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New Action Alerts on Burma :)

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  • james m nordlund
    Don t Let the World Forget: UN Must Act Now! Don t Let the World Forget About the Saffron Revolution Dear james m,
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 1, 2007
      Don't Let the World Forget: UN Must Act Now!
      Don't Let the World Forget About the Saffron Revolution
      Dear james m,


      This Wednesday, October 24th, is an important day for Burma. It is:
      1) United Nations Day, 2) The day when Aung San Suu Kyi will have
      been under house arrest for a total of 12 years, and 3) One month
      since the uprisings in Burma were at their peak.

      We will be marking this day with a host of actions around the world.

      - Several organizations are working together to organize in 12 cities
      around the world. At 12 noon, demonstrators dressed in white (as
      political prisoners are forced to wear inside Burma) will gather in
      front of Chinese embassies. Please let us know if you want to
      participate in the demonstration in Washington, DC.

      - A group of Burmese monks and exiles have been marching from
      Albany, NY to the United Nations in a peace walk. On Wednesday,
      please join with them as they continue their march from the Burmese
      regime's Mission in New York to the United Nations from 10-11 am. The
      Mission is located on 10E and 77th St. For more info, the cell phone
      for the peace walk is (518) 605-8506.

      - For those of you who cannot participate in these actions we are
      asking you to ensure that the American public does not forget Burma.
      We are asking you on this day to reinvigorate public attention by
      writing an op-ed article for your local newspaper, write a post on
      your blog or facebook profile, host a teach in for your friends and
      neighbors, or for more suggestions visit our action page

      The Burmese regime may be the jailer of Aung San Suu Kyi and
      thousands of other prisoners, but China holds the key to her release.
      The United Nations Security Council (of which China is a member) must
      act urgently as more and more people are being hunted down, arrested
      and tortured. China must not block Security Council action. We will
      show that we will not allow Burma's regime to hide its abuses from
      the world.. The United Nations Security Council needs to pass a
      global arms embargo now!

      -Thelma Young

      Support 1991 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi and the
      struggle for freedom and democracy in Burma.
      Become a member of the United States Campaign for Burma today.

      PEN: Freedom to Write Program: MYAN: send an appeal letter
      Dear Friends,

      We received this news today about Zargana's release. Thanks to those
      of you who wrote letters last week. Please note that, according to
      reports, U Par Par Lay is still detained. If you have not yet sent an
      appeal letter, please send one on his behalf.

      Thank you!

      Anna Kushner
      Freedom to Write Program Coordinator
      PEN American Center
      588 Broadway, Suite 303
      New York, NY 10012
      (212) 334-1660 ext. 106

      From: Sara Whyatt [mailto:Sara.Whyatt@...]
      Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2007 9:34 AM
      To: Cathy McCann
      Subject: MYANMAR (BURMA): Leading comedian and poet Zargana released.



      18 October 2007

      Update #1 to RAN 36/07

      MYANMAR (BURMA): Leading comedian and poet Zargana released.

      The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN welcomes the
      release of poet and comedian Zargana, who is said to be well though
      exhausted after his three-week detention. Zargana is among many
      pro-democracy activists reported to have been arrested in the ongoing
      government crackdown in Burma, including fellow comedian U Par Par
      who is believed to remain detained. International PEN reiterates its
      concern for the safety of Burmese writers and that their works
      to be censored. PEN calls for the immediate and unconditional release
      all those currently detained in Myanmar in violation of Article 19 of
      the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

      According to PEN's information, Maung Thura ('Zargana') is a leading
      comedian, poet and opposition activist was arrested on 25 September
      for his support of the monks demonstrating in the capital, Rangoon.
      release was reported on 18 October 2007, although he remains under
      surveillance and restriction, as he has been for many years. For
      further information see the following link:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7050018.stm. Also for an
      informative article on his case and on censorship of Burmese writings
      general go to

      Maung Thura, more commonly known by his nick-name 'Zargana', is
      leading comedian, popular for his political satires. Zargana spent
      several years in prison in the early 1990s for his opposition
      activities. During that time he was taken up as a main case by the
      Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN. Zargana, whose
      pseudonym means 'tweezers' and refers to his years spent training as a
      dentist, was first arrested in October 1988 after making fun of the
      government, but freed six months later. However, on 19 May 1990, he
      impersonated General Saw Maung, former head of the military
      to a crowd of thousands at the Yankin Teacher's Training College
      in Rangoon. He was arrested shortly afterwards, and sentenced to five
      years in prison. He was held in solitary confinement in a tiny cell in
      Rangoon's Insein Prison, where he began writing poetry. One of his
      prison poems was published in the International PEN anthology This
      Prison Where I Live.

