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Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday and expressed his support for the country’s reforms.
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Three witness were questioned on Thursday in an appeal regarding the Bi Mon Te Nay news journal case, in which four employers of the journal were convicted for undermining state security. The witnesses work as designers at the news journal. Lawyer Kyaw Win said that the appeal looked “hopeful”. The Bi Mon Te Nay news journal (literally Bi-Midday Sun news journal) published a false report earlier this year claiming that opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other ethnic politicians had taken over the government.
Rangoon regional government announced on Thursday that they will begin accepting tenders from private companies interested in developing a city extension across the Rangoon River. The planned city project will cover 30,000 acres and is being built to accommodate a growing city population. The regional government said that the state budget will not be used for this project, and welcomes investment from developers, locals, and other investors.
Naval officers of nine ASEAN members vowed to cooperate for disaster relief, the Bangkok Post reported on Wednesday. At the 8th ASEAN Navy Chiefs Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, officers discussed peace and security issues. Thailand’s navy proposed beginning joint naval exercises, while other members recommended formulating a handbook for dealing with disaster and rescue missions. Laos did not send a delegation to the meeting.
Bilateral trade between Canada and ASEAN reached US$16.5 billion in fiscal year 2013, state media reported on Thursday. Citing Canada’s Minister of International Trade, in Burma for the 3rd ASEAN Economic Ministers Summit in Naypyidaw, The New Light of Myanmar said that bilateral trade is growing by more than seven percent each year. Stock of Canadian direct investments in ASEAN increased by 34 percent to $5.7 billion, the report said.
Five employees of the now-defunct Unity Weekly journal submitted an appeal to Magwe regional court on Thursday, in a final attempt to overturn a sentence of ten years in prison with hard labour. Four reporters and the CEO of the paper were convicted in July of violating Burma’s colonial-era Official Secrets Act after they published an investigative report about an alleged secret chemical weapons facility in central Burma. The case has garnered international attention for what many see as a lopsided punishment designed to intimidate journalists.
Burma’s government has announced that users of unlicensed motorbikes will be arrested and charged 50 percent of the market value of the bike. It said the penalty would act as a fee or a tax, and would thereafter qualify the motorbike owner to apply for a regional license and registration. Non-payment will result in the motorcycle being impounded and auctioned, state media said.
Burma’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur has rejected allegations in The New Strait Times that Burmese workers hurled stones and set fire to cars at a factory in Kulaijaya in the south of the country, saying instead that the workers involved were Nepalese.
The Burmese women’s U-19 team beat Singapore 5-0 on Tuesday to take third place at the ASEAN Football Federation's Under-19 Women’s Championships in Thailand. The Thai women’s team won the competition with a 5-3 victory over Vietnam in the final.