Friday, June 25, 2010

Renovation for $3000, no heat or plumbing

but lot's of romance.

Sean Turnell "The US is Angry" -- Francis Wade for DVB

Granny D -- Walking Across America at Age 90

Gardens in NJ -

Also Chanticleer Gardens where I was a long time ago.

Savage Undermining -- Democrats won't be part of sham election in Burma, by U Win Tin

South China Morning Post: 25 June, 2010, Fri
Voices: Burma
Democrats won’t be part of sham election

U Win Tin

Many pro-democracy advocates inside and outside Burma paused recently to commemorate the 65th birthday of our leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. Many, too, will have been pondering the savage undermining of the democratic process that has occurred since she led the National League for Democracy to win the elections in 1990. Now, Burma’s main political opposition has decided to disband rather than be co-opted into a sham election.

Some of our supporters do not understand our decision. The first point of departure for people analysing the planned elections this year is the constitution under which it will be held. The 2008 basic law seeks to establish a range of encumbrances to the democratic process which make it impossible to see it as anything other than a clumsy attempt to dress rotten wood with the veneer of democracy.

Picture a fine piece of Burmese teak, smooth and presentable to the eye, but eaten away inside. The constitution ensures a 25 per cent quota for members of the military in any parliament. Further, it is seeking a way around this quota by fielding a disguised military political party in the election. So, at best, the military is offering three quarters of a democracy, or less, to the people of Burma. Also under the basic law, this election will not choose a government. It will select those who will fill the legislature and who will then select the government leaders.

The constitution is unclear how this process will work in detail, only that the envisaged presidential electoral college – the parliament
including the military – will decide on the new president. Assuming that a basic majority of the parliament would be required, then the 25 per
cent military representation ensures that much fewer than a majority of the elected members is required to name the leader, who will in turn fill
ministerial and other governmental posts by fiat. It is, in effect, a recipe for a rump parliament.

This sets the tone for the whole electoral process and ensures that participation by pro-democracy parties and individuals will lead nowhere in democratic terms. Other constitutional issues abound. Among them is the difficulty and unwieldy expense of registering and running a campaign.
As a party of democrats, founded on the highest principles of freedom and equality, the NLD cannot participate in a system that not only denies us our due rights – as the winners of the 1990 elections, for instance – but denies fellow Burmese political forces appropriate input to the political process.
Ultimately, the NLD is a social movement as much as a political party. Our goal is to maintain our political party and our social role despite the many overtures from the ruling military to be a party to its ruinous dictatorial regime.

Our participation in any election process remains conditional upon four principles: the release of all political prisoners, open dialogue with Suu Kyi, recognising the 1990 results and a review of the 2008 constitution. Only with these conditions can democracy find room to flourish in Burma.
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U Win Tin is co-founder of the National League for Democracy and was imprisoned by the military for 19 years.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Myanmar (Burma's) Military (Nuclear) Ambitions -- part 1

DC bookstore Politics and Prose up for sale --

IAEA assessing Burma's nuclear claims --

Al Jazeera -- Burma's nuclear plans exposed --

High and Dry in Burma -- interview of Burmese philanthropist - actor Kyaw Thu

during Burmese on-going drought.

Myanmar trying for nuke -- Ashish Kumar Sen -- Washington Times --

My poem Loss in Napalm Health Spa.

Burl Ives-Ave Maria