International


On his just completed trip to Asia, President Barack Obama announced in Hanoi that he was ending the decades-old embargo on U.S. arms sales to Vietnam, one of the last regional policy relics of the Cold War.

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The Burma Campaign UK has called for the NLD-led government to abide by the United Nations ruling that Lahpai Gam is detained illegally and release him immediately, according to a statement on 26 May.

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The European Union has renewed its sanctions on Myanmar until 30 April 2017. The measures impose an embargo on providing Myanmar with arms and goods that might be used for internal repression.

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In an exclusive interview, Ambassador of France Mr Olivier Richard sat down with Mizzima Editor-in-Chief Soe Myint to discuss his country’s relationship with Myanmar and his hope for expanding business, trade and cultural ties.

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Just weeks after parliament approved closer Myanmar-Russia military relations – with some MPs saying it would help to “upgrade” the Tatmadaw – President U Htin Kyaw shook hands with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin at the Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi.

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Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s foreign minister and de facto leader, met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in the country’s new capital on Sunday, cementing ties with the promise of completing what has been a trying transition from dictatorship to democracy.

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During a press conference today in Nay Pyi Taw with visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry, Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi called on the country’s “well-wishers” for patience as the government tries to tackle the controversial problem of the Muslim “Rohingya” or “Bengali” community living in Rakhine State.

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Fighting in northern Burma between government forces and ethnic armed groups has intensified in recent days, even as a European Union delegation visits the region to learn more about the multiple conflicts that continue to displace thousands of civilians.

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Last week the Obama administration extended economic sanctions against Burma for another year saying the step is necessary despite the progress on democratic reforms.

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During a press conference at the US Embassy today in Yangon, US Ambassador Mr Scot Marcel discussed the intentions behind Washington’s decision announced this week to ease US sanctions on Myanmar.

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An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Mr. Yongzheng Yang visited Myanmar during May 12?20 to assess macroeconomic developments and discuss economic policies with the authorities. The team met with the Governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) U Kyaw Kyaw Maung, Deputy Governors U Set Aung, Daw Khin Saw Oo, and U Soe Min, and Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Planning and Finance U Maung Maung Win, and other senior officials. The team also held discussions with parliamentarians and private sector representatives.

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Standing among the party seeing off Burma‘s new president as he left for Russia on Wednesday was leading businessman Htun Myint Naing, better known as Steven Law.

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With the aim to address the challenges and opportunities faced by adolescent groups and encourage their engagement in the current development process of Myanmar, ActionAid Myanmar – in cooperation with UNICEF and various civil society organizations under the lead of Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, are holding a National Adolescents’ Conference in Nay Pyi Taw from 18 -19 May.

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In wake of the extension of most of the US sanctions on Burma on Tuesday, several cronies have remained on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list, despite the expectation that they would be removed.

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The UNAIDS country coordinator has urged the Myanmar government, legislative bodies and people, not to discriminate against the LGBT community and to treat them in a dignified manner.

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A top State Department official said on Wednesday that the United States wants to see rights granted equally to all people in Burma, including the stateless Rohingya Muslims of restive Arakan State, also known as Rakhine.

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Obama administration officials on Tuesday said they would lift a broad array of sanctions on Myanmar, removing restrictions on state-owned banks and businesses as they seek to reward a historic move toward democracy in a country dominated for decades by brutal military rule.

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The world’s largest data leak – the Panama Papers – has revealed a secretive network of offshore jurisdictions used by some of the most wealthy to stash assets, subvert sanctions, launder money and evade taxes. An extensive database detailing companies and businesspeople involved in the leak holds 16 names from Myanmar, including CB Bank chair U Khin Maung Aye and former dictator U Ne Win’s son-in-law U Aye Zaw Win.

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The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will help the Myanmar Police Force (MPF) upgrade its training curriculum, state media reported on 17 May quoting Jeremy Douglas the UNODC’s resident representative to Myanmar.

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The US will be careful in its choice of wording and avoid inflaming tensions with the term “Rohingya”, American ambassador Scot Marciel reportedly told Thura U Shwe Mann.
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