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[BurmaSolidarity] Rights violations serious in Myanmar: U.N. investigator

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News Headlines

1. Rights violations serious in Myanmar: U.N. investigator

2. Myanmar Cyclone Response: Power-Lust and Lost Lives

3. Cyclone relief to Myanmar

4. Kentuckian Returns from Myanmar

5. Myanmar denies rumours of fish eating corpses

6. Medics wrap up Myanmar mission

7. Myanmar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Industry: Investment Opportunities, Analysis and Forecasts to 2012

8. Myanmar frees 15 members of opposition party

9. Myanmar or Burma? Apple’s dictionary had an opinion

==============================

Rights violations serious in Myanmar: U.N. investigator

Reuters

Published: 10 hours ago

GENEVA – The Myanmar military junta’s arrest of a popular comedian campaigning for victims of cyclone Nargis is part of continuing serious human rights violations in the country, a United Nations investigator said on Monday.

Tomas Ojea Quintana also told a news briefing there were political prisoners in the country, despite the regime’s insistence it imprisons law breakers.

“The latest information coming to me in the last few days builds up a picture of a serious situation of violations of human rights in Myanmar,” said Ojea Quintana, an Argentine lawyer who has just taken up his U.N. post.

A child stands outside a newly built house in the village of Pay Kunhnasay in the Kawhmu township May 30, 2008. REUTERS/Aung Hla Tung

News reports from Yangon said the comedian, known by his stage name of Zarganar, was detained last Wednesday by police who seized his computer and banned film and recordings of the devastation caused by the cyclone.

Ojea Quintana, whose own parents were political prisoners under a military regime in Argentina, said he had asked the Myanmar authorities for clarification and for information on Zarganar’s whereabouts, but had received no reply.

As special investigator for Myanmar, he reports to the U.N.’s 47-nation Human Rights Council at which he called last week for release of all political prisoners, starting with Nobel laureate and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Myanmar’s ambassador in Geneva denied his government arrested people for political reasons. He also rejected another assertion by the investigator that soldiers had shot prisoners on the night of the cyclone on May 2.

Ojea Quintana said on Monday he understood the prisoners, in a jail at Insein in the Irrawady delta where Nargis struck with full force, were trying to flee the partially destroyed facility to save their lives.

In his report, he asked the Myanmar authorities to investigate assertions by a Thailand-based activist group that 36 prisoners had died when police and troops moved in to quell what they said was a riot.

The investigator said he hoped to be able to establish an open dialogue with the government on Myanmar and to be given permission to visit the country to check information coming into his office. But so far no clearance had come from Yangon.

© Reuters 2008

http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=9a0a6aa4-6e62-4410-aff8-a3d3143cecf8

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Myanmar Cyclone Response: Power-Lust and Lost Lives

Bill Haymin
June 09, 2008
By Byron Barlowe

Probe Ministries

www.probe.org

http://www.probe.org/hot-topics/myanmar-cyclone-response-power-lust-and-lost-lives.html.

Summary: One of this month´s top headlines features the cruelty of a little-known national government that is shockingly limiting delivery of adequate aid to its own people in the aftermath of a cyclone that killed tens of thousands and wreaked havoc that promises to sicken and kill many more. What drives this stubborn regime in the Asian nation of Myanmar? What explains the contrasting response of world powers to this humanitarian crisis? We briefly examine the worldview that allows for such rank inhumanity as compared to a biblical framework.

Corrupted Power

Climate of Fear and Repression

Myanmar, traditionally known as Burma, is a country where ten percent of the population lives “without enough to eat” on a normal basis.{1} The brutal military government is best known for the repression of a democratically elected opposition candidate, Aung San Suu Kyi, now under long-term house arrest. Burma watchers´ blogs and sites show grisly photos of alleged brutality (one shows the carnage of soldiers running over political dissidents with ten-wheeled trucks). Last fall, the junta put down protest marches, killing at least 13 and jailing thousands. “Since then, the regime has continued to raid homes and monasteries and arrest persons suspected of participating in the pro-democracy protests.”{2}

Now, a cyclone has inundated an entire region, the Irrawaddy Delta, killing tens of thousands, displacing at least a million and setting up a petri dish of putrid water and corpses where disease threatens to balloon the death toll. Within this maelstrom, the ruling generals who clutch political power at all costs refuse to allow experienced aid workers from around the world to help manage food distribution and relief efforts. The callousness of their stance has been decried on all fronts, including the often diplomatically soft United Nations (UN).

