Burmese stream home to ‘Dracula’ fish

LONDON, Mar 11, 2009 (UPI via COMTEX) — A so-called “Dracula” fish, named for its fangs made of bone, has been found in a stream in Burma, researchers in London say.

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AFP:Jailed Myanmar monk goes on hunger strike

BANGKOK (AFP) — A Buddhist monk imprisoned in Myanmar for leading street protests against the junta has gone on hunger strike to demand access to his family, according to an exiled group of former political prisoners.

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U Thant – Missle Bases. Castro Balks at the UN Team 1962

AFP:Myanmar astrologer predicts Obama re-election

A top astrologer in Myanmar Monday predicted ahead of Barack Obama’s inauguration that the US president-elect would win another term in office and that he would escape attempts to harm him.

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Mizzima:Christians in Rangoon avoid churches

by Mungpi   

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Christians in Rangoon said they are being forced to avoid their churches and conduct services in make-shift places of worship at the homes of their members in rotation after authorities earlier this month made them sign pledges not to worship in their apartment churches.
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The plight of the Myanmarese

By:Rizal Sukma /from:thejakatapost

After Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar last year, very few in the region took notice of the continuing plight and suffering of the Myanmarese. It was overshadowed by other events in the region and in other parts of the world.

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Two Burmese fishermen survive 25 days at sea in ice box

By Bonnie Malkin in Sydney /from:telegraph.co.uk

Two Burmese fishermen survive 25 days at sea in ice box

Two Burmese fishermen are lucky to be alive after “miraculously” surviving 25 days in shark-infested waters by floating in a large ice box after their fishing boat broke apart in heavy seas off the north coast of Australia.

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7 Myanmar migrant workers, Thai driver die in road crash

KANCHANABURI, Dec 15 (TNA) – Seven Myanmar illegal migrant workers were killed in a car accident in the Thai-Myanmar border province of Kanchanaburi while being smuggled to Thailand on Monday, police said.

According to the preliminary investigation, a pick-up truck carrying 15 illegal Myanmar workers tried to break
through a police checkpoint at high speed and elude the authorities.

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Irrawaddy:UN to Release U Thant Postage Stamps



The United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) will in February issue commemorative stamps marking the 100th anniversary of U Thant’s birth, according to the UNPA website.

The UNPA said that the U Thant postage stamp will be released on February 6, 2009, in three currencies— US dollars, Swiss francs and Euros. The prices of the stamp will be US $ 0.94, Swiss francs 1.30 and € 1.15 respectively.

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Burma: Than Shwe ‘ordered troops to execute villagers’

General Than Shwe




The leader of the Burmese junta, Than Shwe, personally ordered the murder of scores of unarmed villagers and Thai fishermen, according to a senior diplomat and military intelligence officer who defected to America. Continue reading

White House criticizes Myanmar regime

White House criticizes Myanmar regime

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House criticized Myanmar’s ruling junta on Wednesday for refusing to allow U.S. Navy ships to help their country deal with last month’s devastating cyclone.

The U.S. military ordered the USS Essex and accompanying vessels, loaded with aid and a fleet of helicopters to fly it in, to depart Myanmar’s coast after 15 attempts in recent weeks to get the junta’s permission to let them help with relief efforts. The ships were already in the region for international exercises when the cyclone hit and were sent to waters near Myanmar, also known as Burma, in case authorization could be obtained. Continue reading

Allow migrants a chance at the M’sian Dream

Allow migrants a chance at the M’sian Dream

My letter to the editor of Malaysiakini

May 28, 08 4:26pm

The present Singapore Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, commented that if Singapore continued with the old procedure of giving citizenship, Singapore would become an old folks’ home for its Permanent Resident holders. So he started offering PR to professionals who had completed two years’ work in Singapore. It is therefore possible to get Singapore citizenship within five years. Thus, new Singapore citizens could sever their umbilical cords from their old countries and give full loyalty to Singapore. Continue reading

Are paramedics’ treating at student camps and detention centers causing unnecessary deaths?

