Mags The Jedi
Mags The Jedi

Fool
Location: Cornwall, UK
Member Since: 30th May 2004
Total posts: 2020
Posted:Hey folks,

I am writing a feature article on the political situation in Burma, and was wondering if we have any Burmese spinners on here, or for that matter anyone who has been to Burma.

If there are, I would very much like to talk to you. Either reply to this thread or PM me.

Thanks

devil


"I believe the cost of life is Death and we will all pay that in full. Everything else should be a gift. We paid the cover charge of life, we were born."

Bill Hicks, February 1988

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Dom
Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK
Member Since: 19th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3009
Posted:My mother works with Karenni refugees in northern Thailand and so is involved with thier politics. So I know a bit of info and put you in touch with her as she's got a lot of info handy.

You may want to look into the spooky associations between Burma and the book '1984'. The military government is called the "State Peace and Development Council". eek

Too late for me to write much detail now.


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Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:They put a nobel peace prize winner under house arrest and occasionally kill people for no good reason, but that infos about five years dated. I would know more but my cousin who lived there I havn't heard from since the 26th..... He lives in Thailand now. If I get in touch with him again I will try to get you more info.

Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Carrot_Girl
Carrot_Girl

Close your eyes and make a wish
Location: Preston UK
Member Since: 1st Sep 2006
Total posts: 194
Posted:Has anyone else just watched the channel 4 dispatches programme on Burma?

I cried all the way through. I am shocked and disgusted. It will be repeated on thursday on c4 at 4.20am in case you missed it. Dispatches

I had no idea that the situation out there was so desperate, or that the UK was so culpable as Britain also imports more Burmese goods than any other country in Europe. There is another article here

This is an appalling situation.


Life is a journey ... not a guided tour.

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BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:I know some information and contacts about the Burmese illegal migrant workers situation in Thailand after the Tsunami, and some of the organizations working to help them...Pm me if you think that would be any use!

Also can access info about the condition of coral reefs and coastal habitat in Burma post tsunami from a friend contracted to do that analysis.


~Andrea


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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spinningstarlet
spinningstarlet

enthusiast
Location: Bradford *rolls eyes*
Member Since: 29th Aug 2006
Total posts: 271
Posted:a good place to look and get information would probably be the Amnesty International website.

Good Luck.


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Carrot_Girl
Carrot_Girl

Close your eyes and make a wish
Location: Preston UK
Member Since: 1st Sep 2006
Total posts: 194
Posted:I didn't find much on the amnesty site although they were my first thought too. I don't actually know what i want to do about it....I guess i was just shocked to hear yet more stories of murder, torture, and both political and racial oppression. The worst bit is that we in the UK are helping to fund the burmese army by trading with burma.

I was vaguely looking for a campaign to join, but sites like Amnesty were mostly talking about other places like Dafur... then i realised what a drop in the ocean this one country is. It's unbelivable that so much of this humanitarian crisis exists in the world today. frown


Life is a journey ... not a guided tour.

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spinningstarlet
spinningstarlet

enthusiast
Location: Bradford *rolls eyes*
Member Since: 29th Aug 2006
Total posts: 271
Posted:i find that amnesty has so much going on, that it's hard to find one thing in particular. they have tonnes of ongoing campaignes, but the ones that get the publicity are the current ones, or worst ones. I'm a member and the e-mails and updates i get can be so varied, anything from the Dafur crisis, to Womens rights in Spain, and the guns and womens issues right here in the uk.

i can't really think of where else you could look. you could try contacting amnesty to see if they can send you anything more spesific?

|x.,x.,x|


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:*bump*

Satellite pictures may prove human rights ause

My compassion and condolences go out to the ppl of Burma.

Again, I am saddened that the West is doing so little to support and shield the Burmese against their oppressive junta. I guess rubies are just not as valuable as oil is...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Tom, what do you suggest the West do ? Send in some military? Do the sanctions thing ? Send hippies to convince the junta they're wrong ?

Keeping in mind China's relationship with Myanmar here too. What do you figure, and Olympic boycott ?


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Well China is not the roaring tiger it used to be.

Military is always the last possible option - as violence should always be. Pressure, politically and financially should come first hand.

How about freezing the juntas international (private) bank accounts? How about halting foreign investment?

Don't forget that international companies are eagerly rushing into countries like Burma and Cambodia for very good (bad) reasons: no opposition, no taxes, no regulations - just corruption.

