Burma The Change Coming

The ongoing process for democracy-

Around 200 monks from several monasteries in Pakokku staged a walking protest at 8.30 this morning, according to a monk who participated in the march. The monk said that the protest was a continuation of last month’s demonstrations as he said the monks’ demands have still not been met. “Our demands are for lower commodity prices, national reconciliation and the immediate release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners,” the monk explained.

“We are not afraid of getting arrested or being tortured. We are doing this for Sasana,” he said.

The monks reportedly notified the authorities in advance, telling them that if a pro-government demonstration was taking place then the monks should also be allowed to hold their protest. The monk said there would be more and larger demonstrations in the future. “We did not have much time to organise the protest as we did not actually plan for it, so there weren’t a lot of monks. But there will be bigger and more organized protests soon,” he said. The monk said that civilian bystanders supported the protest but were afraid to express this openly. “We would like to urge people not to be afraid since we are doing this for good future of our country,” he said.

And exiled monks have formed an alliance to raise international awareness of Burma’s situation and lobby international governments. Yesterday Human Rights Watch released a report saying the Junta press gangs children into military service, this is not really news if you are informed on the situation but it was useful to keep Burma in the news. Teenagers have long been snatched/beguiled/conned and brutalised into becoming agents of state repressive apparatus & aggression…and that also happens in Burma, ahem. UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari is due back in Burma on Saturday, the generals wanting to grease as many palms and return to a false facade of calm for the ASEAN meeting in November. So the envoy’s presence and this latest protest are key signifiers of a continuing struggle that must be recognised and supported. The military is looking to divide and weaken the opposition while recruiting militias-

Residents of Mingalar Taung Nyunt township, Rangoon, have claimed that local police have been conducting military training for township residents and offering rewards to those who attend. Police sergeants from the township police have reportedly delivered basic military training to around 120 local people. They also claimed that police promised to give a reward of 3000 kyat a day to the participants, and that most of those who took part were poor or unemployed young people motivated by the reward.

Via Ko Htike a four hour debate in the UK parliament addresses Burma-

British Members of Parliament called for an investigation into crimes against humanity in Burma and increased aid to the Burmese people during a four-hour debate on the current crisis held in the House of Commons last night. MPs, human rights campaigners and members of the Burmese exiled community held a vigil in Parliament Square during the debate.

In the historic debate, MPs called for the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to visit Burma and urged the British Government to investigate crimes against humanity and bring a case against Burma’s military regime to the International Criminal Court.

The Secretary of State for International Development, Douglas Alexander MP, announced plans to double British aid to Burma from £8.8 million this year to £18 million by 2010. His announcement follows criticism that the Department for International Development (DfID) failed to act on key recommendations from the House of Commons International Development Committee in July. The Committee had called for British aid to be quadrupled by 2013, and for funding for cross-border aid to internally displaced people and support for pro-democracy and human rights projects.

The Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell MP, who travelled with Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) to the Thai-Burmese border and visited Rangoon earlier this year, told the House of Commons: “I am surprised and rather disappointed that the Government have not accepted in full the recommendations of the [Committee’s] excellent report. Indeed, they have rejected the most important ones…We agree entirely with the Committee’s recommendation. If we are in government after the next election, we will implement that proposal in full and immediately.”

Well that’s good to hear, but it is tory in opposition so I won’t get all shocked & shit if/when that promise is broken and the govt. has still not accepted the full recommendations and little mention is made of oil and arms. So some progress, still a way to go Gordon. A word to the Thai govt. wouldn’t go amiss, they are staging raids on immigrants, criminalising refugees from Burma. Internally guilt by association causes a whole rubber plantation’s staff detained by criminal state sanctioned volunteer police gangs-

A resident of Inntakaw township, Bago, where the rubber plantation is located, told DVB that plantation owner Aung Gyi and his workers were arrested by a volunteer police force led by chief Hla Moe Aung, who set up an interrogation camp in the plantation after his group arrested Htay Kywe.

“The plantation owner and his workers were arrested and are now being interrogated by Hla Moe Aung and his group. They are questioning people who live in the area as well,” said an Inntakaw resident, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They demand liquor and livestock from the neighbourhood. They have stolen and sold everything in the plantation as well.” According to unconfirmed sources, Hla Moe Aung was given a 2.5 million kyat reward by Burma police chief Khin Yee for the arrest of Htay Kywe.

