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Weekly News Brief, 5.2.10 – 5.9.10

In this week’s issue: in addition to opposition party boycotts, the European Union has pulled its election observers from Darfur; Burma’s military regime negotiator met with ethnic armies to discuss the Border Guard Force issue; more LRA attacks were reported in Congo

Weekly News Brief, April 2 to 9, 2010, compiled by Joshua Kennedy of GI-Net and the STAND E-team. To receive news briefs, trivia, and discussion guides, email

  • The military regime’s chief negotiator, Lt-Gen Ye Myint, met on Thursday with the United Wa State Army and on Sunday with the National Democratic Alliance Army, a Mongla group, to discuss the Border Guard Force issue.  He reportedly said that the ethnic groups should respond positively by April 22 or face repercussions by April 28.
  • Residents along the Kanbauk to Myain Kalay gas pipeline have reported increased efforts to extort money by Burmese government State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) forces.  With over 50 villages in close proximity to the gas pipeline, an estimated 90% of the residents who live along the gas pipeline have faced this abuse by the local military units based around the area.
  • Senior American diplomat Kurt Campbell is expected to visit Burma in the near future, though dates have not yet been set.  The purpose of the visit will be to kick-start the US’s engagement policy with the military regime.
  • Mother Jones magazine profiles the plight of the Karen living in Thailand in their March/April Issue.
  • The Free Burma Rangers chronicled the effect of displacement in eastern Burma on the region’s children. The study, Displaced Childhoods, charged that children in eastern Burma are subject to arbitrary killings, torture, mistreatment, arrest and detention without cause, sexual violence, forced labor including recruitment as child soldiers and other violations of fundamental freedoms.
  • In an Irrawaddy survey involving more than 500 people in Rangoon, nearly half said they do not intend to vote in the upcoming election if the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), does not contest it.  Many view their decision not to vote as a boycott in support of the NLD.
  • Over 100 ASEAN Members of Parliament are demanding that ASEAN expel Burma and impose sanctions because the regime has clearly ignored the call to conduct free and fair elections.
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