Monthly Archives: May 2009

Statement In 19th Anniversary of Landslide Victory of 1990 Election


Statement In 19th Anniversary of Landslide Victory of 1990 Election

In Burma 

Today is the memorial day of 1990 landslide victory in which the people of Burma showed their immense supports in voting towards people elected democratic government.

It was May 27, 1990, that will never come again but nobody can forget that day’s victory in which at least 82% of total constituency won by the NLD, including the Rohingya’s NDPHR. But the regime is continuously denying the election result and trying to have Sham Election in 2010 with a view to legitimate military power.

Despite, making power transition, the regime banned all the elected parties accept NLD and arrested dozens of MPs together with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who is being kept continuous arrest.

After long term illegal detention, the regime brought her before military court and going to be sentenced 5 years imprisonment with fabricated charge.

Meanwhile, the act of regime is unbearable to the people of Burma, which is also violate both international and domestic laws. People do not have moth to voice on anything and so they are victimized by various means.

Therefore, we call upon the SPDC;

  1. To immediate set free of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners including others ethnic leaders and U Kyaw Min @ Shamsul Anwar Haq, the ethnic Rohingya leader and MP of NDPHR.
  2. To cease all kins of human rights violations. Particularly, the ethnic minorities like Rohingya in Arakan state, through removing all kind of restrictions and stopping new model village settlements, and abuses.

Beside this, we would like to propose to ASEAN, UNSC and ICJ to take practical action on Junta’s as no verbal sanctions could be enhanced with democratic changes.

This statement is endorsed By,

National Democratic Party For Human Rights (NDPHR) exile, Southeast Asia

Regional Office, Malaysia.

-All Burma Democratic Forces (ABDF), Malaysia

-Democratic Federation Of Burma (DFB), Malaysia

-Arakan Rohingya Refugee Committee (ARRC), Malaysia

For further information: +(60) 12 2595185   / +(60) 16 3094599

 

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Indonesia to return 114 Rohingyas to Bangladesh


Reuters news, By Reza Munawir, Mon May 25, 2009 7:33pm IST

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (Reuters) -Indonesia will return to Bangladesh 114 Rohingya boat people who arrived earlier this year in rickety wooden boats, while the status of nearly 280 others is still being considered, officials said on Monday.

Photo

Two groups of Rohingyas, an oppressed Muslim minority from army-ruled Myanmar, washed up off Aceh province on Sumatra island in January and February, many in pitiful condition.

“We have verified the Rohingyas and 114 of them are Bangladeshis. They are willing to be returned to Bangladesh,” Mohamad Asruchin, director for Central and South Asia at Indonesia’s foreign ministry, told reporters in Banda Aceh.

Thousands of Rohingya now live in Bangladesh, having fled northwest Myanmar after decades of abuse and harassment.

Asruchin said some of the Rohingyas who had come from Myanmar were refusing to return.

Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said Dhaka would verify the identity of the Rohingyas from Bangladesh and the two governments were discussing who would foot the bill to fly them home.

Nearly 280 others were still undergoing a screening process by the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, said Faizasyah.

Myanmar and Bangladesh had agreed to take their citizens back, although Yangon had said it would only take Rohingyas with identification papers. 

None of the Rohingyas arrived with any documents.

Indonesia had earlier said the boat people were economic migrants who should be deported, but after a public outcry later agreed that the UNHCR should verify the identity of the boat people, some of whom said they faced certain death if sent home.

Faizasyah said the UNHCR would seek a third country that was willing to accept them once a person was given refugee status because Indonesia had no policy of accepting refugees.

Rickety wooden boats crowded with hundreds of Rohingya have reached Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia in recent months, the latest in annual migrations of people in search of better lives.

Their desperate plight was highlighted in January when hundreds were feared drowned after they were towed out to sea by the Thai military and abandoned in engine-less boats.

The Thai government has insisted the Rohingya were treated humanely and given ample supplies of food and water.

According to the UNHCR, 230,000 Rohingya live in Bangladesh.

(Additional reporting by Olivia Rondonuwu in Jakarta)(

UN Security Council Issues a Statement on Suu Kyi


23 May 2009, Irrawaddy news,

WASHINGTON — The 15-member UN Security Council on Friday expressed its concern about the trial of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the current political situation in Burma in a council statement.

The Security Council president for the month of May, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin of Russia, said: “The members of the Security Council express their concern about the political impact of recent developments relating to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.”

Reaffirming the sentiments of the previous two statements issued by the Security Council in 2007 and 2008, Churkin said the council reiterated the importance of the release of all political prisoners.

However, unlike previous statements of concern, the statement was downgraded from a presidential statement to a statement issued to the press.

“The members of the Security Council reiterate the need for the Government of Myanmar [Burma] to create the necessary conditions for a genuine dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all concerned parties and ethnic groups in order to achieve an inclusive national reconciliation with the support of the United Nations,” he said.

Churkin said the Security Council members affirmed their commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Burma and said the future of the country lies in the hands of all of its people.

Talking to reporters outside the Security Council at the UN headquarters in New York, US Alternate Representative for Political Affairs Rosemary A DiCarlo expressed satisfaction with the Security Council’s decision to issue the statement.

During the past two days, the United States, Britain and France had consulted with other members of the Security Council on the Burma issue.

