July 2010


Several leading members of Burma’s disbanded National League for Democracy (NLD) raised nearly 40 complaints of forced labor, underage recruitment and land confiscation at a meeting with a representative of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Rangoon on Thursday. (more…)

Thailand expects to buy more gas and electricity from Burma in order to secure supplies as domestic resources become depleted, says Energy Minister Wannarat Channukul. (more…)

Taiyuan Iron and Steel Group (TISCO) signed an agreement with China Nonferrous Metal Mining Group (CNMC) on July 26 to jointly develop the Tagaung Taung nickel mining project in Myanmar, according to an announcement on TISCO’s Web site on July 29. (more…)

The Vietnam Embassy in the Republic of Korea officially held a ceremony to hand over the ASEAN Committee’s Presidency in the country to the Myanmar Ambassador on July 29. (more…)

Thirty-two Burmese detainees died while in custody in Immigration Detention Center in Malaysia, the highest number of foreign detainee deaths, according to Malaysia’s minister of home affairs. (more…)

Yangon – The U.S. said it is carefully watching the budding secretive relationship between Myanmar and North Korea for signs of nuclear cooperation, as official talks between the authoritarian regimes entered a second day Friday. (more…)

New Delhi – Burma Campaign UK has called on British Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague to raise Burmese issues in meetings with their Indian counterparts during their three-day visit to India, according to the rights group. (more…)

A number of political parties running in Burma’s elections this year have said that extended US sanctions will do little to affect the polls. (more…)

When Soe Naing’s youngest daughter Khin Mar Soe was born in 2001, he had “no dreams for her,” he recalled. She was born in a refugee camp in the Thailand-Burma border, one of an estimated 150,000 people living in nine camps after fleeing from the brutality of the Burmese government. The refugees inhabit a kind of political and economic no man’s land: they are unable to work, unable to move freely past the barbed wire fences that ring the camps, and—depending on the camp—unable to attend school. (more…)

Later this year Myanmar will hold its first national elections since 1990, when the National League for Democracy, led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, won a resounding victory but was denied the opportunity to take office. In the two decades since that time, those elections have dogged the government of Myanmar both domestically and internationally. This year’s elections thus present an opportunity for the government to place 1990 firmly behind them, pursuant to its self-styled ‘Roadmap to Democracy’. (more…)

Having been repeatedly denied a working visa to provide direct aid to Burma (aka Myanmar) as an international relief group (whose name, Operation USA, leaves the tragi-comical government of Burma unenthusiastic about my prowling about their beautiful country looking for health care projects in need of assistance), I travel instead to Mae Sot on the Thailand-Burma border. There, one of the great grassroots success stories, Dr. Cynthia Maung’s Mae Tao Clinic, has for 21 years managed to care for over 250,000 semi-permanent refugees while also providing quiet cross-border assistance to those who need it. (more…)

A Burmese biography of North Korea’s enigmatic leader, Kim Jong Il, was published recently amid international concern over growing ties between Naypyidaw and Pyongyang. However, the book, “Kim Jong Il: North Korea’s Dear Leader,” was seized by the officials at North Korean embassy in Rangoon soon after its release. Irrawaddy reporter Wai Moe spoke with the author, Hein Latt, 62, about what happened. (more…)

Having been repeatedly denied a working visa to provide direct aid to Burma (aka Myanmar) as an international relief group (whose name, Operation USA, leaves the tragi-comical government of Burma unenthusiastic about my prowling about their beautiful country looking for health care projects in need of assistance), I travel instead to Mae Sot on the Thailand-Burma border. There, one of the great grassroots success stories, Dr. Cynthia Maung’s Mae Tao Clinic, has for 21 years managed to care for over 250,000 semi-permanent refugees while also providing quiet cross-border assistance to those who need it. (more…)

Yangon, Myanmar — North Korea’s foreign minister visited Myanmar on Thursday for high-level talks that come on the heels of a U.S. warning against any cooperation between the two nations on nuclear technology. (more…)

The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) led by Thein Sein, the Burmese prime minister, has outlined a wide range of tactics—including the use of cadres of hardcore criminals—aimed at achieving a landslide victory in the upcoming election. (more…)

Burmese officials have been assisting the North Korean embassy in Rangoon in seizing and destroying a biography of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, written by a Burmese. (more…)

Thailand will only return the 150,000-odd Burmese refugees sheltering in camps along the border once situation in their home country returns to normal, which will likely be after elections this year, a Thai official has said. (more…)

Bangkok – Thailand will sign on Friday an agreement to buy natural gas from the Zawtika field at the offshore Block M9 in the Gulf of Martaban in Myanmar from late 2013, Energy Minister Wannarat Charnnukul said. (more…)

Despite controversy over a border closure, the Commerce Ministry will propose to the Cabinet establishment of an economic zone at Mae Sot, Tak province, covering 5,000 rai (800 hectares) to boost border trade between Thailand and Burma. (more…)

India graciously hosted the Burmese Dictator Than Shwe this week, raising the question as to why the world’s largest democracy would welcome one of the world’s worst dictators, a man associated with alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. (more…)

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