Blog Feeds

Irish Left Review
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left

offsite link New Books Worth Reading Mon Sep 19, 2016 23:25 | Seán Sheehan

offsite link 13 Billion ? Lucky for some? Mon Sep 05, 2016 13:04 | Tony Phillips

offsite link Rebuilding Ireland: Long on Promise, Short on Detail Mon Aug 29, 2016 22:20 | Eoin O'Mahony

offsite link Brexit and Other Issues: Comments on the Current Situation Mon Aug 29, 2016 21:52 | Brendan Young

offsite link Bin Charges: From Private Circus to Public Service Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:38 | Michael Taft

Irish Left Review >>

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link On The Decline and Fall of The American Empire and Socialism Sat Jan 26, 2019 01:52 | S. Duncan

offsite link What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh

offsite link Fake News: The Epistemology of Media Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:52 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

Spirit of Contradiction >>

Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

offsite link Some Thoughts on the Brexit Joint Report 11:50 Sat Dec 09, 2017

offsite link IRISH COMMONWEALTH: TRADE UNIONS AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY 14:06 Sat Nov 18, 2017

offsite link Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016

offsite link The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015

offsite link Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015

Dublin Opinion >>

NAMA Wine Lake

offsite link Test ? 12 November 2018 Mon Nov 12, 2018 14:28 | namawinelake

offsite link Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake

offsite link Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake

NAMA Wine Lake >>

Dublin - Event Notice
Wednesday November 21 2007

Burma Information Evening

category dublin | rights, freedoms and repression | event notice author Tuesday November 13, 2007 16:42author by Grace Walsh - Voluntary Service Internationalauthor email teenage at vsi dot ie Report this post to the editors

Film screening and discussion

A special information evening and discussion is taking place on Wednesday 21st of November at 7.30pm in Seomra Spraoi on recent and past events in Burma. The event is organised jointly by Voluntary Service International and Burma Action Ireland and will higlight the need to maintain focus on Burma and current events there.
€3 entrance will be collected at the door and divided between Seomra Spraoi, VSI and Burma Action Ireland.

Burma, also known as Myanmar, is a country of over 50 million people in an area the size of France. There are eight major and a number of minor ethnic nationalities speaking over 100 dialects. Of these, Burman is the largest group, numbering 60% of the population, followed by Shan, Karen, Arakan, Mon, Chin, Kachin and Karenni. For much of its history, Burma was a collection of independent kingdoms.

By the 19th Century, the British took advantage of political instability in Burma to colonize the country and later annex it to India as their empire pushed eastward through S.E. Asia. British rule continued into the 20th century but by the 1930’s, Burmese activists drew inspiration from the experiences of post-imperial independence movements throughout the world. By 1937, having gained a small measure of liberty under British rule, the Burmese had grown aware of Ireland’s own experience of struggle and according to historian Dr Peter Carey, looked upon Ireland as ‘an example of what could be done’. The Burmese established a nationwide book club with the intent of building a body of national and international works of assistance to the burgeoning independence movement. Of the 101 titles compiled, 21 were on Michael Collins, two on Eamon de Valera, and one each on James Connolly and Arthur Griffiths. The Burmese push for full independence gathered momentum during World War II. Under General Aung San (1915-1947), the Burmese first sided with the Japanese to remove the British, then when the imperial intentions of the Japanese became clear, switched to the British on assurances of post-war independence.

The 1947 signing of the progressive Panglong Agreement, by Burma’s majority Burman and other major ethnic groups, was followed by strife in which independence hero General Aung San and six members of his cabinet were assassinated. Nevertheless the agreement gave rise the following year to full independence and a new constitution based on principles of equality, voluntary participation and democracy.

A functioning but fragile democracy took root for 14 years (1948 -1962) until internal strife was exploited in a military coup, led by General Ne Win (1911-2002), and ushered in four decades of repression and international isolation.

Since 1962 therefore, Burma has been ruled by a military dictatorship. By July 1988, growing unrest had forced the resignation of General Ne Win, architect of the 1962 coup, but one of the most critical events in Burmese history was to come on the 8 August 1988. A date forever known to the Burmese people as 8.8.88, saw hundreds of students, workers, teachers, farmers and monks demonstrating on the streets of all major towns and cities, demanding democracy. The military leadership acted with the utmost severity to restore its control - firing into demonstrators and killing many hundreds. Thousands fled the country. The new regime leadership renamed itself the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). It ordered the uprising be crushed, renamed Burma as Myanmar and diffused further unrest with the promise of free elections.

In May 1990, elections were permitted and the National League for Democracy party (NLD), led by Aung San Suu Kyi, (daughter of General Aung San), won 82% of parliamentary seats. Forbidden from forming a government, the NLD leadership was subsequently harassed, imprisoned or forced into exile. Aung San Suu Kyi was detained under house arrest from 1989 to 1996 and only released in the face of considerable international pressure. Today she is once again in detention at her house in Rangoon, having been re-arrested following a regime-inspired attack on her convoy of NLD vehicles in May 2003. Daw Suu Kyi is forbidden from receiving visits from colleagues and her mail and telephone continue to be censored and monitored.

Daw Suu Kyi is recognised internationally as a woman of courage and integrity. She has spent ten of the last 16 years in detention for her non-violent opposition and has been honoured with more than 60 international awards including the Nobel Peace Prize and the Freedom of both Dublin and Galway cities.

To this day, the regime in Burma, which has been renamed the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), continues to conduct violent repression against political opponents and Burma’s many ethnic peoples. Among its documented human rights abuses are forced labour, conscription of child soldiers, arbitrary arrest, systematic use of rape and torture and extrajudicial executions. It is infamous for its strategy of intimidatory attacks on civilians, the use of sexual violence, the destruction of village communities and the wide-scale displacement of peoples, including internal displacement and refugees who flee over the borders into Thailand, India and Bangladesh.

Related Link: http://www.vsi.ie
© 2001-2019 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy