January 2012 Burma Bulletin

Document Sample
January 2012 Burma Bulletin Powered By Docstoc
					                        BURMA BULLETIN
                                             A month-in-review of events in Burma
A   L   T   E   R   N    A   T   I   V   E       A   S   E   A   N   N   E   T   W    O       R    K      O     N        B    U   R   M   A
campaigns,              advocacy             &   capacity-building       for         human             rights       &        democracy

Issue 61                                                                                                                January 2012

 The regime releases over 300 political prisoners,                                                     IN THIS ISSUE
  including     numerous     high-profile dissidents.
  However, about 900 political prisoners remain                                           KEY STORY
  detained in jails across Burma.                                                         1 Over 300 dissidents released
 Tatmadaw offensives and attacks against civilians in                                    INSIDE BURMA
  Kachin State and Northern Shan State continue                                           3       ‘Peace agreements’ signed
  despite a second order by President Thein Sein to                                       3       Military operations continue
  cease all military operations.                                                          4       NLD prepares for by-elections
                                                                                          5       Parliament reconvenes
 The regime makes ‘initial peace agreements’ with
                                                                                          HUMAN RIGHTS
  Chin, Karen, and Shan armed groups.
                                                                                          5 Regime tightens censorship
 NLD officially re-enters Burma’s political arena and                                    6 Burma in int’l indexes
  steps up activities in lead-up to the 1 April by-                                       6 Regime violates children rights
  elections. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi calls for legislative                                   DISPLACEMENT
  and constitutional reforms during a campaign tour.                                      6 Refugees pour into China
 The regime tightens restrictions on press freedom.                                      INTERNATIONAL
  Reporters Sans Frontières still ranks Burma near the                                    7       UK sets benchmarks
                                                                                          7       EU to respond to ‘reforms’
  bottom of its annual press freedom survey.
                                                                                          7       US: More needs to be done
 Regime’s report to the UN Committee on the Rights                                       8       US envoy exposes trafficking
  of the Child ignores numerous violations of                                             8       Sanctions eased
  children’s rights in Burma.                                                             9       Thailand & Burma cement ties
 EU, Norway, and Australia ease sanctions. EU,                                           ECONOMY
                                                                                          9 Electricity & gas prices rise
  Denmark, and France plan to increase aid.
                                                                                          9 24-hour electricity campaign
 An unprecedented number of high-level foreign                                           10 Uncertain foreign investments
  officials visit Naypyidaw to assess the regime’s                                        10 Cronies to profit from migrants
  reforms: UK FM and US lawmakers say more still                                          10 IMF, Daw Suu highlight reforms
  needs to be done to complete the reform process.                                        11 International aid upped
                                                                                          11 OTHER BURMA NEWS
 IMF and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi highlight the
                                                                                          13 REPORTS
  necessary reforms to Burma’s economy.                                                   _____________________________________
                                                                                              Receive the Burma Bulletin monthly!
 The regime’s unilateral decision to cancel Italian-                                           email publications@altsean.org
  Thai Development’s coal-fired power plant in the                                               Online copies are available for
                                                                                                 download at www.altsean.org
  Tavoy Special Economic Zone raises eyebrows.

KEY STORY

Over 300 political prisoners released

In January, the regime released over 300 political prisoners. On 2 January, President Thein Sein issued
an order that commuted the death sentences of 33 prisoners to life in jail and reduced the terms of
38,931 prisoners to mark the 64th anniversary of Independence Day.1 As a result of the order, on 4



1
  AP (02 Jan 12) Myanmar reduces sentences for many prisoners, stops short of amnesty; AFP (03 Jan 12) Myanmar cuts prison
terms to mark Independence Day; Reuters (02 Jan 12) Myanmar cuts prison terms but no political amnesty; BBC (02 Jan 12)
Burma announces prison sentence reductions; DPA (03 Jan 12) Myanmar commutes sentences, but political prisoners not freed;
NLM (03 Jan 12) President grants amnesty; Xinhua (02 Jan 12) Myanmar grants amnesty to more prisoners; Mizzima News (03
Jan 12) Burma orders limited prisoner release

P O BOX 296,       LARDPRAO POST OFFICE,                BANGKOK 10310,        THAILAND
TEL ▼ 081 850 9008 ▼ [6681] 850 9008 EMAIL ▼ publications@altsean.org WEB ▼ www.altsean.org
January the regime released 6,656 prisoners from jails across Burma.2 However, as in previous mass
releases [See Table Most recent mass releases of prisoners], most of those freed were common
criminals.3 Only 34 (or 0.5%) of those released were political prisoners.4
                                                                          Most recent mass releases of prisoners
On 12 January, Thein Sein announced an amnesty for                                           Total          Political
an additional 651 prisoners under Section 401(1) of                    Date                                                 %
                                                                                           Prisoners       prisoners
the Criminal Procedure Code.5 Of the 651 released                      18 Nov 2004              3,937              28      0.7%
the next day at least 299 were political prisoners.6                   29 Nov 2004              5,311              12      0.2%
They included numerous high-profile dissidents:7                       13 Dec 2004              5,070              21      0.4%
                                                                       3 Jan 2005               5,588              26      0.5%
                                                                       6 Jul 2005                 334             253     75.7%
 88 Generation Students Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko                           3 Jan 2007               2,831              50      1.7%
  Gyi, Phyone Cho, Kyaw Min Yu aka Jimmy, Htay                         23 Sep 2008              9,002              10      0.1%
  Kywe, Nilar Thein, Mya Aye, and Ant Bwe Kyaw.                        20 Feb 2009              6,313              24      0.4%
 Shan leaders Hkun Htun Oo and Nyunt Lwin.                            17 Sep 2009              7,114             128      1.8%
                                                                       16 May 2011            14,578               55      0.4%
 Buddhist monk U Gambira.
                                                                       12 Oct 2011              6,359             220      3.4%
 Former MP elected in 1990 Kyaw Min.                                  4 Jan 2012               6,656              34      0.5%
 Journalists Sein Win Maung, Thant Zin Aung and                       13 Jan 2012                651             299     45.9%
  Zaw Thet Htwe, 13 DVB video journalists, and                         Total                  73,744           1,180       1.6%
  blogger Nay Phone Latt.

