Myanmar Monitor Weekly

Politics

Myanmar military admits soldiers killed five people, says will prosecute
In a rare admission, Myanmar’s military said on 20 July that soldiers had killed five villagers during an interrogation last month in northern Shan State, and promised to prosecute the perpetrators. The military also pledged help for the victims’ families and that the verdict would be made public.
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Myanmar’s Suu Kyi honours hero father
Aung San Suu Kyi paid tribute to her father, independence hero General Aung San, on 19 July at a memorial attended for the first time by the army chief, a rare show of unity in the former military- run country. Suu Kyi laid a wreath at the mausoleum dedicated to her father and eight others assassinated in 1947 during their struggle to win independence from Britain.
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Myanmar government cracks down on Buddhist nationalists
The Myanmar government is cracking down on a hard-line Buddhist nationalist group Ma Ba Tha, after two mosques were destroyed and scores of Muslim residents fled their villages in recent weeks. The government has threatened legal action against the group if it spreads hate speech and incites violence, a move that came as an apparent response to international criticism from human rights activists and lawyers for the government’s lack of action.
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Amnesty International Calls for Relocation of Toxic Factory
Amnesty International has called on the Myanmar government to immediately relocate a sulfuric acid factory situated close to a village in Monywa Township of Sagaing Division. The factory continues to operate despite adverse impacts reported on public health and the environment. Village residents have said the air had become so toxic that youth had stopped attending the local school, located only 50 meters from the factory.
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Economy

Myanmar expands fibre optic cable to 31,000 kilometres
Myanmar has expanded its fibre optic cable to 31,000 kilometres this year, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communication. Myanmar was home to 5.3 million SIM cards before foreign telecom operators had been granted operating licences, bringing mobile penetration up to 43.72 million people in 2016. International bandwidth has reached to over 200 Gbps in 2016, which is nearly seven times the country’s capacity in 2013.
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Foreign Affairs

China woos Myanmar, tries to massage its public image
Beijing has invited more than 100 journalists, government officials and members of parliament to visit the country, as well as 100 students to study in China, to “improve understanding” on their part of China’s intentions. “China wants Myanmar to understand that we can make money together,” said Wang Xiaofeng, director of the foreign ministry’s Public Diplomacy Office, stressing his government’s policy of non-intervention in internal affairs.
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