O governo de Mianmar pediu ajuda internacional para lidar com as enchentes, que já afetaram mais de 210 mil pessoas e causou a morte de 46. Quatro áreas do país declararam situação de emergência devido às chuvas intensas que causaram inundações e deslizamentos de terra. A tragédia já destruiu rodovias e impossibilitou o alcance de várias cidades do país.
O porta-voz do presidente de Myanmar afirmou que um encontro de lideranças políticas para debater mudanças constitucionais é “impraticável”. O país está há 49 sob um regime militar. Um governo semi-civil desde 2011 tenta avançar reformas, mas o ritmo é lento.
O presidente de Myanmar Thein Sein chamou líderes da oposição, de partidos políticos e de minorias étnicas. Será a primeira vez que alguns líderes da oposição terão espaço para diálogo com Sein. No próximo ano haverá eleições parlamentares no país, a primeira desde 2010, quando os civis ascenderam ao legislativo rompendo com um regime militar que vinha de 1962.
Quase todos os países do sudeste da Ásia, tais como Indonésia e Vietnã, estão comissionando submarinos convencionais para suas Marinhas. De cinco a dez anos, os mares da região, especialmente o Mar do Sul da China, testemunharão um aumento no número de submarinos em suas águas, tornando-os quase congestionados.
Thein Sein, Presidente de Mianmar, libertou cinco prisioneiros políticos esta semana e mais devem ser libertados na semana que vem. Medida fora prometida ano passado e está relacionada ao processo de democratização por qual o país está passando.
Com os avanços democráticos em Mianmar, diversas forças políticas emergiram, obrigando a China a se adaptar em suas relações diplomáticas com o país.
Mianmar deve tomar o controle de empresa tailandesa sobre a construção do complexo industrial de Dawei devido à falta de investimentos. País se volta para os governos japonês e tailandês para acelerar a construção daquela que é considerada a mais ambiciosa zona industrial do Sudeste Asiático.
Myanmar turns to Japan, Thailand to kick-start stalled Dawei
Reuters – 19/11/2013 – por Jared Ferrie
Myanmar is set to wrest control of its Dawei industrial complex from Thai company Italian Thai Development over its failure to attract investors to a strategically located, multi-billion dollar project tipped as a game-changer for regional trade.
According to two sources involved in the Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ), plans have been overhauled to inject foreign capital and expertise to revive what is arguably Southeast Asia’s most ambitious industrial zone – a 250 sq km (100 sq mile) deep-sea port, petrochemical and heavy industry hub on the slim peninsular separating the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
The project’s leader, ITD, and firms it had agreed contracts with, have been told to cease activities at Dawei to undergo due diligence by international auditors to create “better modality”, said a senior Myanmar government official.
The review of a project that was for years stuck in a quagmire could be a significant boost to swelling Japanese industrial interests in the region, which include numerous deals with Myanmar’s pro-business, quasi-civilian government and long established automobile and high-tech manufacturing plants in neighboring Thailand, led by firms like Honda, Toyota, Canon Inc and Toshiba.
The planned complex, which will include a steel mill, refinery and power plant, will be linked by highway to Bangkok and Thailand’s eastern seaboard industrial zone.
That will mean Dawei could serve as an industry and trade gateway to Southeast Asia’s markets, bypassing the Malacca Straits, the world’s busiest shipping lane.
Myanmar would ask for Japanese and Thai government support to appoint companies to carry out a revised plan for the first stage of Dawei, including a small port and access roads, setting up a water supply system and small gas-fired power plant “as quickly as possible”, the government source said, adding it had yet to be agreed which firms would be involved.
The second stage would involve international tenders for the bigger projects, including the deep-sea port, and the building of a bigger power plant, which could be coal-fired.
JUNTA’S DEAL DITCHED?
It had also yet to be determined what role ITD, Thailand’s biggest construction company, would play in a project for which it was granted a 75-year concession under a deal struck in the 1990s with Myanmar’s then military government, which ceded power in 2011.
“We’re trying to figure out a different model where ITD is going to be involved as well as other investors. We’re talking about billions of dollars, how can one company be able to develop all these projects?”, the source said.
A Myanmar delegation was due to meet Thai and Japanese government officials in Bangkok from Wednesday. Thailand’s commerce minister said the gathering would see ITD relieved of its lead role and reimbursed for costs incurred.
“The meeting’s agenda also includes termination of ITD’s contract in terms of the company’s role as Dawei project manager,” the minister, Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan, told reporters.
