United Nations Declaration (Articles 1 - 30):

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts
Nigerian Minister of the Environment Amina Mohammed, seen in 2015, will be the UN's number two official (AFP Photo/Mireya ACIERTO)

Sustainable Development
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
"The Timing of the Great Shift" – Mar 21, 2009 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Text version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

The Declaration of Human Freedom

Archangel Michael (Via Steve Beckow), Feb. 19, 2011

Every being is a divine and eternal soul living in a temporal body. Every being was alive before birth and will live after death.

Every soul enters into physical life for the purpose of experience and education, that it may, in the course of many lifetimes, learn its true identity as a fragment of the Divine.

Life itself is a constant process of spiritual evolution and unfoldment, based on free choice, that continues until such time as we realize our true nature and return to the Divine from which we came.

No soul enters life to serve another, except by choice, but to serve its own purpose and that of the Divine from which it came.

All life is governed by natural and universal laws which precede and outweigh the laws of humanity. These laws, such as the law of karma, the law of attraction, and the law of free will, are decreed by God to order existence and assist each person to achieve life’s purpose.

No government can or should survive that derives its existence from the enforced submission of its people or that denies its people their basic rights and freedoms.

Life is a movement from one existence to another, in varied venues throughout the universe and in other universes and dimensions of existence. We are not alone in the universe but share it with other civilizations, most of them peace-loving, many of whom are more advanced than we are, some of whom can be seen with our eyes and some of whom cannot.

The evidence of our five senses is not the final arbiter of existence. Humans are spiritual as well as physical entities and the spiritual side of life transcends the physical. God is a Spirit and the final touchstone of God’s Truth is not physical but spiritual. The Truth is to be found within.

God is one and, because of this, souls are one. They form a unity. They are meant to live in peace and harmony together in a “common unity” or community. The use of force to settle affairs runs contrary to natural law. Every person should have the right to conduct his or her own affairs without force, as long as his or her choices do not harm another.

No person shall be forced into marriage against his or her will. No woman shall be forced to bear or not bear children, against her will. No person shall be forced to hold or not hold views or worship in a manner contrary to his or her choice. Nothing vital to existence shall be withheld from another if it is within the community’s power to give.

Every person shall retain the ability to think, speak, and act as they choose, as long as they not harm another. Every person has the right to choose, study and practice the education and career of their choice without interference, provided they not harm another.

No one has the right to kill another. No one has the right to steal from another. No one has the right to force himself or herself upon another in any way.

Any government that harms its citizens, deprives them of their property or rights without their consent, or makes offensive war upon its neighbors, no matter how it misrepresents the situation, has lost its legitimacy. No government may govern without the consent of its people. All governments are tasked with seeing to the wellbeing of their citizens. Any government which forces its citizens to see to its own wellbeing without attending to theirs has lost its legitimacy.

Men and women are meant to live fulfilling lives, free of want, wherever they wish and under the conditions they desire, providing their choices do not harm another and are humanly attainable.

Children are meant to live lives under the beneficent protection of all, free of exploitation, with unhindered access to the necessities of life, education, and health care.

All forms of exploitation, oppression, and persecution run counter to universal and natural law. All disagreements are meant to be resolved amicably.

Any human law that runs counter to natural and universal law is invalid and should not survive. The enactment or enforcement of human law that runs counter to natural and universal law brings consequences that cannot be escaped, in this life or another. While one may escape temporal justice, one does not escape divine justice.

All outcomes are to the greater glory of God and to God do we look for the fulfillment of our needs and for love, peace, and wisdom. So let it be. Aum/Amen.

Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit

Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit
Pope Francis laughs alongside US President Barack Obama upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, on September 22, 2015, on the start of a 3-day trip to Washington (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

Today's doodle in the U.S. celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech on its 50th anniversary (28 Aug 2013)

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'
The White House released this image, of the building colored like the rainbow flag, on Facebook following the supreme court’s ruling. Photograph: Facebook

Same-sex marriage around the world

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'
Reporters Without Borders labels Erdogan as 'enemy of press freedom'

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Sunday, September 30, 2007

UN Envoy Meets Myanmar Military Rulers, Suu Kyi

By Gemma Daley

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- United Nations Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari met Myanmar's military rulers and the detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as he tried to find a peaceful solution to the government's crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

The talks were confirmed in an e-mailed statement from the UN Information Center in Yangon. They took place as troops locked down the Southeast Asian nation's largest cities and arrested scores of people, Agence France-Presse said. China, Myanmar's closest ally, bent to international pressure and urged the country to seek a peaceful resolution to the protests.

