Monthly Archives: August 2010

U.S. backs inquiry into Myanmar war crimes charges


Thursday August 19, 2010
source:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States supports forming an international commission to probe possible war crimes and crimes against humanity by Myanmar’s military rulers, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.

The decision comes after months of fruitless diplomacy by President Barack Obama’s administration, which had offered greater engagement in an effort to win democratic concessions from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

"The United States supports establishing an international commission of inquiry to investigate alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Burma," the official said.

"We will consult with a broad array of stakeholders and key players to determine how best to achieve that end."

In March, a United Nations investigator into Myanmar’s human rights record called for the formation of the commission, saying the military government of the isolated Southeast Asian nation had a pattern of gross and systematic violations of fundamental freedoms of its citizens.

Tomas Ojea Quintana, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, said violations included mass arrests of dissidents, deaths and torture of detainees and forced labor, which could involve categories of crimes against humanity or war crimes under international law.

Myanmar’s rulers came in for renewed criticism after they announced they would hold the country’s first parliamentary polls in two decades on Nov. 7. They rejected Western criticism that the elections would be neither free nor fair and would only entrench military rule.

Myanmar’s now-defunct National League for Democracy, led by detained Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, said in March it would boycott the polls because of unjust election laws and imprisonment of many of its members.

Last year, Washington offered Myanmar a fresh start in trying to improve strained relations. But U.S. officials have been disappointed by the junta’s refusal to budge on key sticking points involving democratic reforms as well as growing concern over its nuclear ambitions.

Myanmar has ignored U.S. and U.N. calls to hold dialogue with opposition parties and ethnic groups before the election and to immediately release the country’s estimated 2,100 political prisoners including Suu Kyi.

American officials have also expressed concern over reports that Myanmar may be seeking to acquire nuclear technology from North Korea in violation of U.N. Security Council sanctions.

The United States has already imposed economic sanctions against Myanmar’s government and U.S. officials have hinted these may be tightened if further appeals for democratic change are rebuffed.

"Our strategy has always envisioned not only direct engagement, but also using tools like sanctions to put pressure on the Burmese Government to open up political space in its society," said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. "We have a range of tools available to us."

(Reporting by Andrew Quinn; editing by Chris Wilson)

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Statement on the 22nd Anniversary of the “8888” Democracy Movement in Burma


Press Release……….
Ref: NDPHR (USA) 34-60/ 10

Date: August 08, 2010

Today, we mark the 20th Anniversary of Burma’s 8888 nationwide uprising and democracy movement all over the world. The “8888” people’s democracy movement is an important and legendary event in Burmese political history as well as it is the tradition of all Burmese people who

demanded to end military rule by marching in the streets of Burma in 1988.

The “8888” nationwide pro-democracy uprising is the biggest and ever first people’s revolutionary democracy movement demanding the establishment of democracy and genuine political reform in which from all walks of life the students, the monks, the youths, the government workers, teachers, hospital staffs, custom officers, the intellectuals, and all other suffering Burmese people involved and expressed their desire. It also remembers the hundreds of thousands of civilian people who were gunned down by the military forces during the 1988 uprising.

On this date of the 22nd Anniversary of Burma’s 8888 democracy uprising, we honour and pay tribute to our brave and patriotic compatriots who sacrificed their lives and blood during the 1988 democracy uprising for the establishment of peace, justice, equality, genuine democracy, and people’s representing democratic government in Burma.

The unjust and illegitimate Burmese military junta SPDC has been manipulating and brutalizing over 55 million nationals of Burma since decades ago. The SPDC military junta did not honor the results of the 1990 general election only, but also unilaterally forced-rallied, coerced and

imposed a military dominated national constitution through their mighty arms capacity, which we completely disapproved and flatly rejected. Now, the country” Burma” is under serious in crisis for the willful mismanagement and corrupted policies of the Military SPDC clique. Woefully, the military regime ignores the social, public health, education, economics and humanitarian crisis of the country and fails to recognize itself as the root cause of these multiple problems.

Due to the brutal behaviours of the Military SPDC regime, there are thousands of Burmese people have been taking refuge in neighbouring countries to escape crackdown, especially, young generation of Chin, Kachin, Karen, Karenni, Kuki, Shan and Arakanese Muslims known as Rohingyas under a systematic religious discrimination.