“Myanmar wants to open up this project to other parties and involve international companies and governments in the other phases of Dawei’s construction and wants to ensure the project’s transparency.”
Myanmar’s move on Dawei comes amid a series of liberal economic reforms to attract jobs and investment to one of Asia’s poorest states. A year ago, it asked for Thai support for the project and the government pledged financing from Thai banks, including Bangkok Bank and Siam Commercial Bank.
Investors have expressed reluctance to commit to Dawei because of reservations over the leadership of ITD, which was dealt a blow last year when Max Myanmar, owned by local construction and banking tycoon Zaw Zaw, announced it would divest its 20 percent stake. Myanmar’s government has until now had a hands-off approach to Dawei and ITD has struggled to find private investors.
Despite being hailed by ITD as “the new global gateway of Indochina”, with an estimated $50 billion value within the next decade, the project has been fraught with difficulties from the outset, including finding a power source amid concern about pollution from a proposed 4,000 megawatt coal-fired plant that Myanmar’s government rejected.
A finance industry source in Bangkok with close knowledge of the deal told Reuters ITD would most likely back out of the broader Dawei plan due to a lack of funds but would stay on as the main contractor for infrastructure. ITD officials did not respond to requests for information.
Myanmar’s decision to overhaul the plan follows rapid progress with its 2,400-hectare (5,900-acre) Thilawa economic zone near the biggest city, Yangon, to be run by a Myanmar-Japan joint venture involving Mitsubishi Corp, Marubeni Corp and Sumitomo Corp, with Japanese government support.
Edwin Vanderbruggen, a Yangon-based business lawyer with the law firm of VDB Loi, said the new approach to Dawei would be more efficient and financially secure as big players would be involved, especially those from Japan.
“It’s too large to be a single-purpose, Thailand-oriented project. This is on a Southeast Asia scale so its better to broaden the base,” he said.
“There’s been a lot of progress made. The regulatory framework has changed, the perception of the country has changed. It has improved. Maybe that’s why they want to reboot it.”
Após remoção total das sanções, União Europeia se compromete a construir parceria econômica e política com Mianmar.
EU vows to build economic, political partnership with Myanmar
Xinhua – 15/11/2013
The European Union (EU) has vowed to build economic and political partnership with Myanmar and cooperate in the areas of establishing industries and small and medium enterprises (SME), setting standard on raw materials and developing commercial standard and formulating strategies in such sector as tourist, official media reported Friday.
It was pledged by EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, who co- chaired the first day of the first plenary session of EU-Myanmar Task Force in Yangon on Friday.
Ashton is also vice president of the European Commission.
Ashton was quoted as saying that the objectives of the visit of EU representatives of Special Task Force are to support Myanmar’s economic reform and democracy transition process, to enhance development partnership between Myanmar and EU and to boost opportunities for economic growth and development by the two sides.
The EU-Myanmar Task Force was established in March.
Meanwhile, European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs also vowed to reinforce development cooperation in some proposed main sectors with Myanmar from 2014 to 2020, namely rural development, education, governance and support to peace building, saying that EU support could increase up to 120 million U.S. dollars per year.
EU extended a grant aid of 2.7 million U.S. dollars for a three- year project of the Ames for Environmental, Accountability, Responsibility and Transparency (SWITCH-SMART) launched on Thursday in Yangon.
The project promotes and supports sustainable production of garments “Made in Myanmar”, striving to increase the international competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises in the sector.
The EU has provided development assistance to Myanmar since 1996 with over 400 million U.S. dollars. Following the political opening of the country, the commission announced a package of support of 200 million dollars for the fiscal year 2012-13 to be spent in the sectors of health and education livelihood.
How Not to Invest in Myanmar
Since Aung San Suu Kyi’s parliamentary election victory last April, Asian and Western businesspeople have flocked to Myanmar (also known as Burma), eager to take part in the re-emergence of a regional economic power. Over the last several months, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and, as of May, the United States, have reopened some economic ties with Rangoon. U.S. sanctions that had long prohibited direct investment, development funding, and visas for military leaders have now been largely suspended. (mais…)
ASEAN, UN Secretary General discuss Myanmar, future cooperation
Antara News – 20/03/2012
Visiting Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon will meet with ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan here on Tuesday to discuss the latest regional and international concerns.
According to a press release from the ASEAN Secretariat General`s office received by ANTARA News, the two leaders met over breakfast with their staffs.
