Skip to content or view mobile version

Home | Mobile | Editorial | Mission | Privacy | About | Contact | Help | Security | Support

A network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues.

Kilburn Total Oil Burma Protest 9th July 2008

Awyame | 12.07.2008 20:06 | Anti-militarism | Repression | Social Struggles | London

Three protesters braved the rain on Wednesday 9th July to protest at Totalitarian Oil at Kilburn Total station, 409 Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, NW6 7QG. For many years French Total Oil has been funding the brutal Burmese junta's oppression of the Burmese people, with hundreds of millions of dollars a year from the Yadana gas pipeline. The Burmese don't benefit from the gas exported to Thailand, instead they have suffered from forced labour and the military camps around the pipeline. The junta spends 50% of Burma's budget on the army and uses foreign currency it earns to buy weapons.

As well as Kilburn we protested at the Burmese Embassy and 33 Cavendish Sq where Total has corporate offices.

Despite the bad weather making leafleting difficult, we still found people interested in the protest and asking for leaflets. We've been protesting weekly since October, so are well used to the wind and rain, but at least it is a lot warmer now.

Last Thursday 10th July French Total Oil decided not to invest in the Iran South par gas field. Chief Executive of Total, Christophe de Margerie gave the following quote: "Today we would be taking too much political risk to invest in Iran because people will say: 'Total will do anything for money'" See

When Total began its investment in Burma it knew full well it would be significantly helping to keep one of the world's most horrible regimes in power and that it would lead to the abuse of the Burmese people. In 1996 one Total executive was quoted in the Financial Times as saying "unless the area is pacified, the pipeline won't last". In 1999 a French parliamentary mission reported: "The link between the military presence, the acts of violence against the populations and the forced labour is established as a fact. Total had to be aware of that." Of course Total was aware, many western companies had already pulled out of Burma for ethical reasons, but at the time in Burma Total would do anything for money.
It has given the military junta hundreds of millions of dollars a year to buy weapons and crush democracy in Burma ever since.

Total and Burma

A detailed report on Total Oil's involvement in Burma, written by Burma Campaign UK, can be downloaded at

Total is in a joint venture with the dictatorship in the Yadana gas project in southern Burma. [1]

The gas project funds the junta with hundreds of millions of dollars a year and represents a major source of foreign currency for the regime to buy weapons and finance the army.

Burma has the world's worst health care [2], the most corruption [3] and the most child soldiers [4].

You can email TOTAL right now to tell them that you think they should leave Burma via

Burma Campaign UK on Facebook

Get Total out of Burma on Facebook ( Facebook group)

Future Events

Please check for news and dates of Total Oil Protests

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Brighton Burma Fest

A free day event to raise funds for the cyclone victims in Burma.
Music includes James P Honey, Carly Bryant, The Shoestrung, Wide Eyed Order, Stephanie Finegan and Aluna.
Guest speakers include local MP's and speakers from Burma Campaign UK.
There will also be Burmese food and drink as well as other activities for all the family to join in.
Bring a picnic and blanket!!!
Host: Brighton's Free Burma Group
Time: 1:00pm - 6:00pm Sunday, July 13, 2008
Location: Preston Park (near the Pavilion building)
City/Town: Brighton, United Kingdom
Facebook Event:
Brighton Free Burma Group:
Contact: bn4burma [AT]

Monday July 14th

Bastille Day - Help Liberate Burma Now will be celebrating Bastille Day at the Institute Francais, calling on "Liberty Equality and Fraternity" with the Burmese "liberty" movement and the heroic prisoners of conscience in Burma. Support Liberty in Burma and stop French Total Oil's shameful collaboration with the brutal Burmese dictatorship fuelling the military junta's oppression of the Burmese people and ethnic minorities by hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
12:00 - 2:30pm
Institut français Harrington Road/Cromwell Place, South Kensington
Tube: South Kensington Map:

(No Wednesday Cavendish Square/ Total Station protest this week)

Saturday 19th July

Wrexham Women for Peace Day of Action for Burma
10:30am - 12:00 Burma Stall in Eastgate St, Chester
12.30 pm to 2 pm Demo at Hoole TOTAL petrol station
29 Hoole Road, Chester, Cheshire CH2 3NH
Google Map:

August 4th to 10th

the burma play
a comedy of terror
... a vital glimpse of the courage and suffering of the Burmese people. I warmly recommend it - JohnPilger
Edinburgh Festival Fringe - August 2008
St John's Church, Corner of Princes Street and Lothian Road
See also
August 4-10 16:00 (1hr) £8.00(£5.00)
Tickets available from The Fringe Festival Box Office boxoffice AT 0131 226 0026


