International Condemnation of Harsh Prison Sentences

From Irrawaddy

The United Nations and the United States strongly condemned Burma’s military regime on Wednesday for imposing prison sentences of up to 65 years on 39 pro-democracy activists early this week, and urged the junta to immediately release all political prisoners.

“The secretary-general is deeply concerned by recent reports of sentences and severe prison terms imposed in connection with the peaceful demonstrations of last year in Myanmar [Burma],” said Marie Okabe, deputy spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Click to read more of this article

UN Missions on Burma Draw Derision

From The Irrawaddy
By Marwaan Macan-Marker

In their hour of despair, Burma’s beleaguered people continue to find comfort in humor. New jokes reflect new frustrations. The latest target is Ibrahim Gambari, United Nations special envoy for Burma.

One revolves around the nickname that has been coined by local comedians for the Nigerian diplomat. He is labeled as “Kyauk yu pyan” (pronounced chow-u-peean), which in Burmese refers to a man who receives precious stones from the government as a bribe. (Burma is renowned for its gems.)

Other nicknames are harsher, like “Gan pha lar” (pronounced gun-pa-la), a play on the envoy’s name, which is the word for the receptacle that Burmese use to wash themselves after going to the toilet.

Click to read more of this article

Monks, not military, help clean up

From AFP – IT is being left to Burma’s monks to help residents clear roads of fallen trees and other debris caused by killer tropical cyclone Nargis.

The gathering of cinnamon-robed monks was one of the largest groups seen in Burma’s main city since September when they led mass anti-government protests that were violently put down by security forces.

Click to read more of this article

U.N. Chief To Skip Beijing Opening Ceremony

From CNN – The United Nations secretary general has joined a growing list of high-profile leaders who have indicated they will not attend the Olympic Games’ opening ceremony in Beijing, as the troubled torch relay moved to Argentina on Friday.

Ban-Ki Moon said he had told Chinese authorities that he “may not” be in a position to attend due to scheduling issues.

Click to read more of this article

China pressed over Tibet at UN

From Reuters – China has come under pressure at the United Nations’ human rights forum to ease its clampdown on Tibet by lifting curbs on movement and information and not using force in the restive Himalayan region.

The European Union, in a speech to the UN Human Rights Council, urged Beijing to refrain from force against a wave of Tibetan protests that began on March 10 – the 49th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule – and led to riots.

Click to read more of this article

WARNING GRAPHIC: US Police Beat Tibetan Protesters

First, this video won’t last long on YouTube but if you do get a chance to see it I must seriously warn you. It is graphic! It is antagonistic and very vocal, but the reaction of police is by far, reprehensible to say the least.

There is hitting and violence, so I did warn you. And why have I posted it if it is so violent? The truth is disgusting sometimes!

Click to view video I DID WARN YOU

Death toll mounts as Tibet Uprising Continues: TCHRD calls upon UN to send a Fact Finding Mission

From Tibetan Centre For Human Rights and Democracy – Lhasa, the capital city, in particular is still reeling under extremely tense situation at the moment since yesterday demonstration. Information from Tibet indicates Chinese authorities’ imposing curfew in the entire Lhasa city with entry into city completely cut-off by posting many new check posts at all the entry points into the City. All the roads and shops remain closed in the city with heavy presence of armored military vehicles and additional contingent of People’s Armed Police (PAP)- a paramilitary troops sent into the city to suppress people from demonstrating again. However, certain parts of Lhasa, especially Karma Kusang in the east and Nangdren Roads on the north side of Lhasa witnessed a pocket of protests this morning, according to confirmed information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

Click to read more of this article

Cold shoulder for UN envoy over Burma’s May referendum

From The Guardian – The UN’s special envoy to Burma began a new diplomatic effort yesterday to persuade the country’s ruling generals to embrace reform, amid signs that they are tightening their grip on power in the aftermath of pro-democracy protests.

As Ibrahim Gambari arrived in Rangoon for his third trip to Burma since the regime’s deadly crackdown on the pro-democracy movement last September, expectation grew among foreign diplomats that the generals would again sidestep the envoy’s calls for urgent change.

Click to read more of this article

Britain kow tows to China as athletes are forced to sign no criticism contracts

From The Daily Mail – British Olympic chiefs are to force athletes to sign a contract promising not to speak out about China’s appalling human rights record – or face being banned from travelling to Beijing.

The move – which raises the spectre of the order given to the England football team to give a Nazi salute in Berlin in 1938 – immediately provoked a storm of protest.

The controversial clause has been inserted into athletes’ contracts for the first time and forbids them from making any political comment about countries staging the Olympic Games.
Click to read more of this article