Friday, April 6th, 2012
As the United States prepares to relax sanctions on Burma in the wake of parliamentary by-elections, ethnic minorities say the military-led government continues to commit atrocities in the east of the country.
Activists from Kachin and Karen minorities are urging Western countries to be more cautious in their moves to end Burma’s isolation. Kachin state in eastern Burma is home to a people still at war with the military government. (more…)
Late Thursday evening, members of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) captured and then destroyed a strategic government checkpoint in northern Shan state at Pangsai (Kyukok), eyewitnesses report.
The gate located near Pangsai (Kyukok) on the road towards Mongkoe (also spelled Monggu) and Hpawng Seng, played a major role in the Burma army’s efforts to restrict and monitor the movements of people in the area. (more…)
Myanmar held its highest level peace talks so far with rebels from war-torn Karen state following a tentative ceasefire agreement inked earlier this year.
Delegates from the political and armed wings of the Karen National Union (KNU) met government officials as part of discussions marking the latest efforts aimed at ending one of the world’s longest-running civil conflicts. (more…)
Myanmar’s army-backed ruling party on Friday said it would lodge an official complaint about poll irregularities after being trounced in by-elections by democracy opponents led by Aung San Suu Kyi.
Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) claimed Suu Kyi’s party or its supporters were involved in some incidents, including campaigning too close to polling stations during Sunday’s by-elections. (more…)
Yangon – Myanmar’s ruling party, created by the military, says it must re-think strategy after by-election victories for the party of Aung San Suu Kyi who has raised suspicion in the ranks by suggesting the generals will need to withdraw from politics.
Press freedom in Burma remains severely curtailed despite the government’s ostensible efforts to lift censorship, according to a group of leading media watchdogs.
Censorship is still engrained in Burma’s judicial system and the military retains overall control of the media, according to the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX). (more…)
Mandalay—Were it not for international tourists, The Moustache Brothers and their 11 family members would go to bed on empty stomachs. The three renown comedians have relied on foreign visitors for more than a decade.
That’s not to say they have failed to attract the attention of Burmese audiences. In the good old days, the comedy trio were famous enough to perform for dictator Ne Win’s fourth wife Yadana Natmei—also known as June Rose Bellamy, the great-grandchild of Burmese Prince Kanaung Mintha and daughter of an Australian orchid collector long settled in Burma. (more…)
NBC’s Ian Williams reports from Thailand-Myanmar border where the Karen rebels, a Christian minority, are fighting one of the world’s longest running civil wars.
Karen State, Myanmar – At first light, a haze from dry-season fires hung low over the Moie River, which marks the border between Thailand and Myanmar (also known as Burma).
Bangkok – The United States is ready to relax some sanctions on Myanmar and France will urge the European Union to ease bans, opening the door for foreign investment in the isolated state after Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s election victory.
Yangon — A trilateral contract between Myanmar government, Malaysian and Myanmar private companies have been reached on exploration of gas on two inland blocks in Myanmar, China’s Xinhua news agency reported, citing official media report today. (more…)
Foreigners or citizens may now bring up to US$ 10,000 into Burma without declaring it at customs on arrival, effective April 1.
Previously, foreigners or local citizens bringing in an amount of more than $2,000 had to declare it at customs on arrival at the airport, according to a statement by the Burmese Central Bank.
HONG KONG – A malaria strain increasingly resistant to the most effective drug used to treat the disease has spread along the Thai-Myanmar border, a 10-year study published in The Lancet medical journal found, and may reach India and Africa unless ways are found to contain it.
Phnom Penh: The Foreign Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are going to visit Myanmar [Burma] in June, Surin Pitsuwan, secretary-general of ASEAN, said here Thursday [5 April].
“During the 20th ASEAN Summit, they were invited by Myanmar’s Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin to visit Nay Pyi Daw and Yangon sometime in June before the ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting in July in Phnom Penh,” Surin Pitsuwan told reporters. (more…)
The Obama administration has nominated Derek Mitchell, the state department’s special envoy to Myanmar, as the first US ambassador to Myanmar since 1990. The move, to be publicly announced in coming days, highlights Washington’s rapid moves to upgrade diplomatic ties with the reformist government of President Thein Sein. (more…)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has invited Burmese Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin for bilateral talks in Washington, claims a senior White House official.
A week ago, Burma looked a simple political picture. On one side, a military regime conducting vicious wars against ethnic minorities, ruling the majority by pervasive spying, arrests and torture and looting the country’s resources in cahoots with local and Chinese crony capital.