Monday, September 28, 2009

Unofficial translation of Aung San Suu Kyi's letter to spdc on sanctions --

Letter of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to Senior General Than Shwe in English

(Unofficial translation by HK)


Senior General Than Shwe
State Peace and Development Council

Date: September 25, 2009

Subject: Lifting sanctions imposed on Burma

1. I have already orally mentioned the authorities the following matters through the Special Branch of Police on 12.09.09 in order to effectively conduct the subject mentioned above.

2. I have proposed to cooperate with the SPDC for lifting sanctions imposed on Burma.

3. In order to effectively work for lifting sanctions imposed on Burma, I believe that we need to try at first to

a. Understand about all sanctions imposed on Burma

b. Understand about the extent of losses due to sanctions imposed on Burma

c. Understand about the positions of Governments which imposed sanctions on Burma.

4. In order to do so as described in the paragraph (3), I request to allow me to meet with

a. Charge d’affaires of the United States of America for Burma

b. Representative Ambassador of member countries of the European Union for Burma

c. Ambassador of Australia for Burma

5. I also request to allow me to discuss and have the position of National League for Democracy


Aung San Suu Kyi

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Secretary Clinton needs to act on behalf of Kyaw Zaw Lwin

Amnesty International: Sec. Clinton Needs to Act on Behalf of U.S. Citizen Arrested and Tortured in Burma.

Amnesty International Press Statement
Friday, September 25, 2009

Amnesty International Urges Secretary Clinton to Act on Behalf of U.S.
Citizen Arrested and Tortured in Burma (Myanmar)

Contact: AIUSA media office, 202-544-0200 x302,

(Washington) – Amnesty International reported today that activist
Kyaw Zaw Lwin, who was arrested on September 3, has suffered torture
and other ill-treatment while in detention in Insein Prison in Yangon,
Burma. According to reliable sources, he has been denied medical
treatment for the injuries he sustained from the torture he endured
during interrogation. Amnesty International has grave concerns about
his health.

Burma’s state newspaper, New Light of Myanmar, recently reported that
Kyaw Zaw Lwin had entered Burma to “create unrests within the
country.” The newspaper reported details of the activities that Kyaw
Zaw Lwin and other Burmese pro-democracy exiles allegedly undertook in
collaboration with “internal anti-government elements” in Myanmar.

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should immediately take steps to
stop the torture and ill-treatment of a U.S. citizen arrested in
Burma,” said T. Kumar, Amnesty International USA advocacy director for
international issues. “In addition to his injuries and lack of
treatment, Kyaw Zaw Lwin has also been deprived food for seven days.”

Secretary Clinton announced yesterday that the United States will
begin to engage with high-level Burmese leaders to bring democracy to
the nation and the release of the opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.
San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, has been declared a
prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.

“This is the first test for the United States’ new policy of
engagement,” said Kumar. “Amnesty International hopes that this new
engagement also covers protecting human rights in Burma. If Secretary
Clinton fails to act, there will be many questions about the United
States’ latest strategy to end the oppression of the Burmese people."

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots
activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists
and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights
worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates
and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever
justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

# # #

For more information, please visit:

Anniversary of the Saffron Revolution 2 years ago --

Based on Saffron Revolution photo -- painting by Kyi May Kaung.

At bottom of article above from Irrawaddy "Monks Struggle Continues Behind Bars" you will find link to Thiery Falise's eye witness account of when the monks were beaten and shot -- from Sept 26, 2007.

We send Loving Kindness (Metta) to all those Living and Dead.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sen. Jim Webb is reviewing Burma-US Policy, which might lift US sanctions, while a US citizen, Burmese-born is tortured in a Burmese jail --

PLEASE LEAVE A MESSAGE for Sen. Webb on his web site --

please send this around.

At the bottom right hand corner of Sen. Webb's site (url above), you can leave a message for him -- here is a suggested sample.

