Dear Maung,
While most of the time we contact you to let you know about an opportunity for action, in this instance we just want to share some good news. Because of your efforts, 55 members of Congress signed on to a letter asking for a United Nations Security Council investigation into crimes against humanity committed by Burma's military regime. See letter and signatures here. This is the first time that members of Congress have called for such action by the UN in regards to Burma. A similar effort was recently joined by 60 British parliamentarians. The move by Congress follows the release of a groundbreaking report by Harvard University, commissioned by five of the world's top judges, which calls for the UN Security Council to take action to end mass atrocities in Burma. The report draws on six years of UN documentation to show that there is enough evidence to warrant a Security Council investigation. The report finds: "Epidemic levels of forced labor in the 1990s, the recruitment of tens of thousands of child soldiers, widespread sexual violence, extrajudicial killings and torture, and more than a million displaced persons. One statistic may stand out above all others, however: the destruction, displacement, or damage of over 3,000 ethnic nationality villages over the past twelve years, many burned to the ground." After the release of the report, two of the judges wrote a strong opinion piece in the Washington Post which succinctly sums up the reports conclusions.In the past, the UN Security Council has voted to establish a "Commission of Inquiry" to investigate abuses of a major magnitude -- such as in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and the Darfur region of Sudan. The Commission of Inquiry then makes recommendations to the UN Security Council for action. However, no such Commission of Inquiry has been created for Burma. The efforts by the US Congress -- and the team of judges working with Harvard is important because for the first time people are calling for a Commission of Inquiry into human rights abuses in Burma.Thank you for all of your efforts in encouraging the United States to support this effort. Right now, Congress is awaiting a reply from President Obama...
Jeremy Woodrum


Burma to test atomic bomb in a few years?
Melbourne, Aug. 1: As world concerns remain focused on the clandestine nuclear programme of North Korea and Iran, reports are filtering in of Burma’s isolated military junta may be just a few years from testing its first atomic bomb.
The key far-eastern nation is building a secret nuclear reactor and plutonium extraction facilities with North Korea’s help, Sydney Morning Herald has reported citing two key junta defectors. The Burmese military has sited the reactor in mountain caves inter-linked by deep tunnels at Naung Laing in Northern part of the country, apparently to camouflage it from detection by satellites.
The secret complex, the paper said, runs parallel to a civilian reactor being built at another site by Russia that both the Moscow and Rangoon authorities say will be put under international safeguards. The revelations by the daily come as United States naval warships recently shadowed a North Korean commercial vessel bound for Burma, suspecting it to be carrying contraband nuclear and missile components. However, the ship was not intercepted. China and other Asian nations had helped persuade Burma to turn back the North Korean freighter, the Nam Kam 1. A month back the Japanese police arrested a North Korean and two of its own nationals allegedly trying to export illegally to Burma magnetic measuring device that could be used to develop missiles.
The daily identified the two defectors as an officer with the Burmese Army’s secret nuclear battalion and the other a former executive and leading regime business partner who handled nuc-lear contracts with Russia and North Korea. —PTI