During the Tuesday meeting, Ban said he will be visiting Myanmar after the April by-elections in the country. Both Ban and Surin agreed that changes are underway in Myanmar, and both expressed optimism that all stake holders are in agreement about the need to improve the standard of living of the population.
“I am very much encouraged by my meeting with President Thien Sein, and I am glad to see that he has kept his word,” added Ban, noting that some countries are now considering the lifting of sanctions.
Those at the meeting also discussed Timor Leste`s proposal to become a member of ASEAN, with Surin describing Timor Leste as a “robust democracy” and said ASEAN member states are seriously studying Timor Leste`s application to join ASEAN.
During the Tuesday meeting the two leaders also spoke of the latest information on the Cambodia-Thailand border dispute, as well as progress on the ASEAN Initiative on establishing the Institute of Peace and Reconciliation in which the UN would offer assistance, expertise, experience and best practices in preventive diplomacy, which is a priority on the UN agenda. (mais…)
Insight: India’s Wild East unprepared for new Myanmar
Reuters – 22/02/2012 – por Satarupa Bhattacharjya & Frank Jack Daniel
As dusk falls on a lonely police station in the eastern tip of India, a young policeman nervously keeps an eye on the Arakan hills above him, dotted with poppy fields.
Just 22 bumpy miles from the capital of India’s restive Manipur state, he and his colleagues are outnumbered by gunmen from a faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, one of half a dozen insurgent groups operating near India’s border with Myanmar.
Last year, six policemen were killed a few miles away in an ambush authorities blamed on them.
Small groups of men with machetes on their belts can be seen in the winter twilight, openly climbing steep paths through the poppy fields, where valuable seed heads will later be harvested and taken to Myanmar for processing into heroin.
“There are many poppy fields in the hills here,” the policeman said in a hushed voice, refusing to give his name to Reuters for fear of reprisals from the men he said were armed rebels patrolling the fields above his office. Growers will either sell the seed heads to agents or openly in the local market, he said. (mais…)
Exclusive:Myanmar peace can be reached within 3 months: minister
Reuters / Martin Petty – 15/02/2012
Myanmar’s government expects to reach ceasefire deals with all of the country’s ethnic minority rebel armies within three months before starting a process of political dialogue towards “everlasting peace”, its top peace negotiator said on Wednesday.
In his first interview with a foreign news organization, Aung Min, a retired general and minister for rail transportation tasked with negotiating an end to the decades-old conflicts, said Myanmar’s 49 years of military rule had not let peace prevail but the new civilian-led government was winning the trust of the rebel armies.
Long-lasting political solutions with economic incentives for conflict areas were within reach, he said.
“This is a chronic disease that has been happening for over 60 years. Successive governments couldn’t cure the disease because the remedy didn’t fit,” Aung Min said. (mais…)
Up to 10,000 Myanmar refugees seek refuge in China
Reuters / Sui-Lee Wee – 07/02/2012
Thousands of refugees from fighting in remote northern Myanmar have flooded into makeshift tent cities erected on the other side of the long border with China, creating a humanitarian crisis and a complex diplomatic dilemma for Beijing.
Up to 10,000 refugees have fled to an area in southwestern Yunnan province, driven by fighting between Myanmar’s military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), one of the country’s most powerful rebel groups, five aid groups told Reuters. Many of the refugees are women, children and elderly people.
Fighting erupted after a 17-year-old ceasefire broke down last June, sending ethnic Kachins fleeing to the border area.
The conflict could jeopardize the former Burma’s efforts to convince the European Union and the United States to lift wide-ranging sanctions against the country, which is slowing efforts to open up and democratize after decades of army rule.
The EU and the United States have made peace deals with ethnic militias one of the pre-requisites for lifting the sanctions. Some groups have fought the government since independence from Britain in 1947. (mais…)
U.S. lifts restrictions to support IFIs work in Myanmar
Reuters / Martin Petty – 07/02/2012
The United States has eased some restrictions on Myanmar to support ongoing work by International Financial Institutions (IFIs) like the Asian Development Bank carrying out economic assessments and technical assistance to its new civilian government.
The partial waiver was signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday in the latest sign of a step-up in U.S. engagement with an impoverished country squeezed by Western sanctions and run for 49 years by military juntas until 10 months ago.
The nominally civilian government has since overseen a series of surprise reforms that have thrust into the spotlight the issue of Western sanctions imposed on past regimes for their human right violations.
The move in support of IFI involvement is seen as small but symbolic, a quid-pro-quo to acknowledge the reforms while still maintaining tight sanctions that were first introduced in 1988. Officials in Washington say the process of ending the embargoes on the former Burma would be complex and lengthy.
