Sunday, October 7, 2007

Burma Update for October 5-7

It's 23:00 in Bangkok (22:30 in Rangoon)

- Burma's state media reports that General Than Shwe told Gambari that he is willing to meet directly with Aung San Suu Kyi if she gives up her support for confrontation and sanctions against the government. (VOA)

- Fewer troops reported on Rangoon's streets and the Internet is reportedly now accessible in parts of Burma during nightime hours.

- Peaceful protests against the regime are already beginning as people gather at major pagodas, lighting candles and praying together. "It's a clever way to protest because Buddhists always go to pagodas and monasteries to light candles and pray. They're going in small groups, so the police and army can't do anything to stop it," said an eyewitness in Rangoon. (Telegraph)

- . . . more ambitious plans for civil disobedience are emerging. "People are calling for non-co-operation with the regime and for non-attendance of factories and offices," said an exile in Bangkok. (Telegraph)

- On Friday, a draft statement from Britain, the US and France circulated to the UN Security Council condemned the junta's "violent repression" and called for political detainees to be freed and talks opened with the opposition. China has made clear that it will oppose any tougher moves against its Asian ally at the UN.

- From Katmandu to Ottawa people took to the streets this weekend to voice their support for the people of Burma.

- Pressured by its own people, India has begun to toughen its stance at the UN against the regime, breaking ranks with China and Russia. Speaking to the UN Human Rights Council, India’s UN ambassador, Swashpawan Singh, said Suu Kyi’s release would be “helpful in terms of the process of democratisation” and that she could “contribute to the emergence of Myanmar [Burma] as a democratic country”. (FirstPost)

- The U.S. envoy in Rangoon, Shari Villarosa, is expected to meet with Burma's military leaders Friday after they invited her for talks in the country's administrative capital, Naypyidaw. (VOA)

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