Plan offers aid to free Burma’s prisoners

From The Washington Post

The United Nations has embarked on a strategy to entice Burma’s generals to free more than 2000 political prisoners, including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, by offering them more development money.

According to senior UN officials, special envoy Ibrahim Gambari has proposed that nations offer Burma financial incentives to free the prisoners and to open the country to democratic change. In the months ahead, the UN leadership will press the Barack Obama’s administration to relax US policy on Burma to open the door to a return of international financial institutions, including the World Bank.

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UN Role “Not Enough”: Ban

From The Irrawaddy

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday his direct involvement was “not enough” to resolve the current political stalemate in Burma and all its neighbors must play a more assertive role.

“My good offices should not be seen as an end in itself, or as a justification for inaction,” he told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York. “In order to be able to pursue this role in an effective manner, it is necessary for all concerned parties across the spectrum to step up efforts to help my good offices move forward.”

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Sole Myanmar protester demands activists’ release

From The Associated Press

A lone demonstrator staged a silent protest in front of detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party headquarters Saturday demanding the military government free all student activists as the country celebrated its National Day.

The holiday commemorates a boycott by Yangon University students 88 years ago in defiance of British colonial rule, a protest that inspired Myanmar’s independence movement.

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Is Burma Ready for Change?

From The Irrawaddy

Thanks to Barack Obama’s sweeping electoral victory on Tuesday, “change” has suddenly become a word that forcefully evokes the hopes of people around the world. President-elect Obama ran on a platform of change, and as the first African-American to win the US presidency, he embodies it like no other American leader before him.

Of course, change is not always seen as a positive thing. At a time when the world is already undergoing many dramatic upheavals—from seismic shifts in the global financial system to a rapidly warming planet—Obama’s message of change brings not only hope, but also a degree of concern about the uncertainties of the future.

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Monk Escapes from Lantalang Prison

From The Irrawaddy

A 28-year-old Burmese Buddhist monk, Ashin Pannasiri, has successfully escaped from Lantalang Prison in Chin State and arrived in Delhi, India, after 13 days.

Ashin Pannasiri said he climbed over two barbwire fences at about 1 am on September 16, when two security guards slept.

“When I climbed the posts, my hands and legs were scraped by barbwire. It was very painful, but I didn’t care about that,” he said. “I only cared about my life.”

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The Burmese Regime’s Cyber Offensive: Irrawaddy News Attack

Ed. Note – The Irrawaddy News site has temporarily moved to a blog format due to recent attacks. One would assume it’s the military junta’s way of halting news from getting out. Anyone else think something big is coming?

From The Irrawaddy Magazine

Marking the anniversaries of the student uprising on September 18, 1988, and the Buddhist monk-led demonstrations last year, the Burmese junta has launched another offensive—a cyber attack—on The Irrawaddy and several other Burmese news agencies in exile.

We at The Irrawaddy quickly learned the attack was linked to the anniversary of the “Saffron Revolution.” Burma’s military authorities obviously did not want any similar sentiments this year and, once again, shot down their enemies.

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1st anniversary of the beginning of the Saffron Revolution

From Now Publlic
By Ashin Mettacara

The Saffron Revolution consisted of a series of massive demonstrations led by Buddhist monks demanding democratic reforms in Burma. The demonstrations began on September 18th and ended on September 30th 2007. The Saffron Revolution was named after the saffron colored robe worn by demonstrating monks.

Before the Saffron Revolution, the military regime doubled the price of petrol and diesel on 15 August. In response to the increase in fuel prices, citizens protested in demonstrations beginning on August 19th. Thirteen prominent Burmese dissidents including Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Min Zeyar, Ko Jimmy, Ko Pyone Cho, Arnt Bwe Kywaw and Ko Mya Aye were arrested.

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Undeterred: The people’s desire

From Mizzima News

In an effort to prevent yet another peoples’ uprising, Burma’s military government has stepped up security measures, ordering police forces to remain overnight at local ward administrative offices, sources said.

A Secretary of a Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) office in Mandalay, Burma’s second largest city, said at least two policemen have been ordered to stay overnight at every local ward administrative office since the beginning of September.

“In our township there are several ward offices, and at every office at least two policemen have been kept overnight to keep watch since September 4,” the Secretary told Mizzima on Saturday.

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