Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Aung San’

Myanmar villagers unhappy that Suu Kyi backs mine.


  • Protesting villagers march and shout slogans as they stage a rally against a recent report on Letpataung copper mine project by investigation commission, in Monywa township, 760 kilometers (450 miles) north of Yangon, central Myanmar, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Opponents of a nearly $1 billion copper mine in northwestern Myanmar expressed outrage Tuesday over the government-ordered report that said the project should continue and that refrained from demanding punishment for police involved in a violent crackdown on protesters. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

    View PhotoAssociated Press/Khin Maung Win – Protesting villagers march and shout slogans as they stage a rally against a recent report on Letpataung copper mine project by investigation commission, in Monywa township, …more 

RELATED CONTENT

MONYWA, Myanmar (AP) — Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyimet with rare public scorn while trying to justify an official report endorsing continued operation of a copper mine in northwestern Myanmar opposed by many local residents.

Suu Kyi talked with protesters in Monywa township and with mine officials Wednesday about the report of a commission she led to investigate the Letpadaung mine’s operations and a police crackdown last November that badly injured scores of protesters.

The report, made public Tuesday, said honoring the mining contract with a Chinese joint venture outweighed villagers’ demands that mining operations be halted because of alleged social and environmental problems. It only mildly criticized police, despite the injuries caused to protesters, mostly Buddhist monks, by the use of incendiary smoke bombs.

More than 700 protesters shouted denunciations of the report as Suu Kyi’s motorcade passed between visits to four local villages.

Raising their fists in the air, protesters yelled, “We don’t want the commission” and “To stop the Letpadaung copper project is our duty,” shouting louder as Suu Kyi’s car came closer.

Sandar, a protester from Alaltaw village, said the report neglected the troubles the mine caused local residents.

“We feel that Mother Suu doesn’t have sympathy for us. We are fighting for the truth,” she said, calling Suu Kyi by a term used by her supporters.

“We are not clear whether she made this decision because she is afraid of the military company or because she doesn’t love us. We want her to know that we are not protesting out of idleness,” she said. Myanmar Economic Holding Ltd., a military-controlled holding company, is the local joint ventureparty in the mine.

Suu Kyi’s endorsement of the commission’s findings could erode some of the deep and wide support she has enjoyed for more than two decades as she spearheaded the democratic opposition to the repressive former military government. A nominally civilian elected government took power in 2011, and Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party contested by-elections last year, giving her a seat in parliament.

As her party has agreed to play by parliamentary rules — in effect endorsing the army-backed government’s reform efforts — there is an opening for more hard-core anti-military activists to win over a share of disaffected voters who prefer a quicker pace of change than allowed under the army-dictated constitution. The next general election is in 2015.

Protesters say the mine, a joint venture with China’s Wan Bao mining company, causes environmental, social and health problems and should be shut down.

The report said the operation should not be halted but acknowledged that the mine lacked strong environmental protection measures and would not create more jobs for local people. It said scrapping the mine could create tension with China and could discourage badly needed foreign investment.

Those seeking to stop the project contend that the $997 million joint venture deal, signed in May 2010, did not undergo parliamentary scrutiny because it was concluded under the previous military regime.

Many in Myanmar remain suspicious of the military and regard China as an aggressive and exploitative investor that helped support military rule.

The commission faulted the police force for failing to understand how the smoke bombs worked and recommended that police receive riot-control training, but failed to hold any official accountable.

Suu Kyi held question-and-answer sessions with villagers and met with executives from the mining company.

She told villagers that if they wanted to protest the report’s findings, they should demonstrate at her home, not at the mining company. Emphasizing the rule of law, she said any such protest must follow the law requiring prior permission, otherwise police would be summoned.

She said her commission considered three options for the mine: to continue, to stop or to continue with changes. The commission recommended the third way.

“If we stopped it completely, where would we get money to heal the current environmental destruction? The shutdown of the mine is not beneficial for locals. If we break the agreement made with another country, the countries of the world will suppose that Myanmar is financially unreliable,” Suu Kyi said.