And in oil rich Arakan state the lockdown continues-

The junta authorities of Arakan State have  ordered the administration of northern Arakan on October 29 to check family lists, tighten security on the border and watch the movement of monks, said a local in Maungdaw… Burma’s Border Security Force (Nasaka) has also been asked to check anyone leaving their village or entering with or without permission, he added.

TOC (Tactical Operation Command) also told the administration to check villages twice or thrice a month. If anyone stays without permission or overstays with permission, he will be punished according to the law. The authorities ordered the Village Peace and Development Council (VPDC) not to permit anyone to stay in the villages for more than three days, said a member of the VPDC.

According to a villager, VPDC gives permission to villagers to go to another village for only three days. If anyone does not come back within the time frame, he will be fined by the authorities.

So, the Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) and Head Quarters (HQS) of Burma’s border security forces (Nasaka) has ordered the administration to watch the movement of monks and to arrest monks if they see new faces in northern Arakan. The authorities have information that monks involved in the recent uprising are trying to cross the Burma-Bangladesh border and were coming from outside northern Arakan.

War Nation

Sadly it is not just the leaders who believe the empire has a divine right to rule

  • 52% – would support a U.S. military strike to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon
  • Republicans, however, are much more likely to be supportive of a strike (71%), than Democrats (41%) or independents (44%)
  • 29% said the U.S. should not attack Iran, and 20% were unsure.
  • The view that Iran should not be attacked by the U.S. is strongest among Democrats (37%) and independents, but fewer than half as many Republicans (15%) feel the same. But Republicans are also more likely to be uncertain on the issue (28%).

At Neo Resistance you can compare Iran against the Pakistan, Israel & our current BFF Saudi Arabia. Iran spends the least on the military and has the lowest public debt, go see the graphs from the CIA world factbook yourself. (h/t Rawstory)

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Top 25 Censored Stories

The US project censored has made their list for 2008 (I know it isn’t 08 but everyone seems to do this , like mags that have their December issues out now, silly) anyways, here they are carefully counted up like a groovy hit parade of non-trivial news, I have taken each story and put in a brief excerpt, full details and citations at the link here

