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Archive for Myanmar

Newsline: China embassy opens interim liaison office in Myanmar’s Nay Pyi Taw

The Chinese embassy has formally opened its interim liaison office in the capital of Nay Pyi Taw to further facilitate transactions between China and union offices. “I want to say that, officially opening this office branch holds a great meaning to the China-Myanmar relationship,” Chinese Ambassador Hong Liang said at the opening ceremony of the office. The liaison office is the first foreign office to be permitted to open in Nay Pyi Taw and it holds a lot of meaning for the 67-year-old diplomatic relationship between China and Myanmar, Hong added. China and Myanmar began a diplomatic relationship on June 8, 1950, and the Chinese embassy was first opened in Yangon on June 28, 1950.



Newsline: Malaysia summons Myanmar ambassador over violence in Rakhine State

Malaysia on Tuesday summoned Myanmar’s ambassador to express displeasure over violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, which has displaced nearly 125,000 Rohingya Muslims. Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said the latest incidents of violence showed that the Myanmar government had made “little, if any” progress in finding a peaceful solution to problems facing the Rohingya minority, most of whom live in the northwest Myanmar state near the Bangladeshi border. “Given these developments, Malaysia believes that the matter of sustained violence and discrimination against the Rohingyas should be elevated to a higher international forum,” Anifah said in a statement. Muslim-majority Malaysia has been particularly outspoken in its concern about the plight of the Rohingya. Myanmar says its security forces are fighting a legitimate campaign against “terrorists” responsible for a string of attacks on police posts and the army since last October. The latest violence began on Aug. 25, when Rohingya insurgents attacked dozens of police posts and an army base. In a separate statement, Malaysia’s foreign affairs ministry issued a travel advisory asking Malaysians to defer all non-essential travel to Rakhine State, and for Malaysians in Myanmar to “take all necessary precautions” and be aware of the security situation.


Newsline: Molotov cocktail thrown at Myanmar embassy in Jakarta

A Molotov cocktail was thrown at the Myanmar embassy in central Jakarta early on Sunday (Sep 3) morning. According to local media reports, the bomb was thrown at the second floor of the building at about 2.35 am local time and started a fire on the back porch which was extinguished later by police personnel. Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono confirmed the incident to local news portal Metrotvnews.com. “Yes, it did happen. (The bomb) was a small one,” he said. Central Jakarta police chief Suyudi Ario Seto said they found pieces of a broken beer bottle and a wick at the scene. Police also told local media that two to three people were involved in the crime and that they were in a Toyota Avanza car. The perpetrators are suspected to have stopped the car, thrown the bomb into the second floor of the embassy before driving off. No casualties have been reported so far. An investigation is currently underway and the police are examining on-site CCTV footage. The incident came after a group of activists held a protest on Saturday at the embassy calling on the Nobel Prize Committee to withdraw Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nobel Prize.


Newsline: UK and Myanmar embassies in Thailand said to “have no problems” over murder probe

The government has insisted both the British and Myanmar embassies in Thailand “have no problems” with the Thai police’s handling of the Sept 15 murders of two British tourists on Koh Tao even as police face claims the Myanmar suspects were tortured. Foreign Minister Tanasak Patimapragorn said he was confident the case would not lead to any disputes between Thailand and Myanmar because he had spoken with the embassy and it did not have any problems with the investigation results. His remarks came after the police held a press conference Tuesday to insist on the accuracy of the investigation which had resulted in charges against two Myanmar men. Police and diplomatic sources said that the British ambassador or a senior embassy official would attend the press conference. Instead, the embassy was not represented. The bodies of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were found on a beach of the southern island of Koh Tao in Surat Thani province on Sept 15. Police pursued the case for more than two weeks before they detained three Myanmar migrant workers, two of whom were charged over the murders while the other was treated as an eyewitness. National police chief Somyot Pumpanmuang defended the arrest of the two Myanmar men for the murders even though the suspects claimed they were tortured by police while in custody. Contradicting earlier reports that Myanmar embassy officials were satisfied with explanations provided by Thai authorities over the arrest of their nationals, Htun Aye, the embassy’ s second secretary, told the Bangkok Post Tuesday it was too early to say whether his team was satisfied with all the information they were given by authorities.


Newsline: Myanmar embassy pledges to help workers accused of murder in Thailand

The embassy pledged to assist Myanmar workers who faced murder charges. Three Myanmar workers based on Koh Tao off the Surat Thani coast have accused police of torturing them to try to extract information about the murder of two British citizens last month. The three men were from a group of six Myanmar workers. The three were released by police but two colleagues were arrested and eventually charged with the murders, while the sixth man is believed to have agreed to give evidence against the two who have been charged. The three men who were released have alleged that Thai police poured hot water on them. They later met with a Myanmar labour leader who took photos of burn wounds on their bodies and sent them to the Myanmar embassy. The embassy reportedly said later that it was ready to assist their colleagues who have been charged.


Newsline: US Embassy Issues Warning After Clashes in Myanmar

The US Embassy on Wednesday issued a warning to its citizens traveling in eastern Myanmar after clashes between the military and ethnic minority rebels. Various rebels groups have battled the central government in Burma since shortly after its independence in 1948. While the government has in recent years struck ceasefires with almost all factions, clashes occasionally flare up. The US Embassy said incidents over the past week included a rocket-propelled grenade attack on a bus in Karen State and the discovery of two improvised explosive devices in the Karen State town of Myawaddy on the border with Thailand. “If you see something suspicious, leave the area immediately and report it to local authorities,” the embassy posted on its Twitter account. “Do not touch, move, or tamper with any suspicious package.”


Newsline: Canada opens embassy in Myanmar

Canada formally opened its embassy in Yangon on Friday, aiming to further promote cooperation between Canada and Myanmar, and between Canada and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Visiting Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said the opening of the embassy is to establish long-term relations between the two countries and between Canada and the ASEAN with which Canada is one of the dialogue partners. Canada and Myanmar established diplomatic relations in 1958, but the Canadian embassy with Myanmar were stationed in Bangkok, Thailand ever since. Canada downgraded its relations with Myanmar in late 1988 and imposed economic sanctions, barring trade with Myanmar and banning visas for then Myanmar’s high ranking military officials. The two countries later normalized their relations. In April 2012, Canada suspended most of its prohibitions on trade with and investment in Myanmar in recognition of the Myanmar’s reform progress.