Several villagers said they rejected Suu Kyi’s position. At a protest camp a short distance from the mining company’s offices, Nyein, 49, said demonstrators would fight until death to recover mountain land taken over for the mine. She was forced to relinquish her four-acre plot three years ago to make way for the project.

“What we want is to stop the project completely,” she said. “Our great forefathers could protect the mountains that sustained us even when we fell under the rule of the Japanese and the British. Why are they being totally lost when we are ruling our own land?”

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By YADANA HTUN | Associated Press

Sweaters knit by Myanmar’s Suu Kyi sell for $123K.


  • In this Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 photo, presenters show a hand-knit woolen sweater, made by Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu kyi, during an auction at a fundraising concert to mark the 2nd anniversary of her National League for Democracy Party's education network, at Peoples Square in Yangon, Myanmar. The sweater was sold at an auction in Myanmar for almost $50,000. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

    Enlarge PhotoAssociated Press/Khin Maung Win – In this Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 photo, presenters show a hand-knit woolen sweater, made by Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu kyi, during an auction at a fundraising concert …more 

RELATED CONTENT

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar’s cash-strapped opposition party is tapping into the prestige of its leader: Two sweaters hand-knit by Aung San Suu Kyi have been auctioned for $123,000.

A green-and-white sweater with a floral design sold at a Friday night auction to an anonymous bidder for 63 million kyat, or $74,120.

On Thursday, a Myanmar-based radio station won a bidding war for a multicolored V-neck that fetched $49,000.

Suu Kyi has not publicly reacted to the success of her party’s two-day fundraiser, but aides said she was pleased with the results.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is satisfied with the auction and the donations received,” close aide Ko Ni said Saturday. “She needs a lot of cash to carry out projects for the welfare of the people.” Daw is a term of respect in Myanmar.

The auction was part of a fundraising event organized by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party to raise money for education of poor children and health projects in Myanmar, an impoverished Southeast Asian nation also known as Burma.

Both sweaters were knitted by Suu Kyi at least 25 years ago when she was living in England and raising her two children, Ko Ni told The Associated Press.

“She made them when she was busy working, studying and taking care of her children,” Ko Ni said. “She wants to send the message that people should not stay idle but be diligent.”

Suu Kyi, a 67-year-old former political prisoner and winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, has become Myanmar’s biggest celebrity as the country transitions from a half-century of military rule. She is generally guarded about the family she left behind in England — but the auction indicates a new willingness to share her family history with an adoring public.

Ahead of the auction, Suu Kyi asked her brother-in-law in England to ship some of her personal belongings, which arrived in nine boxes on Wednesday just in time for the auction, Ko Ni said.

The Oxford graduate was raising two young sons with her late British husband when she returned to Myanmar in 1988 to nurse her dying mother. As daughter of the country’s independence hero, Gen. Aung San, who was assassinated in 1947 when she was 2, Suu Kyi found herself thrust into the forefront of pro-democracy protests against the military regime.

Over the next two decades, she became the world’s most famous political prisoner and won the adoration of her people, who call her “Amay Suu” — or “Mother Suu,” partly because she chose to stay with them over her own children. She declined opportunities to leave Myanmar, fearing she would not be allowed to re-enter.

Since her release from house arrest in 2010, Suu Kyi has reunited with her sons and completed a stunning trajectory from housewife to political prisoner to opposition leader in Parliament.

The proud new owner of the $49,000 red, green and blue V-neck sold Thursday said it was worth the money.

“It is priceless because the sweater was made my ‘Amay’ herself,” said Daw Nan Mauk Lao Sai, chairwoman of Shwe FM radio station.

“I bought the sweater because I value the warmth and security it will give,” she said, adding that she plans to hang it up in the station’s office for the whole staff to see.

___

Associated Press writer Jocelyn Gecker in Bangkok contributed to this report.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By AYE AYE WIN | Associated Press

Events in the life of Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi.


Aung San Suu Kyi‘s life has been marked by family tragedy, world travel and a political mission that prompted her to choose Myanmar‘s democracy struggle over her children, whom she left behind in England.