The regime also released former SPDC PM Khin Nyunt along with about 200 military intelligence
officials who had been imprisoned following Khin Nyunt’s ouster in October 2004.8

Despite the release of a large number of political prisoners, the following points are a matter of concern:

 About 900 political prisoners remain detained in jails across Burma.9
 Political prisoners released under Section 401(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code can be rearrested
  and forced to serve the remainder of their original sentences if they violate any laws in the future.10
 The regime continued to refuse to acknowledge the existence of political prisoners in Burma. On 14
  January, regime Home Affairs Minister Lt Gen Ko Ko said that none of the approximately 300
  dissidents released had been jailed for political reasons.11

The UN, the EU, the US, the UK, Norway, Australia, South Korea, and the Philippines all welcomed
the release of political prisoners as a positive step forward.12 However, the US, the UN, Canada, and the


2
   NLM (06 Jan 12) 6656 prisoners granted amnesty, 38964 get clemency; Xinhua (0 Jan 12) 6,656 prisoners released under
amnesty order in Myanmar; Bernama (06 Jan 12) 6,656 Prisoners Released Under Amnesty Order In Myanmar
3
  DPA (05 Jan 12) Myanmar has released a total of 347 political prisoners, group says
4
  DPA (05 Jan 12) Myanmar has released a total of 347 political prisoners, group says
5
   AP (12 Jan 12) Myanmar says 651 convicts to be freed under pardon; DPA (12 Jan 12) Myanmar to release 651 more
prisoners; Reuters (13 Jan 12) Many Myanmar political prisoners to be freed – officials; NLM (13 Jan 12) Amnesty granted to 651
male and female prisoners in accordance with Section 401, Sub-section (1) of Code of Criminal Procedure aimed at enabling
them to participate in national reconciliation and political processes; Xinhua (13 Jan 12) Myanmar student, ethnic leaders
released under amnesty order; Mizzima News (12 Jan 12) Prisoners to be granted amnesty on Friday; AFP (14 Jan 12) Myanmar
says 300 political prisoners freed
6
  AAPP (20 Jan 12) Released 299 Political Prisoners on Jan 13, 2012; NYT (22 Jan 12) Many Freed Burmese Weren’t Jailed for
Politics
7
   Reuters (13 Jan 12) Many Myanmar political prisoners to be freed – officials; AP (13 Jan 12) Myanmar releases prominent
political prisoners after presidential pardon; DPA (13 Jan 12) Myanmar to release some top political prisoners; Xinhua (13 Jan 12)
Myanmar student, ethnic leaders released under amnesty order; DPA (13 Jan 12) LEAD: Myanmar releases top political
prisoners; BBC (13 Jan 12) High-profile dissidents freed in Burma amnesty; Mizzima News (13 Jan 12) Prominent political
prisoners freed; Irrawaddy (13 Jan 12) Political Dissidents Released in Govt Amnesty; VOA (13 Jan 12) Burma Releases
Prominent Political Prisoners; RFA (13 Jan 12) Top Burmese Dissidents Freed; Mizzima News (13 Jan 12) Most prominent
political prisoners freed; DPA (13 Jan 12) Burma releases top political prisoners; Kaladan News (16 Jan 12) Burma frees many
famous political prisoners; Myanmar Times (16 Jan 12) Presidential order sees 651 freed; DVB (13 Jan 12) DVB reporters freed,
Obama hails releases; IFJ (17 Jan 12) IFJ Welcomes Release of Journalists in Burma
8
  Xinhua (13 Jan 12) Former Myanmar PM Khin Nyunt released under amnesty order; DPA (13 Jan 12) LEAD: Myanmar releases
top political prisoners; AFP (13 Jan 12) Myanmar pardons political prisoners, ex-PM; BBC (13 Jan 12) High-profile dissidents
freed in Burma amnesty; RFA (13 Jan 12) Top Burmese Dissidents Freed
9
  Mizzima News (27 Jan 12) Up to 900 political prisoners may remain in Burmese jails
10
   Irrawaddy (17 Jan 12) Burma's Remaining Jailed Dissidents; Chinland Guardian (15 Jan 12) Political Prisoners from Ethnic
Armed Groups Remain Locked Up: AAPP
11
   AFP (14 Jan 12) Myanmar says 300 political prisoners freed


                                                                2
UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Tomás Ojea Quintana urged the regime to release all
remaining political prisoners.13

INSIDE BURMA

Regime signs ‘initial peace agreements’ with four ethnic groups

In January, the regime continued to promote the appearance of a reform agenda by pursuing ‘peace
agreements’ with ethnic armed groups. The regime’s apparent haste to produce ‘initial’ agreements
appears to be aimed at removing economic sanctions and other barriers to foreign investment. Regime
representatives signed agreements with the Shan State Army-South (SSA-S), the Chin National Front
(CNF), the Karen National Union (KNU), and the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N). However, the
regime failed to reach an agreement with the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO).

 6 January: After two days of talks, CNF representatives signed a nine-point ‘initial peace agreement’
  with a regime delegation led by Rail Transportation Minister Aung Min in Haka, Chin State. 14
 12 January: KNU representatives signed an ‘initial ceasefire agreement’ with a regime delegation led
  by Rail Transportation Minister Aung Min during talks in Hpa-an, Karen State.15 Following the
  agreement, KNU General Secretary Zipporah Sein noted that it was an agreement “in principle” and
  that “a lot more discussions about the politics involved” were necessary.16
 16 January: SSA-S representatives signed an 11-point ‘initial agreement’ with a delegation led by
  Minister of Rail Transportation Aung Min during talks in Taunggyi, Southern Shan State.17
 19 January: After two days of talks in Ruili, China, KIO representatives and regime officials led by
  regime ‘Peace-making Group’ head Aung Thaung, failed to reach an agreement.18
 28 January: SSA-N representatives signed a five-point ‘preliminary agreement’ with the regime
  ‘Peace-making Group’ led by Aung Thaung during talks in Taunggyi, Southern Shan State.19

Military operations, attacks against civilians continue

In January, the Tatmadaw continued to launch armed offensives against the Kachin Independence Army
(KIA) in Kachin State and Northern Shan State.

On 13 January, President Thein Sein issued an order for Tatmadaw forces to cease hostilities against all
ethnic armed groups in Burma.20 However, the order - which followed a 10 December order to end
attacks against the KIA - had little effect on the situation on the ground. Tatmadaw troops continued

12
   UN News Center (13 Jan 12) Ban welcomes prisoner release and other important moves by Myanmar authorities; EU (13 Jan
12) Statement by EU HR Ashton on the release of political prisoners in Burma-Myanmar; White House (13 Jan 12) Statement by
the President on the Release of Burmese Political Prisoners; Daily Express (13 Jan 12) Hague Hails Burma Prisoner Releases;
Norway Post (14 Jan 12) Pleased at release of prisoners in Myanmar; AAP (14 Jan 12) Australia welcomes Burma prisoners
release; Yonhap (14 Jan 12) Korea welcomes Myanmar's release of political prisoners; AFP (18 Jan 12) Philippines seeks lifting
of Myanmar sanctions
13
   Reuters (14 Jan 12) Clinton calls Myanmar's foreign minister, Aung San Suu Kyi; OHCHR (16 Jan 12) Myanmar: UN expert
welcomes prisoner release, calls for further progress on human rights protections; UN News Center (16 Jan 12) Myanmar: UN
rights expert welcomes release of prisoners of conscience; Globe and Mail (13 Jan 12) Canada ‘optimistic’ as Myanmar frees
more political prisoners
14
   NLM (09 Jan 11) Initial peace agreement inked between State Level Peace-making Group and CNF; Chinland Guardian (06
Jan 12) Breakthrough: CNF Signed Ceasefire Deal with Govt; Xinhua (08 Jan 12) Myanmar ethnic armed group signs initial deal
with local gov't
15
   NLM (14 Jan 12) State level peace-making group, KNU peace-making group sign initial agreement Irrawaddy (12 Jan 12) KNU,
Govt Reach Historic Agreement; DPA (12 Jan 12) ANALYSIS: Myanmar-Karen ceasefire a good first step, but far to go; NYT (12
Jan 12) Burmese Government and Ethnic Rebel Group Sign Cease-Fire; CNN (12 Jan 12) Myanmar signs cease-fire with rebel
group; Suu Kyi joins elections; AP (12 Jan 12) Myanmar signs cease-fire with ethnic rebels
16
   KIC (13 Jan 12) KNU will continue to political talk after they signed ceasefire
17
   NLM (18 Jan 12) Union level peace-making group, RCSS/SSA peace-making group sign 11 initial agreement; Xinhua (17 Jan
12) Shan ethnic group, Myanmar gov't ink peace deal; SHAN (18 Jan 12) SSA and regime sign new agreement;
18
   Irrawaddy (18 Jan 12) Burmese Gov’t and Kachin Armed Group Hold Peace Talks in China; DPA (19 Jan 12) LEAD: Second
day of Myanmar-Kachin peace talks begins; DPA (19 Jan 12) Myanmar-Kachin peace talks fail to agree on ceasefire; RFA (19
Jan 12) Rebels, Military Discuss Ceasefire; DVB (19 Jan 12) Kachin ceasefire talks fail to net result
19
   NLM (30 Jan 12) Peace agreement signed between Union level peace-making group and Shan State
Progressive Party (SSPP)/Shan State Army peace-making group; Xinhua (29 Jan 12) More Shan ethnic armed group signs initial
peace pacts with Myanmar gov't
20
   DVB (19 Jan 12) Kachin ceasefire talks fail to net result; Kachin News Group (19 Jan 12) Thein Sein's orders for Burma army to
halt Kachin offensive are worthless


