Extracts from U WinTin’s interview

Extracts from U WinTin’s interview with Irrawaddy


The Irrawaddy spoke with Win Tin, Burma’s longest-serving political prisoner, who was released after spending 19 years behind bars.

I always kept three principles in mind by repeating to myself the words Suu Hlut Twe. “Suu” means Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and stands for [our demand for] the uncondition

al release of all political prisoners. “Hlut” stands for convening the People’s Parliament, the Hluttaw

And “Twe” means dialogue.

Another principle I held is the “three supports.We have to support the National League for Democracy. The NLD is our organization. If you talk about democracy, there must be organizations. The junta will be very happy if it disintegrates. Concerning the NLD’s strengths and weaknesses, we should try toturn the weaknesses into strengths. So we should support the NLD. 

Another thing we need to support is the Hluttaw. Parliament’s mandate comes from the people. It is not just the NLD’s mandate. It is also about other parties. That’s why the parliament must be supported. 

Continue reading

Going all out to help doctors


On the issue relating to foreign doctors, we still have to employ them as our country is still in dire need of doctors. However, we apply very stringent criteria and only those who meet the set criteria will be accepted for registration. Their appointments are on a contract basis.

Also, if their services are found to be wanting, their appointments will be terminated. We have done this before and we will not hesitate to continue to do so when the need arises. MMC will never compromise on the safety of patients.

The current exercise of employing foreigners will be scrapped once we have enough doctors. We know that more and more doctors are graduating from recognised institutions.


I REFER to “Reduce intake of foreign doctors,” (The Star, Sept 26) and would like to state that the Health Ministry and the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) have not and will never discriminate against Malaysian doctors.

Continue reading

China’s Muslims say Ramadan a time of repression


Associated Press Writer

Uighurs are seen at the Sufi mosque in Yarkent, in China

All that was left on the chin of the Muslim man praying at the huge brownstone mosque was a small patch of stubble. He said officials had forced young men in China’s far western Xinjiang region to cut off their beards at the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

“If I didn’t shave, they would do this to me,” said the man, who put his wrists together as if handcuffed, his eyes bulging with anger. “If I say more, I could be arrested.”

He gave only part of his name, Arem, and stomped away.

For Muslims, Ramadan is a time of fasting and prayer. But for China’s Muslim ethnic Uighurs, the holy month is also full of fear and seething resentment about increasingly tight restrictions on how they practice their moderate form of Islam, influenced by the Sunni and Sufi sects.

Managing the restive Turkic people is developing into one of China’s biggest challenges. Like the Tibetans, the Uighurs have been unwilling to buy into the government’s plan: greater economic prosperity instead of greater religious freedom or autonomy.

Read more>>

This year has been especially jittery in Xinjiang, a sprawling territory three times the size of France that is home to 9 million Uighurs (pronounced WEE-GURS). Despite ramped-up security in the region before the Beijing Olympics, a string of bombings and deadly attacks – the worst wave of violence in a decade – deeply embarrassed China under the global spotlight.

RIGHTS: Oil Companies’ “Self-Policing” a Dismal Failure

 RIGHTS: Oil Companies’ “Self-Policing”

a Dismal Failure

By Alison Raphael

WASHINGTON, Sep 24 (IPS) – The intersection of human rights, the environment and corporate responsibility was highlighted today at a Capitol Hill hearing featuring activists from Burma and Nigeria who underlined the failure to date of “voluntary” controls over major oil companies operating in their countries.

Continue reading