Naypyitaw


Burma’s President Htin Kyaw has formed four national-level committees for transportation, water resources, land use policy and foreigner supervision, chaired by two vice-presidents and two union ministers, according to a statement released by the President’s Office today.

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The UN and the international community should support ongoing reforms inside Burma instead of focusing on human rights abuses perpetrated by the former government, said President’s Office Spokesman Zaw Htay, in response to a fresh criticism from the UN over Burma’s treatment of religious and ethnic minorities—in particular the Muslim Rohingya.

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Myanmar has banned its officials from referring to the oppressed Muslim minority as Rohingya, instead insisting they are called “people who believe in Islam”.

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Since its suspension five years ago, the $3.6 billion Myitsone hydropower project has come to symbolize the bad old days in Myanmar.

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Nai Thet Lwin, 75, is Myanmar’s new minister for ethnic affairs. He heads a ministry recently created by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi to take in hand the local insurgencies that have bedeviled the country since independence from Britain in early 1948.

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Lower House MPs from Nay Pyi Taw Council area are trying to set up a university in the area, the MPs told Mizzima this week.

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A meeting to be held between the government and the Delegation for Peace Negotiation (DPN) of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) in Chiang Mai, Thailand set to take place in the third week of June has been postponed.

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Members of parliament have called for the cessation of mining projects in Paung Township, Mon State, in proposals submitted to the Pyithu Hluttaw, or national House of Representatives, and the Mon State Hluttaw.

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The National League for Democracy-led government is moving ahead with a microfinance loan scheme much-criticised by party members when they were opposition lawmakers.

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The Financial Commission hopes to reapportion the 2016-17 Union Budget, looking to allocate more funds to the education, health and social welfare sectors.

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An end to civil conflict and sustainable bureaucratic reform were among the issues deserving top priority under the National League for Democracy government ’s 100-day plan, Frontier has been told.

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“Our government will not give favour to anyone and there will be no discrimination. We will give all Myanmar nationals equal opportunity.” Union Minister of Planning and Finance Kyaw Win said at a meeting held at Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) on 13 June, the meeting was held for the first time with Myanmar traders and entrepreneurs and it lasted about three hours.

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The NLD has made much of its 100-day plan but has not fulfilled its pledge to reveal its early goals in their entirety, while some promises have no chance of being met.

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Pe Myint, 67, Myanmar’s new minister of information, hails from Rakhine state in the northwest of the country. A doctor by training, he has written 50 books of fiction and non-fiction about the country, and translated the works of others from English — none of which got him into trouble with the authorities. He received journalism training from the Bangkok-based Indochina Media Memorial Foundation in the 1990s, and was appointed to his challenging new position by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s effective prime minister. On April 1, she instructed all her ministers to prepare 100-day plans. None has yet begun to be implemented, and exact synchronization looks unlikely. An important part of Minister Pe Myint’s brief is introducing the citizens of Myanmar to some unfamiliar concepts, including freedom of speech and information, and responsive government. The minister recently talked exclusively to the Nikkei Asian Review.

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The government has denied ordering a controversial nationwide ban on the popular stimulant betel. A statement issued by the State Counsellor’s Office yesterday said non-specific instructions were issued to state and region authorities last month advising them to curb usage of the carcinogenic chewing nut, but not to outright outlaw it.

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An election tribunal on Monday heard statements in an appeal by a Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) lawmaker who is likely to lose his seat to a National League for Democracy (NLD) parliamentary hopeful in an election reversal.

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The National League for Democracy (NLD) government pledged to support the private sector to drive Burma’s economy growth and lower the barriers for going into business, said Union Minister for Planning and Finance Kyaw Win on Monday in Rangoon.

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U Win Myint has rounded out the end of the latest parliamentary session by quashing suggestions of constitutional reform in the near future, telling reporters that the government acknowledged that it did not have the power to amend the charter for the time being.

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Burma’s newly reformed investment commission will this month start scrutinizing some US$2.3 billion in proposed foreign investment projects that have been held up since April, a senior official said on Friday.

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Today – day 73 of the government’s 100-day initiative – members of parliament are taking a break. In session since February 1, Pyithu Hluttaw will “pause”, said U Hla Moe, secretary of the body’s Hluttaw Rights Committee.

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