President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NWWashington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,
Successive U.S. administrations, with overwhelming bi-partisan support from Congress, have shown their support for Burmese peoples’ aspiration to live in a democratic society free from their military dictatorship. Unfortunately, despite U.S. efforts as well as decades of peaceful attempts by successive United Nations Special Envoys and Rapporteurs to convince the Burmese military regime to end its atrocities and seek a peaceful transition to democracy, peace, democracy and stability elude Burma.
Therefore, we urge you to take the lead in establishing a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Commission of Inquiry into the Burmese military regime’s crimes against humanity and war crimes against its civilian population. Similar cases in Rwanda, Yugoslavia, and Darfur have all led to Commissions of Inquiry and each previous case had UN Special Envoys and Special Rapporteurs assigned to seeking peaceful solutions to their respective countries international humanitarian crises. Still though, the UNSC took the necessary step and established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate and provide justice and accountability for the war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed with impunity by state agents. By elevating the cause of Burma to the UNSC, the United States is putting Burma’s supporters on notice that we will not support the status quo while millions of people languish.
The United Nations has passed over 30 resolutions acknowledging and decrying the Burmese military regime’s crimes and blatant system of impunity. All the while, Burma’s military regime has carried out a scorched-earth campaign against the country’s ethnic minority civilian population, destroying over 3,300 villages, using systematic rape as a weapon of war, pressing the Burmese people into modern-day slave labor, killing innocent civilians, and forcing at least one million people to flee their homes as refugees and internally displaced. The regime has also conscripted tens of thousands of child soldiers, and imprisoned and tortured those who dare speak out in support of freedom and democracy.
Compounding the brutality of the regime’s war crimes and crimes against humanity is their flagrant system of impunity, in which perpetrators go free, but victims fear retribution if they seek accountability and justice. While the “slow burn” nature of the military regime’s grave crimes has kept the spotlight away from these atrocities, it makes them no less dire. In fact, it makes it ever more urgent that we call upon the UNSC to hold the Burmese military regime to account for their war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Furthermore, the regime’s constitution, on which it predicates its upcoming elections in 2010, contains an amnesty provision that exempts all members of the military regime from prosecution. The amnesty provision is a blatant attempt to legitimize the structured and systematic violence in the country for all junta inflicted crimes. In addition to the amnesty provision, the constitution also removes any rights for civil redress for victims of crimes committed by the military and police and blocks access to justice in civilian courts thus effectively denying justice to the regime’s victims.
The world must not sit by and allow Burma’s regime to commit mass atrocities with impunity. We urge you to urgently seek support at the UNSC for a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the Burmese regime’s war crimes, crimes against humanity and system of impunity. The regime must be held accountable, on behalf of the millions of people of Burma who have no other course for redress.

Joe Crowley (D-NY)
Don Manzullo (R-IL)
Rush Holt (D-NJ)
Peter King (R-NY)
Anna Eshoo (D-CA)
Madeline Bordallo (D-Guam)
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Joseph Pitts (R-PA)
Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Michael Michaud (D-ME)
Jim Moran (D-VA)
Frank Wolf (R-VA)
Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Brian Bilbray (R-CA)
David Price (D-NC)
Dan Maffei (D-NY)
Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Allyson Schwartz (D-PA)
Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH)
Paul Hodes (D-NH)
Bob Inglis (R-SC)
Gerry Connolly (D-VA)
Tim Bishop (D-NY)
Henry Waxman (D-CA)
Edward Royce (R-CA)
Tom Perriello (D-VA)
Janice Schakowsky (D-IL)
James Langevin (D-RI)
Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
Trent Franks (R-AZ)
Mark Souder (R-IN)
Aaron Schock (R-IL)
Michael Honda (D-CA)
Steve Israel (D-NY)
Albio Sires (D-NJ)
James McGovern (D-MA)
Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX)
Todd Platts (R-PA)
Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)
Tim Ryan (D-OH)
Michael McMahon (D-NY)
Patrick Kennedy (D-RI)
John Boozeman (R-AR)
Peter Welch (D-VT)
Dan Burton (R-IN)
Gene Green (D-TX)
Luis GutiƩrrez (D-IL)
Jim Costa (D-CA)
John Culberson (R-TX)
Jackie Speier (D-CA)
Mike Thompson (D-CA)
Brad Miller (D-NC)
Betsy Markey (D-CO)
Anh (Joseph) Cao (R-LA)


