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Weekly Diary, No. 247 (28 April – 4 May 2007)

by admin last modified 2007-05-05 07:36

Weekly Diary, No. 247 (28 April – 4 May 2007)
 

  • MIZZIMA-HUNTED YESTERDAY, HONORED TODAY!

  • OPIUM-MAXIMUM, CODEINE MINIMUM

  • THEIN SEIN ACTING PM?

  • SOME GO ON TRIAL FOR BEING ATTACKED!

 
Think Piece
Truth has a way of defending itself. Only lies and cruelty need force of arms.
the_water_margin
The Water Margin, Classic Chinese romance


 
The World
29 April 2007

Tamil Tiger
Tamil Tiger "air force" attacks Colombo for the second time. The first time took place at the end of March. (Reuters)



International Relations
29 April 2007

Six-day Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) conference begins in Bali. Main topics include the war in Iraq and democratization in Burma. IPU was established in 1889 with HQ in Geneva. (DPA)
 
30 April 2007
Iftekhar Ahmed ChowdhuryIftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury

Bangladeshi Foreign Advisor Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury says Burmese authorities should launch some livelihood schemes like micro-credit for the Rohingya refugees so they become willing to return to their homeland. More than 250,000 Rohingyas entered Bangladesh in 1991. Presently, there are 21,600 refugees awaiting repatriation. (Xinhua)
 
30 April 2007
George Bush and Germany's Angela MerkelGeorge Bush and Germany's Angela Merkel

US and EU leaders agree to step up pressure on Burma's junta during the one-day summit held in Washington. It is attended by George Bush and Germany's Angela Merkel, who currently holds the EU presidency. (Irrawaddy)
 
2 May 2007
Mizzima
Mizzima News chosen as the year's Free Media Pioneer award recipient. This is the first time a Burmese news agency has been honored by an international organization. (Network Media Group) The award will be received by Managing Editor Sein Win on 15 May, during IPI Congress in Istanbul. (IPI)
 
2 May 2007
US Campaign for Burma discloses 34 victims and survivors of the Depayin massacre in 2003 have asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to launch an international commission of inquiry into the clash. Opposition supporters say 282 were killed in the incident. (Reuters/SHAN)
 
2 May 2007
US Commission on International Religious Freedom in Washington retains Burma in its list of 11 nations designated as "countries of particular concern" (CPC). Others include North Korea, China, Pakistan, Iran and Vietnam. (Irrawaddy)
 
2 May 2007
The 2007 annual survey, conducted by Freedom House, says Burma ranks second to bottom in press freedom among 195 countries around the world, beaten only by North Korea. (Mizzima)
 
3 May 2007
Ong Keng YongOng Keng Yong

Asean aims to sign a free trade pact with Japan during summit on 18-21 November in Singapore, says Secretary General Ong Keng Yong. (AP)



Thai-Burma Relations
30 April 2007

Myanmar Times reports on bilateral trade between Burma and Thailand. The kingdom remains Burma's top trading partner of the year 2006-07:
                                                            Total                            Thai-Burma
Foreign trade                                       $ 7.4 billion                 30%
Foreign investment(2005-2006)          $ 6.065 billion             $ 6.03 billion
The investment was mainly for the Tasang dam in Shan State.
The Maesod-Myawaddy border trade zone is also being transformed into a normal trade system. (Xinhua)
 
1 May 2007
Burmese migrant workers call for repeal of unfair decree banning them from using hand phones, driving motorcycles and leaving shelters after 20:00 among others. The decree has been in force in Phuket, Ranong, Surat Thani and Rayong. (Network Media Group)
 
1 May 2007
Surakiart_SathirathaiSurakiart Sathirathai

Former FM Surakiart Sathirathai, in his testimony given to the Assets Scrutiny Commiittee (ASC), said he was against the Baht 4 billion loan given to Burma to buy the iPStar satellites from Shin Sat, a firm operated by the Shinawatra family. (Bangkok Post)
 
2 May 2007
Investors joining the contract farming programme have vowed to withdraw from the scheme unless Bangkok lifts tariffs on crop imports from Burma. They mainly farm maize, mung and castor bean on areas totaling 16,000 acres along the Burmese border opposite Maesod, Phop Phra and Mae Ramard. There are 27 investors joining the scheme for 2006-2007 farming year. (Bangkok Post)
 
3 May 2007
Among 7 provinces bracing for heavy rain and mountain runoff today and tomorrow are Tak, Chiangmai and Maehongson. (Bangkok Post)



Politics/ Inside Burma
26-27 April 2007

NLD holds two-day workshop on Burma's economy. Burdens on the Burmese people, it concludes includes inflation, increasing commodity prices, salary increase for government workers, corruption and unnecessary development projects. (Irrawaddy)
 
30 April 2007
Nai Aye Mon, Central Committee member of the New Mon State Party, says his party might consider participating in the coming elections in Burma. (Irrawaddy)
 
