned that the governments attempts to bring ethnic ceasefire armies
under the wing of the Burmese military may result in fighting, which could
then trigger an exodus of refugees across the border.
But, said Mathieson, the connection between refugee flows and the
elections may be misguided. If theres fighting, then yes, but is that to
do with the elections or is it just one part of the elections which is the
border security? he said. I think theyre connected, but not intimately
What might instead happen, he argued, is that migrant workers living in
neighbouring countries could return to Burma prior to the elections in
order to lodge their vote. Some people Ive spoken to say theyll go back
to vote, or be seen to vote, at least to get their name put down so they
or their families dont get in trouble, he said.
June 21, ABC News (Australia)
Asylum seekers protest in Darwin detention Emma Masters
The Immigration Department says 31 asylum seekers are continuing their
protest at the Darwin detention centre.
The protest began a week ago, with some asylum seekers refusing to eat.
One protester was taken to hospital for a check-up on Saturday but is now
back in detention.
The department says the number of protesters fluctuates but as of this
morning there were 31 people in the group.
The protestors are all Rohingyan, a Muslim minority from Burma.
A department spokesman will not say if there is a united reason for the
He says the protesters are holding the demonstration "for reasons that are
The department says the group's action will not speed-up their
applications for asylum.
The Refugee Action Coalition says it is difficult to find out what's
happening at the centre.
The coalition's Ian Rintoul says there is "a cone of silence" around the
Mr Rintoul believes they are worried about being deported.
"They have been waiting months and months for security clearances,
The Burmese Rohingya Association president, Kyaw Maung Shamsul-Islam, says
the men were transferred from Christmas Island earlier this year and many
are feeling frustrated by delays in processing them.
"Detainees rang me he told me they are going to hunger strike because of
the long processing with Immigration Department," he said.
"They have been there 10 months, nine months, eight months, something like
There are 449 people being held at the centre.
OPINION / OTHER
June 19, Washington Post
Courageous Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi marks birthday still under
house arrest Fred Hiatt
Any movement from dictatorship to democracy "is likely to be prolonged and
difficult," a national leader once wrote. "Hope and optimism are
irrepressible, but there is a deep underlying premonition that the
opposition to change is likely to be vicious."
Aung San Suu Kyi expressed that premonition in 1989, when she turned 44
and her Southeast Asian nation of Burma seemed on the verge of climbing
out from under a four-decade-old dictatorship. Today, as she turns 65 in
the near-total isolation of house arrest, it's fair to say that the
process has been more prolonged, and the opposition more vicious, than
even she might have expected.
The daughter of Burma's hero of independence -- himself assassinated in
1947 at age 32 -- she wrote her warning in an essay titled "In Quest of
Democracy" after returning to Rangoon from Britain to care for her ailing
mother. She was married, to an Oxford scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, and had
two small boys. She had no plans to lead a nation. She had envisioned
moving back to Burma someday, but "in order to set up a chain of public
libraries and to organize scholarship schemes for students" -- not to
But a student-led movement for democracy, catching fire the year before
the Tiananmen movement in Beijing, swept her up and enlisted her as
leader. Her country was transfixed by her integrity, poise and courage --
most famously when she insisted on walking, alone, directly toward a row
of soldiers who had been ordered to shoot to kill, an order countermanded
by a senior officer at the very last moment.
Her popularity confounded the generals who had mismanaged the nation into
poverty. They called her a communist, a CIA plant, the mother of mongrels.
They placed her under house arrest in her family's lakeside villa in
Rangoon. And still the National League for Democracy (NLD), which she led,
overwhelmingly won an election that the generals, mistaking the people's
mood, allowed to take place in relative freedom in 1990.
That was the high-water mark, to date, of Burmese democracy. The generals
never allowed the elected parliament to be seated. They keep their 50
million people in a straitjacket rivaled for brutality only, perhaps, by
North Korea. Lately, evidence suggests that, in cooperation with North
Korea and perhaps Iran, they are seeking a nuclear capability.
And still the generals are confounded by Aung San Suu Kyi. They have had
her locked up for nearly 15 of the past 21 years. When her husband was
dying of cancer in Britain in 1999, she could not visit him, because they
would not guarantee that she could return to Burma. They do not permit her
sons to visit. When they briefly released her, in 2003, the jubilant
response wherever she went confirmed her continuing popularity; the
generals responded by sending thugs who nearly killed her in the northern
town of Depayin, and then by locking her up again.