      After his release from prison in March 1994, Zargana was banned from
      performing in public, but continued to make tapes and videos which
      strictly censored by the authorities. In May 1996, after speaking out
      against censorship to a foreign journalist, he was banned from
      performing his work altogether, and stripped of his freedom to write

      Appeals to Myanmar (Burma) Embassies:

      While the situation in Burma is still critical, letters sent to the
      country may not be received or taken as a priority. It is therefore
      recommended that appeals be sent to the diplomatic representative of
      Myanmar (Burma) in your own country.

      - welcoming the release of writer, comedian and pro-democracy activist
      Zargana, but reiterating grave concern for the well-being of other
      writers still detained in Burma, including comedian U Par Par Lay;

      - demanding the immediate and unconditional release of all those
      currently detained in Myanmar in violation of Article 19 of the United
      Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

      Letters to the press

      PEN members may consider writing letters to their national newspapers
      expressing alarm at events in Burma, and highlighting Zargana's case
      illustrate the many years of repression in the country.

      For further information please contact Cathy McCann at International
      Writers in Prison Committee, Brownlow House, 50/51 High Holborn,
      WC1V 6ER, Tel.+ 44 (0) 20 7405 0338, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7405 0339, email:

      Sara Whyatt
      Programme Director
      Writers in Prison Committee
      International PEN
      Brownlow House
      50/51 High Holborn
      London WC1V 6ER
      Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7405 0338
      Fax: + ff (0) 20 7405 0339
      Email: sara.whyatt@...

      Help Us Tell the UN Sec. General to Demand End to Torture in Burma
      Ban Ki-moon: Telephone The Burmese Regime Today to Demand End to
      Torture in Burma
      Dear James,

      The military continues to hunt down those who have participated in
      demonstrations. We are calling on you to take a few moments today to
      be part
      of the global voice calling for an end to the abuse of monks and


      This past weekend the military captured 4 promiment democracy
      including Htay Kywe, one of the last remaining leaders of the 88
      Generation that had not been captured. The 88 Student Generation has
      been at
      the forefront of organizing protests, with the courage to stand up
      to the
      ruthless and brutal regime no matter the cost. Htay Kywe had evaded
      until now. During the past two months, he was vital in educating
      the world
      about what was happening inside Burma. We are deeply concerned
      about his
      health and safety.

      Also arrested was Mee Mee, whose picture with her fist in the air,
      become an iconic symbol of the Burmese people during the protests in
      August and September (as seen above). We fear for her and the
      suffering she
      will most likely endure, as a political prisoner and as a woman.

      The few remaining members of the 88 Student Generation have already
      sent a
      letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urging him to take action to
      prisoners, and stop arrests, and we must support their call.


      It is more than just these arrests that concern us. Thousands of
      monks and
      civilians have been arrested in the past 2 weeks and we are receiving
      disturbing reports about the treatment of these prisoners. Torture,
      medical treatment and food, disrobing monks, and even death are
      occurrences for those imprisoned. We are deeply concerned for the
      fate of
      those imprisoned. Many activists have serious medical problems
      because of
      their previous imprisonments. For a list of monasteries raided,
      arrested, disappeared, and killed, go to the AAPP website
      Association for the Political Prisoners of Burma) www.aappb.org .

      Please just take a few moments today to send an email to UN Secretary
      General Ban Ki-Moon, urging him to take more concrete measures to
      that the brutal treatment of prisoners stops. He needs to pick up the
      today and demand from the Burmese Generals that the arrests and
      torturing of
      political prisoners stops. He must make it a personal priority to
      Burma's generals, to demand that the International Committee for
      the Red
      Cross (ICRC) or other organizations can at least have access to the
      prisoners and to push for the release of all political prisoners.

      -Thelma Young

      Support 1991 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi and the
      for freedom and democracy in Burma.
      Become a member of the United States Campaign for Burma today.

      F.O.E.I.: [Cyberaction] Support Burmese protesters
      [Cyberaction] Support Burmese protesters
      Dear Friends

      The world is watching as the people of Burma are struggling against


      In the Philippines, workers shaved their heads in a gesture of
      with the Burmese Buddhist monks, who are bearing the brunt of the

      As environmentalists, we should all be concerned and take action to
      the monks who were demonstrating against rising fuel and food prices
      left many in Burma without access to public transport and unable to
      their families.
      Please take a minute to sign the petition that will be sent to the
      asking them to take urgent action to safeguard the rights of the
      people of

      Please spread the word, pass this message on to everyone you know and
      encourage them to do the same.

