Tag Archives: burma/myanmar

Layla Moran: Myanmar’s military must step back from the brink

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Layla Moran, our spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, has spoken out against the coup unfolding in Myanmar:

Myanmar’s military must step back from the brink, end this coup and release all civilian leaders immediately.

The UK should step up and lead the world in shining a spotlight on the plight of democracy and human rights in Myanmar

Democracy and the rule of law need to be respected.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Burmese Days

The election is more important than COVID-19.

Not the words of Donald Trump but the words of the State Counsellor of Burma, Aung San Su Kyi. Yes, I know the name of the country was changed by the State Law and Order Restoration Council-SLORC but Burma is still Burma in the eyes of many.

The election will be held on November 8th with various challenges. There are of course security challenges. Conflict zones in the border areas where voting is suspended and COVID-19. This election will have suspensions in Rakhine state with no vote taking place in a number of townships due to the fighting between the Arakan Army (AA) and the Myanmar military. Of course, very few of the Rohinyas that remain in that area will be eligible to vote as they are without national identity cards. Many of the displaced people in other parts of Burma face a similar problem as they lack documentation.

COVID-19 is another major problem. Burma has seen increasing number of infections and fully implementing prevention measures at the polling stations is going to be difficult. The question of postponing the election was raised but the Union Election Commission (UEC) is proceeding as scheduled, a decision supported by the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged | 3 Comments

A new dawn in Myanmar: cause for great celebration

The Guardian reports:

Aung San Suu Kyi has won Myanmar’s landmark election and claimed a staggering majority in parliament, ending half a century of dominance by the military and providing the symbol of a decades-old democracy movement with a mandate to rule.

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Opinion: a real chance to stop murder, torture and organised sexual violence in Burma

On 29 November 2003, a woman’s body was discovered near a farm by her husband and other people from her village. She was 20 years of age and her name was Naang Sa. She and her husband Zaai Leng had been approached, three days before, by 40 soldiers from the Burmese Army. Zaai Leng was tied up and Naang Sa was gang raped. The soldiers took her back to their base and her dead body was left at an unknown time during those three days, completely unconcealed, to be found by those who loved her.

Events such …

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | 6 Comments

Opinion: We mustn’t forget Burma

With the world’s attention focussed (rightly) on Gaza, the ongoing tragedy of Burma/Myanmar remains almost unseen. Just as the Israelis are keeping foreign journalists out of Gaza, so the Burmese junta stops reporters getting in there to see what is happening. Moreover, now that last year’s cyclone has been forgotten by the outside world and the monks’ protests have been quashed, Burma just isn’t ‘news’ as far as the global media is concerned, with a few noble exceptions such as the BBC World Service.

Nonetheless, the bloody repression there continues, including the torture of political prisoners. On 30 December, nine members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) were arrested in Rangoon (Yangon) for demonstrating in favour of the release from house arrest of their leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi (who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991) has spent more than 12 of the past 18 years in detention, her ‘crime’ being that her party won Burma’s last democratic election in 1990 – a result which the junta simply refused to accept.

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | 2 Comments

Conference policy motion: “Extention of the remit of the International Criminal Court”

This motion is being moved at conference by North Somerset, North Wiltshire and Westminster Liberal Democrats. The mover, Brian Mathew, explains.

Our policy motion, entitled “The Extension of the Remit of the International Criminal Court”, was conceived a year ago, following a long consideration of the plight of populations persecuted by their own governments. We want to celebrate the role the International Criminal Court has had in bringing some rogue ex-heads of state to justice, while bemoaning the fact that not all nations (including the US) are signatories, and until the recent attempt at bringing Sudan’s President

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Jonathan Fryer’s Diary of a Euro-candidate


The sun shines on London Pride, as fellow London Euro-candidates Dinti Batstone, Christopher Le Breton, John Pindar and I march with members of the LibDem LGBT campaigning group, DELGA. They have arranged a stall right in front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. While Nick Clegg addresses the rally there, our Euro-team hands out special focuses, highlighting Sarah Ludford MEP’s call for the US to end its entry ban on people living with HIV/AIDS. I’ve vowed I won’t set foot in the States again until that iniquitous prohibition is lifted. By the end of the afternoon, the boys and girls miling around are in the mood for some serious partying, but I am sensible and head off to Eltham for the Greenwich LibDems’ summer barbeque. Keeping in touch with local parties and reminding them about Europe is a high priority.

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PMQs: Nick tackles Gordon on Afghanistan

International affairs dominated Prime Minister’s Questions today, with both Nick Clegg and David Cameron choosing to put their best statesmanlike foot forward. While the Tory leader led on the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Burma, Nick focused on that ‘forgotten’ theatre of war, Afghanistan, and attacked the ‘cold war’ priorities of defence spending.

Judge for yourselves how Nick did. You can watch the exchange on YouTube, or read the Hansard transcript.

Posted in News and PMQs | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

The Independent View: Foreign intervention should be supported by liberals

Those former left-wing pioneers who founded the neoconservative movement in Washington should not be treated like war criminals or fathers of the ‘new imperialism’. In fact the doctrine should be welcomed and supported by us liberals.

We liberals believe in a society based on liberty, justice and a constitutional government, whether it is in are own country or abroad. But we have struggled since Iraq to maintain the common principles following the Liberal Democrats’ vote against the war. And to hear Nick Clegg at the last conference shun “neo-con wars” was almost unbearable to listen to. Why criticise foreign intervention or …

Posted in Europe / International and The Independent View | 46 Comments

An Indian Intervention

The monks have gone, transported to northern prisons or shot dead, and “normalcy” has returned to the streets of Burma, in the word of the country’s United Nations ambassador. But is there more the international community, in particular its neighbour’s, could have done to force the hand of the military junta and bring democracy to Burma? Yes, there is, and the answer lies in India.

During the protests in Burma over the past two weeks, the UN showed how ineffective its current structural system could be. Meetings were held, debates were had, but in the end no concrete action was taken, doubtless because Russia and China would have vetoed it anyway, just as they vetoed a resolution criticising the regime in January of this year. Even if they had the political will, the US and UK are not equipped to launch a military expedition to Burma in defence of democracy – forces are too tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan at the moment. So, another country needs to be willing to intervene, but which one?

Posted in Op-eds | 5 Comments

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