UN, Burmese Exile Figures Denounce Nuclear and Constitution Reports,
No Team Ban Meeting
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, August 8 -- Days before the military government in Myanmar
will announce its verdict on democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, three
exiled Burmese leaders came to the UN in New York and told the Press
of a "Proposal for National Reconciliation." Inner City
Press asked "prime minister in exile" Sein Win about the
Constitution that was pushed through in the wake of Cyclone Nargis,
and under which the UN is reportedly considering working with the
regime on a 2010 election.
Sein Win said that the under the
constitution, the Commander in Chief, who must have a military
background, appoints 25% of the seats. Since the Constitution can't
be amended with less than 75% of votes, he said, the military
essentially has a veto over any amendments.
asked about the reports of North Korea assisted tunnels and nuclear
developments in Myanmar. Foreign minster in exile U Bo Hla-Tint said
that the reports are worrying, and that the UN Security Council
should take them seriously. Ban
Ki-moon, when Inner City Press asked
him this week about the reports, replied that he had no information,
no substantial information.
envoy to Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari told Inner City Press that the
Muslims so mistreated in Myanmar they take to the seas,
facing further abuse in Thailand and elsewhere, are not within his
mandate. Inner City Press asked the trio who their proposal deals
with Rohingya. "They are citizens of Burma," said NCUB
General Secretary (in exile) U Maung Maung.
He added that
not need a nuclear reactor, on which he said Russia is helping. We
already sell gas to Thailand, he said. "Burma does not look
forward to being a nuclear state."
UN's Ban with "former armed groups" -- who
refuse to go the government's bidding on the border, per trio
trio was not
able to meet with Ban's envoy, Ibrahim Gambari. Later, several Ban
advisers moaned that "we're going to get demarched on
Monday, why did you not receive, etcetera." The Ban advisers
said of the Burmese trio that they are "nice guys" but
"getting older and older" and "desperate." A wire
service journalist opined that his Asian bureau opined that "the
generals will never listen to them." It was, then, sad. But
heartfelt. We'll have more on this.
The August 7 press conference was organized and promoted by
Independent Diplomat, which also at the UN pushes issues of climate
change and small states and Western Sahara, among others. On the
latter, a UN staffer recently marveled at Polisario's representative
in Australia signing deals with Australian energy companies for some
future date, while the UN and its Office of Legal Affairs has
strikingly declined to comment on complaints that Morocco is illegal
moving to exploit energy and other resources.
The National Coalition
Government of Burma press release, seemingly referring to U.S.
lobbying rules, says that "more information is available at the
Department of Justice." Might DOJ have information or views on
the legality of Morocco's exploitation of Western Sahara? Or might
the War on Terror, even under Obama, still seem more important?
* * *
Myanmar's Nuclear Plans, UN's Ban Declines Comment, Split on
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, August 5 -- Emerging from a meeting
with his Group of Friend
on Myanmar, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was asked by Inner
Press what he makes of reports
that Myanmar is developing a nuclear
reactor or even, in an early stage, nuclear weapons with the
assistance of North Korea and Russia. "I do not have any
information on that," Mr. Ban replied, "therefore I am not
able to comment on that."
a senior Ban advisor told Inner City Press that Mr. Ban had been
prepared to answer the question, and that the planned if-asked
talking point was that the UN does not have an substantial or
verifiable information, but that if it is true, it is a matter of
grave concern as this is precisely the moment the international
community should be driving toward non-proliferation. Oh that Ban had
was also explained to Inner City Press that if it had managed to ask
if Ban favors modification of the country's constitution, pushed
through in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, which devotes 25% of seats to
people with military backgrounds, Ban probably would not have answer.
"The Group of Friends is divided on that," the source
UN's Ban in Yangon, nuclear plans not shown
He argued against the theory
that the timing of
Wednesday's meeting was meant to allow Ban, before he set off on
vacation, to speak his piece Myanmar. Rather, he said, some thing
that Myanmar blinked on July 31 and put off the Aung San Suu Kyi
With another statement, perhaps
they'll think hard about
what verdict to impose. But again, Inner City Press asks, not without
sarcasm, does that mean Ban questions the separation in Myanmar
between the judicial and executive - or military - branches of
government? We're not commenting on that, a UN official answered. Nor
about the Constitution. Watch this site.