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BURMA BULLETIN

A month-in-review of events in Burma


A L T E R N A T I V E A S E A N N E T W O R K O N B U R M A

campaigns,

advocacy

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capacity-building

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rights

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democracy

Issue 61

January 2012

The regime releases over 300 political prisoners, including numerous high-profile dissidents. However, about 900 political prisoners remain detained in jails across Burma. Tatmadaw offensives and attacks against civilians in Kachin State and Northern Shan State continue despite a second order by President Thein Sein to cease all military operations. The regime makes initial peace agreements with Chin, Karen, and Shan armed groups. NLD officially re-enters Burmas political arena and steps up activities in lead-up to the 1 April byelections. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi calls for legislative and constitutional reforms during a campaign tour. The regime tightens restrictions on press freedom. Reporters Sans Frontires still ranks Burma near the bottom of its annual press freedom survey. Regimes report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child ignores numerous violations of childrens rights in Burma. EU, Norway, and Australia ease sanctions. EU, Denmark, and France plan to increase aid. An unprecedented number of high-level foreign officials visit Naypyidaw to assess the regimes reforms: UK FM and US lawmakers say more still needs to be done to complete the reform process. IMF and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi highlight the necessary reforms to Burmas economy. The regimes unilateral decision to cancel ItalianThai Developments coal-fired power plant in the Tavoy Special Economic Zone raises eyebrows. KEY STORY Over 300 political prisoners released

IN THIS ISSUE KEY STORY


1 Over 300 dissidents released

INSIDE BURMA
3 3 4 5 Peace agreements signed Military operations continue NLD prepares for by-elections Parliament reconvenes

HUMAN RIGHTS
5 Regime tightens censorship 6 Burma in intl indexes 6 Regime violates children rights

DISPLACEMENT
6 Refugees pour into China

INTERNATIONAL
7 7 7 8 8 9 UK sets benchmarks EU to respond to reforms US: More needs to be done US envoy exposes trafficking Sanctions eased Thailand & Burma cement ties

ECONOMY
9 Electricity & gas prices rise 9 24-hour electricity campaign 10 Uncertain foreign investments 10 Cronies to profit from migrants 10 IMF, Daw Suu highlight reforms 11 International aid upped 11 OTHER BURMA NEWS 13 REPORTS
_____________________________________ Receive the Burma Bulletin monthly! email publications@altsean.org Online copies are available for download at www.altsean.org

In January, the regime released over 300 political prisoners. On 2 January, President Thein Sein issued an order that commuted the death sentences of 33 prisoners to life in jail and reduced the terms of 38,931 prisoners to mark the 64th anniversary of Independence Day.1 As a result of the order, on 4

1 AP (02 Jan 12) Myanmar reduces sentences for many prisoners, stops short of amnesty; AFP (03 Jan 12) Myanmar cuts prison terms to mark Independence Day; Reuters (02 Jan 12) Myanmar cuts prison terms but no political amnesty; BBC (02 Jan 12) Burma announces prison sentence reductions; DPA (03 Jan 12) Myanmar commutes sentences, but political prisoners not freed; NLM (03 Jan 12) President grants amnesty; Xinhua (02 Jan 12) Myanmar grants amnesty to more prisoners; Mizzima News (03 Jan 12) Burma orders limited prisoner release

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January the regime released 6,656 prisoners from jails across Burma.2 However, as in previous mass releases [See Table Most recent mass releases of prisoners], most of those freed were common criminals.3 Only 34 (or 0.5%) of those released were political prisoners.4 On 12 January, Thein Sein announced an amnesty for an additional 651 prisoners under Section 401(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code.5 Of the 651 released the next day at least 299 were political prisoners.6 They included numerous high-profile dissidents:7 88 Generation Students Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Phyone Cho, Kyaw Min Yu aka Jimmy, Htay Kywe, Nilar Thein, Mya Aye, and Ant Bwe Kyaw. Shan leaders Hkun Htun Oo and Nyunt Lwin. Buddhist monk U Gambira. Former MP elected in 1990 Kyaw Min. Journalists Sein Win Maung, Thant Zin Aung and Zaw Thet Htwe, 13 DVB video journalists, and blogger Nay Phone Latt.
Most recent mass releases of prisoners
Date 18 Nov 2004 29 Nov 2004 13 Dec 2004 3 Jan 2005 6 Jul 2005 3 Jan 2007 23 Sep 2008 20 Feb 2009 17 Sep 2009 16 May 2011 12 Oct 2011 4 Jan 2012 13 Jan 2012 Total Total Prisoners 3,937 5,311 5,070 5,588 334 2,831 9,002 6,313 7,114 14,578 6,359 6,656 651 73,744 Political prisoners 28 12 21 26 253 50 10 24 128 55 220 34 299 1,180 % 0.7% 0.2% 0.4% 0.5% 75.7% 1.7% 0.1% 0.4% 1.8% 0.4% 3.4% 0.5% 45.9% 1.6%

The regime also released former SPDC PM Khin Nyunt along with about 200 military intelligence officials who had been imprisoned following Khin Nyunts ouster in October 2004.8 Despite the release of a large number of political prisoners, the following points are a matter of concern: About 900 political prisoners remain detained in jails across Burma.9 Political prisoners released under Section 401(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code can be rearrested and forced to serve the remainder of their original sentences if they violate any laws in the future.10 The regime continued to refuse to acknowledge the existence of political prisoners in Burma. On 14 January, regime Home Affairs Minister Lt Gen Ko Ko said that none of the approximately 300 dissidents released had been jailed for political reasons.11 The UN, the EU, the US, the UK, Norway, Australia, South Korea, and the Philippines all welcomed the release of political prisoners as a positive step forward.12 However, the US, the UN, Canada, and the