Because of stiff opposition from two veto-wielding members, the council was only able to issue a council statement on this occasion, DiCarlo said. The Burmese military junta in the past has simply ignored such statements from the UN.

Asked if she thought the council statement would have any impact on the Burmese military government, DiCarlo said: “We will continue speaking out to get that impact that we need. We know Rome wasn’t built in a day, and one statement isn’t necessarily going to do the trick. But we will continue to do so.”

Noting that countries who normally do not want to comment on such issues felt the need to comment this time around, the US diplomat said the US-led group obtained some good support from the Asian region.

“As I said, we’ve worked very collaboratively with other members of the Council. And we’ve made a very clear statement and tied it very clearly to the developments surrounding Aung San Suu Kyi,” DiCarlo said.

“The Council needed to speak out on this issue and speak with one voice. We’ve expressed our concern about the political impact of the recent developments related to Aung San Suu Kyi,” she said.

“We’ve reaffirmed our previous statements and called again for the release of all political prisoners, and made very clear that the Burmese regime needs to create the right conditions for a genuine dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi and with other concerned parties,” she said.

Talking to reporters, the British ambassador to the UN, Sir John Sawers, said the recent developments in Burma have “put the spotlight on the inhumanity of the regime” and “their failure” to follow the guidance not just from their neighbors and Asean, but also from all members of the UN Security Council that they should pursue a genuine national reconciliation and should create conditions for that.

“It is inconceivable that the trial and imprisonment of Aung San Suu Kyi can in any way contribute to that,” he said.

“She is the most prominent of the opposition leaders in Myanmar. She heads the party that won the only credible elections in recent memory in Myanmar and the regime needs to comes to terms with that, but has failed to do so,” Sawers said.

The British ambassador said the statement issued by the Security Council is an important expression of its concern on the recent developments in Burma.

 

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DEATH OF 2 BURMESE INDICATIVE OF STATE OF DETENTION PLACES IN MALAYSIA


Joint Statement – 23/5/2009

DEATH OF 2 BURMESE INDICATIVE OF STATE OF DETENTION PLACES IN MALAYSIA

DENIAL OF HEALTHCARE IS A VIOLATION OF RIGHT TO LIFE 

We, the undersigned, are alarmed to hear that Sa La Hin, 26, and Thang Hoih Ping, 21, two Burmese migrants, have died in the Malaysia’s Juru Immigration Detention Centre from Leptospirosis. This is disease that is usually caused by exposure to water contaminated with the urine of infected animals, such as rodents, cattle, pigs, horses, dogs and wild animals. The fact, that 2 persons are dead and others have been infected by this disease, again highlights the state of hygiene, cleanliness and healthcare at Malaysian Detention Centres.

We recall that it was reported in the media in December 2008, that “About 1,300 illegal foreigners have died during detention in the past six years, Malaysia Nanban quoted Malaysian Human Rights (Suhakam) commissioner Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam as saying. He said many of them died in immigration detention centres, prisons and police lockups because they were denied medical treatment at the right time.” [Star, 18/12/2008, ‘1,300 foreign detainees died due to neglect’]. Now, Sa La Hin and Thang Hoih Ping may just be the latest additions to that list of detainees that died due to similar reasons.

We also recall the words of  SUHAKAM in their response to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) dated 13/1/2009, that correctly stated that ‘…SUHAKAM views the denial of medical attention to the point of endangering one’s life as a serious violation of that person’s right to life….’

These deaths may have been avoided if medical attention was provided promptly, and we call for an independent public inquiry to determine whether there was such negligence on the part of the Ikatan Relawan Rakyat or better known as RELA (a People’s Volunteer Corps), and the Immigration officers, who are currently responsible for Immigration Detention Centres in Malaysia.

We do appreciate the fact that the Director General of Immigration has now decided that ‘cleanliness and hygiene at immigration depots nationwide are to be stepped-up to ensure safety of staff and inmates there against contracting infectious diseases’ (Bernama, 19/5/2009, Cleanliness, Hygiene at Immigration Depot to Be Stepped Up).

We hope that this is not merely a knee-jerk response, which is temporary in nature, but a new and permanent commitment by Malaysia to improve standards and conditions of Detention Centres and other places of detention.

The current once a week visit by a medical officer to the Detention Centres is certainly inadequate. There should be, at the very least, a permanent clinic/dispensary manned by a medical assistant, with a doctor visiting detainees for several hours at least once every two days or more frequently. 

New users of the Detention facility should also be determined free from easily transmittable diseases like Tuberculosis and the A(H1N1) flu before being introduced to the general population of  detention  places.

There should also be regular visits by the Health Officer, who shall monitor the conditions, including of the living and sleeping environment, of the Detention Centre to ensure that it meets the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness.

The foods, and all aspects of food preparation, also need to be monitored by the Health Department especially since there is a possibility that the fault in the recent deaths could be the current caterer of food and drink.

With regard to those who have died, we are of the opinion that their family and/or dependents should be given adequate compensation by the persons responsible, the detaining authority and the Malaysian government.

Officers and persons responsible for the acts or omissions that resulted in death and suffering should be charged and prosecuted for these crimes. They should not be permitted to hide behind safeguards provided to public servants and/or the RELA volunteers, which unfortunately only promotes culture of impunity with no sense of responsibility and respect for human life.

