Friday, April 30, 2010

Aung San Suu Kyi sues to keep her political party

http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/asia/Aung-San-Suu-Kyi-Sues-to-Keep-Political-Party-Alive-92502759.html

The Best Friend, Burmese monks of Saffron Revolution, work to free leader U Gambira

http://www.thebestfriend.org/2010/04/30/ashin-gambira/

Burma -- Emperor's New Clothes -- Irrawaddy cartoon --

http://www.irrawaddy.org/cartoon.php?art_id=18351

The junta generals are changing into civilian clothes to contest in new election which international community calls a sham.

They have barred Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD from participating, still have her and nearly 2200 political prisoners under house arrest and trapped her into withdrawing from the process.

She is barred from ever being head of state in Burma because she was "once married to a foreigner (Dr Micheal Aris, who died March 27, 1999 of prostate cancer) and is mother of "half-breed children" according to spdc's so-called "constitution" ratified in so-called "referendum" a few days after Cyclone Nargis in May 2008.

This cartoon says it all.

Joel Berger paints a picture of Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma

as part of the Amnesty International Human Rights Festival.

http://picasaweb.google.com/PainterlyVisions/AmnestyInternationalHumanRightsArtFestival?feat=email#5463905499156600930

America -- dream home with wood fired pizza oven

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304510004575186481577602178.html?mod=WSJ_Real+Estate_LEADTopNews#project%3DSLIDESHOW08%26s%3DSB10001424052702303491304575188122049634444

Christian Solidarity Worldwide calls for medical treatment for Burmese political prisoner in Burma

30 April 2010

CSW CALLS FOR URGENT ACTION TO PROVIDE MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR BURMESE POLITICAL PRISONER KO MYA AYE

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) today called on the military regime in Burma to provide proper medical treatment to political prisoners, including Ko Mya Aye, one of the leaders of 88 Generation Students Group, who led protests in 1988 and again in 2007. CSW has also urged the international community to intervene in his case.

Ko Mya Aye is currently serving a 65 year prison sentence for his involvement in leading peaceful pro-democracy protests in 2007. On 9 April he was moved from Loikaw Prison in Karenni State to Taungyi Prison in Shan State. He has reportedly been placed in a cell on death row, with no toilet or running water, and is denied exercise. According to sources, Ko Mya Aye has suffered heart failure caused by angina, and requires urgent medical treatment. He is also suffering from hypertension and gastric problems.

Taungyi prison is 450 miles away from Rangoon and 16 miles away from Taungyi City. Ko Mya Aye needs proper medical tests that can only be carried out in Rangoon. It is believed he may require an angioplasty operation or coronary artery bypass graft. Prison authorities have so far not permitted access to any medical tests or any treatment at all, leaving him very vulnerable to another angina attack which could be extremely serious.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), at least 137 political prisoners are in poor health due to inhumane prison conditions, and are denied proper medical care. CSW has written to several governments today urging the international community to put pressure on the regime to provide proper medical treatment to political prisoners.

CSW’s East Asia Team Leader Benedict Rogers said: “The situation for Ko Mya Aye is critical, and we urge the Burmese regime to release him, or at least to move him to Rangoon and provide the medical treatment he desperately requires. We urge the international community, including the United Nations Secretary-General, to intervene to put pressure on the Burmese regime to provide proper medical treatment for Ko Mya Aye and all political prisoners. Continued denial of medical treatment will have extremely serious consequences and should be regarded as a serious crime.”

For further information please visit www.csw.org. uk.

CSW is a human rights organisation which specialises in religious freedom, works on behalf of those persecuted for their Christian beliefs and promotes religious liberty for all.

The beautiful vanda orchids -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanda

Ascocenda- the offspring of Ascocentrum and Vanda orchids

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascocenda

Kyi May Kaung - Riverfront poem in Counterpunch

http://www.counterpunch.org/poems01082010.html

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Oxus or Amu Darya River in Matthew Arnold's words

But the majestic River floated on,
Out of the mist and hum of that low land,
Into the frosty starlight, and there moved,
Rejoicing, through the hushed Chorasmian waste,
Under the solitary moon: — he flowed
Right for the polar star, past Orgunjè,
Brimming, and bright, and large: then sands begin
To hem his watery march, and dam his streams,
And split his currents; that for many a league
The shorn and parcelled Oxus strains along
Through beds of sand and matted rushy isles —
Oxus, forgetting the bright speed he had
In his high mountain-cradle in Pamere,
A foiled circuitous wanderer: — till at last
The longed-for dash of waves is heard, and wide
His luminous home of waters opens, bright
And tranquil, from whose floor the new-bathed stars
Emerge, and shine upon the Aral Sea.

– Matthew Arnold, Sohrab and Rustum

from Wikipedia

dendrobium thein sein -- poem by Ko Ko Thett with Kyi May Kaung



dendrobium thein sein

as I suspected,
it's overwhelmingly olive-green,
the color of the Burmese tatmadaw
i might be prejudiced to think that way.
after all, aren't all orchid stems and leaves green?

then again
what do those twisted
petals have to say?
what do other orchids have to say?

no doubt
this honors the ungainly bald general
but insults the whole of
flowerkind.

you don't deserve it.

i grieve for you
dendrobium thein sein.