"Dear Sen. Webb,

This is no time for you to be considering lifting US sanctions against Burma, while a US citizen Kyaw Zaw Lwin (Nyi Nyi Aung) is in prison in Burma, has been tortured and false charges have been made against him.

What do you intend to do about the plight of Kyaw Zaw Lwin and other Burmese political prisoners?

We hope you will fly to Burma as you did for John Yettaw and secure the release of Kyaw Zaw Lwin, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and over 2000 political prisoners.



The site says only VA residents will get a response, but you will get an auto response.

Friday, September 18, 2009

VOA TV feature -- interview -- my art show "Identity: Mostly Burmese Monks."

Thank you to VOA, U Win Pe and videographer Ko Panthee (U Win Pe's son).

Informal summary:

UWP: In the USA where there are so many strong(artistic)influences, poet, political scientist and economist Dr. Kyi May Kaung has managed to forge her own artistic vision, resisting those influences.

KMK: There is the influence of all the paintings I have been looking at my whole life, but I am not a graduate of the (State)School of Fine Arts in Burma, although as a child, famous artists U San Win and others taught me some basics at home.

UWP: Since you are also a poet, what would you say is the connection between poetry and visuals in your art work?

KMK: At the time I was painting these pictures,I did not think there was any connection. Most of these, such as the Saffron Revolution ones, I was painting while the events were happening in Burma, to calm my own mind. I wanted poetry to be poetry and painting to be painting, not one illustrating the other, but integrated into a cohesive work of art.

But now that I think of it, there must be some connection. For instance, as the monks walk forwards, the lotus for instance is about 6' tall and the banyan leaf is too big, and the monks walk (over water) on (a raft of) bones. So there must be some poetic metaphor in this.

(Other picture not shown -- of Nargis survivors, are the birds so big and puffed up because they have fed on the dead?)

UWP -- holding up collage "Newspeak" -- how would you describe this kind of work in Burmese?

KMK: Well, it's a collage, 3D collage (made from trash or found objects.)

In the eye, there is a photograph of (former Military Intelligence chief) Bohmu Khin Nyunt (purged in 2004). There are also the 5 points that must appear in the front of every published book (in Burma) --"oppose the destructionists, etc."

Famous writer George Orwell lived for some time in Burma and invented the term "newspeak." That's why I named it Newspeak.

Informal transcript, notes and translation -- Kyi May Kaung 9-17-09

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Reminder -- Burma Update by Dr. Kyi May Kaung -- Sept 18th 7 PM in Silver Spring

Paintings copyright Kyi May Kaung

Ceramics and "Tree branch" (nyaung htauk) -- copyright Kyi May Kaung

Skull and Life Extenders copyright Kyi May Kaung

A DC-based Burmese dissident (US Citizen) Nyi Nyi Aung went to Burma and was arrested on Sept.3.

Aung San Suu Kyi has undergone a kangaroo trial. There are many political prisoners in Burma. The military government is pounding ethnic groups in the west, northwest and southeast of Burma.

How is all this possible? Let me guide you through Burma's dismal recent history and help you understand. There may be a surprise guest speaker. Find out how to make a difference.

963 Bonifant St. Silver Spring, MD 20910

7.10 PM to 8.30 PM -- Walking distance from Silver Spring Metro, Red Line,
free parking on Wayne Av. and Bonifant St.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Congressional Research Service -- 2007 Report on US-Burma Policy

Still relevant now that US-Burma Policy is up for review again. (And my favorite people and I were quoted too, and the conclusions are what most of us have been advocating. How nice!)

Kyi May Kaung

Read Write Poem

Veteran politician U Win Tin detained again, after writing article in Washington Post.

Veteran opposition leader Win Tin detained
by Mizzima News
Saturday, 12 September 2009 15:57

Win Tin, a senior leader of the National League for Democracy was taken to the Aung Tha Pyay detention camp this morning by the Special Branch of the police in Burma.

The 80-year-old influential leader of the opposition party recently wrote an article critical of and rejecting the junta's planned 2010 election in The Washington Post.

The veteran journalist wrote an article titled "An Election Burma's People Don't Need" in the newspaper on September 9, 2009.