We, the undersigned,  call on the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) to immediately commence a public inquiry into these deaths and detention places generally, and come up with concrete recommendations which could be implemented that will improve state of cleanliness, hygiene and healthcare of all detention places in Malaysia. 

We are also call upon the Ministry of Health and the government of Malaysia to  take necessary steps to ensure that proper steps  be taken to ensure that such disregard for life does not happen again.

We reiterate the call for the abolition of RELA, and restate our position that law enforcement, and management of detention places should be done by professionally trained full-time public servants, not volunteers.

Charles Hector

Pranom Somwong

 For and on behalf of the 113 organizations/groups listed below:-

Action for Health Initiatives (ACHIEVE), Inc, Philippines

Action Network for Migrants (ANM), Thailand

All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), Malaysia

Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma

Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development (APWLD)

Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM), Hong Kong

Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC)

Asia Pacific Workers Solidarity Link (APWSL), Korea

Asian Migrants’ Coordinating Body – Hong Kong (AMCB-HK)

Assistance Association for Political Prisoners ( Burma )-AAPP

Bahrain Center for Human Rights

Bar Council Human Rights Committee , Malaysia

Bar Council’s Legal Aid Centre , Malaysia

BAYAN USA

Building and Wood Workers International, Asia Pacific Regional Office

Burma Campaign Australia

Burma Campaign , Malaysia

Burma Campaign UK

Burma Centre Delhi (BCD)

Burma’s Nationalities Association (BNA)- Norway

Burma Partnership

Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center

Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB)

CDS (Community Development Services), Sri Lanka

Center for Migrant Advocacy, Philippines

Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC), Malaysia

Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS), Malaysia

Chin Human Rights Organization

Civil Society Committee of LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLGCSC) Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach ( USA )

Commission For Filipino Migrant Workers (CFMW) – The Netherlands

Committee for Asian Women (CAW)

Coordination of Action Research on AIDS & Mobility (CARAM – Asia )

Democratic Party for a New Society (DPNS), Burma

Development Action for Women Network (DAWN), Philippines

Empower Foundation, Thailand

Ethnic Nationalities Council

FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights

Filipino Migrant Workers’ Union – Hong Kong (FMWU)

Forum for Democracy in Burma

Foundation for Education and Development (Formerly, Grassroots HRE ( Burma )

Free Burma Coalition – Philippines (FBC-Phils) 

Free Burma Campaign , South Africa

Friends of Burma , Malaysia

Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW)

HAKAM – National Human Rights Society , Malaysia

Health Equity Initiatives, Malaysia

H.O.M.E. (Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics), Singapore

Hope Workers’ Center , Taiwan

HRWG – Indonesia ‘s NGO Coalition for International Advocacy

Hsinchu Catholic Diocese Migrants and New Immigrants Service Center , Taiwan

IMPARSIAL, the Indonesia Human Rights Monitor, Jakarta – Indonesia

INFID (International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development)

Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID)

Kachin Women’s Association Thailand

KAFIN Migrant Center, Japan

KAFIN – Saitama , Japan

Kayan National Development Foundation (KNDF)

Khmer  Kampuchea Krom Human rights Organisation (KKKHRO), Cambodia

Labornet Korea

Labour Resource Centre , Malaysia

Legal Support for Children and Women (LSCW), Cambodia

LHRLA (Lawyers for Human Rights & Legal Aid), Pakistan

MADPET (Malaysians against Death Penalty and Torture)

Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC)

Mekong Migration Network (MMN)

Migrant CARE, Perhimpunan Indonesia untuk Buruh Migran Berdaulat

Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA)

MIGRANTE Europe

MIGRANTE Middle East

MIGRANTE International

MIGRANTE – Nagoya

MIGRANTE – UAE

Mindanao Migrants Center for Empowering Actions, Inc. (MMCEAI)

Myanmar Ethnic Rohingyas Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM)

National Democratic Party for Human Rights(NDPHR)(exile),SEA Regional Office

National League for Democracy [NLD (LA)], Malaysia

National Institute for Electoral Integrity (NIEI), Malaysia

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, U.S.

Network for Democracy and Development, Thailand

Network of Action for Migrants in Malaysia (NAMM)

New Zealand Burma Support Group

NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines

OKUP (Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program), Bangladesh

Osan Migrant Workers Center in South Korea

Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF)

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)

Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM)

Peoples Service Organization (PSO), Malaysia

Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangot (EMPOWER)

Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS), Malaysia

Persatuan Sahabat Wanita, Selangor

Platform of Filipino Migrant Organisations in Europe – The Netherlands

POURAKHI, Nepal

Pusat KOMAS, Malaysia

Raks Thai Foundation , Thailand

Rohingya Youth Development Forum (RYDF), Malaysia

Shan Refugee Organization Malaysia (SRO)

Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN)

Shwe Gas Movement

St. John’s Cathedral HIV Education Centre, Hong Kong

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

Tenaganita, Malaysia

The Foundation for the Health and Knowledge of Ethnic Labour (MAP)

The Justice, Peace & Solidarity in Mission Office, The Good Shepherd Sisters

The Micah Mandate

Transient Workers Count Too, Singapore

United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)

U.S. Campaign for Burma

WARBE Development Foundation – Bangladesh

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), Malaysia

Women’s League of Burma

Workers Hub for Change (WH4C)

* For further information, please contact Charles Hector (chef@tm.net.my) or Pranom Somwong (Bee) (p_somwong@yahoo.com) at 019-2371 300

“UNHCR Mis-use Police and Rela Forces”


researcher Theng,

Today about 12:30pm (local time), Police and Rela forces arrived by lorries, jeeps, and patron-cars in UNHCR office in No.570, Jalan Bukit Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 

IMG0276A

During this, no authorities had look into the account of why refugees approach to UNHCR, while local authorities are not dare to take action on international agency UNHCR. But, active in prosecution of international concern refugees.