*
This poem was written by Ko Ko Thett with some input from Kyi May Kaung.

Posted with permission.

Copyright Ko Ko Thett and Kyi May Kaung

Recently, Singapore named a new dendrobium orchid hybrid after Myanmar general Thein Sein.

http://singaporenewsalternative.blogspot.com/2009/03/dendrobium-thein-sein-spore-orchid.html

Monday, April 26, 2010

June Rose Bellamy (Yadana Nat Mai), once married to Gen. Ne Win, in 1981 --

http://i-p-o.org/yadana.htm

Hamish McDonald on meeting June Rose Bellamy in Florence.

http://www.griffithreview.com/current-edition/240-reportage/821.html

Orchid article from Burma 1952 --

featuring the Bellamys, parents of June-Rose Bellamy,once married to General Ne Win.

http://tacomaorchidsociety.com/burmaorchids.html

Coelogyne lactea -- and other orchids, some from Burma

http://www.orchids-flowers.com/orchids/coelogyne-lactea-rchb-f-1885/

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviews Buffy Saint-Marie

who sings Universal Soldier, Now that the Buffalo are Gone,My Country Tis of Thy People, I'm Dying etc.

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/11/26/democracy_now_special_an_hour_of

Abstract art.com

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.abstract-art.com/abstraction/l2_grnfthrs_fldr/g0000_gr_inf_images/g035b_kline_suspender.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.abstract-art.com/abstraction/l2_grnfthrs_fldr/g035b_kline_suspendr.html&h=476&w=510&sz=19&tbnid=0xTDtsZibFe7lM:&tbnh=122&tbnw=131&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dfranz%2Bkline&hl=en&usg=__tGPCpKeTkp2zv1MdTLc23kyvcmA=&ei=2ArWS6fwIYH78Abjm9zaDw&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=7&ct=image&ved=0CBkQ9QEwBg

Not adding new members. Too bad.

Amnesty International Human Rights Festival -- photo essay by Kyi May Kaung.


My portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese Nobel Peace Laureate and democracy leader, at Kefa Cafe, Bonifant St. Silver Spring MD -- copyright Kyi May Kaung.

Write a letter for Aung San Suu Kyi -
http://www.amnestyusa.org/writeathon/

Will you stand with Aung San Suu Kyi?
http://blog.amnestyusa.org/iar/will-you-stand-with-aung-san-suu-kyi/#comment-22834




Festival poster on lamp post.




Silver Spring, MD. Wayne Avenue -- photo copyright Kyi May Kaung.





Yellow Roses for Aung San Suu Kyi and the nearly 2200 political prisoners of Burma. Photo copyright Kyi May Kaung.

Kyi May Kaung's Cut and Paste Collage Show at Pansuriya Gallery -- re-posting -

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://pansuriya.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/kmk-collage-images.jpg&imgrefurl=http://pansuriya.wordpress.com/2009/04/&usg=__NpQzpIi6hKsPAycJdMWccRcGOps=&h=2112&w=2816&sz=2976&hl=en&start=5&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=q9WGsI_mYpLBEM:&tbnh=113&tbnw=150&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dsuriya%2Bgallery%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26hs%3DNW%26sa%3DX%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26nfpr%3D1%26tbs%3Disch:1