Make sure you've signed:
- Downing Street petition to ask Prime Minister to support 1990 Elections result and urge International Community not to follow junta's 2010 Election plan (new petition launched in June 2008)
- Urge immediate medical care for Min Ko Naing (Email campaign launched 29th April 2008)
- "Free Burma's Political Prisoners Now!" petition (global campaign launched 13 March 2008)
- The Burma Campaign UK e-action to TOTAL:
- The global pledge:
- Don't Forget Burma - send a photo message to the regime:


Burma Campaign UK's video channel on YouTube:

- New to Burma? Watch these videos for a brief introduction
- This is Burma Music - U2, REM, Damien Rice, KT Tunstall...
- This is Burma: News and Documentaries - including Burma's Secret War
and Inside The Crackdown

The Real Disaster in Burma' - new animated film narrated by Ricky Gervais
23 Jun 2008

30 Days (in May 2008) for a million voices:
Millions Rallied to Free Nelson Mandela and South Africa. Now it's Burma's Turn
Hollywood Stars Team up with the Human Rights Action Center to Launch Campaign on Behalf of the People of Burma
Will Ferrell, Anjelica Huston, Jennifer Aniston, Ellen Page, Judd Apatow, Mana, Sylvester Stallone, Eric Szmanda, Sarah Silverman Part of 30-Day Call-to-Action to Free Imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma.

Get TOTAL OIL out of Burma group on Facebook:

RECENT BURMA NEWS: (see - read links for the full versions of stories)

UN launches fresh Myanmar appeal
Additional £17.5 million by DFID to help Burmese cyclone survivors
Report Slams Beijing’s Burma Policy
World Bank will not support junta, says NLD
MYANMAR: Thousands unable to return home
Local Authorities Borrow Rice and Medicine to Show as Cyclone Relief
Ceasefire group under pressure to surrender
Forced Labor Widely Used in Road Construction
Thousands of Karenni IDPs Hide in Jungle
Villagers tortured for "not seeing" the rebels
Villages deserted as residents flee to border to escape military persecution
Prominent Dissident Hit with New Charges
Rise of Factions Roils Relations within Burmese Junta
Reconstruction work of Maung Weik Co. falters
Former Kachin state commander destroys documents of his tenure
Ngwe Kyar Yan monastery continues
Blogger Nay Phone Latt appears in court
Censor and editor give evidence at poet’s trial
Regime Asks UN to Stop Press Conferences in Bangkok
Prince Charles meets Burmese students
G-8 leaders urge junta to free Aung San Suu Kyi
UN launches fresh Myanmar appeal

The UN has called on donor nations and organisations to give an additional $300m to fund continued aid efforts for cyclone recovery in Myanmar.

The money would be in addition to $178m that has already been donated – a figure that fell short of the $201m called for in an earlier appeal.

Announcing the flash appeal on Thursday, John Holmes, the UN's humanitarian chief, said relief operations in Myanmar were "by no means over".

"There are many who still remain in need of basic assistance and urgent support," he said, adding that many cyclone-affected areas had still not received the level of assistance they needed.

Holmes said international aid efforts were making "significant progress" since a visit to Myanmar by Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, which persuaded the country's military rulers to free up access for relief workers.

Myanmar's government was heavily criticised in the critical early days immediately after the cyclone for blocking access to international relief workers and supplies.

Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar in early May and left more than 138,000 people dead or missing.

The UN says 2.4 million people have been seriously affected by the cyclone, and remain in need of long-term aid.

More than 100 projects are planned to deliver food, shelter, clean drinking water, sanitation, education and other needs.

Holmes said that in the wake of the cyclone 1-in-2 families in Myanmar have food supplies of only about one day or less, while some 60,000 children were at risk of malnutrition.

He said the cyclone wiped out 42 per cent of the nation's overall food stocks.

An estimated 84,000 people were killed in the May 2-3 storm, with more than 53,000 still officially listed as missing.

Additional £17.5 million by DFID to help Burmese cyclone survivors

New Delhi - United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) on Wednesday announced that it will provide an additional £17.5 million to help cyclone victims, adding to a total of £ 45 million in aid since Cyclone Nargis lashed Burma two months ago.

David Leslie, spokesman of DFID said the donation will be handed over on Thursday during a United Nations' flash appeal in New York to aid groups working in Burma's Irrawaddy and Rangoon division.

United Nations aid agencies as well as several other international humanitarian groups have said emergency relief works and reconstruction programmes could come to halt unless more funds are provided.

The United Nations World Food Programme has said it requires US$ 28 million more to keep its six-month programme running.

The International Federation of Red Cross on Wednesday said it needed US$ 72.5 million to fund its three-year relief plans which will include emergency relief as well as long term reconstruction programmes.

Alistair Henley, head of the IFRC's Asia Pacific Zone said hundreds of thousands of Burmese people in the Irrawaddy and Rangoon division have been living precarious lives long before the cyclone hit them.

"Nargis has left them weaker and more vulnerable than ever. We must ensure not only that they regain what they lost but have improved and safer lives in the future," Henley said.

Leslie said, the DFID has decided to provide additional funds as a response to the flash appeal by the UN and international humanitarian groups.

Douglas Alexander, Secretary of DFID, in a statement on Wednesday said, "While access has improved and the rate of delivery of relief goods continues to increase, we believe that around 300,000 people are at quite serious risk if they do not get more help soon."

Leslie said, "We will wait and see what the flash appeal contains today, and then we will make an assessment where the money will go."

"We have assessment teams in Burma, they are looking at where the fund is needed for each organization," he added.

On May 2 and 3, Cyclone Nargis hit Burma's coastal divisions of Irrawaddy and Rangoon, leaving more than 138,000 dead and missing and devastated over 2.4 million people's lives.

Following the natural disaster in Burma, DFID immediately announced £5 million in aid and an additional £12 million on May 15. The DFID announced a further £10.5 million donation following the ASEAN/UN pledging conference in Rangoon on May 25, which Douglas Alexander attended.

Burma's military government, however, has appealed for US$ 11 billion in aid to fund emergency relief works and reconstruction in the cyclone affected region.

Report Slams Beijing’s Burma Policy

The report noted that that although Beijing says there is no “special relationship” between China and the Burmese military regime, China is nonetheless Burma’s largest trading partner and is expected to sign a US $1 billion deal in 2008 for an oil and natural gas pipeline through Burma into western China.

China has also sold a $2-3 billion package of weapons and military equipment to the Burmese junta while at the same time defending the junta at the United Nations, says the report.

World Bank will not support junta, says NLD

Jul 9, 2008 (DVB)–The World Bank does not have any plans to provide the military regime in Burma with financial assistance, according to Dr Win Naing, a member of the National League for Democracy Information Committee.

Dr Win Naing told DVB that a delegation from the World Bank met with five leaders from the pro-democracy party in Rangoon on Friday last week to explain about the financial institution’s current policy on Burma.

“They said they still stood firm on their policy of not giving any financial loans to the regime,” said Dr Win Naing.

“They also told us that they had been involved in the cyclone assessment process together with UN agencies.”

DVB has learned that the World Bank will submit their findings from the assessment to interested donors to inform their decisions on aid provision.

“They said that based on their findings donors could calculate how to provide relief supplies to cyclone survivors,” said Dr Win Naing.

“They stressed that donors would not channel their support to the victims through the regime, but would instead provide aid through selected NGOs or agencies.”

In May this year, the World Bank’s executive director Juan Jose Daboub told journalists that it currently did not have any plans to give financial support to Burma, which had lost USD 10 billion since Cyclone Nargis hit the country, because the junta had not paid off the previous debts it owed to the institution.

According to AFP, Burma’s military regime has not repaid loans borrowed from the World Bank since 1988.

MYANMAR: Thousands unable to return home

Phu Gyi’s village was devastated by Cyclone Nargis, which left more than 138,000 dead or missing on 2 and 3 May, and affected some 2.4 million.

The UN now estimates that just under half this number will need assistance for the next six months.

According to the World Food Programme (WFP), some 724,000 people in the delta alone will require food aid for at least six months.

In Labutta, one of the worst-hit areas, just over half the 374,000 inhabitants were severely affected by the cyclone and half its 500 villages destroyed.

Local Authorities Borrow Rice and Medicine to Show as Cyclone Relief

Maungdaw: Authorities in Maungdaw Township have borrowed rice and medicine from local traders to show as Nargis relief aid when the new western commander visits Maungdaw, reported one trader who had his rice borrowed.

