Yangon student union boycotts military-owned products

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YANGON, Myanmar – The Yangon University Student Union has begun a boycott of military-owned products in response to the military’s violent crackdown, which has over the past two months of clashes led to a death toll of 86.

The University Student Union has urged people not to buy or sell brands of beer and cigarettes manufactured by military-owned companies. The student union alleges that revenue from those products has contributed to human rights violation throughout the country, especially in ethnic areas.

The Yangon University Student Union has a reputation for taking an active part in political activities throughout the ages. In British colonial days, student union led the movement to liberate Myanmar from British rule.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Khit Thit

Myanmar military cracks down in Mandalay

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YANGON, Myanmar — Myanmar security forces cracked down on the protesters in Mandalay on Feb. 4, resulting in three deaths, including that of a 19-year-old woman. Eight others were wounded.

The woman wrote on her helmet that she had already given up body for the cause of democracy before she took to the streets.

The security forces used sound bombs, tear gas and live ammunition when they dispersed the anti-coup protesters.

Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar and was the capital city before the British occupation of the entire country was completed in 1885.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Wutyi Ma

Brazil: Nationwide Strikes Crippling Nation

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Protest over President Michel Temer’s austerity measures are crippling public transport in several major cities, and many factories, businesses and schools are closed, including in major tourist areas.

Police have barricaded protesters from entering airports (some flights were delayed and cancelled earlier) and are trying to clear up roadways.

Brazil has not had a nationwide strike in over 20 years. The current protests are not yet at the ‘nationwide strike’ level, but threaten to get there, according to union leaders.

Temer assumed power after former President Dilma Rousseff was ousted. Temer was then vice president.

The cause of the protests: Brazil’s lower house passed a labor reform bill many see as undermining workers’ rights by eliminating payment for their commute from their contractors, reducing compensation for employer abuse, and allowing reduction of salaries and increasing hours.

“No Chain” Protest To Face Chinese Embassy

Chinese embassy Washington
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Another protest organized by No Chain will take place in front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., Tuesday Nov. 24, between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., the NGO announced Monday.

The Tuesday protest will “continue to highlight and bring attention to the nine North Korean refugees recently arrested by Vietnam and handed over to the Chinese authorities, and who are believed to be held in a detention facility in Tumen, China,” according to No Chain’s North American director, Henry Song.

A letter urging the Chinese government to not repatriate the “Vietnam 9” will also be delivered to the PRC Embassy in Washington, Song stated.

Nine North Korean refugees who crossed the China-Vietnam border into Vietnam were arrested by Vietnamese authorities and handed over to Chinese police authorities in late October.  According to the latest media reports, the 9 are being held in a detention facility in Tumen, Jilin Province, awaiting repatriation to North Korea.

“It is absolutely reprehensible that the Vietnamese authorities arrested and handed over the North Korean refugees to the Chinese police,” said Song, “and now all eyes are on the Chinese authorities if they will continue their illegal and immoral act of forcibly repatriating the 9 North Korean refugees back to North Korea, in violation of their own responsibilities as a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.  Citizens, activists, and North Korean defectors will come out and show their concern and support for the refugees, and urge the Chinese government to not repatriate them but allow them to go to South Korea.”

This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to TheSpeaker.co and No Chain.