2 NLM (06 Jan 12) 6656 prisoners granted amnesty, 38964 get clemency; Xinhua (0 Jan 12) 6,656 prisoners released under amnesty order in Myanmar; Bernama (06 Jan 12) 6,656 Prisoners Released Under Amnesty Order In Myanmar 3 DPA (05 Jan 12) Myanmar has released a total of 347 political prisoners, group says 4 DPA (05 Jan 12) Myanmar has released a total of 347 political prisoners, group says 5 AP (12 Jan 12) Myanmar says 651 convicts to be freed under pardon; DPA (12 Jan 12) Myanmar to release 651 more prisoners; Reuters (13 Jan 12) Many Myanmar political prisoners to be freed officials; NLM (13 Jan 12) Amnesty granted to 651 male and female prisoners in accordance with Section 401, Sub-section (1) of Code of Criminal Procedure aimed at enabling them to participate in national reconciliation and political processes; Xinhua (13 Jan 12) Myanmar student, ethnic leaders released under amnesty order; Mizzima News (12 Jan 12) Prisoners to be granted amnesty on Friday; AFP (14 Jan 12) Myanmar says 300 political prisoners freed 6 AAPP (20 Jan 12) Released 299 Political Prisoners on Jan 13, 2012; NYT (22 Jan 12) Many Freed Burmese Werent Jailed for Politics 7 Reuters (13 Jan 12) Many Myanmar political prisoners to be freed officials; AP (13 Jan 12) Myanmar releases prominent political prisoners after presidential pardon; DPA (13 Jan 12) Myanmar to release some top political prisoners; Xinhua (13 Jan 12) Myanmar student, ethnic leaders released under amnesty order; DPA (13 Jan 12) LEAD: Myanmar releases top political prisoners; BBC (13 Jan 12) High-profile dissidents freed in Burma amnesty; Mizzima News (13 Jan 12) Prominent political prisoners freed; Irrawaddy (13 Jan 12) Political Dissidents Released in Govt Amnesty; VOA (13 Jan 12) Burma Releases Prominent Political Prisoners; RFA (13 Jan 12) Top Burmese Dissidents Freed; Mizzima News (13 Jan 12) Most prominent political prisoners freed; DPA (13 Jan 12) Burma releases top political prisoners; Kaladan News (16 Jan 12) Burma frees many famous political prisoners; Myanmar Times (16 Jan 12) Presidential order sees 651 freed; DVB (13 Jan 12) DVB reporters freed, Obama hails releases; IFJ (17 Jan 12) IFJ Welcomes Release of Journalists in Burma 8 Xinhua (13 Jan 12) Former Myanmar PM Khin Nyunt released under amnesty order; DPA (13 Jan 12) LEAD: Myanmar releases top political prisoners; AFP (13 Jan 12) Myanmar pardons political prisoners, ex-PM; BBC (13 Jan 12) High-profile dissidents freed in Burma amnesty; RFA (13 Jan 12) Top Burmese Dissidents Freed 9 Mizzima News (27 Jan 12) Up to 900 political prisoners may remain in Burmese jails 10 Irrawaddy (17 Jan 12) Burma's Remaining Jailed Dissidents; Chinland Guardian (15 Jan 12) Political Prisoners from Ethnic Armed Groups Remain Locked Up: AAPP 11 AFP (14 Jan 12) Myanmar says 300 political prisoners freed

UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma Toms Ojea Quintana urged the regime to release all remaining political prisoners.13 INSIDE BURMA Regime signs initial peace agreements with four ethnic groups In January, the regime continued to promote the appearance of a reform agenda by pursuing peace agreements with ethnic armed groups. The regimes apparent haste to produce initial agreements appears to be aimed at removing economic sanctions and other barriers to foreign investment. Regime representatives signed agreements with the Shan State Army-South (SSA-S), the Chin National Front (CNF), the Karen National Union (KNU), and the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N). However, the regime failed to reach an agreement with the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). 6 January: After two days of talks, CNF representatives signed a nine-point initial peace agreement with a regime delegation led by Rail Transportation Minister Aung Min in Haka, Chin State. 14 12 January: KNU representatives signed an initial ceasefire agreement with a regime delegation led by Rail Transportation Minister Aung Min during talks in Hpa-an, Karen State.15 Following the agreement, KNU General Secretary Zipporah Sein noted that it was an agreement in principle and that a lot more discussions about the politics involved were necessary.16 16 January: SSA-S representatives signed an 11-point initial agreement with a delegation led by Minister of Rail Transportation Aung Min during talks in Taunggyi, Southern Shan State.17 19 January: After two days of talks in Ruili, China, KIO representatives and regime officials led by regime Peace-making Group head Aung Thaung, failed to reach an agreement.18 28 January: SSA-N representatives signed a five-point preliminary agreement with the regime Peace-making Group led by Aung Thaung during talks in Taunggyi, Southern Shan State.19 Military operations, attacks against civilians continue In January, the Tatmadaw continued to launch armed offensives against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Kachin State and Northern Shan State. On 13 January, President Thein Sein issued an order for Tatmadaw forces to cease hostilities against all ethnic armed groups in Burma.20 However, the order - which followed a 10 December order to end attacks against the KIA - had little effect on the situation on the ground. Tatmadaw troops continued
UN News Center (13 Jan 12) Ban welcomes prisoner release and other important moves by Myanmar authorities; EU (13 Jan 12) Statement by EU HR Ashton on the release of political prisoners in Burma-Myanmar; White House (13 Jan 12) Statement by the President on the Release of Burmese Political Prisoners; Daily Express (13 Jan 12) Hague Hails Burma Prisoner Releases; Norway Post (14 Jan 12) Pleased at release of prisoners in Myanmar; AAP (14 Jan 12) Australia welcomes Burma prisoners release; Yonhap (14 Jan 12) Korea welcomes Myanmar's release of political prisoners; AFP (18 Jan 12) Philippines seeks lifting of Myanmar sanctions 13 Reuters (14 Jan 12) Clinton calls Myanmar's foreign minister, Aung San Suu Kyi; OHCHR (16 Jan 12) Myanmar: UN expert welcomes prisoner release, calls for further progress on human rights protections; UN News Center (16 Jan 12) Myanmar: UN rights expert welcomes release of prisoners of conscience; Globe and Mail (13 Jan 12) Canada optimistic as Myanmar frees more political prisoners 14 NLM (09 Jan 11) Initial peace agreement inked between State Level Peace-making Group and CNF; Chinland Guardian (06 Jan 12) Breakthrough: CNF Signed Ceasefire Deal with Govt; Xinhua (08 Jan 12) Myanmar ethnic armed group signs initial deal with local gov't 15 NLM (14 Jan 12) State level peace-making group, KNU peace-making group sign initial agreement Irrawaddy (12 Jan 12) KNU, Govt Reach Historic Agreement; DPA (12 Jan 12) ANALYSIS: Myanmar-Karen ceasefire a good first step, but far to go; NYT (12 Jan 12) Burmese Government and Ethnic Rebel Group Sign Cease-Fire; CNN (12 Jan 12) Myanmar signs cease-fire with rebel group; Suu Kyi joins elections; AP (12 Jan 12) Myanmar signs cease-fire with ethnic rebels 16 KIC (13 Jan 12) KNU will continue to political talk after they signed ceasefire 17 NLM (18 Jan 12) Union level peace-making group, RCSS/SSA peace-making group sign 11 initial agreement; Xinhua (17 Jan 12) Shan ethnic group, Myanmar gov't ink peace deal; SHAN (18 Jan 12) SSA and regime sign new agreement; 18 Irrawaddy (18 Jan 12) Burmese Govt and Kachin Armed Group Hold Peace Talks in China; DPA (19 Jan 12) LEAD: Second day of Myanmar-Kachin peace talks begins; DPA (19 Jan 12) Myanmar-Kachin peace talks fail to agree on ceasefire; RFA (19 Jan 12) Rebels, Military Discuss Ceasefire; DVB (19 Jan 12) Kachin ceasefire talks fail to net result 19 NLM (30 Jan 12) Peace agreement signed between Union level peace-making group and Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP)/Shan State Army peace-making group; Xinhua (29 Jan 12) More Shan ethnic armed group signs initial peace pacts with Myanmar gov't 20 DVB (19 Jan 12) Kachin ceasefire talks fail to net result; Kachin News Group (19 Jan 12) Thein Sein's orders for Burma army to halt Kachin offensive are worthless
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their attacks against the KIA. The Tatmadaw also continued to mobilize troop reinforcements and supplies to conflict areas.21 KIO officials estimated that over 20,000 Tatmadaw soldiers were involved in the ongoing offensive.22 3-4 January: Tatmadaw forces attacked the KIAs Battalion 16 base at Lwaigyai in Mongton Township, Northern Shan State.23 19-20 January: Tatmadaw forces attacked KIA Battalion 8 soldiers along the Kyaukpyu-Kunming pipeline route in Namtu, Mantong, and Kutkai Townships in Northern Shan State.24 Tatmadaw forces also continued to target civilians during military operations in Kachin State. Reports also surfaced of Tatmadaw attacks on civilians in Chinas Yunnan Province opposite Kachin State.25 5 January: Tatmadaw soldiers detained a local village administrator from Tar Law Gyi Village, Myitkyina Township, for alleged ties to the KIA.26 11 January: Tatmadaw soldiers shot and killed two Kachin women, aged 17 and 20, while they were walking to a market near Nam Ya Village, Hpakant Township.27 12 January: Tatmadaw soldiers killed a 60-year-old ethnic Chinese farmer near Loije, Momauk Township.28 15 January: Tatmadaw soldiers from LIB 309 killed two civilians in Hpakant Township.29 NLD prepares for by-elections In January, the NLD officially re-entered Burmas political arena and stepped up activities in preparation for the 1 April by-elections. 5 January: Regime Election Commission approved the NLD registration.30 9 January: The NLD re-organized its seven-member Central Executive Committee (CEC) and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi became the partys chairperson.31 16 January: The NLD published the first issue of its new campaign newsletter D-Wave.32 17 January: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and HIV/AIDS activist Phyu Phyu Thin held a campaign rally to mark the opening of a new party office in Rangoons Mingala Taungnyunt Township.33 18 January: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi registered to run for a parliamentary seat in Rangoon Divisions Kawmoo Township.34 19 January: The NLD nominated candidates for all 48 vacant parliamentary seats in the byelections.35 Candidates included: CEC members Ohn Kyaing, Win Myint, and May Win Myint;

