International


A resource centre, which will help government staff learn how to collect and analyse data, has opened in Kyaukse Township, Mandalay Region according to a United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) media release on 1 July.
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End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF’s Executive Board for discussion and decision.

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These days most global corporations with reputations to defend know the risks of operating in countries where corruption is rife, and there’s a history of oppression, conflict and abuse. So they take advice on operating responsibly, spend fortunes on due diligence and put in place all sorts of human rights, environmental, and anti-corruption policies. This means they can do business safe in the knowledge that the companies they work with won’t harm local people or the environment. Importantly for them, they won’t attract criticism internationally or locally – right? (more…)

KFC will officially open its doors to Myanmar on 7 July with its first restaurant across from Bogyoke Aung San Market, but will begin serving the internationally acclaimed fried chicken to the country’s blossoming middle class on June 30.
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China will hold more than a quarter of the votes in the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), its finance ministry said on Monday, giving it a veto in some key decisions despite Beijing insisting it will not have such powers.
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Rapid growth in the multi-billion dollar volunteer tourism industry has prompted calls for tighter controls with concerns over exposing vulnerable communities to unskilled foreign labor and dodgy operators exploiting foreigners for profit. (more…)

Human rights watchdog, Freedom House issued a statement condemning the contempt of court charges filed against 17 journalists in Burma saying that the charges were an indication of the lack of press freedom in Burma.
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Myanmar is pursuing a narrative that rests on dubious evidence.

The firebrand Buddhist monk, U Wirathu, frequently remarks that Islam poses an existential threat to Myanmar. A central tenet of this argument is the citation of one Muslim militant organization, the Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO). The RSO is often accused of being responsible for coordinated attacks against the Myanmar Defense Services, as well having international links to terrorist organizations that seek to promote jihad in Myanmar. Indeed, these organizations have claimed they are supporting local resistance groups and exporting jihad to Myanmar’s shores. This policy brief questions the credibility of the narrative that the Rohingya pose an extremist Islamic threat, arguing that attention should be focused instead on resolving the plight of the Rohingya and attenuating their grievances.
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A joint statement of Mongolia and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar was released during a state visit of the Myanmar’s President Mr Thein Sein to Mongolia on Monday.
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As classmates from the Bush Institute’s ‘Liberty and Leadership Forum’ in Dallas celebrated their graduation yesterday, one scholar was notably absent. Burmese student activist Phyo Phyo Aung is currently languishing in prison, accused of involvement in protests in her home country.
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The United States said on Friday that an effective legislative veto held by Myanmar’s military was undemocratic and reiterated calls for changes to the constitution, a day after lawmakers from the armed forces bloc rejected any significant amendments to the charter.
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The United States on Thursday voiced concern about “significant human rights problems” in Myanmar, shining a light notably on persistent abuses against the minority Rohingya Muslims.
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Sources in domestic business circles have welcomed a recent call for British companies to consider investing in Burma’s skills sector, with the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) office saying a dearth of qualified workers could be remedied, in part, by British education and training enterprises.
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Burma’s President Thein Sein is scheduled to make an official state visit to Mongolia later this month, at the invitation of Mongolian President Taskhiagiin Elbegdorj.
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The governments of Thailand and Burma should immediately end discrimination and other rights abuses against the Moken, sea nomads who are among the few remaining hunter-gatherer populations in Southeast Asia, Human Rights Watch said in a new report today. Approximately 3,000 Moken live mostly on small boats within the Mergui archipelago along Burma’s southern coast, while another 800 are settled in Thailand.
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The UAE Embassy in Thailand has implemented the Iftar Project, organised by the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, in one of the largest refugee camps on the border between Thailand and Myanmar.
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Swiss diplomats have been helping Myanmar draw up a democratic code of good conduct for the southeast nation’s 73 political parties. This comes as the country gears up for a historic election in November, the first free vote in 25 years.
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Southeast Asia’s lawless “Golden Triangle” region remains the overwhelming source of the heroin and methamphetamine sold in China, the country’s Cabinet said in a report issued Wednesday.
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Fifteen local and foreign companies were granted approval by the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) in June, taking the total number of companies approved this fiscal year to 123, according to U Aung Naing Oo, secretary of the MIC.
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The Federation of ASEAN Travel Associations (FATA) has called on ASEAN countries to waive entry visa requirements for travelers among the 10 nations, as well as from China, Japan and South Korea, in order to boost the regional tourism industry, FATA’s president told The Irrawaddy this week.
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