``China hopes that all parties concerned in Myanmar show restraint, resume stability through peaceful means as soon as possible, promote domestic reconciliation and achieve democracy and development,'' Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Web site. ``China is very concerned about the situation in Myanmar.''

Read whole story ,,,,

Nuclear envoys reach 'comprehensive' North Korea deal: US


BEIJING (AFP) — Envoys from six nations struck an agreement Sunday on the next phase of ending North Korea's nuclear weapons programme, which the United States hailed as comprehensive and detailed.

The provisional agreement will now go back to the governments for approval, and negotiators will resume their talks here in a few days so the deal can be sealed, the US and other envoys said.

No specifics of the agreement were released, although the negotiations were focused on devising a plan for North Korea to disable its key nuclear facilities and declare all its atomic programmes.

"The joint statement was very comprehensive," US negotiator Christopher Hill told reporters, referring to the agreement outlined by China, which is hosting the talks.

"China put together a very nice joint statement. There are lots of details. It is very useful."

A South Korean official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Sunday's statement referred to disabling the North's main nuclear facility at Yongbyon and two other sites by the end of this year.

Read whole story ....

UN envoy meets with Suu Kyi, junta leaders

The Jakarta Post

YANGON (AP): U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari met with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar's junta leaders, diplomats said Sunday, trying to find a peaceful solution to the crisis that has engulfed the country for more than a month.

Gambari came from the remote bunker-like capital Naypyitaw after an overnight stay where he met with junta leaders. He was taken to the State Guest House on University Avenue in Yangon for a meeting with Suu Kyi, said the diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, citing protocol.

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Widespread outrage unlikely to bring united international action against Myanmar's junta

The Jakarta Post

UNITED NATIONS (AP): Southeast Asian leaders delivered their strongest condemnation of a neighbor and the U.S. ordered limited sanctions, but the international community has few pressure points on the brutal military junta that has ruled Myanmar for decades.

Diplomats and analysts say Myanmar's resources, including natural gas and oil fields that foreign companies are vying to tap, make many nations reluctant to impose economic sanctions or other measures as punishment for the bloody assault on pro-democracy demonstrators.

Just as important, the generals who rule Myanmar have long been steadfast in ignoring criticism and international pressure over its tough handling of dissidents, including killing thousands during a democracy uprising in 1988 and jailing Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

"I don't get the sense that this regime is in the business of being conciliatory," said Derek Mitchell, an Asia expert at the Washington-based Center for International and Strategic Studies.

But many governments are feeling public pressure to act on Myanmar, which is also known as Burma. Demonstrations against the junta were staged around the globe Friday, in Washington, New York and San Francisco, in Britain and Italy, in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

A "Support the Monks' Protest in Burma" group, set up on the Internet's Facebook site, has seen more than 110,000 people join in just nine days, its British organizer, Johnny Chatterton, said.

U.S. President George W. Bush already imposed sanctions on key leaders in the Myanmar regime and world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly denounced the crackdown in which the government admits to 10 deaths though opposition groups say up to 200 people were killed.

"Clearly the government of Burma, the regime there, is facing a population that does not want to suffer quietly under its rule anymore," State Department spokesman Tom Casey said Friday.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which has traditionally been extremely restrained in criticizing human rights abuses in Myanmar, one of its member states, issued its sharpest-ever condemnation of the regime, calling the crackdown "repulsive."

"ASEAN (is) appalled to receive reports of automatic weapons being used and demands that the Myanmar government immediately desist from the use of violence against demonstrators," a joint statement said.

It called for the regime to release all political detainees, including Suu Kyi, and open a process of national reconciliation.

Also, Japan announced Saturday that it lodged a protest with Myanmar over the death of Japanese journalist Kenji Nagai, 50, who was among at least nine people killed Thursday when soldiers fired into a crowd.