  1. No Habeas Corpus for “Any Person”– While it is true that some parts of the MCA target non-citizens, other sections clearly apply to US citizens as well, putting citizens inside the same tribunal system with non-citizen residents and foreigners.
  2. Bush Moves Toward Martial Law– The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007, which was quietly signed by Bush on October 17, 2006, the very same day that he signed the Military Commissions Act, allows the president to station military troops anywhere in the United States and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to “suppress public disorder.”
  3. AFRICOM: US Military Control of Africa’s Resources–  The most significant and growing challenge to US dominance in Africa is China. White House announced the formation of the US African Command (AFRICOM), a new unified Pentagon command center in Africa, to be established by September 2008. This military penetration of Africa is being presented as a humanitarian guard in the Global War on Terror. The real objective is, however, the procurement and control of Africa’s oil and its global delivery systems.  
  4. Frenzy of Increasingly Destructive Trade Agreements– The Oxfam report, “Signing Away the Future,” reveals that the US and European Union (EU) are vigorously pursuing increasingly destructive regional and bilateral trade and investment agreements outside the auspices of the WTO. These agreements are requiring enormous irreversible concessions from developing countries, while offering almost nothing in return.
  5. Human Traffic Builds US Embassy in Iraq– The enduring monument to US liberation and democracy in Iraq will be the most expensive and heavily fortified embassy in the world—and is being built by a Kuwait contractor repeatedly accused of using forced labor trafficked from South Asia under US contracts.
  6. Operation FALCON Raids– Under the code name Operation FALCON (Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally) three federally coordinated mass arrests occurred between April 2005 and October 2006. In an unprecedented move, more than 30,000 “fugitives” were arrested in the largest dragnets in the nation’s history.
  7. Behind Blackwater Inc.– The company that most embodies the privatization of the military industrial complex—a primary part of the Project for a New American Century and the neoconservative revolution is the private security firm Blackwater. Blackwater is the most powerful mercenary firm in the world, with 20,000 soldiers, the world’s largest private military base, a fleet of twenty aircraft, including helicopter gunships, and a private intelligence division. The firm is also manufacturing its own surveillance blimps and target systems.
  8. KIA: The US Neoliberal Invasion of India– Farmers’ cooperatives in India are defending the nation’s food security and the future of Indian farmers against the neoliberal invasion of genetically modified (GM) seed. As many as 28,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide over the last decade as a result of debt incurred from failed GM crops and competition with subsidized US crops
  9. Privatization of America’s Infrastructure– We will soon be paying Wall Street investors, Australian bankers, and Spanish contractors for the privilege of driving on American roads, as more than twenty states have enacted legislation allowing public-private partnerships to build and run highways. Investment firms including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and the Carlyle Group are approaching state politicians with advice to sell off public highway and transportation infrastructure.
  10. Vulture Funds Threaten Poor Nations’ Debt Relief- In one recent case, the poverty-stricken nation of Zambia was negotiating with Romania to reduce a $40 million debt still owed from a 1979 loan to buy Romanian tractors. In 1999, Romania had agreed to liquidate the entire loan for $3 million. Zambia planned to use the debt cancellation to invest in much-needed nurses, teachers, and basic infrastructure. Just before the deal was finalized however, investors at the England-based vulture fund Donegal International convinced the Romanian government to sell them the loan for just under $4 million—not much more than Zambia had offered. Donegal then turned around and sued Zambia (where the average wage is barely a dollar a day) for the full $40 million.
  11. The Scam of “Reconstruction” in Afghanistan– Action Aid reveals that much of the US tax money earmarked to rebuild Afghanistan actually ends up going no further than the pockets of wealthy US corporations. “Phantom aid” that never shows up in the recipient country is a scam in which paychecks for overpriced, and often incompetent, American “experts” under contract to USAID go directly from the Agency to American bank accounts. Additionally, 70 percent of the aid that does make it to a recipient country is carefully “tied” to the donor nation, requiring that the recipient use the donated money to buy products and services from the donor country, often at drastically inflated prices.
  12. Another Massacre in Haiti by UN Troops– Eyewitness testimony confirms indiscriminate killings by UN forces in Haiti’s Cité Soleil community on December 22, 2006, reportedly as collective punishment against the community for a massive demonstration of Lavalas supporters in which about ten thousand people rallied for the return of President Aristide in clear condemnation of the foreign military occupation of their country. According to residents, UN forces attacked their neighborhood in the early morning, killing more than thirty people, including women and children. Footage taken by Haiti Information Project (HIP) videographers shows unarmed civilians dying as they tell of extensive gunfire from UN peacekeeping forces (MINUSTAH).
  13. Immigrant Roundups to Gain Cheap Labor for US Corporate Giants– The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) flooded Mexico with cheap subsidized US agricultural products that displaced millions of Mexican farmers. Between 2000 and 2005, Mexico lost 900,000 rural jobs and 700,000 industrial jobs, resulting in deep unemployment throughout the country. Desperate poverty has forced millions of Mexican workers north in order to feed their families. In the wake of 9/11, Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) has conducted workplace and home invasions across the country in an attempt to round up “illegal” immigrants. ICE justifies these raids under the rubric of keeping our homeland safe and preventing terrorism. However the real goal of these actions is to disrupt the immigrant work force in the US and replace it with a tightly regulated non-union guest-worker program. This policy is endorsed by companies seeking permanent low-wage workers through a lobby group called Essential Worker Immigrations Coalition (EWIC). EWIC’s fifty-two members include the US Chamber of Commerce, Wal-Mart, Marriott, Tyson Foods, American Meat Institute, California Landscape Contractors Association, and the Association of Builders and Contractors.  
