News


Stung by criticism after one of its members refused to credit the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government of Aung San Suu Kyi with securing the release of dozens of student activists last Friday, the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU) has issued a statement expressing gratitude for the move.
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Miss Universe Myanmar finalist Ei Phyo Thwe was killed Monday morning in an accident on the Rangoon-Mandalay Highway, dubbed Burma’s “Death Highway” for its high rate of traffic fatalities among motorists traveling between the country’s two biggest cities.
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Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s new de facto leader, has undergone an eye operation for cataracts.
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Thousands of acres of confiscated land in Mon State are being returned by the military and other government departments. A total of 16,527 acres in ten townships has been pegged for return to rightful owners.
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Newly appointed Rakhine State minister Kyaw Lwin says he will not accept the decision to dismiss him from the Arakan National Party (ANP) for accepting the ministerial job from the National League for Democracy (NLD).

The ANP announced that it would not take ministerial posts in the state government if it were not allowed to select the chief minister and appoint the cabinet. The ANP won a large majority of Rakhine State seats but the 2008 Constitution says that the central government can appoint the chief ministers and cabinet. The NLD won only eight Rakhine State parliamentary seats.

MP Kyaw Lwin accepted the state-level minister for agriculture, livestock, mining and forestry post in the NLD-led administration of MP Nyi Pyu. The ANP central executive committee (CEC) then dismissed him from the party.

Kyaw Lwin, ANP chairman for Ramree Township and also a CEC member, was elected for Ramree last November.

He said he made the decision to accept the job with difficultly after his constituents urged him to do so and threatened to unseat him if he refused.

“The party has not informed me yet. They cannot dismiss me from the party because I am a CEC member. I will stand as a member of the ANP, whatever they say. I will represent the party and will not break its policies. I will cooperate with the NLD if its policies are the same. It wants Rakhine State to develop and so do I,” said Kyaw Lwin.

The Arakan League for Democracy and Rakhine National Development Party founded the ANP, although Kyaw Lwin came from a third party.

“He is downgrading our party’s dignity besides he broke the rules and regulations. He shamed the Rakhine people. The voters are thinking we cannot control our members,” said Tun Aung Kyaw, ANP general secretary.

Link: http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/local/anp-rebel-refuses-accept-dismissal

Chinese Firm Gets Go Ahead for $3b Dawei Refinery.

A massive Chinese government-backed project to build an oil refinery in southern Burma was among the dozens of deals rushed through by the previous government before it left power at the end of March.
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The financial Investigation Unit (FIU) is stepping up its awareness-raising activities to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in Myanmar.
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After each typhoon, earthquake or flood in disaster-prone Southeast Asia, well-meaning individuals and groups donate infant formula, not realising the dangers it can pose to children in a crisis, aid workers say.
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Authorities in Thailand’s Ratchaburi Province have helped 17 migrant factory workers from Burma who are victims of human trafficking.
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The European Union has welcomed the release of student protesters in Myanmar, according to a statement issued April 9.
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US ambassador Scot Marciel said Washington would help end Myanmar’s many civil wars, according to representatives of ethnic armed groups who met him on April 7 in Yangon.
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It has been a long, hard road, but Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is finally set to assume the role of Myanmar’s top civilian leader. Her National League for Democracy party won a landslide victory last November in the country’s first free election in a quarter century. But a provision in Myanmar’s military-drafted Constitution barred Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, from becoming president because her children are British citizens.
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On 30 March, Htin Kyaw, a long-time adviser and ally of Aung San Suu Kyi – whose National League for Democracy party achieved a historic victory in recent elections – became the first elected civilian to hold office in Myanmar since the army took over in 1962.
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Aung San Suu Kyi’s first official duty as Myanmar’s foreign minister after her National League for Democracy took government was fittingly to meet her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi (??). No country is as economically important to the newly democratic nation as China, nor as significant for its development. For Beijing, there are also strategic, security and cultural reasons to be quick to ensure good relations. It is in the interests of both that the pragmatism on show throughout the visit remains a mainstay of ties.
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Kyaw Zwa Moe: Welcome to Dateline Irrawaddy! This week, we’ll discuss the State Counselor Bill, which the National League for Democracy (NLD) submitted to Parliament last week, as well as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s guidelines for civil servants accepting gifts. Lawyer U Ko Ni and former Lower House lawmaker U Ye Htun, from Hsipaw Township, will join me for the discussion. I’m Irrawaddy English editor Kyaw Zwa Moe.
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Some say that the economic policies of the National League for Democracy (NLD) are too general and have imperfections. What do you think? Will these policies improve economic growth?
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Sai Thiha Kyaw is a two-term lawmaker in the lower house of Burma’s parliament representing Mongyai Township in northern Shan State.
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Myanmar’s new government released scores of jailed activists on Friday, just over a week after assuming power, and said it was preparing to pardon 100 more people serving sentences for political offences.
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Amid news of charges being cleared against political detainees, in a court in Mandalay’s Chanayethazan Township, two Muslim interfaith activists were sentenced to two more years in prison—with labor—on Friday for allegedly associating with unlawful organizations.
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The Burma Army is continuing to send reinforcements into Wan Hai, headquarters of the Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) in Shan State’s Kyethi Township, said an SSPP/SSA central executive committee member.
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