Are paramedics’ treating at student camps

and detention centers

causing unnecessary deaths?


Dr T’s letter to Malaysiakini on May 19, 08′,”Toxic megacolon’ could have been diagnosed”


I refer to the letter, Impossible to have ‘zero death’ for NS.

I would like to highlight an important issue regarding the death of the poor student. First of all, I am also a doctor, trained in general surgery that deals with cases similar to the cause of the student’s death. I totally disagree with Dr K that it is easy to miss the diagnosis when the student was examined by the paramedics.


Based on the patient’s general condition and physical examination, the medical staff could make the right diagnosis. The important point here is the ‘sign of abdominal tenderness on palpation’. Tenderness on palpation is a sinister sign that can not be taken lightly.
Many medical staff and – sorry to say – even doctors take for granted this vital sign on physical examination. If any of us went to any government clinic or hospital in Malaysia with ‘stomach pain with vomiting’, you will be labelled with ‘gastric pain’ and treated with anti-acid medication in 9 out of 10 times as that is the only way they are used to when they treat similar cases.

If the pain does not go away after the initial medication, pain killer injections will be given which serves to ‘hide’ the main problem until it gets worse. Then, the patient will be left in the Accident & Emergency observation ward for hours till the pain goes away or the patient requests to get admitted. Nine out 10 times, the patient never gets admitted.
Personally, I have seen many patients die for being given similar treatment for ‘stomach pain’. One patient was presented to Ipoh GH for several months in 2005 and was treated for ‘stomach pain’ and sent back home on every visit after sleeping overnight in th A&E ward. After some time, he finally refused to go home and was admitted to the ward. He died from advanced stage of stomach cancer two weeks after the first admission.

By the time he was seen in the ward, the disease has spread and it was too late for any surgery. Another patient with infection to her gallbladder was diagnosed with ‘stomach pain’ and sent back home after an injection given by an A&E doctor. She came back the next day, was admitted directly to ICU and died two days after admission.
My point here is very simple. Look at the issue as a general issue, not only limited to the PLKN student’s death. It shows the poor standard of care given in our public hospitals. What about the patient who was mismanaged for his stomach cancer and the lady who died because the doctor thinks that it is only ‘gastritis’. Are their lives not as important as the student’s life? The PLKN student’s family will get compensation for her death but what about the other victims’ families?
Back to the PLKN issue, there are several things that can be done to prevent the future deaths.
1. There are paramedics attached to all the PLKN camps. This is not right anymore. Get only senior staff with at least five years and above of experience in service. And also, only paramedic staff working under emergency care and trauma should be posted to all the NS camps. Currently, the Health Ministry chooses the staff randomly from all over the country to work in the NS camps.

I personally know a situation where a nurse who only deals with pregnant ladies for 15 years were posted to a PLKN camp in Perak. What is the aim of these random postings? It is just a mockery of the health service provided for the innocent students in PLKN.
2. Since there are cases where students died of ‘unknown causes’ and the government had to wait to see the postmortem reports before announcing the cause of the students’ death, all treatment process should be rearranged. All patients who do not improve within a given period of time (depends on each case) should be sent directly and fast to the nearest state hospital with a specialist only.

This patient must be seen by a specialist on duty and given the necessary treatment. Referral to a general doctor in this case is out of the question. This will ultimately prevent the ‘unknown cause of death’ as the specialist is trained to deal with any rare illnesses.
Last but not least, the latest case of the student who died from toxic megacolon is not over yet. The doctor needs to find out what and how the student got the problem as she was only one out of many at the camp who came done with stomach pain and constipation. The real culprit (if it is an organism) that cause the bowel death might be hiding some where in the camp or even in the student’s home only to ‘attack’ another innocent victim.