Win Tin has spent 19 years in prison for his political belief, and was released in November 2008.

He has demanded freedom for democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and initiation of a dialogue between the military junta and the opposition leader.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Chinese pipe line from Burma to Yunnan to push ahead inspite of crticism

Chinese Pipelines in Burma to Push Ahead Amid Criticism
Thursday, September 10, 2009

BEIJING — Despite fresh international criticism of Beijing’s backing for an unpopular regime as the Burmese junta, China sees its alliance with the country’s military as a matter of simple economic expediency and is determined to forge ahead with controversial joint dual oil and gas pipelines that will ensure greater energy security for its robust economy.

This month sees the first digs on the mammoth infrastructure project that will connect China’s northwestern province of Yunnan with Burma’s western coast.

The proposed gas pipeline will transfer gas from the offshore Shwe gas fields in Arakan state all the way to the capital Kunming of Yunnan province and possibly further inland in China. The twin oil pipeline will be used to transfer oil shipped from the Middle East and Africa bypassing the strategically vulnerable Malacca Strait shipping route.

After Burmese activists released a detailed report Monday on the project forecasting it will trigger social unrest and create a public relations fiasco for the Chinese company involved, a state-run newspaper in Beijing rejected the allegations, saying the project was unlikely to be stopped.

The Shwe Gas Movement, a group of Burmese exiles in Bangladesh, India and Thailand, also said the junta's recent offensive against ethnic rebels near the pipeline route showed that the regime had no concerns about providing stability for investors, which could translate into great security risks for the project undertakers.

"China is not afraid of the threat and criticism," the ‘Global Times’—a paper published by the state news agency—quoted an anonymous Chinese official familiar with the issue. "When Myanmar (Burma’s official name) was constructing a pipeline to Thailand in the 1990s, Myanmar activists also criticized the government, but the voice is barely heard now."

Outside observers though believe the new pipeline project carries greater potential risks than the pipeline conveying gas to Thailand, which they described as a "vehicle for a proliferation of human rights abuses" during its construction and after—such as the widespread use of forced labor and forced evictions.

"Such practices, in the likelihood they would re-occur with respect to this latest pipeline, could very well be the spark to set off a broader conflict," said Sean Turnell, a Burma expert at Macquarie University in Australia. "Of course, exacerbating matters is the fact that Chinese energy firms have a less than stellar record themselves when it comes to the ruthlessness with which they pursue energy deals."

China's largest oil and gas producer, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), is due to start the construction of the dual pipelines at a total length of nearly 4,000 kilometres in September. The deal is expected to provide the Burmese military, which has ruled the country with an iron grip since a 1962 coup, with at least US$ 29 billion over 30 years.

Although Burma ranks 10th in the world in terms of natural gas reserves, its per capita electricity consumption is less than 5 percent of neighboring Thailand and China, as its government exports most of the country’s energy resources.

The Shwe Gas Movement report, titled ‘Corridor of Power’, charges that gas revenues in the past have been lavishly spent by the junta on building a new capital and satisfying the extravagant wishes of its ruling generals.

"People across Burma are facing severe energy shortages, and this massive energy export will only fuel social unrest," said Wong Aung, spokesperson of the Shwe Gas Movement. "These resources belong to our people and should be used for the energy needs of our country."

China—the exclusive buyer of Burma’s Shwe offshore gas reserves—sees the pipelines as one of the pieces in a greater energy domino played by Beijing to secure its energy supplies.

Burma’s pipelines constitute part of CNPC’s four-fold strategy to avoid China’s dependence on imported oil shipped by sea. Since 2004 Beijing has negotiated the construction of overland pipelines in four different directions, connecting Chinese energy buyers with suppliers in Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Burma.

"The greatest significance of Burma’s pipelines for China lies with the possibility for solving our reliance on the Malacca shipping route," said Long Changwei, expert at China University of Petroleum. "Once it is built, the pipeline will be a reliable alternative for oil flowing in from the Middle East and Africa. Even if there is a crisis in the Malacca Straits, China’s exposure to it will be greatly minimized."