 

Following the matter, there is a meeting between UNHCR and leaders from Rohingya parties to hold discussion on resettlement of marginalized Rohingya refugees. As policy of UNHCR, this meeting is drawn finally to discuss about resettlement after several months meeting that fruitlessly passed by discussion in other concerns. These may be considered as conspiracy to drive away from their rights.

 

As our eye watch, daily at least 300 refugees are approached to UNHCR office for their individual matters of extension date, assistance, medication, report and new registration. Occasionally, they were facing forceful expulsion, threaten, comination like today, no matter how serious you.

 

According to a refugee representative, Rohingya refugees would not be approached to UNHCR for assistances if UNHCR itself has declared officially that ‘UNHCR would not work anymore for Rohingya refugees or UNHCR is not agency for refugees. Why our genuine cases were marginalized?  While resettlement countries accept refugees by UNHCR’s referral, humanitarian officers mischief over us and paving uncertain way to  miss from our rights. Finally, Protection officer Alvin Gosaga,  withdrew the meeting to show disturbed by refugees. Is it corporation of UNHCR? The truth should be revealed here as what evidence they got. Otherwise, would take action  against defamations.

 

A woman activist who refuse to be named said, “UNHCR’s new representative Mr.Allan Vernon has not made any actual step of solution for Rohingya refugees except exploitation by holding fruitless meetings while monthly at least 500 of non-Rohingya refugees were resettling without any discussion or meeting. Rohingya refugees are yet to receive mandated refugee card as they were neither given mandated refugee card nor treated like non-Rohingya refugees, while UNHCR is the only determiner of refugees.”

 

“Ironic in Mr. Alan’s mis-ordered to his security head officer Mr.Ibrahimm Amin to deal all matter by Police and Rela forces, was occurred. As, the humanitarian offices believe that such kind of defense system will drive them away from UNHCR. Beside this, UNHCR-Malaysia is trying to to solve Rohingya problems in alternative way by dealing with leaders of ‘Jihad’ group, who are serving under Mr.Azam, former president of ABIM and chairman of newly founded Future Global Network (FGN). Concern quarters therefore, should look into the matter urgently to halt from such activities before empower to unscrupulous  group in Malaysia. Hard to believe these all but actual happening whether you believe or not. If not, why UNHCR hold the talks with Mr.Azam in last week and what logic does Azam has and why. How the FGN raising the fund and their practical achievement of the goal rather than artificial progress, should be investigated,” she added.

WITHDRAW ABSURD CHARGES AGAINST AUNG SAN SUU KYI


Media Statement – 16/5/2009

We, the undersigned, are shocked that Aung San Suu Kyi has now been absurdly charged for the offence of breaking the terms of her house arrest, in particular the condition that forbids visitors, after an American man, swam across the lake and entered her house uninvited and refused to leave.

 Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her two assistants were reported to have been charged on 14/5/2009 with breach of detention under Section 22 of the Law Safeguarding the State from the Dangers of Subversive Elements, and their trial is scheduled to begin on Monday (18/5/2009) in an Insein Prison special court set up to handle political dissidents.

American, John William Yettaw, 53, of Falcon, Missouri swam across Inya Lake on the night of May 3 and left the compound early on the night of May 5, swimming a distance of about 2 kilometers. Authorities arrested him later that morning.

In Burma , it is also against the law for a foreigner to stay in the home of a Burmese citizen overnight without approval from authorities.

Dr. Tin Myo Win, Suu Kyi’s family physician, also will allegedly be charged in connection with Yettaw’s  staying in Suu Kyi’s compound overnight. Yettaw himself is also expected to be charged, presumably for violating one of Burma ’s  internal security laws.

Aung San Suu Kyi and her two assistants, have been taken from her home and is   currently being detained in the infamous Insein Prison since 14/5/2009.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, 63, the leader of the National League for Democracy(NLD), has spent 13 of the past 19 years in virtual isolation in her home since the Burmese military junta refused to recognise NLD’s landslide victory in the country’s last elections in 1990. 

The most recent, six-year period of detention is due to end on May 27. The junta’s justification for keeping her locked away under the provisions of this draconian 1975 national security law was to protect the state from “destructive elements”. Many speculate that this recent incident was created or being manipulated to discredit Suu Kyi and provide justification for the military government to extend her house arrest again.