                                                               3
their attacks against the KIA. The Tatmadaw also continued to mobilize troop reinforcements and
supplies to conflict areas.21 KIO officials estimated that over 20,000 Tatmadaw soldiers were involved
in the ongoing offensive.22

 3-4 January: Tatmadaw forces attacked the KIA’s Battalion 16 base at Lwaigyai in Mongton
  Township, Northern Shan State.23
 19-20 January: Tatmadaw forces attacked KIA Battalion 8 soldiers along the Kyaukpyu-Kunming
  pipeline route in Namtu, Mantong, and Kutkai Townships in Northern Shan State.24

Tatmadaw forces also continued to target civilians during military operations in Kachin State. Reports
also surfaced of Tatmadaw attacks on civilians in China’s Yunnan Province opposite Kachin State.25

 5 January: Tatmadaw soldiers detained a local village administrator from Tar Law Gyi Village,
  Myitkyina Township, for alleged ties to the KIA.26
 11 January: Tatmadaw soldiers shot and killed two Kachin women, aged 17 and 20, while they were
  walking to a market near Nam Ya Village, Hpakant Township.27
 12 January: Tatmadaw soldiers killed a 60-year-old ethnic Chinese farmer near Loije, Momauk
  Township.28
 15 January: Tatmadaw soldiers from LIB 309 killed two civilians in Hpakant Township.29

NLD prepares for by-elections

In January, the NLD officially re-entered Burma’s political arena and stepped up activities in
preparation for the 1 April by-elections.

 5 January: Regime Election Commission approved the NLD registration.30
 9 January: The NLD re-organized its seven-member Central Executive Committee (CEC) and Daw
  Aung San Suu Kyi became the party’s chairperson.31
 16 January: The NLD published the first issue of its new campaign newsletter “D-Wave.”32
 17 January: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and HIV/AIDS activist Phyu Phyu Thin held a campaign rally
  to mark the opening of a new party office in Rangoon’s Mingala Taungnyunt Township.33
 18 January: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi registered to run for a parliamentary seat in Rangoon Division’s
  Kawmoo Township.34
 19 January: The NLD nominated candidates for all 48 vacant parliamentary seats in the by-
  elections.35 Candidates included: CEC members Ohn Kyaing, Win Myint, and May Win Myint;




21
   Kachin News Group (27 January 12) Burma army redeploys troops to Kachin frontline
22
   Kachin News Group (27 January 12) Burma army redeploys troops to Kachin frontline
23
   Irrawaddy (04 Jan 12) Kachins in Fight to Defend Mountain Base
24
   DVB (19 Jan 12) Kachin ceasefire talks fail to net result; Kachin News Group (19 Jan 12) Thein Sein's orders for Burma army to
halt Kachin offensive are worthless
25
   Kachin News Group (13 Jan 12) Burma Army kills Chinese civilian in Yunnan; Kachin News Group (20 Jan 12) Update on
Burmese army killing of Chinese civilian in Yunnan; Kachin News Group (23 Jan 12) Burma soldiers open fire on Chinese village
sheltering
26
   DVB (16 Jan 12) Burmese troops nab govt employee
27
   Kachin News Group (11 Jan 12) Burma army kills two unarmed Kachin women
28
   Kachin News Group (13 Jan 12) Burma government soldiers execute farmer in Loije near China border
29
   Kachin News Group (17 Jan 12) Burma army continues killing unarmed civilians in Hpakant
30
   NLM (06 Jan 12) Application for registration as political party granted; AP (05 Jan 12) Myanmar approves Suu Kyi’s party for
election; Xinhua (06 Jan 12) Myanmar's opposition returns to mainstream of political life
31
   AFP (10 Jan 12) Suu Kyi becomes party chief as by-election looms; Xinhua (10 Jan 12) Myanmar opposition reformed with
Aung San Suu Kyi as chairwoman; RFA (11 Jan 12) NLD Launches Election Blitz; Irrawaddy (11 Jan 12) Suu Kyi’s NLD Stirs Up
Election Fever; Mizzima News (09 Jan 12) NLD reshuffles senior leadership
32
   Irrawaddy (16 Jan 12) NLD Publishes First Election Newsletter; Irrawaddy (16 Jan 12) NLD Publishes First Election Newsletter
33
   DPA (17 Jan 12) Myanmar opposition chooses HIV/AIDS activist to contest election
34
   AFP (18 Jan 12) Suu Kyi registers as candidate in Myanmar by-election; BBC (18 Jan 12) Aung San Suu Kyi registers for
Burma election run; DPA (18 Jan 12) Aung San Suu Kyi registers to run in Myanmar by-election; VOA (18 Jan 12) Suu Kyi Files
Papers to Run for Burmese Parliament; Xinhua (19 Jan 12) Myanmar opposition nominates full candidates for by-elections;
Mizzima News (18 Jan 12) Suu Kyi files to run in Parliament
35
   Xinhua (19 Jan 12) Myanmar opposition nominates full candidates for by-elections


                                                               4
  HIV/AIDS activist Phyu Phyu Thin, former political prisoner Phyo Min Thein, hip hop singer and
  former political prisoner Zayar Thaw, and 88 Generation Student Sandar Min. 36
 29 January: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi made a campaign trip to Tavoy, Tenasserim Division, to
  support local NLD candidate Aung Soe.37 Thousands of supporters cheered Daw Suu during her one-
  day trip.38 In a speech to supporters, she said the NLD would work in the Parliament to repeal
  “repressive laws” and amend the constitution.39

Other key political players announced their stance in relation to the by-elections:

 88 Generation Students said they would support Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s bid for a parliamentary
  seat but indicated they would not participate in the polls.40
 Ethnic political parties Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), Arakan League for
  Democracy (ALD), Mon National Democratic Front (MNDF), and Zomi National Congress (ZNC)
  said they would re-register but would not field any candidates in the by-elections.41