      Thanks for your support.

      Debra Broughton
      Friends of the Earth International

      Cyberaction mailing list

      H.R.W.: Burma: Foreign Investment Finances Regime
      Burma: Foreign Investment Finances Regime
      Companies Should Condemn Crackdown

      (New York, October 2, 2007) - Chinese, Indian, Thai, and other
      companies doing business in Burma should ensure their operations do
      contribute to or benefit from human rights abuses, Human Rights Watch
      said today. The military government in Burma has launched a violent
      crackdown on peaceful demonstrators that so far has led to many
      enforced disappearances, and mass arbitrary arrests.

      "Companies doing business in Burma argue their presence is
      and will benefit the Burmese people, but they have yet to condemn the
      government's abuses against its own citizens," said Arvind Ganesan,
      director of the Business and Human Rights Program at Human Rights
      Watch. "Keeping quiet while monks and other peaceful protesters are
      murdered and jailed is not evidence of constructive engagement."

      Human Rights Watch said that companies operating in Burma should use
      their influence with the ruling State Peace and Development Council
      (SPDC) to put an end to ongoing human rights abuses. In the current
      environment, companies should urge the SPDC to halt the crackdown,
      release all political prisoners, and open a real dialogue with
      and ethnic groups. If the situation does not improve, companies should
      be prepared to reconsider their operations in the country.

      Human Rights Watch said that there is no transparency in Burma about
      how much the government receives in oil and gas payments, nor clarity
      about how the funds are spent. The military receives the largest
      share of
      the official budget and the SPDC allocates only a pittance to social
      programs including health and education.

      Foreign investment in Burma's oil and natural gas sector is especially
      significant. Sales of natural gas account for the single largest
      source of

      revenue to the military government. Gas exports accounted for fully
      of the country's exports in 2006. Burma's gas business brought in
      revenue of US$2.16 billion in 2006 from sales to its main buyer,
      Thailand. These funds flow directly to the government and provide the
      junta with a major source of financing that is completely independent
      its citizens.

      Current investors in Burma's oil and gas industry include companies
      from Australia, the British Virgin Islands, China, France, India,
      Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Russia, and the United

      The SPDC has greatly expanded investment in Burma's oil and natural
      gas industry in recent years. Allowing foreign investment in oil and
      is apparently aimed at bringing in more revenue to keep the government
      afloat at a time when economic mismanagement and profligate spending
      on the military and the building of a new capital at Nay Pyi Taw have
      drained government finances. Natural gas exploration, development and
      production projects are under way in approximately 30 different gas
      fields. These projects are organized as joint ventures with the
      government's Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).

      "Outside investment in Burma's oil and gas industry has thrown a
      to the country's brutal rulers," added Ganesan. "The businesses that
      finance the military shouldn't argue that the government's crackdown
      not their problem."

      Details of the Deals

      At present the SPDC receives the bulk of its gas money from the
      "Yadana" and "Yetagun" gas fields. The Yadana consortium is led by
      Total of France and includes UNOCAL (now Chevron) of the United
      States and Thailand's state-controlled PTT Exploration and Production
      Co Ltd (PTTEP). The Yetagun consortium, led by Malaysia's state-
      owned Petronas, includes Japan's Nippon Oil as well as PTTEP. PTTEP,
      a subsidiary of the largely state-owned PTT Public Co Ltd (PTT) of
      Thailand, buys the gas for export to Thailand.

      Major offshore natural gas projects are under development. A
      of South Korean and Indian firms, in partnership with the Myanmar Oil
      and Gas Enterprise, has made a large gas find off the coast of Arakan
      State in western Burma. Known as the "Shwe" gas project, it is
      to produce massive revenues once it is in production. Estimates of the
      gas yield of the Shwe deposits range between US$37 to US$52 billion,
      and could lead to a total gain in revenues to the junta or future
      governments of US$12 to US$17 billion over 20 years.

      The Shwe gas consortium is composed of the South Korean company
      Daewoo International, state-owned companies from India and South
      Korea, and the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise. Some of the foreign
      partners also have separate deals with the Burmese government entity
      other concessions.

      On September 24, for example, India's state-controlled Oil and Natural
      Gas Co (ONGC), whose subsidiary ONGC Videsh is a partner in the
      Shwe consortium, signed a deal with Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise to
      explore for gas in three more offshore blocks. Under the deal, Oil and
      Natural Gas Co pledged to invest US$150 million through ONGC

      India's Office of the President holds nearly 75 percent of the shares
      Oil and Natural Gas Co. India's minister for oil, Murli Deora,
      traveled to

      the Burmese capital last week to sign the agreement as thousands of
      protesters in Burma took to the streets to call for political
      freedom, an
      end to the SPDC's abuses, and economic improvements.