Kachin News Group (27 January 12) Burma army redeploys troops to Kachin frontline Kachin News Group (27 January 12) Burma army redeploys troops to Kachin frontline Irrawaddy (04 Jan 12) Kachins in Fight to Defend Mountain Base 24 DVB (19 Jan 12) Kachin ceasefire talks fail to net result; Kachin News Group (19 Jan 12) Thein Sein's orders for Burma army to halt Kachin offensive are worthless 25 Kachin News Group (13 Jan 12) Burma Army kills Chinese civilian in Yunnan; Kachin News Group (20 Jan 12) Update on Burmese army killing of Chinese civilian in Yunnan; Kachin News Group (23 Jan 12) Burma soldiers open fire on Chinese village sheltering 26 DVB (16 Jan 12) Burmese troops nab govt employee 27 Kachin News Group (11 Jan 12) Burma army kills two unarmed Kachin women 28 Kachin News Group (13 Jan 12) Burma government soldiers execute farmer in Loije near China border 29 Kachin News Group (17 Jan 12) Burma army continues killing unarmed civilians in Hpakant 30 NLM (06 Jan 12) Application for registration as political party granted; AP (05 Jan 12) Myanmar approves Suu Kyis party for election; Xinhua (06 Jan 12) Myanmar's opposition returns to mainstream of political life 31 AFP (10 Jan 12) Suu Kyi becomes party chief as by-election looms; Xinhua (10 Jan 12) Myanmar opposition reformed with Aung San Suu Kyi as chairwoman; RFA (11 Jan 12) NLD Launches Election Blitz; Irrawaddy (11 Jan 12) Suu Kyis NLD Stirs Up Election Fever; Mizzima News (09 Jan 12) NLD reshuffles senior leadership 32 Irrawaddy (16 Jan 12) NLD Publishes First Election Newsletter; Irrawaddy (16 Jan 12) NLD Publishes First Election Newsletter 33 DPA (17 Jan 12) Myanmar opposition chooses HIV/AIDS activist to contest election 34 AFP (18 Jan 12) Suu Kyi registers as candidate in Myanmar by-election; BBC (18 Jan 12) Aung San Suu Kyi registers for Burma election run; DPA (18 Jan 12) Aung San Suu Kyi registers to run in Myanmar by-election; VOA (18 Jan 12) Suu Kyi Files Papers to Run for Burmese Parliament; Xinhua (19 Jan 12) Myanmar opposition nominates full candidates for by-elections; Mizzima News (18 Jan 12) Suu Kyi files to run in Parliament 35 Xinhua (19 Jan 12) Myanmar opposition nominates full candidates for by-elections
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HIV/AIDS activist Phyu Phyu Thin, former political prisoner Phyo Min Thein, hip hop singer and former political prisoner Zayar Thaw, and 88 Generation Student Sandar Min. 36 29 January: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi made a campaign trip to Tavoy, Tenasserim Division, to support local NLD candidate Aung Soe.37 Thousands of supporters cheered Daw Suu during her oneday trip.38 In a speech to supporters, she said the NLD would work in the Parliament to repeal repressive laws and amend the constitution.39 Other key political players announced their stance in relation to the by-elections: 88 Generation Students said they would support Daw Aung San Suu Kyis bid for a parliamentary seat but indicated they would not participate in the polls.40 Ethnic political parties Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), Arakan League for Democracy (ALD), Mon National Democratic Front (MNDF), and Zomi National Congress (ZNC) said they would re-register but would not field any candidates in the by-elections.41 Parliament reconvenes to discuss budget On 26 January, the Peoples Assembly and the National Assembly reconvened for the third parliamentary session in Naypyidaw.42 On 31 January, the National Parliament (a joint session of both Houses) reconvened.43 The Parliament is expected to debate and adopt the national budget for the FY 2012/2013 and resume the discussion of several bills that were introduced during the second session.44 In addition, regime Censorship Board Director Tint Swe announced that a new media law that would guarantee freedom of expression in Burma would also be introduced during the third session.45 HUMAN RIGHTS Regime tightens censorship People in the international community and some political groups are saying that we have press freedom now, but it isn't true. - A Rangoon-based reporter.46 Despite the regimes repeated announcements that it would lift media censorship, in January fresh reports surfaced of tightened restrictions on press freedom. The regime Censorship Board warned local media not to report about:47

