Nov 21, 2010

Irrawaddy: Internet cafes ordered to install CCTV – Zarni Mann

Rangoon authorities have instructed Internet cafe owners to install CCTV cameras within three days in order to monitor Internet users.
The order was issued after explosive devices were found on Wednesday in the Sky Net Internet Cafe, located near Rangoon City Hall.
“We were invited to the township peace and development council office and told that we must follow their instructions or our shop will have to close down. They will even do a surprise check,” said an Internet cafe owner from Alone Township.
“They said it is because of the bomb found on Wednesday,” he said.
The owners were told to keep the CCTV footage and report weekly to the township office.
“The township officer said we must be aware of people who are using proxy servers to surf the restricted websites, such as exile media and blogs. If we find someone doing this, we must take the user’s identity numbers and inform the authorities,” said the Internet cafe owner.
He said the Internet cafe owners did not want to follow the order because it will affect the privacy of their users and their relationship with customers.
“But we will have to install the CCTV, because we don’t want to be in trouble with the authorities,” he said.
Since the military government banned access to exile media websites and blogs which are reporting on human rights abuses, people inside Burma are using proxy servers to view the sites.
“Sometimes we also have to use the proxy to surf other foreign sites. For example, when doing a thesis on some topic, we need to look at the Internet. With CCTV cameras, we will not have any privacy when surfing in the net cafes,” said a student in Rangoon.
The military government has viewed Internet users as a threat to military control of information since the international community learned of the junta’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in 2008 through reports from private citizens posted on the Internet.
In Burma, surprise checks of Internet cafes and the issuance of orders to report on customers reportedly take place.
The authorities also post notices in Internet shops warning customers that accessing banned websites is against the law.

 This is not surprising that SPDC is now starting to make havoc at their own territory in order to take another a so called law of their own pocket's and they blame it on their rival politics so ashamed on their part in the other hand lets just pray that the democratic movement will not be blamed on this king of false accusation by the ever good for nothing junta.

Nov 19, 2010

Filipino solidarity activists urge Burmese junta to start genuine dialogue with opposition; reiterate rejection of 2010 polls

Filipino solidarity activists under the Free Burma Coalition – Philippines (FBC-Phils) held a rally in front of the Burma (Myanmar) Embassy (#152 Amorsolo St, Makati City, at the back of Makati Cinema Square) on wednesday, Nov. 17, 10:30am to welcome the release from house arrest of Burma's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and to reiterate rejection of the recently held national elections in Burma.

While joyful that the Burmese military regime has finally released Aung San Suu Kyi who has been kept under house arrest for 15 of the last 20 years, the FBC-Phils is quick in challenging the military junta to immediately start genuine dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi and other opposition groups.

Egoy Bans, spokesperson of the FBC-Phils says, “we welcome the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, and indeed this is a positive development for the peoples of Burma. However, the junta must assure that this move is not just a ploy to ease away the international criticisms over their recently held national elections which we see as an utterly undemoractic practice because the junta obviously maneuvered all the electoral processes.”

He adds, “we challenge the junta to accept Aung San Suu Kyi's call for genuine political dialogue—a political dialogue where winners of the 1990 elections and the ethnic nationalities will be given equal powers, opportunities and freedoms to articulate their demands for the achievement of genuine national reconcilliation in Burma.”

Obviously, according to the group, the recently held Burma elections, the first in 20 years, is not the key in resolving Burma's complicated problems.

This election is just a cheap attempt to legitimize the military regime and institutionalize dictatorship in Burma, period. For us, unless the junta concedes to the demands for democracy, their reign to power will be forever conceived as illegitimate, “ explains the FBC-Phils spokesperson.

What the free burma coalition philippines is true  that the past election is full of fraud and it should not be recognize by the people of burma and the international communtiy

Nov 3, 2010

Activists urge ASEAN, UN to quickly act on Burma; see ‘zero democratic integrity’ on 2010 polls

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – With only 15 days to go before the scheduled November 7 multi-party elections in Burma, solidarity activists under the Free Burma Coalition – Philippines (FBC-Phils) today staged a rally in front of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) as part of the Global Day of Action denouncing what they call Burma's “military elections”.

To signify support to the broader movement of Burma activists calling to boycott the upcoming elections, activists brought a giant “X” mark to symbolise their opposition not only against the elections but also on the continued injustices still being committed by the ruling-military junta. The group likewise paraded flags of the ASEAN member-states urging them to support the call on the creation of a UN Commission of Inquiry to crimes against humanity in Burma.

FBC-Phils said that despite mounting international criticisms, the military regime of Burma until now is not showing significant indications that the elections will become free, fair and credible. Instead, according to the group, arbitrary arrests, harassment and continued detention of activists and ordinary people supportive of democracy including journalists are happening right now in Burma.

Earler this year, democracy groups around the world launched an international campaign calling for a UN Commission of Inquiry to crimes against humanity in Burma and challenged the regime to (3) three political demands that include the immediate release of all political prisoners including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, cessation of hostilities against ethnic nationalities and an all-inclusive review of the 2008 Nargis-Constitution.

The Burmese junta has already ensured its victory by manipulating the processes of the elections from the drafting of the new Constitution, unfair provisions and restrictions of the election laws, and even through party registration and de-registration. This election, we can say has no democratic integrity and will not address the perennial problems of undemocracy, economic mismanagement and human rights violations in Burma,” Egoy Bans, FBC-Phils spokesperson said.

It’s time for the ASEAN and the UN to step up and send a clear message to the generals in Burma before this election becomes a political disaster. They should go beyond their usual rhetorics of diplomacy and constructive engagement and must do all things necessary to compel the military regime to democratize, “ Bans added.

