Archive for the ‘repression’ Category

China To Reap Most of Myanmar’s Oil

December 29, 2008

Military-run Myanmar has signed a deal with South Korean and Indian companies to pipe natural gas from the energy-rich nation’s offshore fields to China, state media reported Monday.

The Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise inked the deal last Wednesday with South Korean companies Daewoo and Korea Gas Corporation and Indian energy firms ONGC Videsh and GAIL to supply gas to the China National United Oil Corporation.


Myanmar soldiers parade during a ceremony marking the country's ... 
Myanmar soldiers parade during a ceremony marking the country’s Armed Forces Day in the country’s new capital, Naypyidaw. Military-run Myanmar has signed a deal with South Korean and Indian companies to pipe natural gas from the energy-rich nation’s offshore fields to China, state media have reported.(AFP/File/Khin Maung Win)

“The agreement was signed to export natural gas to China from Shwe natural gas project at Block A-1 and A-3 at Rakhine coastal region through pipelines,” the New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.

The paper gave no other details of the project, but Beijing media reported last month that China was planning to start construction on a gas pipeline to Myanmar in early 2009.

 Get the Feeling Russia and China Are Slicing Up The World and the U.S. Will Be Left Out?

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U.N. Mulls Reengaging Burma With More Aid

December 28, 2008

International sanctions and Laura Bush‘s personal intervention did not make Burma’s generals ease their political oppression. Neither did quiet diplomacy, nor the devastation of a cyclone.

So the United Nations is attempting a new approach: It is trying to entice the generals with fresh promises of development money. 

By Colum Lynch and Michael Abramowitz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, December 28, 2008; Page A16

According to senior U.N. officials, special envoy Ibrahim Gambari has proposed that nations offer Burma financial incentives to free more than 2,000 political prisoners, including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, and to open the country to democratic change.

In the months ahead, the U.N. leadership will press the Obama administration to relax U.S. policy on Burma and to open the door to a return of international financial institutions, including the World Bank. The bank left in 1987 because Burma, which is officially known as Myanmar, did not implement economic and political reforms.

“It cannot be business as usual. We need new thinking on how to engage with Myanmar in a way that will bring tangible results,” Gambari said in an interview, adding that the United Nations cannot rely simply on “the power of persuasion with too little in the [diplomatic] toolbox.”

But critics characterize the strategy as a desperate attempt to salvage a diplomatic process that has so deteriorated that Suu Kyi and Senior Gen. Than Shwe, Burma’s military ruler, declined to meet with Gambari during his last trip there, in August. Gambari, critics say, is simply grasping to show progress in moving a regime that has no intention of embracing democratic reform.

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Blogging dangerous for foreign journalists

December 5, 2008

Blogging can be a dangerous business.

More bloggers and online scribes have been jailed worldwide than any other breed of journalists, according to the  Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which released its annual “prison census” survey Thursday.

Almost half — 45 percent — of all media workers jailed worldwide are bloggers, Web-based reporters or online editors, representing the largest professional category for the first time in CPJs prison census.

“Online journalism has changed the media landscape and the way we communicate with each other,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “But the power and influence of this new generation of online journalists has captured the attention of repressive governments around the world, and they have accelerated their counterattack.”

The carefree existence of bloggers may be a myth — at least in some parts of the world.

By Jennifer Harper
The Washington Times 

“The image of the solitary blogger working at home in pajamas may be appealing, but when the knock comes on the door they are alone and vulnerable, said Mr. Simon.

The CPJ survey found that overall, 125 journalists are behind bars in 29 countries as of Dec. 1 — and 56 percent of them are bloggers, or work online. There was only one blogger jailed a decade ago.

Print reporters, editors and photographers make up the next largest category, with 53 incarcerated this year. Television and radio journalists and documentary filmmakers constitute the rest.

All of us must stand up for their rights — from Internet companies to journalists and press freedom groups. The future of journalism is online and we are now in a battle with the enemies of press freedom who are using imprisonment to define the limits of public discourse,” Mr. Simon said.

Vietnam court upholds blogger’s jail term

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