Diplomats said Western nations are mostly limited to condemnation because they don't have extensive economic ties with Myanmar, and thus little influence. They predicted the countries that do have investments there would not support any punitive actions.

Among them are Russia, India, China and smaller Asian nations, including the island-state of Singapore, which is America's strongest ally in Southeast Asia. China is the largest single investor in Myanmar and its projects include a pipeline delivering gas to its energy-hungry south.

"The leaders of Myanmar know full well that whatever they do domestically, they will never face comprehensive sanctions simply because very important members of the U.N. Security Council are opposed to such a move," said an ASEAN member's ambassador to the U.N., who agreed to discuss the sensitive issue only if not quoted by name.

China and Russia, both veto-wielding permanent Security Council members, argue that Myanmar's unrest an internal affair and not a matter that affects international peace and security.

Still, U.N. diplomats said China is growing worried that the violence in Myanmar could produce so much instability that Chinese interests could be hurt.

In an indication of China's anxiety, it joined the 14 other Security Council nations in expressing concern at the bloodshed and urging Myanmar's rulers to exercise restraint and accept a visit by U.N. special envoy Ibrahim Gambari.

China's step drew praise from French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who said he perceived "a little movement coming from the Chinese government" on dealing with the junta. He said China is among "those who can do something to influence the behavior of Myanmar."

Japan inquiry into reporter death

BBC World

Japan is sending its deputy foreign minister to Burma to investigate the death of a Japanese journalist, who was covering the anti-government protests.

Japan said it would review its aid programmes to Burma over the fatal shooting of Kenji Nagai on Thursday.

TV footage has emerged which raises the possibility that the 50-year-old may have been deliberately targeted rather than caught in police cross-fire.

Japan's PM, Yasuo Fukuda, said he would decide how to proceed after the visit.

"We will have to think carefully to figure out what is the best thing to do - what is the best choice for Japan."

By sending Mitoji Yabunaka to Burma, he said Japan would "find the way to solve this issue and to make further decisions. Sanctions are not the best step to take now."

He has described Mr Nagai's death as "really deplorable".

Japan is a leading aid donor to Burma and has been criticised for failing to take a tougher line against the regime.

Tokyo has withheld some aid from Burma since pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was detained in 2003.

But it funds emergency and humanitarian projects on a case-by-case basis, and is one of the military regime's significant trading partners.

Investigation calls

Mr Nagai, an experienced journalist who had worked in many dangerous parts of the world, was killed near the Sule pagoda, which has been a focal point for several of the demonstrations.

Japanese TV has been running footage which appears to show a government soldier shooting the journalist at close range.

Mr Nagai, who was working for the Tokyo-based APF network, is seen falling to the ground still carrying his camera as a soldier points a rifle right in front of him.

Japanese embassy doctors have confirmed that he was killed by a bullet to the chest.

''Whether [the shooting] was intentional and whether it was from a point-blank range remains to be investigated," Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said.

Israel, Palestinians could sign peace deal by May 2008: Abbas

AFP/Google, 1 day ago

NEW YORK (AFP) — Israel and the Palestinians could sign a peace deal within six months of an international peace conference scheduled for November, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas told AFP on Friday.

The US-sponsored conference should define the groundwork for settling questions over the final status of the Palestinian territories, Abbas said in an interview in New York, where he is attending the UN General Assembly.

"Then we will begin negotiations on the details under a timeframe, which ought not to exceed six months, to reach a peace treaty," he added.

The leader of the Palestinian Authority, who has met with several key foreign leaders during his stay in New York, said that the US-sponsored talks would open in Washington on November 15.

"We have noted that the whole world is interested in this meeting and attaches great hopes to its success," he added.

In his address to the UN General Assembly later Friday, Abbas called on the world to seize the opportunity at November's conference to work towards the creation of a Palestinian state.

Read whole story ....

US military 'regrets' civilian deaths in Iraq

AFP/Google, 8 hours ago

BAGHDAD (AFP) — The US military said on Saturday it regrets civilian deaths, as it announced a new surge of strikes against Al-Qaeda in Iraq in which six militants were killed and a child was hit in the crossfire.

