Myanmar in the News


June 3, 2012

Suu Kyi warns China, US not to fight over Myanmar

Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has told the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Bangkok that investment is welcome in Myanmar, as long as it does not lead to corruption.

The Nobel laureate warned China and the United States against turning Myanmar into a “battling ground” as they vie for influence over the strategically important nation. She said ordinary Burmese need access to basic secondary education to participate in and gain from reform and the country is in dire need of an an energy policy.

Read more at: Suu Kyi warns China, US not to fight over Burma


June 2, 2012

Thein Sein’s Thai trip cancelled over ‘dissatisfaction’

Myanmar President Thein Sein has cancelled a trip to Thailand scheduled for Monday and Tuesday (July 4 & 5) of next week during which he was was going to be granted an audience with His Majesty the King and was scheduled to sign an MoU with the Thai government inaugurating several ambitious projects in the wake of Myanmar’s reforms.

There is speculation the Myanmar military and government are dissatisfied over prodemocracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi’s trip to Thailand.

Read more at: Thein Sein’s Thai trip cancelled over ‘dissatisfaction’


May 31, 2012

Myanmar open for business, but not its people

by: Gerhard Hoffstaedter, lecturer in anthropology in the School of Social Science at the University of Queensland.

Asked about the tens of thousands of refugees living in Malaysia recently, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said that it was too early to return to Myanmar as, “They have got to have something to return to.”

Read more at: Myanmar open for business, but not its people


May 31, 2012

Myanmar: getting down to business

by:  Vikram Nehru, Carnegie Endowment

A key obstacle to reform will be the military, which is the main beneficiary of the current rentier state. Its implicit support will be essential in reforming the economy and reducing the reams of red tape and bureaucratic restrictions that create the rents that those in power then exploit. Bringing along the military while also reforming the economy is the biggest political challenge facing Myanmar. The delicate task of working around political obstacles and deeply entrenched vested interests will require the greatest combination of political savvy and committed leadership that the big three can bring to bear.

Read more at: Myanmar: getting down to business


May 23, 2012

Burma Army still using rape as a weapon of war

A gang of bandit-like Burmese soldiers tortured a 48-year-old Kachin woman and then gang-raped [her] for three days in her village church northwest of Pang Wa (Pangwa) beginning May 1, according to Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT), citing interviews with the victim and a local villager who was forced to watch the assault.

Read more at: Burma Army still using rape as a weapon of war


May 23, 2012

Power supply is a hot topic in Myanmar

Power shortages in Myanmar could become a political concern and a threat to ongoing reforms in the country if the government wrongly addresses the issue by politicising it and trying to blame armed ethnic groups.

People in second largest city of Mandalay lit up candles on Sunday night in front of the Myanmar Electrical Power Corporation’s regional office to protest at frequent electricity cuts in the city since April.

Read more at: Power supply is a hot topic in Myanmar


May 18, 2012

Sorting out sanctions, censorship, sincerity in Burma

On Thursday, the United States rolled back prohibitionsagainst American companies doing business in Burma. The announcement marked the latest diplomatic reward given to President Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government for initiating reforms in what has historically been a military-run country. In making the announcement, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the democratic changes initiated so far were “irreversible,” but that is a characterization few of the country’s journalists would share.

Read more at: CPJ Blog

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John Le Fevre

Contributing author at

John Le Fevre is an Australian national with more than 30 years’ experience as a journalist, photographer, videographer and copy editor.

He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia and previously held senior editorial staff positions with various Southeast Asia English language publications and international news agencies.

He has covered major world events including the 1991 pillage riots in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, the 2009 Songkran riots in Bangkok, and the 2010 ant-government Bangkok protests.

In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.

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1 Comment
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