He said, "The authorities from the township and district administrative offices came to my house yesterday to borrow 25 sacks of rice from me to show to the new western command commander as Nargis relief when he arrives in Maungdaw. The authorities told me that the rice will be returned to me when the commander leaves Maungdaw."

Many rice traders in Maungdaw are wary of lending their rice to the authorities as they fear that it will not be returned to them as promised.

The new western commander, Major General Pyi Son, has been doing his tours around Arakan State since the first week of July after he was promoted to the position, and he is expected to visit Maungdaw on 7 or 8 July.

The authorities in Maungdaw want to show large scale donations of goods for relief from the people of Maungdaw in order to get in good favor with the new western command commander.

"I heard the authority wants to record the goods on video and camera as Nargis relief in front of the new western command commander to propagate the news story in state-run media, including TV and newspapers," the resident said.

The authorities have also borrowed medicine packages from pharmacies to show as relief aid to the new western commander.

One owner of a pharmacy shop said, "We do not want to lend medicine to the authority but I am unable to avoid it because the authority could withdraw my license from me if I refuse."

Ceasefire group under pressure to surrender

The National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA-ESS), commonly known as the Mongla group, has been urged twice last June to “exchange arms for peace,” a euphemism for surrender, according to a senior Shan officer from Mongla, opposite China’s Daluo.

“They told us the draft constitution will go into effect in 2010,” he said on condition of anonymity. “All armed groups in Burma would then come under the single command. Accordingly, independent armed groups would no longer be tolerated.”

The Mongla group, officially known as Shan State Special Region #4, has been given another choice: to become a special combat police force under the new ‘civilian’ government.

Another demand was also made for Mongla, led by 62-year old Sai Leun aka Lin Mingxian, to withdraw from Hsop Lwe, the mouth of the Lwe river that flows into the Mekong, which is strategically and commercially important for Mongla’s survival.

Apart from Hsop Lwe, Sai Leun was urged to remove his troops from Mongyu and Monglwe, both south of the Nam Lwe. He was also told to give up villages surrounding Hsaleu, headquarters of its 369th Brigade. “That was not only to cut off Mongla from Hsaleu, but also from Mongphen (in Wa territory),” the officer explained. “In the event of offensive by the Burma Army, not only we cannot expect any support from the United Wa State Army (UWSA), both Hsaleu and Mongla will be completely and separately surrounded.”

So far Mongla has yet to respond to the demands.

The Shan State Army (SSA) “North,” officially Shan State Special Region #3, meanwhile has been urged to seriously consider the following proposition by junta authorities, according to an SSA source:

* For the leadership to retire and form a political party
* For the younger officers to take over the command
* The SSA North will recruit new soldiers and the Burma Army will train them
* The Burma Army will be responsible for salaries and all expenditures

“The offer of course was only short of saying we would become a part of the Tatmadaw (Armed Forces of Burma),” an officer commented wryly. (Another interview conducted just before the release of this report said Mongla had received the same offer.)

SHAN has yet to hear from other groups. There were 15 armed groups that had concluded ceasefire with Rangoon: 9 in Shan State, 2 in Kachin State, 3 in Kayah (Karenni) State and 1 in Mon State until 2005, when two of them: Palaung State Liberation Army (PSLA) and Shan State National Army (SSNA), both based in Shan State, were forced to surrender.

Forced Labor Widely Used in Road Construction

Maungdaw: A large number of people in Maungdaw Township have been used as forced labor by local authorities on repair work on the Buthidaung - Maungdaw roadway since the road and bridges collapsed in heavy rains, said a resident from Maungdaw.

He said, "We have to go do the road repair along the motor road after the authorities summoned 50 people from each ward in downtown Maungdaw through Rayaka, the ward councils. The forced labor began on Monday."

In Maungdaw, there are six wards altogether, and each had to send 50 people yesterday to the locations where the road was damaged with their own mattocks and pickaxes to do repair work. They had to work from 9 am to 4 pm yesterday without pay.

"We had to work there from 9 am to 4 pm without payment, but the authority did not provide any assistance with any food or drinking water during the work time. We brought our own food from our homes to the road repair sites," the resident said.

A local source said the authority not only summoned people from downtown Maungdaw, but also a large number of people from rural villages located along the Buthidaung - Maungdaw motor road.

Thousands of Karenni IDPs Hide in Jungle

An estimated 4,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are currently hiding in the jungle near Hpasawng Township, about 94 kilometres south of the Karenni State capital Loikaw, according to a Karenni relief group.

