Burma Campaign- UN ‘Spin’

While the UN are claiming progress the Burma Campaign remain a tad skeptical-

The Burma Campaign UK today expressed deep disappointment that UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari has failed to achieve any significant breakthrough during his latest visit to Burma. The dictatorship is still refusing to enter into genuine negotiations, despite a United Nations Security Council statement calling on them to do so.

“The Security Council has asked the regime to enter negotiations, but they still haven’t done so. Now the Security Council must pass a binding resolution that forces them to enter negotiations,” said Zoya Phan, Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK. “The regime is trying to buy time, keep delaying and hope that crises in other parts of the world divert the world’s attention.”

The Burma Campaign UK dismissed as ‘UN spin’ claims that progress had been made during Gambari’s visit. In 2001 a UN led initiative to broker talks made greater progress than the current UN effort. On that occasion the regime released Aung San Suu Kyi and promised that there would be talks, but again they only talked about talks. The current initiative hasn’t even got the situation back to the level of progress made in 2001.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s statement does not represent a shift in policy. The National League for Democracy has always said they are willing to enter into talks, and to compromise. The problem is that the regime refuses to negotiate.

“There will be progress when talks start, but so far we still only have talks about talks,” said Zoya Phan. “We have been here before several times, and in the past the regime has reneged on every undertaking it has given. Democracy activists are still being arrested and tortured, they are still attacking and killing civilians in ethnic areas, the situation is still deteriorating.”

The Burma Campaign UK also called on the European Union to move swiftly to implement stronger sanctions against the regime. Three weeks after EU foreign ministers agreed a ban on the imports of gems and timber from Burma, the ban has still not been implemented. As the regime is still refusing to enter into genuine talks, EU foreign ministers must also go ahead and implement the investment ban agreed in principle at their last meeting. EU Ministers next meet on 19th November.

The EU have just appointed a special envoy Piero Fassino –an Italian member of parliament from the Democrats of the Left party, and a former minister of justice.

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Gagging The Messenger

(IPS) – A National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran has been held up for more than a year in an effort to force the intelligence community to remove dissenting judgments on the Iranian nuclear programme, and thus make the document more supportive of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s militarily aggressive policy toward Iran, according to accounts of the process provided by participants to two former Central Intelligence Agency officers.

Very much worth reading it all, remember ‘fixing the intelligence around the policy‘? Highlights if you are short on time… (you know you’re in trouble when ‘Death Squad’ John Negroponte is the voice of reason)-

  • intelligence analysts have had to review and rewrite their findings three times, because of pressure from the White House.
  • The White House has now apparently decided to release the unsatisfactory draft NIE, but without making its key findings public.
  • Frank J. Gaffney, a protégé of neoconservative heavyweight Richard Perle, complained that Negroponte was “absurdly declaring the Iranian regime to be years away from having nuclear weapons”.
  • an unsubtle signal to the intelligence community that the White House was determined to obtain a more alarmist conclusion on the Iranian nuclear programme.

X-posted on Stop The Second Holocaust.

PS. U.S. defense officials have signaled that up-to-date attack plans are available if needed in the escalating crisis over Iran’s nuclear aims, although no strike appears imminent.


The IPCC also said the tradition of police officers being allowed to write up their notes together should stop. It said it could be significant that none of the 17 civilian witnesses in the tube carriage – who were not allowed to confer with other passengers before giving statements – heard officers shout: “Armed police.” All eight police officers on the train recall hearing this being shouted, the report said.

Meanwhile Blair has until November 22nd to blackmail the members of the Metropolitan police authority.

  • Police officers failed to take advantage of a 30-minute window of opportunity to correctly identify whether Mr de Menezes was a suspected terrorist;
  • There was no contingency plan available to deal with a suspect travelling on public transport despite the nature of the 7/7 and 21/7 attacks;
  • None of the 17 members of the public on board the Stockwell Underground train recalled hearing officers shout “armed police” but all eight police in the carriage said they had;
  • Ms Dick missed part of the early morning briefing at New Scotland Yard after being sent to the wrong room;
  • Armed response officers from the Met’s CO19 unit were not in place to intercept suspects leaving Scotia Road and were later in the wrong place to intercept him;
  • There were “gaps in the planning” about how the premises would be contained
  • It was a “failure of strategy” to allow Mr de Menezes to board the number 2 bus at Tulse Hill towards central London, including an “inexplicable” failure to stop him reboarding the vehicle.
  • Ms Dick should have said that the Met’s shoot-to-kill policy, Operation Kratos, had not been engaged and there was confusion over what the order to “stop” Mr de Menezes meant.

-‘failed’, ‘inexplicable’, ‘gaps’- Nice to see the IPCC has the big book of euphemistic platitudes on hand for its report.

it says Commissioner Sir Ian Blair tried to prevent its investigation. 

This is the most powerful police chief in the UK obstructing a legal investigation of his activities after his organisation murdered a man, resignation? Fired and prosecuted and if I’m feeling charitable he’ll be allowed soap on a rope when he’s sent down.