European Union statement on Burma -

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/114004.pdf



P R E S S
R u e d e l a L o i 1 7 5 B – 1 0 4 8 B R U S S E L S T e l . : + 3 2
( 0 ) 2 2 8 1 8 2 3 9 / 6 3 1 9 F a x : + 3 2 ( 0 ) 2 2 8 1 8 0 2 6
press.office@consilium.europa.eu http://www.consilium.europa.eu/Newsroom
1
EN
COUNCIL OF
THE EUROPEAN UNION
EN
Council conclusions on Burma/Myanmar
3009th FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting
Luxembourg, 26 April 2010
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
"1. The Council reaffirms the EU’s unwavering commitment to the people
of Burma/Myanmar.
The EU remains a major donor to the country and stands ready to
increase its assistance to the
people of Burma/Myanmar, in order to improve their social and economic
conditions.
2. The Council calls upon the authorities of Burma/Myanmar to take
steps to bring about a
peaceful transition to a democratic, civilian and inclusive system of
government. The Council
underlines that the political and socio-economic challenges facing the
country can only be
addressed through genuine dialogue between all stakeholders, including
the ethnic groups and
the opposition.
3. The Council expresses its serious concerns that election laws as
published in early March do
not provide for free and fair elections and notes that the authorities
of Burma/Myanmar still
have to take the steps necessary to make the planned elections later
this year a credible,
transparent and inclusive process. The Council reiterates its call for
the release of the political
prisoners and detainees, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
4. The Council deems it necessary to extend the restrictive measures
provided for in the current
EU Decision by another year. The Council underlines its readiness to
revise, amend or
reinforce the measures it has already adopted in light of developments
on the ground. The EU
stands ready to respond positively to genuine progress in Burma/Myanmar.
5. To help achieve the progress needed, the EU is ready to continue
its dialogue with the
authorities of Burma/Myanmar and all other relevant stakeholders. It
intends to send an
exploratory mission to the country, in order to hold high level talks,
in the hope of building
trust and helping the political process to move towards the intended goals.
2
EN
6. The Council expresses its strong support for the continued work of
EU Special Envoy Piero
Fassino and invites the Burma/Myanmar authorities to cooperate fully with him.
7. The Council urges the government of Burma/Myanmar to engage more
with the international
community, to work towards a peaceful transition to democracy. It
reaffirms the EU’s support
for the Good Offices Mission of the UN Secretary General and welcomes
his continued
personal commitment to further the political process, and calls upon
the authorities of
Burma/Myanmar to engage with the UN in a meaningful manner. The EU
will continue to
actively support the group of friends of the UNSG and raise the
situation in the country, and
its possible implications for regional stability, with key actors,
including ASEAN and its
Member States, the United States, Australia, China, India, Japan and Russia.
8. The Council welcomes the ASEAN Chairman's statement of 9 April 2010
from the 16th
Summit, which underscored the importance of national reconciliation in
Myanmar and the
holding of the general election in a free, fair and inclusive manner.
The Council also
welcomes statements from individual ASEAN members, as well as Japan,
on the need for
release of all political prisoners and detainees, including Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi. The EU
looks forward to a continued close dialogue with our ASEAN partners on
the issue - next time
at the upcoming EU/ASEAN ministerial in May in Madrid.
9. The Council welcomes the adoption of Resolution 13/25 of the UN
Human Rights Council,
and endorses the Progress report by the UN Special Rapporteur, Mr
Quintana. It calls upon
the authorities of Burma/Myanmar to cooperate with him in a
constructive manner and
comply in full with the UN's recommendations, by taking urgent
measures to put an end to
violations of international human rights and humanitarian law."
_________________

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kyi May Kaung's poetry reading, this evening --



Pink camellia with fallen petals. Photo copyright Kyi May Kaung.


Kyi May Kaung -

Reading 5-6 PM from my books, Pelted with Petals: The Burmese Poems,

and Tibetan Tanka

and anthologies in which I have been featured: Norton's Language for a New Century,and Amnesty International and the New Republic's Fire in the Soul.

Nicaro's, Cajun Restaurant, 8229 Georgia Av. Silver Spring, MD 20910.

301 588 2867

more info www.humanrightsartsfestival.com

Free parking at Pyramid Atlantic on Georgia Av. Walking distance from Silver Spring metro.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Official website of the Picasso Estate --

bit difficult to negotiate --

http://www.picasso.fr/us/picasso_page_index.php

Pablo Picasso --

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pablo_Picasso

Picasso's Rape of the Sabine Women, painted when he was eighty

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/397922/art_commentary_of_the_rape_of_the_sabine_pg2.html?cat=4

Picasso at 90

http://www.freeessays.cc/db/9/bqg333.shtml

Reminder - Dr Kyi May Kaung's Amnesty International Arts Fest events -Sat and Sunday

Sat 24th and Sunday 25th April.

http://www.humanrightsartfestival.com



Kyi May Kaung: Burmese dissidant and human rights advocate Dr. Kyi May Kaung will discuss mass human rights abuses leading up to Burmese so-called election of October 10, 2010 (?). She is planning on bringing Ms. Wa Wa Maw, the fiancee of a US Citizen now sentenced to 3 years + in Burma for his activities.

(60 minutes) (Taste of Jerusalem) Silver Spring, MD. Directions on Festival website.

Sat April 24, 1-2 PM

Note: Nyi Nyi Aung was released and deported back to USA by Burmese junta in March.



April 25, Sunday, 5-6 PM Nicaro's, Silver Spring, Georgia Av.



Kyi May Kaung "Scream Louder" A poetry reading of Dr. Kaung’s own and other dissident poetry. Dr. Kaung is a Burmese dissident, whose poetry has been anthologized in Norton ‘s "Language for a New Century," as well as published in Counterpunch, Glass, Poet Lore, Asian-American Poetry etc. She is also profiled with Thich Hnat Hanh, Yoko Ono and others on MAP (Museum of American Poetics).



(60 minutes)



My portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi is on display at Kefa Café, 963 Bonifant St. Silver Spring MD through month of April 2010.

Artists’ reception with Anne Marchand, same address above, 5-6 PM Sat 24th April.

Burma since 1962, the failure of development -- Peter Jay Perry

http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9780754645344

Blog2Print --

http://blogspot.sharedbook.com/blog2print/googleblogger/index.html

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dr. Kyi May Kaung's rev. of NLD U Win Tin's

What's That? A Human Hell by U Win Tin

Reviewed by Dr. Kyi May Kaung in Truth Out.

http://www.truthout.org/a-review-u-win-tin-whats-that-a-human-hell-in-burmese58707

Book review by Kyi May Kaung.
U Win Tin, What’s That? A Human Hell. (In Burmese)
Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners, Burma, 12 March 2010, Maesod, Thailand. 318 pages.

