International


The United Nations agency for refugees has expressed alarm at reports suggesting that Malaysia turned back two boats with 800 “vulnerable” people from Myanmar and Bangladesh.
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Australia has not been asked to help rescue thousands of asylum seekers from Myanmar abandoned at sea.
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One of the world’s most beautiful regions, the seas of Southeast Asia — home to sparkling white beaches and $7,000-a-night beach villas — is becoming a scene of a mass atrocity.
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Closing borders and pushbacks have led to death, abuses.

Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia should immediately coordinate search and rescue operations for Rohingya asylum seekers and possible survivors of trafficking from Myanmar and Bangladesh who are stranded at sea, Fortify Rights said today. The governments of these three countries should open their borders to asylum seekers and provide survivors with access to asylum procedures, protection from detention and forced returns, and freedom of movement.
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While the military continues its attacks on ethnic rebels in Burma’s north, the country’s Commander-in-Chief, Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, has been out of the country in recent days. After meeting with his Pakistani counterpart in Islamabad, he toured the offices of Heavy Industries Taxila, a major regional defense contractor. In Serbia, he sat down for discussions with Yugoimport SDPR, a state-owned weapons exporter. Both businesses specialize in the sale of tanks, armored personnel carriers and heavy artillery.
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A new mining law that would clarify rules and ease restrictions for foreign investors looking to tap into the lucrative sector remains frozen in Myanmar’s legislature, said an official from the country’s Ministry of Mines.
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Myanmar’s parliament has approved borrowing a loan of 400 million U.S. dollars from the World Bank for implementing some people-centered projects for rural people, official media reported Wednesday.
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Malaysia and Indonesia have vowed to turn back any boats carrying migrants that enter their waters, as the UN calls for “a massive international search and rescue operation” in the Andaman Sea and Straits of Malacca.
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Tariffs applied to imported goods will soon be valued using World Trade Organisation (WTO) standards, though awareness is low among traders about how this will work, according to experts.
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UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards, speaking on May 8 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, has voiced alarm over the growing number of people fleeing Myanmar and Bangladesh by sea.
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Canada’s religious freedom ambassador denounced the persecution of Muslims in Myanmar and urged Canadian businesses eager to find opportunities in that resource-rich country to respect human rights.
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The European Union (EU) ambassador to Burma, Roland Kobia, told journalists in Rangoon on Thursday that the EU regretted the events in which riot police cracked down violently on students’ protests in Letpadan in March, but denied that the EU was responsible.
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KFC one of the world’s largest fast food outlets is set to enter Myanmar. The U.S. chain’s local business partner, Yoma Strategic, has announced it intends to open it first restaurant in Yangon, although no date as yet been set. A statement issued by the group stated that it will be ‘the first major American quick service restaurant to establish a foothold in Myanmar.’Yoma Strategic said it planned to open several more restaurants in the city.
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Six years ago, Jon North started collecting data on Myanmar. He bought maps, secured satellite imagery and started scouting. He has travelled the world kicking rocks, and liked what he saw in the Southeast Asian nation.
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Burma Army Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing flew out of Rangoon on Wednesday to pay official visits to Pakistan and Serbia, according to state-run media. Defense sources in Burma indicated the traveling military delegation was comprised of other top brass, including those believed to be involved in purchasing arms and other military hardware. Only last week, Min Aung Hlaing met with a Pakistani delegation led by Brigadier-General Muhammad Aneeq Ur Rehman Malik in Naypyidaw. In 2013, reports surfaced that about 20 Burmese naval officers had received submarine familiarization and training in Pakistan. Further fueling speculation that Burma was looking to develop a submarine capability, it was also reported that during his visit to Russia in June 2013, Min Aung Hlaing expressed an interest in purchasing two 3,000-ton Kilo-class diesel-powered submarines.
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Myanmar, long one of the world’s least connected nations in terms of telecommunications, is now racing to catch up, providing a boost to the foreign mobile companies allowed into the country last year. (more…)

Singapore’s United Oversea Bank will help develop Myanmar’s energy, manufacturing, construction and tourism services, officials told Mizzima on May 4.
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Washington. A senior US official met the head of Myanmar’s ruling party and parliamentary speaker on Monday and expressed concerns about race and religion bills critics say discriminate against minority Muslims.
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The U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom says Myanmar is facing a serious challenge regarding equality of non-Buddhists in the country.
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Conditions in Burma are ripe for genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum states in a new report. (more…)

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