Bans explained, “We denounce this election as undemocratic and an outright insult to democracy and justice. With more than 2,000 political prisoners still languishing in Burma's detention centers, military attacks against ethnic nationalities, a military constitution that doesn't reflect the genuine aspirations of the people for democracy and a 24/7 human rights violations in Burma, it is not so hard to assume that the sole interest of the ruling junta is to maintain its grasp to power.”

For inquiries, kindly refer to:
Gani Abunda: (+63)929-4109647, Egoy N. Bans (+63)920 9132472 c/o Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) +632 435 2900; +632 9110205

Feb 20, 2010

UN envoy slams Myanmar for refusing Suu Kyi visit -AFP

A UN envoy said Friday he “deeply regretted” that Myanmar’s ruling junta had refused to let him meet democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and called for her immediate release ahead of elections this year.Tomas Ojea Quintana criticised the military regime as he ended his latest mission to Myanmar, a five-day trip focused on inspecting the human rights situation ahead of the country’s first polls in two decades.
“I deeply regretted that my special request to meet Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was not granted,” Quintana told reporters at Yangon international airport before flying to Bangkok. Daw is a Burmese-language term of respect.
“I am disappointed that even this time I was unable to meet her at this crucial time in this election year, the first national election in 20 years,” said Quintana, making his third trip to Myanmar.

He was also refused access to reclusive junta chief Than Shwe and instead met Foreign Minister Nyan Win, Home Affairs minister Maung Oo and the chief justice, attorney general and police chief in the capital Naypyidaw Friday.

Quintana said that during the meetings he was given no idea of a date for the elections that the ruling generals have promised to hold this year, or even when long-awaited electoral laws would be announced.

He added that elections required the release and participation of all “prisoners of conscience” to be regarded as fair, but that the Myanmar government refused to acknowledge the existence of such detainees.

“Despite anticipation of the landmark elections I have not received any indication that the government is willing to release all prisoners of conscience,” he said, adding that Suu Kyi’s should be freed “immediately”.

The envoy also urged the government to allow the full participation of ethnic minorities, whom rights groups say are persecuted by the regime.

Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi has been in detention for 14 of the last 20 years. She had her house arrest extended by 18 months in August after a bizarre incident in which an American man swan to her lakeside home.

Quintana was allowed to meet key figures from Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) during his visit, including vice chairman Tin Oo, who was freed from house arrest on February 13 after seven years in detention.

Tin Oo said at the meeting late Thursday they had told Quintana of their request for a meeting between Suu Kyi and Than Shwe and between her and the NLD’s central executive committee.

The NLD has not yet said whether it will take part in the polls, the first in Myanmar since 1990 when the NLD won by a landslide. The military subsequently annulled the result.

Myanmar’s new constitution, voted through in a 2008 referendum just days after a devastating cyclone killed around 138,000 people, effectively bars Suu Kyi from standing and reserves a quarter of legislative seats for the military.

The junta has also continued a crackdown on dissent ahead of the polls.

A court at Yangon’s notorious Insein prison sentenced Buddhist abbot Gaw Thita to seven years in jail on various charges on Wednesday, the opposition said, the fifth dissident to be imprisoned during Quintana’s visit alone.

Four women activists were sentenced to two years each with hard labour on Monday, the same day Quintana arrived in Myanmar.

The United Nations says there are at least 2,100 political prisoners in Myanmar’s notorious jails.

Myanmar, which was formerly known as Burma, has traditionally been loath to allow UN officials to meet Suu Kyi, even refusing to let UN chief Ban Ki-moon see her when he visited the country last year.

US officials have however received a warm welcome since President Barack Obama’s administration began a dual track of engagement alongside sanctions.

US assistant secretary of state Kurt Campbell met Suu Kyi last year, as did US congressman Jim Webb when he visited Myanmar to secure the release of John Yettaw, the American who swam to her house.

Tomas Ojea Quintana, UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur quoted burma issue

“Despite anticipation of landmark elections this year, I have not received any indication that the military government is willing to release all prisoners of conscience…Without full participation of the people including the 2200 prisoners of conscience and the environment that allows the parties to engage in the range of electoral activities, the elections to be held will not be credible.”

Suu Kyi supporters jailed

Yangon - Myanmar has jailed four women activists for two years with hard labour, a lawyer said on Tuesday, as a UN special envoy was touring the country to inspect progress on human rights ahead of elections.

The four women were accused of causing public unrest and sentenced at a closed prison court on Monday in the former capital Yangon, said opposition party lawyer Kyaw Hoe.

"Naw Ohn Hla and another three women were sentenced to two years' imprisonment with hard labour," Kyaw Hoe told AFP.

"They were sentenced... for upsetting public peace and tranquillity. We will appeal for their release soon at the Yangon Divisional Court," he said.

The four women were arrested in October for donating literature to a high profile monastery in the eastern satellite town of Dagon.

Their arrest came four days after detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi discovered her appeal against the extension of her house arrest had been rejected and as supporters gathered to pray for her release.

UN envoy visiting Myanmar

UN special envoy Tomas Ojea Quintana is visiting Myanmar's western border on the second day of a five-day human rights inspection ahead of elections promised this year, the first in Myanmar for two decades.

On Monday, the Argentinean envoy met judges and opposition lawyers in the former capital Yangon.

Last week the regime jailed a US activist, but two days later freed Suu Kyi's deputy, 83-year-old Tin Oo, who immediately called for more than 2 100 other political prisoners to be freed.

Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi has been detained for most of the last two decades. Her National League for Democracy party won elections in 1990 but was never allowed to take power.

Quintana is due to return to Yangon on Thursday to visit the notorious Insein prison, where many dissidents are held, but does not yet know if he will be allowed to see Suu Kyi.