A fundraiser for cyclone relief efforts, featuring a silent
auction, live music and food, will be on May 17 from to at the Q Cafe, 3223 15th Ave. W., Seattle. All proceeds will
go to World Aid, a local nongovernmental organization. Information: email@example.com or 253-394-8526.
Donations will be collected at various Safeway stores across Seattle area to purchase
clean water purification tablets for Cyclone victims. Information: Erika Berg
A prayer service for those who have lost their lives in the Myanmar cyclone will be on
June 7 at at St. Luke's
Episcopal Church, 5710 22nd Ave. N.W., Seattle. Donations will be
collected for relief work. Information: 206-784-3119.
AnnualSeattle Burma Roundtable Raffle to
support village and jungle schools for children displaced by war raised
$2,200! That means school and hope for more than
Thank you for caring.
"We entered the ravine
quietly just before , and
the teams moved quickly ahead, disappearing down the trail. I stopped,
stunned at what I saw, and was hit by deep grief. Although I had seen photos
and read stories of villagers fleeing the Burma Army I had never directly
witnessed it. I could see family groups who had been on the run for
several days, gathered quietly and somberly on both sides of the trail.
They were living in between trees and bushes, their faces serious and
quiet. Baskets lay upright on the ground beside them, still packed with
their belongings in case they had to pick up and run again. Small fires
smoldered in preparation for the upcoming meal and the setting of the sun,
for at this time of year temperatures could be near freezing at night...
" Read Laurie Dawson's moving first-person
account of her month-long journey on foot along the Karen/Karenni border
Tzang Yawngwhe (who was also known to many as Eugene Thaike) passed away in Vancouver on July 24th. A hereditary Shan prince, Chao
Tzang was a son of the first president of Burma, a rebel leader, a scholar, and a leading proponent of
ethnic unity. Among his many, many accomplishments was the establishment of
the Vancouver Burma Roundtable. He was among the most sophisticated
analysts of Burma's military "black box", and his thinking has
had a profound influence on many people studying Burma and promoting social justice there. He was a
very kind man as well. He is sorelymissed. May he rest in peace.
NEWS: Hundreds of people flee Karenni
villages, northeast of Rangoon.
PoliticsCongress overwhelmingly passes Burma Freedom and Democracy Act which includes an import
ban and other sanctions. The Vote: Senate 96-1; House 372-2.
"The situation in
Burma is dire: Suu Kyi and other NLD leaders remain imprisoned; a crackdown
on democracy activists continues; and the SPDC's inhumane policies of child
and forced labor, rape as a weapon of war, narcotics and human trafficking,
and the use of child soldiers remain unchanged."
"Mr. President, import sanctions by the United States alone will not help facilitate a
meaningful reconciliation process in Burma. We need the U.N., E.U., and regional
neighbors to fully commit to the cause. ...
ON THE ISSUE:
"Over the past several years, Thailand has changed from its traditional
position as a safe haven for refugees fleeing from Burma's brutal military
junta. Today, the Thai Government is directly responsible for the
deportation of Burmese refugees and political activists, and instituting a
crackdown on human rights organizations and humanitarian organizations
operating inside Thailand on Burmese issues. Under the principle of
non-refoulement, forcibly returning Burmese asylum seekers, refugees and
others with a genuine fear of persecution in their homeland, is a violation
of international law... " Read more of
Dennis J. Kucinich letter to Congressional colleagues
Seattle P-I and Seattle Times editorials
clash over whether US should do business in Burma
What can the United States do about the suffering of Burma's Internally Displaced People?
Larry Dohrs, Laurie Dawson, Steve Dun and filmmakers Brian and
Elliott recently returned from WashingtonD.C. where they attended Congressionalhearings about Burma under U.S. sanctions and heard powerful
testimony about IDP and refugee issues.
" I am testifying before you
today because the world, and this Congress, must know the reality, the true
brutality, of the military regime and how it struggles to crush Burma’s democracy movement, and how,
with your help, it will fail. I was forced to leave Burma last year after the Depeyin Massacre
on May 30th. I learned in Rangoon of the regime’s horrific attack
against my NLD colleagues and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi that killed scores
of people, wounded many more, and resulted in the imprisonment of Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi and many members of the NLD. I feared that I would be
re-arrested for my actions, and at age 73, believe that if I were
forced to return to the junta’s prison, I would be killed...--Daw San
San, elected member of Parliament, National League for Democracy, Burma. Read more
testimony from the hearings.
Health:HIV in Burma Journalist Vanessa Hua of
the San Francisco Chronicle reports from inside
"Aung Bang, Burma -- What Moe Moe fears most is
orphaning her three small children. They have already lost
their father, Win Naing Aye, who died in 2002, three months after being
diagnosed with the AIDS virus. Moe Moe also expects to die. She contracted
the virus from her husband and cannot afford the antiretroviral medicines
that can keep her alive.
In a country with a decaying health system and where few people have
access to expensive drugs, HIV can be a death sentence. The only treatments
for most people infected with the virus are antibiotics for opportunistic
infections and herbal or folk remedies. link
to story "By mid-2002,
177,279 people were living with HIV in Burma, according to government
records, a figure that falls far short of a 1999 study by Johns Hopkins
University, which suggested that at least 687,000 Burmese, or almost 3. 5
percent of the country's adult population, were infected with the AIDS virus.