U Win Tin (U=Mr. or Uncle, a sign of respect) a close associate and advisor of Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, also known as the chief strategist of the National League for Democracy, spent 19 years in Rangoon’s notorious Insein Prison, most of it in solitary confinement.
On his 80th birthday recently, the AAPPB released his prison memoir, What’s That? A Human Hell, immediately creating a buzz in the Burmese dissident and exile communities. Two Burmese women, one a dissident blogger, one perhaps a closet dissident, sent me electronic copies, saying they had read it straight through, even though they had “other things to do.” It had the same effect on me, even though I read Burmese slowly now and don’t like reading long pieces on line.
Win Tin said he spent “more than 7000 days” in prison and does not know much about it. He was often punished for his continued activism in prison by being placed in solitary, or worse in “the center of hell, the dog cells” where army dogs barked at him “wone wone wone, at night and waung waung waung in the day time.” Instead, he used his prison time to try and live a life with friends, speaking up for common criminals when he needed to, creating a surrogate family, doing many good deeds, plumbing the depths of his own psyche and political philosophies.
What emerges is a crusty, cussed, stubborn old man, who still keeps wearing his blue prison garb but who has refused to let his principles ever be compromised. In the introduction he lists his losses: his home, his adopted daughter forced into exile, his gums bare because he lost his teeth in prison beatings and “missing one of the organs I was born with” – a testicle due to an overdue operation for a strangulated hernia in a dirty prison hospital cell.
Win Tin is a genius at the short-hand political slogan or survival tactics for prison. We learn that the political demands, Suu, Hlut, Twe, Hpwe, for
Suu – let Suu and all political prisoners go
Hlut – for Hluttaw or parliament
Twe for dialog
Hpwe for freedom to organize,
which I first heard of only in 2009 while working for the exile government, and which are now the sticking points forcing the NLD to vote that it will not participate in the sham elections this year, were really formulated by Win Tin and his prison colleagues as early as 1994. He relates how he told this to Bill Richardson, who saw him in prison.
Win Tin does not have much respect for western analysts’ take on Burma. Of the 1994 Time magazine cover story, he says:
. . . if Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Lt. Col. Khin Nyunt (then the most powerful man in Burma, deposed and arrested in 2004 in an internal purge) were to meet and dialog and work out a give and take situation (Oh my God!), Burma’s ah me boke big yarn tangle would become immediately clear and untangled.
Time wrote that thread by thread it would all be unraveled and come out straight shaw ka ne, phyaw ka ne, chaw ka ne.
After reading that piece I became even more dejected and heavy hearted. I did not see anything becoming clearer.
American media and society are quite problematical. They have in their heads some rigid beliefs, . . . some scattershot ideas like puffed rice confetti, flying all over the place.
They’re like the phrase from Saya Zawgyi’s poem –
ma thi wowa, htin wowa – vague, ignorant, muddled.
Look now, Time has done it again, depicting Khin Nyunt as the savior of Burma. What dialog? Is Khin Nyunt going to arrange it so democracy activists and authoritarians can’t stop talking to each other? Ha ha, ha ha! Please moderate your brilliant ideas, American experts! p. 159.

Win Tin uses the Burmese language in an amazing way. His sentences are full of internal rhymes, literary allusions, prison jargon, synonyms and spoonerisms; poetic, witty, rough, rude, scatological and truthful, all at the same time, with a brilliant use of metaphor.
In this human hell, this hellish whirlpool, we are still struggling, swimming upstream, downstream. p.148.
. . . barking and hacking at us.
Odd and weird, wodd and ierd.
He won’t be easy to translate, but someone qualified should.
As Win Tin himself might say, so-called Burma experts seldom can read Burmese and time is showing their take on Burma is very off the mark, tangled as it is in their own tech-speak and “diplomatese.” Or “diplomatease.”
*
Burma watcher Dr. Kyi May Kaung is a bilingual poet and writer, who has worked in the Burmese pro-democracy movement for over a decade. She is on the Technical Advisory Network of the Burmese Democratic Government in Exile. The quotations in this piece were translated by her.

The Best Friend -- Burmese monks of Saffron Revolution site --

http://www.thebestfriend.org/2010/04/13/ashinkesara/

Reporter from small town newspaper wins Pulitzer for unpaid W Va gas royalties story

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/18/AR2010041803106.html?wprss=rss_metro/va

Bomb blasts in Rangoon -- Time mag.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20100419/wl_time/08599198296100

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

ASEAN dream won't come true if it fails to discipline Burma, by U Zin Linn

ASEAN’s dream may not come true if it fails to tame its unprincipled member, Burma

By – Zin Linn

At the end of the 16th ASEAN Summit in the Vietnamese capital Ha Noi on April 9, the Chairman of ASEAN Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung called on Burma/Myanmar to stick to its “road map to democracy” and hold free, fair and inclusive elections.