Intensive operations including air strikes were carried out on Friday and Saturday in belts south of Baghdad and in Samarra, Tarmiyah and Mosul north of the capital, the military said in two separate statements.

The latest raids, in which 27 people were detained, follow a series of operations in Baghdad, Mahmudiyah, Yusufiyah and Musayyib in recent days in which scores of suspects were detained and nearly 20 others killed, according to US commander Brigadier General Joseph Anderson.

Iraqi officials claim at least 15 women and children were killed in two of the raids, but the US military says it has been informed of civilian deaths in only one of them, and has ordered an investigation.

"We regret when civilians are hurt or killed while coalition forces search to rid Iraq of terrorism," US military spokesman Major Brad Leighton told AFP.

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Six-party talks close to agreement

Xinhua, Updated: 2007-09-29 21:13

Negotiators for the ongoing six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue have reached some agreement on denuclearization and declaration, Chun Yung-woo, delegation head of the Republic of Korea, said Saturday.

China's executive Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo (R) shakes hands with North Korea's envoy Kim Gye-gwan at a banquet Dai hosted for envoys attending the six party talks in Beijing September 29, 2007. [Reuters]

The six nations had discussed the text of a draft joint document and put forward their views. The Chinese side will work out a new version on the basis of the views, said Chun at a news briefing.

He said he could not disclose the details of the document, but "the most important part of it will be the timing of declaration and disablement of nuclear facilities."

"The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has shown a certain degree of sincerity regarding the considerable part of what it has declared or intends to do so," said an ROK delegate on condition of anonymity.

What the DPRK has promised to do is pretty good, and the ROK will continue its efforts for the final goal of denuclearization, said the delegate.

The fresh round of the six-party talks, which involve China, the DPRK, the ROK, the United States, Russia and Japan, began on Thursday and is due to end on Sunday.

Riots in Islamabad Over Musharraf

Time, Saturday, Sep. 29, 2007 By ARYN BAKER/ISLAMABAD

Less than 24 hours after Pakistan's Supreme Court ruled in favor of President General Pervez Musharraf's eligibility to run for a second term in office, government forces laid siege to the Supreme Court grounds, where several hundred lawyers had taken refuge after a vicious attack on a peaceful protest in the capital, Islamabad.

More than 10,000 riot police and plainclothes officers were stationed around the court and the nearby Electoral Commission offices, where the nomination papers for 43 presidential hopefuls, including Musharraf, were being scrutinized for eligibility.

Some 1,000 lawyers and political workers brandishing banners and shouting "Go, Musharraf go!" were forcibly prevented from entering the Electoral Commission grounds. Within minutes of reaching the gate, baton-wielding police charged the protesters. Yasser Raja, a 33-year-old lawyer from nearby Rawalpindi was beaten repeatedly on the head; when he attempted to protect himself the police continued to attack, causing extensive damage to his upraised arm.

His lawyer's uniform of white shirt and black suit was soaked in blood, but he continued to shout anti-Musharraf slogans. "These things cannot stop us," he said. "We are ready to sacrifice more and more. Our blood will not be taken in vain."

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What next for Burma's generals?

The Burmese junta, the SPDC, makes no secret of its admiration for the pseudo-democracy run by President Suharto

By Jonathan Head, BBC News, Bangkok

Will Burma's military rulers listen to the endless pleas for restraint and dialogue? Could the regime crumble under the weight of popular anger, or through splits in the ranks of the armed forces?

Or will they succeed in terrorising the population into submission again through mass killings, as they did in 1988?

We simply do not know which of these scenarios is more plausible, because it is impossible to know the thinking of the tight clique of generals who run the country.

But there are "end-of-regime" scenarios we can look at in other countries; specifically Indonesia, a fellow member of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean).

Military role

The Burmese junta, the SPDC, makes no secret of its admiration for the pseudo-democracy run by President Suharto, the former Indonesian strongman, so perhaps it is instructive to look at how the Suharto regime was overthrown.

The parallels between the two countries are striking. They are both large, tropical countries comprising many diverse ethnic groups and cultures that won independence from colonial rule in the chaotic aftermath of the Second World War.

In both countries, nation-building was hampered by strong separatist movements in their outlying regions.

