Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Candles for Burma

The non-profit advocacy group, Ethical Traveler, has revived their Candles for Burma campaign.

This campaign - wherein visitors to the ET web site can post images in solidarity with the people of Burma - originally ran for Aung San Suu Kyi's 60th birthday.

Now, three years later, the campaign is being revived to draw attention to all prisoners of conscience in Burma (including Aung San Suu Kyi) and to show solidarity with the victims of Cyclone Nargis.

Show your solidarity with Aung San Suu Kyi and all the prisoners of conscience in Burma.

Show your solidarity with the victims of Cyclone Nargis.

Candles for Burma»

June 17 - Flashpoints Radio

Dennis Bernstein updated his listeners on the post-cyclone situation with the help of Kenneth, Nandi, and Nick (just back from Burma).

Listen here:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

June 14/15 Events - Photos

The events on June 14 and 15 were both very successful. View photos from each by following the links below.

June 14 - BAWA Burma Women's Day, Fremont

View Photos»

June 15 - Nargis Fundraiser, San Bruno

View Photos»
View More Photos (from Ko Ko Lay)»

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bay Area Burmese Community Continues Humanitarian Assistance Work

A message to the media...
Bay Area Burmese Community Continues Humanitarian Assistance Work for the Victims of Cyclone Nargis Using Underground Networks

The past few weeks have shown that the Burmese military junta, once again, is not true to its word.

Head thug Than Shwe gave Ban Ki-Moon assurances that he would allow the free flow of aid to the cyclone victims. Ban went away happy and has barely been heard from on this topic since. Assistance continues to be hampered by the Burmese regime as a million or more people suffer without proper help.

International giving has paled in comparison to that for China quake relief because donors are concerned that their money will go to the junta instead of to the people. They have good cause to be concerned.

The Burmese community abroad knows there is an alternative. They channel money through the sangha - the Buddhist monks. The monks are in a unique position to effectively provide assistance to the cyclone victims via underground, grassroots channels.

Here in the Bay Area, the Burmese community has raised over $100,000. This money is being channeled through Sasana Moli - the International Burmese Monks Organization. Sasana Moli is stepping in to care for the people, where the government is not.

This coming weekend - June 14 and 15 - there will be two important fund-raising events in the Bay Area.
The local Burmese community recognizes the critical need to keep the fund-raising going and to keep this story in the news.

Please consider covering one or both of these events.

Saturday, June 14, 2008
Burmese American Women's Alliance (BAWA) presents
A Celebration of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's Birthday & Burma's Women's Day
TIME: 5:00pm to 8:00pm
LOCATION: Los Cerritos Community Center
3377 Aldar Ave
Fremont, CA
View Map
View Details (blog post)

Sunday, June 15, 2008
SF Bay Area Burmese Community presents
Cyclone Relief Fund Raising Event
TIME: 10:00am to 3:00pm
LOCATION: Capuchino High School
1501 Magnolia Ave
San Bruno, CA
View Map
View Details (blog post)

Thanks for your support,

~Gregg Butensky
Member, Board of Directors
Burmese American Democratic Alliance

Monday, June 9, 2008

Exiled Burmese Monk Lambastes Junta

Viji Sundaram's interview with U Pannya Vamsa during his recent Bay Area visit.

Editor's Note: Chairman of the International Burmese Monks Organization - 81-year-old U Pannya Vamsa - speaks to New America Media about the way Burmese monks are organizing to give aid to cyclone victims in Burma. Viji Sundaram is an editor for New America Media.

The world community has been watching in shock and amazement as Burma’s military government continues to watch the victims of Cyclone Nargis starve while relief just waits offshore. The May 2 cyclone left some 133,000 dead or missing and 2.4 million survivors. Latest reports from the United Nations indicate that about 60 percent of the survivors have still not received any food, water or shelter. Read more»

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Compassion With Fashion - Event Photos

The Compassion With Fashion fund-raising event was held on Saturday, June 7.

View photos by Ko Ko Lay»

RebuildBurma Fund-Raiser Success

The June 6 fund-raiser was well attended and about $1500 was raised for cyclone relief efforts.

View photos by Kenneth Wong»

Friday, June 6, 2008

Venerable U Pannya Vamsa Vists San Francisco

Venerable U Pannya Vamsa visited the San Francisco Bay Area on May 31 and June 1 along with Ashin Nayaka.

The visit was covered in an article by Christine Morente in the San Mateo County Times.
Read the article online»

View Ko Ko Lay's Photos

Compassion with Fashion: A Benefit for Burma

Art and Creativity Power Compassionate Acts of Kindness
  • Date: Saturday, June 7, 2008
  • Time: 6:30pm to 10:00pm
  • Location: San Rafael Community Center
    628 B Street
    San Rafael, CA 94901
  • Admission price: $5.00 (entry only)
  • Admission with appetizers: $15.00
A Kid-to-Kid Production
Students at Davidson Middle School in San Rafael, feeling great empathy towards the Burmese children, quickly mobilized to create a fashion show and silent auction to raise money to help in the relief efforts.

More info:

Monday, June 2, 2008

Burma News and Analysis on Flashpoints [KPFA FM]

Recent coverage on Flashpoints, hosted by Dennis Bernstein, includes the following two radio shows.

Flashpoints, May 28 listen»
Guest: Kenneth Wong

Flashpoints June 2 listen»
Guests: Kenneth Wong, Ko Ko Lay

Flashpoints airs each weekday from 5:00-6:00pm on KPFA FM in Berkeley (and online). Tune in Tuesday, June 3, as Dennis will have guests calling in with first hand reports from inside Burma.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Women's Day / Aung San Suu Kyi's Birthday

Burmese American Women's Alliance (BAWA) Presents

A Celebration of
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's Birthday &
Burma's Women's Day

DATE: Saturday, June 14, 2008
TIME: 5 PM to 8 PM
Los Cerritos Community Center
3377 Alder Ave, Fremont, CA
View Map»

Aung San Suu Kyi is a national hero in the fight for a free Burma and a symbol of hope in the downtrodden country. In 1991, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights" and became an international symbol of peaceful resistance and courage in the face of hardship and oppression. In 1990, she was put under house arrest by the government and remains there to this day.

The event will include...

For more info, please visit:

Rebuild BURMA - Fund Raiser at Space Gallery

Cocktails - Silent Auction
Burmese Appetizers - Burmese Dance Performance

Space Gallery
1141 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA

Friday Jun 6, 2008
7 PM to Midnight

On June 6, we plan to tell the story of the Burmese cyclone victims’ plight with an intimate photo exhibit, as well as a silent auction of gorgeous Burmese photos for the benefit of the disaster survivors.

View Flyer [PDF]