If democracy is our system of choice, why do our governments back up military and especially oppressive regimes?

So yes, I'm for the sanctions thing - as long as it doesn't hit the civilian population.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Well considering China is the foreign country with the most foreign investment in Myanmar, the west invoking sanctions and halting foreign investment probably wouldn't have very much effect.

Freezing the junta's bank accounts ? Maybe, but I've been unable to determine just where that money is. China maybe.

Are western governments really backing the junta ? I've also come up dry on this topic, but all I have is this computer and it's internet connection to help me out with this, and, interestingly enough, when I check the labels on every consumer good I own, not one of them says "made in Myanmar" on it.

I suppose we could parallel the situation in Myanmar with that of North Korea. Both countries are brutal dictatorships that get along just fine ( as far as the ruling class is concerned ) without western support, both countries really really suck to live in, and both countries are backed by China.

I figure the west should just stay out of this one, It's an Asian problem, let Asia deal with it.

It's not like I'm unsympathetic to the Burmese people. Tom, you probably meet them daily in Thailand and hear their stories, but just how much do we want to go about the world imposing our western standards on other cultures. Seems to me, we've caused a lot of problems with that tack, Afghanistan being a good example.


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:umm no, I am not wittingly running into Burmese and hear their story at all (from a personal perspective)... shrug

But I read dissidents stories, the story of the newspapers. Pretty much the same sources you can tap into just as me.

I would guess the bank accounts are in good old Switzerland rolleyes they usually are...

Thailand does have some power plant project in Burma, it is mining some of the best quality rubies (amongst other). You are right, it's predominantly China and Russia who block a UN resolution...

Afghanistan and Iraq were invaded for very different reasons, you can't really compare the three. And I would not support an invasion anyway. Western governments should yet not stay completely aside but press harder.

The time is right, I reckon. We can't just watch another Prague spring, 17th of June in East Berlin happen. It's not as if they beg us to help, but certainly the unarmed ppl and monks of Burma would greatly appreciate some help.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Tom, I"m one of these guys who, when travelling, everybody wants to practice their English on. I'm always up for it, but there's a catch, I get to pick the subject matter, which is usually about the person themselves. You know, tell me your story.

It was in that way that I managed to find out that a significant percentage of people working in Thailand's service industry ( waiters, the crews on the dive boats ) were non-Thai.

Violence at the hands of soldiers was a common theme amongst the Burmese.

Without wanting to derail this thread, the reason I mentioned Afghanistan is because there was a certain "humanitarian" bent in many media stories describing just how horrible life under the Taliban was, and the Afghans deserved to be liberated from such tyranny. I was really hesitant to mention Iraq, but there was a smaller component of liberating Iraqis there too.

I'm sure the peoples of Burma would appreciate some help, but the question is, how do we deliver that help in the face of the situation there. Anything I can come up with is patently absurd.

Even if the UN did "something" what's to stop the junta from simply laughing in their face and carrying on as usual. I suppose they could threaten Myanmar with expulsion.


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:In the meantime I have undertaken brief research: whilst Thailand and other Asian nations to be investors, certainly China is to be the biggest protg. The EU has imposed sanctions on Burma already, with the US being the fiercest critic of the junta. The US has even banned new investments by American companies.

PepsiCo , Heineken, Carlsberg and Levi's have been forced to pull out of the country.

EU's corporations are still free to invest, notably into the offshore oil and gas fields (Premier Oil/ UK and Total/ France). However nobody imposed a strict no-trade sanction to Burma, which still employs some 300.000 or so workers in garment factories.

Burma is using forced labour, so personally I will check the labels inside the clothing I buy to assure that my garment is (as) karma-free (as possible).

Also I support the calls of the curfewed opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, NOT to travel Burma as long as the junta remains in power.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:The camp I am organizing the circus for is largely Burmese refugees( And Karen tribe) . There are well over 250 000 displaced people, and growing.They have been stuck there, unable to return to Burma( they get jailed and or killed) and unable to enter Thailand( they are not thai, and thailand can not absorb so many into their economy and culture) So they are stuck, in basic camps, like prisoners. To help address this problem, Recently there is an international Un organized movement to take 20,000 of the refugees and relocate them, in canada, usa, australia and others. So the camps have been in major upheaval as they try to determine who goes, when, where etc.

