Myanmar defies world pressure

Military government vows to "march on" despite aid cut and tougher sanctions.

    Gambari has called on Myanmar to
    stop arresting dissidents [Reuters]
    Tuesday's response came amid growing international pressure on the military government to halt its repression and launch talks with the opposition led by Aung San Suu Kyi.
     
    Japan cuts aid
     

    Your Views

    "Where are the peace and human rights defenders of the world (the super powers)? They haven't done enough in this case. Isn't there oil in Myanmar?"

    Lost Soldier, Arusha, Tanzania

    Send us your views

    Japan, one of Myanmar's main donors, said it was cancelling grants of about $4.7m after the military shot dead a Japanese journalist when government forces put down last month's massive protests.
     
    Nobutaka Machimura, the chief cabinet secretary, said the decision was made in response to the violent crackdown on protesters and followed the UN's statement condemning the violence.
     
    The centre was supposed to offer economics, management and Japanese language courses to promote bilateral ties and economic reform in Myanmar, according to Japan's foreign ministry.
     
    On Monday, European Union foreign ministers approved a new set of sanctions against the military government, including an embargo on the export of wood, gems and metals. They also threatened further penalties.
     
    George Bush, the US president whose administration has imposed sanctions against military leaders, called for "enormous international pressure, to make it clear to the generals that they will be completely isolated and not accepted into the international community".
     
    Staying the course
     
    But Myanmar vowed to resist, saying in state media: "We will march on. There is no reason to change the course.
     
    Exclusive report


    Al Jazeera's Tony Birtley undercover in Myanmar

    "We will remove all the hindrances and obstacles that may lie ahead," the official New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.
     
    The military has eased its curfew and restored partial internet access – though not to foreign news sites – but government forces have kept up the pressure on dissidents, arresting six more activists over the weekend, rights group Amnesty International said.
     
    Ibrahim Gambari, the UN special envoy to Myanmar, called the latest arrests "extremely disturbing" when he met Thai officials in Bangkok on Monday at the start of a regional tour aimed at building pressure on the government.
     
    The diplomat who is in Malaysia on Tuesday before continuing to Indonesia, India, China and Japan, called on Myanmar to halt the arrests.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.