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A Conversation With US Ambassador Scot Marciel

On March 8, The Irrawaddy’s editorial team invited US Ambassador Scot Marciel to our office in Yangon to participate in a conversation on a range of issues, particularly the many challenges Myanmar is facing. The ambassador offered his frank views in response to questions from senior editors. Here are excerpts from the interview: The Irrawaddy: […]

Trade sanctions by EU, US unlikely: analysts

Analysts are not expecting the European Union or the US to revoke Myanmar’s tariff-free access to their markets over the coming quarters. Following a United Nations report implicating the Tatmadaw in human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in the states of Rakhine, Kachin and Shan in September last year, the EU announced a month later […]

‘Overreacting to failure’: Facebook’s new Myanmar strategy baffles local activists

Facebook banned four ethnic armed Myanmar-based groups from its site this week, in its latest effort to reckon with its role in the violence in that nation. But the tech giant’s decision is drawing criticism from local civil society and human rights groups who warn that the move appears ill-considered and inconsistent with international law. […]

Cambodia Businesses, Unions Ask EU Not to Impose Trade Sanctions

PHNOM PENH—Cambodian businesses and unions urged the European Union on Monday to not withdraw trade preferences from Cambodia over human rights concerns, saying such a decision would pose serious economic damage and harm millions of workers and their families. The EU warned last year that it would strip Cambodia of its “Everything but Arms” (EBA) […]

In Myanmar, Facebook brings light as well as darkness

It has been more than eight months since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by the US Congress over the Cambridge Analytica breach. “I promise I will do better” would be a simple short sentence to sum up Zuckerberg’s stressful two-day congressional testimony. He admitted to US senators that partly because of his mistake it […]

Facebook takes down more Myanmar accounts over military links

Facebook Inc (FB.O) has removed hundreds of additional accounts, pages and groups in Myanmar from its social networks after discovering what it called “coordinated inauthentic behaviour” and links to the country’s military. The social media giant had previously removed accounts, including that of Myanmar’s army chief, after criticism it had failed to act on hate […]

EU’s threat to scrap trade preferences spurs Myanmar’s reforms

Economic reform is getting a second wind in Myanmar as the government tries to lure back foreign investors scared away by reports of human rights abuses against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority. The government has announced the easing of restrictions on foreign banks and the creation of a new ministry to oversee foreign investment in […]

Protests and demonstrations a key concern for extractive companies

Protests and demonstrations pose a serious security threat to the oil and gas industry as well as mining sector in Myanmar, a recent poll among industry players showed. Yangon-based Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) organised workshops aiming to raise awareness of the relevance of Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR) for Myanmar’s […]

Facebook among firms named on Myanmar human rights ‘dirty list

Facebook is among a number of companies from the US, UK, France, Switzerland and China named on a “dirty list” of corporations accused of involvement in human rights and environmental violations in Myanmar, or of doing business with the country’s military, which is accused of genocide. A list of 49 companies, compiled by the pressure […]

Japan wakes up to exploitation of foreign workers as immigration debate rages

Twenty-seven-year-old War Nu left her village in central Myanmar at the end of last year bound for Japan. She had borrowed nearly $3,000 to pay an agent for a job in the garments industry here, lured not only by the offer of much higher wages but also by the chance to learn new skills in […]