We call for the immediate withdrawal of this absurd charge levied against Aung San Suu Kyi, and her 2 assistants;

We also call for the immediate and unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Burma ;

We call for ASEAN and ASEAN member governments, including Malaysia, to immediately intervene and urge the government of Burma to respect human rights, and to adhere to the numerous United Nations resolutions, including General Assembly Resolution 49/197 [1995], which, amongst others, “…call on the Government of Myanmar to release unconditionally and immediately the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who is now in her sixth year of detention without trial, and other political leaders and remaining political prisoners…’

We also call on the United Nations(UN), the European Union(EU) and all concerned nations to act for the immediate withdrawal of this absurd charge, to secure the immediate and unconditional release of all political detainees and to restore democracy and human rights to Burma and its peoples.

Charles Hector

Pranom Somwong

for and on behalf of the following 22  organisations,  

1.All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)

2.Amnesty Malaysia

3.Burma Campaign , Malaysia

4.Civil Society Committee of LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLGCSC)

5.Coordination of Action Research on AIDS & Mobility (CARAM-ASIA )

6.Friends of Burma , Malaysia

7.MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)

8.Malaysia Youth and Student Democratic Movement (DEMA)

9.Migration Working Group (MWG)

10.Myanmar Refugee Volunteer Group (MRVG)

11.National Democratic Party for Human Rights  (NDPHR-Exile) Malaysia

12.National Institute for Electoral Intergrity (NIEI)

13.Network of Action for Migrants in Malaysia (NAMM)

14.Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)

15.Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM)

16.Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS), Malaysia

17.Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)

18.Pusat KOMAS

19.Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

20.Tenaganita

21.Workers Hub For Change (WH4C)

22.Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)

* For further information, please contact Charles Hector (chef@tm.net.my) or Pranom Somwong (Bee) (p_somwong@yahoo.com) at 019-2371 300

Aung San Suu Kyi should be released immediately: US


WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States said Thursday that pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi should be released immediately after Myanmar’s military junta brought new charges against her.

Aung San Suu Kyi should be released immediately: US

AFP/File – The United States said Thursday that pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, pictured here in 1995, should …

I am ready to say something more than just that … we’re troubled,” State Departmentspokesman Ian Kelly told reporters when asked if he would go further than a statement he released earlier in the day.

“Our bottom line is that she shouldn’t be under house arrest. She shouldn’t be, and even less so in prison,” Kelly said during the daily media briefing. “Our bottom line is … she should be released immediately.”

Myanmar’s military junta charged Aung San Suu Kyi Thursday with breaching the terms of her house arrest over a bizarre incident in which a US man swam to her lakeside house.

The 63-year-old goes on trial on Monday on the charges, which carry a jail term of up to five years and would stretch her detention past its supposed expiry date this month and through controversial elections due in 2010.

Aung San Suu Kyi would not be allowed to return home but would be held at a special house on the grounds of Insein Prison while proceedings were under way, her lawyer Kyi Win added.

Kelly said that the US embassy in Yangon had been in contact with the authorities to verify the charges against her.

He recalled that both publicly and privately, through diplomatic channels, the US government has long been calling for her release and that of more than 2,100 political prisoners.

In a statement released earlier, Kelly said: “We have seen this report (about the new charges), which is certainly troubling if true.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “has seen it as well, and has asked the Department to work to get more information,” added Kelly.

During the briefing, Kelly said Clinton would comment on the case she holds talks here with foreign minister Datuk Anifah bin Haji Aman of Malaysia, which like Myanmar is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Howard Berman, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, echoed the call for the release of the pro-democracy leader.

“The military junta should immediately release her, allow greater political freedoms in the country, and respect the human rights of all of Burma?s citizens,” he said in a statement.

John Yettaw, who was held last week for sneaking into Suu Kyi’s house and staying there for two days before he was caught, was also charged with breaking the security law and immigration conditions, officials said.

Yettaw, 53, apparently used a pair of homemade flippers to swim across a lake to her crumbling residence in an apparent show of solidarity, but Aung San Suu Kyi’s main lawyer Kyi Win said they had asked him to leave.

“We have to blame him,” Kyi Win said. “He is a fool.”

Kelly said that the authorities allowed a US embassy consular officer access to the courtroom for Yettaw’s hearing earlier Thursday.

 

“Burmese Opposition Groups In Malaysia Demonstrate At Burmese Embassy”


Researcher James,

( Note: The Sail would like to excuse for error in date of camera setting)

Today early about 9:50am (local time), a peaceful demonstration at Burmese embassy ( No.8C, Jalan Ampang Hilir, KL), was held by NDPHR-exile in Malaysia with 15 Rohingya activists.

In their statement, they condemn over the sophisticated charged of Suu Kyi under violation of detention act, human rights abuses against Rohingya population in Arakan state including model villages settlement by removing the original existence of Rohingya, force labor and forceful eviction of prisoners, and prevention of reconstruction and relief building in Irrawaddy delta. But their statement was put into the mail-box of the embassy the result of no incharge out from the embassy.

The statement is as below;

photo of demonstrate by NDPHR with 15 activists

photo of demonstrate by NDPHR with 15 activists

 

Ref: NDPHR (SEA-R) 1990/2009/001

Date: May 15, 2009

Statement on Burmese Atrocities against Rohingya Arakanese in Burma

On behalf of Burmese people regardless of race, religion, color and culture, we strongly condemn the ruling State Peace & Development Council (SPDC), the Burmese military regime for mis-charged of people elected and democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi under sophisticated act of violation of detention and its inhuman behaviors towards the indigenous Rohingya ethnic minority of Burma’s Arakan, State victims of human rights abuses and natural disasters.

holding playcards by activists

holding playcards by activists

The regime have been installing the worst proportion of inhuman pogrom against ethnic minorities in Burma, particularly of the Rohingyas in western border of Burma through  out the forced labor, force eviction, forced extortion, forced extermination, forced relocation, torture, extra judicial killings, rape, model village settlement,  restriction on their movement from one place to another, restriction on freedom of worship, thought, education, marriage, family development, business development and etc.