“Assessments by international financial institutions will provide critical means to gain a greater understanding of Burma’s economic situation, particularly its severe poverty alleviation needs and capacity gaps,” the state department said in a statement. (mais…)
The limits of reform in Myanmar
Asia Times / Bertil Lintner – 17/01/2012
The release of more than 200 political prisoners and a tentative ceasefire with the rebel Karen National Union represent the latest of steps taken by Myanmar president Thein Sein’s government to improve its international image and assuage its many critics at home and abroad.
The cosmetic change in the traditionally military-run country is unmistakable. In recent months, it has become easier for ordinary citizens to access the Internet and local magazines and journals are able to publish articles on topics that would have been unthinkable only a year ago. Pictures of pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, who spent 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest, are now for sale in markets not only in the former capital Yangon but also in small upcountry towns.
The United States government, for more than two decades the fiercest critic of successive military-dominated regimes in Myanmar, promised enhanced engagement in exchange for “further reforms” immediately after Friday’s prison release. As a first step, the US is going to send an ambassador to its embassy in Yangon, which has been headed by a charge d’affaires since Washington decided to downgrade relations with Myanmar in 1990 in response to a brutal crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.
Many Myanmar citizens undoubtedly welcome the easing of the extreme authoritarian pressure they have lived under as long as they can remember. But critics maintain the loosening is not tantamount to a “reform process”, which would require changes in the country’s fundamental power structure, and that the US may have other diplomatic objectives in mind over concerns for human rights and democracy. (mais…)
Myanmar government, rebels move to end 60-year conflict
RIA Novosti – 12/01/2012
The government of Myanmar and the rebel Karen National Union (KNU), one of the world’s longest-running insurgencies, signed on Thursday a ceasefire agreement that is seen as a first step toward a lasting peace, the Bangkok Post said.
The signing ceremony took place in the Karen State capital Hpa-an.
“The president has said we brothers have been angry at each other for 63 years and he asked us to give the KNU what they want. That’s why we came here,” the newspaper quoted Immigration Minister Khin Yi as telling journalists before the pact was signed.
An estimated 500,000 people were killed and tens of thousands displaced as a result of the KNU’s armed rebellion for the independence of the eastern Karen Region populated by the Karen ethnic minority between the late 1940s and the mid-1990s.
Although the armed conflict has since vanished, there has been no formal peace agreement between the central government and the rebels, who have maintained control of Karen State. (mais…)
Burma orders end to fighting against Kachin rebels
BBC Asia-Pacific – 13/12/2011
The Burmese government is reported to have ordered the military to stop operations against ethnic Kachin rebels in the north.
Officials said President Thein Sein had told the army to shoot only in self-defence against forces of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
Fighting has continued in the region since a truce broke down in June in a strategically important area near the Chinese border.
Thousands of refugees have fled.
The nominally civilian government has taken a number of steps towards reconciliation in recent months, including easing censorship and releasing some political prisoners. (mais…)
China launches joint patrols along Mekong River with neighbors
Xinhua / Deng Shasha – 10/12/2011
Chinese police Saturday started joint patrols with their counterparts from Laos, Myanmar and Thailand to maintain security along the Mekong River, a major transport passage in the region.
The joint patrol marked the restoration of international shipping services on the Mekong River that had been suspended since deadly attacks on Chinese cargo ships on Oct. 5.
Escorted by five joint patrol boats, ten cargo vessels set sail from the Guanlei Port in Xishuangbanna of southwest China’s Yunnan province at the launching ceremony Saturday morning.
“I have nothing to worry about now with the patrol boats escorting the cargo vessels,” said Lu Huarong, waving farewell to his son, captain of one of the cargo ships. (mais…)
China, Myanmar forge partnership, ink deals
BEIJING, May 27 (Xinhua) — China and Myanmar on Friday upgraded their relationship to strategic partnership and inked economic agreements, the latest sign of stronger ties between the two neighbors.
“Once again I congratulate you on becoming the first President of Myanmar,” Chinese President Hu Jintao told his Myanmar counterpart U Thein Sein Friday afternoon.
Thein Sein arrived in Beijing Thursday for his first state visit since assuming presidency in March.
“This is my first talk with you since the new Myanmar government was installed. Hopefully your visit will cement mutual understanding and friendship,” Hu said at the start of talks.
During their hour-long talks, the two leaders reviewed the growth of China-Myanmar ties since the two countries forged diplomatic relations in 1950. (mais…)