1 May 2007
NLD kicks off month-long campaign calling on the junta to free Aung San Suu Kyi. (Network Media Group)
 
1 May 2007
30 people who are planning to attend a May Day workshop at the American Center detained by Military Affairs Security (MAS). Most are released later but six of the organizers remain in custody. (Irrawaddy)
 
3 May 2007
PM Soe WinPM Soe Win
PM Soe Win returned to Burma Thursday (26 April) following a two month stay in a Singapore hospital, the same private hospital that treated Gen Than Shwe in January. He was admitted to No.2 military hospital in Rangoon on arrival. (Mizzima/AP/Irrawaddy)

3 May 2007
Aung San Suu KyiAung San Suu Kyi

An eye specialist visits Aung San Suu Kyi at her home. Apart from daily meditation and physical exercise, she spends most of her time reading books, say sources. (Irrawaddy)



Shans/ Shan State
25 April 2007
48 houses destroyed in a fire in Shwenyaung, Taunggyi Township, Shan State South. (New Light of Myanmar)



Economy/ Business
27 April 2007

Daewoo is contemplating a legal action against Burma following its MoU with China on 14 March to sell gas in the Arakan offshore area to China. South Korean and Indian firms face heavy losses. Japan also hopes to lift tons of gas from Burma to reduce reliance on Middle East energy. (Narinjara)
 
1 May 2007
Yamethin in Mandalay division has become a region of good prospects for gold mining, reports The Voice Journal. Known as Golden Village, it has been packed with entrepreneurs from various regions. (Xinhua) S.H.A.N. has already reported it on 23 April – Editor
 
1 May 2007
TheinSein_BangladeshLt-Gen Thein Sein with Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury
Bangladesh is willing to negotiate the tri-nation (Burma, Bangladesh and India) pipeline for transmission of gas from Burma to India says Foreign Affairs Advisor Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury on his return. He had talked about the subject with "Acting PM" Lt-Gen Thein Sein. The proposed pipeline will be 950-km long. (Daily Star)

4 May 2007
Asean and EU agree to start free trade talks, after more than 2 years of wrangling over Burma. (AP)



Human Rights
28 April 2007

The 18 April beating up of 3 Human Rights Defenders and Promoters in Henzada was a grim reminder of the 30 May 2003 massacre in Depayin. It was a premeditated operation. The victims were also charged for disturbing peace on 25 April. (NDD)
 
30 April 2007
UNESCO report titled "Education under attack" says violence is preventing more children in Burma from basic educational opportunities. It cites forced migration and child soldiers recruitment. Only one out of three children completes 5 years of school. (Mizzima)
 
1 May 2007
Over 30 households in each of the two jade mining areas in Phakant forcibly displaced to make way for tycoon Teza's Htoo Company. Each household in Kawng San and Ting Kaw mines got up to one million kyat ($769) as compensation. (Kachin News Group)
 
1 May 2007
Christian Solidarity Worldwide claims Saw Lee Reh Kyaw, a relief worker with Free Burma Rangers, was executed on 10 April, two days after being captured by Burmese forces in Karenni State. (Religious Intelligence)
 
2 May 2007
Six members of human rights group detained in Henzada denied bail. Their trial is set to begin on Friday. (Irrawaddy)
 
2 May 2007
Naing Ko Ko, 35, former political prisoner, 1992-98, who arrive in New Zealand in December, says he was forced to live like a dog during his term. "When the guards talk to you, you have to bark and say woof, woof." His food was placed on the floor and he had to go down on his hands and knees to eat it like a dog. ( New Zealand Herald)



Environment
30 April 2007

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) opens in Bangkok. Draft report proposes shifting away from carbon-heavy fuels like coal, investment in energy efficiency and agricultural reform. Two previous IPCC reports this year warned increase of temperature up to 6 Celsius by 2100 that could trigger water shortages subsequent food shortages and diseases. (Irrawaddy)
 
2 May 2007
New Light of Myanmar says an onshore gas well in Maubin, Irrawaddy division, 60km west of Rangoon, shows a potential to produce 3.2 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. (DPA)



Drugs
2 May 2007

The Senlis Council, an international think tank, has proposed a poppies-for-medicine program to fill a global shortage of morphine and codeine. Canadian, Italian and British politicians support the idea but the UN argues Afghanistan is not stable enough. But poppies-for-medicine programs can work. After eradication efforts failed in Turkey, which supplied 80% of US heroin in the 1970s, it launched a licensing program to compensate poppy farmers for lost in come. Now Turkey is the leading supplier of medical narcotics to the US. (Newsweek)



War
27 April 2007
Burma has promised to step up military action against all Indian separatist rebels operating from its territory, an Indian official says following a series of meetings with visiting Brig Gen Tin Maung Ohn in Guwahati. The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) is regarded as the most powerful among 30-odd rebel groups in India's northeast. (AFP)
 
28 April 2007

Burma Army attacks two areas in Papun district displacing over 4,300 villagers from 18 villages. (Network Media Group/ Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People)
 
30 April 2007
The Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) has dismissed Delhi's efforts to flush out Indian militants from Burma, claiming that the Burmese military junta would not fully cooperate with the Indian forces. (Nagaland Post/ The Telegraph)