All of this has turned her into something she did not want to be -- an
icon, a Nobel Peace laureate, a symbol of freedom and grace. By all
accounts, she would rather be a politician, leading her party, negotiating
the mechanisms of transition that she was writing about 21 years ago.
Instead, the junta is planning a sham election for later this year under a
law written purposefully to exclude her and the NLD.
The White House, like governments around the world, issued a statement
commemorating Aung San Suu Kyi's birthday. But the junta has shrugged off
President Obama's initiative to "engage" it; Obama's vaunted recommitment
to diplomacy has failed to persuade Burma's neighbors to pressure the
dictators, and thus far the administration appears to have no Plan B.
"Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear
tends to be the order of the day," Aung San Suu Kyi wrote two decades ago.
"A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense
or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile,
the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man's self-respect
and inherent human dignity."
In Burma today, more than 2,000 dissidents and democrats are in prison,
often in gruesome conditions, without any expectation of White House
statements or Nobel honors. If she could speak publicly, Aung San Suu Kyi
might well dedicate her birthday to them -- and to the "small, daily acts
of courage" that most of us, taking our freedom for granted, can hardly
June 21, Irish Examiner
Burma threatens to undermine EU credibility on human rights Ann Cahill
GROUPS all over the world, including in Dublin, took advantage of the 65th
birthday of Aung San Su Kyi to pressurise jailers in her native Burma to
release her, and hold genuinely democratic elections later this year.
But even as Christy Moores songs of defiance and freedom rang out through
the National Concert Hall, it begged the question about the limitations of
The writer Damian Gorman read part of his poem addressed to the Troubles
in the North, but applicable to Burma, warning of the dangers of
complacency and detachment.
The British prime minister, the US president, leaders from the free world
issued statements demanding the release of the woman who has been under
house arrest for 15 of the past 21 years since she won the last general
election held in Burma.
But none of the pleas and none of the bans on imports or embargoes on
trade and investment appear to have affected the military dictatorship.
Rated the most corrupt country in the world using child soldiers, sex
slaves for its army, forced labour and a major exporter of heroin, it
survives because it has supporters.
These include Russia and its neighbours China and India who have forced UN
condemnations to be watered down. They pursue their trade interests as
Russia helps with their nuclear reactor, China supplies arms and there are
claims that North Korea is helping to develop nuclear weapons.
A gasfield, due to come on stream in two years time, doubtless will make
the country even more attractive.
In the meantime, the ruling military dictators spend less than any other
country in the world on the health of its 56 million citizens, maintain
the 12th largest active army in the world, and has built a new capital
city with eight lane highways and flyovers and no traffic.
Burma is part of ASEAN, the association of 10 South East Asian nations,
and it is becoming an increasingly important body.
There were disputes in the past between the two organisations over Burma,
and at their joint meeting last year ASEAN members were not interested in
discussing the show trial of Aung San Su Khi after an American swam across
a lake to her prison-home and stayed two days before swimming back again.
ASEAN members argue they dont want the Burmese generals moving away from
ASEAN to side instead with China, for instance, and so further increasing
its influence in the region.
However, the EU is in danger of losing credibility, not just on Burma, but
on support for human rights following its joint statement with ASEAN
calling for the elections in October to be free and fair. It ignored the
fact that most politicians, like Su Khi are either in jail or have been
banned from taking part.
Perhaps stating the facts is better than detachment masquerading as
diplomacy, especially when some ASEAN members, despite signing up to the
UN charter of human rights, believe such rights are a private matter and
countries shouldnt meddle.
This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Monday,
June 21, 2010
June 21, Jakarta Globe
The thinker: Burma on a leash Kyaw Zwa Moe
During the time we were struggling to expel the British from our shores,
this was a famous chant: A hardship for the British, an opportunity for
Half a century later, we could amend the slogan to: A hardship for the
Burmese, an opportunity for the Chinese.
For Burma has become a satellite of China economically, politically and
Earlier this month, Burmas generals rolled out the red carpet for
visiting Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, and reaffirmed the two
countries fraternal relationship. Junta strongman Sr. Gen. Than Shwe
stressed that the two countries have established a strategic
relationship, a term that can be interpreted as a strategic alliance of
the two countries in political, economic and security issues.