Unfortunately, as there always are, some people try to take advantage of the situation. With 20,000 gone, the total numbers in the camp should be around that amount less, no? Ya would think. But no, in fact there are more bodies, not less. Mystyerious. Until one realizes how valable access to Cnada, USa, and australia is for the burmese. What is happenning is that people are buying, bribing their way into the camps, so they can have hope of getting a position as one of those relocated! So instead of solving the overpopulation and stagnacy, as the shift was supposed to offer some releif, these camps are even more burdened, stretched to the limits of what they can manage. Add to that the current protests in Burma, and what my happen next with that, and a typhoid and cholera outbreak in the largest camp( the camps I refer to are in thailand, on the thai border.) and you have one seriously strung out miserable group of people.
The woman who helps organize the circus in previous years has a school budget proposal due this week. She had seven hundred stduents, then 200 children left on the relocation program, yet somehow she has more children now, not less. How much? Who knows. Hard to count. Why is it important- well, food and dormitory accomadations are dependant on accurate estimates. Right now they dont have enough....
Sad thing is, I keep getting asked what dates out circus will be, by performers, and people wanting to help. The truth is, until the situation stabilizes a bit more, I dont know is the only answer. Though the children desperately need us, the other basic priorities take precedence over play at the moment, and the place is in chaos. Thai government response to chaos is to apply restriction. So I am waiting, to see if the permits that allow us access go through...

In the meantime, hundreds and hundreds of kids are in what is pretty much a prison, and NGO resources are stretched to their limit. These guys need some help, some love, some life some support, some play some fire.... I so hope we can get in to offer them that!

What can we do? Look online for petition that are being presented to the Un this week, and sign. be activist where you can, donate to the camps if you can, find out who is providing services there, and support them. pressure your government to accept more refugees into your country. They have to go somewhere they can begin to live a real life!

Dont underestimate what you can do to help.

And I agree, travelling to burma is not recommended right now as it supports the military regime. Find another way to access the culture if you must...


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:This is an excerpt from an email a friend sent me:

Burma is ruled by one of the most brutal military dictatorships in the world. For decades the Burmese regime has fought off pressure--imprisoning elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and democracy activists, wiping out thousands of villages, imposing forced labour, creating refugees-



But last Tuesday Buddhist monks and nuns, revered in Burma, began marching and chanting prayers. The protests spread as hundreds of thousands of ordinary people and public figures joined in, finding the hope theyd lost. Now theyre facing crackdown so please, show your solidarity to this movement towards reconciliation and democracy and sign the emergency petition supporting the Burmese people -- it'll be delivered to United Nations Security Council members and international media all week:



http://www.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_burma/tf.php?cl_tf_sign=1



In the past, Burma's military rulers have massacred the demonstrators and crushed democracy. The world must stand with the Burmese people at this time, to show the military rulers that the world will not tolerate repression and violence.



Right now, global leaders are gathering in New York for the annual United Nations summit. In speeches, press interviews but also in real actions, we need them to show Burma's military junta that the global community is willing to act in solidarity with the protesters.



Show your solidarity to this movement for peace and democracy and sign the emergency petition supporting the Burmese people. It'll be delivered to UN Security Council members and the UN press corps all week:



http://www.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_burma/tf.php?cl_tf_sign=1



Thank you for your help!


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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Wild Child
Wild Child

Star Trekker
Location: Cheshire
Member Since: 2nd Sep 2004
Total posts: 1733
Posted:frown I can't (or won't) engage in political debate to the depths you guys have done - which probably means I have the moral fibre of a rabbit but...

1. Killing Buddhist monks is not just wrong, it's sick and the fact the monks took to the streets at all says more about the true situation than anything else

2. We the West have a pretty poor track- record of 'persuading' foreign regimes to change their human rights practices - Iraq and Afghanistan by military interventions that were always doomed to fail, but also sanctions that didn't work. I'm not convinced South Africa would not have made the change from apartheid without them (but that's a whole other topic and way too many negatives fro 1 sentence!) but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be used, but we're certainly reluctant to apply them to Zimbabwe to any great effect for instance

3. I do agree with Tom that the lack of oil means the West doesn't feel the need to go in and i don't think that's right - we're human beings ferchissake - how can we know these things are happening and not protest?