Feeding and assisting one’s own countrymen seems to be such a basic value that it transcends almost all belief systems. However, the Burmese ruling junta is arrogantly defying not only this basic tenet of decency, but world opinion as well.

Failure to Allow Rendered Aid

“The United Nations said Tuesday that only a tiny portion of international aid needed for Myanmar’s cyclone victims is making it into the country, amid reports that the military regime is hoarding good-quality foreign aid for itself and doling out rotten food,” reports the Associated Press.

It’s understandable if the government wants to lead in relieving victims of its own nation. Yet, characteristically, even in this dire situation the government is cracking down on anything not originating from its own authority while repressing its own people. Reports include:

Stockpiling of high-nutrition biscuits in government warehouses and distribution of low-quality biscuits made by the centralized Industry Ministry.

Old, tainted, low-quality rice distributed in lieu of high-quality, nutritious rice offered by aid groups.

Government demands of businesses in the capital to “donate” aid for victims to be distributed through the central government.{3} So much for central “planning.” Were there a desire to provide relief, it could have been budgeted before now.

Video feeds of military leaders show them in neat, trim uniforms placing relief boxes away from those in need―the very picture of micro-managing control, reminiscent of regimes like North Korea.

Like Cuba in its extreme isolationism, the interests of its people are at the bottom of the ruling party´s priorities.

Global Chorus of Criticism

A global chorus of critics has castigated Myanmar for its delays and mixed messages regarding large-scale aid and foreign experts. In what appears to be a show of cooperation, but without the needed effect, more supply flights have been allowed, critical days after the cyclone hit. Yet at this writing, food and relief supplies continue to stack up at the capital’s airport and, reportedly, in military storage facilities.

Aid offers from across the globe contrast starkly with the calculated deprivation and malfeasance exhibited by the military rulers. World leaders are simply appealing with the message, “Let us help.”

Another clear message to the leaders in Yangon: You are responsible for outcomes. “A natural disaster is turning into a humanitarian catastrophe of genuinely epic proportions in significant part because of the malign neglect of the regime,” said British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.{4}

The United States has been direct in offering help. “What remains is for the Burmese government to allow the international community to help its people. It should be a simple matter. It is not a matter of politics,” U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters in Washington.{5}

Even the UN, often accused of appeasing dictatorial regimes, refused to allow the army-government to head up distribution efforts. “UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said he is deeply concerned and immensely frustrated at ´the unacceptably slow response. We are at a critical point. Unless more aid gets into the country very quickly, we face an outbreak of infectious diseases that could dwarf today’s crisis,´” he said.{6}

The UN has learned lessons from past dicatorships’ abuse of privilege.The Oil-for-Food fiasco under Saddam Hussein provides reason enough for UN reticence. Past humanitarian disasters in Africa saw regimes mismanaging aid for political reasons as well. Good intentions of the aid-provider must meet with realistic views of human nature. The foibles and sin of men, especially those in power, tends to validate a biblical view of fallen man much like the physics of a concrete sidewalk demonstrates gravity pretty convincingly.

Some Worldview Implications

The heartlessness of Myanmar´s leaders evokes sympathy and indignation among most people. But why? A naturalistic worldview―neo-Darwinism taken to its logical end, for example―would only be concerned with perpetuating those strong enough or “smart enough” to have survived. It might even be the case that the cyclone culled out the least-fit. This naturalistic worldview formed the basis of everything from the eugenics movement to Nazi death camps (not exactly consistent with an insistence on instant relief work).

The final goal of Theravada Buddhism, the strain claimed by 96 percent of the population of Myanmar, is complete detachment from the physical world, which is seen as illusory. Its practice is passive in nature; there is no ultimate reality, much less salvation or reward to attain. This is nothing like the practice of the Dali Lama, well-known the world over for human rights campaining. In his Buddhist sect, Lamaism or Tibetan Buddhism, acts of compassion make sense. Theravadic Buddhism as practiced in Burma, on the other hand, views man as an individual with no incentive for helping others. For Burmese monks and adherants alike, there is really no necessary motivation to provide aid in this or any situation.

Generally speaking, “According to Buddhist belief, man is worthless, having only temporary existence. In Christianity, man is of infinite worth, made in the image of God, and will exist eternally. Man’s body is a hindrance to the Buddhist while to the Christian it is an instrument to glorify God” {7}. While Christian missions like Food for the Hungry, Gospel for Asia, Samaritan’s Purse and others actively seek to assist the Burmese, few such wholesale efforts proceed from either Buddhist nations or in-country monks themselves.