The tyrannies of Burmese regime are well documented by the world bodies including the United Nations Human Rights Commission and Government of the United States of America and etc. As it, the international community has called upon the SPDC to stop atrocities against the people of Burma and to bring changes to favor for the wills of people and to restore peace and stability inline of human dignity and sustainable economy in the country. But, the regime is repeatedly maintaining by ignoring the calls and denying its brutalities towards Rohingya Arakanese and other ethnic minorities, which is not only within the state but also in various regional summits and forum including in the latest 14th ASEAN Summit and Bali Process in March and April 2009 respectively.

In recent month of May and April 2009, Military had confiscated every possible belongings and properties of Rohingyas to substitute with new settlers in several villages. About 40 villages are under way to remove from both Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships. It is a planned strategy to replace non-Rohingyas in Rohingya dominated areas like before, in order to exterminate them from their original land and to prove non-existence of Rohingya population in certain area and to ignore the root causes of Rohingya as well.

Being a member state of International Labor Organization (ILO), Burma has been ignoring the call of ILO in particular and International community in general, while using the widespread forced labor against conventions, including forceful eviction of prisoners.

Burma is the only country that engages bulk of force labor in Arakan State in model village settlement, construction of roads, pagodas, military camps, fencing, irrigation, environment, embankment and carrying of military equipments.

All these inhumanity is only doing against the Rohingyas in the presence of different Non-Governmental Organization, International NGOs, including UN Refugee and Food Agencies.

Meanwhile, the regime is not a legitimate Government, which is abusing power to push the people in circle of danger with violation of both international and domestic laws. 

On the other hand, the regime is widely cultivating poppy in its occupied places with a view to develop drug addictions and to buy sophisticated weapons to kill its own people, whilst misusing the country vast natural resource at all.

Burmese military regime is being shameful for the South Asia and Southeast Asian Regional Bodies which is also a threat to the regions from regime’s Nuclear Ambition.

Being an illegitimate gang of military, how can it deny the existence of an original indigenous group of the country in front of regional representatives and how can it deny the real history. Meanwhile, the regime cares nothing in the regions.

From these perspectives, the Burmese regime is found active in denial of regional mechanisms on human rights which also undoubtedly shameful for entire regions.

Therefore, we request upon the regional bodies, particularly ASEAN, SAARC and their members states to boycott regime’s participation in regional summits, forums and other kinds of regional activities with a view to put pressure to bring immediate changes in country, ceasing all kinds of atrocities against ethnic minorities, especially the Rohingyas in Arakan State, Burma. We also request ASEAN and SAARC to bring military ruler before International Court of Justice for further actions of its inhumane pogrom.

As the above mentions, we urge upon SPDC:

  1. To immediately set free of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners including ethnic leaders like U Kyaw Min MP of NDPHR;
  2. To cease unconditionally all kinds of human rights abuses against ethnic Rohingya Arakanese;
  3. To confess unconditionally the ongoing brutalities in Burma before the international community’s intervention in order to ensure human dignity;
  4. To immediately bring an end of military dictatorship in order to bring democratic changes in the country for the welfare of people and country as well;
  5. To halt forced labor, mobilization of child soldiers, model village settlement in Rohingya dominated areas and all kinds of human rights abuses against Rohingya.
  6. To allow international agency to set up reconstruction of relief building for victims of cyclone nargis in Irrewaddy delta and other affected areas of natural disaster in the country.

Executive Committee

National Democratic Party for Human Rights (NDPHR) Exile

South East Asia Regional Office

PO BOX-11882, 50760 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Phone:   +(60) 12 2595185   /   +(60) 16 3094599  

E-mail: ndphrexile_sea_regional@yahoo.com

The Sail also found another demonstration by NLD (La) Malaysia, participated about 50 members, nearby the end of NDPHR’s call. They also call for immediate release of Suu Kyi and they warn that Junta will suffer the equal reflection response from unjust and unaffair works.

DSC00308
Demonstration by NLD (LA) with other ethnic people

US Man Arrested for Entering Suu Kyi Home


source from Irrawaddy news, 09 May 2009

RANGOON — Police tightened security around Burma’s detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday after an American man was arrested for allegedly swimming across a lake and sneaking into her lakeside home.

The Myanma Ahlin newspaper reported that authorities fished the man out of Rangoon’s Inya Lake early Wednesday while he was returning from the visit to Suu Kyi’s home. The report identified the man as John William Yeattaw but gave no details of his motives.

It would be the first time anyone has sneaked into Suu Kyi’s compound or swam across the lake in an attempt to get there.

Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize and leader of democracy movement of Burma, reads in her yard where she was under house arrest. (Photo: Steve McCurry/Magnum Photos)

More than 20 police entered Suu Kyi’s compound Thursday morning, according to neighbors who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals in the military-ruled country. Despite police checkpoints and barbed-wire barricades outside the home, police rarely enter Suu Kyi’s compound, where she has been kept under house arrest for more than 13 of the past 19 years.