Here are the key events in Suu Kyi’s life that aides and biographers say shaped the stoic, pragmatic, eloquent woman whose sacrifices and struggles have earned her a Nobel prize and international acclaim.

— FAMILY LIFE

— June 19, 1945: Born in Yangon, then called Rangoon. She is the third child and only daughter of national independence hero Gen. Aung San and Daw Khin Kyi, also a prominent public figure.

— July 1947: Aung San and six members of his interim government are assassinated by rivals. Suu Kyi is 2.

— 1952: Suu Kyi’s favorite brother, Aung San Lin, drowns in a pond inside the family’s compound.

— 1960: After finishing high school, Suu Kyi leaves for further study in New Delhi, where her mother is Burma’s ambassador.

— 1964-1967. Suu Kyi studies philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University’s St. Hugh’s College, where she meets future husband and Himalayan scholar Michael Aris.

— 1969-1971: Suu Kyi moves to New York for postgraduate studies at New York University but postpones academic career when a family friend helps get her a job at the United Nations.

— 1970: Aris visits Suu Kyi in New York, after three years of exchanging letters, and they get engaged.

— 1972: Suu Kyi and Michael Aris are married in London and move to Bhutan, where Aris is doing academic research.

— April 12, 1973: Son Alexander born in London. Family soon moves to Nepal for a year for Aris’ work.

— Sept. 24, 1977: Second son Kim is born. The family keeps Oxford as a base but relocates regularly for work and academic research, spending time in Bhutan, Japan, India and back to England.

POLITICAL LIFE

— April 1988: Suu Kyi returns home to attend to her ailing mother just as pro-democracy protests erupt against the military junta. Her mother dies later that year.

— September 1988: Suu Kyi helps found opposition party, the National League for Democracy.

— July 1989: Suu Kyi, an increasingly outspoken critic of the junta, is put under house arrest, which continues on-and-off for 15 of the next 22 years. The junta says she can leave the country anytime but she refuses, fearing she won’t be allowed to return, and chooses to live apart from her husband and sons. Aris is allowed to visit her five times, the last visit during Christmas 1995.

— October 1991: Suu Kyi is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her peaceful struggle against the regime. Son Alexander, then 18, gives Oslo acceptance speech on her behalf.

— March 1999: Aris dies of cancer in England at age 53. The junta repeatedly denied him visas to see his wife during the three years leading up to his death.

—May 30, 2003: Suu Kyi’s motorcade comes under attack by pro-government thugs in northern Myanmar, killing a number of her supporters and bringing to an end a brief calming in tensions between her party and the junta. Suu Kyi spends four months in Yangon’s Insein Prison before being returned to house arrest.

— Nov. 7, 2010: Myanmar’s first elections in 20 years. Pro-junta party wins landslide victory in polls critics say were rigged and rampant with fraud.

— Nov. 13, 2010: The last of various periods in Suu Kyi’s detention expires, and she is freed.

— Nov. 23, 2010: Suu Kyi is reunited with son Kim Aris, now 33, for first time in 10 years. He was repeatedly denied visas since his last visit in December 2000.

— April 1, 2012: Suu Kyi wins seat in Parliament, marking her first elected office after two decades as a symbolic opposition leader.

— May 29-June 3, 2012. Suu Kyi makes her first trip abroad since she returned to Myanmar from London in April 1988 to nurse her dying mother. She visits neighboring Thailand, Myanmar’s second largest trade partner after China.

— June 13-29, 2012: Suu Kyi takes first trip to Europe in 24 years, with stops in Switzerland, Norway,Ireland, England and France.

— Sept. 17, 2012: Suu Kyi begins landmark visit to the U.S., taking in Washington D.C., and Fort Wayne, Ind., where thousands of Burmese refugees have settled since the ’88 uprising.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By The Associated Press | Associated Press

Myanmar press still fighting for true freedom.


