Weekly diary 152
Weekly diary, No. 152 (18-24 June 2005)
How can the people be
empowered or power restored to the people? There are broadly two ways of doing
ONE: Confronting the autocrats with a mobilized and angry mass of people.
TWO: To create a political venue and building or expand political spaces via sophisticated political maneuvers and political games. After which, people are brought into the opening in an orderly manner.
In the final analysis, there is no dead-certain formula to overthrowing an autocracy. But failure is certain if one and only one approach is tried despite the absence of success.
Chao Tzang Yawnghwe (1939-2004)
Outside-The-Box Thinking on People's power, 21 January 2004
If we compare Asean to a
dog and Burma as its tails, it seems that the tail is wagging the dog.
Asda Jayarama, former UN ambassador, 19 June 2005
Cardinal Jaime Sin, 76, who played keyrole in the 1986 people power revolt in the Philippines, dies. (AP)
Burma will have to tell fellow Asean nations next month in Vientianne whether it will insist its turn to lead the grouping in 2006, says Secretary General Ong Keng Yong. (AFP)
The 5-member Nobel committee goes out of its way to make a statement asking Rangoon to free Aung San Suu Kyi. (AF)
Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor ever to serve in US Congress, leaves a cardboard box crammed with birthday greetings for Aung San Suu Kyi, on the pillar of the concrete fence that blocks outsiders to the Burmese embassy in Washington. (AP) With signs that read "Why are 400,000 men afraid of one woman?" the group of mostly Burmese London residents protests outside the Burmese embassy in UK. (AP)
Irish musician Damien Rice releases Unplayed Piano, a song about one of Ms Suu Kyi's few pleasures under detention until her piano broke down. (BP)
US House of Representative passes a resolution renewing a one-year ban on all imports from Burma by a 423-2 vote. An identical draft has been introduced in the Senate. (AFP)
Rangoon is tightening restrictions on NGOs, say humanitarian workers in the capital. The process of applying for access to sensitive areas or starting new projects took 7-10 days before, but now it takes 3-4 weeks. Current rumor says major decisions on the matter rest with the Defense Ministry. It has hurt some NGOs that have limited budget and have been in the country for a short time. (Irrawaddy)
Archbishop Desmond Tutu calls for a fresh global effort to oust Burma's junta, saying the country should be "the next South Africa" freed from tyranny. (Reuters)
Amnesty and Oxfam are driving a tank to the London embassies of the G-8 countries today to highlight their report that arms sales undermine efforts to reduce poverty in the developing countries such as Sudan, Burma and Congo. The G-8 comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK and US. (Irrawaddy)
Guy Horton, a researcher on human rights in Burma, and British MP John Bercow call for the international community to address "genocide" in Shan, Karen and Karenni states.
The Karen National Union has welcomed Horton's report on the subject, "Dying Alive", published last month. (Irrawaddy)
Akrapol Wanapooti, deputy permanent secretary for labor, remarks at a seminar on alien workers in Maesod about 1.3 million workers reported to administrative officials nationwide, but only 850,000 sought a proper work permit. About 100,000 of the remaining 450,000 were dependents. Tough actions will be taken against illegal workers, he says.
There are as many as 30 cases that had been filed with the labor court. Based on Thai labor law, the Uni Ocean Corp garment factory alone owes 150 workers 32 million baht ($ 800,00), says Soe Min Naing, a Burmese workers' representative.(BP)
Women in Chiangmai wearing Aung San Suu Kyi T-shirts demand she be released from house arrest. (Bangkok Post)
Daw San San from National League for Democracy accepts honorary doctorate in political science from the Thammasat University for Burma's democracy icon. (BP)
Following border closure by Rangoon on 20 May, no Thai goods have been allowed to be imported to Burma at the Three Pagodas Pass. Many Burmese residents need fish oil, vegetables and other foodstuffs from Thailand. More than 1,000 Burmese furniture and lacquer workers are jobless. Three Pagoda Pass has more than 100 furniture and lacquerware factories. (1MNA)
Suphamitr Foundation says AIDS, gonorrhea and syphilis are currently present along the Maesod border. Although prostitution helps to reduce the problem of sexual offenses, it has also resulted in increased spreading sexually transmitted diseases. (Thai Press Reports)
There are over 1.2 million migrant workers while only 849,000 have signed up for the government's foreign labor scheme, says Labor Minister Sora-at Klinpratoom.
