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Asia Forum 2010

Burma’s Election Debate: Harn Yawnghwe

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Download This year looks set to be a crucial one for Burma.

The military government has announced that the first elections for 20 years will be held on November the 7th.

Attempts to affect change from with in the country have been answered with the brutal suppression of political dissent.

Despite international recognition of the need for change in Burma, economic sanctions and isolation appear to have had little impact on the country’s military rulers.

So are these elections an historic opportunity to create positive change or will they cement the military government’s oppressive rule further?

Asia Calling held its 2010 forum this week to discuss: ‘Good neighbours? Bring positive change to Burma’.

The first speaker is Harn Yawnghwe (YONG-WEI) the youngest son of the first President of the Republic of the Union of Burma and the Director of the European Office for the Development of Democracy in Burma based in Brussels whose aim is to prepare Burma for a transition to democracy.

He believes the elections are a step forward.

Last Updated ( Friday, 08 October 2010 17:16 )

Burma’s Election Debate: Khin Ohmar

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Download Burma’s detained opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been officially barred from voting in the forthcoming general election.

The Nobel Peace Laureate’s name is missing from the electoral rolls posted in the district of the commercial capital, Rangoon, where she has been detained in a lakeside villa for 14 of the past 20 years.

Laws passed governing the election set for November 7 had already effectively barred her from taking part and her party, the National League for Democracy, decided not to contest the election.

Democracy activist Khin Ohmar believes it was the right and only decision to make.

She is the coordinator of Burma Partnership - a Burma-led regional civil society network for democracy, peace and justice in Burma and was our second guest at the 2010 Asia Calling forum.

Last Updated ( Friday, 08 October 2010 17:18 )

‘One Day It will be a Good Day in Burma’ Generation Wave

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Download That’s the music of Generation Wave- an underground group dedicated to overthrowing the repressive military junta that has ruled Burma since 1962.

They reach Burma’s youth by using music and graffiti to inspire others to stand up to authority. 

Generation Wave grew out of the 2007 uprising.

Membership of Generation Wave is illegal and is punishable by a jail term of up to five years, but in practice members know they could be imprisoned indefinitely.

About 30 of its 100 members have now been detained so for up to 33 years in jail.

Bobo is one of the members who have gone underground and he joins us on Asia Calling to tell their story.

Last Updated ( Friday, 08 October 2010 17:18 )
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Media Coverage

     The Jakarta Post:

     Regional efforts needed to push for democracy

     Majalah Tempo Online:

    Harn Yawnghwe: Lebih baik Ikut Pemilu

    The Jakarta Globe:

    Acting in the Face of Danger

     Media Indonesia:

    Pemilu Burma Langkah Mundur Demokrasi