December 2005


The Burmese military government is reportedly stepping up pressure on pro-democracy activists to refrain from openly criticizing the resumed National Convention.
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Yangon: A retaining wall will be constructed in an area in Myanmar’s southern Ayeyawaddy division which was most affected by the deadly tsunami a year ago, a local news journal reported Thursday.
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Guwahati: What has been described as historic initiative by private tour operators in building up relations with neighbouring countries, the first business exposure team which will be allowed to enter Burma without any visa or passport was flagged off here on Thursday.
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Bangkok: In a delicious twist of irony, Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi holds the cards that will determine if the rare political courage shown by South-east Asian governments towards the rogue state is indeed a fact or another game of deception.
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Brussels: The European Commission said Thursday it had earmarked a total 15 million euros in aid for victims of the political crisis in Myanmar (Burma) and for refugees living along the Thai-Myanmar border.
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Manila: With the Philippines’ upcoming chairmanship in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the United Kingdom has asked the Arroyo government to increase pressure on Myanmar (also known as Burma) to improve its human rights situation by following the roadmap to democracy it committed to years before.
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The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma wholeheartedly welcomes the Royal Thai Government’s decision to provide educational services to refugees from Burma living in camps along the common border.
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The only media covering Chin state and the western regions of Burma, the Khonumthung News Group (KNG), officially launch its website today at a simple function in its office, in Aizawl, Mizoram, India.

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Manila: The Asian Development Bank said Wednesday it has approved a 25.57 million-dollar grant package to protect the environment and biodiversity in the six countries bordering Indochina’s Mekong River.

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Bangkok: Five rights groups, including Amnesty International, called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Wednesday to apply more pressure on Myanmar (Burma) to free political prisoners and become more democratic.

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Yangon: A Thai company, the Sutech Engineering Company, will grow sugarcane in Myanmar’s Bago division under a contract farming system, the local Weekly Eleven News reported Wednesday.

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Yangon: Myanmar is continuing the implementation of its anti-AIDS program with aid from other international organizations despite halt of the Global Fund to the country three months ago, said a local news journal Wednesday.

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Three Shan groups in Chiangmai’s Fang area, with the largest migrant population in the north, have concluded a pact to work together, reports Tawng Tai:

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New Delhi: The United Nations agency for refugee aid has complimented Thailand for its plans to provide broadbased educational facilities to Myanmarese living in nine refugee camps.

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Bandoola Transportation, under the Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited, launched a new bus line in Pyinmana on December 5.

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Officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Rangoon have called off their visit to Thayawaddy prison after the regime-backed Union Solidarity Development Association insisted on accompanying them. The ICRC decided to suspend the December 12 visit as it was against the agency’s standard procedure, which requires carrying out the mission independently, according to ICRC’s office in Rangoon.

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Junta supremo Snr-Gen Than Shwe’s recent tour of northern Burma this week, including a stop at the new administrative center in Pyinmana, has drawn the attention of Burma watchers.

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“Help us, help you” has become the dictum that epitomises the painful relations between Asean and its pariah member, Burma. After many hours of discussions, senior Asean officials agreed at their summit this month in Kuala Lumpur to increase the pressure on Burma. It was the first time that Asean had been so assertive towards one of its members.

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The Foreign Ministry seems to have jumped the gun in its bid to censure the Burmese military junta over reports former prime minister Chuan Leekpai was denied a visa to visit the pariah state, the opposition claimed yesterday.

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The beleaguered Wa business firm has changed its label from Hongpang (Great State) to Xinhong (Thriving Greatness), said a source close to the Wa this morning.

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