September 2013


About 10 policemen have been hospitalised in Naypyidaw after a clash with residents in the Pyinmana suburb of Wegyi early on Thursday morning. The incident happened when police raided the house of a local National League for Democracy (NLD) member to arrest him for allegedly supporting local farmers who had defiantly begun ploughing land previously confiscated from them.
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In other parts of the world, people read the International Herald Tribune (IHT) over their morning coffee. The paper’s subscribers in Burma’s former capital, however, usually get their daily delivery after lunch, and sometimes later.
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Government plans to substitute the current paper National Registration Card issued to Burmese citizens with a “smarter” digital identification card remain on the books, but cost concerns and the nation’s underdeveloped infrastructure are holding back a rollout.
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National League for Democracy (NLD) patron Tin Oo urged people to refrain from violence during a memorial speech to mark Win Maw Oo’s 25th death anniversary on September 19.
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Dawei residents have threatened to resume cultivation in farmlands around the Dawei –  Kanchanaburi highway construction project area if their demand for compensation is not met by September end.
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Rice rations for many of the more than 120,000 Burmese refugees living on the Thai-Burma border will be reduced, due to a reduction in funding for a humanitarian organization that has provided food for them for more than two decades.
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Burma’s Central Bank chairman confirmed recent claims that the government holds billions of dollars of foreign reserves in overseas bank accounts. He said on Friday that a total US $7.6 billion was kept offshore by Burmese state-owned and private banks.
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Chin political parties and residents are calling for transparency over a Chinese-backed project, with some warning that the project could lead to a repeat of the unrest seen at the Letpadaung copper mine.
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Myanmar has approved more foreign direct investment in the past five months than all of last year, but companies setting up operations in the hot frontier market face a growing problem: Southeast Asia’s highest office rental rates.
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Nissan Motor Co will start complete knock down production of the Sunny sedan in Myanmar with a Malaysian partner in 2015, it said on Friday, becoming the first major global carmaker to assemble cars in the Southeast Asian country.

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Myanmar’s Monywa copper mine is located in the country’s northwestern Sagaing province and used to be operated by Canadian Ivanhoe Mining companies. In 2010, Wanbao took over the project. The copper mine consists of the Letpadaung mine (L mine), Sabetaung mine (S mine), Sabetaung South mine (SS mine), and the Kyisintaung mine (K mine). Letpadaung is a new mine that started in March 2012, but was suspended due to protests by local villagers. On March 12 this year, the Investigation Commission headed by Aung San Suu Kyi announced its conclusion that the Letpadaung project should continue upon the adoption of improvement measures. Since then, the schedule for the project’s resumption has become a focus of all parties. This reporter visited the Monywa copper mine to study the issue. (more…)

(unofficial translation)

Yunnan International of CPI attended the 2013 Myanmar Energy Investment Summit and Exhibition as a main sponsor and participant of the exhibition. The goal is to build a good company image in Myanmar, further familiarize the public with the real story of the Irrawaddy project and strengthen communications on issues of broad public interest, and win the understanding and support of all parties. At the summit, the company was invited to deliver a special presentation on the strategic design of Myanmar’s power industry. The presentation forecasts the future development and direction of Myanmar’s power industry at a strategic level. The company elaborated on the importance and necessity of building the dam to develop the hydropower resources on the upper stream of the Irrawaddy river for the development of Myanmar’s power industry. Through this summit, the company conveyed the good will to increase transparency and communications with all parties in Myanmar. The public relations campaign is effective. (more…)

(unofficial translation)

According to a recent report by Myanmar media, the Kyaukphyu – Kunming railway that will link the deep-water port in Rhakine state with China might be completed in 2015. The Railway is an extension of the Kyaukphyu- Ruili Transportation Plan and will be linked to the Myanmar national railway currently under construction.
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The United States on Thursday welcomed Myanmar’s signing of an agreement with the U.N. atomic watchdog that will require it to declare any nuclear activities and allow inspections — the latest step by the former pariah nation toward openness.
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When they were unveiled in May, the United States government’s Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements were touted by Washington as the cornerstone of the Obama Administration’s policy for transparent business reengagement with Myanmar.
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The work of British writer George Orwell still resonates with readers around the world today. When the recent National Security Agency scandal broke in the United States after revelations by fugitive former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, sales of his novels including “1984” and “Animal Farm” shot up the best seller ranks.
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From 11-12 September 2013, an ethnic delegation led by Saw Htoo Htoo Lay, Saw Ta Doh Moo from the Karen National Union, Sai La, Sai Ngeun from the Restoration Council of Shan State, Lian Sakhong from the Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies, and Harn Yawnghwe from the Euro-Burma Office met with the government’s peace making technical team led by Hla Maung Shwe. The meeting was the first major step towards solidifying the peace process and creating a substantial nationwide ceasefire agreement based on the framework created by the Working Group for Ethnic Coordination.
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Myanmar is at a critical juncture for harnessing the forces of economic growth in a way that ensures that everyone can benefit. To achieve these goals, it’s necessary for Myanmar to place gender equality and women’s empowerment at the center of national development plans.
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An exile women’s rights group will for the first time co-host an event in Burma when the Women’s Forum (Burma/Myanmar) kicks off in Rangoon on Friday.
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More than 100 Buddhist monks joined local Rangoon residents to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the 2007 Saffron Revolution on Wednesday.
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