A pantheistic view, rooted in Hinduism’s doctrine of karma, would only wonder what deeds were being dealt with in the recycling of life. This worldview provides no real cause for alarm or compassion at all.

Despite such competing underpinnings at a worldview level, something in the human spirit cries out for fellow humans who suffer. Unless tamped down or obliterated, natural sympathies exist. This leads to the inevitable question, “Why? From where does this universal reality spring?”

Persecution by the ruling junta in Myanmar against ethnic minorities has increased since their ascendancy in the 1960s. “The most affected ethnic minority is the mainly Christian Karen people. Large numbers have been forced to abandon their villages in the east of the country and many have fled to Thailand.”{8} Herein may lay a connection, although Christians are not alone in being oppressed there. Godless governments tend to hate or at least discriminate against Christians. Competing worldviews clash deeply.

Biblical Emphasis on Individuals, Human Dignity

“A Christian view of government should…be concerned with human rights…based on a biblical view of human dignity. A bill of rights, therefore, does not grant rights to individuals, but instead acknowledges these rights as always existing.”{9}

Of course the Myanmar government and culture does not recognize the biblical God, so this standard is not to be expected. However, such a presupposition grounds America’s reaction to Myanmar’s languid response to the cyclone. It also helps explain the rest of the world’s stance: the ideals of democracy, rooted in a largely biblical worldview, have greatly affected world opinion on topics of relief and disaster response. One would be hard-pressed to find historical examples, I’m sure, of a consensus like that described above in centuries or even decades past. But since the Marshall Plan, Berlin airlifts, reconstruction in Japan and a parade of other compassionate rebuilding efforts, the rush to aid has become the global norm. America´s Judeo-Christian model has taken hold.

Christians in the early Church, in utter contrast to the Greco-Roman paganism that surrounded them, extended dignity to the suffering individual regardless of class status and whether or not it benefited them. This new ethic transformed the world and set the stage for the rule of law, compassionate charity and a host of other values taken for granted in Western and now other societies.

Proper View of Man, Need to Limit Power

“While the source of civil government is rooted in human responsibility, the need for government derives from the need to control human sinfulness. God ordained civil government to restrain evil…. {10} Of course, if the ruling government is corrupt, although some restraining occurs and it can look somewhat just, the evil simply becomes concentrated at the top while it leaks out naturally elsewhere despite external restrictions. We saw this in spades in Communist dictatorships like the USSR, which spawned the gulags, and Albania, where repression and elite privilege reached monumental proportions. And the military leaders of Myanmar continue this tradition―inevitably, given the fallen nature of man.

Government based on a proper understanding of man is the hallmark of American representative democracy. Unlike Myanmar’s concentration of power into the hands of a few powerful elite, the American system makes room for the human dignity and rationality of the people while controlling human sin and depravity. Neither utopian schemes, which are based on man’s supposed innate goodness, nor controlling systems, which are built on sheer power, do right by human nature. Myanmar’s example of an unworkable government is all too clear in its tragic reaction to a devastating natural disaster.

As Probe’s Mind Games curriculum puts it, “In essence, a republic [like that of the United States] limits government, while a totalitarian government [like Myanmar’s] limits citizens.” And often, as with the estimated 170 million killed by regimes like those of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot and others who fly in the face of a right understanding of man, the limits to citizens includes their very lives.{11}

Sanctity of Human Life

What offficials do during a crisis exposes their worldview. Do authorities do all within their means to save lives? What about prevention? Do investments in infrastructure belie a preoccupation with commerce, power or prestige―as in the case of China’s razing of entire neighborhoods to clear the way for the PR coup of the Olympics while political and religious dissidents are jailed? Are well-equipped fire and rescue, police, disaster recovery and even military personnel standing by to help at all costs to save even a few human lives? It seems obvious when certain governments act out of political peer pressure rather than a philosophy rooted in the value of every human being. And that value originates in the God in whose image humans are made. Without this doctrine as a basis for policy, people become mere workers, expendable state property and pawns for despots.

Nothing in Myanmar’s delayed, heartless response to the storm’s effects shows value of human life. In fact, the meager efforts of the regime in Rangoon (the capital, also called Yangon) have so far not only been ineffective in the immediate and for the future, but are insulting to human dignity.