Daniel, a coordinator for the Karenni Social Welfare and Development Center (KSWDC), which provides aid to Karenni IDPs, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that the villagers had fled their homes fearing attacks by the Burmese army.

“More than 4,000 Karenni IDPs are now hiding in Hpasawng Township,” said Daniel, who uses only one name. “It will be very difficult for them if they have to stay in the jungle for a long time.”

The Burmese army’s Light Infantry Battalions (LIB) 427, 428 and 337 patrol the area around Hpasawng and have clashed with Karenni rebels in the area six times so far this year, according to local sources.

Some of the Karenni IDPs want to move to the Thai-Burmese border, but they fear possible attacks by Burmese troops along the way, said Daniel.

Poe Byar Shay Reh, chairman of the Karenni Refugee Committee, said that more than 160 IDPs have arrived at Karenni refugee camps in Thailand’s Mae Hong Son Province since the beginning of 2008.

He said, however, that so far, none of the IDPs currently hiding in the jungle have reached the refugee camps.

“None of them have arrived at the refugee camps, but we don’t know if they’ll start coming later,” said Poe Byar Shay Reh.

He added that some of the Karenni IDPs now sheltering in the refugee camps had fled their villages after being accused by the Burmese army and the ceasefire Karenni Nationalities People’s Liberation Front of supporting the anti-government Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP).

The KNPP signed a ceasefire agreement with Burma’s ruling junta in 1995, but the truce broke down after just three months when Burmese troops deployed on KNPP territory.
Villagers tortured for "not seeing" the rebels

Three villagers from Kunhing, southern Shan State were beaten by the Burmese Army on 3 July and after they denied seeing and knowing the whereabouts of the Shan State Army (SSA) "South" fighters in the areas, reports Shan Herald correspondent from southern Shan State.

By Hseng Khio Fah
5 July 2008

A 22 strong patrol from Kholam based Light Infantry Battalion 66 led by Lt Aung Chan Tha detained villagers of Nayang, Wan Phai village tract, while working in their fields and asked about the SSA and whether it was operating in the area.

When the villagers denied seeing the SSA, Lt Aung Chan Tha himself beat Long Hsu,60, Sai Lern Hsai, 18, and Sai Doo, 18, until blood came out of their mouths and their heads and faces became swollen.

“Those three were in great pain, but dared not complain anything,” a villager told to Shan Herald on condition of anonymity.

LIB 66 was based in Namzang and moved to Kho Lam about 4 years ago. It is always patrolling around the neighboring Kunhing areas, according to SHAN sources.

Since the May 10 referendum was held, clashes between SSA and Burma Army have increased and several abuses like sexual violence, forced labor and forced portering have been occurring.

Villages deserted as residents flee to border to escape military persecution

Long Keng village in Mong Pan township, southern Shan State, became deserted when villagers fled to border after some of them were detained and tortured and some disappeared as the military accused them of killing their members one month ago, reported SHAN correspondent from southern Shan State.

Prominent Dissident Hit with New Charges

Ko Ko Gyi A prominent detained student activist and other political prisoners have been hit with new charges designed to prolong their detention, according to family members.

“The situation seems to be that the junta wants to prolong the detention period of the former student leaders,” said Bo Kyi, a joint secretary of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners—Burma.

For the third time since his arrest, Poet Saw Wai was placed on trial under Public Offense Act 505 B. He was arrested for placing a hidden message in a poem about Snr-Gen Than Shwe.

Meanwhile, prison authorities have seized all black colored clothing from political prisoners to prevent them from indicating they were in mourning, according to family members of prisoners.

“My brother said this week that all clothing with black colors was taken away by prison wardens,” said a sister of student activist Kyaw Ko Ko.

Rise of Factions Roils Relations within Burmese Junta

On the surface, the high-ranking generals in the Burmese military junta appear to be united. But since a reshuffle in early June, speculation has been rife that the regime is undergoing a major realignment, with competing forces jostling for influence.

There are persistent rumors that several of the former Bureau of Special Operations heads who were sacked in June are now under investigation on corruption charges. Some are even believed to be under house arrest, facing charges of high treason.

Although international news agencies reported that around 150 officers were reshuffled, well-informed observers say the number who were reassigned or removed outright was probably closer to 400.

It is believed that three powerful factions have now emerged, all of them loyal to Snr-Gen Than Shwe, who remains the commander in chief of the armed forces.

The three factions are led by Gen Thura Shwe Mann, Lt-Gen Myint Swe and Lt-Gen Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo.

