US sanctions top Myanmar general, others under Magnitsky Act
The Trump administration on Thursday announced sanctions against a Myanmar general accused of ethnic cleansing, the first such move against the Southeast Asian nation since it began to democratize during the Obama administration.
— The Hill
Myanmar Blacklists a U.N. Rights Investigator as Genocide Accusations Intensify
Myanmar has barred an independent U.N. rights investigator and withdrawn any government cooperation for the rest of her tenure, prompting further indictments of the country’s backsliding on human rights. Observers say the move reflects a possible deepening of a bunker mentality as the country is besieged by international criticism over what the U.N. has labeled an ethnic cleansing campaign.
— Time (video)
Myanmar Says Two Reuters Journalists Remanded in Custody
The two Reuters journalists who were detained in Myanmar on Dec. 12 have appeared in court and been remanded in custody, a police spokesman said on Thursday.
— US News/Reuters
China urges others to avoid ‘complicating’ Myanmar dispute
China urged other governments Thursday to “constructively help” Myanmar and Bangladesh resolve the fate of Rohingya Muslims “instead of complicating the issue” after Myanmar blocked a visit by U.N. human rights official.
— The Kancas City Star
Myanmar says still working with UN, wants a rights investigator who is fair
Myanmar wants to continue working with the United Nations on human rights but its investigator must be fair, the foreign ministry said on Thursday, a day after special rapporteur Yanghee Lee was barred from visiting the country.
— Channel News Asia
Myanmar’s freedom of speech being curtailed
Thein Zaw Zaw, a lawyer and a member of the National League for Democracy (NLD), noticed last year a worrisome trend in his neighborhood in Yangon. Several public spaces, used by the community as playgrounds, libraries or dispensaries, were being fenced up and sold for private use, according to him.
Will Rohingya refugees start returning to Myanmar in 2018?
The signing of a repatriation agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh on Nov. 23 has raised expectations — and concerns — of an imminent return of Rohingya refugees to northern Rakhine state. But the reality is that no repatriation is likely in the foreseeable future.
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)
Myanmar: State government and private sector to cultivate ginger in Rakhine
The Rakhine regional Government is set to cooperate with the private sector to cultivate ginger in Rakhine State, according to the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).
— Fresh Plaza
State Counsellor encourages greater transparency with resource sector investors
State Counsellor H.E. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi received representatives from the International Investors for the Mineral Development Association (IIMDA). Measures to improve transparency in the sector were a priority, including enhancing the availability of data and providing public access to resource agreements, the IIMDA said in a statement.
State Counsellor discusses Rakhine development with Indian foreign secretary
Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s state counsellor and union minister for foreign affairs, met with the foreign secretary for India, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, on December 20.
— Eleven Myanmar
Bangladesh buys 200,000 tonnes of rice under G to G agreement
Bangladesh has offered to buy an additional 200,000 tonnes of rice from Myanmar under a government to government agreement before the end of December, said associate secretary Lu Maw Myint Maung of the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF).
— Eleven Myanmar
Grab partners Shwe Taung to launch taxi terminals
Ride-hailing company Grab will cooperate with Shwe Taung Real Estate to provide Grab taxi terminals at the developer’s shopping centers and office blocks to further expand its presence in Yangon.
— Myanmar Times
Tech start-up tackles maternal mortality rates in Myanmar
More than 100,000 people have turned to an app designed in Myanmar aimed at tackling some of Asia’s worst maternal mortality rates. Since 2015, Maymay has offered services from a pregnancy advice hotline to chat groups for mothers-to-be.
— The Financial Times
Gem sales down pending release of law
Gem sales have declined at the 2017 mid-year Myanma Gems Emporium, which is being held at the Mani Yadana Gems Hall in Nay Pyi Taw between December 12 and 21.
— Myanmar Times
Ooredoo Myanmar expands retail network in Shan State
Ooredoo Myanmar has opened more branded stores and kiosks in Southern and Northern Shan States. Ooredoo has opened 1 branded store and 4 kiosks in Northern Shan State. 6 Ooredoo branded stores and 6 kiosks are now available in Southern Shan State.
Taiwan pilot project helps light up Myanmar rural areas
A government-funded agency responsible for the nation’s foreign aid programs has recently provided a number of mini-grid solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and lighting appliances to local governments in Myanmar to improve rural electrification, an official said Thursday.
— Focus Taiwan
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