Though there have been an approved economic sanction by US and EU to restore democracy in Burma, neighbouring Thailand , Bangladesh, China and other countries, especially, Russia and India are highly encouraging to be strengthened the Military rule through friendship and business partner

rather putting pressure to respect human rights and restoration of democracy.

We, the National Democratic Party for Human Rights (NDPHR-exile) hereby let everyone know that we have never endorsed the military clique in Burma as the people’s legitimate ruling body in the past nor ever render it even a semblance of recognition in the future too. The brutal military

security forces continually persecuting its own citizens, mainly the ethnic minority groups, detention of political leaders and student activists, continuation of violation of human rights for which we strongly condemn the military junta for their crimes against humanity.

So, we call upon the International Community, particularly the UN, EU and USA to put effective pressure on Burmese Military ruler and also we reiterate our demands and call upon SPDC Military Junta;

To immediately free Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners;

To unconditionally free U Kyaw Min @ Mohammad Shamsul Anwarul Houque, MP of National Democratic Party for Human Rights (NDPHR) and one of the members of Committee Representing People’s Parliament (CRPP) along with his family members;

To stop all sorts of repression, oppression and discrimination against all ethnic minority people;

We also urge upon the neighbouring countries, especially Bangladesh, Thailand, China, and India to review their policies toward brutal Military ruler in Burma to look after the undemocratic behaviours of the SPDC to help establish a genuine federal Union of Burma.

We also fervently appeal the international community; especially UN to expel the SPDC military regime from the UN membership and disapprove the fake 2008 constitution adopted unilaterally with own handpicked delegates without consent and approval of majority winner NLD and other elected ethnic minority parties in 1990 election.

In conclusion, we would like to urge all Burmese democratic forces and exile groups who are working for the restoration of democracy and national reconciliation in Burma to unite and work together until the military dictatorship is vanished and collapsed.

Central Executive Committee

National Democratic Party for Human Rights (exile -HQ)

Wisconsin, USA.

Shan Leader Moved to Mandalay Prison


3rd Aug 2010, Irrawaddy news,

An ethnic Shan leader serving 106 years imprisonment, Maj-Gen Sao Hso Ten, of the Shan State Peace Council (SSPC), has been transferred from Hkamti prison in Sagaing Division to Mandalay prison, according to his family.

No official reason for the transfer was given by the authorities, but his family said Hso Ten (aka Sai Kyaw Sein), 74, was moved because of his health.

His daughter, Nan Kham Pong, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday: “The authorities didn’t inform the family about the move, although they have now confirmed that my father is in Mandalay prison. They will allow a meeting with my father this coming Saturday.”

23057-5.say-htin.jpg
Sao Hso Ten. (Photo: SHAN)

Hso Ten’s last family visit was in early June. Nan Kham Pong said he had injured his hand in a fall.

“I’m also worried about his health because he is suffering from a heart problem, diabetes and he needs an emergency eye operation,” she said.
Hso Ten hadn’t had a medical check-up for "a long time," his daughter said. He finds the medicines he is given aren’t effective, she added.

Hso Ten was one of several Shan leaders arrested after attending a meeting of opposition and ethnic groups in Shan State on February 7, 2005. They were accused of high treason.

Hkun Htun Oo, chairman of the Shan National League for Democracy (SNLD), was sentenced to 93 years imprisonment, Sai Nyunt Lwin to 85 years and Sai Hla Aung 75 years. The SNLD won a landslide victory across Shan State in the 1990 election.

Hkun Htun Oo is currently serving his sentence in Putao prison in Kachin State, while Sai Nyunt Lwin is confined in Kalay prison.

According to the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), there are 2,171 political prisoners in Burma, 207 of them from are ethnic communities.

US Senators Want UN Investigation of Burma


July 31, 2010, Irrawaddy news,

A group of 32 US senators is urging the Obama administration to support a United Nations investigation into possible war crimes in military-run Burma.

The Republican and Democratic senators said in a letter sent on Friday to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the creation of such a UN commission would help convince Burma “that we are serious about our commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law” in the country.

Burma has been accused of using child soldiers, destroying minority villages and using rape as a weapon of war.

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