The White House isn’t satisfied with Burma’s scheduled transition to democracy. This gesture by the junta is a result of the pro-democracy demonstrations of the fall, and they must be very annoyed that they caused enough of a ruckus by jailing and torturing monks they got the attention of the busy American octopus. And from one of Burma’s troubled border regions:

The leader of one of the largest Karen ethnic rebel groups in Burma was shot dead today at his Thailand border home. Mahn Sha, secretary general of the Karen National Union, was shot by two men at his house about five kilometres from the border with Burma, said Zin Linn, a member of the dissident National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, to which Mahn Sha also belonged. The 64-year-old died instantly in the attack, which took place at about 4.30pm local time (0930 GMT), Linn said in an email message reported by the Associated Press.

Supporters of the assassinated Mahn Sha point the finger at a splinter Karen ethic army that has the backing of the government (sort of Burmese Contras.) stallone.jpgFrom the UK premiere of Rambo, some shots of Stallone and his grateful fans. (See at right from The U.S. Campaign for Burma has some helpful Questions and Answers section on their site dealing with the film. Robert Thurman sees the train to Lhasa as a phallic instrument in China’s rape of Tibet. China cozies up to Phnom Penh in its never-ending quest for oil. Beijing is also trying to get their hand-picked Panchen Lama involved in politics. (This will at least bring new blood into the ancient and decrepit Chinese Communist party.) The Panchen Lama is one of the two top lamas in the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism, along with the Dalai Lama. When the previous Panchen Lama died, the Dalai Lama recognized one incarnation and Beijing recognized another. This is part of Beijings plan to control Tibetan Buddhism, along with its infamous State Religious Affairs Bureau Order #5. This is a warm-up for picking the next Dalai Lama, which will be a huge controversy that will make headlines across the globe. Colombo, Sri Lanka: Hundreds of journalists marched Thursday in Sri Lanka’s capital to protest harassment and suppression of the media. The fine folks who bring us Arts & Letters Daily now give us Climate Debate Daily. Tons of great articles on this issue here. Check it out, Senator Inhofe!

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