Although this kind of alliance between two neighboring countries is normal
in terms of economic cooperation, a China-Burma strategic relationship
could significantly alter the balance of security in the region.
The day after the Chinese premier concluded his trip, Burmas state-run
New Light of Myanmar reported that China National Petroleum Corporation
had physically begun the construction of 800-kilometer dual pipelines to
import oil and natural gas overland from Burmas Arakan state.
China will also import the crude oil that it brings from the Middle East
and Africa via these pipelines, which commence at Burmas Kyaukpyu deep
seaport off the countrys western coast and cross the country to Chinas
Given the growing presence of Chinas commercial interests in the Bay of
Bengal, it is clear that Beijing will order an expansion of naval capacity
in the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal to ensure the security of its
This creates several serious security concerns for rival India, because
the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal are traditionally within New
Delhis sphere of influence.
CNPC, which is the main investor in the transnational oil and gas pipeline
project, is one of Chinas three largest state-owned oil and gas
companies. The other two companies, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation
(Sinopec) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation have also secured an
enormous stake in Burmas oil and natural gas fields. In fact, according
to the Washington-based EarthRights International in 2008, 16 Chinese oil
companies are currently invested in Burma.
China has succeeded in securing these energy reserves at the expense of
the Western nations that balked at the prospect of dealing with the
regime, and fell in line with a US-led sanctions policy.
Make no mistake securing Burmas natural resources and keeping the junta
in its pocket is one of Chinas key foreign policy goals.
For the Burmese generals, the pipeline deal is more than just a massive
cash cow; it has strategic value as well. While the military junta in
Naypyidaw frequently faces condemnation and sanctions from the
international community for its gross violations of human rights, the
pipeline guarantees that Beijing will continue to protect Burma and veto
calls for sanctions against the junta.
Burmas armed forces, not to mention its air force and navy, have been
significantly upgraded in the past two decades with Chinas help. The
Burmese air force recently reinforced its capacity with the acquisition of
50 K-8 Karakorum jet fighters from China.
The generals reliance on Chinese protection is not, in fact, based on
their fears of external threats, but is a result of their policy of
refusing to settle peacefully with ethnic armed groups and agreeing
national reconciliation with the domestic political opposition.
China has no interest in promoting human rights and democracy in the
world, much less in Burma. Chinese leaders aim to build cozy relations
with rogue states, such as North Korea, Sudan and Burma, exploiting the
so-called principle of non-interference in other countrys internal
Recently, when Al Jazeera aired a documentary accusing Burma of initiating
a secret nuclear program, Chinese leaders kept silent. They apparently
have no fear of another nuclear power in their backyard. To the Chinese
leadership, securing Burmas huge natural gas reserve is an altogether
more immediate concern than tapering its nuclear ambitions.
But for the people of Burma, now is the time to reassess whether our
country has fallen into colonial hands again.
If so, it is the duty of all Burmese citizens to stand up and protect the
country from becoming a colony or a satellite state of a Greater China.
Kyaw Zwa Moe is managing editor of Irrawaddy magazine.
June 19, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK)
PM letter to Aung San Suu Kyi
The Prime Minister has written an open letter of support to pro-democracy
leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is 65 today.
Supporters hold images of Aung San Su Kyi. Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty
Prime Minister David Cameron has written an open letter to Aung San Suu
Kyi. The pro-democracy leader turned 65 today, and has spent 14 of the
last 20 years under house arrest in Burma for advocating democracy and
respect for human rights in her country.
The Prime Minister wrote:
"Today you will mark yet another birthday under house arrest - cut off
from your children and your family. My thoughts, and thoughts of so many
people in Britain and across the world, will be with you and with the
people of Burma. The injustice of your continuing detention mirrors the
injustice that the regime has inflicted on your country and your people
for so many years.
"Throughout that time, you have stood firm, at enormous personal cost, for
the principles of liberty and justice. You have become a powerful symbol
of the strength of the human spirit. Like my predecessor, I personally
have long found your example deeply inspiring.
"I want to assure you that as Prime Minister, I will maintain a close
interest in Burma. The British Government I lead will do all it can, both
internationally, working through the United Nations, and bilaterally, to
bring a brighter future for Burma and your people, in which they enjoy
full human rights and true democracy.
"I have never forgotten your own request: that we should use our liberty
to help the Burmese people to obtain theirs. I promise we will do
everything we can to achieve that."