Nguyen Tan Dung further said, “We were briefed by H.E. Prime Minister Thein Sein of Myanmar on recent political developments and the progress made in the implementation of the Roadmap for Democracy, especially the preparations for the general election in Myanmar in 2010.
We underscored the importance of national reconciliation in Myanmar and the holding of the general election in a free, fair, and inclusive manner, thus contributing to Myanmar’s stability and development. We also stressed the need that Myanmar would continue to work with ASEAN and United Nations in this process.”

The Heads of the ASEAN Member States, gathered in Ha Noi for the 16th ASEAN Summit on 8-9 April 2010 also agreed that ASEAN would act swiftly at national, regional and global levels to achieve sustained economic recovery and development for ASEAN in the aftermath of the global economic and financial crisis. ASEAN is superficially committed to accelerating economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the South-East Asia region, to strengthen the institution for a prosperous and composed community of Southeast Asian nations. So far one of its members is a military-ruled nation that pays no attention to the norms of the grouping. How can the association ignore the recalcitrance of its desperado member, Burma or Myanmar?

ASEAN aims to promote regional peace and stability through respect for justice and the rule of law compliant with the U.N. Charter. It has just stressed the importance of bringing the ASEAN Charter into life in all aspects at the earliest.

Yet it shuts its eyes while extrajudicial killings and violence against women and children take place daily in Burma, one of its members. There is no law and order at all under Burma’s military dictatorship.

Burma, world's worst human rights violator

People of Burma have suffered under high-handed military rulers since 1962. The regime has earned a reputation as one of the world's worst human rights violators. It inhumanly suppressed pro-democracy movements in 1988, followed by, during the Depayin conspiracy on May 30, 2003, and in the Saffron Revolution in September 2007, as well as in many other sporadic crackdowns. The junta has arrested nearly 2,200 political dissidents including the Nobel laureate of Burma, who has been confined to her residence for the 14 of the last 20 years.

The regime held a deceptive referendum at gunpoint in May, 2008, just a few days after Cyclone Nargis devastated the country. The junta said its 2008 Constitution was “approved” by more than 90 per cent of the qualified voters in the referendum, which has been widely dismissed as a fraud.

The worst of the so-called Nargis Constitution is that it provides the blanket immunity to the members of the military junta for their past human rights violations. It also provides a special status for military to live above the law and to practice coup at its will. However, to prevent the participation of key political figures, the 2008 constitution bars the political prisoners including the Lady and the ethnic leaders to contest in the polls. The constitution also does not recognize the ethnic people’s demand for a federal union guaranteeing self-determination and equal opportunity.

The regime has ignored calls from the international community and Burma’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy, to review the 2008 Constitution, which will only bring further troubles to the Burmese people.

People are convinced that, like the referendum held at gunpoint, the secret ballot will not be free, fair and inclusive. The junta may not be able to deal with the worsening socio-economic situation if it continues to turn down the national reconciliation process being urged by the opposition NLD, the United Nationalities Alliance and the Association of the Veteran Politicians. Without National Reconciliation settlement, Burma may not prevail over the current political and economic hardships.

Three key benchmarks at least for good start

In the mean time, ‘Burma’s movement for Democracy and Rights of Ethnic Nationalities’ which represents multi-ethnic political and civil society organizations inside and outside the country working for national reconciliation, has expressed three key benchmarks toward the military regime. Three key benchmarks are to release all political prisoners, to stop all hostilities against ethnic and pro-democracy groupings and inclusive dialogue with key stakeholders plus review of 2008 Constitution. Those benchmarks are appropriate as minimum conditions to be met to begin a good start for peaceful Burma.

But, the character of the junta shows clearly that it has no plan to pay attention to international and domestic concerns, release political prisoners or commence a dialogue for reconciliation. According to a Burmese forecaster, it is baseless to believe that the military dictators are going to build a democratic country by means of the 2008 constitution and it is also useless to wait for a helping hand from the ASEAN for democratization in this military ruled country.

Peoples from all walks of life are severely suffering from a lot of miseries under the military regime which is in the saddle for nearly five decades. The consequences of this reign of violence produce spilling over effects directly into territories of the neighboring countries, especially Thailand and Malaysia.

Burmese workers flee to Thailand

Over the past two decades, more than a million Burmese workers have fled to Thailand. This has placed tremendous pressure on the Thai governments which has been facing its own civil unrests. Trans-border crime has gone up with a massive influx of narcotics drugs, including heroin and methamphetamines. Trafficking in women and children has increased along the 2,400 km-long Thailand-Burma border. The regime's neglect of health-care has also produced a new HIV/AIDS flow into neighboring countries.

Within the country, the living standards of average citizens are rapidly falling. The situation is alarming even on the outskirts of Yangon. According to the UN estimation, one child in three under the age of five is suffering from malnutrition.

The junta’s generals are well-bred gentlemen in front of the ASEAN counterparts where as they are the inhumane dictators to their own populace, especially to the various ethnic groups in Burma.