RELATED CONTENT

  • A Myanmar man reads a local journal in Yangon on August 20, 2012. Myanmar says it has abolished media censorship, delighting journalists who have lived for decades under the shadow of the censors' marker pen

    A Myanmar man reads a local journal …

  • A Myanmar worker checks the printed sheets of a local journal at a printing house in Yangon on August 20, 2012. Journalists in Myanmar still face repressive laws that can land them in prison and say they will not stop fighting for greater freedomA Myanmar worker checks the printed …

Although unshackled from decades of direct censorship, journalistsin Myanmar still face repressive laws that can land them in prison and say they will not stop fighting for greater freedom.

The end of pre-publication checks is the latest reform by a regime seeking the lifting of Western sanctions, but there are concerns that without wider changes a climate of fear will persist and self-censorship prevail.

“Many of the restrictions, laws and regulations that were applied under the old regime will continue to apply under this new system,” said Shawn Crispin, Southeast Asia representative for theCommittee to Protect Journalists.

“Journalists still run the risk of being imprisoned, harassed and intimidated for their journalism, so for us it’s a half measure at best.”

Myanmar’s censorship board itself has not been abolished and weekly newspapers — independent dailies are still banned — will have to submit their content to the Press Scrutiny and Registration Department after they go to print.

Journalists still live under the shadow of the 1962 Printing Act, which saw many publishers, editors and journalists as well as activists sent to jail during almost half a century of military rule that ended last year.

The law ordered publishers to register all printing presses, empowered police to seize material published without approval and a carried a maximum three-year prison term — and a fine — for anyone in breach.

“As long as the 1962 law stands without being amended, real press freedom will always be in question,” said Nyein Nyein Naing, executive editor at the 7Days News weekly paper.

Until the junta-era media laws are scrapped, journalists in the country — ranked 11th worst in the world for press freedom by Reporters Without Borders — say they will continue to seek greater rights.

“The censorship body must be abolished. The Electronic Act must be abolished. The 1962 Printing Act must be abolished. Only after that we can get real freedom of press,” said Hlaing Thit Zin Wai, editor of the Venus Weekly.

Organisers of a journalists’ rally planned for Tuesday to call for wider press freedom said police had rejected their application to protest and they were considering whether to appeal the decision.

The media also complain that there was not enough consultation about a new press law that was drafted by the information ministry in secret and is awaiting approval by the cabinet before being sent to parliament.

Pre-publication censorship was a hallmark of life under the generals who ran the country for decades and applied in the past to everything from newspapers to song lyrics and even fairy tales.

But in recent months private weekly news journals have been allowed to publish an increasingly bold range of stories, most notably about opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Reporters jailed under the junta have also been freed from long prison terms.

“Five years ago we couldn’t write about politics and democracy. Aung San Suu Kyi was not part of our media coverage. We couldn’t use the phrase ‘military regime’. Now we can!” said Nyein Nyein Naing.

But in what campaigners criticised as a backward step, two journals were recently suspended for a fortnight for printing stories without prior approval from the censors.

And the mining ministry has filed a criminal defamation suit against The Voice Weekly, which reported that the auditor-general’s office had discovered misappropriations of funds and fraud at the government division.

Under the 1962 act, both individuals and organisations can sue publications for defamation, in a country where for decades the judiciary was seen as a close ally of the junta.

“This is not only a matter of concern for the Voice. We’re facing a case that is against the whole media industry,” said Voice editor-in-chief Kyaw Min Swe after a court hearing Thursday.

A ruling on whether the case will proceed is expected on September 6.

Earlier this month the authorities announced the creation of a “Core Press Council” including journalists — the majority with close links to the government — a former supreme court judge and retired academics to study media ethics and settle press disputes.

But some observers fear the moves are largely superficial changes by a regime seeking international acceptance.

“We question still the sincerity of these moves,” said Crispin. “They seem to be giving just enough to try to win the next concession from the West and then, when they get that, resorting to their old wicked ways.”

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

AFPBy Shwe Yinn Mar Oo | AFP 

Suu Kyi’s fame risks eclipsing new Myanmar stars.


