International


Burma’s President Thein Sein should refuse to sign into law the discriminatory interfaith marriage bill passed by parliament on July 7, 2015, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill targets Buddhist women who marry – or seek to marry – non-Buddhist men and introduces vaguely defined acts against Buddhism as grounds for divorce, forfeiture of custody and matrimonial property, and potential criminal penalties.
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The estranged wife of Burma’s best-known ‘crony’ Tay Za has been removed from The United States Treasury’s list of Special Designated Nationals, known commonly as the “US Blacklist”.
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A controversial Burmese marriage bill is discriminatory and risks undermining democratic progress, the European Union (EU) said, after parliament passed the legislation this week in another sign of hardline Buddhist nationalist influence.
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The U.S. Treasury Department removed sanctions on the wife of a Myanmar businessman, a deceased former Myanmar premier and on three men who were indicted in international court for atrocities they allegedly committed in the former Yugoslavia.
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A controversial Myanmar marriage bill is discriminatory and risks undermining democratic progress, the EU said, after parliament passed the legislation this week in another sign of hardline Buddhist nationalist influence.
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Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor Thursday morning to express frustration about the pace of change in Myanmar.
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Myanmar’s parliament is “playing with fire” by passing a bill regulating the right of women from the country’s Buddhist majority to marry men from outside their religion, an international human rights group said Wednesday according to a report by ABC on 8 July.
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Myanmar has ratified the chemical weapons convention, bringing the treaty a step closer to its goal of acceptance by every country in the world.
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The Swiss government is among a number of European donors supporting development and human rights in Burma, particularly in the conflict-affected southeastern region. Since opening an Embassy in the former capital Rangoon in 2012, Switzerland has primarily focused its assistance on support for Burma’s peace process and upcoming general election. Switzerland is also the current chair of the Peace Donor Support Group, an aid coordination network formed by foreign governments and NGOs.
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The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the killing of Mr. Johnny.

URGENT APPEAL – THE OBSERVATORY

MMR 003 / 0715 / OBS 057
Assassination
Burma / Myanmar
July 9, 2015

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Burma / Myanmar.
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FPT, Vietnam’s leading technology company, said on Wednesday it has secured a licence to provide fixed telecoms and internet services in Myanmar, becoming the first 100-percent foreign-owned firm to operate in the field there.
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Myanmar’s parliament is “playing with fire” by passing a bill regulating the right of women from the country’s Buddhist majority to marry men from outside their religion, an international human rights group said Wednesday.
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Japan, Myanmar, and Thailand have signed an agreement for the mutual development of the Dawei Special Economic Zone in Myanmar, IHS Maritime reported on 6 July.
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The story of a family from western Myanmar that was torn apart during a regional migration crisis, published in The New York Times on Monday, has elicited an outpouring of response from readers who want to help them and other members of the Rohingya ethnic group.
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The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution proposed by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Myanmar titled “Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar” on Friday.
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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday said it recommended the Central Bank of Myanmar’s official reference rate should reflect market conditions, and close the gap with the unofficial market rate.
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Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola has confirmed that a director of Coca-Cola Pinya Beverages Myanmar (CCPBM) is also a director and minority shareholder in Xie Family Company, which it says operates a local jade business – an industry sanctioned by the US government.
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A belated Thai clampdown on illegal fishing is forcing unlicensed vessels ashore, threatening to paralyse a key industry as the kingdom desperately tries to avoid a European Union ban on exports worth $1 billion a year.
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The World Bank has upgraded Bangladesh, Kenya, Myanmar, and Tajikistan to its lower middle income classification from least developed countries (LDCs) while South Sudan has fallen back into the low-income group.
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International aid donors are falling short on commitments to provide open data on their spending and operations in developing countries, according to a report released in Washington on Wednesday.
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