MYANMAR CABLE

MYANMAR CABLE

Beginning with insurance and banking sectors, Myanmar’s financial reforms hit top gear


Myanmar’s long-anticipated plans for economic liberalisation have finally gone into overdrive. To usher in the new year, the government announced radical changes to the insurance sector and removed some of the barriers to foreign insurance companies operating... More

Beijing increases pressure on Myanmar to open up economically amid Western disinterest


China is increasing its pressure on the Myanmar government in an effort to consolidate its strategic position in Beijing’s march westward. China is also trying to capitalise on Myanmar’s increasing disaffection with the West, and the opportunity... More

As Myanmar loses investors’ confidence, government looks east with revamped economic plans


Myanmar has revamped its economic ministries and launched a renewed investment drive to try to attract foreign investment that dipped over the last 12 months. International criticism of the government’s handling of the violence in its strife-torn... More

Its economy in poor shape, Myanmar’s textile sector might be crippled if...


Myanmar’s flourishing textile industry is in severe danger of being decimated, if the European Union (EU) decides to withdraw its special trade privileges. A EU monitoring mission is due in Myanmar shortly to begin an assessment process.... More

Myanmar’s economy could go into a tailspin as currency woes deepen


y Fears that Myanmar’s currency crisis has only momentarily stalled are growing, as the government does not seem to see any urgency in tackling the underlying causes of the recent fall in the kyat’s value against the... More

Suu Kyi seeks Asean support on Rohingya return but also faces censure


Aung San Suu Kyi is attending the Asean meetings in Singapore this week, seeking support from her Asian allies in dealing with the country’s Rakhine crisis. She especially wants the members of the regional bloc to back... More

Mixed messages from Myanmar’s bye-elections


Analysts are pouring over the results of Myanmar’s bye elections in Myanmar, vainly trying to read the tea leaves, and perhaps reading too much into them. But it was certainly a wake-up call for both major parties... More

Seven years after it began, Myanmar’s peace process precariously poised


Myanmar’s peace process is finely balanced, after the latest round of talks failed to produce anything of substance. Sitting comfortably and very relaxed, YawdSerk, the chairman of the Myanmar ethnic rebel group, the Restoration Council of Shan... More

Myanmar moves closer to China with increased bilateral trade and investment ties 


Myanmar and China are consolidating their bilateral trade and investment relationship. In fact, Beijing is fast becoming Myanmar’s strongest and most important ally, but this strengthened relationship has made many in the government nervous. Even the State Counselor,... More

UN report accuses Myanmar’s military of genocide


The UN’s independent human rights investigators have issued the toughest verdict yet on the crisis in Myanmar’s war-torn western region of Rakhine State. The investigators’ report does not mince words and is going to have major ramifications,... More

Myanmar’s controversial port project gets government green light


Myanmar has finally taken the bull by the horns and is serious about finalizing the Kyaukpyu port -- the first stage in the Kyaukpyu SEZ project. The Myanmar government has been under increasing pressure from Beijing to... More

Myanmar braces for more international pressure


In the coming weeks the international campaign to enforce some form of accountability on Myanmar for the horrendous events in Rakhine -- over the past twelve months -- is going to increase. With the anniversary of start... More

Myanmar minister’s mission impossible


Myanmar’s new finance minister, Soe Win is determined to revitalize the government’s economic policies and ensure their effective implementation, according to government insiders. Although he has only been in his post for less than two months, there... More

UN envoy faces a tough Myanmar mission


Yet another UN envoy is dabbling in the Myanmar quagmire. A succession of envoys from the top international organization have visited the country in the past two years, harping on about human rights, child soldiers and people... More

Myanmar struggles to find a new Rakhine strategy


Myanmar finds itself in a new international quagmire as it attempts to redefine its solutions for reconciliation in Rakhine. In the past, Myanmar found itself in the middle of a tug of war, between the West and... More

Myanmar launches renewed war on corruption


Myanmar’s government has declared war against corruption amid increased political turmoil involving several ministers. Already the anti-corruption committee’s investigations have taken their toll, with two heads rolling in recent weeks. The ramifications of the renewed battle against corruption... More

Pressure mounts on Myanmar’s Suu Kyi


Myanmar’s civilian government is coming under increasing fire on all fronts. Or so it would seem. The UN, the US and China have all chipped in, to make the Lady’s life increasingly difficult, in one-way or another. But... More

Myanmar readies for refugee repatriation


Myanmar is ready to receive back all the Muslim refugees who have fled to Bangladesh, who want to return. Preparations are in place for their immediate return, said Dr Win Myat Aye, the minister in charge of... More

UN visit raises the stakes for Myanmar


The Myanmar government pulled out all the stops in its efforts to convince the United Nations Security Council delegation that it was taking every effort to prepare for the return of the Muslim -- or Rohingya --... More

Myanmar faces an imminent international showdown on Rakhine


The Myanmar government is coming under increased international concern about its treatment of the Muslim community in its Rakhine state and other human rights abuses, including the military’s conduct in other ethnic areas, and its curbs on... More

Myanmar readies for second face of reforms


Myanmar has reached a critical crossroads with the start of a new financial year and the beginning of the National League for Democracy (NLD) government’s third year in office. But concrete plans for accelerated economic and political... More

COLUMN

By reaching out to Taliban, Iran makes presence felt in Afghanistan...

The very nature of the conflict in Afghanistan has made it almost impossible for the neighbouring countries to remain aloof from it or maintain some distance, even a calculated one. For one thing, the conflict is no longer just between the US and Taliban or the US and al-Qaeda. The ISIS, known as IS-K in Afghanistan, has established its presence, which has forced many countries—Russia, China and Iran—to change... More

The sorry state of Pakistan’s police

The imperial form of police infrastructure that Pakistan inherited was deliberately created to serve the British rulers rather than promote harmony, security and adherence to the law. The 1861 Police Act has never changed except for minor amendments. Even the new laws introduced by the provinces retain more or less the essence of the original imperial law. The persisting culture is to ensure that the weak remain subservient to... More

Bangladesh’s position on global terrorism index has improved: Australian agency CPES

An Australian outfit, Centre for Peace and Economic Studies (CPES), has stated that Bangladesh has gone up four positions in the global terrorism index, according to it’s ranking. Several other countries in South Asia have gone down in terms of vulnerability, including Pakistan and India. Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka have also improved their standings in this index. CPES has reported that introduction of modern education in madrassas, investment in... More

How the Taliban have become leading actor in Afghan peace talks

While the Taliban have established their domination both politically and militarily in almost half of Afghanistan, the consequent talks with the US and the way they have progressed show that they are already in a commanding position. They certainly have become the leading actor in these talks not just because they are the ones fighting the war against the US and Afghan forces, but also because they are directing... More

Exploiting Pakistan’s ‘Gold Coast’

The emerging markets of Central Asia require that a sea-land (south-south) dimension to support the north-south axis be added for expansion, otherwise all facilities and opportunities are likely to be clogged because of unplanned urban population expansion. The long coastline with stretches of virgin beaches and adjacent vast empty hinterland require well-planned commercial exploitation. It is personally satisfying that recommendations made in my articles of nearly three decades ago,... More

VIDEO-INTERVIEW

OUTCOME AND FUTURE OF BMISTEC? & WHAT’S ON THE BALANCE?


The fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), held in Kathmandu on August 30 and 31, was “not fruitful” because of the inherent “weakness” of the regional inter-state institution,... More

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