In addition, the development of a deep sea port on Burma’s western coast will provide China with access to the Bay of Bengal—a strategic advantage in its attempts to expand its sphere of influence over the Indian Ocean.

Yet there are flip sides to this new energy corridor. The proposed pipelines run through the northeastern Shan State, where as recently as late August, ceasefire ethnic minority armies fought against the regime. The clashes between the Burmese military and the Kokang rebels that sent tens of thousands of refugees fleeing across the Chinese border have raised the possibility that there might be more social strife and armed conflicts if the pipelines project gets underway.

CNPC is going to have to be "very careful," said Macquarie University’s Turnell. "What was once a simple deal to extract cheap gas for China could blow up into a diplomatic crisis should the pipeline aggravate the incipient conflict between ethnic groups long backed by China, and a regime in Burma that was long thought of as likewise a client of China."

In a longer term, China’s willingness to help an unpopular regime stay in power could turn out to be short-sighted as it encourages latent anti- Chinese sentiment. Chinese communities that have worked very closely with military regimes in South-east Asia and become immensely rich in the process have been targeted before, as evidenced by violent anti-Chinese riots in Indonesia when the Suharto regime fell in 1998.

The Shwe Gas Movement report suggests that China would be in a better position to trade with Burma under a stable government. It also argues that the current military rulers’ political roadmap does not aim at bringing peace and political stability to the country.
Copyright © 2008 Irrawaddy Publishing Group | www.irrawaddy. org

http://www.irrawadd php?art_id= 16754

Burmese junta's ill gotten gains stashed in Singapore -- says Earth Rights International

Leaked photograph of N.Korean built tunnel in Naypyidaw, Burma's capital city.

Junta shows its accounts in kyats at an unrealistic exchange rate of K6=1 $

when in actual fact $1= about Kyats 1000+ see Irrawaddy site for exchange rates or use a currency convertor.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Baburnama (Memoirs of the first Moghul Emperor -- Babur)

From the 16th century. Note especially the ornate title page and the illustrations.

Kyi May Kaung

China's border problems, including with Burma --

Two cartoons on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's plight.

Perhaps not by Harn Lay -- I am not sure.

My comment on Harn Lay of the Irrawaddy and his cartoons --

This is an excellent article, especially as in real life Harn Lay mostly just smiles and speaks very little. He is living proof that a picture is worth a thousand words. A cartoon is like a mathematical theorem, concise and true forever.

I also love Harn Lay's oil paintings, especially a kind of soft mauve color that he uses for the stream behind the trees.

I call it Harn Lay mauve, the way Wolf Kahn always uses a (shocking) pink color in his landscapes.

Bravo Irrawaddy for employing our friend.

Keep painting and cartooning.

Maybe the best is a cartoon of himself, bursting balloons to scare you know who.

Kyi May Kaung

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Have hung my art to my satisfaction for Identity: Mostly Burmese Monks -- Kyi May Kaung

Opening reception, Friday 4th Sept. 6.30 PM, Space 7-10, 963 Bonifant St.
Silver Spring, MD. A few blocks from Silver Spring Metro, free parking on Wayne Av.

Thank you, L and A and Amy -- this is my 3rd show with you. Sorry to have driven nails into your lovely butter yellow walls.

Burma and Laura Bush, Storm Victims and "Raja killed by his son" Paintings and photo by Kyi May Kaung.

Paintings Monks, Clock Face and "I" or "Slash" -- paintings and photo copyright Kyi May Kaung.

Human rights portraits, art work and photo copyright Kyi May Kaung.

Painted ceramics and "life extender tree branches" or nyaung htauk -- literally "prop up the banyan tree" that people donate when they are sick.

Photos, art work and text copyright Kyi May Kaung.

Exiles with names of Burmese political prisoners written on their palms

One with many names written all over is artist Htein Lin.

How to write noir fiction -- from Back Alley magazine --

My archive at IISH, Amsterdam--