Myanmar foreign policy & defense

15 MAY 2019

UN Mission Urges Financial Isolation of Myanmar’s Military

A United Nations fact-finding mission is urging that countries cut off all business with Myanmar’s military as part of efforts to hold the army accountable for human rights abuses

9 MARCH 2019

Myanmar, Ukrainian firm ink arms plant deal

A Ukrainian company and the Myanmar military have signed a joint-venture agreement to build a plant capable of manufacturing armored personnel carriers (APCs) and self-propelled howitzers, the Myanmar website The Irrawaddy reports

14 NOVEMBER 2018

US vice-president Pence tells Aung San Suu Kyi persecution of Rohingya inexcusable

US Vice President Mike Pence expressed the Trump administration’s strongest condemnation yet of Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya Muslims on Wednesday (Nov 14), telling leader Aung San Suu Kyi that “persecution” by her country’s army was “without excuse”


Canadian lawmakers vote to strip Myanmar’s Suu Kyi of citizenship

Canadian legislators, in a symbolic move, on Thursday voted unanimously to strip Myanmar’s unofficial leader Aung San Suu Kyi of her honorary citizenship in response to alleged crimes committed against the Rohingya minority


UN reiterates call for Myanmar generals to face genocide charges

Myanmar’s army has used unfathomable levels of violence against minority Rohingya, UN investigators said Tuesday, calling for the military to be removed from politics and top generals to be prosecuted for genocide

18 AUGUST 2018

US pulls its punch on new Myanmar sanctions

New US sanctions target individual soldiers and units for gross military rights abuses but conspicuously overlook Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing’s overarching role

9 AUGUST 2018

Myanmar snubs Hague court’s intervention in Rohingya crisis

Myanmar on Thursday sharply rejected an attempt by the International Criminal Court to consider the country’s culpability for activities that caused about 700,000 minority Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh for safety

6 JUNE 2018

Myanmar and UN reach agreement on Rohingya repatriation process

Myanmar signed an agreement on Wednesday with United Nations agencies to help kickstart a voluntary repatriation process for some of the 700,000 Rohingya refugees who now reside in temporary camps in Bangladesh

24 APRIL 2018

How China gets what it wants in Myanmar

With all the Western outfits involved in Myanmar’s peace process effectively sidelined, China has emerged as the only outside force that matters due to its substantial leverage over both insurgents and the government

Myanmar’s Role in China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative

 This article argues that the origins and theoretical underpinnings of Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative can actually be traced back to the mid-1980s, that is, almost three decades before the official media unveiled the Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI)

19 MARCH 2018

Aung San Suu Kyi cancels rare public speech during Australia visit

Controversial State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi has canceled a rare public appearance in Australia due to ill health, where she was expected to face questions from the audience

26 FEBRUARY 2018

EU agrees to prepare sanctions on Myanmar generals over Rohingya plight

European Union foreign ministers have agreed to prepare sanctions against senior Myanmar military officers over “serious and systematic” rights abuses against the country’s Rohingya Muslim community

11 FEBRUARY 2018

British Foreign secretary Boris Johnson pushes Aung San Suu Kyi on Rohingya refugees

Boris Johnson has told Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi the UN refugee agency must be allowed to supervise the return of Rohingya refugees, saying it was clear many were terrified to return home

25 JANUARY 2018

Rohingya crisis: US diplomat quits Myanmar panel over Aung San Suu Kyi ‘whitewashing’

Bill Richardson, an old friend of Myanmar’s leader, has said he will not be a “cheerleader” for her government. Myanmar has hit back at what it called a “personal attack” on Aung San Suu Kyi

11 JANUARY 2018

Is Myanmar ready to end its ‘marriage of convenience’ to North Korea?