36 Irrawaddy (12 Jan 12) NLD Lists 22 Candidates for By-Election; Irrawaddy (18 Jan 12) Burma's Hip Hop Singer Stands for ByElection Seat; DVB (19 Jan 12) Rapper to contest seat in Burmas capital; Mizzima News (18 Jan 12) 88-student, hip-hop singer file to run; AFP (19 Jan 12) Singer, ex-prisoner join Myanmar by-election fight 37 AP (29 Jan 12) Myanmar's Suu Kyi making first campaign tour; AFP (28 Jan 12) Suu Kyi on campaign trip for Myanmar's byelection; BBC (29 Jan 12) Aung San Suu Kyi draws crowds on Burma election campaign trail; VOA (29 Jan 12) Burma Democracy Leader Begins Political Campaigning 38 AP (29 Jan 12) Myanmar's Suu Kyi making first campaign tour; BBC (29 Jan 12) Aung San Suu Kyi draws crowds on Burma election campaign trail; VOA (29 Jan 12) Burma Democracy Leader Begins Political Campaigning 39 RFA (29 Jan 12) Pledge to Scrap 'Repressive' Laws; Reuters (29 Jan 12) Myanmar's Suu Kyi calls for changes to constitution 40 Reuters (21 Jan 12) Top Myanmar dissidents back Suu Kyi but won't contest election; AFP (21 Jan 12) Myanmar's Suu Kyi gets support boost; Mizzima News (23 Jan 12) 88-Students will be active in politics 41 AP (19 Jan 12) Ethnic Shan leader in Myanmar to re-register party; Mizzima News (20 Jan 12) Four dissolved ethnic parties to re-register 42 NLM (27 Jan 12) Third regular session of first Pyithu Hluttaw commences - Chairmen and secretaries of Pyithu Hluttaw Public Accounts Committee, Hluttaw Rights Committee and Governments Guarantees, Pledges and Undertakings Vetting Committee submit reports to Hluttaw; NLM (27 Jan 12) First day third regular session of first Amyotha Hluttaw held - Todays session includes formation of one commission and one committee, reformation of Hluttaw committee, reply to five questions by respective Union Ministers, submitting one bill sent by Pyithu Hluttaw with amendment, and submitting one bill and two proposals 43 NLM (01 Feb 12) First day third regular session of First Pyidaungsu Hluttaw kicks off - Presidents message recorded, joint committee formed, duties assigned, bills submitted 44 Xinhua (04 Jan 12) Myanmar to resume parliament session to deal with more bills; Mizzima News (04 Jan 12) Burmese Parliament to convene Jan. 26; Myanmar Times (09 Jan 12) Next hluttaw session to focus on budget; Mizzima News (25 Jan 12) Lawmakers will try to cut state budgets to reduce deficit; Mizzima News (26 Jan 12) Joint parliament session to debate budget on Tuesday; Xinhua (26 Jan 12) Myanmar to hold third parliament session; Irrawaddy (27 Jan 12) Burmas Parliament Back in Session, Budget is Top Priority 45 Irrawaddy (27 Jan 12) Burmas Parliament Back in Session, Budget is Top Priority 46 Irrawaddy (23 Jan 12) Burma's Censors Tighten Grip Ahead of By-election 47 Irrawaddy (23 Jan 12) Burma's Censors Tighten Grip Ahead of By-election; RFA (23 Jan 12) Burma's Censors Back in Action

Daw Aung San Suu Kyis call for the release of remaining political prisoners. Comments made by 88 Generation Students concerning the need for the creation of student unions and the regimes flawed policies vis--vis ethnic groups. News about the eviction of abbot U Pyinnya Thiha from his Rangoon monastery by the regimebacked Sangha. [See December 2011 Burma Bulletin] Reports of campaign irregularities by the USDP in the lead-up to the 1 April by-elections. Burma still near the bottom of intl indexes International indexes released in January continued to provide a bleak outlook for freedom in Burma: 19 January: Freedom House released its annual Freedom in the World 2012 report.48 The report rated Burma as Not Free with regard to political rights and civil liberties.49 Freedom House has rated Burma as Not Free since its first survey in 1972. 25 January: Reporters Sans Frontires (RSF) released its Press Freedom Index 2011/2012.50 The survey ranked Burma 169th out of 179 countries.51 Regime ignores, violates, childrens rights in Burma On 19 January, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) examined the regimes periodic report under the Convention of the Rights of the Child.52 The report stated that the regime had taken, or was in the process of adopting, necessary measures to comply with the Convention.53 However, the regimes report failed to address documented cases of gross violations of childrens rights including: The recruitment and use of child soldiers and cases of sexual abuse by the Tatmadaw.54 Displacement and attacks on education and healthcare facilities and personnel.55 Incidents of forced labor.56 The denial of Rohingya childrens rights, including freedom to travel, access to education, healthcare, and recognition under the law.57

In response to the Committees questions about budget allocations that put military spending above health and education, and concerns that revenues from the sale of natural resources were not benefiting Burmese children, regime Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Maung Wai explained that income was spent on mega-development projects.58 Maung Wai also claimed there was no discrimination based on religion, race or gender in Burma and said that usage of the term Muslim Rohingya was a painful thing for the delegation.59 DISPLACEMENT Refugees pour into China Thus far, the ongoing conflict in Kachin State has displaced approximately 50,000 people in Kachin State.60 In addition, on 30 January, it was reported that there were at least 25,000 refugees on the Chinese side of the border in Yunnan Province.61
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RFA (19 Jan 12) Burma Emerges from Worst Ranking Freedom House (19 Jan 12) Freedom in the World 2012 50 Mizzima News (25 Jan 12) Press freedom ranking 51 RSF (25 Jan 12) Press Freedom Index 2011/2012 52 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 59th Session, (11 May 11) Myanmar 53 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 59th Session, (11 May 11) Myanmar 54 Child Rights Forum of Burma (29 Apr 11) CRC Shadow Report Burma: The plight of children under military rule in Burma; Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (May 11) Report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in advance of the examination of Myanmars report on the Convention on the Rights of the Child; HURFOM (13 Jan 12) Coercion, Cruelty and Collateral Damage 55 Karen Human Rights Group (21 Sept 11) Attacks on education and health facilities and related personnel: Trends and recent incidents from eastern Burma 56 HURFOM (13 Jan 12) Coercion, Cruelty and Collateral Damage 57 Arakan Project (19 Jan 12) Rohingya Children in Myanmar 58 OHCHR (19 Jan 12) Committee on the Rights of the Child examines report of Myanmar 59 OHCHR (19 Jan 12) Committee on the Rights of the Child examines report of Myanmar 60 IRIN (31 Jan 12) MYANMAR: Health concerns for Kachin IDPs

