Weekly Diary, No.636 (22-28 July 2013)

Tips for leaders of Myanmar: Yeah, how many will it take you?

Think Piece
Political solution (must be) in place first (not business). Even if we do succeed in business, we can then buy more weapons and recruit more troops. And the civil wars will spread even wider and longer. This is also something to keep in mind.

Nai Hong Sa, UNFC General Secretary, The Irrawaddy, 24 July 2012

There will be no peace in the country until and unless it has a new constitution.

Bertil Lintner, The Irrawaddy, 24 July 2013

Two theories:
  • The government and the Myanmar, each has its own agendas, which might not always match
  • The government and the Army have quite well worked out ‘good cop, bad cop’ roles

Ashley South, consultant with Norwegian-led Myanmar Peace Support Initiative, The Irrawaddy, 24 July 2015

The fear is that minority parties, desperate to avoid being wiped out, will take up the anti-Muslim theme for the sake of electoral gain.
The Economist, re-published by Bangkok Post, 28 July 2013

The World
25 July 2013
In line with Obama’s Pivot to Asia policy, his administration is promoting another Asia-Pacific trade grouping, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It is both new and still small with just 11 countries: Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam on the Asean side; and Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Mexico, Canada and the US on the non-Asean side. (Irrawaddy)

International Relations
22 July 2013

Fan Changlong, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission of China, arrives in Rangoon as part of his 3 country tour to Kazakhstan, Myanmar and Thailand. He leaves for Thailand on 24 July. (Xinhua)

22 July 2013
EU Foreign Affairs Council concludes Comprehensive Framework for policy and support to Myanmar. (Text)

24 July 2013

Lahpai Seng Raw, 64, selected by Magsaysay Foundation as one of 5 recipients of its annual awards. (AP)

28 July 2013
On 19 June, Indonesion extremist group Forum Umat Islam met 2 representatives of Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO) that claims 300 people under arms. (Economist/Bangkok Post)

Politics/ Inside Burma
18 July 2013
Parliament to form Constitution Review Committee. Deputy Speaker of Union Assembly is chairman and Deputer Speakers of both houses vice chairmen.
Mandate: To study constitution for possible amendments. Suggestions may be asked from anyone from ordinary citizens to government service personnel.
The committee must first draft TOR, members’ rights, procedures and tenure of the Committee to be submitted to Parliament for endorsement. (Mizzima)

21 July 2013

Shwe Mann, Speaker; Aung San Suu Kyi, House chairperson for Rule of Law and Tranquility; and Aung Min, Vice Chairman of Union Peacemaking Work Committee, meet at Myanmar Peace Center (MPC) to discuss peace process. (Xinhua/Global Times) The meeting highlights ceasefire status, plans for holding political dialogue, legal and political affairs necessary for political dialogue, the role of the parliament and reports on peace affairs, according to U Aung Min. Australian FM Bob Carr on 10 July had promised AUS $5 million. (Eleven News Media) Suu Kyi not there in official capacity, only by permission from Shwe Mann. She spent 13 minutes in discussion, according to MPC’s Hla Maung Shwe. (Irrawaddy)

25 July 2013
Union parliament adopts proposal to form 109 member Constitutional Review Joint Committee. (Xinhua/ Global Times)

25 July 2013
Second major cabinet reshuffle:
Zeya Aung               Energy
Maung Myint              Industry
Aye Myint                Labor, employment and Social welfare
Than Htay                Rail Transportation
Brig Gen Zaw Win       Police Chief

Ethnic Affairs
23 July 2013

So far the government have agreed only with 5 armed groups, U Aung Min told reporters. (Eleven News Media)

Shans/ Shan State
24-27 July 2013
Burma Centrum Nederland (BCN) and White Tiger Party hold workshop to discuss “centralized practice” by Shan State government, according to party township chairman Sao Yunpeng. (Mizzima)

Economy/ Business
23 July 2013
Despite EU’s General System of Preferences (GSP), Burmese exports still need to meet quality standards, says Myanmar Fisheries Federation Vice Chairman Hnin Oo. Only fishery products and pulse and beans would enjoy this privilege, according to economist Hla Maung. (Mizzima)

24 July 2013
U Myint Aung, Ministry of Cooperatives, says the ministry will make loans about K 100,000 ($1,000) to rural families. If they are members of the cooperative system and are able to settle their loans, they would quality for another K500,000 ($5,000) in future. (Mizzima)

Human Rights
15 July 2013

U Kyaw Hla Aung, 74 year old Rohingya lawyer, held in police custody in Rakhine State. (Karen News)

18 July 2013
17 representatives from Farmers’ Network holds 4 hour meeting with Agriculture, Livestock and Fishery Development Committee in Naypyitaw to outline their objection to the proposed “Farmers Enhancement Law”, formerly called Farmers Protection Law. They are unhappy the draft law defines agribusinesses as farmers which would allow them to also sell their products to the government. (Myanmar Times)

22 July 2013
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) accuses police of arresting and torturing homosexuals in Mandalay last week. They were rounded up, stripped, beaten and forced to parade naked as if on a catwalk. (Telegraph)

23 July 2013
73 political prisoners released, including 29 Shan rebels and 26 Kachins from at least 6 prisons across the country. Thet Oo of Former Political Prisoners say an estimated 92 are still behind bars. (Irrawaddy)

24 July 2013
Meeting between Ministry of Information (MOI) officials and the Interim Press Council (IPC) ends in deadlock. The MOI had struck down 17 of the articles presented by the IPC on 9 July, including:
  • That the IPC be the only press council in the country
  • Changing the term ‘Electronic Media’ to ‘Internet Media’

25 July 2013
The joint Letpadaung mine deal between Wanbao and military owned MEH has been revised, say government officials:
Government      51% of revenue
Wanbao          30%
MEH              19%

17 July 2013
CNPC announces that at 08:00 on 15 July, the inflow valve of the Kyaukphyu station was turned on and the natural gas began to flow upstream. With this the Sino-Myanmar gas pipeline entered the test operation stage. (Dong Fang Daily)

22 July 2013
Taunggyi drug police seize heroin refinery together with drugs worth K87,000,000 ($87,000), according to Police officer Aung Soe Kyaing. (Mizzima)

22 July 2013
A bomb explodes meters away from U Wirathu as he delvers a mass sermon in Mandalay. Five slightly wounded, but he himself is unharmed. (Reuters)

23 July 2013
Battle between joint KIO-TNLA force and the Burma Army in Mongkoe area, Panghsai sub-township, Muse district, after the latter advanced on KIA positions. (Mizzima)

24 July 2013
Clash between Shan State Army and Burma Army in Mongkeung, marking 100th clash since Kengtung, 19 May 2012, and 117th since Taunggyi, 2 December 2011. (SHAN)


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