International


Burma’s new government will face challenges releasing political prisoners and reforming the system responsible for their continued existence when it assumes power next week, says an Amnesty International report released on Thursday.
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Today, Amnesty International released the report New expression meets old repression. Here is a look at some of the key numbers behind the growing crackdown on freedom of expression in Myanmar.
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Myanmar’s central bank has allowed diplomatic corps to open foreign currency accounts in local private banks, according to an announcement of the bank Wednesday.
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Foreign investors have turned their attention to multi-million-dollar projects in Myanmar’s healthcare industry after being shut out for years, encouraged by the country’s growing base of customers with money to spend.
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The UN refugee agency has urged the new Burmese leadership to resume dialogue with Thailand and the UNHCR to end the decades-long saga of refugees along the border and give priority to the ethnic Rohingya issue as part of their nation-building process.
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The U.S. State Department said on Monday it had determined that Myanmar is persecuting its Rohingya Muslims, but the government’s treatment of the religious minority group does not constitute genocide.
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The European Union says it will stop funding the Myanmar Peace Center (MPC) from the end of this month and has sought assurances that assets procured with EU money will not disappear.
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During the Thein Sein presidency from the 2011-12 financial year to 2015-2016, Myanmar received more than US$3.8 billion in foreign aid and assistance for 1,270 projects, according to an announcement from the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development.
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The Australian government has been accused of wanting to downgrade United Nations monitoring of human rights in Myanmar, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on March 20.
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During the hard years of military dictatorship, relations between Britain and Myanmar were often tense. The BBC would get rough treatment from its Myanmar counterparts. Sometimes it was even accused of broadcasting a “sky full of lies”.
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Efforts are being made to help US companies interested in investing in Myanmar to understand the ongoing challenges in terms of human rights in the country.
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Foreign bank branches operating in Myanmar for almost a year have proved slow to support local lenders although they have brought others benefits, said financial industry sources.
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Myanmar is a very different country from just a few short years ago, said the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, warning however of the urgent need to tackle deeply entrenched human rights issues.
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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP), both UN agencies, released a statement on Thursday revealing that rural communities in western Burma are still enduring increased levels of food insecurity, particularly in areas recovering from natural disasters.
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In presenting her annual report on human rights in Myanmar this week, the UN’s special rapporteur Yanghee Lee called on the incoming NLD government to undertake a list of key actions in its first 100 days.
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Hopes are high for Myanmar, which has now elected its first civilian president after decades of military rule. But the crackdown on student protesters continues, says Amnesty International’s Jasmine Heiss.
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Since the initiation of Burma’s reforms in 2010, major policy shifts have emerged among Western nations that had long supported opposition forces and ethnic organizations committed to the democracy movement.
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More than seven months after Cyclone Komen struck Myanmar, poor rural communities are still seeing increased levels of food insecurity, a situation highlighting their vulnerability to withstand similar emergencies in the future, warns a joint United Nations agency report released today.
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The same day that Myanmar’s parliament voted in the first president without a military background in more than half a century, the United Nations held an open dialogue on the latest report submitted by its human rights envoy to the country, which noted that the new government faces a slew of problems from ending civil wars to granting basic rights to the Rohingya minority group.
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Buried among the 169 targets contained in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – adopted by the United Nations last September amid a blaze of glitzy events, celebrity endorsements, and back-slapping by world leaders, aid donors and non-governmental organisations – was the vital pledge to eliminate “preventable child deaths” by 2030. It is a cause for our generation, but one that will take a lot more than UN communiqués to advance.
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