Again, we can invoke first century parallels to help make the case that today´s outcry stems from a Christian heritage. Whereas callous Roman elite threw babies into the Tiber River, Christians rescued and raised them as their own. So committed were they to the notion that all people have value as God´s image-bearers, that ancient Christ-followers risked deadly disease to treat strangers. Ancient pagans, not entirely unlike the Myanmar government, left even their own kin to die during plagues.

Biblical Imitation of a Giving God

Hurricane Katrina evoked not only an immediate and massive response―however incompetent it may have been―from the local, state and federal governments in the U.S. Expectations for relief were sky-high. And the groundswell of private and religious response left a worthy legacy.

So why, we may ask, were expectations so great? Some may say expectations grew from a sense of entitlement. Some folks just think a handout is due them, so in dire circumstances, it goes without saying. After all, the ambulance always comes when called.

A strong case can be made that people have grown to expect help due to a residue of Christian care and compassion that lingers on in what many call post-Christian times. The Church´s centuries-long heritage of innovating institutions like hospitals, orphanages and eldercare has overhauled the way people are treated.

That is, the biblical worldview has so saturated the culture of the West and has since so affected the rest of the world, that it would be unthinkable for most civilized societies not to respond to catastrophes with aid. Yet, this was not the case in ancient cultures unaffected by the radical ethic of Jesus Christ, who took Old Testament compassion for the stranger, widow and orphan to new extremes. (See my radio transcript on the topic of Compassion and Charity: Two More Reasons to Believe that Christianity is Good for Society and listen online at Probe.org soon.)

As the world looks on to the tragedy in Myanmar and the coldhearted response of its government leaders, keep in mind that a humanitarian response is not a natural reaction. It is something introduced and modeled by the caring Creator of all men, Jesus Christ. A truly biblical worldview not only works, it works compassionately.

Notes

1. Reuters Foundation Alertnet, May 12, 2008, www.alertnet.org/db/crisisprofiles/MY_DIS.htm.

2. CIA, The World Factbook, www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bm.html

3. AP report via tinyurl.com/4cas2g.

4. Houston Chronicle, May 11, 2008, www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/world/5770860.html

5. Reuters Foundation Alertnet, “Myanmar under pressure, death toll may rise sharply,” May 7, 2008, http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SP306038.htm

6. Reuters Foundation Alertnet, May 13, 2008, www.alertnet.org/db/crisisprofiles/MM_STO.htm

7. Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Handbook of Today’s Religions, Here’s Life Publishers, San Bernardino, CA 1983, pps. 308-309.

8. Ibid, May 12, 2008, www.alertnet.org/db/crisisprofiles/MY_DIS.htm

9. “Christian View of Politics, Government and Social Action, Mind Games College Survival Course, 1996, Probe Ministries.

10. Ibid, based on Romans 13: 1-7, NIV.

11. R. J. Rummel, Death by Government, Transaction Publishers, 1994, quoted in The Truth Project DVD-based curriculum, Focus on the Family, 2006. For partial online reading: tinyurl.com/3efqjr

About the Author

Byron Barlowe is a research associate and Web coordinator with Probe Ministries. He earned a B.S. in Communications at Appalachian State University in gorgeous Boone, N.C. Byron served 20 years with Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC), eight years as editor and Webmaster of a major scholarly publishing site, Leadership University (LeaderU.com). In that role, he oversaw several sub-sites, including the Online Faculty Offices of Drs. William Lane Craig and William Dembski. His wife, Dianne, served 25 years with CCC and now homeschools their rambunctious pre-teen triplets.

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

Further information about Probe’s materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:

Probe Ministries

1900 Firman Drive, Suite 100

Richardson, TX 75081

(972) 480-0240 FAX (972) 644-9664

info@probe.org

www.probe.org

Copyright information

Copyright 2008 Probe Ministries

Copyright/Reproduction Limitations

This document is the sole property of Probe Ministries. It may not be altered or edited in any way. Permission is granted to use in digital or printed form so long as it is circulated without charge, and in its entirety. This document may not be repackaged in any form for sale or resale. All reproductions of this document must contain the copyright notice (i.e., Copyright 2008 Probe Ministries) and this Copyright/Limitations notice.

Disclaimer: Posting articles does not necessarily endorse or agree with every opinion expressed in every article. All articles that are posted are aimed at getting people to think & consider the various issues, ideas & factual research presented.

