Interviews


Karen News spoke exclusively with General General Baw Kyaw Heh, the Karen National Liberation Army’s Vice-Chief of Staff, explains about what the alliance between four Karen armed groups and what lies behind the recent outbreak of fighting.
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Sebastien Hie, Regional sales director, Orange (more…)

Dr Nyo Nyo Thinn
Independent Yangon Region Hluttaw MP (more…)

“The Monk,” a film about a novice weighing the choice between monastic and lay life, has earned the respect of international audiences and brought greater world exposure to formerly hermetic Burma. (more…)

Burma has one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in Asia; UNAIDS estimated that about 190,000 people in Burma were living with HIV in 2013, and that about 11,000 died that year from the incurable illness. The country’s overloaded and under-resourced health system—Burma spends less per capita on health care than any other nation in the world—offers minimal assistance for HIV-positive patients, who also suffer from severe social stigma. (more…)

The Tatmadaw’s release of 109 child soldiers on September 25 was the largest since the government and the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting on grave violations against children (CTFMR) developed an action plan on the issue in June 2012. (more…)

U Thein Swe, who was a senior Military Intelligence officer, was sentenced to more than 100 years in prison in April 2005, under claims of corruption. (more…)

The Myanmar Times speaks with Maybank’s Pollie Sim after it was announced the Malay outfit won one of the coveted foreign banking licences. (more…)

The government expects some 3 million tourist arrivals this year and is targeting 5 million for 2015. However, many ongoing issues continue to hamper the local industry. The Irrawaddy spoke with U Phyo Wai Yar Zar, chairman of All Asia Exclusive Travel, as well as chairman of Myanmar Tourism Marketing and Joint Secretary of the Myanmar Tourism Federation, on the recent rise of the tourism industry. (more…)

Hla Swe is an Upper House MP representing Magwe Division’s Constituency No. 12 for the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) and a Central Executive Committee member. (more…)

Former political prisoner Nay Phone Latt, 34, is the secretary of PEN Myanmar and executive director of the advocacy group, Myanmar ICT Development Organization (MIDO), which he founded in February 2012. In April he launched the anti-hate speech movement panzagar (“flower speech”), which has campaigned on social media and in public using street theatre. He spoke to Mizzima Business Weekly’s Jessica Mudditt about his passion for information and communications technology and his efforts to create a more tolerant society. (more…)

When Myanmar, earlier known as Burma, began to emerge from military dictatorship in 2011, most Western embargoes were lifted in response to the wide-ranging political and economic reforms introduced. Over the past three years, attempts by the quasi-civilian government led by former general Thein Sein to lure foreign investment, create jobs and improve infrastructure have generated excitement over the country’s potential as Asia’s next frontier market. (more…)

In late July, the Union Parliament approved the National Education Bill and the legislation, which is still awaiting approval by the president, is meant to overhaul Burma’s derelict education system. Under previous military governments, the system suffered from neglect, underfunding and outdated teaching methods.
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The tragic story of Burma’s boatpeople is now known the world over; countless Rohingya Muslims pay brokers to transport them by boat to neighbouring countries, in a desperate attempt to escape poverty and violence. Many die on harsh seas, others fall into the hands of human traffickers. The United Nations estimates that tens of thousands of people in the region — many of them stateless Rohingya Muslims — risked their lives to flee by boat since just the start of this year.

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After fleeing their homes amid armed conflict, many displaced women in northern Burma lack opportunities to earn a living. At camps for internally displaced people (IDPs), some have been waiting for three years to go home, where they can find jobs or farm the land. To make the wait a little easier, one philanthropist is teaching them to weave and sell handicrafts at markets. Phyu Ei Thein, founder of the Sunflower Group, offers classes at IDP camps in Kachin State while also encouraging women across the country to support themselves by learning to weave at loom institutes. She spoke with The Irrawaddy about her work.
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(In Mray Bon township of Arakan, over 1000 Muslims have applied for the Burmese citizenship status. Local authorities are presently engaged with the scrutinizing process under the guidelines of 1982 Burmese Citizenship Act. People are expecting that all the applicants would be considered as Burmese Citizens. Narinjara News talked to U Maung Maung Than, director general  of Immigration Department, recently and the excerpts are here).
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The Burmese government’s Union Peacemaking Working Committee (UWPC) and ethnic rebel groups’ Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) met to discuss the signing of a nationwide ceasefire agreement in Rangoon last week.
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Newly appointed Information Minister Ye Htut met for the first time on Saturday with representatives of Burma’s Interim Press Council (IPC) to discuss the regulations for the new media law.
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To mark the 26th anniversary of Burma’s democratic uprising on 8 August 1988, Min Ko Naing, head of the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society (88GPOS), spoke with DVB’s Aye Nai about the progress made and the path towards establishing a true federalist system under civilian rule.
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Presidential spokesman Ye Htut took the reins of Burma’s Ministry of Information last week, succeeding former Information Minister Aung Kyi, who resigned from the post on July 29. Previously serving as deputy information minister in addition to his role as presidential spokesman, Ye Htut spoke to The Irrawaddy’s Htet Naing Zaw about his approach to conflicts between media and the government, his growing cabinet workload and future plans as Burma’s new information minister.
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