Burma& Border News

Local Activities


About B.A.G.


Upcoming Events for Cyclone Relief:


A fundraiser for cyclone relief efforts, featuring a silent auction, live music and food, will be on May 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Q Cafe, 3223 15th Ave. W., Seattle. All proceeds will go to World Aid, a local nongovernmental organization. Information: nit.soh@gmail.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 uberger98107@yahoo.com at 206.297.0232



A prayer service for those who have lost their lives in the Myanmar cyclone will be on June 7 at 5:30 p.m. at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 5710 22nd Ave. N.W., Seattle. Donations will be collected for relief work. Information: 206-784-3119.




Annual Seattle 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
1,000 children!
Thank you for caring.

ESSAY A Walk with the Free Burma Rangers

"We entered the ravine quietly just before noon, 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 inside Burma

In Memorium
Chao 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.  

 "This regime's abuses are forcing innocent, defenseless children into the jungle," said Stephen Dun, a board member of US Campaign for BurmaRead more of the 6/30 Agence France Presse article "Myanmar military forcing ethnic groups out of villages"

Politics Congress 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. ...

"Asian leaders must recognize the regime for what it is - wholly
illegitimate to the people of
Burma, the international community and the region. The SPDC's export of illicit drugs and HIV/AIDS is, literally, burying the children of Asia. All of Asia's youth - not only those in Burma - face a future that is undermined by Burmese-spread drugs and disease."  Read more of statement by Senator Mitch McConnell, sponsor of the resolution... and news reports


Read the Joint Resolution and learn how to Take Action

Keep Thailand a Safe Haven
for Burmese refugees, migrant workers, and
human rights defenders

Write a letter to Rep. Adam Smith urging him to keep human rights and democracy in mind while negotiating a free trade agreement with Thailand.
Download sample letter  

"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

Read all about it!
Editorials, Letters to the Editor, Unpublished Letters and more...

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 Washington D.C. where they attended Congressional hearings 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 to story

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

New Books about Burma

Bush campaign stops selling banned sweatshirts that were made in Myanmar. Read the Newsday article.

Check out the US State Dept's latest report on human rights abuses in Burma


Ongoing issues:

Child 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.

Free Burma Rangers


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 internally displaced.

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.

Photo Exhibit

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!

Read about past education projects the raffle supported.

Ask local businesses to donate raffle prizes!
Download thank-you/non-profit tax-deduction donation letter to give to businesses that donate.

Run for Relief in Burma

April 3 in Gig Harbor

More than 120 runners raised almost $1,000!!

Walk, run, race to provide medical and humanitarian aid for  children and families displaced by war.
For 1 million villagers in Burma, running is not a choice.

Fourth Annual
Seattle Burma Roundtable Raffle
to support
village and jungle schools

for children displaced by war.

Read about past education projects the raffle supported.

Ask local businesses to donate raffle prizes!
Download thank-you/non-profit tax-deduction donation letter to give to businesses that donate.

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
Read the P-I editorial (4/29/04)

Write a letter to the P-I: editpage@seattlepi.com

Seattle Times editorial calls for business with the junta (4/4/04). Angers those who support human rights in Burma. Many write letters to refute.
Write a letter to the Times:


Read the Seattle Times editorial (4/4)
Read Larry Dohrs analysis of the editorial
Read letters of response published in Seattle Times
Read  Washington Post editorial (4/5)calling for sanctions
Read US Campaign for Burma analysis

Read Letters to the Editor that weren't published

Stop using children as soldiers

A 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 more

Write 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 the country.

On Feb. 5, UW Amnesty International  focused on:
Child Soldiers and Human Rights in Burma

Speakers: Dr. 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 workers.







Comments or Questions? Email us at: burma@u.washington.edu or call (206)784-5742.

Seattle Burma Roundtable members may add events to the calendar by logging on to www.localendar.com