Arrested illegal foreign workers will be subject to 3 months in jail and/or a 5,000 baht ($125) fine, where employers will be jailed for up to 3 years and/or fined up to 60,000 baht ($1,500). (Thai Press Reports)
Supporters pray as 10 doves, representing peace, and 10 colorful balloons are released at Rangoon's NLD headquarters. (BP)
NLD chairman Aung Shwe, during
his birthday party speech in honor of Aung San Suu Kyi, discloses SPDC's promise
in relation to Depayin massacre on 30 May 2003:
� Compensation for victims
� Release of those detained
� Cooperation with NLD to prevent future Depayin-like occurrences (RFA)
NLD members across Burma are in fear as journalists and government sources claim the junta intends to wipe them out. According to Aung Lynn Htut, former acting ambassador to the US who has since April sought asylum in the country, the junta has ordered the elimination of NLD members and their families by 2006. (Irrawaddy)
Doila, deputy secretary general of the Kachin Solidarity Council, says the Kachin Independence Organization has launched a campaign to arrest all member of the group. 7 were arrested in May while traveling to Pang-Wah and two died during the investigations. Another, Labang Naw Tawng was arrested on 18 June in Laiza. Col Gun Maw, deputy secretary general of the KIO denied the charges and said only those involved in criminal activities were arrested. The KSC comprises the KDA, NDA-K and the KIO splinter group led by Lasang Awng Wa. (Irrawaddy)
A report in state-run paper referred to PM Soe Win by a new rank, General. (AP)
Since their "exchange of arms for peace" on 29 April, the Palaungs have yet to receive funds for subsistence and development as promised earlier. (BBC)
Shan groups active on the Thai Burma border including the Shan State Army, Shan Democratic Union and Shan Women's Action Network form Committee Representing Shans. (SHAN)
The Burma Army in Arakan is collecting tolls from local business sectors for savings in a bank. Each brick kiln owner, for example, has to pay 4,000 Kyat ($ 4) whenever they have sold 10,000 bricks. Retail price for bricks is 15 kyat per piece. (Narinjara)
On 10 June, Maj-Gen Khin Maun Myint, the new commander of the Western Region Command, told village headmen meeting in Maungdaw the Burmese part of the 43-km long Bangladeshi-Burma highway will be built by the people themselves. The Bangladeshi part, 23-km long, will be constructed by the government using 1,220 million Taka. (Kaladan)
King Bhumibol has signed decree privatizing Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, says government spokesman. (Bangkok Post)
The area devoted to growing opium substitution crops reached more than 1.65 million acres at the end of 2004-2005 fiscal year which ended in March, according to Kyaw Hlaing, an agricultural official. It is part of the New Destiny Project implemented in April 2002. (Myanmar Times) No active participation by those concerned, that is, the people. (S.H.A.N.)
Thai police arrest 3 men transporting 86.8 kg of heroin and 148 kg of ice valued at over 700 million baht ($17.5 million), up to 100 times in destination countries like Australia, Europe and the US. They were produced in a "neighboring country to the north" and transferred to another neighboring country to be smuggled into Thailand. (BP)
Indian forces seize headquarters of Chin National Army Camp Victoria. No casualty has been reported. The CNA, the armed wing of Chin National Front formed in 1988, has been deprived of a base on the Indian-Burma border for three times now: first in 1999 and the second in 2002. (Khonumthurng)