Parliament reconvenes to discuss budget

On 26 January, the People’s Assembly and the National Assembly reconvened for the third
parliamentary session in Naypyidaw.42 On 31 January, the National Parliament (a joint session of both
Houses) reconvened.43 The Parliament is expected to debate and adopt the national budget for the FY
2012/2013 and resume the discussion of several bills that were introduced during the second session.44
In addition, regime Censorship Board Director Tint Swe announced that a new media law that would
“guarantee freedom of expression in Burma” would also be introduced during the third session.45

HUMAN RIGHTS

Regime tightens censorship

“People in the international community and some political groups are saying that we have press
freedom now, but it isn't true.” - A Rangoon-based reporter.46

Despite the regime’s repeated announcements that it would lift media censorship, in January fresh
reports surfaced of tightened restrictions on press freedom. The regime Censorship Board warned local
media not to report about:47


36
   Irrawaddy (12 Jan 12) NLD Lists 22 Candidates for By-Election; Irrawaddy (18 Jan 12) Burma's Hip Hop Singer Stands for By-
Election Seat; DVB (19 Jan 12) Rapper to contest seat in Burma’s capital; Mizzima News (18 Jan 12) 88-student, hip-hop singer
file to run; AFP (19 Jan 12) Singer, ex-prisoner join Myanmar by-election fight
37
    AP (29 Jan 12) Myanmar's Suu Kyi making first campaign tour; AFP (28 Jan 12) Suu Kyi on campaign trip for Myanmar's by-
election; BBC (29 Jan 12) Aung San Suu Kyi draws crowds on Burma election campaign trail; VOA (29 Jan 12) Burma
Democracy Leader Begins Political Campaigning
38
    AP (29 Jan 12) Myanmar's Suu Kyi making first campaign tour; BBC (29 Jan 12) Aung San Suu Kyi draws crowds on Burma
election campaign trail; VOA (29 Jan 12) Burma Democracy Leader Begins Political Campaigning
39
   RFA (29 Jan 12) Pledge to Scrap 'Repressive' Laws; Reuters (29 Jan 12) Myanmar's Suu Kyi calls for changes to constitution
40
    Reuters (21 Jan 12) Top Myanmar dissidents back Suu Kyi but won't contest election; AFP (21 Jan 12) Myanmar's Suu Kyi
gets support boost; Mizzima News (23 Jan 12) 88-Students will be active in politics
41
   AP (19 Jan 12) Ethnic Shan leader in Myanmar to re-register party; Mizzima News (20 Jan 12) Four dissolved ethnic parties to
re-register
42
   NLM (27 Jan 12) Third regular session of first Pyithu Hluttaw commences - Chairmen and secretaries of Pyithu Hluttaw Public
Accounts Committee, Hluttaw Rights Committee and Government’s Guarantees, Pledges and Undertakings Vetting Committee
submit reports to Hluttaw; NLM (27 Jan 12) First day third regular session of first Amyotha Hluttaw held - Today’s session
includes formation of one commission and one committee, reformation of Hluttaw committee, reply to five questions by respective
Union Ministers, submitting one bill sent by Pyithu Hluttaw with amendment, and submitting one bill and two proposals
43
    NLM (01 Feb 12) First day third regular session of First Pyidaungsu Hluttaw kicks off - President’s message recorded, joint
committee formed, duties assigned, bills submitted
44
    Xinhua (04 Jan 12) Myanmar to resume parliament session to deal with more bills; Mizzima News (04 Jan 12) Burmese
Parliament to convene Jan. 26; Myanmar Times (09 Jan 12) Next hluttaw session to focus on budget; Mizzima News (25 Jan 12)
Lawmakers will try to cut state budgets to reduce deficit; Mizzima News (26 Jan 12) Joint parliament session to debate budget on
Tuesday; Xinhua (26 Jan 12) Myanmar to hold third parliament session; Irrawaddy (27 Jan 12) Burma’s Parliament Back in
Session, Budget is Top Priority
45
   Irrawaddy (27 Jan 12) Burma’s Parliament Back in Session, Budget is Top Priority
46
   Irrawaddy (23 Jan 12) Burma's Censors Tighten Grip Ahead of By-election
47
   Irrawaddy (23 Jan 12) Burma's Censors Tighten Grip Ahead of By-election; RFA (23 Jan 12) Burma's Censors Back in Action


                                                               5
 Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s call for the release of remaining political prisoners.
 Comments made by 88 Generation Students concerning the need for the creation of student unions
  and the regime’s flawed policies vis-à-vis ethnic groups.
 News about the eviction of abbot U Pyinnya Thiha from his Rangoon monastery by the regime-
  backed Sangha. [See December 2011 Burma Bulletin]
 Reports of campaign irregularities by the USDP in the lead-up to the 1 April by-elections.

Burma still near the bottom of int’l indexes

International indexes released in January continued to provide a bleak outlook for freedom in Burma:
 19 January: Freedom House released its annual “Freedom in the World 2012” report.48 The report
  rated Burma as “Not Free” with regard to political rights and civil liberties.49 Freedom House has
  rated Burma as “Not Free” since its first survey in 1972.
 25 January: Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) released its “Press Freedom Index 2011/2012.”50 The
  survey ranked Burma 169th out of 179 countries.51

Regime ignores, violates, children’s rights in Burma

On 19 January, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) examined the regime’s periodic
report under the Convention of the Rights of the Child.52 The report stated that the regime had taken, or
was in the process of adopting, necessary measures to comply with the Convention.53 However, the
regime’s report failed to address documented cases of gross violations of children’s rights including:
    The recruitment and use of child soldiers and cases of sexual abuse by the Tatmadaw.54
    Displacement and attacks on education and healthcare facilities and personnel.55
    Incidents of forced labor.56
    The denial of Rohingya children’s rights, including freedom to travel, access to education, healthcare,
     and recognition under the law.57

In response to the Committee’s questions about budget allocations that put military spending above
health and education, and concerns that revenues from the sale of natural resources were not benefiting
Burmese children, regime Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Maung Wai explained that income was
spent on mega-development projects.58 Maung Wai also claimed there was no discrimination based on
religion, race or gender in Burma and said that usage of the term ‘Muslim Rohingya’ was a “painful
thing” for the delegation.59

DISPLACEMENT

Refugees pour into China

Thus far, the ongoing conflict in Kachin State has displaced approximately 50,000 people in Kachin
State.60 In addition, on 30 January, it was reported that there were at least 25,000 refugees on the
Chinese side of the border in Yunnan Province.61
48
   RFA (19 Jan 12) Burma Emerges from Worst Ranking
49
   Freedom House (19 Jan 12) Freedom in the World 2012
50
   Mizzima News (25 Jan 12) Press freedom ranking
51
   RSF (25 Jan 12) Press Freedom Index 2011/2012
52
   UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 59th Session, (11 May 11) Myanmar
53
   UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 59th Session, (11 May 11) Myanmar
54
   Child Rights Forum of Burma (29 Apr 11) CRC Shadow Report Burma: The plight of children under military rule in Burma;
Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (May 11) Report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in advance of the
examination of Myanmar’s report on the Convention on the Rights of the Child; HURFOM (13 Jan 12) Coercion, Cruelty and
Collateral Damage
55
   Karen Human Rights Group (21 Sept 11) Attacks on education and health facilities and related personnel: Trends and recent
incidents from eastern Burma
56
   HURFOM (13 Jan 12) Coercion, Cruelty and Collateral Damage
57
   Arakan Project (19 Jan 12) Rohingya Children in Myanmar
58
   OHCHR (19 Jan 12) Committee on the Rights of the Child examines report of Myanmar
59
   OHCHR (19 Jan 12) Committee on the Rights of the Child examines report of Myanmar
60
   IRIN (31 Jan 12) MYANMAR: Health concerns for Kachin IDPs


                                                             6
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Recent events inside Burma have led to an unprecedented number of high-level foreign officials visiting
Naypyidaw to assess the regime’s ‘reforms.’