4. China's a funny one these days, seemingly hell bent on beating the capitalist west at their own game from within a communist framework. They certainly don't seem to want to upset the economic west, even if they don't care about the politcal west, so that starts to put them under hitherto unfelt pressure to conform to the West's views even though their own human rights stance is somewhat right of Genghis Khan

I've signed the petition, I wish i believed in something to pray to but Mother Earth is notoriously blind and deaf to mere mortals - we can only hope for change soon


'The last rays of crimson on the spindle tree as the cerise fruit splits and reveals its orange seeds in a gloriously clashing colour scheme no-one would ever dare to wear'
Euonymous Europeus

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Dom
Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK
Member Since: 19th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3009
Posted:A quick note on the lack of oil. There's not much oil, but there's gas. The reason that this isn't an issue is because western companies are already heavily involved in Burma so there's no need to change the government to get in (as in Afghanistan and Iraq). More information on Total Oil's role.

The is a regime that forces local villagers to act as army porters, often abandoning them in the jungle or shooting them when they're too ill to carry any more. These porters are also often sent ahead of the army when moving into territory that might be mined. A regime that uses human mine sweepers really isn't bothered by killing a thousand monks and dumping their bodies in the jungle.

Sadly it looks like nothing will change for a long while without military action and when it does who knows what'll happen.


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Sambo_Flux
Sambo_Flux

Introverted
Location: Norf London
Member Since: 14th Jun 2006
Total posts: 833
Posted:Some more background info on Big Oil involvement

frown


My Mind is a Ship
Emotions become the Waves
Soul is the Ocean

If a quizz is quizzical, what is a test?

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KaelGotRice
KaelGotRice

Basu gasu bakuhatsu - because sometimes buses explode
Location: Angel's Landing, USA
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 1584
Posted:Seeing this on the news brings back memories of when I laid out a guy for offering me a child prostitute and I had to bribe my way out of the country and back into thailand.

Well, I signed the petition. I was already interested in myanmar for their human rights violations of the hill tribe peoples. Too bad most of my country/government doesn't care much.


To do: More Firedrums 08 video?
Wildfire/US East coast fire footage
LA/EDC glow/fire footage
Fresno fire

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ubbrollsmile.gif" alt="" />

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:I also signed the petition and feel saddened that India is so deeply involved in acquiring oil and gas from Burma.

Signing petitions might only be comforting the mind, but not change much.

*have to fight anger, have to fight anger, have to fight anger*

meditate


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Wild Child
Wild Child

Star Trekker
Location: Cheshire
Member Since: 2nd Sep 2004
Total posts: 1733
Posted: Written by: FireTom


Signing petitions might only be comforting the mind, but not change much.





I feel the futility of it but feel so damn useless and inadequate and unable to make any real change anything's better than nothing shrug


'The last rays of crimson on the spindle tree as the cerise fruit splits and reveals its orange seeds in a gloriously clashing colour scheme no-one would ever dare to wear'
Euonymous Europeus

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:which is why I signed anyway... shrug

counting for the worst, hoping for the best... rolleyes


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Wild Child
Wild Child

Star Trekker
Location: Cheshire
Member Since: 2nd Sep 2004
Total posts: 1733
Posted:Such cynicism in one so young umm Though sadly, realistic frown

'The last rays of crimson on the spindle tree as the cerise fruit splits and reveals its orange seeds in a gloriously clashing colour scheme no-one would ever dare to wear'
Euonymous Europeus

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Nice compliment, but remember:

 Written by: WildChild

Don't do germans!



ubblol wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Wild Child
Wild Child

Star Trekker
Location: Cheshire
Member Since: 2nd Sep 2004
Total posts: 1733
Posted:You You You you you you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Grrrrrargghfrrmmmmghhtnn

That was a long time ago - how the feck did you dig that up???? spank mad2

shrug meditate ubblol I'm MUCH better now - tho he's STILL got all my 45's frown


'The last rays of crimson on the spindle tree as the cerise fruit splits and reveals its orange seeds in a gloriously clashing colour scheme no-one would ever dare to wear'
Euonymous Europeus

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:
Non-Https Image Link


I'm two days behind (but then again, I don't have a blog).

exiled Burmese blogspot with more informations

Burmese blogspot 1

Burmese blogspot 2

Wild Child, this statement is on the first page of your intro. shrug wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Wild Child
Wild Child

Star Trekker
Location: Cheshire
Member Since: 2nd Sep 2004
Total posts: 1733
Posted:I know but it's been buried for a long time - what can I say, I was bitter and twisted, xenophobia isn't normal for me which I hope you realise!

'The last rays of crimson on the spindle tree as the cerise fruit splits and reveals its orange seeds in a gloriously clashing colour scheme no-one would ever dare to wear'
Euonymous Europeus

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