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Recent events inside Burma have led to an unprecedented number of high-level foreign officials visiting Naypyidaw to assess the regimes reforms. UK sets benchmarks for lifting of sanctions On 5 January, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague arrived in Burma.62 It was the first visit to Burma by a UK Foreign Secretary in 55 years.63 On 5 January, Hague said that he had asked the regime for concrete progress in four areas: the release of political prisoners; holding fair by-elections; the resolution of conflict with ethnic armed groups; and humanitarian access to conflict areas.64 Hague told regime officials that if they wanted sanctions lifted, it was important for them to complete the reform process.65 France says EU will respond to reforms On 14 January, French FM Alain Jupp arrived in Burma on a three-day visit - the first visit ever by a French FM.66 Jupp met with President Thein Sein and other regime officials in Naypyidaw and met with representatives of numerous political parties in Rangoon.67 On 15 January, after meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Jupp said that the EU would respond with in concrete terms to recent regimes reforms.68 On 16 January, Jupp said that the EU would lift sanctions step by step along with the pace of the progress of democratization and liberalization in Burma.69 US Congressman and Senators say more needs to be done In January, five US Senators and one US Congressman traveled to Burma to assess the regimes resolve for reforms. 12 January: Congressman Joseph Crowley began a two-day visit to Burma.70 During his visit he met with various regime officials in Naypyidaw and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and members of ethnic nationalities in Rangoon.71 On 13 January, Crowley said that the release of political prisoners was a step in a very positive direction but added that more needed to be done.72 15 January: US Senator Mitch McConnell arrived in Burma for a four-day visit.73 During his visit, McConnell met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon and President Thein Sein and other regime officials in Naypyidaw.74 On 16 January, McConnell said that he was impressed with the regimes reforms but more needed to be done.75 On 17 January, McConnell urged the regime to allow international observers for the April by-elections. He also urged the regime to end its ties with North Korea in order to normalize relations with the US.76

RFA (30 Jan 12) Refugees Pour Into Yunnan Telegraph (04 Jan 12) William Hague to visit Burma to promote democratic reforms 63 BBC News: (05 Jan 12) William Hague: Burma to free more political prisoners 64 Reuters (05 Jan 12) UK to respond positively to more Myanmar reforms 65 Reuters (06 Jan 11) Myanmar's Suu Kyi, UK's Hague in tune on sanctions 66 Xinhua (14 Jan 12) French FM visits Myanmar 67 Xinhua (16 Jan 12) Myanmar president, French FM discuss political development in Myanmar; NLM (16 Jan 12) French Foreign and European Affairs Minister meets political parties 68 AFP (15 Jan 12) EU to reward Myanmar for reforms: French FM 69 WSJ (16 Jan 12) Myanmar Wins Over More Old Foes 70 Crowley.house.gov (06 Jan 12) Congressman Crowley to Travel to Burma, India 71 Crowley.house.gov (12 Jan 12) Congressman Crowley Meets With Families of Political Prisoners in Burma; Crowley.house.gov (13 Jan 12) Congressman Crowley Meets with Aung San Suu Kyi 72 Crowley.house.gov (13 Jan 12) Congressman Crowley Meets with Aung San Suu Kyi; WSJ (14 Jan 12) Washington Resumes Full Myanmar Ties 73 Xinhua (15 Jan 12) U.S. senator visits Myanmar 74 AP (16 Jan 12) GOP Sen. McConnell Praises Myanmar Reforms, Calls for More; NLM (18 Jan 12) President U Thein Sein receives US Senator Mr Addison Mitchell McConnell and party 75 AP (16 Jan 12) US Senator praise Myanmar reforms, calls for more 76 AP (17 Jan 12) US senator convinced Myanmar leader is reformer
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22 January: US Senators John McCain, Joseph Lieberman, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Kelly Ayotte went on a one-day visit to Burma.77 The four met with President Thein Sein in Naypyidaw and with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon.78 After meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, McCain said that a great deal remained to be done in Burma.79 He said that issues still needed to be addressed including the rule of law, conflict in ethnic areas, and progress towards free and fair elections. McCain added that he asked Thein Sein to allow international observers to monitor by-elections on 1 April but received no commitment.80 US envoy exposes ongoing human trafficking On 9 January, US Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma Derek Mitchell arrived in Burma for a four-day visit. He was accompanied by US Ambassador-at-Large, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Luis CdeBaca. CdeBaca was on a three-day visit to assess the human trafficking situation in Burma and to explore opportunities to strengthen the regime's anti-trafficking efforts.81 In Naypyidaw, CdeBaca and Mitchell met with regime FM Wunna Maung Lwin and Home Affairs Minister Lt Gen Ko Ko in Naypyidaw.82 Mitchell also met separately with other regime ministers and Vice-President Tin Aung Myint Oo.83 On 11 January, CdeBaca said that Burmas laws that allowed for conscription of workers for public projects were the biggest obstacle in the fight against human trafficking.84 On 12 January, Mitchell and CdeBaca met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at her home in Rangoon.85 Reforms lead to easing of sanctions In response to the 13 January release of political prisoners [See above Over 300 political prisoners released], the US began the process to restore full diplomatic relations with the regime. Australia, the EU, and Norway all eased their existing sanctions against Burmas regime. In addition, ASEAN and the Philippines called on the international community to lift all sanctions against Burma. 9 January: Australian FM Kevin Rudd said Canberra would remove former SPDC ministers and deputy ministers who are no longer in politics as well as current regime tourism officials from its Burma sanctions list.86 11 January: ASEAN FMs agreed to reiterate their call for the lifting of economic sanctions against Burma, saying that lifting sanctions would contribute significantly to the countrys socio-economic development.87 13 January: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Washington would start the process of exchanging ambassadors with Burma.88 14 January: Norway FM Jonas Gahr Stre said Norway would allow private Norwegian companies to do business in Burma within the existing EU sanctions framework.89 17 January: The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs said that the international community should lift sanctions against regime because of the unprecedented political and economic reforms underway.90