Reprinted by permission

Presented by Bill Haymin, 2008

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/64308

=======================

Cyclone relief to Myanmar

By Kestur Vasuki, Bangalore, June 9 : As part of the humanitarian assistance to Cyclone Nargis ravaged areas of Myanmar under the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) 30 metric tonnes of food has been airlifted from Bangalore to save thousands of malnutrition children in Myanmar.

Talking to Asian News International Shyam S Dubey, Head Procurement and Logistics of WFP has said that this would help save thousands of children affected by cyclone in Myanmar.

WFP in collaboration with Indian manufacturers developed in innovative Ready to Use Food for Children (RUFC) by MTR, which has energy dense, protein-enriched, and fortified with an array of micronutrients that will help children maintain optimal growth.

One Daily ration will provide most of the required nutrients to meet the needs of these children.

The RUFC is in form of a paste, does not require cooking or addtion of water. It is to be consumed directly from the pouch. Thirty metric tonnes of the RUFC were airlifted from BIAL and sent to directly to Yangon for dispatch to delta region.

Overall, WFP estimates that its food assistance has reached over 500.000 beneficiaries in the cyclone affected areas of Myanmar.

Rice oil, high energy biscuits, ready to eat meals, cereals, has been airlifted.

WFP hopes to supply food for over 750000 people in a period of six months with an estimated cost of 70 million dollar.

— ANI

http://www.newkerala.com/one.php?action=fullnews&id=70977

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Kentuckian Returns from Myanmar
Monday, Jun 09, 2008 – 06:50 PM Updated: 07:53 PM
By Megan Skaggs
An estimated 133,000 people are dead or still missing after a cyclone hit Myanmar more than one month ago.

The area is still devastated today; a lack of food and disease is feared and relief from the United States has been blocked by authorities in Myanmar.

Terry Ham, knows all too well about the devastation in Myanmar. The Kentucky native has been teaching music there since last July. Ham says she woke up around three o’clock in the morning the night the storms hit. She says her fourth story apartment was flooded by all of the rain pounding at her windows, “It felt like an earthquake” Ham said.

Terry was lucky though, she was living in Yangon, just north of the area where thousands of people have died and are still missing. She says her school was closed for about a week, and when they opened back up, her classroom was used as a sort of relief station, where students collected food and supplies.

Terry’s parents Dick and Nancy Ham were relieved when they heard their daughter was okay. Today, Terry is back home, but only until July when she goes back to Myanmar to finish her teaching contract there. While she’s trying to enjoy her time home, what she’s thinking about now is the fear that disease could spread in the aftermath of the death and devastation. “I’ve never been through anything like this before” Ham said.

http://www.wtvq.com/midatlantic/tvq/news.apx.-content-articles-TVQ-2008-06-09-0011.html
================

Myanmar denies rumours of fish eating corpses

June 10, 2008 Edition 1

Yangon – A Myanmar government-affiliated group has denied rumours that fish from cyclone-ravaged areas are unfit to eat after supposedly feeding on human and animal corpses.

Since Cyclone Nargis slammed into Myanmar’s Irrawaddy delta last month, some people in Yangon – the country’s biggest city – have been reluctant to eat fish because of rumours they were feeding on the bodies of storm victims.

One rumour circulating was that some fish were found to have human fingers and pieces of jewellery in their stomachs.

“This is not true. We can guarantee that,” Toe Nandar Tin, an executive member of the Myanmar Fisheries Federation, told the Myanmar Times newspaper yesterday. “It is total nonsense. The fish from the delta come from fish farms, not from the rivers.”

She said samples of fish were tested to prove they were safe for consumption. She added that the rumours also resulted in the suspension of orders by some foreign buyers. The main buyers of Myanmar’s fish include China, Thailand and Singapore.

Massive waves from the cyclone devastated 15 000 hectares of shrimp farms and 1 200 hectares of fish farms. The cyclone killed more than 78 000 people and left another 56 000 missing. -Sapa-AP

http://www.pretorianews.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=4446442

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Medics wrap up Myanmar mission

BANGKOK (Kyodo) Japan’s medical team has completed its emergency humanitarian mission in Labutta, southwestern Myanmar, one of the areas hardest hit by the violent cyclone in early May, according to the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The team will hand over its makeshift facilities and medical equipment to local authorities and experts, including two doctors, the agency said.

The 23-member team, including four doctors and seven nurses, treated 1,202 people in nine days, JICA said.

Despite the large number of people suffering from diarrhea and fever ― and the presence of mosquito-transmitted infectious diseases such as dengue fever and malaria ― no illnesses spread widely among the local people, according to the agency.

