November 25, 2012 |
From bloodshed in Gaza to forgiveness in Myanmar, here are five stories you shouldn't miss from this past week in global news: Brazil education standards contribute to learning crisis In Myanmar, returning exiles show capacity for forgiveness China dissident Ai Weiwei basks in his relative liberty Middle East shifts may weaken Iran's influence with Palestinians Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi walks tightrope in...
May 26, 2010 |
On the face of it, it's easy to support the courageous decision of the beleaguered Burmese opposition to boycott upcoming parliamentary elections in Myanmar (formerly Burma), even though the decision led to the dissolution of its National League for Democracy party. The elections are the first to be held since 1990, when the repressive military junta took control and renamed the country. A new law bars prisoners from being members of political parties, so the opposition decided to fold its tent rather than jettison incarcerated opposition icon and party co-founder Aung San Suu Kyi. Better to dissolve in protest than legitimize the ruling regime is the opposition's view.
August 13, 2010 |
Myanmar announced Friday that it will hold its first election in two decades on Nov. 7, part of what analysts characterize as a bid by the secretive ruling military regime to appear more open and responsive to the outside world. The United States and European Union have dismissed the exercise as little more than window dressing that will have little impact on who controls the country. The announcement, however, made in the form of a brief release on state television, ends months of speculation on the timing.
November 18, 2012 |
Yangon, Myanmar - President Obama on Monday became the first U.S. president to visit Myanmar, a once-secretive nation emerging from decades of authoritarian rule. Obama is expected to urge the Southeast Asian country's government to stay the course toward democratic reforms. The White House has billed his visit as a celebration of the recent shift by the government of President Thein Sein, symbolized most publicly by the release of dissident Aung San Suu Kyi in 2010 after years of house arrest.
November 15, 2012 |
NEW DELHI -- In an apparent goodwill gesture days before the arrival of President Obama in Myanmar, the country's president Thursday released 452 prisoners, although it wasn't immediately clear how many had been jailed for their political views and how many were common criminals. According to the state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper, President Thein Sein ordered the amnesty "on humanitarian grounds" to spur friendship with neighboring countries and in hopes that those released would recognize the goodwill of the state and "do their bits in nation-building tasks.
November 17, 2011 |
President Obama announced Friday that he is sending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Myanmar next month, citing progress made by the government in releasing political prisoners, loosening media restrictions and opening its repressive political system. Obama, in a brief statement during a series of summit meetings in Bali, Indonesia, said Clinton will be the first secretary of State to visit the country in half a century and will make the case that Myanmar's leaders must keep moving toward a more open, democratic government.
May 14, 2013 |
NEW DELHI - A boat carrying approximately 100 Rohingya Muslims capsized late Monday off the coast of Myanmar with many of its occupants feared dead, UN officials said, as the region braced for a cyclone expected to slam low-lying areas inhabited by the embattled minority. The boat apparently ran into some rocks off Pauktaw township in western Rakhine state and sank as people were evacuating, with approximately 40 passengers rescued and 60 still missing, said Ashok Nigam, United Nations director and resident coordinator in Myanmar, based on preliminary information.
December 13, 2013 |
BAGAN, Myanmar - Mr. Aye has a round, aged face and a wide, betel-nut-stained smile. Like many Burmese, he punctuates his speech with giggling, which can be alarming to a Westerner. "Just three years ago, hehehe," he says, "if I'd been seen reading one of Aung San Suu Kyi's books, I would have been taken somewhere by the military, and my family would not know where. I read them all in secret. Not even my family knew. Hehehe. " That scenario seems unfunny to me, but when you have lived most of your life under a military dictatorship, you perhaps find delight in having escaped an unjust fate at the hands of an oppressive government and living to see it toppled.
April 2, 2013 |
Electrical problems were to blame for a fire that reportedly killed 13 children at a mosque and religious school in Myanmar, authorities said Tuesday, even as the blaze stirred up suspicions of an attack on Muslims. Yangon regional fire chief Kyi Win told Eleven Media that the children were trapped in the burning building, unable to escape through windows blocked with iron bars. Scores rushed out to safety when firefighters opened the doors, the fire chief said, but others unable to flee were found dead upstairs.
April 29, 2013 |
NEW DELHI, India -- Ever since Myanmar opened to the West, released political prisoners and allowed the opposition led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to run for office, it has been dogged by tensions among its many ethnic and religious minorities. Rifts and discord held largely in check during decades of repressive military rule have burst into the global spotlight. On Monday, the government issued a report on one of the most difficult situations it faces: how to tackle tensions between the Rohingya, a Muslim minority concentrated in the western state of Rakhine, and the ethnic Rakhine Buddhist majority.