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Author Topic: Crackdown in Burma, aka Myanmar
'lance
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Babbler # 1064

posted 01 June 2003 05:22 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
June 1, 2003 | YANGON, Myanmar (AP) -- Myanmar's military junta closed universities and shut down offices of pro-democracy leader Ang San Suu Kyi's party on Sunday, after she and some of her key aides were detained.

Myanmar's universities, the heart of the repressive country's democracy movement, were scheduled to start a new semester Monday, and authorities likely feared students would protest Suu Kyi's arrest.

A senior faculty member at a leading university said on condition of anonymity that authorities told lecturers not to reopen.

Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace laureate, and 19 members of her National League for Democracy party were detained after thousands of pro-government protesters clashed with her supporters in northern Myanmar. The violence Friday left four people dead and 50 injured.


More.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 01 June 2003 06:44 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, not again.

For thirteen years -- thirteen years! -- this obscenity has gone on, in this loveliest of countries.

And what have the great defenders of spreading freedom and democracy to all the world done about it?

Bloody nothing. Where is Tony Blair? Where is Dubya? Where is anyone?

Oh -- forgive me -- I'm wrong there. Any number of the great multinational corpses that all our illustrious leaders so admire (and I agree: they're not all USian or British, although ...) have been doing so awfully well in Burma over the last decade.

Why are we not liberating Burma, when it is so obviously well prepared to be liberated? Hey, Laura: where's your hubby on this one?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
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posted 01 June 2003 06:45 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
PS: And forgive me for forgetting: Justice? Mishei? Your thoughts on Burma?
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1064

posted 01 June 2003 08:09 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
Where is Tony Blair? Where is Dubya? Where is anyone?

Oh -- forgive me -- I'm wrong there. Any number of the great multinational corpses that all our illustrious leaders so admire (and I agree: they're not all USian or British, although ...) have been doing so awfully well in Burma over the last decade.


On which subject...

I don't claim that "Burma is all the US Government's fault," or anything close to it. But I was struck by this item about how

John Ashcroft wants to make it impossible for victims of torture in Burma to sue a US oil company:

quote:
If you've ever wondered what John Ashcroft would do when faced with a choice between defending an energy company and discouraging slavery and murder in the developing world, the unappetizing answer may be found here. FindLaw columnist and Human Rights Watch attorney Joanne Mariner explains how the Justice Department, in its zeal to protect Unocal, is seeking to destroy the Alien Tort Claims Act -- the law that allows people injured by serious violations of international law abroad to seek civil damages in American courts against perps based in the United States.

The case in question is known as John Doe I vs. Unocal Corp. The plaintiffs are "Burmese villagers who claim that they were subjected to forced labor, murder, rape, and torture during the construction of a gas pipeline through their country. Soldiers allegedly committed these abuses while providing security and other services for [Unocal's] pipeline project. "

...

But the underlying issue is whether the oil company should be held accountable for crimes allegedly committed on its behalf. A panel of the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found evidence that Unocal paid the Burmese regime and encouraged its use of slave labor. (The State Department's most recent report on the Burmese dictatorship's ongoing vileness -- including its "common" use of forced labor and child labor -- is available here.) Now Unocal is appealing that decision, and the attorney general's minions at the Justice Department have intervened with a sweeping brief in support of the company.


(You'll have to go to the Salon story to follow the italicized links).


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 01 June 2003 08:28 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
For thirteen years -- thirteen years! -- this obscenity has gone on, in this loveliest of countries.

Incidentally, it should be noted that one of the two major soft-drink manufacturers has its plants in Burma (Pepsi, if memory serves). I have commenced to boycott Pepsi and Pepsi derivatives in addition to my swearing off of Coca-Cola products.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 01 June 2003 09:25 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Why does the Ashcroft story not surprise me at all?
From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mohamad Khan
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posted 01 June 2003 10:28 PM      Profile for Mohamad Khan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Incidentally, it should be noted that one of the two major soft-drink manufacturers has its plants in Burma (Pepsi, if memory serves). I have commenced to boycott Pepsi and Pepsi derivatives in addition to my swearing off of Coca-Cola products.

i've been doing the same for a couple of months now. funny that my zits have cleared up significantly. coincidence?