Thura Shwe Mann, 60, is the third-ranking general in the military hierarchy, holding the title of joint chief of staff. He has been groomed to take over as commander in chief of the armed forces when Than Shwe sees fit to step down.

Shwe Mann also has the lofty title of “Coordinator of the Special Operations, Army, Navy and Air Force”—a position that allows him to oversee all the main branches of the military, including the powerful Bureaus of Special Operations.

Shwe Mann is seen as a protégé of Than Shwe. He is also close to several businessmen and scholars who have recently been involved in getting humanitarian assistance to cyclone-affected areas of the Irrawaddy delta.

Shwe Mann’s son, Aung Thet Mann, is involved in the fertilizer and rice mill business in the delta. The Shwe Mann camp has recently been releasing news that the general is business-minded and in favor of cooperating with the United Nations and the international community. His close friend and former classmate, Lt-Gen Soe Thein, was recently removed from his position as navy chief and named minister for industry (2).

Another rising star is Lt-Gen Myint Swe, 59, who heads Bureau of Special Operations 5 (BSO-5).

Myint Swe is an ethnic Mon who has played a key role in controlling security in Rangoon since the early 2000’s. He is a distant relative of Than Shwe’s wife, Kyaing Kyaing, and is known to be close to the senior leader. He was involved in several important operations against top leaders, including the arrest of former Prime Minister Gen Khin Nyunt, who was ousted in October 2004.

Myint Swe has been seen in the state-run media more frequently since Cyclone Nargis slammed into Burma in early May, prompting observers to wonder if he is in line to assume a top commander position.

Lt-Gen Tin Aung Myint Oo, the quartermaster-general who was named secretary-1 of the State Peace and Development Council in 2007, is the putative leader of a third faction.

Burmese observers believe that Tin Aung Myint Oo was one of the regime’s main opponents of foreign assistance and UN involvement in the Cyclone Nargis relief effort. He recently visited the Irrawaddy delta and was named deputy head of the National Disaster Preparedness Central Committee.

All three powerful generals have visited the affected area. Shwe Mann accompanied Than Shwe, while Tin Aung Myint Oo went with Maung Aye, the deputy commander in chief of the armed forces and army chief, along with other powerful commanders, including air defense department and intelligence chiefs. Myint Swe toured the affected area alone, giving “necessary instructions” to officials.

Insiders have noted that all three are close to Than Shwe and his family, removing any likelihood of a coup against the top commander.

Meanwhile, Maung Aye, the army chief, remains the second-most powerful military leader in the armed forces. Maung Aye was locked in a bitter fight with Gen Khin Nyunt, and Than Shwe benefited from the power struggle between the two. Now Maung Aye, who has little political ambition, is not a threat to Than Shwe.

But if speculation about the emergence of three powerful factions within the top command turns out to be true, it is likely that further purges and changes at the top are in store.

Reconstruction work of Maung Weik Co. falters

Chiang Mai - The arrest of young business tycoon Maung Weik has thrown a spanner in the works in the reconstruction contract given to his company - Maung Weik and Family Co. Ltd - in Cyclone Nargis-hit Kyaiklat town.

Though officials of Maung Weik and Family Co. Ltd. at Lanmadaw Townhsip in Rangoon city are refusing to answer queries, local residents said reconstruction works in Kyaiklat has been affected by the arrest of the businessman.

Burma's military rulers have assigned Maung Weik and Family Co. Ltd a contract to conduct reconstruction works in Kyaiklat, as it does with other companies for different regions devastated by the cyclone.

But local residents in Kyaiklat and journalists said the company was rarely seen conducting any reconstruction works.

The junta assigned over 30 companies, most of which are their business cronies, to undertake reconstruction work in cyclone-hit regions in Rangoon and Irrawaddy Divisions.

Former Kachin state commander destroys documents of his tenure

n a surreptitious move the Burmese military junta's former Northern Command or Kachin state Commander Maj-Gen. Ohn Myint destroyed all documents pertaining to his tenure before leaving the state in June on being transferred, local sources said.

All documents related to finance and other important papers related to his period, in the office of the Kachin State Peace and Development Council (Pa-Ya-Ka) in Myitkyina Township, the capital of Kachin state were checked and burnt by the office staff even as the commander's men kept an eye, said Pa-Ya-Ka sources.

There is no document relating to former Commander Maj-Gen Ohn Myint's tenure in the Pa-Ya-Ka office. All documents were destroyed as soon as he was transferred from Kachin state, according to sources close to Pa-Ya-Ka.