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AFP (22 Jan 12) US pleased with Myanmar reforms progress AFP (22 Jan 12) US pleased with Myanmar reforms progress AFP (22 Jan 12) US pleased with Myanmar reforms progress 80 AFP (22 Jan 12) US pleased with Myanmar reforms progress 81 Xinhua (09 Jan 12) US special envoy renews visit to Myanmar; NLM (10 Jan 12) Home Affairs Minister receives US guests 82 NLM (10 Jan 12) Myanmar, US to promote bilateral relations and cooperation 83 Xinhua (10 Jan 12) Myanmar vice president meets U.S. special envoy; 83 NLM (11 Jan 12) Vice-President Thiha Thura U Tin Aung Myint Oo receives US Special Rep 84 AP (11 Jan 12) US envoy: Myanmar weak against human trafficking 85 CNN (12 Jan 12) U.S. Sen. McConnell to meet with Myanmar opposition leader 86 Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (09 Jan 12) Reduction to Australia's sanctions list for Burma 87 Xinhua (11 Jan 12) ASEAN FMs end meeting with agreements on regional, international issues 88 BBC (13 Jan 12) US to exchange ambassadors with Burma; DPA (13 Jan 12) LEAD: US to send ambassador to Myanmar 89 DPA (14 Jan 12) Norway to ease trade restrictions with Myanmar 90 AFP (18 Jan 12) Philippines seeks lifting of Myanmar sanctions

23 January: EU FMs lifted the visa ban on President Thein Sein, the two Vice-presidents, the Speakers of both Houses of Parliament, and cabinet ministers.91 27 January: The Norwegian government announced that it would allow Burma to export goods free of duty to Norway under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).92 Thailand and Burma cement ties Thailand and Burmas regime agreed to strengthen bilateral relations during a 9-11 January visit to Thailand by Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief Gen Min Aung Hlaing. 9 January: Gen Min Aung Hlaing met with Thai Defense Minister Gen Yutthasak Sasiprapa and the two agreed to strengthen military and economic ties. Gen Min Aung Hlaing told Yutthasak that the regime would open more border crossing points.93 Min Aung Hlaing met with Thai Supreme Commander Gen Tanasak Patimapragorn and the two discussed matters related to drugs and transnational crime.94 10 January: Gen Min Aung Hlaing met with Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra. Gen Min Aung Hlaing urged Yingluck to help finish construction of the Tavoy deep-sea port and related infrastructure as quickly as possible.95 ECONOMY Regime implements rise in electricity and gas prices On 1 January, the regime implemented significant increases in the prices for gas and electricity in Burma. Gas prices in Rangoon went up 34%, from 2,083 kyat (US$2.54) per gallon to 2,791 kyat (US$3.40) without any prior announcement.96 The price for electricity in Rangoon doubled from 25 kyat (US$.03) per kilowatt hour to 50 kyat (US$.06) for homes and from 50 kyat (US$.06) to 100kyat (US$.13) for businesses respectively.97 Protests continue over electricity shortage in Arakan State In January, Arakan State residents continued to campaign for 24-hour electricity in the state even after similar protests in November 2011 led to multiple arrests [See November 2011 Burma Bulletin]. 1 January: Local activists in Kyaukpyu, Arakan State, held a rally to support the Rakhine Nationals Progressive Partys plan to invest revenues from the Shwe Gas project for energy development in Arakan State.98 16 January: Local activists held two-days of protests in Akyab and Mrauk U, Arakan State to demand that the regime use profits from the Shwe Gas project to provide 24-hour electricity and cooking gas for Arakan State residents.99 In response to the ongoing campaign, the regime announced two measures related to domestic energy consumption.

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Reuters (23 Jan 12) EU eases sanctions on Myanmar leaders after reforms Foreigner(29 Jan 12) Norway eases Burma trade further 93 Bangkok Post (09 Jan 12) Stronger military ties with Burma 94 NLM (11 Jan 12) Commander-in-Chief calls on Chief of Defence Forces of Royal Thai Armed Forces 95 NLM (12 Jan 12) Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services General Min Aung Hlaing calls on Thai Prime Minister Ms Yingluck Shinawatra 96 AP (01 Jan 12) Gas prices rise 30 percent in Myanmar for new year; DPA (01 Jan 12) Myanmar motorists see 34-per-cent petrol price hike 97 Myanmar Times (19 Dec 11) Power rates to double as govt seeks to cut deficit; DVB (22 Dec 11) Burma to see 50% hike in power fees; Myanmar Times (26 Dec 11) Electricity supply charges to rise 40-50pc 98 Narinjara News (05 Jan 12) People Support RNDP Plan for Gas Benefits at Rally 99 Mizzima News (17 Jan 12) Activists demand gas for Arakan electricity; Narinjara News (18 Jan 12) Arakanese Demand Rights from Shwe Gas Project