From: "Glorified Harlem": Morningside Heights, NYC | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
swallow
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posted 02 June 2003 07:03 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Never would i encourage anyone to drink Pepsi or any of its products, but i believe the Pepsi boycott by Burma solidarity activists has been over some time time, since it succeeded in getting Pepsi to pull out. Top corporate investors now include Unocal and Canada's own Ivanhoe mining (owned by Toxic Bob Friedland).
From: fast-tracked for excommunication | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 03 June 2003 01:21 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ah. I did not know that. Is Coca-Cola in Burma, or no?
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
beluga2
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posted 03 June 2003 02:27 AM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's a list of Canadian companies which do business in Burma.

(Might not be entirely up to date, but it's the only such list I could find.)

Dunno about Coke, DrC. But if they're not in Burma now, I'm sure they soon will be if John Ashcroft has his way.


From: vancouvergrad, BCSSR | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Doug
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posted 03 June 2003 04:39 PM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So, I take it the US army will shortly be deployed to liberate Burma.....should be any time now....wait a minute, do they have oil?
From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 03 June 2003 05:06 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
According to this site, petroleum companies including Total, Unocal, Texaco, Nippon Oil, and Premier Oil are working on at least two gas pipeline projects in Burma.

Also, ARCO is exploring for oil and gas in the Andaman Sea.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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Babbler # 1064

posted 09 June 2003 03:25 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Aung San Suu Kyi still held incommunicado.

quote:
June 7, 2003 | YANGON, Myanmar -- A special U.N. envoy failed Saturday to meet or secure the release of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, despite international criticism of her detention and U.S. threats of tighter economic sanctions against Myanmar's ruling junta.

Envoy Razali Ismail, on the second day of his five-day mission, said he was still pressing generals who secreted Suu Kyi to an unknown location following a bloody clash in northern Myanmar nine days ago.

"I am still in the process of making my case," Razali told reporters when asked after the meeting whether he would be allowed to see Suu Kyi.

Razali met for more than an hour with Gen. Khin Nyunt, Myanmar's intelligence chief and third-ranking leader, as well as foreign ministry officials. Khin Nyunt had earlier lashed out at the Nobel Peace Prize winner and her National League for Democracy.

In a speech on the eve of Razali's visit, Khin Nyunt accused the NLD of corruption and of triggering the violence by seeking a confrontation with the government.


Amnesty urges immediate action


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
April Follies
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posted 09 June 2003 04:57 PM      Profile for April Follies   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
With a mighty heave, the huge U.S. war machine has turned to talk of sanctions on Myanmar. Maybe. Unless they say they're sorry. The State Department is so upset that a strongly-worded memo may yet be forthcoming.
From: Help, I'm stuck in the USA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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Babbler # 478

posted 09 June 2003 05:21 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
She is the most honoured political prisoner of our times -- and yet it is hard to keep this thread going on babble. Gee: I wonder why.

It's sort of like the thread on the revolution now perhaps going on in Mauritania -- doesn't move, does it?

I think of all those babblers -- Markbo? -- who so often enjoy accusing the regulars on this board of nasty fixations on USians and Israelis, but who themselves never stray from USian or Israeli topics.

Or those -- Markbo? -- who insist that most babblers don't care about women's rights in the third world. You guys: women's rights, human rights -- here is the story! Comments, please?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
April Follies
rabble-rouser
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posted 10 June 2003 05:39 PM      Profile for April Follies   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
One thing we can all do to help the people of Myanmar: nail Unocoal to the wall for exploiting the citizens and cozying up to the junta. Make noise on this one. Don't let Ashcroft get away with quashing the lawsuit of the Burmese that suffered under this devil's bargain.
From: Help, I'm stuck in the USA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
'lance
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1064

posted 10 June 2003 05:53 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
UN envoy says Suu Kyi well and in good spirits

quote:
Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's opposition leader, is "well and in good spirits", the UN's special envoy to the country said today after becoming the first outsider to meet her since she was put under detention last week.
Razali Ismail, the envoy, told reporters after his hour long meeting with Ms Suu Kyi that, contrary to what had been feared, she had not been injured in the clash before her arrest.