  14. Impunity for US War Criminals– A provision mysteriously tucked into the Military Commission Act (MCA) just before it passed through Congress and was signed by President Bush on October 17, 2006 (see story #1), redefines torture, removing the harshest, most controversial techniques from the definition of war crimes, and exempts the perpetrators—both interrogators and their bosses—from prosecution for such offences dating back to November 1997. Author Jeff Stein asks, “Who slipped language into the MCA that would further exempt torturers from prosecution?” The White House denies any involvement or knowledge regarding the insertion of such language, leaving the origin of adjustments to this significant part of the MCA a mystery.
  15. Toxic Exposure Can Be Transmitted to Future Generations on a “Second Genetic Code”– Research suggests that, contrary to previous belief, our behavior and our environmental conditions may program sections of our children’s DNA. New evidence about how genes interact with the environment suggests that many industrial chemicals may be more ominously dangerous than previously thought. It is increasingly clear that the effects of toxic exposure may be passed on through generations, in ways that are still not fully understood.
  16. No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11–  Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI responded, “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Osama bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.” Tomb continued, “Bin Laden has not been formally charged in connection to 9/11.”
  17. Drinking Water Contaminated by Military and Corporations– Water is essential to life, contributing to blood circulation, digestion, metabolism, brain activity, and muscle movements. Yet reliably pure water is growing scarce, even in the United States. Despite the federal government’s avowed commitment “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters,”1 corporations, municipalities, and the US military pollute our waters—often with little or no accountability.
  18. Mexico’s Stolen Election– Overwhelming evidence reveals massive fraud in the 2006 Mexican presidential election between “president-elect” Felipe Calderón of the conservative PAN party and Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the more liberal PRD. In an election riddled with “arithmetic mistakes,” a partial recount uncovered evidence of abundant stuffing and stealing of ballots that favored the PAN victory. Meanwhile, US interests were significantly invested in the outcome of Mexico’s election. Though neither candidate had any choice but to cooperate with the US agenda, important differences existed around energy policy, specifically with regard to foreign privatization of Mexican oil and gas reserves. 
  19. People’s Movement Challenges Neoliberal Agenda– The US Free Trade model is meeting increasingly successful resistance as people’s movements around the world build powerful alternatives to neoliberal exploitation. This is particularly evident in Latin America, where massive opposition to US economic domination has demanded that populist leaders and parties take control of national governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Nicaragua, and Uruguay.
  20. Terror Act Against Animal Activists– The term “terrorism” has been dangerously expanded to include acts that interfere, or promote interference, with the operations of animal enterprises. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), signed into law on November 27, 2006, broadens punishment present under the Animal Enterprises Protection Act (AEPA) of 1992.
  21. US Seeks WTO Immunity for Illegal Farm Payments–  On July 24, 2006, after nearly five years of global trade negotiations, talks at the meetings of the World Trade Organization collapsed—perhaps permanently, say some economic analysts. In January of 2007, trade ministers from the United States, the European Union, Brazil, India, Japan, and Australia said they remained hopelessly stalemated, mostly on the contentious issue of farm trade. Of utmost importance to the Bush Administration was that the US receive immunity from lawsuits by poor countries before Bush’s special “fast track” trade negotiating powers expired at the end of June, 2007.  
  22. North Invades Mexico– Author Mike Davis points out that, in a “reality stood on its head,” few people—at least outside Mexico—have bothered to notice that while all the nannies, cooks, maids, and gardeners have been heading north to tend the luxury lifestyles of irate republicans, the Gringo masses have been rushing south to enjoy glorious budget retirements and affordable second homes in Mexico. The number of North Americans living in Mexico has soared from 200,000 to 1 million (one-quarter of all US expatriates) in the past decade. 
  23. Feinstein’s Conflict of Interest in Iraq– Dianne Feinstein—the ninth wealthiest member of congress—has been beset by monumental ethical conflicts of interest. As a member of the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee (MILCON) from 2001 to the end of 2005, Senator Feinstein voted for appropriations worth billions of dollars to her husband’s firms.
  24. Media Misquotes Threat From Iran’s President– Across the world a media story has spread that Iran’s President Ahmadinejad has threatened to destroy Israel, by saying that, “Israel must be wiped off the map.” Contrary to general belief, this statement was actually a misinterpretation. However, it was the Islamic Republic News Service in Iran that first mistranslated the quote. Iran’s Foreign Minister attempted to clarify the statement, but the quote ended up having a life of its own in the corporate media. Amid heated wrangling over Iran’s nuclear program and the threat of preemptive strikes by the US, the quote has been continually used to reinforce the idea that Iran is being run by extremists seeking the total destruction of Israel. So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in Farsi:“Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad.”
    Rezhim-e is the word “regime,” pronounced just like the English word with an extra “eh” sound at the end. Ahmadinejad did not refer to Israel the country or Israel the landmass, but the Israeli regime. This is a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map. Ahmadinejad did not even refer to Israel by name, he instead used the specific phrase “rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods” (regime occupying Jerusalem). A similar statement by Ahmadinejad in December 2006, “As the Soviet Union disappeared, the Zionist regime will also vanish and humanity will be liberated,” has also been misinterpreted. 
  25. Who Will Profit from Native Energy?– Energy on Native American land is becoming big business. According to the Indigenous Environmental Network, 35 percent of the fossil fuel resources in the US are within Indian country. The Department of the Interior estimates that Indian lands hold undiscovered reserves of almost 54 billion tons of coal, 38 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 5.4 billion barrels of oil. Tribal lands also contain enormous amounts of alternative energy. The questions to be answered now are: what sort of energy will Indian lands produce, who will make that decision, and who will end up benefiting from the production?