The growing pressure on the international community to adhere to and enforce UN-mandated sanctions on Pyongyang has once again revealed the persistence of clandestine military ties between Myanmar and North Korea

25 DECEMBER 2017

China and Russia oppose UN resolution on Rohingya

The UN general assembly has urged Myanmar to end a military campaign against Muslim Rohingya and called for the appointment of a UN special envoy, despite opposition from China, Russia and some regional countries

20 DECEMBER 2017

Burma bans UN human rights investigator from probing anti-Rohingya atrocities

Burma has banned a UN special investigator on human rights from visiting the country, triggering widespread condemnation and raising new concerns about its apparent refusal to address allegations of ethnic cleaning of a Muslim minority

28 NOVEMVER 2017

Pope Francis calls for respect for each person and ethnic group in Myanmar

Pope Francis called for respect for each ethnic group and its identity in Myanmar, amid international scrutiny over the mass exodus caused by a military crackdown in its troubled western Rakhine state

27 NOVEMBER 2017

Pope Francis arrives in Myanmar on diplomatically sensitive visit amid Rohingya refugee crisis

Thousands of Catholics have gathered in Yangon after journeys by train and bus, excited to get a glimpse of Pope Francis, who has begun a trip to Myanmar fraught with diplomatic risk due to the nation’s treatment of the minority Muslim Rohingya people

23 NOVEMBER 2017

Myanmar, Bangladesh ink Rohingya return deal

Myanmar and Bangladesh signed an accord on Thursday (Nov 23) over terms for the return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh, both governments said, amid concern that Myanmar’s powerful army could prove obstructive

17 NOVEMBER 2017

Secretary Tillerson signals shift in US policy toward Burma

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson just concluded a visit to Burma where he called upon the government to investigate allegations of atrocities committed by the Burmese military against the Rohingya


Over half a million Rohingya Muslims must return to Myanmar’s Rakhine as citizens: UN

The head of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says Myanmar must grant citizenship to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims so that they can return to the Southeast Asian country they fled government-run violence against the persecuted minority group


UN chief urges Burma to end ‘nightmare’ for Rohingyas

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Myanmar’s authorities on Thursday to immediately end military operations that have sent over 500,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh


Aung San Suu Kyi says Burma does not fear scrutiny, but refuses to blame army for abuse of Rohingya

In refusing to acknowledge what is happening in Rakhine state and using her position to promote the idea that abuses against the Rohingya are not being perpetrated or will not be punished, the Myanmar leader is belying the claim she made during the televised address that, ‘Our government has emerged as a body committed to human rights’


UN urges Myanmar to end Rohingya violence

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council called on Myanmar’s government to end its military campaign against the Rohingya

24 AUGUST 2017

Myanmar’s Rakhine a human rights crisis: Kofi Annan

The Rakhine Advisory Commission, led by its chairman, the former UN Chief Kofi Annan, gave this assessment, without identifying the Rohingyas by name, in its final report released on Thursday

11 JULY 2017

India-Myanmar: Fast-tracking the Eastward Push

Bilateral relations between India and Myanmar have historically been uneven and contingent on specific leadership approaches on both sides. Under India’s incumbent Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, this complex relationship has seen renewed commitment within the broader agenda of “Act East” – a timely upgradation of India’s post-Cold War tilt towards southeast Asia and beyond

4 MAY 2017

Vatican and Myanmar establish diplomatic relations as Suu Kyi visits

The Vatican and Myanmar established full diplomatic relations on Thursday in the latest step in the former pariah Asian state’s rehabilitation by the international community

11 APRIL 2017

China, Burma reach deal on oil pipeline after nearly a decade of talks

China and Burma (Myanmar) have reached an agreement on an oil pipeline between the neighbouring countries after almost a decade of talks, with the project due to start “very quickly”, Chinese vice foreign minister Liu Zhenmin said

24 MARCH 2017

UN to probe alleged crimes against Rohingya in Myanmar

UN mission will investigate allegations of killings, rape and torture by security forces against Rohingya in Myanmar

17 MARCH 2017

China, Russia block UN statement on Myanmar

China and Russia blocked a proposed UN Security Council statement on Friday that would have expressed concern over the tense situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, diplomats said


UN condemns ‘devastating’ Rohingya abuse in Myanmar

The UN has accused security forces in Myanmar of committing serious human rights abuses, including gang-rape, savage beatings and child Killing