The newspaper report said the American man had confessed to swimming across the lake Sunday evening, sneaking into Suu Kyi’s residence and then swimming back late Tuesday before being spotted by police and arrested early Wednesday.

“He secretly entered the house and stayed there,” the newspaper reported, saying that he swam with an empty 5-liter plastic water jug, presumably to use as a float. “Further investigation is under way to find out his motive for secretly entering the restricted area.”

Police confiscated the man’s belongings, which included a US passport, a black backpack, a pair of pliers, a camera and two US 100 dollar bills, the newspaper reported.

A spokesman from the US Embassy in Yangon said consular officers were “seeking access” to the man as is routine in any case of an American citizen arrested overseas.

“Right now we don’t know anything more than what is generally known, that this man was arrested for swimming across the lake and wound up being at Aung San Suu Kyi’s house,” said spokesman Richard Mei, who said he could not immediately confirm the man’s identity or spelling of his name.

Suu Kyi’s home is tightly guarded and she is not allowed visitors, aside from her doctor. Swimming in Inya Lake in the vicinity of Suu Kyi’s compound is not allowed.

Nyan Win, spokesman for her National League for Democracy party, said he had no information about the American visitor aside from what he had read in the state-controlled newspaper. But he said it was worrisome how easily the man accessed the tightly guarded home.

“We are very much concerned of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s security. What happened shows a security lapse,” Nyan Win said. “Daw” is a term of respect in Myanmar.

Suu Kyi has been held without trial for leading an internationally hailed movement for democracy in Myanmar, which has been ruled by the military with an iron fist since 1962.

Her party won Burma’s last elections in 1990, a result the military junta never recognized.

Earlier this week, the junta rejected an appeal to free Suu Kyi, whose most recent period of detention is due to expire May 27, according to the party spokesman.

Suu kyi Asked Questions.

The news reported on Thursday that a US citizen swam across Inya Lake to the home of detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon, where he stayed for a three-day period, has become the talk of Burma.

The man, identified by the government as John Willian [sic] Yeattaw, was reportedly arrested on Wednesday morning as he was swimming away from Suu Kyi’s home.

The lakeside home of Aung San Suu Kyi on Inya Lake in Rangoon, with four policemen in a boat in the foreground. (Photo:AP)

Because of the unexplained sequence of events, many Rangoon residents discount the truth of the government account, which appeared in state-backed media. No other details or motives were provided.

The alleged intrusion into her private compound comes as Suu Kyi’s house arrest is set to expire this month.

“Security personnel found a suspicious looking foreigner swimming with the help of a 5-litre drinking water bottle in Inya Lake” at 5.30 a.m. On Wednesday, the state-run New Light of Myanmar reported. The report was not accompanied by a photograph of the intruder.

The report said “he secretly entered the house and stayed there” on Sunday night and remained there through Tuesday night.

The US Embassy in Rangoon said it has made repeated requests to see the man, which have been denied.

“We would like to confirm the information ourselves and to speak with the man directly,” said embassy spokesman Richard Mei.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s home (see circle) on the south side of Inya Lake in Rangoon and the location of the arrest of a US citizen (see box) near Prome Road.

According to Rangoon residents and journalists contacted by The Irrawaddy, many citizens in the former capital do not believe the story as it has been reported.

“The news of an American guy swimming to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s house is now the talk of the town here,” said a Rangoon journalist who spoke on condition of anonymity.

He said many people think the story was fabricated by the government as propaganda, intended to discredit Suu Kyi and provide an excuse not to release her from house arrest.

A Burmese social worker in Rangoon told The Irrawaddy that the story is confusing.

“Yes, it is the hottest news in the town,” she said. “But people are saying that nobody knows if it is really true. Only Daw Aung San Suu Kyi can tell the truth. And nobody can ask her directly.”

For some members of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) and other dissidents at home and abroad, the news raised concern about the Nobel laureate’s security. 

“We cannot confirm yet that the news is true or not. However, this is a very dangerous situation for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi if the event really happened,” said Han Thar Myint, an NLD spokesman. “As we know, security forces are supposed to be on the bank of the lake at her compound.” 

An exiled dissident group, the Democratic Party for New Society, announced on Thursday that the incident showed that Suu Kyi’s life was at risk.

Recently the junta rejected an appeal by Suu Kyi’s lawyer for her release, saying the “grounds for her appeal were not strong enough.”

Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for 13 of past 19 years. In 2008, the junta extended her detention for one more year. Her attorney and the government differ on the date when her detention is scheduled to end. According to NLD spokesman Han Thar Myint, the detention is set to expire in May, but authorities said it will be in November. 

Authorities allow only her doctor and two caretakers access inside Suu Kyi’s home. Her family doctor, Tin Myo Win, regularly visits her every first Thursday each month, NLD sources said. Tin Myo Win was scheduled to visit her on Thursday, but he was not available when The Irrawaddy tried to contact him.

If elements of the story are true, the tantalizing questions are what were the man’s motives and did he have any connection with a government, a political group, or was the incident the act of one individual working alone?