War Criminology: Denial

This part is on C&L

At the Pentagon, Garlasco was chief of high value targeting at the start of the Iraq war. He told 60 Minutes his team was authorized to kill a set number of civilians around high-value targets — targets like Saddam Hussein and his leadership.

“Our number was 30. So, for example, Saddam Hussein. If you’re gonna kill up to 29 people in a strike against Saddam Hussein, that’s not a problem,” Garlasco explains. “But once you hit that number 30, we actually had to go to either President Bush, or Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.”

Garlasco says, before the invasion of Iraq, he recommended 50 air strikes aimed at high-value targets — Iraqi officials.But he says none of the targets on the list were actually killed. Instead, he says, “a couple of hundred civilians at least” were killed.

But the a few lines down in the transcript from ’60 minutes’ a corporate tv news show-

Of course the Taliban are killing civilians too, targeting them deliberately. By contrast, 60 Minutes watched American airmen calculate how to minimize civilian casualties with the choice of timing, weapon, and direction of attack.

They still live in denial, proportionality, minimize and woohoo they do all this with a teevee news crew there, ah bless. Utterly delusional, if you know an action will kill civilians and you proceed with it you are deliberately killing them. The legal wriggle room here is ‘targeting’, which I think is not only a lie but ethically irrelevant once the process becomes routine and repeated. It is also a plain war crime. It is also terrorism. Why do you think they are keeping doing it? It is planned, strategised and with malice aforethought. And it did not begin in Iraq, in fact as soon as someone figured you could drop explosives from them new fangled planes it began, 8 seconds later the first lie about targeting only the bad guys was written. But this is a step forward into barbarity, now killing tens of civilians to possibly get one enemy (an enemy because he resists your invading forces) is the low level of propaganda ruse needed. That is a cowardly tyranny that can not easily be forgiven, except millions of patriots don’t even think they are doing anything wrong, that old one.

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Iran & Syria- No Nukes You War Pimps

Mohamed ElBaradei: “But have we seen having the nuclear material that can be readily used into a weapon? No. Have we seen an active weaponization program? No. So there is a concern, but there is also time to clarify these concerns.”

Stressing that there is no evidence of Syria pursuing a nuclear programme, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog has flayed Israel for taking “the law into their own hands” with a raid on Damascus last month. Mohamed Elbaradei said he was “very distressed” about the Syrian bombing because “we have not received information about any nuclear-related activities, clandestine nuclear-related activities in Syria.” 

Compare ElBaradei to the Bush crime family, peddling the bullshit misinterpretation of Ahmadinejad’s speech, oh yeah and erm, he is not the supreme leader of Iran, I know pretending he is helps war pimps but let’s keep reminding the world of the fallacy of that projection. In other words two lies in one line from Bush, such is the level of deceit of the war pimp –

“We’ve got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel,” Bush said, responding to Russia’s stated cautioning against military action targeting Tehran’s suspected atomic program. “So I’ve told people that, if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon,” said Bush.

“I think the president is dead right,” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said on CBS when asked about the “World War III” comment. “I think the president is justified in trying to wake up the world, wake up Russia, wake up the European nations. “We need to be more aggressive, we don’t need to talk softly, we need to act boldly,” Graham continued.

Or, from over a year ago-

US President George W Bush has referred to the “war on terror” as “World War III” during a television interview.Mr Bush told the CNBC television network the revolt of passengers on the hijacked flight 93 on September 11, 2001, was the “first counter-attack to World War III”.

He said he agreed with the description by David Beamer, whose son Todd died in the crash, in a Wall Street Journal commentary last month the act was “our first successful counter-attack in our homeland in this new global war – World War III”.

There’s only one mob consistently talking about WWIII and they talk about it as their response to countries not submitting to their will. And now the bad and good news- this shows appalling death hangs on a very few people’s shoulders (h/t Blairwatch), which also means only a few people need to stopped or changed to stop the war pimping. One thing that would help is for those war criminals to be prosecuted, it would give pause to the next bunch of potential killers, if we do not manage to do that, they may get their harvest of blood. And yes, I will be wearing a t-shirt with ‘I Told You So’ written on it as the world ends. Hey, you get lemons you make lemonade…

Burma Strange

The junta has hushed up a bird flu outbreak-

The military government’s censorship board in Burma has banned some media from publishing news about a new bird flu outbreak which was confirmed on October 20, according to a journalist who requested anonymity.

