Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association call for the release of Japanese journalist Toru Yamaji, the head of the Tokyo-based news agency APF, who was arrested in the eastern border town of Myawaddy on 7 Nov after apparently entering from Thailand. He was reportedly taken by helicopter to the Burmese capital, Naypyitaw, for questioning by military intelligence.
Despite the Burmese military regime’s claims that the entire country will enjoy electricity after the 2010 election, its national power development plans, set to be rubberstamped by its incoming proxy government, spell otherwise. The vast majority of the country’s natural resources are destined for export, not for nationwide electrification.
As the countdown to the national elections in Burma commences, the view that it would be neither free nor fair is almost a foregone conclusion. With both mainstream and new media inside the country being suppressed by military authorities, and outsiders banned from covering, results of the farcical elections will be far from credible.
The Network for Democracy and Development (NDD) released a report today entitled, “Burma: A Violent Past to a Brutal Future; The Transformation of a Paramilitary Organization into a Political Party.” The report looks at the history of the junta-backed social organization, the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA), and its transformation to the political party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).
Burmese Internet users on the Bagan Net provider are having their connections cut regularly and when working, they slow to a crawl, according to cybercafé owners and surfers. With little more than a week until election day, Burma's Bagan Net internet service from Myanmar Teleport had been very poor for the past three days, they said, adding that they had no warning of impending difficulties.
(Mizzima/SEAPA/IFEX) - We, the undersigned, express our grave concern with the continued deteriorating conditions of freedom of expression and freedom of information in Burma weeks before the 7 November 2010 national elections. We are calling on the Burmese government and the governments of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to ensure freedom of expression, access to information, democratic values and human rights are respected during this critical moment in the electoral history of Burma.
Three rights groups in Thailand have today called on Ban Ki-moon, the United Nation’s (UN) Secretary General, to intervene to prevent further abuse of Myanmar migrants deported from Thailand. The UN Secretary General will visit Bangkok on Tuesday as a guest of the Royal Thai Government (RTG).
A new report released on 19 Oct reveals that the health of populations in conflict-affected areas of eastern Burma, particularly women and children, is amongst the worst in the world, a result of official disinvestment in health, protracted conflict and the abuse of civilians
Famous Shan artists are today taking to the stage on the Shan-Thai border to officially launch a new VCD opposing the 2010 elections, already an underground hit in Shan State.
Pro-junta militias operating in Shan State are now the main players in the drug trade, according to new findings by local Shan analysts. The latest Shan Drug Watch newsletter, issued on 29 Sept, details how the Burmese regime’s War on Drugs has fallen way behind schedule, with 46 of Shan State’s 55 townships still growing opium. This is attributed to the Burma Army’s reliance on taxation of opium, and its policy to allow numerous proxy local militia to deal in drugs, including methamphetamines, in exchange for policing against resistance activity.