Friday, April 20th, 2012
Burma’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), announced on Friday that its MPs are “highly unlikely” to participate in the swearing-in ceremony at Parliament on April 23 as it has received no confirmation that the government will change the wording of the oath its representatives have to pledge by.
Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Rangoon headquarters, spokesman Nyan Win said, “It is not sure yet whether the NLD’s elected MPs will attend the April 23 parliamentary meeting.”
Burmese authorities refuse a request by Aung San Suu Kyi’s party to amend an oath for MPs.
Elected representatives of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy are set to boycott parliament following a rejection by authorities of a proposed change in the wording of the oath that lawmakers must take. (more…)
Myanmars president is contemplating cabinet changes that could reduce the power of some anti-reform ministers in the wake of his partys crushing election defeat earlier this month.
Several people close to the government said Mr Thein Sein was also considering the move which could see some hardliners moved to different roles or have their responsibilities reduced because of concerns about how far western countries will go in lifting sanctions. (more…)
Brig-Gen Sumlut Gun Maw, Vice Chief of Staff of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) has disputed government claims that 42 KIA soldiers recently deserted to the Burma army.
Reached by phone at his group’s Laiza headquarters, Gun Maw told the Kachin News Group that the deserters were from the KIA supported village defense force known in Kachin as Mungshawa Hpyen Hpung or People’s Army and not in fact regular KIA soldiers, as claimed by the government. (more…)
Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP) has called on President Thein Sein to carefully consider before approving the creation of a development zone in northern Shan state.
Sai Kyaw Ohn, parliamentary representative and SNDP member from Namhkam township, said the group sent a letter to President Thein Sein concerning the project. In the letter, the party asked the president to read the proposal with caution. (more…)
Prominent Buddhist monk Ashin Gambira, one of the main leaders of the crushed Saffron Revolution anti-government demonstrations, has disrobed and returns to layman status after he was refused sanctuary by several monasteries.
“He has to live back at home as no other monasteries will allow him to stay there,” his mother, Daw Yay, told The Irrawaddy. “As the Buddhist lent of Waso is drawing near, it is impossible for him to spend this time at home. So, he decided to renounce the monkhood and disrobed on April 17.” (more…)
With industrial development still some years off in Myanmar, Nyapyidaw’s concern at present is to ensure that migrant workers receive standard rights protection, because their remittances have helped shape the growing economy, Myanmar Deputy Labour Minister Myint Thein said in Bangkok on Thursday evening.
At his first press conference with Bangkok-based media, Myint Thein has taken a positive but realistic view of the situation of Myanmar workers in Thailand. (more…)
Hundreds Rohingya men, women and children from Burma are living virtually on the doorstep of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at Vasant Vihar, India, seeking refugee status.
Residents in the area complain that the U.N. should provide some sort of temporary solution to alleviate the congestion in the area, according to an article in The Times of India on Friday. (more…)
In the sticks, the army’s business activities are all too present
Lashio: AFTER two decades spent punishing Myanmar with economic sanctions, now Western countries cannot seem to ditch them fast enough. Since by-elections on April 1st were won almost entirely by Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition National League for Democracy, earlier caution on this issue has been cast aside. Australia and America have lifted travel and financial restrictions on hundreds of members of Myanmar’s establishment. The Americans have also promised to ease sanctions on some business sectors, while allowing in American humanitarian groups. Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, recently in Myanmar, says that the European Union should suspend all sanctions, while maintaining an arms embargo. (more…)
The construction of a gas pipeline connecting western Burma’s Arakan state and southern China’s Yunnan province has disrupted a local river and destroyed farmland.
A local resident in Namtu’s Saigao village in northern Shan state said a Chinese company that is building the pipeline is rerouting the Namtu River. The resident said the company is also dumping excess soil on locals’ gardens and fields. (more…)
GSM phone coverage in Burma will be expanded to Asean member countries by June, according to reports.
Burma telecommunication authorities will expanded to most Association of Southeast Asian Nations in a move linked to improving the telecommunications sector to increase foreign investments, according to an article in Popular News. Discussions are ongoing between Burma and the respective countries.
Parliament calls on the Council to suspend EU restrictive measures against Burma/Myanmar, except the arms embargo in a resolution adopted on Friday. The 1 April elections, which were deemed fair by observers, are a sign that Burma/Myanmar is on the path to democratic change”, the resolution notes.
On April 4, 2012, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the Obama Administration would relax certain sanctions on Burma to further encourage economic modernization and political reform. The announcement follows parliamentary by-elections in Burma days earlier that Secretary Clinton described as an “important step” in the country’s transition toward democracy. (more…)
Burma’s political road is never smooth. The latest bump is that the main opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party has announced that its elected MPs are highly unlikely to attend the new session of Parliament due to begin on April 23.
Several ethnic politicians feel uneasy as they have to accept news on sanction lifting even though they did not have the same opinion. In fact, sanction is a sign of force that give confidence to the powerless, especially ethnic minorities who have been fighting for equal opportunity since 1948. (more…)
Foreign businesses face formidable challenges in making sure their investments in Burma are not only profitable but also based on internationally accepted principles (more…)
The lack of convergence in the energy security policies of India and Bangladesh has impacted the outcome of the Myanmar-Bangladesh-India (MBI) pipeline project. This project, envisaged as an important aspect of the energy security policy of India, has in the past failed to accommodate the needs of Bangladesh; this has resulted in an indefinite delay in project implementation. However, recent changes in the energy scenario of Bangladesh have enabled greater convergence in the energy policies of both countries leading once again to prospects of a revival of the project. Project implementation has also been stalled by the construction of the Myanmar-China pipeline project which consists of dual oil and gas pipelines originate at Kyaukryu port on the west coast of Myanmar and enter China at Yunnan’s border city of Ruili. Competition between the two projects stems from uncertainty regarding just how much gas Myanmar actually has for export. (more…)