In both the army became the dominant political force in the 1960s, arguing it was the only institution that could hold the country together.

Both countries' officer classes involved themselves heavily in business and politics.

Both Gen Suharto and Gen Ne Win, Burma's military strongman until the 1990s, were from humble, superstitious backgrounds, but had their worldviews profoundly altered when they were members of Japanese paramilitary units as young men during the Japanese occupations of their countries.

It instilled in both men a belief in martial values and the central role of the military in political life.

But there the similarities end.

'Tiger' economy

Perhaps timing was the reason - Indonesia nearly fell apart under its mercurial founding father Sukarno in the 1960s.

Suharto took advantage, after a failed coup, but needed rapid economic development to restore the government's legitimacy.

It was a time when Western governments needed Cold War allies - they were willing to overlook Suharto's horrific human rights abuses, and offered aid and investment.

At the time, Ne Win had taken Burma along what he called the "Burmese way" of socialism, a bizarre form of isolation.

As a result, by the 1980s Indonesia was being hailed as one of the successful "tiger" economies of South-East Asia with spectacular growth rates. Burma was a basket case. That led to two very different results.

In Burma, economic misery provoked massive anti-government protests in 1988, which were savagely put down by the army over a period of three months. Thousands died.

The regime tried to adapt itself. It held elections, but miscalculated disastrously, losing by a huge margin to Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD party.

It refused to recognise the results, but tried to win the population over by encouraging foreign investment in an attempt to stimulate Indonesian-style development.

But it was no longer the 1960s; it was the post-Cold War 1990s.

Western governments were no longer willing to overlook human rights abuses. They were charmed by the dignity of Aung San Suu Kyi, who had won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, and imposed increasingly tough sanctions.

But President Suharto's successful development strategy came back to haunt him. When people began tiring of his corrupt and authoritarian ways in the 1990s, he reverted back to type, banning newspapers and locking up or intimidating his opponents.

In Burma, complete isolation means the generals have little to lose from international sanctions

He had skilfully managed promotions in the army to keep it loyal, and gave it a large slice of the economy to manage.

He created pseudo-parties guaranteed to win pseudo-elections to a pseudo parliament - all tactics now being copied by Burma's generals.

But rapid development had created a powerful new class of people who became rich through trade with the rest of the world, who sent their children to be educated in America, Europe or Australia.

Even some army officers enjoyed foreign contact and training.

'Elite' class

When the charms of the aging Suharto and his clique began to fade, this group was not prepared to risk international isolation; it didn't have the stomach for massive repression. Instead, it told Suharto to go.

In Burma, complete isolation means the generals have little to lose from international sanctions. Nor is there a large and powerful middle class with a lot to lose. There is only the military - the most powerful institution in the country - with its fingers in every aspect of daily life.

It suffers little from isolation, except in the increasingly narrow view of its officers.

Soldiers are taught that they are an elite class, entitled to special respect - and that anyone who opposes them is an enemy bent on returning the country to chaos and civil war.

That will almost certainly be the warped instruction given now to the troops who have shot at unarmed monks and civilians in Rangoon.

Myanmar junta hampering food movement; hunger big danger, says UN

The Jakarta Post

BANGKOK (AP): Myanmar's military rulers have restricted the movement of food during the ongoing political unrest, hampering U.N. efforts to feed some 500,000 people in the impoverished country, the World Food Program said.

"We appeal to the authorities for access to all parts of the country," WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said in a statement Friday. She said the hungry are primarily young children, as well as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis patients who desperately need assistance.

The WFP's operations "rely on the government to facilitate the movement of food and personnel," it said.

The junta's forces opened fire on Wednesday and Thursday to crush demonstrations by Buddhist monks and civilians, who have been demanding an end to military rule and the restoration of democracy. The government says 10 people were killed but dissident groups and foreign governments say the death toll could be many times that number.

While the unrest has been centered in the main cities of Yangon and Mandalay, the impact is "being felt elsewhere including areas where WFP is supporting vulnerable communities with food assistance," the WFP statement said.

Local authorities in Mandalay have stopped all movement of food out of the area, which would affect WFP operations in northern Shan state and a central zone which depend on food deliveries from Mandalay, it said.

