Burma’s president Thein Sein is in Jakarta to attend the 2015 Asian-African Conference (AAC).

Joining the president’s delegation are Information Minister Ye Htut and the newly appointed Information Permanent Secretary Tint Swe, according to the Ministry of Information. (more…)

Burmese activists were outraged to learn late last week that the government had entered into a year-long public relations contract with a Washington-based lobbying firm worth US$840,000. Some took their disgust to social media, begging such legitimate questions as: “If reform is genuine and sincere, why would they need to hire a PR firm?”

A US blacklisted lawmaker is leading a delegation of Burmese banking reformers to Germany this week for a study of financial institutions, a move meant to encourage development of Burma’s dilapidated banking sector.

A host of Japanese companies are entering Myanmar. Japanese software developer Acroquest Technology in 2012 set up a branch in the country, which is often called Asia’s last frontier. (more…)

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged his support for Burma’s peace process as Naypyidaw officials paid a visit to Tokyo.

The UK Government must investigate the British-Australian mining company Rio Tinto over a possible breach of EU economic sanctions on Burma, Amnesty International said ahead of the company’s annual shareholder meeting in London today (16 April). (more…)

Myanmar has set a modest target of attracting US$6 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the current fiscal year, with strong optimism that the target would be surpassed as in the previous year. (more…)

Amnesty International
International Secretariat
Peter Benenson House, 1 Easton Street
London WC1X ODW, United Kingdom

Thein Sein
President’s Office
Nay Pyi Taw
Republic of the Union of Myanmar

14 April 2015

Your Excellency,


I am writing to urge you, as President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, not to sign into law the Population Control Healthcare Bill or any other legislation which would entrench discrimination on religious and gender grounds or which could result in other human rights violations, including the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the right to privacy, children’s rights and the right to freedom of expression. (more…)

US President Barack Obama said Washington is concerned China is using its “sheer size and muscle” to push around smaller nations in the South China Sea, just hours after Beijing gave a detailed defense of its creation of artificial islands in the contested waterway. (more…)

Russian Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) is currently negotiating the possible cooperation with Myanmar over the supply of the advance nuclear technologies for the country to be able to increase its generating capacities.

Russia is holding preliminary negotiations with Myanmar over the supply of advanced nuclear technologies.

“Talks are being held with Myanmar on the creation of favorable conditions for the supply of advanced nuclear technologies to the country; the favorable conditions include the preparation of the legal framework and training of personnel,” Rosatom’s Deputy Director General Kirill Komarov said at the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum in Tokyo.

“Those are preliminary negotiations,” he stressed, “but like many other countries of the Asia-Pacific region, Myanmar is interested in increasing its generating capacities and could resort to the construction of a nuclear power plant.”

Earlier in March another Deputy Director General of Rosatom, Nikolay Spassky, visited Myanmar. Following his visit, the country’s Minister for Information Ye Htut confirmed that the country is interested in the peaceful use of nuclear energy in cooperation with Russia.

In May 2007 the two governments signed an intergovernmental cooperation agreement to establish a “nuclear studies” center in Myanmar, which will include a 10-megawatt, light water-moderated nuclear reactor.

The center also will include a medical isotope production laboratory and nuclear waste treatment and burial facilities. In addition, Russian universities will train 300–350 specialists for the center.

Two Japanese and one Singaporean bank will become the first foreign banks to operate in Myanamar for decades when they open branches on April 23, as the country emerges from a long phase of economic isolation, state media reported Thursday.

The executive officer of the operator of the sunken Russian trawler in which at least 56 crew members perished is on the run, according to the Burmese embassy in Moscow. His deputy has reportedly been arrested, while the company’s assets have been frozen.

The number of Myanmar fishermen confirmed dead in a Russian trawler disaster climbed to 16 yesterday, as rescue ships carrying survivors and the bodies of victims recovered from the wreckage arrived at port.

The families of those sailors who died in the western Pacific when a fishing trawler sank have been offered compensation of one million roubles (US$18,600) by the Russian government.

After a Russian trawler crewed in part by 42 Myanmar fishermen sank in a tragic disaster last week, the veil was lifted on a duplicitous recruitment scheme that has for years profited by illegally tricking labourers onto fishing boats, The Myanmar Times has learned.

The British mining firm Aurasian Minerals Plc (AuM) announced in an update to shareholders in January that this past December it had delivered “three applications for mineral exploration licenses to the Myanmar Mining Authorities.” Though the firm did not say where in Burma these applications were made it did reveal that the applications were made in areas that according to the company there exists “jade and gem mining concessions”.

The United States said on Tuesday Myanmar’s failure to amend a military-drafted constitution raised questions about the credibility of reforms, but did not go so far as to say it would undermine the legitimacy of upcoming elections.

Century Plyboards was not affected by Myanmar’s timber export ban because it had set up a semi-processed peeling facility in Myanmar last year, reports Live Mint on April 5.

Japanese automaker Suzuki plans to invest tens of millions of dollars to build a second plant in Myanmar, seeking to make quick inroads in the country’s growing market, a report said Saturday.


Cardinal  Charles Maung Bo yesterday called on all sides in Myanmar’s long-running ethnic conflicts to implement a genuine ceasefire without resorting to the pillaging by “international looters and cronies” of natural resources that has marked past efforts to end decades of conflict.

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