9 January: Regime Minister of Electric Power-2 Khin Maung Soe announced that the regime would use a share of the gas extracted from the Shwe Gas project to help power the national electricity grid, which would be extended into Arakan State in the 2012-2013 fiscal year. 100 27 January: Regime Minister of Energy Than Htay announced that Burma planned to keep all natural gas from new projects after 2013 for domestic consumption.101 Uncertainty surrounds foreign investments On 9 January, regime Minister of Electric Power-2 Khin Maung Soe cancelled Thailands Italian-Thai Development (ITD)s 4,000 megawatt coal-fired power plant project in the Tavoy Special Economic Zone (SEZ).102 The regime failed to notify ITD of its decision to cancel the plant.103 Following the announcement, ITD said that it would look for new energy sources for the project.104 Making the situation more tenuous for ITD, the company has yet to secure full funding for the project.105 On 23 January, ITD announced that the company needed US$8.5 billion in financing to move ahead with the infrastructure phase of the project.106 Thai firm DBC Vickers Securities was quoted as saying that the project was still in its infancy and clouded with risks. In our view, ITD faces a country risk and an unpredictable business climate, the firm said.107 The regimes about face on the coal plant marked the second time in less than six months that a major economic project was cancelled or suspended without providing prior notification to the foreign developers [See October 2011 Burma Bulletin]. While affected communities and activists campaigning against the Tavoy project welcomed the regimes decision,108 the regime continued to implement similar mega-projects without carrying out any environmental impact or consulting local communities prior to their implementation. Cronies to profit from Burmas migrant workers On 30 January, state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported that Burma Central Bank issued licenses to four private banks with ties to the regime that will allow them to trade foreign currencies and handle remittances from Burmese working in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. The four banks include the Asia Green Development Bank, Kanbawza Bank, and the Irrawaddy Bank, which are owned by regimes prominent cronies Tay Za, Aung Ko Win, and Zaw Zaw respectively.109 IMF, Daw Suu highlight necessary reforms From 9 to 25 January, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation visited Naypyidaw and Rangoon in a follow-up to its October-November 2011 visit.110 During the visit, the delegation met with
Myanmar Times (23 Jan 12) Shwe gas to power Rakhine State: minister Reuters (27 Reuters 11) Myanmar has no plans to export new gas finds Mizzima News (09 Jan 12) 4,000-MW power plant project cancelled in Dawei; AFP (09 Jan 12) Myanmar cancels coal plant after opposition: official; AP (09 Jan 12) Myanmar cancels planned coal power plant; Irrawaddy (10 Jan 12) Dawei Power Plant Canceled; Reuters (10 Jan 12) UPDATE 1-Myanmar scraps Dawei power plant after local opposition; Xinhua (10 Jan 12) Myanmar suspends coal-fired power plant project in southern region; BBC (10 Jan 12) Burma halts construction of Thai-backed power plant; VOA (11 Jan 12) Burma Government Brandishes Democratic Credentials With Suspended Power Projects; Myanmar Times (16 Jan 12) Govt cuts coal plant from Dawei project 103 VOA (11 Jan 12) Burma Government Brandishes Democratic Credentials With Suspended Power Projects; Myanmar Times (16 Jan 12) Govt cuts coal plant from Dawei project; AFP (09 Jan 12) Myanmar cancels coal plant after opposition: official; Reuters (10 Jan 12) UPDATE 1-Myanmar scraps Dawei power plant after local opposition; 104 Reuters (10 Jan 12) UPDATE 1-Myanmar scraps Dawei power plant after local opposition; Bangkok Post (11 Jan 12) Thais in the dark on Dawei plant; DVB (11 Jan 12) Thai energy firm eyes Tavoy alternative 105 Myanmar Times (16 Jan 12) Govt cuts coal plant from Dawei project; Nation (16 Jan 12) ITD facing big risks after power plant plan in Burma scrapped; Bangkok Post (23 Jan 12) Dawei developer seeks more funding, partners; Reuters (23 Jan 12) Developer of Myanmar's Dawei megaproject seeks funding; Mizzima News (24 Jan 12) Dawei energy project moving forward; Mizzima News (09 Jan 12) 4,000-MW power plant project cancelled in Dawei 106 Mizzima News (24 Jan 12) Dawei energy project moving forward 107 Nation (16 Jan 12) ITD facing big risks after power plant plan in Burma scrapped 108 VOA (11 Jan 12) Burma Government Brandishes Democratic Credentials With Suspended Power Project; Myamar Times (16 Jan 12) Govt cuts coal plant from Dawei project 109 NLM (31 Jan 12) Myanmar citizens working abroad to have chance to remit their income to homeland via banks 110 NLM (25 Jan 12) Statement at the Conclusion of the 2011 Article IV Mission to Myanmar; AFP (26 Jan 12) IMF applauds Myanmar reforms; IMF (02 Nov 11) Statement at the Conclusion of the Article VIII Mission to Myanmar Press Release No. 11/392
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regime Minister of Energy Than Htay, Minister of Finance and Revenue Hla Tun, Burma Central Bank Governor Than Nyein, and other officials.111 On 25 January, the IMF released a statement that highlighted Burmas potential for high economic growth. It predicted that Burmas GDP would grow by 5.5% in the 2011-2012 fiscal year and 6.0% in 2012-2013.112 The IMF also detailed the reforms necessary for the country to meet that potential.113 The Fund recommended that the regime pursue macroeconomic stability by unifying the exchange rate. It also recommended that the regime modernize the financial sector, and take further steps to liberalize trade and foreign investment.114 In a speech to the World Economic Forum (WEF) on 26 January, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi addressed issues not covered by the IMFs recommendations. Daw Suu said that economic progress depended on more than the fiscal and monetary measures advocated by international financial institutions. She called for judicial and legislative reforms needed to create a political, social, and economic environment for ethical investment to Burma.115 International aid to Burma upped In January, the EU, UK, Denmark, and France, announced plans to increase aid and development assistance to Burma. 6 January: Denmark announced that it would double its development assistance for Burma from US$8.5 million to US$17 million in 2012.116 10 January: UKs Department for International Development (DFID) announced that it would provide US$3 million to assist IDPs in Kachin State and US$15 million for microfinance projects in Kachin, Chin, Arakan, and Shan States, and the central dry zone.117 16 January: French FM Alain Jupp said that France would triple its yearly development assistance to Burma from approximately US$1.25 million to US$3.75 million.118 23 January: The EU Council of Foreign Ministers said they were considering a 150 million euro (US$247.7 million) aid package focused on health, education, agriculture, and institutional capacitybuilding in Burma.119 OTHER BURMA NEWS IN JANUARY
1 2 3 3 3 A local regime official in Maungdaw Township, Arakan State, orders village administrators not to use the word Rohingya in official correspondence, during a meeting in Maungdaw Township. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and American philanthropist George Soros hold a wide-ranging discussion about Burmas recent developments in Rangoon. Eleven-day Myanmar Gems Enterprise Gems Emporium ends with US$903 million in cumulative sales. Regime-backed Sangha rejects the appeal lodged by abbot U Pyinnya Thiha against his eviction from his monastery in Rangoons Kyimyindine Township. Spokesman for High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, Michael Mann, says that the EU has reached an agreement with the regime to open an office in Rangoon. NLD members, veteran politicians, foreign diplomats, and leaders of various political parties attend a ceremony to mark the 42nd anniversary of Independence Day at the NLD headquarters in Rangoon. In his Independence Day message, President Thein Sein says that a Tatmadaw of international standard

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NLM (21 Jan 12) IMF Mission calls on Union Energy Minister; NLM (22 January 12) Union F&R Minister receives IMF officials; Irrawaddy (26 Jan 12) IMF: Burma Could Become Asias Next Economic Frontier; NLM (25 Jan 12) Statement at the Conclusion of the 2011 Article IV Mission to Myanmar; AFP (26 Jan 12) IMF applauds Myanmar reforms 113 Irrawaddy (26 Jan 12) IMF: Burma Could Become Asias Next Economic Frontier; NLM (25 Jan 12) Statement at the Conclusion of the 2011 Article IV Mission to Myanmar; AFP (26 Jan 12) IMF applauds Myanmar reforms 114 NLM (25 Jan 12) Statement at the Conclusion of the 2011 Article IV Mission to Myanmar 115 WEF (26 Jan 12) Aung San Suu Kyi - Annual Meeting 2012 116 Myanmar Times (16 Jan 12) Denmark will double aid in 2012, says minister 117 Myanmar Times (16 Jan 12) UK to up support for credit program; Myanmar Times (16 Jan 12) DFID announces 2m for displaced people 118 Irrawaddy (17 Jan 12) France to Triple Its Aid to Burma 119 AFP (26 Jan 12) EU mulling over $248 million aid package for Myanmar