The team was scheduled to travel to Yangon, Myanmar’s former capital and largest city, on Monday and report to the country’s health ministry Tuesday before leaving the country. The team is expected to return to Japan on Wednesday morning via Bangkok.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/rss/nn20080610b3.html

=========================

Press Release Source: Research and Markets

Myanmar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Industry: Investment Opportunities, Analysis and Forecasts to 2012
Monday June 9, 7:52 am ET

DUBLIN, Ireland–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c94167) has announced the addition of Myanmar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Industry: Investment Opportunities, Analysis and Forecasts to 2012 to their offering.

Summary

This profile is the essential source for top-level industry data and information relating to the Exploration & Production industry in Myanmar. It provides asset level information relating to the active and planned oil and gas fields and exploration blocks in Myanmar. The profiles of the major companies operating in the upstream industry of Myanmar are also included in the report. The latest news and deals pertaining to the sector are also provided and analyzed.

Scope

– Updated information relating to all active and planned exploration blocks.

– Provides historical and forecast data and information for all the major operating and planned crude oil and natural gas fields.

– Details operators and equity partners of oil and gas fields and exploration blocks.

– Includes information relating to license round details, start and end dates, acreage, location, and reserves.

– Information on the top companies in the sector including business description, strategic analysis, and financial information.

– Product and brand updates, strategy changes, R&D projects, corporate expansions and contractions and regulatory changes.

– Key mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, private equity investments and IPOs.

Reasons to buy

– Obtain the most up to date information available on exploration licenses and oil & gas fields.

– Identify growth markets and opportunities in the industry.

– Facilitate market analysis and forecasting of future industry trends.

– Facilitate decision making on the basis of strong historic and forecast data.

– Assess your competitors exploration and production asset portfolio.

– Understand and respond to your competitors business structure, strategy and prospects.

– Develop strategies based on the latest operational, financial, and regulatory events.

– Do deals with an understanding of how competitors are financed, and the mergers and partnerships that have shaped the market.

– Identify and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the leading companies in each the country.

Companies Mentioned:

Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS)

PTT Public Company Limited

TOTAL S.A.

For more information, visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c94167

Source: Global Markets Direct

Contact:

Research and Markets
Laura Wood
Senior Manager
press@researchandmarkets.com
Fax: +353 1 4100 980

Source: Research and Markets

http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/080609/20080609005703.html?.v=1

=========================

Published Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Myanmar frees 15 members of opposition party

The Associated Press
Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party says Myanmar’s military leaders have freed 15 party members who were arrested for marching to the home of the detained Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Members of the National League for Democracy, some wearing shirts with pictures of Suu Kyi and holding a banner that called for her release, were detained on May 27.

Party spokesman Nyan Win said Tuesday that the 15 were freed the night before.

The group was held for two weeks inside a compound of government technical schools, which also was used to hold hundreds of people during pro-democracy protests in September.

http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20080610/API/806100524/Myanmar_frees_15_members_of_opposition_party

=========================

June 7, 2008 12:12 AM PDT

Myanmar or Burma? Apple’s dictionary had an opinion

Posted by Graham Webster

Language Log notes that Apple’s Dictionary program (v. 1.02 running in Tiger) gave an interesting pronunciation for “Myanmar:” It’s pronounced “Burma.”

(Credit: Language Log)

I would tend to think this is an accident, but it’s an interesting one. I’ve edited articles that required the country to be called Burma for political reasons and others that follow the international convention of calling it Myanmar. Either way, if I were manufacturing this sort of thing I might flag all the controversial geographical terms for careful review.

Another reason it is probably an accident (and not someone’s intentional statement) is that it only appears this way in one phonetic system. According to TidBits, a Mac blog that apparently first reported this, “Dictionary has three different options for displaying the pronunciation key, which you can select in the Preferences window: U.S. English (Diacritical), U.S. English (IPA), and British English (IPA). It turns out that only the two IPA (international phonetic alphabet) choices show the pronunciation of “Burma”; the U.S. English (Diacritical) pronunciation is correct.”

Now, sitting as I am just a couple of kilometers from North Korea in Dandong, Liaoning Province, China, the question arises: Is it North Korea or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea? China or the People’s Republic of China? Am I American, U.S. American, “from the United States,” or just a foreigner? Apple’s dictionary has no help for me there.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13908_3-9962664-59.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

===========================


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Coordinator
News Desk
Shwe Gas Movement- India

Ph: +91-9899138581
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