VOA Burmese Blog

May 31, 2011

Senator John McCain Goes to Burma


John McCain and Khin Myo Thet of VOA at a conference in Bangkok, Thailand

 

 

United States Senator John McCain spoke with journalists in Bangkok, discussing about his trip to Burma. He leaves for Burma on Wednesday and will be meeting with government officials and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to assess the new parliament and political reform in the country. He urges the release of political prisoners in the country. McCain talked fondly of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, saying that he admired her more than any other person living in this world.

McCain stated that the way the new government handles Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s upcoming tour of the country, will evaluate the seriousness of the country’s reformation process.

“I just would make a request, obviously, of the government, that if she travels to allow her to travel freely. ¬†Whether they would agree with that recommendation which I’m not the only person to make, is not clear. But, I do believe that it will be a very strong indicator of their commitment to reform, as to whether they do allow her to travel freely or not.”

 

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ASEAN on Burma’s Chairmanship and the Release of Prisoners


ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan came to the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC, addressing South East Asia’s policies, global governance and economic achievements. Pitsuwan although highlights ASEAN nations, also takes note of the controversies of one of its countries, Burma. The Secretary General weighs in on Burmese President Thein Sein’s request for ASEAN chairmanship.

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Prisoners Released from Burma

Filed under: Burma/ Myanmar,Feature Story,Interviews,News,VOA Burmese Service — voaburmese @ 4:08 pm

Burma released over 14,000 prisoners on Tuesday, May 17th 2011. Although prisoners around the country were released, only a handful were political captives. Burma has more than 2,000 political detainees in jail; many say that common criminals were released in huge amounts of numbers than political prisoners.

President Thein Sein stated that the government would be reducing all inmates’ prison sentence by one year and would be replacing the death penalty sentence with life imprisonment.

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May 6, 2011

The Mystery of the Hope Diamond


The Hope Diamond, arguably the most famous stone of all the gems in the world, is a blue diamond, and it is sometimes mistaken for sapphire. There are rumors that this treasure is cursed, and it still remains a mystery to this day. In the book, the Mystery of the Hope Diamond by Henry Leyford Gates, the story and the curse of the Hope Diamond unveils…

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May 5, 2011

Burma’s Refugees


My colleague, Thar Nyunt Oo and I ( Kaye Lin) went to the US State Department last week where a screening of the HBO award winning documentary, Burma Soldier was held. My colleagues and I have  met and interviewed the protagonist of the film, Myo Myint several times, and he has become a friend of the service.

On this particular event, we went and centered our story around America’s stance the refugee crises in Burma. Watch the videos here:

Myo Myint, the protagonist of the film, Burma Soldier, was a refugee in one of Thailand’s refugee camps. Eric Schwartz, Assistant Secretary of Population, Refugees and Migration says that Burma is one of the countries with the biggest refugee crises in the world. Hundreds of thousands of Burmese seek refuge in its neighobring country, Thailand; and Schwartz says that there are difficulties after repatriation that is not so transparent in the beginning.

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