ASEAN


Aung San Suu Kyi will land in Bangkok for the first time since her triumphant 2015 election victory on June 23. Her Thai military hosts know something about elections: They tend not to respect their outcomes.

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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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Rights groups are calling on the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to make greater progress in settling about 7,000 Muslim Myanmar refugees a year after they were rescued after being abandoned at sea by traffickers.

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Ever since the electoral triumph of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Myanmar, speculation has been growing about its foreign policy — how much continuity and change will occur — under the new government relative to its predecessors.

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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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Myanmar’s Union Parliament has approved Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), parliament sources said Tuesday.

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The plight of the Rohingya people in Myanmar has attracted the world’s attention for years. In May 2015, the Rohingya refugee crisis grabbed international headlines when tens of thousands of Rohingya fled from Myanmar’s state-sponsored persecution in overcrowded boats heading toward Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

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President U Htin Kyaw, met Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin yesterday during his visit to attend a Summit commemorating the 20th anniversary of ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partner Relations, state media reported.

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Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw left Yangon Wednesday to attend the two-day ASEAN-Russia Commemorative Summit in Sochi.

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Myanmar’s President Htin Kyaw made his first state visit to Laos on Friday, accompanied by Myanmar’s de facto leader State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, for a meeting with Lao President Bounnhang Vorachith at the presidential palace in Vientiane.
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The labour ministers of Burma and Thailand have agreed to proceed with a labour cooperation plan to import migrant workers through a government-to-government agreement, says a senior Thai ministry official.
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FOR the first time in its history, there will be a Nobel Peace laureate and the world’s most famous political icon in the family of the Asean Ministerial Meeting (AMM), which serves as the Asean annual meeting.
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Myanmese Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi addressed foreign diplomats and laid out a new vision of Myanmar’s foreign policy in the capital Nay Pyi Taw on Friday. After winning a general election in November by a landslide, the National League for Democracy (NLD) formed the first civilian government since 1962.
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Ten Myanmar migrant workers are currently being detained against their will in a human-trafficking centre near Bangkok, according to a rights group. The men were identified as human-trafficking victims by Thai authorities.
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Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon will raise the Rohingya issue with his Myanmar counterpart in a bilateral meeting in Moscow this month.
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For the first time in the history of ASEAN, there will be a Nobel peace laureate and the world’s most famous political icon in the AMM (ASEAN Ministerial Meeting or the ASEAN annual meeting) family. Myanmar’s new Foreign Minister Aung Sun Suu Kyi needs to know a few things about the organization, which she has had a dreadful relationship with. Of course, before she attends the first AMM on 22-23 July in Vientiane, she should come up with an overall policy towards ASEAN as a precursor to her future numerous ASEAN-related meetings in the next five years. Laos said that there would be at least one thousand meetings—in comparison to 2004 when Laos chaired and hosted about 400 meetings.
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Burma, once isolated regionally and globally, is rapidly opening up with ongoing political reforms. Foreign affairs representatives from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in particular are now anticipating a relationship with a new Burmese counterpart. Yet she is no stranger to them: the foreign minister is also the country’s charismatic leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.
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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has long been envisioned as a foundation stone for stability, security and increased prosperity in Asia. But with uncertainty plaguing the political systems of Myanmar, Malaysia, and Thailand, ASEAN may be entering a period of policy and diplomatic inertia. At a time when China’s economic downturn and unilateral territorial claims are posing serious challenges to the region, ASEAN’s weakness could prove highly dangerous.
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Myanmar’s extremely disappointing response to its second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN confirmed the outgoing government’s unwillingness to address the country’s key human rights challenges, FIDH and its member organization ALTSEAN-Burma said March 17.
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Seven international human rights groups on Wednesday urged the Thai government to better protect the rights of refugees, asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking in the Southeast Asian country, which has for years been dogged by criticism for its handling of these populations, including many Burmese.
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