      India, like China and Russia - which are also major investors in

      natural gas sector - has provided political and military support to
      SPDC. India and China are in competition to buy the Shwe gas. In
      August, a top Burmese energy official publicly confirmed that China
      strongly favored to buy the gas, but indicated that a sales agreement
      not yet final.

      Chinese firms are also actively seeking to build oil and gas
      pipelines in
      Burma. One proposed pipeline would transport gas from the offshore
      Shwe project to China. A second pipeline would carry Middle Eastern
      across Burma into China, bypassing the busy shipping lanes of the
      of Malacca. These proposals to build overland pipelines across Burma
      have raised serious human rights concerns, in light of past
      Major controversies arose in the 1990s over construction of pipelines
      associated infrastructure to transport Yadana-Yetagun gas. UNOCAL
      and Total were sued in the US and France, respectively, by Burmese
      villagers who accused them of complicity in atrocities by the Burmese
      army during operations to remove villagers from areas slated for
      development and to facilitate pipeline construction. The companies
      ultimately settled the lawsuits.

      Two Chinese companies that have shown strong interest in the proposed
      new Burma-China pipeline projects are Sinopec and China National
      Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). Both are Chinese state-owned oil
      companies and are involved in gas exploration in Burma as well. They
      also are official "partners" (major sponsors) of the 2008 Olympics in
      Beijing and are under increased scrutiny for the human-rights impact
      their investments in Sudan and Burma.

      India and China have been reluctant to criticize the recent crackdown.
      Russia joined China in blocking UN Security Council action on Burma.

      In addition to foreign investors (both state-owned and private), the
      companies doing business with Burma include banks that arrange
      financial transactions and companies that import products from Burma.
      For example, timber exports to China have been substantial. The SPDC
      also draws significant revenue from sales of gems, notably rubies and
      jade. These gems are polished in third countries and then find their
      to retail stores in Europe and the US, where sanctions permit imports
      Burmese-origin goods that are processed in third countries.

      The US has imposed new financial sanctions, intended to target
      accounts of Burmese generals, and some European leaders have called
      for additional, targeted sanctions if the SPDC fails to halt its
      repression of dissent.

      "The junta's largest trading partners should insist that Burma's
      stop stuffing their own pockets and instead use these immense revenues
      to improve the lives of ordinary Burmese," said Ganesan.

      For more of Human Rights Watch's work on Burma, please visit:

      Please help support the research that made this bulletin possible. In
      to protect our objectivity, Human Rights Watch does not accept funding
      any government. We depend entirely on the generosity of people like
      To make a contribution, please visit http://hrw.kintera.org/donate3

      Forward to Friend:


      A.I.: Stand with the monks in Burma
      Stand with the monks in Burma
      Dear james m,

      I'm sure you've seen the inspiring - and terrifying - pictures of red-
      monks facing down heavily armed military police in the streets of
      (Myanmar) this past week.


      Their courage in the face of brutal repression - in the fight for
      rights - is what Amnesty International is all about. While you and I
      far away from Burma, we can help the brave pro-democracy forces there
      through our support of Amnesty International.

      As I write this, Amnesty activists in more than 20 countries are
      taking part
      in demonstrations and meetings with government leaders, designed to
      the military rulers of Burma, and its key allies China and India, to
      the violence and restore human rights. Amnesty has been working on
      Burma for
      decades to free hundreds of pro-democracy activists, including Nobel
      laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, from long prison sentences for nothing
      than acts of peaceful dissent.

      Now is the time for you to make an additional gift to Amnesty
      USA to show your solidarity with the people of Burma - and the people
      dozens of other countries whose human rights are being trampled upon.


      As we end our Fall membership drive at midnight tonight, please make
      a gift
      to Amnesty International to help us keep up international pressure on
      brutal military regime in Burma.

      Please join us in standing side by side with the peaceful red-robed
      for democracy and human rights.


      Larry Cox
      Executive Director
      Amnesty International USA

      © Copyright 2007Amnesty International USA5 Penn PlazaNew York, NY

      Other linx for Burma :)

      Myanmar: Time for Urgent Action - New Crisis Group media release
      Contacts: Andrew Stroehlein (Brussels) 32 (0) 2 541 1635
      Giulia Previti (Washington) 1 202 785 1601
      To contact Crisis Group media please click here

      WITNESS: Stand with Burma's Brave Citizens - Demand UN Security

      Get Involved in the Struggle to Free Burma :)




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