In the past, foreigners who entered Burma and who tried to engage in political work or activities have been arrested and threatened with imprisonment.

Usually, they are deported.The US Campaign for Burma, a leading Burma campaign group in the United States, denied any connection with the American who was named in the newspaper report. Other exiled pro-democracy groups have also denied involvement.

Following the incident, US citizens in Burma are reportedly under increased surveillance by Burmese authorities, according to sources in Rangoon.

Two US journalists were reportedly deported from the country on Thursday after authorities learned that they gave a journalism training course in Mandalay.

Suu Kyi’s neighbors said on Friday that authorities had changed security guard personnel at her compound. 

Recently, increased personal attacks on Suu Kyi have appeared on Internet blogs and some observers say they are the work of pro-junta elements.

“Last month, I told the chairman of the NLD that we should expect that there could be some unusual news and attacks on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi ahead of the expiration of her detention date,” said Thein Nyunt, a senior NLD member.

 

 

 

Malaysia Must End Brutalities and Respect Non-refoulement Rule for Refugees


From NDPHR (HQ) 34-56/09

Date: April 30, 2009, Press Release

Malaysia Must End Brutalities and Respect Non-refoulement Rule for Refugees

We at the Department of Refugees & Humanitarian Affairs of the National Democratic Party for Human Rights (NDPHR) exile – Headquarters based in USA express our deep concern over continuous handing-over the refugees and asylum seekers from Burma to uncertain agent in Malay – Thai border under illegal removal act.

 

We are also extremely shocked over inhuman behaviors of Malaysian authorities towards the victimization of oppressed Rohingya refugees by various means and ways, while their plights of refugees are still remained as most marginalized. Their protection are kept pending in detention custody for uncertainty periods. Although the plights of Rohingya gained international attention in relating to recent ill-treatments towards their boatpeople, the case is being kept behind the bar even such allegations were halt till end of March.

 

The international concerns made the ASEAN leaders to solve this crisis in its summit and later in Bali – Process but failed to bring any substantial and fruitful outcome at all. Despite taking concrete policy to resolve the plights of Rohingya permanently, Malaysia is visibly involved in Darfur and Palestine crises which are far distance from Southeast Asian Regions.

 

We felt very depress for host countries’ continuous discussion to repatriate the only Rohingya refugees into origin of persecution like before. And its ignorance of substitution of people elected Government brought the failure of both ASEAN and Bali-Process even repeated again and again. Therefore, the Government of Malaysia should not forget the rest option for Rohingya refugees to resettle in a third country in continuation of finding permanent solution.

 

Being a member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council and influential states of ASEAN and Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Malaysia has been involved in continuous violation of human rights against the oppressed Rohingya refugees.

 

Recently, we received clear evidences that both documented and undocumented Rohingya refugees were arrested from Penang, Johor, Terengganu states, and forcibly handed over to the trafficking agents along Malaysia-Thai border, after sentenced to 4 months imprisonment, while undocumented Rohingya refugees had been charged to one stroke of whipping.

 

We are repeatedly confirmed that in March, dozens of refugees from Juru camp, and in 2nd week and on 28th of April 2009, dozens of refugees from Ajil camp, Terengganu state, were officially handed over to trafficking agents, violating the non-refoulment Act. Some, who sought protection against deportation into uncertainty, were brutality abused by immigration officials. Of them, one Maung Khin (Body No. 30, undocumented refugee), was severely beaten up and put into separate cell for continuous abuses.

 

In our point of view, these kinds of treatment and disposition under deportation act by immigration officials are really tarnishing the image of Malaysia, holding in Darfur and Palestine crises.

 

We, therefore, at the Department of Refugees & Humanitarian Affairs of the NDPHR (exile – HQ), urge upon the Government of Malaysia to halt all inhuman treatment against Rohingya refugees and to observe ongoing situation in detention centers in order to eradicate ill-treatments against Rohingya refugees and to show transparency to the promise of Tan Seri Musa Hasan, the Inspector General of Police and new Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak.

 

We also request the Government of Malaysia to respect non-refoulment rule, while becoming true advocate for the plights of Rohingya refugees, in ensuring their human security and basic rights to Citizenship with a view to find permanent solution.

 

Department of Refugees & Humanitarian Affairs

National Democratic Party for Human Rights (exile-HQ)

State of Wisconsin, USA.

For further information, please contact:-

Kyaw Soe Aung (alias) MSK Jilani (Tel: +414-736 4273)

Myo Swe (Tel: +414-671 6309)

Copy to:-

–          Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia

–          Headquarters of the Department of Immigration Malaysia

–          Director General Office of Immigration, Malaysia

–          State Immigration of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

–          UNHCR Representative, Malaysia

–          Bar Council of Malaysia

–          Ibu Pejabat Kontinjen, IPK Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

–          Royal Malaysia Police Headquarters

–          Office of the Minister of Home Affairs

–          Embassy of Malaysia, Washington D.C., USA

–          Consulate General of Malaysia in New York, USA

–          The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia

–          Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram)

–          Tenaganita

–          US States Department

–          OIC – Headquarters

–          (JUST) International Movement for a Just World

–          Permanent Observer Mission of the OIC to the United Nations

–          South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

–          Asian Human Rights Commission – AHRC

–          The ASEAN Headquarters in Jakarta

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