A year after restoring ties between North Korea and Burma, news of North Korean vessel calling to Rangoon port leaked out. The Korean ships reportedly unloaded arms and other equipments to be used for military purpose. It loaded rice and other agricultural products and left the port for home. Later, General Shwemann of Burmese Armed Forces visited Pyongyang. Thus, the relationship between Burma and North Korea further strengthen and the two countries have established a new chapter that will not welcome by Burmese people as well as the peace-loving world communities. Burma's military regime and North Korea have secretly engaging a mutual benefit business that can lead to both regional and global threat and this become an important issue as the political analysts point out citing information gathered by investigative reporters who are in pursuit of the Korean-Burmese secret movement. What are the mutual benefit that will be resulted from their cooperation? It is obvious that military regime in Burma will get the missiles and arm-producing technology from North Korea and in return North Korea will get food and refined uranium that imported from Russia by the regime. As the stubborn and cunning North Korea never pay heed to the UN resolution to refrain from testing missile and secretly developing atomic bomb, peace-lovers around the globe will not tolerate when learning that North Korea and Burma are secretly running a project that is threatening the world. The world body and the world communities must take action on the axis- of- evil countries (North Korea, Burma and Iran) before they get upperhand to destroy the world.
(An article appeared in TIMEONLINE, July 4, 2009, contributed by Michael Sheridan)
The first strangers appeared some time ago in the jungles of Arakan, in northern Burma, mystifying the villagers whose lives revolved around their golden temples and their crops.
The older people thought they might be Japanese, remembering those who had fought against the British during the second world war for every inch of this monsoon-drenched land, but their language sounded harsher.
In fact, they were North Korean engineers building a complex of tunnels and bunkers for the Burmese military junta in an axis of outcasts.
More North Koreans were soon being seen — and even photographed by a daring local person — around Naypyidaw, the junta’s isolated new capital, where they oversaw labour gangs excavating a subterranean complex.
A third group of North Koreans has now been spotted in Chin state, bordering India and Bangladesh, an area full of restive minorities where few tourists venture. They are said to be equipping tunnels with generators and anti-gas ventilation systems.
Eventually the junta is to have a web of underground command posts, linked by fibreoptic cables, to help it put down any revolt and keep control in a national emergency, according to exiles from Burma and diplomats in Rangoon.
The North Koreans have sold similar services in the past to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq as well as to Iran and Syria.
One report suggested that some sections of tunnels in Burma were wide enough for trucks and could accommodate 600 personnel for several months, with storage space for food and weaponry.
Tunnelling is a military engineering skill that the North Koreans have perfected while honeycombing their fortress homeland with underground hangars and shelters against air or missile bombardment.
The North Koreans also specialise in air defence systems and radar. Their own installations were good enough to spot a Japanese electronic warfare aircraft taking off from its base in Honshu last month and to track its flight path all the way to the North Korean coast.
Such expertise has made them natural partners for the Burmese military, which shares their preoccupations with domestic security and foreign threats.
Yet it was only the presence of the North Korean workers that told Burmese onlookers of a secret relationship that has deepened as the two regimes have been pushed closer by international sanctions.

After exiles posted photographs on the internet, Burmese intelligence launched a "huge investigation" that led to the arrests of several journalists and the dismissal of senior officers, according to The Nation, a Thai newspaper. It quoted Thai intelligence officers, who watch Burma closely, confirming the existence of the tunnels.
The new alliance has required the leaders of Burma and North Korea to forget the bloody events of 1983, when a team of terrorists acting on the orders of Kim Jong-il blew up a ceremony welcoming the South Korean cabinet to Rangoon, killing 22 people, including ministers.
Since 2007, when the two re-established diplomatic relations after a 24-year break, shipping agents have noted a steady stream of vessels calling at the port of Thilawa.
The two pariah nations, all but cut off from global trade, appear to have agreed on a barter system. The North Korean ships have unloaded heavy equipment and wooden crates. Although dockside workers could not read the markings, they appeared to be military consignments, probably small arms and ammunition.
In return, the Burmese labourers piled rice, rubber, hardwood and rare minerals into the holds. Burma is rich in ores, including uranium.
Another advantage for North Korea is that goods can be transferred in Burmese ports to ships destined for Iran, frustrating attempts by the United States and its allies to watch and perhaps intercept military shipments.
Last week a mysterious North Korean ship, the Kang Nam 1, reversed course and steamed homewards after being trailed by an American Aegis-class destroyer, the USS John McCain, on a suspected voyage to Burma.
The CIA is principally concerned with perhaps the strangest of all Burma’s projects — its plan to operate a nuclear research reactor supplied by Rosatom, a Russian company, under an agreement announced in May 2007.
The reactor will be similar to North Korea’s plant at Yongbyon, which has been used to make plutonium for Kim’s nuclear bombs.
At least 350 Burmese, most of them military personnel, have received training in Russia and exiles reported that 80 others went to North Korea for instruction.
"I have to say it is childish of the Burmese generals to dream about acquiring nuclear technology since they can’t even provide regular electricity in Burma," said Thakhin Chan Tun, a former Burmese ambassador to Pyongyang, in an interview with The Irrawaddy, an exile magazine.
Than Shwe, the elderly junta leader, is not playing, however. A 37-page report leaked to Radio Free Asia reveals details of a visit to North Korea last November by a military delegation. It was led by the third man in his regime, Thura Shwe Mann, the army chief of staff.
The report describes how the 17-man Burmese group agreed to co-operate on training, special forces operations and "the building of tunnels for aircraft and ships as well as other underground military installations".
The alliance has also helped to fortify Than Shwe’s political will. This weekend he turned down a personal appeal from Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, to free all political prisoners including Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader.
North Korea launched seven short-range ballistic missiles yesterday in defiance of United Nations resolutions. They travelled for about 250 miles before falling into the sea.