UK sets benchmarks for lifting of sanctions

On 5 January, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague arrived in Burma. 62 It was the first visit to Burma
by a UK Foreign Secretary in 55 years.63 On 5 January, Hague said that he had asked the regime for
concrete progress in four areas: the release of political prisoners; holding fair by-elections; the
resolution of conflict with ethnic armed groups; and humanitarian access to conflict areas.64 Hague told
regime officials that if they wanted sanctions lifted, it was important for them to complete the reform
process.65

France says EU will respond to reforms

On 14 January, French FM Alain Juppé arrived in Burma on a three-day visit - the first visit ever by a
French FM.66 Juppé met with President Thein Sein and other regime officials in Naypyidaw and met
with representatives of numerous political parties in Rangoon.67 On 15 January, after meeting with Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi, Juppé said that the EU would respond with “in concrete terms” to recent regime’s
reforms.68 On 16 January, Juppé said that the EU would lift sanctions step by step along with the pace
of the progress of democratization and liberalization in Burma.69

US Congressman and Senators say more needs to be done

In January, five US Senators and one US Congressman traveled to Burma to assess the regime’s resolve
for reforms.

 12 January: Congressman Joseph Crowley began a two-day visit to Burma.70 During his visit he met
  with various regime officials in Naypyidaw and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and members of ethnic
  nationalities in Rangoon.71 On 13 January, Crowley said that the release of political prisoners was a
  step in a very positive direction but added that more needed to be done.72
 15 January: US Senator Mitch McConnell arrived in Burma for a four-day visit.73 During his visit,
  McConnell met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon and President Thein Sein and other regime
  officials in Naypyidaw.74 On 16 January, McConnell said that he was “impressed” with the regime’s
  reforms but more needed to be done.75 On 17 January, McConnell urged the regime to allow
  international observers for the April by-elections. He also urged the regime to end its ties with North
  Korea in order to normalize relations with the US.76



61
   RFA (30 Jan 12) Refugees Pour Into Yunnan
62
   Telegraph (04 Jan 12) William Hague to visit Burma to promote democratic reforms
63
   BBC News: (05 Jan 12) William Hague: Burma to free more ‘political prisoners’
64
   Reuters (05 Jan 12) UK to respond positively to more Myanmar reforms
65
   Reuters (06 Jan 11) Myanmar's Suu Kyi, UK's Hague in tune on sanctions
66
   Xinhua (14 Jan 12) French FM visits Myanmar
67
   Xinhua (16 Jan 12) Myanmar president, French FM discuss political development in Myanmar; NLM (16 Jan 12) French
Foreign and European Affairs Minister meets political parties
68
   AFP (15 Jan 12) EU to reward Myanmar for reforms: French FM
69
   WSJ (16 Jan 12) Myanmar Wins Over More Old Foes
70
   Crowley.house.gov (06 Jan 12) Congressman Crowley to Travel to Burma, India
71
   Crowley.house.gov (12 Jan 12) Congressman Crowley Meets With Families of Political Prisoners in Burma; Crowley.house.gov
(13 Jan 12) Congressman Crowley Meets with Aung San Suu Kyi
72
   Crowley.house.gov (13 Jan 12) Congressman Crowley Meets with Aung San Suu Kyi; WSJ (14 Jan 12) Washington Resumes
Full Myanmar Ties
73
   Xinhua (15 Jan 12) U.S. senator visits Myanmar
74
   AP (16 Jan 12) GOP Sen. McConnell Praises Myanmar Reforms, Calls for More; NLM (18 Jan 12) President U Thein Sein
receives US Senator Mr Addison Mitchell McConnell and party
75
   AP (16 Jan 12) US Senator praise Myanmar reforms, calls for more
76
   AP (17 Jan 12) US senator convinced Myanmar leader is reformer


                                                            7
 22 January: US Senators John McCain, Joseph Lieberman, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Kelly Ayotte
  went on a one-day visit to Burma.77 The four met with President Thein Sein in Naypyidaw and with
  Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon.78 After meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, McCain said that
  a great deal remained to be done in Burma.79 He said that issues still needed to be addressed including
  the rule of law, conflict in ethnic areas, and progress towards free and fair elections. McCain added
  that he asked Thein Sein to allow international observers to monitor by-elections on 1 April but
  received no commitment.80

US envoy exposes ongoing human trafficking

On 9 January, US Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma Derek Mitchell arrived in
Burma for a four-day visit. He was accompanied by US Ambassador-at-Large, Office to Monitor and
Combat Trafficking in Persons Luis CdeBaca. CdeBaca was on a three-day visit to assess the human
trafficking situation in Burma and to explore opportunities to strengthen the regime's anti-trafficking
efforts.81

In Naypyidaw, CdeBaca and Mitchell met with regime FM Wunna Maung Lwin and Home Affairs
Minister Lt Gen Ko Ko in Naypyidaw.82 Mitchell also met separately with other regime ministers and
Vice-President Tin Aung Myint Oo.83 On 11 January, CdeBaca said that Burma’s laws that allowed for
conscription of workers for public projects were the biggest obstacle in the fight against human
trafficking.84 On 12 January, Mitchell and CdeBaca met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at her home in
Rangoon.85

‘Reforms’ lead to easing of sanctions

In response to the 13 January release of political prisoners [See above Over 300 political prisoners
released], the US began the process to restore full diplomatic relations with the regime. Australia, the
EU, and Norway all eased their existing sanctions against Burma’s regime. In addition, ASEAN and the
Philippines called on the international community to lift all sanctions against Burma.