ASEAN has agreed at the end of the 16th ASEAN Summit that it would act swiftly at national, regional and global levels to achieve sustained economic recovery and development for ASEAN in the aftermath of the global economic and financial crisis. If ASEAN failed to take responsibility taming of its unprincipled member, ASEAN’s dream - Strategy for Economic Recovery and Development – may not come true due to lack of teamwork among member countries, especially Burma the black sheep.

The suffering of the people of Burma has been going on for five decades. The member nations have a moral duty to do whatever they can to help the people of Burma reach a peaceful and sustainable political settlement. No effort may cause a dire reputation toward the association.

In conclusion, ASEAN ought to support three key benchmarks - to release all political prisoners, to stop all hostilities against ethnic and pro-democracy groupings and inclusive dialogue with key stakeholders plus review of 2008 Constitution – solving Burma question as well as raising the association’s dignity higher. People of Burma need ASEAN’s sympathy.

Zin Linn:The author, a freelance Burmese journalist, lives in exile. He is vice-president of Burma Media Association, which is affiliated with the Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontiers.


- Asian Tribune - http://www.asiantri bune.com/ news/2010/ 04/13/asean% E2%80%99s- dream-may- not-come- true-if-it- fails-tame- its-unprincipled -member-burma

Selling short or shorting --

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_%28finance%29

UN Human Rights Rapporteur singles out Big Oil in Burma

from Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-smith/the-un-singles-out-big-oi_b_534426.html

Saturday, April 10, 2010

First Ladies' gowns at Smithsonian --

http://www.projectbeltway.com/

Read Black Hawk Down - on line

by incomparable Mark Bowden.

Mark Bowden - (Black Hawk Down) on Internet and News

Dia Art Foundation --

http://www.diabeacon.org/programs/main/8

What Martin Luther King Jr. said at Riverside Church in NY in 1967, protesting the Vietnam War -

"The time has come for America to hear the truth . . . There comes a time when silence is betrayal . . . Millions have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. There are those who are seeking to equate dissent with disloyalty. It's a dark day in our nation when high level authorities will seek to use every method to silence dissent. Something is happening and people are not going to be silenced. The truth must be told. "

Marin Luther King Jr. Riverside Church, NY, 1967

Irrawaddy Magazine + multimedia --

http://www.irrawaddy.org/highlight.php?art_id=18263

Especially see Water Festival and sex worker's life -- photo essay.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Tim Aye Hardy's appeal to Presdt. Obama

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/worldview/100330/burma-myanmar-elections-junta?page=0,1

Photo essay -- Iranian New Year Nowruz table --








All photos copyright Kyi May Kaung.

Table settings by Iranian community, Chicago.

Shoots are sprouted lentils.


Lovely!

From NEIU Asian-Heritage Program:

Nowruz – A celebration of Iranian New Year
Nowruz, or new day, is the celebration of the Spring Equinox. It is the most cherished of all Iranian festivals and has been observed in one form or another by major cultures of ancient Mesopotamia. Today Nowruz, with its uniquely Iranian characteristics, is a celebration of Spring and the Creation of Life. Seven trays filled with symbolic objects representing truth, justice, good thoughts, good deeds, virtue, prosperity, generosity and long life are displayed. Stop by and sample food, see displays of traditional Nowruz tables, Iranian books and handicrafts. Sponsored by Iranian Faculty, NEIU
Event Hosts: Saba Ayman-Nolley, Simin Hemmati-Rasmussen
4:15 pm – 5:30 pm Golden Eagles 3-31-2010

Important -- indicative of new US policy towards Burma? Catharine dalpino on Asia Society report on Myanmar -

http://asiasecurity.macfound.org/blog/entry/111leaving_the_labyrinth_the_asia_society_task_force_report_on_burma_myanma/