June 24, 2009 (DVB)–New images have emerged that show North Korean and other foreign advisers in Burma consulting with officials on what now appears to be an extensive network of some 800 underground tunnels across much of the country.
While rife government corruption and uneven development in Burma yesterday awarded Burma a spot at the bottom of Foreign Policy magazine’s Failed States Index, billions of US dollars are now known to have been channeled by the Burmese government into building the tunnels.
DVB has been tracking the development of the tunnels and underground installations in Burma for a number of years. This is the first in a series of DVB stories revealing the secretive tunnel project.
Evidence has been obtained that shows between 600 and 800 tunnels in various stages of construction, with work on some sections dating as far back as 1996.
Photographs of a number of tunnel sites clearly show North Korean advisers present. In one photograph of a work site at Pyinmanar Taung Nyo, dated 29 May 2006, North Korean advisers are seen training Burmese soldiers and technicians in tunnel construction.
Several government budget files also show evidence of foreign aid and loans being used to fund construction work.
A number of senior Burmese officials have been dismissed in recent days following the first publication of DVB’s tunnel photographs in the Yale Global Online on 8 June.
The military government has launched an investigation into how details of such a sensitive project were leaked, with associates of former intelligence chief Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt being questioned by police.
Further intelligence documents obtained by DVB show that the tunnel system is being disguised by the government as a fibre optic cable installation project.
Leaked engineering designs show, however, that some sections of the tunnels are wide enough to allow trucks to enter and leave. There is also storage space for food and weaponry, and separate rooms that would hold around 600 personnel for several months.
The documents also reveal plans to hold large rockets and satellite communication command centers inside the tunnels.
Although the financially weak Burmese government is thought to allocate some 40 per cent of its budget for military purposes, the tunnel project over the course of 13 years has likely run into the billions.
Some observers have speculated that the abrupt hike in fuel prices that sparked the September 2007 protests may have been a prelude to securing extra capital for the project.
Likewise, Burma struck a deal with China in April this year to siphon its vast offshore natural gas reserves to China’s energy hungry population, a venture that will have given the tunnel project an important boost.
Speculation that Burma is trading in military hardware with North Korea was reinforced on Monday with reports that a North Korean freighter ship believed to be carrying arms was headed in the direction of Burma.
Despite only reestablishing diplomatic ties in 2007, following North Korea’s bombing of a South Korean delegation in Rangoon in 1983, the two countries share characteristics that make them obvious allies.
According to journalist and expert on North Korea-Burma relations, Bertil Lintner, both countries have "absolutely no interest" in supporting respective UN arms embargoes.
Indeed, North Korea is one of the few countries willing to continue military trade with the pariah state, with "even China…reluctant to sell certain types of equipment to Burma", according to Lintner.
Perhaps most worryingly for countries outside of Burma’s friendship group, it has renewed an alliance with a country that is rapidly becoming the icon of a new generation of ‘rogue states’ threatening nuclear warfare.
With this in mind, speculation will likely start to circulate as to whether the tunnel network could be linked to rumours that Burma is mining uranium ore, a key ingredient for nuclear fission. No evidence has yet appeared to verify this, however.
In our next story we will reveal the purpose of these tunnels, foreign involvement in the project and what is inside the tunnels.


