Regional


Taking advantage of the now open Myanmar economy, Vietnam has been actively promoting investment activities through both its public and private sector, reports Deal Street Asia on April 6.
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Assistance is being provided by the Burmese embassy in Jakarta to the fishermen who were rescued from an island in Indonesia, on which they were kept in slave-like conditions.
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The same trawlers that had enslaved countless migrant fishermen for years carried more than 300 of them to freedom Saturday, following a dramatic rescue from a remote Indonesian island that many men believed would likely be their final resting place.
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Efforts are being made to improve the rights and protection of Myanmar migrants working legally in Thailand, according to a report in Myawady on April 3.
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Myanmar and China have long stressed the “pauk-phaw” or “fraternal” nature of their bilateral relationship. But the comforting catchphrase belies the often uneasy reality. While at pains to maintain strong ties with its giant neighbor, successive Myanmar leaders have often viewed the country with which they share a 1,250 mile border as a potential threat.
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A group of 20 nationals from China were turned away by hundreds of angry villagers in northeastern Myanmar’s Shan state Friday after crossing the border and attempting to plant a flag declaring the area to be Chinese territory, according to a local ethnic party official. (more…)

President U Thein Sein, speaking in an April 3 radio address, said the recent warplane bombing incident that killed five Chinese will not negatively affect Myanmar-China relations.
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Some 500 residents turned out on Friday in the town of Namhkam in northern Shan State to protest the visit of Chinese officials from across the common border. Locals say they are demonstrating against the raising of People’s Republic of China flags on a stretch of disputed land.
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Officials from Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia are travelling to remote islands in eastern Indonesia to investigate how thousands of foreign fishermen were abused and forced into catching seafood that could end up in the United States, Europe and elsewhere, according to The Associated Press on April 2.
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Myanmar has accepted responsibility and apologized for bombs dropped on Chinese territory last month that killed five people, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
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China scored a diplomatic coup by enticing almost 50 countries including key US allies to join its new development bank.
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Burma’s Ministry of Labor has begun an inquiry into allegations made in an investigation by The Associated Press that hundreds of Burmese nationals in Indonesia are living slave-like existences to supply the global seafood industry.
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The Karen Human Rights Group says a road planned by the Myanmar government with funding from the Asian Development Bank threatens villagers’ ability to earn a living, according to Karen News on March 30.
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In a major breakthrough, National Investigation Agency interrogation of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songibjit) terrorists has revealed that Chinese made weapons come to Manipur through the China-Myanmar-India border.
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Thai police said on March 31 that they had charged 70 migrants from Myanmar and six Rohingya Muslims with illegal entry after they were arrested on a train bound for a southern province bordering Malaysia.
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(Unofficial Translation)

“The Myanmar military has changed from an absolute ruler to a participant with veto power in Myanmar politics.” For the Western media, this is the reality in Myanmar. Since the inauguration of the civilian government led by U Thein Sein in March 2011, Myanmar has been dedicated to democratic reforms for four years. (more…)

(Unofficial Translation)

On the evening of March 13th, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin urgently summoned Myanmar ambassador to China to lodge a solemn representation on the death and injuries of Chinese citizens caused by bombs dropped by Burmese bomber aircraft. Liu Zhenmin pointed out that the Myanmar army and related armed groups in the Kokang region in northern Myanmar have been engaged in continued exchange of fire in the Sino-Burmese border areas. (more…)

A year-long investigation by Associated Press reporters has revealed hundreds of Myanmar migrant workers are being used as slaves on fishing boats in Indonesian waters.
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Asian leaders have gathered in China for a four-day summit aiming to set the economic agenda during what is sure to be a crucial year for Burma.
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A warship of Myanmar navy is on the way of carrying back 102 Myanmar illegal immigrants from Malaysia and is due to arrive home this weekend, according to the military-run Myawaddy media Thursday.
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