NEIU Asian Heritage Festival: Human Rights --

PRELIMINARY PROGRAM
15th Annual Asian American Heritage Conference
Human Rights: From Dialogue to Action
March 31 – April 1, 2010
Calendar of Events
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
11:00 am – 11:50 am Golden Eagles
The Olympic Games, Human Rights and Democratization: The Cases of Seoul and Beijing
Greetings: Sharon K. Hahs, President, NEIU
Introduction/Moderator: David Leaman, Chair and Associate Professor, Political Science, NEIU
Presenter: Sangmin Bae, Associate Professor, Political Science, NEIU
A comparison between the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 1988 Seoul Olympics addressing the role and influence of the Olympics in precipitating a democratic transition and in promoting human rights
Event Host: Shen Cheng Xu
12:00 noon – 1:15 pm B-146
Asian Business Practices
Introduction: Hong Gee (Andy) Chen, Assistant Professor, Accounting, Business Law and Finance, NEIU
Presenters: D. S. Sundaram, Assistant Professor, Management and Marketing, NEIU
Jian Li, Assistant Professor, Management and Marketing, NEIU
Vivien Chen, Assistant Professor, Management and Marketing, NEIU
Event Host: D. S. Sundaram
1:00 pm – 1:50 pm Golden Eagles
Covering Communities of Color: Living on the Edge
Introduction: Seung-Hwan Mun, Assistant Professor, Communication, Media and Theatre, NEIU
Presenters: Linda Yu, Co-Anchor, ABC 7, Chicago
Nancy Loo, Anchor, Morning News, Fox News Chicago, WFLD-TV, Emmy Award Winning News Journalist
Event Host: Masahiro Kasai
1:25 pm – 2:40 pm SU-214
Burma and Iran: Elections, Democracy and Human Rights
Greetings: Murrell J. H. Duster, Dean, Academic Development, Diversity/Multicultural Programs, NEIU
Introduction: Jason Mohaghegh, Assistant Professor, Philosophy, NEIU
Presenters: Kyi May Kaung, Independent Burma Scholar; poet and novelist
Hamid Akbari, The Audrey Reynolds Distinguished Teaching Professor of Management; Chairperson, Department of Management and Marketing, and Director, Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh Leadership Fund at NEIU
This presentation compares and contrasts pro-democracy struggles in Iran and Burma, with a focus on the planned 2010 elections in Burma (Myanmar). Co-sponsored by the Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh Leadership Fund at NEIU
Event Host: Jason Mohaghegh
2:40 pm – 4:30 pm SU-214
Nowruz – A celebration of Iranian New Year
Nowruz, or new day, is the celebration of the Spring Equinox. It is the most cherished of all Iranian festivals and has been observed in one form or another by major cultures of ancient Mesopotamia. Today Nowruz, with its uniquely Iranian characteristics, is a celebration of Spring and the Creation of Life. Seven trays filled with symbolic objects representing truth, justice, good thoughts, good deeds, virtue, prosperity, generosity and long life are displayed. Stop by and sample food, see displays of traditional Nowruz tables, Iranian books and handicrafts. Sponsored by Iranian Faculty, NEIU
Event Hosts: Saba Ayman-Nolley, Simin Hemmati-Rasmussen
4:15 pm – 5:30 pm Golden Eagles
A Video Documentary Screening and Interactive Discussion on North Korea
Introduction: Kyu Young Park, Associate Director, International Programs, NEIU
Moderator: Seung-Hwan Mun, Assistant Professor, Communication, Media and Theatre, NEIU
Event Host: Andy Chen
7:05 pm – 8:30 pm Golden Eagles
Globalization, Climate Change and Environmental Justice
Introduction: Murrell J. H. Duster, Dean, Academic Development, Diversity/Multicultural Programs, NEIU
Presenters: Economic Liberalization and Displacement
Abhijit Banerjee, Assistant Professor, Geography and Environmental Studies, NEIU
Climate Justice
Jyoti Kulkarni, Program Associate, START (Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training)
Women and Environmental Justice
Shweta Singh, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Loyola University Chicago Event Host: Yasmin Ranney
7:05 pm – 8:30 pm SU-214
The Role of Asia in a Globalized Economy
Greetings: Lawrence P. Frank, Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs, NEIU
Introduction: Andy Chen, Professor, Accounting, Business Law and Finance, NEIU
Presenter: Ed Stuart, Professor, Economics Department, NEIU
The Growing Influence of China in the Global Economy
Presenter: Jin W. Choi, Associate Professor, Economics, DePaul University
The rapid economic growth of China in recent decades demands greater respect by the world community. Knowledge of the past, present, and future of China is essential for business managers to compete effectively in the global economy. Will China be a threat to the U.S.A.? Event Host: Kyu Young Park

