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Tuesday, May 30, 2017
LETTER

Letters to the Editor — November, 2010


By THE IRRAWADDY Wednesday, November 3, 2010


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Thursday, November 04, 2010
In response to the Ambassador's Letter

Thank you for your response to our editorial, “Burma Betrayed?”.

The Irrawaddy has no wish to continue a public debate on the matter of funding from the Danish Embassy.

The debate was made public however prior to The Irrawaddy publication - via a leaked copy of the email from the Danish Embassy, appearing on a blog-site of the Burmese regime (see link: http://padaukmyay.blogspot.com/2010/10/blog-post_1952.html).  The military's mouthpiece the New Light of Myanmar, subsequently exploited the misinformation and allegations from the Danish Embassy in order to discredit The Irrawaddy publication.

In this context The Irrawaddy was forced to respond publicly to the allegations in the Embassy email (see link: http://www2.irrawaddy.com/article.php?art_id=19696).

Our public response led to feedback from other Danish funded Burmese organisations whose concerns were outlined in the editorial Burma Betrayed? (see link: http://www2.irrawaddy.com/opinion_story.php?art_id=19764).  It also led to a report on the incident in the Danish press (see link: http://www.kristeligt-dagblad.dk/artikel/384710:Udland--Danmark-beskyldes-for-at-svigte-Myanmars-demokrater )

The Irrawaddy hereby stands by our response to this unfortunate issue. To end the matter however we would note that the Ambassador appears to have missed the main point of our concern and has failed to address the issues raised in our letter and editorial.

The Irrawaddy was not ‘dissatisfied’ as stated in the Ambassadors letter, because of the decision not to include us in the Danish 2011 project portfolio. Rather we were astonished to learn of the underhanded process of distributing an inaccurate and accusatory email to a number of our donors - prior to our annual donor meeting - without our knowledge or capacity to respond.

Should this email have been forwarded via private communication to The Irrawaddy with an option for reply or resolution, all parties would have benefited. We hope to see more professional communication from the Embassy – both in private and public – in the future.

Thank you.
The Irrawaddy

Monday, November 04, 2010
Danish Ambassador Responds to “Burma Betrayed?”

With reference to your editorial “Burma Betrayed?” published online Oct. 19th, the Danish Embassy in Bangkok would like to offer some clarifications regarding a number of apparent misunderstandings concerning the Danish support to the Burmese people in general and to The Irrawaddy in specific:

First and foremost, there should be no doubt that Denmark has politically as well financially supported the people(s) of Burma in the face of both military repression and natural disaster for more than two decades—and will continue to do so.

Denmark remains strongly committed to promoting a process towards democracy and national reconciliation in Burma. In solidarity with the Burmese people, Denmark has repeatedly stated its deep concerns about the perpetual severe human rights violations taking place in Burma. Regarding the elections scheduled for November 7th, we have continually called for free, fair and inclusive elections as well as the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. We are deeply concerned that the government has not taken the necessary steps to this end and will continue to engage closely with other international partners, including Burma’s neighbours, to promote a democratic and peaceful solution to the benefit of all the people of Burma.   

Danish assistance to Burma has seen a steady increase over the past years both in terms of financial resources allocated, the number of projects supported and the number of beneficiaries reached. We are in 2010 disbursing more than US $10 million for a range of more than 25 projects run by almost as many partners. The Danish assistance is targeted at Burmese people inside as well as outside Burma, including refugees and migrants.



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