Aung San Suu Kyi

Suu Kyi fans join VIP tours for genocide trial

Ardent fans of Aung San Suu Kyi are snapping up spots on US$2,000 tours to The Hague, in a display of moral support as Myanmar faces charges of genocide over the Rohingya crisis at the UN's top court in December. Supporter rallies, billboards and outpourings of praise online followed the shock announcement by the country's civilian leader last week that she would personally represent Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).The once-lauded democracy champion will

2 December 2019

Aung San Suu Kyi to lead defence against ICJ case

Myanmar's civilian leader and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi will head up a delegation to the UN’s top court to defend a case accusing the mainly Buddhist country of genocide against Rohingya Muslims, the government said Wednesday, a decision that blind-sided observers.West African nation Gambia is due to open its case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in December on behalf of the 57 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.The complaint accuses Myanm

21 November 2019

UN questions Suu Kyi’s role in Rohingya abuses

United Nations (UN) investigators called Tuesday for an expert evaluation of whether Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi can be legally implicated in the abuses committed against the country’s Rohingya minority.The fact-finding mission to Myanmar, set up by the UN Human Rights Council, said they were not equipped to determine what level of responsibility Suu Kyi should shoulder for the Rohingya crisis.“It will become a legal issue whether or not there is an element of culpability here,

18 September 2019

Myanmar joins US-ASEAN drills despite sanctions

Myanmar's navy will join maritime drills with the US in Southeast Asia next week, a spokesman said Wednesday, in a rare show of military cooperation despite Washington slapping sanctions on top army brass over the Rohingya crisis.The inclusion in the drills does not violate US travel bans against Myanmar's commander-in-chief and three senior figures for overseeing a bloody campaign that drove 740,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh two years ago.But there are growing calls to furth

29 August 2019

Solar power shines in Myanmar

Myanmar’s launch of its first commercial solar plant last month is a step in the right direction for a country that has yet to provide more than half of its citizens with proper access to electricity.Constructed on over 836 acres of land, an area equivalent to almost 530 football fields, the Minbu Solar Power Plant will be ASEAN’s largest solar power plant according to Thailand’s META Corporation – the project’s contractor and developer.

28 July 2019

Myanmar’s tourism gets a boost

The launch of the Myanma Tourism Bank (MTB) earlier this year is the latest initiative by the Myanmar government to spur development in its growing tourism sector.Offering low interest loans to Myanmar’s tourism players, the bank started operations at its headquarters in Yangon on 6 May – with offices in the capital Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay among those in the bank’s ambitious plan for a network of 10 branches by the end of 2019. Boasting a multitude of religious landmarks, luxury res

26 July 2019

Malaysia’s PM vows to help Rohingya

Malaysia's prime minister on Friday vowed to help Rohingya Muslims seeking refuge in Malaysia, reiterating the call for Southeast Asian leaders to "stop the oppression" of the stateless minority group expelled from Myanmar. Last year Mahathir Mohamad castigated Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN) meet in Singapore for defending the military's crackdown on the Rohingya. His direct condemn

22 June 2019

Myanmar’s deadly jade mining

Myanmar’s jade mining industry was dealt another blow last month when a landslide left more than 50 people feared dead.In a poorly regulated industry plagued by corruption, dozens die each year in Myanmar’s jade mining landslides – with last month’s deaths the latest in a long string of accidents to befall the Hpakant area of Kachin state.

21 May 2019

Myanmar frees Reuters journalists

Two Reuters journalists jailed for their reporting on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar walked out of prison on Tuesday, freed in a presidential amnesty after a vigorous global campaign – and backroom diplomacy – for their release.Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were mobbed by media as they stepped out of Yangon's notorious Insein prison after more than 16 months in detention.Their December 2017 arrests made them an international cause celebre and a sign of Myanmar's deteriorating press freedo

8 May 2019

Myanmar’s farmers fighting a losing battle

When the National League of Defence (NLD) won the general elections in 2015, paving the way for Myanmar’s first non-military president in over half a century, many farmers sensed a renewed hope for the nation. In fact, Aung San Suu Kyi’s pledge to tackle the issue of land grabbing and to protect farmers in the country was one of the reasons for her victory.However, the Myanmar government has done the opposite.

4 April 2019

Myanmar’s growth slowed by Rohingya crisis

In a vast convention centre in Naypyidaw, Myanmar’s sprawling and eerily empty capital, prospective investors listened politely as local companies pitched opportunities and government officials spoke of the country’s vast economic potential.Yet in the hallways, conversations drifted toward one topic: A military-led crackdown that drove more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims from the country, prompting allegations of genocide and threats of renewed economic penalties from the United States (US) an

11 March 2019

Myanmar’s fading democratic sheen

When Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League of Democracy (NLD) party won the general elections in 2015, a new wave of hope swept Myanmar. Previously under a military junta for almost 50 years from 1962 to 2011, Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi and her cohort represented the change the country so badly needed; a shift from military dictatorship to a functioning democracy.Throughout the election campaign, Suu Kyi and the NLD promised bold political reforms that would transform the country.

27 February 2019