US President Barack Obama talks to reporters during a news conference after meeting opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi at her home in Rangoon on Nov. 19, 2012. (Photo: Reuters / Soe Zeya Tun)
RANGOON — US President Barack Obama urged Burma’s government to make every effort to conclude a national ceasefire and protect the rights of minorities, just hours before the country’s president and the military chief met opposition political parties and ethnic minority groups.
Some critics are calling Friday’s hastily arranged get-together an attempt to burnish Burma’s image ahead of a visit by Obama next month, his second to the country.
The roundtable meeting in the capital Naypyidaw, the first of its kind, comes as a peace process with ethnic rebels teeters on the brink of collapse and amid growing US concerns about human rights abuses, including the jailing of journalists and alleged oppression of stateless Rohingya Muslims and ethnic minorities.
Obama spoke to Burma’s President Thein Sein on Thursday by telephone, urging that “every effort be made to conclude a national ceasefire in the short term,” the White House said
The US president, who will visit Burma for a regional summit on Nov. 12-13, also stressed the importance of taking more steps to address the humanitarian situation in Arakan State as well as measures to support the civil and political rights of the Rohingya people, the White House said.
Violence erupted across Arakan State in 2012 between ethnic Arakanese Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, killing at least 200 people and displacing 140,000, most of them Rohingya.
Obama also spoke to opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the White House said.
The official purpose of Friday’s talks has not been disclosed. The meeting began at 0230 GMT, with a news conference scheduled to take place two hours later.
Suu Kyi, looking solemn and businesslike, was the last to arrive at the meeting room at the presidential residence.
The talks are being held as cracks widen in the fledgling democracy ahead of an election next year.
In particular, tensions linger over moves by Suu Kyi’s party, backed by 5 million petitioners, to amend the Constitution and reduce the political clout of a military that ruled Burma brutally for 49 years. Suu Kyi is meeting for the first time with the powerful armed forces chief, Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, at Friday’s talks.
News of the meeting so close to Obama’s arrival has been met with skepticism in Burma, with some calling it theater.
“The government seems to intend to use this meeting in creating a good impression before President Obama’s visit,” said political analyst Yan Myo Thein. “There’s little chance of seeing tangible results.”
The government should instead focus on bringing some unity and openness to a nascent political system that was facing headwinds, he said, adding details of what transpires at the meeting should be revealed “with complete transparency and accountability.”
Only six of Burma’s 70 political parties and a few ethnic groups were invited to the talks.
“The president will have to explain,” said Aye Maung, leader of the Arakan National Party, the second biggest ethnic party in Parliament, which is based in Arakan State and was not invited.
Thein Sein, a former junta general, has been lauded for widespread reforms since taking power in 2011 and convincing the West to suspend most sanctions, but critics say those changes are now starting to unravel.
Obama has sought to present US backing of Burma’s reforms as a foreign policy success, but Washington has viewed developments in the country with growing concern.
On Tuesday, the US State Department said it was “deeply concerned and saddened” by reports of the killing in army custody of Par Gyi, a journalist and former democracy activist who once worked as a bodyguard for Suu Kyi.
Despite winning massive popularity at home and abroad, since becoming a lawmaker Suu Kyi has been criticized for her reluctance to comment on contentious political issues, or speak out against the military.
Asked about the roundtable talks during an interview on Thursday with Radio Free Asia, Suu Kyi bluntly replied: “Where did you get this information? You should ask those who were invited.”
Next year’s parliamentary election will be the first since 2010, which ushered in a quasi-civilian system that dismantled the absolute control of a military that had ruled since a 1962 coup, 14 years after independence from Britain.
It will also be the first general election that Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) has contested since it won a 1990 vote that the military ignored. The party boycotted the 2010 poll and Suu Kyi was under house arrest at the time.
The military holds several cabinet posts and 25 percent of legislative seats, essentially a veto on any attempt to change a Constitution it drafted as any amendment needs more than 75 percent support. The NLD is leading the push to change that, but is facing strong resistance.