 9 January: Australian FM Kevin Rudd said Canberra would remove former SPDC ministers and
  deputy ministers who are no longer in politics as well as current regime tourism officials from its
  Burma sanctions list.86
 11 January: ASEAN FMs agreed to reiterate their call for the lifting of economic sanctions against
  Burma, saying that lifting sanctions would contribute significantly to the country’s socio-economic
  development.87
 13 January: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Washington would start the process of
  exchanging ambassadors with Burma.88
 14 January: Norway FM Jonas Gahr Støre said Norway would allow private Norwegian companies
  to do business in Burma within the existing EU sanctions framework.89
 17 January: The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs said that the international community
  should lift sanctions against regime because of the “unprecedented political and economic reforms
  underway.”90



77
   AFP (22 Jan 12) US pleased with Myanmar reforms progress
78
   AFP (22 Jan 12) US pleased with Myanmar reforms progress
79
   AFP (22 Jan 12) US pleased with Myanmar reforms progress
80
   AFP (22 Jan 12) US pleased with Myanmar reforms progress
81
   Xinhua (09 Jan 12) US special envoy renews visit to Myanmar; NLM (10 Jan 12) Home Affairs Minister receives US guests
82
   NLM (10 Jan 12) Myanmar, US to promote bilateral relations and cooperation
83
   Xinhua (10 Jan 12) Myanmar vice president meets U.S. special envoy; 83 NLM (11 Jan 12) Vice-President Thiha Thura U Tin
Aung Myint Oo receives US Special Rep
84
   AP (11 Jan 12) US envoy: Myanmar weak against human trafficking
85
   CNN (12 Jan 12) U.S. Sen. McConnell to meet with Myanmar opposition leader
86
   Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (09 Jan 12) Reduction to Australia's sanctions list for Burma
87
   Xinhua (11 Jan 12) ASEAN FMs end meeting with agreements on regional, international issues
88
   BBC (13 Jan 12) US to exchange ambassadors with Burma; DPA (13 Jan 12) LEAD: US to send ambassador to Myanmar
89
   DPA (14 Jan 12) Norway to ease trade restrictions with Myanmar
90
   AFP (18 Jan 12) Philippines seeks lifting of Myanmar sanctions


                                                            8
 23 January: EU FMs lifted the visa ban on President Thein Sein, the two Vice-presidents, the
  Speakers of both Houses of Parliament, and cabinet ministers.91
 27 January: The Norwegian government announced that it would allow Burma to export goods free
  of duty to Norway under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).92

Thailand and Burma cement ties

Thailand and Burma’s regime agreed to strengthen bilateral relations during a 9-11 January visit to
Thailand by Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief Gen Min Aung Hlaing.

 9 January: Gen Min Aung Hlaing met with Thai Defense Minister Gen Yutthasak Sasiprapa and the
  two agreed to strengthen military and economic ties. Gen Min Aung Hlaing told Yutthasak that the
  regime would open more border crossing points.93 Min Aung Hlaing met with Thai Supreme
  Commander Gen Tanasak Patimapragorn and the two discussed matters related to drugs and
  transnational crime.94
 10 January: Gen Min Aung Hlaing met with Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra. Gen Min Aung Hlaing
  urged Yingluck to help finish construction of the Tavoy deep-sea port and related infrastructure as
  quickly as possible.95

ECONOMY

Regime implements rise in electricity and gas prices

On 1 January, the regime implemented significant increases in the prices for gas and electricity in
Burma. Gas prices in Rangoon went up 34%, from 2,083 kyat (US$2.54) per gallon to 2,791 kyat
(US$3.40) without any prior announcement.96 The price for electricity in Rangoon doubled from 25
kyat (US$.03) per kilowatt hour to 50 kyat (US$.06) for homes and from 50 kyat (US$.06) to 100kyat
(US$.13) for businesses respectively.97

Protests continue over electricity shortage in Arakan State

In January, Arakan State residents continued to campaign for 24-hour electricity in the state even after
similar protests in November 2011 led to multiple arrests [See November 2011 Burma Bulletin].

 1 January: Local activists in Kyaukpyu, Arakan State, held a rally to support the Rakhine Nationals
  Progressive Party’s plan to invest revenues from the Shwe Gas project for energy development in
  Arakan State.98
 16 January: Local activists held two-days of protests in Akyab and Mrauk U, Arakan State to
  demand that the regime use profits from the Shwe Gas project to provide 24-hour electricity and
  cooking gas for Arakan State residents.99

In response to the ongoing campaign, the regime announced two measures related to domestic energy
consumption.




91
   Reuters (23 Jan 12) EU eases sanctions on Myanmar leaders after reforms
92
   Foreigner(29 Jan 12) Norway eases Burma trade further
93
   Bangkok Post (09 Jan 12) Stronger military ties with Burma
94
   NLM (11 Jan 12) Commander-in-Chief calls on Chief of Defence Forces of Royal Thai Armed Forces
95
   NLM (12 Jan 12) Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services General Min Aung Hlaing calls on Thai Prime Minister Ms Yingluck
Shinawatra
96
   AP (01 Jan 12) Gas prices rise 30 percent in Myanmar for new year; DPA (01 Jan 12) Myanmar motorists see 34-per-cent
petrol price hike
97
   Myanmar Times (19 Dec 11) Power rates to double as govt seeks to cut deficit; DVB (22 Dec 11) Burma to see 50% hike in
power fees; Myanmar Times (26 Dec 11) Electricity supply charges to rise 40-50pc
98
   Narinjara News (05 Jan 12) People Support RNDP Plan for Gas Benefits at Rally
99
   Mizzima News (17 Jan 12) Activists demand gas for Arakan electricity; Narinjara News (18 Jan 12) Arakanese Demand Rights
from Shwe Gas Project


                                                            9
 9 January: Regime Minister of Electric Power-2 Khin Maung Soe announced that the regime would
  use a share of the gas extracted from the Shwe Gas project to help power the national electricity grid,
  which would be extended into Arakan State in the 2012-2013 fiscal year. 100
 27 January: Regime Minister of Energy Than Htay announced that Burma planned to keep all
  natural gas from new projects after 2013 for domestic consumption.101

Uncertainty surrounds foreign investments

On 9 January, regime Minister of Electric Power-2 Khin Maung Soe cancelled Thailand’s Italian-Thai
Development (ITD)’s 4,000 megawatt coal-fired power plant project in the Tavoy Special Economic
Zone (SEZ).102 The regime failed to notify ITD of its decision to cancel the plant.103 Following the
announcement, ITD said that it would look for new energy sources for the project.104 Making the
situation more tenuous for ITD, the company has yet to secure full funding for the project.105 On 23
January, ITD announced that the company needed US$8.5 billion in financing to move ahead with the
infrastructure phase of the project.106 Thai firm DBC Vickers Securities was quoted as saying that the
project was still in its infancy and “clouded with risks.” “In our view, ITD faces a country risk and an
unpredictable business climate,” the firm said.107

The regime’s about face on the coal plant marked the second time in less than six months that a major
economic project was cancelled or suspended without providing prior notification to the foreign
developers [See October 2011 Burma Bulletin]. While affected communities and activists campaigning
against the Tavoy project welcomed the regime’s decision,108 the regime continued to implement
similar mega-projects without carrying out any environmental impact or consulting local communities
prior to their implementation.