It is not unusual that the former Commander Ohn Myint destroyed his documents as his four predecessors did the same before they departed from Kachin state, sources added.

Maj-Gen. Ohn Myint successfully pressurized the main Kachin ceasefire group, Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) to change its neutral stand and support the referendum on the country's new constitution during his tenure in Kachin state.

Ngwe Kyar Yan monastery continues

The Ngwe Kyar Yan monastery continued its new academic year even after the Burmese military junta's bloody crackdown on monks who led the September 2007 demonstrations.

The monastery which hosted over 100 student monks last year is now starting its session with over 70 monks.

"The monks study freely like other monasteries. The monastery sees more and more crowds," a source close to the monastery said.

Ngwe Kyar Yan, in South Okklapa Township was where the military killed some monks during a crackdown at night.

A majority of monks were beaten up by Burmese Army troops and policemen. The whole temple was ransacked by troops.

Dozens of monk from the monastery were arrested and an ill abbot died during the raid on the monastery.

Blogger Nay Phone Latt appears in court

Jul 9, 2008 (DVB)–Blogger Nay Phone Latt appeared before Insein prison court for the first time yesterday where he heard three charges against him, including causing public alarm, his mother told DVB.

Daw Aye Than said her son was charged under section 32(b) of the Video Act, section 36 of an unspecified law regulating electronic devices and section 505(b) of the penal code, which forbids the distribution of material likely to cause public alarm or incite offences against the public tranquility.

A section 32(b) violation carries a maximum penalty of six months’ imprisonment, while section 505(b) of the penal code mandates a jail term of up to two years.

He was originally only charged with section 32(b) of the Video Act.

Nay Phone Latt was informed of the charges at yesterday's court hearing and was told by the judge that his next court hearing will be on 22 July.

"I'm sad to learn an innocent person was charged under three acts but these things are not so unusual in this country," Daw Aye Than said.

Censor and editor give evidence at poet’s trial

Jul 9, 2008 (DVB)–Poet Saw Wai appeared at Insein prison court yesterday for the third time defending himself against accusations of violating section 505(b) of the penal code, according to his wife Ma Nan San San Aye.

Saw Wai was arrested on 22 January after his poem, “February 14th”, which was published in the weekly Achit Journal, was found to have a hidden anti-government message.

He is now being charged with distributing information that could cause public alarm or incite offences against the public tranquility.

Nan San San Aye said a state censor and the journal’s editor gave evidence at the hearing yesterday.

"An official from the censor board testified in the court hearing that the original poem was 12 lines long and it was turned down by the board. When it appeared later in the weekly journal it was only 8 lines," Nan San San Aye said.

"The journal's editor Myat Khin testified that the censor board had only notified their office of the rejection of the poem by phone and that he forgot to let other people in the office know about it," she went on.

Regime Asks UN to Stop Press Conferences in Bangkok

Burma’s military government has asked the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and other UN agencies not to hold press conferences in Bangkok but in Rangoon, according to sources in the former Burmese capital.

Since Cyclone Nargis slammed Burma on May 2-3, the Bangkok-based Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT) has hosted several press conferences by UN agencies. The FCCT confirmed that the UN suddenly canceled its planned weekly press briefings on Wednesday last week without giving any reason.

The UN’s decision to suspend its regular press conferences in Bangkok reportedly came after Burma’s military rulers indicated that they preferred Rangoon as the venue for future briefings.

Burmese authorities rarely allow accredited journalists to enter the country, except to cover carefully orchestrated events that highlight the regime’s accomplishments. Local journalists are also prevented by draconian press laws from covering sensitive issues.

Recently, Burmese journalists faced hurdles reporting on international relief efforts after they were told they could not attend a press conference by Surin Pitsuwan, the secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), a member of the Tripartite Core Group which is coordinating the relief effort. The group consists of the regional grouping plus the UN and the Burmese junta.

Prince Charles meets Burmese students

New Delhi - For the first time, Britain's Prince Charles on Wednesday met students, alumni and staff from Prospect Burma, an educational trust that funds the education of young Burmese students.

Prince Charles, next in line for the British throne and future king of the United Kingdom met about 20 Burmese students and staff members of Prospect Burma at Clarence House in London.

Zoya Phan, a former student who attended the meeting, said, "The meeting was significant, Prince Charles showed a lot of interest about Burma."