A journalist in Rangoon told The Irrawaddy on Monday that the junta’s Press Scrutiny and Registration Board censored a story reporting information about a confirmed H5N1 bird flu outbreak on a farm in Thanatpin Township in Pegu Division, about 80 km north of Rangoon. The story would have been distributed on Monday.

The latest H5N1 bird flu outbreak was reported to the OIE-World Organization for Animals on October 24 by the regime’s Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department, according to the OIE Web site. The report was submitted by Maung Maung Nyunt, the director general of the LBVD.

The OIE Web site said tests by the Rangoon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory confirmed on October 20 that the fowl died of the H5N1 virus. The Burmese report sent to the OIE said the bird flu outbreak killed 400 chickens and ducks. The authorities reportedly killed 33,459 fowl to try to contain the virus. A local resident contacted by The Irrawaddy said the owners of the fowl were not compensated.

And is also receiving help from the Thai authorities to suppress exile groups-

A Burmese exile media organization in Bangkok has dropped its Web site news service “temporarily,” amid reports of a crackdown on such operations on Thai territory that carry material critical of Burma’s junta.

The reports surfaced last week and caused other exile media groups in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Mae Sot to lower their profile. There were warnings of possible raids by Thai police and immigration authorities.

A source at the Democratic Voice of Burma said the DVB’s office in Chiang Mai was still operating but was taking a low profile. Myint Wai, of the Bangkok-based Thai Action Committee for Democracy in Burma, told The Irrawaddy on Monday that his group is also vigilant in view of the reports of a possible crackdown. The TACDB’s operations are mainly focused on Burmese migrant workers, many of whom have no legal documents. 

And while 73 people have been freed from Insein prison many are still in the system and one activist in hiding has turned up dead. Taiwan is going to support the Burmese democracy movement with a task force based at their representative office in Thailand, which should please China no end…

A report (but unsubstantiated) that the junta is little effected by Bush’s much trumpeted sanctions-

The Burmese American citizens, in a letter to the US embassy in Rangoon, with a copy to the US State Department, mentioned names of several Burma’s ruling generals and their business associates including tycoon Tayza, of possessing visas or living in the US and undertaking financial transactions.

The group, which cannot be contacted, in the letter sent on October 28 said, several family members of the ruling generals and their associates are living in the US and are helping the generals transfer money for businesses through their bank accounts. Besides, a few generals are stated to have visited the US despite a ban on travel imposed on them, said the group. “The fact is that they all had visas issued by the US embassy in Rangoon ,” the group said in the letter.

Meanwhile, an email message, supposedly from Htet Tayza, son of Burmese business tycoon Tayza, doing the rounds among the Burmese community in exile, said the US sanctions against Burma and particularly on the ruling generals and their associate has had little impact on them as they control the economy of Burma.

While the authenticity of the email message cannot be proved, Htet Tayza in the message said, “US bans us? Lol we are still cool in Singapore. We’re sitting on the whole Burmese GDP (Gross Domestic Product). We’ve got timber, gems and gas to be sold to countries like Singapore, China, India and Russia.”

However, business tycoon Tayza, Burmese junta head Snr. General Than Shwe’s right-hand man, was forced to suspend his Air Bagan flights to Singapore as insurers stopped dealing with the company following the US and European Union’s extension of sanctions on the Burmese generals as a response to the brutal crackdown on monk-led peaceful demonstrations in September.

And now we fall further down the rabbit hole, in steps the American Enterprise Institute, like a vampire saying what a pretty neck you have-

Burma’s Saffron Revolution: How should the world respond?” was hosted by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) on the 16th of October.

I don’t think I have ever used ‘saffron revolution’, it is clearly a branding, a hijack whose antecedence we find in the Ukraine, Belarus and Serbia etc. as well as being inaccurate (the robes are dark red!) it is the cover for the realpolitik manoeuvering of the empire. One can support the fight for people power and freedom in Burma without buying into the ‘saffron revolution’ brand empire, whose record on human rights and real freedom brings frying pans and fires to mind.

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Royal Blackmail

I’m not really concerned with the antics of inbred privilege so I don’t know exactly which royal it is in this picture I have that shows them doing lines off a rent boy’s cock. If you want a copy just leave 5 grand in the usual place. Good to see our courts and media were so discreet, I’m sure if it was a footballer or some other non-royal celebrity they would have kept it quiet the entire case and over a month afterwards…Oh Britain, when the royals say jump we still ask ‘how high?’

PS. How boring it really is a minor royal.

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