Cyclone Survivors Gather to Demand International Aid

By Jeg

Cyclone survivors gathered to demand international aid five weeks after Cyclone Nargis.

Two hundred survivors from East Dagon Wards 1,2,3 and 4 gathered outside the ICRC offices at 9.30 am, 10^th June. They were compelled to take action out of sheer frustration at barely surviving on the aid provided by private donors, and were asking to receive international aid directly.

Continue reading

Burma: New Rules Further Delay Relief

Burma: New Rules Further Delay Relief

For Immediate Release

More Bureaucracy Adds to Government’s Interference in Aid Efforts

(New York, June 12, 2008) – New Burmese government guidelines on humanitarian agencies will further hamper the delivery of aid to the victims of Cyclone Nargis, Human Rights Watch said today.

“The government should be streamlining aid efforts to cyclone victims, not slowing down aid with these new rules,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Once again the generals are placing control of the population over the needs of the population.”

The new guidelines, issued on June 9, state that all United Nations agencies and international and domestic relief groups must receive travel permission and aid distribution clearance from several layers of authority. Permission is required from relevant government ministries, and the joint Burmese, UN, and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Tripartite Core Group, which is acting as a coordinating agency. Township Coordination Committees, which act as a local bureaucracy to direct aid deliveries, must be kept fully informed. Sources in Rangoon say that permission also must be sought from divisional and local level military commanders, and that Burmese officials must accompany all travel by foreign aid workers to the Irrawaddy Delta.

Continue reading

From:Art of Patience FREE BURMA

From: Art of Patience FREE BURMA

[HarnLaydignity.png]

Paper worth 20-year prison sentence released

By SHAN

An 8-page policy paper prepared by the Rangoon-based United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) which had cost a Shan leader a 20-year sentence of imprisonment in 2005 was released yesterday.

A copy of the paper entitled “The future of Burma,” written in Burmese, was seized by junta authorities during a two-day sweep of prominent Shan activists that netted 9 of them on 8-9 February 2005.

Sai Nyunt Lwin, General Secretary of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), who undertook to type the manuscript, is currently serving an 85 year sentence in Kalay, Sagaing division.

Continue reading

Is there no more hope for US intervention in Burma?

Is there no more hope for US intervention in Burma?

New York Times

Op-Ed Contributor MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT

Madeleine K. Albright was the United States secretary of state from 1997 to 2001.

THE Burmese government’s criminally neglectful response to last month’s cyclone, and the world’s response to that response, illustrate three grim realities today: totalitarian governments are alive and well; their neighbors are reluctant to pressure them to change; and the notion of national sovereignty as sacred is gaining ground, helped in no small part by the disastrous results of the American invasion of Iraq. Indeed, many of the world’s necessary interventions in the decade before the invasion — in places like Haiti and the Balkans — would seem impossible in today’s climate.

The first and most obvious reality is the survival of totalitarian government in an age of global communications and democratic progress. Myanmar’s military junta employs the same set of tools used by the likes of Stalin to crush dissent and monitor the lives of citizens. The needs of the victims of Cyclone Nargis mean nothing to a regime focused solely on preserving its own authority.

Continue reading

Bernama: Income Tax Exemption In 2009 Budget?

Bernama: Income Tax Exemption In 2009 Budget?

Income Tax Exemption In 2009 Budget?
June 12, 2008 19:27 PM

PUTRAJAYA, June 12 (Bernama) — Personal income tax exemption or reduction
to lighten the people’s burden following the fuel price hike and food supply
crisis was among the proposals put forward during the 2009 Budget
consultation Thursday.

Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said the proposal was
made by several Barisan Nasional (BN) Members of Parliament during the
consultation between the BN Backbenchers Club and Prime Minister Datuk Seri
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also Finance Minister, at the Finance Ministry
here.

“We will include this point as a proposal and see whether it will be
implemented in this budget,” he told reporters after the consultation.
Continue reading

Anwar Seeking `Redemption’ as Champion of Malaysian Equality

Anwar Seeking `Redemption’ as Champion of Malaysian Equality

June 13 (Bloomberg) — Confined to a wheelchair by a police beating and facing corruption and sodomy charges, Anwar Ibrahim wasn’t about to let his jailer spoil a good photo opportunity.

“He scolded me for blocking photographers and preventing supporters from shaking his hand,” says Ahmad Romli, recalling the 1999 High Court appearance in Kuala Lumpur. “Anwar said his life was in politics and he would never surrender.”

 

Now Anwar, unbowed by the six years he spent in prison and calling himself “a wiser man” for the experience, may be on the verge of ending five decades of rule by the ethnic Malay party that once groomed him to become Malaysia’s prime minister.

His multiracial coalition — dedicated to scrapping a system that gives the Malay majority preferential access to jobs, housing and education — scored record gains in March elections; Anwar says he can line up enough government lawmakers to topple Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi within three months.

“He’s not seeking revenge,” says former U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen, who has known Anwar for years. “He’s seeking redemption.”

Continue reading

Landslides hit Myanmar’s ‘Valley of Rubies’: state media

YANGON – LANDSLIDES caused by heavy rains have pounded Myanmar’s famed ‘Valley of Rubies,’ source of some of the world’s most prized precious stones, state media said on Friday.

The landslides struck just six weeks after deadly Cyclone Nargis devastated Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Delta and the main city of Yangon, leaving more than 133,000 dead and 2.4 million in need of humanitarian aid. Continue reading