Government

Myanmar sets historic general election date

Myanmar will go to the polls on 8 November in its first open general election in 25 years, officials say. Reform in Myanmar has been under way since 2010 when military rule was replaced by a military-backed civilian government.   The ruling USDP faces a head-to-head contest with ...

In meeting with election body, NLD complains of voter verification ‘obstruction’

The National League for Democracy, Burma’s main opposition party, complained of obstruction from some sub-commissions as NLD cadres have sought to ensure an accurate roster of eligible voters ahead of the general election. Representatives from the NLD said Union Election Commission officials pledged to address the party’s ...

Lao authorities charge woman with ‘slander’ for alleged extortion photos

Authorities in Laos have formally charged a young woman who has been detained since May after a photo she took was posted on Facebook, allegedly showing police officers extorting money from her brother during a stop for a traffic violation, according to an official source.   Phout ...

The real importance of Japan’s new strategy for the Mekong

On July 4, the leaders of Japan and the five countries in the Mekong subregion – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam – convened for the Seventh Mekong-Japan Summit in Tokyo. True to form, much of the media focus was on the dollar amount that Japan ...

Vietnam anxiously wants to bring quick end to tourism crisis, but can it?

Vietnam’s leadership have signed off on visa waivers for five more European countries — France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and the UK — and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has continued to press ahead with further visa exemptions.   In a directive dated July 2, Dung asked that ...

Japan boosts aid to ‘Mekong five’ nations

Japan has pledged Y750bn ($6.1bn) in aid to the “Mekong Five” nations over the next three years as Tokyo seeks fresh influence in a region it regards as crucial to domestic economic growth and regional strategic balance. Keep reading   ...

Thai PM calls for Japanese firms to invest more in Mekong region

Thailand’s Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has invited Japanese small and medium sized enterprises to invest more in the Mekong Subregion- by taking advantage of its logistic transport links, with the expectation that the region will be able to take a step forward together. Prayut spoke ...

Jailed Myanmar fishermen arrive home from India

More than 120 Myanmar fishermen arrested by the Indian navy for illegally plying India’s waters were returned to Myanmar last week, a government official said. U Aung Kyaw, deputy director of the Department of Relief and Resettlement, said on 10 July that the return of the ...

Exclusive: Myanmar drafts new foreign investment rules

Foreigners will no longer need a local partner to set up businesses in Myanmar and may be granted a five-year tax holiday from the start of commercial operations, according to the draft of a new investment law obtained by Reuters.  Keep reading ...

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