The Burmese students were able to explain the current political, social, arts and cultural situation of Burma to the Prince, Zoya Phan said.

"During our meeting, Charles said he will raise the Burma issue in every way that he can," Zoya Phan told Mizzima.

Burma's Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, now under house arrest in Rangoon, supports Prospect Burma with the award money she received from the Nobel Prize.

UK has maintained a critical stand against Burma's military rulers and had supported the United States' call for a UN Security Council Resolution, in January 2007. The proposed UNSC resolution includes the demand for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and respect for human rights.

But the proposed resolution was turned down by veto wielding China and Russia.

G-8 leaders urge junta to free Aung San Suu Kyi

New Delhi - Leaders of the Group of Eight, meeting in Japan, on Tuesday urged the Burmese military junta to free all political prisoners and usher in political transition to democracy.

Leaders of eight industrial powers - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States – in a statement called on Burma's military junta, "to immediately release all political detainees, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and to foster a transition to a legitimate, democratic, civilian government."

Ignoring international calls and pressures, Burma's military regime in May, extended the house arrest term of pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for another year.

[1] Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's democracy leader, has said that "Total is the biggest supporter of the military regime in Burma." For more information about Total Oil's investment in Burma see the Burma Campaign UK website:

[2] The World Health Organization's ranking
of the world's health systems:

[3] Burma joins Somalia in 179th place as the most corrupt countries in the world according to Transparency International 2007 index rankings:

[4] Human Rights Watch report on Child Soldiers in Burma:

- e-mail: totaloutofburma [at] gmail (dot) com
- Homepage:

Upcoming Coverage
View and post events
Upcoming Events UK
24th October, London: 2015 London Anarchist Bookfair
2nd - 8th November: Wrexham, Wales, UK & Everywhere: Week of Action Against the North Wales Prison & the Prison Industrial Complex. Cymraeg: Wythnos o Weithredu yn Erbyn Carchar Gogledd Cymru

Ongoing UK
Every Tuesday 6pm-8pm, Yorkshire: Demo/vigil at NSA/NRO Menwith Hill US Spy Base More info: CAAB.

Every Tuesday, UK & worldwide: Counter Terror Tuesdays. Call the US Embassy nearest to you to protest Obama's Terror Tuesdays. More info here

Every day, London: Vigil for Julian Assange outside Ecuadorian Embassy

Parliament Sq Protest: see topic page
Ongoing Global
Rossport, Ireland: see topic page
Israel-Palestine: Israel Indymedia | Palestine Indymedia
Oaxaca: Chiapas Indymedia
All Regions
South Coast
Other Local IMCs
Bristol/South West
Social Media
You can follow @ukindymedia on and Twitter. We are working on a Twitter policy. We do not use Facebook, and advise you not to either.
Support Us
We need help paying the bills for hosting this site, please consider supporting us financially.
Other Media Projects
Dissident Island Radio
Corporate Watch
Media Lens
Earth First! Action Update
Earth First! Action Reports
All Topics
Animal Liberation
Climate Chaos
Energy Crisis
Free Spaces
Ocean Defence
Other Press
Public sector cuts
Social Struggles
Terror War
Workers' Movements
Major Reports
NATO 2014
G8 2013
2011 Census Resistance
Occupy Everywhere
August Riots
Dale Farm
J30 Strike
Flotilla to Gaza
Mayday 2010
Tar Sands
G20 London Summit
University Occupations for Gaza
Indymedia Server Seizure
COP15 Climate Summit 2009
Carmel Agrexco
G8 Japan 2008
Stop Sequani
Stop RWB
Climate Camp 2008
Oaxaca Uprising
Rossport Solidarity
Smash EDO
Past Major Reports
Encrypted Page
You are viewing this page using an encrypted connection. If you bookmark this page or send its address in an email you might want to use the un-encrypted address of this page.
If you recieved a warning about an untrusted root certificate please install the CAcert root certificate, for more information see the security page.

Global IMC Network

satellite tv


estrecho / madiaq
la plana
northern england
nottingham imc
united kingdom

Latin America
chile sur
cmi brasil
cmi sucre
puerto rico


South Asia

United States
hudson mohawk
kansas city
minneapolis/st. paul
new hampshire
new jersey
new mexico
new orleans
north carolina
north texas
rogue valley
saint louis
san diego
san francisco
san francisco bay area
santa barbara
santa cruz, ca
tampa bay
united states
western mass

West Asia


fbi/legal updates
mailing lists
process & imc docs