Over a hundred local youths have participated in the campaign against the Shwe Gas Project that was held at the Arakanese traditional New Year’s water festival on 17th of April in Sittwe, the capital town in western Burma’s Arakan State.
A local campaign group known as the Rakkha Ahluntan or Arakan’s Ray, was said to have organized the campaign with its members and participant youths taking to the streets in the town wearing the t-shirts that read “Our Gas Our Future” and singing their traditional antiphonal chants that are composed of negative impacts by the Shwe Gas Project and the peoples’ suffering in Arakan State. (more…)
Community-based organizations (CBOs) along Burma’s borders have said that it is too early to cut humanitarian aid as ethnic ceasefires remain shaky and there is not yet genuine peace in minority areas.
Sai Khur Hseng, the secretary of the Ethnic Community Development Forum, told The Irrawaddy that donors moving funding inside Burma were acting prematurely.
Chiang Mai – Ethnic minority groups in Myanmar are calling on the international community to set stronger benchmarks or steps in the incremental removal of international sanctions, following this week’s announcement by the European Union (EU) to suspend sanctions for a year, retaining only the embargo on arms sales.
Political and economic reforms in Myanmar, fragile as they are, could herald a raft of opportunities for businesses looking for virgin markets. But for some big tech companies like Microsoft, the initial focus is likely to be on an area Southeast Asia has historically been weak in – protecting intellectual property. (more…)
The World Bank announced Thursday it will open an office in Myanmar in June, a quarter century after the emergence of a harsh military junta forced the end of aid programs.
The bank said it would staff the office in Yangon with a new country manager and begin collecting the economic data needed to support a new aid program for the impoverished country. (more…)
Manila – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Friday it was prepared to resume giving financial aid to Myanmar after a 24-year suspension, but only once the government repaid nearly US$500 million (S$620 million) in debt.
ADB president Haruhiko Kuroda said the Manila-based multilateral institution was ready to help the formerly junta-ruled country emerge from decades of economic quagmire, following recent significant political reforms. (more…)
Bangkok – Political reforms unfolding in Myanmar (or Burma) are giving health workers a chance to address a resurgence of drug-resistant falciparum malaria in the war-torn ethnic minority enclaves along the country’s eastern borders.
Chiang Mai – As President Thein Sein’s government strives to earn his long isolated country greater international respectability, its support for militias and their role in narcotics trafficking is one prickly issue his reform agenda has so far failed to address. As Western countries suspend their sanctions and prepare to invest in the country, they will no doubt want assurances that their new ventures are not linked to Myanmar’s still booming drug trade. (more…)
One of Burma’s most infamous suspected drug traffickers, Naw Kham, has been transferred to China for interrogation after his capture by authorities in Laos early on Thursday, according to Thailand-based newspaper the Bangkok Post.
His arrest comes just days after he was included on Thailand’s most wanted list with a two million baht (US $64,000) reward on his head. (more…)
The Democratic Karen Benevolent Army has snubbed allegations made by the Thai government after the kingdom’s narcotics authorities placed a one million baht bounty on the armed group’s leader Na Khan Mwe.
Thailand’s Office of the Narcotics Control Board, which is under the direction of deputy prime minister Chalerm Yubamroong who oversees the country’s anti-narcotic affairs, issued a statement announcing that bounties had been placed on the kingdom’s 25 most wanted drug lords.
Southeast Asian and European foreign ministers meet in Brunei on Friday to chart a “new chapter” in their relations now that democratic reforms are under way in former pariah Myanmar.
Human rights abuses and the harsh suppression of political dissent long made Myanmar a constant thorn in ties between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the international community, including the European Union. (more…)
The United States on Wednesday ruled out an immediate end to its main sanctions on Myanmar, saying it wanted to preserve leverage to push the regime on ending ethnic violence and other key issues.
The European Union and Canada this week suspended most sanctions and Japan waived Myanmar’s debt as rewards after a dramatic year of reforms in which President Thein Sein freed political prisoners and reached out to opponents. (more…)
London – Britain will open a new branch of its Foreign Office in Myanmar, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Thursday, after Prime Minister David Cameron made a landmark trip to the former pariah state.
The Foreign Office will establish a ‘British interests office’ in Myanmar’s new capital Naypyidaw, Mr Hague said in a written statement to lawmakers.
Luminaries smelled blood. Hillary Clinton, Kevin Rudd, and David Cameron came and went, openly advocating for continued democratic reform. All met with Ms. Aung Sun Suu Kyi.
In the aftermath of grandiose state visits from such luminaries to Burma (officially known as Myanmar), Aung Sun Suu Kyi and military leaders face a long and difficult task to bring about political, social, and economic reforms in a country that has remained under a brutal military junta and isolated from most of the world since 1960.
Bangkok — The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) today called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to ensure it works swiftly to implement a legally binding ASEAN Framework Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. It also called on the governments of Thailand and Myanmar to improve coordination with each other and civil society organisations to ensure the effective implementation of the 2008 Anti-Trafficking Law and to ensure legal mechanisms are drafted and implemented to ensure the rights of migrant workers are protected.
Burma/Myanmar – Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, will travel to Burma/Myanmar from 28 to 30 April. She will inaugurate the Office of the European Union to Burma/Myanmar in Yangon on 28 April and hold meetings with President U Thein Sein as well as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. (more…)
A political stalemate preventing the long-awaited parliamentary debut of Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi coincides with an apparent attempt by the powerful military to bolster its influence in the legislature. (more…)
Chiang Mai – Three people were injured when a bomb exploded near the Myitkyina People’s Hospital in Myitkyina on Wednesday in Kachin State. (more…)
Burma’s first broadcast media law is being drafted and will likely be implemented by the end of this year. (more…)
Khayin Khwa, Myanmar — The beaches of this southern Burmese archipelago are postcard perfect, easily fulfilling the clichés of a tropical paradise: Ribbons of white sand glow in the bright sun, all framed by the azure waters of a coral-filled sea. (more…)
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