TBA Golden Eagles
Asian Cultural Patterns: Classroom Implications
Presenter: Teddy Bofman, Professor, Teaching English As a Second/Foreign Language (TESL/TEFL), and English Language Program, NEIU
Event Host: Jeanine Ntihirageza
Thursday, April 1, 2010
8:00 am – 9:15 am Golden Eagles
Goddess Worship in Southern India
Introduction/Moderator:Martin Giesso, Lecturer, Anthropology Department, NEIU
Presenter: Sally Noble, Executive Director and Program Officer, Associated Colleges of the Midwest Chicago Programs
Event Host: Rohit Joshi
9:25 am - 10:40 am Golden Eagles
Human Rights in Asia: Media Coverage
Introduction: Rohit Joshi, Learning Center, NEIU
Panelists: Judy Wang, News Anchor, CLTV, Chicagoland Television
Vandana Jhingan, TV ASIA Midwest Bureau
Event Host: Rohit Joshi
10:50 am – 12:00 Noon Alumni Hall
Bhopal, India: 25th Anniversary of the World’s Worst Industrial Disaster
A Video Discussion-Presentation with Live Feed from Chicago based students currently volunteering in Bhopal
Introduction/Moderator: Stefan Tsonchev, Assistant Professor, Chemistry Department, NEIU
Presenter: Tony Millard, Advisory Board Member, Students for Bhopal in the US, International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB)
Event Host: Masami Takahashi
12:15 pm - 1:30 pm Golden Eagles
Disasters: Vulnerability and the Politics of Reconstruction
‘Tsunami Recovery in Sri Lanka: Ethnic and Regional Dimensions ’ (2010)
Michele R Gamburd, Professor, Anthropology, Portland State University; co-editor, Tsunami Recovery in Sri Lanka: Ethnic and Regional Dimensions, (2010)
The Indian Ocean Tsunami devastated 70 percent of Sri Lanka’s coastline and killed an estimated 35,000 people. It was remarkable both for the magnitude of the disaster and for the unprecedented scale of relief and recovery operations mounted by national and international agencies. The reconstruction process was hampered by political patronage, by competing efforts of hundreds of foreign humanitarian organizations, and by the ongoing civil war. This presentation is framed within this larger political and social context, offering descriptions and comparisons between two regions (southwest vs. eastern coast) to illustrate how disaster relief unfolded in a culturally pluralistic political landscape.
Mangroves and Vulnerability to Coastal Disasters
Monika Mihir, Assistant Professor, Geography and Environmental Studies, NEIU
Explaining Post-Disaster Solidarity: Civic Participation and Politics of Emotions in the Wake of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake in China
Bin Xu, PhD candidate, Sociology, Northwestern University
Event Host: Hoa T. Khuong
1:00 – 2:00 pm Village Square
The Asian American Heritage Committee invites you to Village Square to write poems, draw images
pen your thoughts to give hope and encouragement to residents of Haiti at Village Square Tables, courtesy: Shenchen Xu, Assistant Professor, Art Department; advisor, Chinese Student Club, NEIU; co-sponsored by The Chinese Student Club, NEIU; Aikido Demonstration by Stephen Toyoda and friends, Japanese Culture Center, Chicago; Korean Craft Demonstration, co-sponsored by The Korean American Cultural Association Event Host: Cynthia Roth Garfield

2:30 pm – 4:05 pm SU-214
Discovering the Women of Asia – A Presentation by NEIU Students, MNGT 378 “Women and Diversity in Management”
Introduction: Marie-Elene Roberge, Assistant Professor, Management and Marketing, NEIU
NEIU students, MNGT 378 will present challenges and contributions of prominent Asian Women: Mother Theresa, Corazon Aquino, Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto, Queen Noor of Jordan, Imelda Marcos, and Mumtaz Mahal (for whom the Taj Mahal was built). Event Host: Masahiro Kasai

2:50 pm – 4:05 pm Golden Eagles
Disasters: Vulnerability and the Politics of Reconstruction
‘Tsunami Recovery in Sri Lanka: Ethnic and Regional Dimensions ’ (2010)
Introduction: Job Ngwe, Assistant Professor, Social Work Department, NEIU
Presenter: Michele R Gamburd, Professor, Anthropology, Portland State University; co-author, Tsunami Recovery in Sri Lanka: Ethnic and Regional Dimensions, (2010)
The Indian Ocean Tsunami devastated 70 percent of Sri Lanka’s coastline and killed an estimated 35,000 people. It was remarkable both for the magnitude of the disaster and for the unprecedented scale of relief and recovery operations mounted by national and international agencies. The reconstruction process was hampered by political patronage, by competing efforts of hundreds of foreign humanitarian organizations, and by the ongoing civil war. This presentation is framed within this larger political and social context, offering descriptions and comparisons between two regions (southwest vs. eastern coast) and four ethnic communities (Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, and Burghers) to illustrate how disaster relief unfolded in a culturally pluralistic political landscape. Event Host: Evelyn Rivera-Swint
4:15 pm – 5:30 pm Golden Eagles
Relief Efforts: A Global Challenge
Introduction:
Presenters: Red Cross representative

7:05 pm – 8:30 pm Golden Eagles
DAM/AGE, a film with Arundhati Roy - A Video Presentation/Discussion on the Narmada Dam
Introduction: Jerry Mostek, Instructor, Geography and Environmental Studies, NEIU
Co-Presenters: Abhijit Banerjee, Assistant Professor, Geography and Environmental Studies, NEIU
Suvarup Saha, Human Rights Activist, Ph.D. Candidate, Northwestern University
In October 2001, the supreme court in India charged Arundhati Roy with contempt of court. This is the story of the events that led to her arrest Event Host: Abhijit Banerjee
UPCOMING EVENTS:
April 2-3, 2010 Auditorium
8:00 pm
The China Project: The 2010 Ruth Page Dance Series presents this culminating dance presentation, following faculty member Venetia Stifler and her dance company, CDI/Concert Dance Inc’s visit to Nanjing Normal University in 2009. Combining contemporary and classical Chinese dance artists on one stage, dancers from NNU will present their breathtaking style of classical Chinese dance, and CDI will present a stunning program that includes a preview of their newest work, “Irregular Pearls,” based on the company’s two-week journey and exploration of the Chinese dance aesthetic and culture in May 2009; tickets at box office; free to NEIU students, faculty and staff
April 5, 2010 Auditorium
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Cultural Dance Program by Korean dance and music chorus groups
For more information, contact Academic Development 773-442-5441, y-ranney@neiu.edu
All Events are Free and Open to the Public