June 19, Burma Campaign UK
Words must be turned into action for Aung San Suu Kyi
Burma Campaign today warmly welcomed British Prime Minister David
Camerons letter of support for Aung San Suu Kyi on her 65th birthday, and
asked him to take the lead in supporting UN led efforts to secure
negotiations between the dictatorship and Burmas democracy movement.
The letter from the Prime Minister demonstrates Britains continuing
commitment to supporting the people of Burma in their struggle for human
rights and democracy, said Zoya Phan, International Coordinator at Burma
Aung San Suu Kyi is spending her 65th birthday in detention today. She has
spent almost 15 years in detention since 1989. The exact time she has
spent in detention is 14 years and 238 days. The United Nations has
repeatedly ruled that her detention breaks international law.
US President Barak Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have also
issued statements of support.
We now need action as well as words, said Zoya Phan. It is time for the
international community to unite around UN led dialogue to bring peace and
democracy to Burma. Prime Minister David Cameron must pressure Ban Ki-moon
On Thursday 17th June The Elders, which includes former UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan, called on the international community to support a UN
led dialogue initiative for national reconciliation in Burma.
The UN has been mandated to work for such dialogue by the UN General
Assembly, and it is supported by the UN Security Council, UN Human Rights
Council, EU, USA and ASEAN. However, despite this, UN Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon and the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA) are taking no
serious steps to secure such dialogue.
The fact that the DPA website still lists Ibrahim Gambari as leading UN
diplomatic efforts on Burma seven months after his resignation is an
indication of the low priority given to Burma by the Secretary General and
Everyone knows the fake elections due in Burma will not bring real
change, said Zoya Phan. We cannot have a situation where Ban Ki-moon
ignores member states and sits back hoping for change. While Ban Ki-moon
dithers, more prisoners are tortured, more women are raped, more villages
burned, and more children die from hunger and disease because the generals
spent the money on guns and luxury homes.
Full text of the letter from Prime Minister David Cameron:
Dear Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
Today you will mark yet another birthday under house arrest cut off from
your children and your family. My thoughts, and thoughts of so many people
in Britain and across the world, will be with you and with the people of
Burma. The injustice of your continuing detention mirrors the injustice
that the regime has inflicted on your country and your people for so many
years. Throughout that time, you have stood firm, at enormous personal
cost, for the principles of liberty and justice. You have become a
powerful symbol of the strength of the human spirit.
Like my predecessor, I personally have long found your example deeply
inspiring. I want to assure you that as Prime Minister, I will maintain a
close interest in Burma. The British Government I lead will do all it can,
both internationally, working through the United Nations, and bilaterally,
to bring a brighter future for Burma and your people, in which they enjoy
full human rights and true democracy.
I have never forgotten your own request: that we should use our liberty to
help the Burmese people to obtain theirs. I promise we will do everything
we can to achieve that.
June 20, Burma Centre Delhi
Indian Parliamentarians urge UNSGs Group of Friends on Myanmar to take
effective action for Aung San Suu Kyis release
On the 65th Birth anniversary of the Burmese democratic leader and Nobel
Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, Indian Parliamentarians Forum for
Democracy in Burma (IPFDB) urged the Group of Friends on Myanmar and UN
Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon to take effective action to secure the
immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and over 2,000 political prisoners
IPFDB sent the letter to the Heads of the states of the UN Secretary
Generals "Group of Friends on Myanmar" (Australia, China, European Union,
France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, UK,
US and Vietnam).
The Group of Friends of the Secretary-General on Myanmar is a
consultative forum for developing a shared approach in support of the
implementation of the Secretary-Generals mandate in negotiating for the
political dialogue in Burma.
The letter strongly urged the group of Friends of Myanmar and UNSG to
pressure on military junta of Burma/Myanmar to engage with Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi before the elections that will be held in this year and appealed
not to endorse and recognize the 2010 election result if the constitution
announced in 2008 is not amended, if political prisoners are not released,
and if the election procedures are not free, fair, inclusive and
The letter also recommended the UN to investigate the news on nuclear and
missile technology and take strong actions to ensure that these programs
are put the supervision of IAEA.
And the IPFDB also appealed to the UN Security Council to pass a binding
resolution on Burma/Myanmar in accordance with the united Nations General
Assembly resolutions on gross human rights violations in Burma to exercise
the Responsibility to protect (R2p) policy against the authorities of
Burma/Myanmar and to refer the military leaders to the International
Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity they committed on the
Burmese peoples for decades.