(Editorial of Irrawaddy online news magazine, 28 June, 2009)

The removal of Aung San Suu Kyi from her home to Rangoon’s infamous Insein Prison and her trial before a secret court have sparked international outrage and condemnation, shared by world leaders, Nobel Prize winners and prominent personalities.
Two governments have remained significantly silent, however—those of Burma’s two giant neighbors, China and India.
The reasons for their silence aren’t difficult to discern.
Both countries exploit Burma’s natural resources and are major trading partners. China, in particular, profits from lively arms sales to the pariah regime.
China makes no secret of its strong ties with Burma. New Delhi, on the other hand, is a pathetic hypocrite, changing its policy from support for Suu Kyi to one of subservience to Burma’s ruling generals. India has descended a long and ignoble decline since presenting Suu Kyi with its coveted Jawaharlal Nehru Award.
It’s sad indeed to see one of the world’s largest democracies—whose commitment to democracy has just been proved in a general election—kowtowing to the bullies of Naypyidaw.
It’s sad indeed to see one of the world’s largest democracies—whose commitment to democracy has just been proved in a general election—kowtowing to the bullies of Naypyidaw.
China’s stance on Burma is, by comparison, at least intriguing.
At the time of the September 2007 demonstrations, when monks and other protesters were gunned down in the streets of Rangoon, China told Burma to exercise restraint. Beijing urged the junta to restore order quickly and to address the domestic tensions that caused the unrest.
Although the regime ignored the appeals from Beijing, China remained on friendly terms with Naypidaw and used its UN veto to block a Security Council resolution on Burma in 2007.
Beijing is not blind, however, to Burma’s ongoing problems. Chinese analysts and officials have been meeting exiled Burmese and making assessments on Burma. They have suggested that Beijing is wary of political development in Burma.
China has also told the Burmese regime that it doesn’t share Naypyidaw’s description of Suu Kyi as a tool of the West, and has indicated strongly that it wants to see national reconciliation in Burma.
When Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi visited Burma in December, he urged junta leader Snr-Gen Than Shwe to respect the UN’s request for an inclusive political process in Burma, and he reportedly mentioned political prisoners, including Suu Kyi.
Informed sources in Naypyidaw suggested that Than Shwe looked unhappy, while briefing his Chinese visitor on the state of the country, including its political and economic development and reconstruction work in the cyclone-hit Irrawaddy delta.
It is sad that Burmese leaders have found in China a convenient shield to hide behind whenever they face international outrage and condemnation. Again, the silence emanating from Beijing only sent a wrong signal to Than Shwe.
As in September 2007, Beijing should speak out. But this time it should exercise its political influence not only on Burma but also on the region as a whole to press for the release of Suu Kyi and the other political prisoners.
Such a move by China would be warmly welcomed by oppressed Burmese and the exiled community. It shouldn’t be forgotten that they also want to regard China as a friend.


From ‘People’s Army’ to ‘Enemy of the People'
(An article from Mizzima news)