Related article:

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAM, Human rights activist Irene Fernandez found guilty of maliciously publishing false news

The Return of Burma’s Monks


The Return of Burma’s Monks

Friday, May. 16, 2008


Rangoon travel agent Chin Chin used to take tourists to a nearby Irrawaddy delta town famous for its pottery. But the vast waterworld of rivers and rice fields that stretched beyond it was a foreign land to her until Cyclone Nargis and its horrific aftermath. On Thursday, Chin Chin and her friends bought rice and water, loaded it on a truck, and drove deep into the delta. She was shocked by what she saw: roads lined with hundreds of cold and hungry villagers, disregarded by their own government, who had walked for an hour from their broken villages to beg from passing motorists.

“They were mostly housewives,” recalls Chin Chin, who goes by the nickname. “They told me, ‘Rice is a must, so it’s worth standing in the rain for three or four hours to get some.’ They didn’t even have a change of clothes.” Fighting back her tears, Chin Chin gave out rice and listened to stories of families torn apart and villages destroyed. “It was piteous,” she says. “I really sympathized with them. We didn’t see any aid from government or foreign groups.”

Chin Chin belongs to a burgeoning homegrown relief effort which is capturing Burmese from all walks of life. Students and shopkeepers, medics and models — thousands of people have now donated money, food or services to Nargis victims. Hundreds like Chin Chin are delivering aid themselves, while privately run local charities are reorienting their operations around cyclone relief.

While they continue to make it difficult for foreigners to offer aid, Burma’s generals welcome the help of their own people — at least officially. “Myanmar people’s generosity is amazing,” marvels a recent article in The New Light of Myanmar, a state-run newspaper.* Privately, however, they must be getting nervous. Ordinary Burmese are horrified by the suffering of their compatriots and angry at the junta’s inadequate attempts to alleviate it. Their humanitarian efforts could well spark a political one, especially as it also involves Buddhist monks, who last September led the biggest anti-government protests Burma had seen for nearly 20 years.

Private donors have faced some government restrictions. Those who arrive in the towns have been asked to hand over their relief supplies to local authorities for distribution. Instead, many are reportedly storing the goods with sympathetic locals and secretly distributing them by themselves. The junta doesn’t want foreigners distributing aid in the delta, but neither does it feel comfortable with Burmese distributing it. “The government is scared that relief workers will get involved in politics,” says a co-founder of one Burmese relief group.

Some are involved already. Celebrated actor Kyaw Thu, who was jailed for a month for joining last September’s demonstrations, runs the Free Funeral Services Society, a private charity offering free cremations for the poor. It is now operating its own relief effort, with volunteers at its Rangoon headquarters loading up delta-bound trucks with donated goods.

Another anti-junta stalwart is comedian Zaganar (the name means “Tweezers”), also briefly jailed for his role in last year’s protests. Zaganar and his celebrity friends have bought food and medical supplies for Nargis victims and are using their names to raise more funds. Both the disaster and the grassroots response to it are unprecedented in Burma. “I think there will be political consequences,” he says. “People are very angry with the government.”

The monks are also on the move again. Buddhist temples and monasteries have always played a central role in helping the needy in Burma (as, in this religiously and ethnically diverse country, have churches, mosques and Hindu temples). After the cyclone, monks led small-scale relief efforts into the delta, the distinctive multicolored flags of their faith fluttering from cars and small trucks. Monks from well-known monasteries in Mandalay and elsewhere in Burma are either in the delta or heading there, while in Pakkoku — the Irrawaddy town near Mandalay where last year’s protests originated — their brethren are reportedly soliciting donations for cyclone victims. Shwe Pyi Hein Monastery, which already runs a free clinic in Rangoon, has dispatched five volunteer doctors to the disaster area, who are treating more than 100 people every day.

Despite the participation of thousands of Burmese, the impact of this homegrown relief effort will always limited, admits Zaganar. “We deliver our supplies by road because we cannot afford a boat,” he says. “But most victims live close to the water. We cannot get through to them.” He says Burma desperately needs more boats and helicopters from abroad. Not even the nation’s richest private donors — who include junta cronies like tycoon Tay Za, who was put on a U.S. sanctions list last year — have the means or expertise to meet even a fraction of the needs in far-flung delta areas.