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.