Disturbances in the port town of Sittwe also have had an impact on the movement of food to WFP operational areas in the northern Rakhine state, it said.

The WFP says it plans to reach a total of 1.6 million vulnerable people at a total cost of US$51.7 million (euro36.5 million) over three years. The food it distributes includes rice, beans, vegetable oil, salt and high-protein blended food.

The WFP operates in Myanmar in collaboration with 22 U.N. and private agencies. But due to current limited funding, WFP will face food shortfalls in November that will reduce planned assistance to primary school students and vulnerable families, it said.

Donors to WFP's operations in Myanmar include Australia, Japan, the European Union, Switzerland, Finland, Germany, the United States and New Zealand.

Countries urge Myanmar to use peaceful means, end military crackdown

The Jakarta Post

TOKYO (AP): Myanmar's main political and economic allies, China and Japan, joined other nations around the world in urging the country to use peaceful means to restore stability. The United States called on "all civilized nations" to press Myanmar's leaders to end their crackdown on demonstrators.

Japan, Myanmar's biggest aid contributor, lodged a protest over the death of a Japanese journalist, who was among at least nine people killed Thursday when soldiers fired automatic weapons into a crowd of unarmed demonstrators. A special envoy from the United Nations flew to Myanmar on Saturday to persuade the junta to start a dialogue with the opposition.

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said in a telephone conversation with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown that China was "very much concerned about the current situation" in Myanmar, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"China hopes all parties in Myanmar exercise restraint and use peaceful means to restore its stability as soon as possible," Wen said. He added the international community should offer constructive help to resolve the situation.

Only small numbers of protesters in Myanmar took to the streets Saturday as troops consolidated their control. Internet connections were cut.

The White House accused the government of attempting to hide the violence, and urged "all civilized nations" to pressure the junta to stop it.

"They don't want the world to see what is going on there," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said Friday.

Bush and Brown talked about the situation via a video teleconference on Friday and agreed on the importance of the visit to Myanmar by U.N. special envoy Ibrahim Gambari.

Stanzel said they agreed on "the need for countries around the world to continue to make their views clear to the junta."

Western diplomats were already complaining that Gambari would probably not be able to meet with senior opposition members or - apparently - the country's leader, Gen. Than Shwe. His schedule wasbeing set by Myanmar's government.

Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura protested the death of video journalist Kenji Nagai, 50, calling it "extremely regrettable," in a meeting with his Myanmar counterpart, Nyan Win, at U.N. headquarters in New York on Friday, according to a Foreign Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing protocol.

Nyan Win said he was "extremely sorry" for the death, the official said.

Japan, Myanmar's largest aid donor, has so far ruled out immediate sanctions against the country, also known as Burma, but Komura suggested tougher steps could be taken.

Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka was to visit Myanmar on Sunday.

Myanmar's government says 10 people have been killed since it began cracking down on demonstrators on Wednesday. Brown said the number could be much higher.

"I am afraid we believe the loss of life is far greater than is being reported so far," the British prime minister said in a televised statement.

Dissident groups have put the number as high as 200, although that number could not be verified.

South Africa's governing African National Congress said that the junta's reaction "further deepens the political crisis in Burma, and undermines the legitimate demands of the Burmese people."

"It calls for an end to repression and human rights violations, and the reinstatement of the country's elected representatives," the ANC said in a statement Saturday.

Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont scrapped a prepared speech about Thai democracy at the U.N. General Assembly at the last minute Friday and instead delivered an uncharacteristic attack against Myanmar, his country's neighbor, according to Thailand's The Nation newspaper.

He said both countries, being Buddhist, share beliefs in nonviolence and tolerance.

Demonstrators around the world urged Myanmar to end the crackdown and called on China to use its influence with the country's generals to broker change.

About 30 people, including Myanmar citizens, rallied outside the Chinese government's liaison office in Hong Kong.

"As far as I see this fight, it's good," a Myanmar immigrant said. "People stepped out, but I don't think the government will give up easily," he said, declining to be identified for fear of retaliation on his family back home.

The protesters also read out a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao, urging Beijing to use its influence to persuade the Myanmar government to end its crackdown.