IPFDB issued this statement on the occasion of Aung San Suu Kyis birthday
program in New Delhi on June 19th organized by the India based Burmese
democracy activists. The program included the songs by the Burmese
activists, cake cutting session, short video film on Aung San Suu Kyi and
Burmese art show and Burmese food.
Indian Parliamentarians, Political party leaders, senior journalists,
diplomats, civil society groups and individuals who respect and support
Aung San Suu Kyi attended the program and the leaders from the BJP,
Samajwadi Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist) sent the solidarity
messages for her and struggle for the restoration of democracy and demand
for her immediate release.
For more information please contact:
Thin Thin Aung, Womens League of Burma at +91- 9891252316
Kim, Burma Centre Delhi at +91-8800414483
June 18, European Parliamentary Caucus on Burma
European MPs reject sham elections and pledge support for Daw Aung San Suu
The European Parliamentary Caucus on Burma has written an open letter to
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, detained leader of Burmas democracy movement, on
the occasion of her 65th birthday. The European Parliamentary Caucus on
Burma represents MPs from sixteen countries.
The MPs pledged to continue to work for genuine democracy and human rights
in Burma, rejecting sham elections due later this year. The MPs are
calling on the European governments and European Union to reject the
elections and instead focus on pressuring the dictatorship to enter into
dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi and genuine ethnic representatives.
The elections planned for Burma will not be free, and the Parliament will
not be free. The whole process is designed to keep the political and
business elite in control so that they can continue to steal the countries
resources, said Raul Romeva MEP.
The MPs also pledged to continue to work for the release of all political
prisoners including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and for a global arms embargo
The fact that twelve of our fellow MPs remain jailed in Burma, along with
almost 2,200 other political prisoners, shows that Burmas generals are
not interested in change. European MPs are not fooled by the lies of the
dictatorship. Their actions show the truth of their intentions, said
Silver Meiker MP from Estonia.
Full text of the letter can be found here:
About EPCB: The European Parliamentary Caucus on Burma was founded in June
2008 to raise awareness on Burma in Europe and promote human rights and
democracy in Burma. It represents 16 European countries with more than 160
MPs. Administrative support for the European Parliamentary caucus on Burma
is being provided by Burma Campaign UK and People in Need in the Czech
For more information contact:
UK: Zoya Phan at +44 (0) 2073244710, zoya.phan at burmacampaign.org.uk
CR: Kristina Prunerova at +420 226 200 455,
kristina.prunerova at peopleinneed.cz
June 22, Burma Campaign Australia
VIC ALP calls for sanctions on Burma
Burma activists are urging the Australian Government to listen to the
Victorian branch of Australian Labor Party (ALP) who has called for trade
and investment sanctions to be imposed on Burma.
On Saturday, Burma's democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's 65th birthday,
the Victorian Branch of the Australian Labor Party passed a motion calling
on the Australia Government to impose targeted trade and investment
sanctions on Burma at their state conference. The motion stated:
"Australian companies that invest and operate in Burma are helping fund
the country's brutal military dictatorship and their actions including
systematic human rights violations."
"Foreign investments in Burma directly contributes to the long term
financial viability and stability of the Burmese military dictatorship
because it provides an economic lifeline to the dictatorship through
revenues gained from partnership agreements, tax and royalties," it
stated. "We call on the Australian Government to Impose target trade and
investment sanctions against Burma."
Burma Campaign Australia spokesperson, Zetty Brake, welcomed the motion
and urged the Australian Government to take action. "Australian companies
are helping fund the military dictatorship in Burma and their actions
including human rights abuses," Ms Brake said. "The Australian Government
is aware of this and is yet to take appropriate action to stop these
companies - hopefully this motion will push the Government to take
Australia's Twinza Oil is investing in Burma's multi-billion dollar oil
and gas industry. Twinza Oil's project will provide the military regime
with an estimated US$2.5 billion - enough money to fund a quarter of
Burma's military, the 12th largest in the world, for a decade Local ALP
Branches across Australia have adopted similar resolutions, calling on the
Australian Government to impose targeted trade and investment sanctions on
For more information contact:
Zetty Brake, 0416289235
More information about the BurmaNet