Cronies to profit from Burma’s migrant workers

On 30 January, state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported that Burma Central Bank issued
licenses to four private banks with ties to the regime that will allow them to trade foreign currencies and
handle remittances from Burmese working in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. The four banks
include the Asia Green Development Bank, Kanbawza Bank, and the Irrawaddy Bank, which are
owned by regime’s prominent cronies Tay Za, Aung Ko Win, and Zaw Zaw respectively.109

IMF, Daw Suu highlight necessary reforms

From 9 to 25 January, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation visited Naypyidaw and
Rangoon in a follow-up to its October-November 2011 visit.110 During the visit, the delegation met with

100
    Myanmar Times (23 Jan 12) Shwe gas to power Rakhine State: minister
101
    Reuters (27 Reuters 11) Myanmar has no plans to export new gas finds
102
    Mizzima News (09 Jan 12) 4,000-MW power plant project cancelled in Dawei; AFP (09 Jan 12) Myanmar cancels coal plant
after opposition: official; AP (09 Jan 12) Myanmar cancels planned coal power plant; Irrawaddy (10 Jan 12) Dawei Power Plant
Canceled; Reuters (10 Jan 12) UPDATE 1-Myanmar scraps Dawei power plant after local opposition; Xinhua (10 Jan 12)
Myanmar suspends coal-fired power plant project in southern region; BBC (10 Jan 12) Burma halts construction of Thai-backed
power plant; VOA (11 Jan 12) Burma Government Brandishes Democratic Credentials With Suspended Power Projects;
Myanmar Times (16 Jan 12) Govt cuts coal plant from Dawei project
103
    VOA (11 Jan 12) Burma Government Brandishes Democratic Credentials With Suspended Power Projects; Myanmar Times
(16 Jan 12) Govt cuts coal plant from Dawei project; AFP (09 Jan 12) Myanmar cancels coal plant after opposition: official;
Reuters (10 Jan 12) UPDATE 1-Myanmar scraps Dawei power plant after local opposition;
104
    Reuters (10 Jan 12) UPDATE 1-Myanmar scraps Dawei power plant after local opposition; Bangkok Post (11 Jan 12) Thais in
the dark on Dawei plant; DVB (11 Jan 12) Thai energy firm eyes Tavoy alternative
105
    Myanmar Times (16 Jan 12) Govt cuts coal plant from Dawei project; Nation (16 Jan 12) ITD facing big risks after power plant
plan in Burma scrapped; Bangkok Post (23 Jan 12) Dawei developer seeks more funding, partners; Reuters (23 Jan 12)
Developer of Myanmar's Dawei megaproject seeks funding; Mizzima News (24 Jan 12) Dawei energy project moving forward;
Mizzima News (09 Jan 12) 4,000-MW power plant project cancelled in Dawei
106
    Mizzima News (24 Jan 12) Dawei energy project moving forward
107
    Nation (16 Jan 12) ITD facing big risks after power plant plan in Burma scrapped
108
    VOA (11 Jan 12) Burma Government Brandishes Democratic Credentials With Suspended Power Project; Myamar Times (16
Jan 12) Govt cuts coal plant from Dawei project
109
    NLM (31 Jan 12) Myanmar citizens working abroad to have chance to remit their income to homeland via banks
110
    NLM (25 Jan 12) Statement at the Conclusion of the 2011 Article IV Mission to Myanmar; AFP (26 Jan 12) IMF applauds
Myanmar reforms; IMF (02 Nov 11) Statement at the Conclusion of the Article VIII Mission to Myanmar
Press Release No. 11/392


                                                              10
regime Minister of Energy Than Htay, Minister of Finance and Revenue Hla Tun, Burma Central Bank
Governor Than Nyein, and other officials.111

On 25 January, the IMF released a statement that highlighted Burma’s potential for high economic
growth. It predicted that Burma’s GDP would grow by 5.5% in the 2011-2012 fiscal year and 6.0% in
2012-2013.112 The IMF also detailed the reforms necessary for the country to meet that potential.113 The
Fund recommended that the regime pursue macroeconomic stability by unifying the exchange rate. It
also recommended that the regime modernize the financial sector, and take further steps to liberalize
trade and foreign investment.114

In a speech to the World Economic Forum (WEF) on 26 January, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi addressed
issues not covered by the IMF’s recommendations. Daw Suu said that economic progress depended on
more than the fiscal and monetary measures advocated by international financial institutions. She called
for judicial and legislative reforms needed to create a political, social, and economic environment for
ethical investment to Burma.115

International aid to Burma upped

In January, the EU, UK, Denmark, and France, announced plans to increase aid and development
assistance to Burma.

 6 January: Denmark announced that it would double its development assistance for Burma from
  US$8.5 million to US$17 million in 2012.116
 10 January: UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) announced that it would
  provide US$3 million to assist IDPs in Kachin State and US$15 million for microfinance projects in
  Kachin, Chin, Arakan, and Shan States, and the central ‘dry zone.’117
 16 January: French FM Alain Juppé said that France would triple its yearly development assistance
  to Burma from approximately US$1.25 million to US$3.75 million.118
 23 January: The EU Council of Foreign Ministers said they were considering a 150 million euro aid
  package focused on health, education, agriculture, and institutional capacity-building in Burma.119

OTHER BURMA NEWS IN JANUARY

 1     A local regime official in Maungdaw Township, Arakan State, orders village administrators not to use the
       word ‘Rohingya’ in official correspondence, during a meeting in Maungdaw Township.
 2     Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and American philanthropist George Soros hold “a wide-ranging discussion”
       about Burma’s recent developments in Rangoon.
 3     Eleven-day Myanmar Gems Enterprise Gems Emporium ends with US$903 million in cumulative sales.
 3     Regime-backed Sangha rejects the appeal lodged by abbot U Pyinnya Thiha against his eviction from his
       monastery in Rangoon’s Kyimyindine Township.
 3     Spokesman for High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
       Catherine Ashton, Michael Mann, says that the EU has reached an agreement with the regime to open an
       office in Rangoon.
 4     NLD members, veteran politicians, foreign diplomats, and leaders of various political parties attend a
       ceremony to mark the 42nd anniversary of Independence Day at the NLD headquarters in Rangoon.
 4     In his Independence Day message, President Thein Sein says that a “Tatmadaw of international standard
       is required for national defense.”


111
    NLM (21 Jan 12) IMF Mission calls on Union Energy Minister; NLM (22 January 12) Union F&R Minister receives IMF officials;
112
     Irrawaddy (26 Jan 12) IMF: Burma Could Become Asia’s Next Economic Frontier; NLM (25 Jan 12) Statement at the
Conclusion of the 2011 Article IV Mission to Myanmar; AFP (26 Jan 12) IMF applauds Myanmar reforms
113
     Irrawaddy (26 Jan 12) IMF: Burma Could Become Asia’s Next Economic Frontier; NLM (25 Jan 12) Statement at the
Conclusion of the 2011 Article IV Mission to Myanmar; AFP (26 Jan 12) IMF applauds Myanmar reforms
114
    NLM (25 Jan 12) Statement at the Conclusion of the 2011 Article IV Mission to Myanmar
115
    WEF (26 Jan 12) Aung San Suu Kyi - Annual Meeting 2012
116
    Myanmar Times (16 Jan 12) Denmark will double aid in 2012, says minister
117
    Myanmar Times (16 Jan 12) UK to up support for credit program; Myanmar Times (16 Jan 12) DFID announces £2m for
displaced people
118
    Irrawaddy (17 Jan 12) France to Triple Its Aid to Burma
119
    AFP (26 Jan 12) EU mulling over $248 million aid package for Myanmar


