DASSK


Local Thai authorities have reportedly cancelled the State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s official visit to the Tham Hin refugee camp in Ratchaburi province on Saturday, according to sources close to the camp administration.

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People living along the Salween River are calling for a review of plans to build mega-dams on the river ahead of an official visit to Thailand by Burma’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi this week.

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After Aung San Suu Kyi lands in Bangkok on June 23 for a three-day visit, her first destination will not be Government House, but Mahachai, a district best known for seafood, 16km south of Bangkok. This coastal town has come to symbolize the Thailand-Myanmar relationship for decades. It has been the backdrop to media stories about human trafficking and slave labor as well as human rights abuses. During her first visit there in November 2012, Suu Kyi pledged to help the workers and urged them to fight for their rights.

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Burma’s Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi and the Labour Ministry plan to solve the issue of illegal Burmese migrant workers by slashing their mandatory “work break” period from three years to 30 days.

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Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-o-cha will not raise the Rohingya issue during Aung San Suu Kyi’s three-days official visit here beginning Thursday saying that it was Myanmar’s internal affairs.

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Since its suspension five years ago, the $3.6 billion Myitsone hydropower project has come to symbolize the bad old days in Myanmar.

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Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has told the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights that the government will avoid using the term “Rohingya” to describe a persecuted Muslim minority in the country’s northwest, an official told Reuters on Monday.

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A meeting to be held between the government and the Delegation for Peace Negotiation (DPN) of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) in Chiang Mai, Thailand set to take place in the third week of June has been postponed.

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Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Daw Aung San Suu Kyi held talks with Indian National Security Adviser Mr. Ajit Doval at her office in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday, state media reported.

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I am sometimes asked by foreign reporters why Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy (NLD) government is “ignoring” the Muslim Rohingya in Arakan State—a minority group suffering from discrimination and the denial of their human rights.

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The West has rejoiced at the election of a new government dominated by the National League for Democracy and headed, in effect, by the party’s leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner. But for the Muslims of western Rakhine State Myanmar’s new era is already turning out to be a disappointment. There is almost certainly worse to come.

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Ever since Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, now state counsellor, admitted to the media that she is not an icon of democracy or a human rights defender so much as a working politician, she has been subjected to relentless criticism.

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The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an alliance of nine ethnic armed groups, has told Burma’s peace delegation that it would like to hold additional talks with lead negotiator Dr. Tin Myo Win before meeting State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi.

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The National League for Democracy (NLD) government pledged to support the private sector to drive Burma’s economy growth and lower the barriers for going into business, said Union Minister for Planning and Finance Kyaw Win on Monday in Rangoon.

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It is four years since religious violence erupted in Rakhine State and a settlement of the conflict between its ethnic Rakhine and Muslim communities remains elusive.

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If asked to draw up a list of today’s democracy icons, seldom would the name Aung San Suu Kyi be excluded. Burma’s long-suffering symbol of democratic hope has won more peace prizes than most can remember, was imprisoned under house arrest in Burma for almost 15 years, bears the personal scars of her country’s oppression at the hands of military criminals, and has served as general secretary of the National League for Democracy (NLD) since the pro-democracy political party was formed in 1988.

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Lee Hsien Loong has asked Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to use her high profile in the international community to boost the status of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations during a visit to Nay Pyi Taw on Tuesday.

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Migrant rights groups are calling for Burma and Thailand to form an agreement that will ensure the process for Burmese migrants renewing documents is not strenuous, timely and expensive.

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On Saturday, some 40 residents of the Kachin State capital Myitkyina staged a brief protest in front of the Palm Spring Resort. They were demanding a permanent halt to the Chinese-funded Myitsone dam and hydropower project in Kachin State.

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State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has taken a leading role in trying to build internal peace, a task she pledged in January would be the “first priority” of her incoming National League for Democracy government.

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