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is required for national defense. Tatmadaw troops from IB 130 shoot and kill a local villager who is attempting to escape from forced portering in Namkham Township, Northern Shan State. US philanthropist George Soros announces plans to open an office in Burma. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi says that reforms started by Burmas regime are not unstoppable and will succeed only if the military is prepared to cooperate with reform principles. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi says that unless there is ethnic harmony it will be very difficult for Burma to build up a strong democracy. Regime grants eight foreign companies and eight Burmese companies the right to jointly explore 10 onshore oil and gas blocks out of 18 originally tendered. Indian Army Chief of Staff Gen Vijay Kumar Singh begins a five-day visit to Burma. Over 300 students from Akyab University demonstrate in Akyab, Arakan State, to protest a 100% increase of ferry fares. A landmine kills several Tatmadaw soldiers in Hpakant Township, Kachin State. Danish Minister of Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach arrives in Burma. A bomb blast at a festival in Anankwin Village, Kyainnseikyi Township, Karen State, kills four people and injures about 40. Police in Rangoons South Dagon Township briefly detain a 61-year-old protestor who demonstrated against corruption among local regime officials. New York-based Asia Society awards Daw Aung San Suu Kyi the Global Vision Award. Regime Air Force Commander-in-Chief Lt Gen Myat Hein visits Pakistan Air Headquarters in Islamabad and meets with Pakistan Air Force Chief of Air Staff Qamar Suleman. Regime Minister of Immigration and Population Khin Yi announces that the regime will conduct its first census since 1983 in December 2014. Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Yukio Edano meets with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon and conveys Japans readiness to support Burmas economy and to assist in the reform process. French President Nicolas Sarkozy confers Frances highest honor, the Legion of Honor, on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. US Congressional Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen says that the US should end talks with Burmas regime until it has a democratic government that respects human rights and civil liberties. Regime Election Commission approves the registration of the Myanma New Society Democratic Party. Regime Election Commission approves the registration of the 88-Forces of Peoples Party. Peoples Assembly Speaker Shwe Mann says the 1 April by-elections will be free and fair and dismisses the possibility of a military coup in Burma. A landmine explosion in Mogaung Township, Kachin State, kills one person and injures two. All Burma Students Democratic Fronts Vice-Chairman says the group has agreed to hold peace talks with the regime. Bangladesh and the regime sign an agreement to operate daily flights between Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Rangoon. In an interview to the Washington Post, President Thein Sein says Burma is on the right track' to democracy but says the regime cannot leave the military behind because militarys participation is required for the countrys development. UK-based Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust says that Chin State may be facing a food shortage that will affect up to 100,000 people. Thai energy firm PTT announces plans to divest 40-50% of its stake in Burmas M11 oil field in February. Regime Home Affairs Deputy Minister Brig Gen Kyaw Zan Myint and Indias Home Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs RK Singh sign a MoU on border security issues in Naypyidaw. 88 Generation Students say they will cooperate with the President, the Parliament, the military, political parties, and ethnic groups for the emergence of democracy, peace and development. Vice-President Tin Aung Myint Oo says that the Tavoy project will displace 23,120 people from 4,075 houses in 18 villages in Tenasserim Division. Regime FM Wunna Maung Lwin arrives in New Delhi on a three-day official visit. Regime Election Commission approves the registration of the Myanmar National Congress Party. Regime Peace-making Group Deputy Leader Thein Zaw invites the Arakan Liberation Party to talks with the regime. Regime Labor Deputy Minister Myint Thein and ILO Executive Director Guy Ryder extend the MoU on the eradication of forced labor for an additional year. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari meets with President Thein Sein in Naypyidaw to discuss upgrading relations and promoting economic and trade cooperation. US President Barack Obama says that the new beginning in Burma has lit a new hope in his State of the

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Union address. US Assistant Secretary of State for Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation Thomas Countryman meets with Peoples Assembly Deputy Speaker Nanda Kyaw Sar in Naypyidaw. Regime FM Wunna Maung Lwin describes the reforms initiated by the regime as irreversible and says that future reforms will be incremental, systematic and dynamic. Regime FM Wunna Maung Lwin says the regime plans to continue releasing political prisoners as and when appropriate taking into account public security, peace, stability and the interest of the people and the state. UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon announces that Vijay Nambiar will become his Special Advisor on Burma. President Thein Sein appoints Tenasserim Division Minister of Finance and Revenue Myat Ko as Chief Minister. Myanmar Rice Industry Association and Indonesian Pereum BULOG sign an MoU that provides for the export 200,000 tons of rice per year to Indonesia beginning in February. A landmine explosion kills a Tatmadaw soldier in Mansi Township, Kachin State. President Thein Sein arrives in Singapore on a four-day visit. Singapore and the regime sign an MoU on technical cooperation under which Singapore will offer training courses to help modernize the Burmese economy and open it to foreign investment. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy says that he welcomes the important changes taking place in Burma and encourages the regime to maintain its determination to continue on the path of reform. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi inspects DFID-financed development projects in Nyaung U, Mandalay Division, and Myaing, Magwe Division. In an interview to Singapores newspaper Straits Times, President Thein Sein says peace and stability in Burma come before economic development. President Thein Sein has his pacemaker checked at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

REPORTS ON BURMA RELEASED IN JANUARY


Burma Briefing No. 17 - Analysis of EU Conclusions on Burma, Burma Campaign UK (BCUK) http://bit.ly/zSO8vh Burmas NHRC: An Empty Gesture (updated version), Burma Partnership (BP) http://bit.ly/wGz0I8 Freedom of Expression and Opinion in Burma: Still a Long Way to Go, Burma Partnership (BP) http://bit.ly/yCPwby World Press Freedom Index 2011-2012, Reporters sans Frontires (RSF) http://bit.ly/A92Se5 Freedom in the World 2012, Freedom House http://bit.ly/yQ2m9Q World Report 2012 Country Summary: Burma, Human Rights Watch (HRW) http://bit.ly/AurUwn Burmas Democratic Facade: Human Right Abuses Continued, Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) http://bit.ly/yHSxot The situation of stateless Rohingya children in Myanmar (Burma), Arakan Project http://bit.ly/wzmIzr Coercion, Cruelty and Collateral Damage, Woman and Child Rights Project (WCRP) http://bit.ly/wD43fI Burma: An Opportunity to Expand Humanitarian Space, Refugees International (RI) http://bit.ly/wraMC8 Periodic report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Myanmar http://bit.ly/wqbjHi

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