by Tettoe Aung
Thursday, 26 March 2009 16:27

As Hegel said, “The only lesson we learn from history is that we do not learn from history.” One thing for sure, is that we Burmese have not learned from the proud history of our military. The founder of our military, Bogyoke Aung San, stated in unambiguous terms that the Burmese army (Tatmadaw) had not been founded for one man or one party, but rather for the whole country. He rejected the view of those military personnel who harbored the opinion that only they were capable of patriotism.Those that subscribed to the more narrow definition of patriotism branded people who dared to disagree with them as ‘axe handles’. If someone was married to a non-Burmese or a foreigner, like Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, he or she would be disowned.The military’s view that they are the only ones capable of patriotism is made explicit every March 27th, when they celebrate the once-called ‘Revolutionary Day’ as their exclusive ‘Armed Forces Day’. With the general public kept away from the ceremonies, it seems to have never occurred to them that there are others who are not soldiers who have suffered and made all kinds of sacrifices for their country.The irony is that the military, unlike celestial beings, are not born out of thin air. They are the offspring - sons and daughters - of the people whom they have chosen to turn against. Unlike the founding father, Bogyoke Aung San, the military under Ne Win and his successors, Saw Maung and now Than Shwe, has been indoctrinated to believe that they are above the people whom they are supposed to serve. For them, only the soldiers matter.As an article published in The Irrawaddy about the ‘military mindset’ noted, the underlining rationale in military training is to make a person immediately act or follow orders without thinking. There is no time for them to think whether their actions are right or wrong. Such a mentality was clearly on display in September 2007, as a young, Burmese soldier shot dead a Japanese cameraman at point blank range. And even if foot soldiers rise in rank to serve as officers or generals, still the lack of rational thought prevails.A study in ‘Killology’ by Colonel David Grossman shows that the training methods a military uses are brutalization, classical conditioning, operant conditioning and role-modeling. He writes: “Brutalization and desensitizing is what happens at the boot camp. From the moment you step off the bus you are physically and verbally abused. Your head is shaved, you are herded together naked, and dressed alike, losing all vestiges of individuality. This brutalization is designed to break down your existing mores and norms and to accept a new set of values which embrace destruction, violence and death as a way of life. In the end you are desensitized to violence and accept it as a normal and essential survival skill in your brutal new world.”When it comes to ‘classical conditioning’ Grossman says, “The Japanese were masters at using classical conditioning with their soldiers." Let us not forget the fact that the Burmese military was founded with the help of the Imperial Japanese military during the War. I recall how one of my relatives, trained to be an officer under the Japanese, himself became a Director of Training, incorporating similar methods of indoctrination to that of the Japanese. As for myself, I wasn't cut out for that and even my three month training at Phaung-gyi is something that I still feel disgusted about every time I recall the experience.The Burmese military may have been founded out of necessity as an institution, but reason says that institutions, the military included, are created to provide service for humanity, not to advance the personal interests of those mandated to serve. In the same vein, Zhuge Liang wrote, “When offices are chosen for persons, there is disorder; when persons are chosen for offices, there is order.”Yet, the Tatmadaw will continue to parade on March 27th of this year just as they always do, marching merely for themselves and not, as it should be, for the people.

Lawless country and barbarious rulers

Security force member: "You are under arrest because you have changed the contents of our three main causes."
Lady in front of the signboard: "I do not change it. Maybe someone rewrite it. Can't I read it?"

Security force member: "No, no. You are under arrest because you are reading what is not an official motto of our military government. "





First, through a concerted, non-violent protest by all citizens of the country at home and international fora. If it is responded by repression and harsher measures, then, through an armed revolution. Such moves are sure to be supported by all democratic and peace loving countries of the world. (modest)Add Image

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First, through a concerted, non-violent protest by all citizens of the country at home and international fora. If it is responded by repression and harsher measures, then, through an armed revolution. Such moves are sure to be supported by all democratic and peace loving countries of the world. (modest)

(The question for above answer was asked by Min Myo Naing using another name in June of 2006.)


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An exiled journalist from Burma, I have taken refuge in the United States with my family thanks to CPJ in New York, UNHCR (Cambodia) and the States Department. I was detained for one and a half year in 1969 for burning effigy of the late dictator Ne Win in the Rangoon University campus during SEA Games Strike. I was also actively participated in 8888 nationwide uprising by taking charge in publishing The Guardian Daily as independent newspaper for 22 days before I resigned from the newspaper as Assistant Editor in September,1988. Fortunately, I was escaped from arresting by the military regime. In 1990, I left for Bangkok where I had an assignment to translate the "Outrage: Burma's Struggle for Democracy". The book was originally written by Bertil Lintner, a Swedish journalist. I fled my country in December 2005 after my life was threatened by the military intelligence service for involving in political movements and had given assistance to foreign journalists who came to Burma. I am still active with the movement for restoring democracy in Burma.