"I can assure you she is well and in good spirits ... no injury on the face, arm. No injury. No scratch, nothing," he said.

But there was no indication from Burma's ruling military junta when she might be released.


It may be vestigial colonialism, but I like the fact that the Grauniad doesn't accept SLORC's change of the country's name to Myanmar, nor of the name of Rangoon to Vangon.

Curiously -- but perhaps not, when you think about it -- some of the laws used to jail people by the military regime date back to the 19th century.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pimji
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posted 12 June 2003 11:25 PM      Profile for Pimji   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
US talks tough on Burma

quote:
The US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, has said he will ask Burma's neighbours to take action over the detention of the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
He said he would make his appeal at next week's annual meeting of the regional organisation, ASEAN, in Cambodia
Writing in the Asian Wall Street Journal, Mr Powell says the Burmese military must be shown that its repression of democracy will not be tolerated.

The country's military rulers took Aung San Suu Kyi into what it described as protective custody two weeks ago, after clashes between her followers and government supporters.

"The junta that oppresses democracy in Burma must find that its actions will not be allowed to stand," Mr Powell says in a signed article published on Thursday.



From: South of Ottawa | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
beluga2
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posted 12 June 2003 11:40 PM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Does this mean that John Ashcroft is backing off from the shameful shenanigans referred to above?
From: vancouvergrad, BCSSR | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 13 June 2003 10:16 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We would only find that out, beluga2, if there were a reporter as intelligent and independent as you in Washington at one of Mr Powell's press conferences who would put that question to him forcefully enough that he could not duck it.

There is no such reporter in Washington, it would appear.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
beluga2
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posted 14 June 2003 05:02 AM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks, Skdadl!

Maybe I should move to D.C. and apply for my press credentials. I could use a career change...


From: vancouvergrad, BCSSR | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 20 June 2003 01:03 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The news about Suu Kyi this morning is not cheering. She is apparently being held in a prison notorious for torture treatment.

Amnesty International offers us this petition:

quote:

Myanmar: End Crackdown and Stop Torture Now

Amnesty International is gravely concerned by recent serious human rights violations in Myanmar.

More than 100 members and supporters of the National League for Democracy (NLD) are missing and/or injured after a violent incident on 30 May 2003. Many are thought to be held in incommunicado detention, where they may be at risk of being tortured or ill-treated.

Among those involved in the incident were party head Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; deputy chairman U Tin U, who was reportedly injured; NLD members and MPs elect, monks and students. Police, soldiers and prisoners reportedly attacked members of the political party who were travelling in the north of Myanmar. Opposition sources report that an estimated 70 persons were killed and 200 injured. Authorities have confirmed that four persons died and 50 were injured.

The use of torture in Myanmar, particularly in incommunicado detention, has been extensively documented by Amnesty International. While Daw Aung San Suu Kyi appeared to be in good health when she was seen by UN Special Envoy Razali Ismail on 10 June 2003, there remains a pronounced risk of torture and ill-treatment for the scores of others in detention.

Amnesty International is calling on the State Peace and Development Council
- to immediately and unconditionally release those who have been detained;
- to ensure that none of those detained are subject to torture or ill-treatment;
- to make public the names, whereabouts and charges against those in detention, to allow them access to medical care, lawyers and relatives,
- to launch a full and independent investigation into events on 30 and 31 May 2003 and to bring suspected perpetrators to justice
- not to penalize the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression, assembly and association

Please add your name to our online petition*

http://ai-stoptorture.c.tclk.net/maabbHCaaYJuObcN4dWb/

*Please sign our petition before 1 August 2003.



From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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