                                                             11
4    Tatmadaw troops from IB 130 shoot and kill a local villager who is attempting to escape from forced
     portering in Namkham Township, Northern Shan State.
5    US philanthropist George Soros announces plans to open an office in Burma.
5    Daw Aung San Suu Kyi says that reforms started by Burma’s regime are not “unstoppable” and will
     succeed only if the military is “prepared to cooperate with reform principles.”
5    Daw Aung San Suu Kyi says that unless there is “ethnic harmony” it will be very difficult for Burma to
     build up a strong democracy.
5    Regime grants eight foreign companies and eight Burmese companies the right to jointly explore 10
     onshore oil and gas blocks out of 18 originally tendered.
5    Indian Army Chief of Staff Gen Vijay Kumar Singh begins a five-day visit to Burma.
6    Over 300 students from Akyab University demonstrate in Akyab, Arakan State, to protest a 100%
     increase of ferry fares.
6    A landmine kills several Tatmadaw soldiers in Hpakant Township, Kachin State.
6    Danish Minister of Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach arrives in Burma.
7    A bomb blast at a festival in Anankwin Village, Kyainnseikyi Township, Karen State, kills four people
     and injures about 40.
10   Police in Rangoon’s South Dagon Township briefly detain a 61-year-old protestor who demonstrated
     against corruption among local regime officials.
11   New York-based Asia Society awards Daw Aung San Suu Kyi the Global Vision Award.
11   Regime Air Force Commander-in-Chief Lt Gen Myat Hein visits Pakistan Air Headquarters in Islamabad
     and meets with Pakistan Air Force Chief of Air Staff Qamar Suleman.
12   Regime Minister of Immigration and Population Khin Yi announces that the regime will conduct its first
     census since 1983 in December 2014.
12   Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Yukio Edano meets with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in
     Rangoon and conveys Japan’s readiness to support Burma’s economy and to assist in the reform process.
13   French President Nicolas Sarkozy confers France’s highest honor, the Legion of Honor, on Daw Aung
     San Suu Kyi.
13   US Congressional Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen says that the US should end talks with Burma’s
     regime until it has a democratic government that respects human rights and civil liberties.
16   Regime Election Commission approves the registration of the Myanma New Society Democratic Party.
16   Regime Election Commission approves the registration of the 88-Forces of People’s Party.
16   People’s Assembly Speaker Shwe Mann says the 1 April by-elections will be “free and fair” and
     dismisses the possibility of a military coup in Burma.
16   A landmine explosion in Mogaung Township, Kachin State, kills one person and injures two.
17   All Burma Students Democratic Front’s Vice-Chairman says the group has agreed to hold peace talks
     with the regime.
17   Bangladesh and the regime sign an agreement to operate daily flights between Dhaka, Bangladesh, and
     Rangoon.
17   In an interview to the Washington Post, President Thein Sein says Burma is on the “right track'” to
     democracy but says the regime “cannot leave the military behind” because military’s participation is
     required for the country’s development.
18   UK-based Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust says that Chin State may be facing a food shortage that will
     affect up to 100,000 people.
19   Thai energy firm PTT announces plans to divest 40-50% of its stake in Burma’s M11 oil field in
     February.
20   Regime Home Affairs Deputy Minister Brig Gen Kyaw Zan Myint and India’s Home Secretary of the
     Ministry of Home Affairs RK Singh sign a MoU on border security issues in Naypyidaw.
21   88 Generation Students say they will cooperate with the President, the Parliament, the military, political
     parties, and ethnic groups “for the emergence of democracy, peace and development.”
22   Vice-President Tin Aung Myint Oo says that the Tavoy project will displace 23,120 people from 4,075
     houses in 18 villages in Tenasserim Division.
22   Regime FM Wunna Maung Lwin arrives in New Delhi on a three-day official visit.
23   Regime Election Commission approves the registration of the Myanmar National Congress Party.
23   Regime Peace-making Group Deputy Leader Thein Zaw invites the Arakan Liberation Party to talks with
     the regime.
23   Regime Labor Deputy Minister Myint Thein and ILO Executive Director Guy Ryder extend the MoU on
     the eradication of forced labor for an additional year.
24   Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari meets with President Thein Sein in Naypyidaw to discuss upgrading
     relations and promoting economic and trade cooperation.
24   US President Barack Obama says that the new beginning in Burma “has lit a new hope” in his State of the
     Union address.


                                                     12
 24   US Assistant Secretary of State for Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation Thomas
      Countryman meets with People’s Assembly Deputy Speaker Nanda Kyaw Sar in Naypyidaw.
 25   Regime FM Wunna Maung Lwin describes the reforms initiated by the regime as “irreversible” and says
      that future reforms will be “incremental, systematic and dynamic.”
 25   Regime FM Wunna Maung Lwin says the regime plans to continue releasing political prisoners “as and
      when appropriate taking into account public security, peace, stability and the interest of the people and the
      state.”
 25   UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon announces that Vijay Nambiar will become his Special Advisor on Burma.
 27   President Thein Sein appoints Tenasserim Division Minister of Finance and Revenue Myat Ko as Chief
      Minister.
 28   Myanmar Rice Industry Association and Indonesian Pereum BULOG sign an MoU that provides for the
      export 200,000 tons of rice per year to Indonesia beginning in February.
 29   A landmine explosion kills a Tatmadaw soldier in Mansi Township, Kachin State.
 29   President Thein Sein arrives in Singapore on a four-day visit.
 30   Singapore and the regime sign an MoU on technical cooperation under which Singapore will offer
      training courses to help modernize the Burmese economy and open it to foreign investment.
 30   European Council President Herman Van Rompuy says that he welcomes the important changes taking
      place in Burma and encourages the regime to maintain its determination to continue on the path of reform.
 31   Daw Aung San Suu Kyi inspects DFID-financed development projects in Nyaung U, Mandalay Division,
      and Myaing, Magwe Division.
 31   In an interview to Singapore’s newspaper Straits Times, President Thein Sein says “peace and stability” in
      Burma come before “economic development.”
 31   President Thein Sein has his pacemaker checked at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

REPORTS ON BURMA RELEASED IN JANUARY

“Burma Briefing No. 17 - Analysis of EU Conclusions on Burma”, Burma Campaign UK (BCUK)
http://bit.ly/zSO8vh

“Burma’s NHRC: An Empty Gesture (updated version)”, Burma Partnership (BP)
http://bit.ly/wGz0I8

“Freedom of Expression and Opinion in Burma: Still a Long Way to Go”, Burma Partnership (BP)
http://bit.ly/yCPwby

“World Press Freedom Index 2011-2012”, Reporters sans Frontières (RSF)
http://bit.ly/A92Se5

“Freedom in the World 2012”, Freedom House
http://bit.ly/yQ2m9Q

“World Report 2012 – Country Summary: Burma”, Human Rights Watch (HRW)
http://bit.ly/AurUwn

“Burma’s Democratic Facade: Human Right Abuses Continued”, Human Rights Foundation of Monland
(HURFOM)
http://bit.ly/yHSxot

“The situation of stateless Rohingya children in Myanmar (Burma)”, Arakan Project
http://bit.ly/wzmIzr

“Coercion, Cruelty and Collateral Damage”, Woman and Child Rights Project (WCRP) http://bit.ly/wD43fI

“Burma: An Opportunity to Expand Humanitarian Space”, Refugees International (RI)
http://bit.ly/wraMC8

“Periodic report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child”, Myanmar
http://bit.ly/wqbjHi




                                                        13

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:9
posted:8/7/2012
language:
pages:13