Thursday, March 15th, 2007


The International Red Cross will close two of its offices in Burma because the country’s military government is severely hampering the organization’s work, official said Thursday.
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The Burmese military regime said on Thursday a debate at the American Center last month and an anti-government demonstration, which took place at different locations in Rangoon, incited public unrest, according to a state-run newspaper.
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Myanmar on Thursday lashed out at US criticism of the isolated military-run state, accusing Washington of using the United Nations to install a “puppet government” here.
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March 14: Over 500 local residents staged a demonstration on the Thai-Burma border near the Salween River today demanding the Burmese military junta and foreign companies put a halt to the planned Salween dam project.
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A United Nations agency says that while Burma responded quickly to outbreaks of bird flu last month, it needs more help to continue its fight against the disease in the long term.
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The pursuit of a free trade agreement between ASEAN and the EU, along with concerns over regional security, are said to be atop the agenda for the ASEAN/EU Foreign Ministers Meeting currently underway in Nuremburg, Germany.
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Burma is likely to tell India the quantity of natural gas it will produce and is willing to sell by April or May. India is expected to take a final decision on the pipeline project based on it, according to Kyi Thein the Burmese Ambassador to India.
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Britain said Thursday it would take Myanmar to task over the “dire” humanitarian situation in its former colony, at talks between European and Asian ministers in Germany.
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The European Union said it would put pressure on members of the Southeast Asian regional grouping ASEAN at talks here on Thursday to urge Myanmar to improve its human rights record.
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“The ICRC’s humanitarian work in Myanmar has now reached near-paralysis,” the organization’s director of operations has said. Speaking in Geneva, Pierre Krähenbühl explained that staff were still unable to resume visits to detainees anywhere in the country or to conduct independent field operations in sensitive border areas. “A recent meeting with the Ministry of Home Affairs made no headway,” he added.
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The Minister for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs, Ian McCartney MP, will travel to Nuremberg on 15 March to attend the 16th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the European Union and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
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