Related Content

  • Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (L), seen here during a break after a lower house parliament session in Naypyidaw, on July 9. Suu Kyi made her historic parliamentary debut, marking a new phase in her near quarter century struggle to bring democracy to her army-dominated homeland

    Myanmar opposition leader Aung …

  • Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi attends a lower house parliament session in Naypyidaw, on July 9. Suu Kyi made her historic parliamentary debut, marking a new phase in her near quarter century struggle to bring democracy to her army-dominated homelandMyanmar opposition leader Aung …

Aung San Suu Kyi‘s iconic allure has helped train the eyes of the world on Myanmar’s democracy struggle, but some experts say her star appeal could thwart the rise of a new generation of leaders.

The Nobel laureate, who has come to personify Myanmar’s efforts to shrug off the yoke of decades of dictatorship, made her parliamentary debut on Monday in the latest chapter in her transformation from renowned political prisoner to MP.

The 67-year-old has suggested she is willing to accept the mantle of president if, as expected, her party wins 2015 elections seen as the apex of recent reforms.

But many are already asking who could follow in the footsteps of “The Lady“.

Western governments showed great interest in finding “political alternatives” to Suu Kyi when she was under house arrest before controversial November 2010 elections, said Renaud Egreteau, a Myanmar expert at the University Hong Kong.

“Two years later, idolatry is back. Alternatives within the democratic opposition are again marginalised.”

Suu Kyi has said she has tried shunning the “icon” label since being propelled into Myanmar’s political scene during a failed student uprising against the junta in 1988.

But as the daughter of independence hero Aung San she has failed to escape cult status both at home and abroad.

Some observers argue that a simplistic portrayal of Myanmar’s politics as a battle between a charismatic woman and a cabal of murderous generals could undercut efforts to bring a new generation of democracy leaders to the fore.

That narrative is particularly strong in the West, which has focused on her entrance into mainstream politics as a benchmark for easing strict sanctions.

Her reception as a virtual head of state in Europe last month confirmed her unique place in the imaginations of people who might otherwise struggle to find her long-isolated homeland on a map.

But lavish welcomes during her first major trip abroad in nearly a quarter century have also threatened to strain relations with President Thein Sein, largely acknowledged as the architect of sweeping political changes since he took the helm of a quasi-civilian government last year.

“It is a bit unusual for somebody who is the leader of the opposition to receive such high level treatment,” said Trevor Wilson, former Australian Ambassador to the country.

“I don’t think the international community fully appreciates the role of other parties and political actors in Myanmar,” he said, describing Suu Kyi’s trip to Europe as “not part of the real world”.

While the NLD has become the largest opposition group, parliament remains dominated by the military and army-backed ruling party and with only 43 seats, Suu Kyi’s party is likely to have to form alliances to affect legislation.

But smaller democracy parties — many of which have been eagerly pushing the country’s reforms from inside the legislature for over a year — have felt shunned by the NLD juggernaut.

Among them is former NLD founding member Khin Maung Swe, whose relations with Suu Kyi soured dramatically when he disagreed with her party’s decision not to contest the 2010 election over rules seemed designed to exclude her.

He split from the NLD to form the National Democratic Force, which now has eight seats. Although Suu Kyi herself finally agreed to run in April’s by-elections, she has not talked to him ever since.

“We have done what we thought we should do, for the benefit of the people,” said the politician, who has served a total of 16 years in jail for his activism.

“The international community needs to recognise these struggles. It would be wrong if they think they do not need to look back or communicate with small parties.”

Political parties representing Myanmar’s diverse minority groups — which hold some 75 seats among 10 parties — are also considered to be on the fringe of debate, despite their importance in a country that has been racked by sporadic civil war with various ethnic rebels since independence in 1948.

“We don’t know how she will work with us,” said Hsai Maung Tin, a lower house MP for the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party. “I personally respect her. We need more people like Daw Suu,” he added, using a Myanmar term of respect.

Even the structure of the NLD itself is a cause for concern, experts said.

Octogenarian “uncles”, whose authority from five decades battling the junta is hard to dispute, still dominate the party, leaving young “very idealistic and very passionate” members with little influence, Wilson said.