=========================================== ဦးေအာင္ေသာင္းကို အမည္မည္း စာရင္းသြင္း ============================= Announcement of Treasury Sanctions Against Aung Thaung 10/31/2014 WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated Aung Thaung, a senior official of the Burmese Government, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13448. This action specifically designates an individual, Aung Thaung, and does not designate any Burmese government entity. As the United States continues to support and monitor Burma’s reforms, including democratic reform and the national peace process, we remain concerned that certain individuals have been working to counter these efforts. E.O. 13448 authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to designate, among others, senior officials of the Government of Burma, those who have participated in human rights abuses related to political repression in Burma, and those who have engaged in activities facilitating public corruption. “By intentionally undermining the positive political and economic transition in Burma, Aung Thaung is perpetuating violence, oppression, and corruption,” said Adam J. Szubin, the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control. “The United States firmly supports the Burmese Government’s progress on reforms, and we remain vigilant about targeting those whose activities facilitate repression and dictatorship.” Aung Thaung is actively attempting to undermine recent economic and political reforms in Burma and has been implicated in previous attacks on Burma’s democratic opposition. Today’s action will freeze any assets held by Aung Thaung that are within the United States or the possession or control of U.S. persons, and generally prohibits U.S. persons from transacting or doing business with him. ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံက လက္ရွိအာဏာရ ႏိုင္ငံေရးပါတီအတြင္း ၾသဇာ ကတိၱမႀကီးမားသူ တေယာက္ျဖစ္သလို လက္ရွိ လႊတ္ေတာ္ ကိုယ္စားလွယ္တဦးလည္းျဖစ္တဲ့ ဦးေအာင္ေသာင္းကို အေမရိကန္ အစိုးရရဲ႕ အေရးယူပိတ္ဆို႔မႈခ်မွတ္ခံရသူ အမည္မည္းစာရင္း (Blacklist)မွာ ထည့္သြင္းလိုက္ေၾကာင္း အေမရိကန္ ဘ႑ာေရး ၀န္ႀကီးဌာနက ေသာၾကာေန႔မွာ ေၾကညာ လိုက္ပါတယ္။
"The Jingpo folk" Jingpo forbidden three women "together with Shaw students" learn etiquette · know taboos, "" today small series to continue to collect the Jingpo women taboo, something eBay everything, come in and see!
1, House bamboo water, to fill, not just half a barrel. (Only pick up half a tube for the ghost of water)
2, as a pregnant woman in labor at home, outsiders are not allowed to enter.
(Jingpo believe each person's body is accompanied by a ghost, one more person in the House, a ghost, can lead to women during childbirth. ） (Translated by Bing)
As Burma prepares to welcome US President Barack Obama to Naypyidaw in November, human rights groups and activists have been urging Obama to press Burma’s government to improve the country’s socio-political environment.
More than 120 civic organisations have petitioned the Burmese government to probe into the alleged abduction and disappearance of Sumlut Roi Ja, a Kachin woman, who went missing exactly three years ago today.
The 124 Burmese and international organisations that are signatories to the petition have urged the Burmese government to: “Establish an independent and impartial parliamentary commission with a mandate to investigate the disappearance of Sumlut Roi Ja and identify the perpetrators.”
On 28 October 2011, the Burmese army’s Light Infantry Battalion 321 allegedly picked up Sumlut Roi Ja along with her husband and father-in-law near Hkaibang Village, Momauk Township, Kachin State, on allegations of involvement with the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIA).
Kachin, tribal peoples occupying parts of northeastern Myanmar (Burma) and contiguous areas ofIndia (Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland) and China (Yunnan). The greatest number of Kachin live in Myanmar (roughly 790,000), but some 150,000 live in China and a few thousand in India. Numbering about 1012,000 in the late 20th century, they speak a variety of languages of the Tibeto-Burman group and are thereby distinguished as Jinghpaw, or Jingpo (Chingpaw [Ching-p’o], Singhpo), Atsi, Maru (Longvo), Lachid, Nung (Rawang), and Lisu .
The traditional Kachin religion is a form of animistic ancestor cult entailing animalsacrifice. As a result of the arrival of American and European missionaries in Burma beginning in the late 19th century, a majority of the Kachin are Christian, mainly Baptist and Roman Catholic. Among the Kachin in India, Buddhism predominates.