That study included pregnant women, soldiers, sex workers, gay men and blood
donors, but it excluded the nation's estimated 1.4 million drug users.
Fearing that transient populations such as migrant workers, truck
drivers and boatmen could spread the disease to the general population, the
government relented, allowing local and international health organizations to
become more active in the fight to contain the virus.".... link
Our own Ginger Norwood
invites volunteers to help build a meditation hall in Thailand... "International
Women's Partnership for Peace and Justice (IWP) is organizing a hands on
Natural building workshop for women this October to build a meditation hall
and staff house at our training center near Chiang Mai. It will be an
international workshop with women from Thailand, Burma, and abroad. " View
Poster about Workshop
Check out the US State Dept's latest report
on human rights abuses in Burma
Soldiers and Human Rights in Burma Dr.
Cynthia's Clinic Doe
v. Unocal UPDATE: The
Supreme Court in late June handed down a decision that left open the use of
the Alien Tort Claims Act to sue corporations for involvement in gross human
rights abuses abroad. The most advanced of these cases is Doe
v. Unocal, where Burmese villagers are suing Unocal. The federal case
is now likely to be acted upon soon, and the California state court case will
have its next hearing in August.
From Piglets to Prosthetics: 10 Northwest Aid Groups
on the Burma Border You've heard of speed
dating. Now get ready for speedy international relief. For six intense
minutes, you'll share a
small table and ideas with
each of ten non-profits/NGOs workng in Burma and Thailand. Come learn about
the many ways these groups make a difference in the daily lives of Burmese
refugees and internally displaced people. Chime in. Trade tips.
Make friends. Leave energized. Tuesday Nov. 9, 6:30-8 pm
Suzzallo Library, UW main campus. Clear
Path -- A Bainbridge Island based de-mining and mining education group group
that has a project to make custom-fitted prosthetic legs for land-mine
victims trapped inside Burma.
Green Empowerment -- A Portland group that has outfitted 13 clinics serving
40-50,000 internally displaced Burmese, and has plans to equip another 11
clinics in 2005.
Dr. Cynthia's Clinic -- A number of Seattle-based medical professionals
continue to volunteer at this clinic in Mae Sot, Thailand, which is run by
Dr. Cynthia Maung, winner of numerous international awards and called
"the Mother Teresa of the Thai-Burma border."
World Aid, Inc. -- A Ballard-based non-profit that has for years gathered and
shipped medical supplies and financial support for refugees and the
Social Action for Women (SAW) -- This Thailand-based group now has a
representative in the Seattle area. Mo Mo Aye has provided pre-natal
and reproductive health training to the thousands of Burmese migrant women
who work in Thai factories in Mae Sot for $1.25 per day.
Free Burma Rangers -- Based in both Gig Harbor and in Thailand, this group
carries relief supplies deep inside Eastern Burma, as well as training and
accompanying medics, dentists and doctors into high-risk areas where
internally displaced people struggle to survive.
Save the Children USA -- With strong support from the Puget Sound community,
Save supports micro-credit lending, scholarship opportunities for girls from
disadvantaged families and child nutrition programs.
World Vision -- The Federal Way based NGO works both on the Thai-Burma border
(providing AIDS education and fighting child sex trafficking) and inside
Burma (doing micro-credit lending).
Seattle Burma Roundtable -- A local grass-roots group working on public
education that has also raised more than $10,000 to fund basic education for
children of internally displaced communities inside Burma.
Project Piglet - This project provides breeding piglets and pig feed to
refugee and internally displaced families so they can develop a
self-sustaining source of food and income.
Dr. Cynthia's Refugee Clinic and the
Thai-Burma Border by Seattle Times photographer Tom Reese. (See http://www.seattletimes.com/burma
to view some of the photos and read the accomanying story by Paula Bock. Nov. 2 - 24, Suzzallo
Library, UW main campus Meet the photographer
at the opening reception
Tues Nov. 9, 6:30 - 8 pm, Suzzallo Library
Fourth Annual Seattle Burma Roundtable
Raffle supports village and
jungle schools for children displaced by
war. RAISED $2,200 in 2004!
Pick up tickets to sell at June 2 meeting.
Drawing will be in September.
Seattle P-I and
Seattle Times clash over
whether US should do business in Burma
Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial calls for U.S. support of
international sanctions against Burma."Only international pressure is
likely to break through Burma's wall of
repression."Read the P-I editorial (4/29/04)
2002 investigation by New York-based Human Rights Watch found that Burma's
regime has recruited as many as 70,000 child soldiers under the age of 18,
far more than any other country in the world...read
a letter urging the United Nations Security Council to pressure the
Burmese junta to end the use of child soldiers,
including the imposing of travel restrictions on leaders, their exclusion
from any governance structures, a ban on the export of small arms and
military assistance, and restriction of the flow of financial resources to
On Feb. 5, UW Amnesty
International focused on: Child Soldiers and Human
Rights in Burma
Vit Voravit Suwanvanichkij, Clinician and researcher in Seattle and Thailand Therese Caouette, Human
Rights activist and Associate Prof. Jackson School of International Studies Colin Bayne, UW senior,
author of introductory chapter on international report about domestic