But reforming the NLD to allow younger stars to rise might be hard to achieve, with Suu Kyi’s democratic pedigree and strong charisma acting to shield her from negative comment.

“Many people are in awe of Aung San Suu Kyi when they meet her and they don’t easily say things to her that she may not like, or that may imply a criticism of the NLD,” Wilson said. “There is a bit of an issue there.”

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

AFPBy Didier Lauras | AFP 

Suu Kyi asks investors for help on Myanmar jobs “time bomb”.


Related Content

  • Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi smiles during the "One-on-One Conversation with a Leader" event as part of the World Economic Forum on East Asia at a hotel in Bangkok June 1, 2012. REUTERS/Chaiwat SubprasomMyanmar‘s pro-democracy leader …

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi urged foreign firms on Friday to invest cautiously in fast-changing Myanmar and give priority to creating jobs as much as making profits to help defuse the “time bomb” that is the country’s high unemployment rate.

              Speaking during her first trip outside her country in 24 years, the leader of the fight against dictatorship in Myanmar warned against “reckless optimism” about its rapid reforms, which could be easily undone if not supported by the military.

              Suu Kyi, 66, said the country, also known as Burma, faced a crisis due to the number of people without work and urged foreign companies to provide jobs and training. Their investments should not fuel corruption or line the pockets only of the business elite.

              “The proportion of young people unemployed in Burma is extremely high. That is a time bomb,” she said in a speech to the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Bangkok.

“Please don’t think about how much benefit will come to those who are investing. I understand investors invest because they hope to profit from ventures – I agree with that – but our country must benefit as much as those who invest.

“I want this commitment to mean quite simply jobs – as many jobs as possible.”

Millions of people in Myanmar have been forced abroad, many to Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, because of a lack of jobs.

Western sanctions have prevented foreign companies from investing in the country of 60 million people, but most restrictions have been suspended in recent months in response to reforms by the quasi-civilian government that took office just over a year ago.

The Oxford-educated daughter of Myanmar’s slain independence leader, Aung San, Suu Kyi has received an ecstatic welcome in Thailand during a visit that would have been unimaginable 18 months ago, when she was under house arrest under a military junta.

NEW CONFIDENCE

              She spent a total of 15 years in detention before her release in late 2010 and her venture abroad is one of the clearest signs yet of her confidence in the changes taking place under President Thein Sein, a former general in the junta.

              For years she refused to leave, fearing the generals she was challenging would not let her back.

Suu Kyi said she felt Thein Sein was committed to improving the country but the extent to which his reforms were irreversible depended on the military, by far Myanmar’s most powerful institution.

“I do believe in the sincerity of the president,” she said. “But I also recognize he’s not the only person in government and as I keep repeating, there’s the military to be reckoned with.”

              Even if the government was pushing through democratic, social and economic reforms, it did not seem interested in overhauling a judiciary that lacked independence, she said.

              “Would-be investors in Burma please be warned: even the best investment law will be of no use whatsoever if there are no courts clean or independent enough to be able to administer those laws justly,” she said.

              “So far, we’re not aware of any reforms on the judicial front … Not many in the government seem to agree with this.

              Suu Kyi played down talk of Myanmar being caught up in a geopolitical tug-of-war between the United States and China, its main ally during decades of isolation, and said she welcomed responsible investment from any country.

              “I’m concerned when people say Burma is a battleground for the United States and China. It should not be so,” she said.

              “It’s imperative we have good relations with our neighbors and at the same time, we want to open up the country to others interested in our welfare and helping our country to progress.”

              On a lighter note, Suu Kyi said she was dazzled by Bangkok, a glitzy contrast to Yangon and other big towns in Myanmar, where chronic power cuts sparked protests last week.

              “I was completely fascinated by the lights,” she said. “What went through my mind, is: ‘we need an energy policy’.”

              (Editing by Alan Raybould and Robert Birsel)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

ReutersBy Martin Petty | Reuters 

Tag Cloud