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Govt denies blacklisting Harn Yawnghwe

Euro Burma Office's Harn Yawnghwe

The Burmese government has rejected claims that it has blacklisted Harn Yawnghwe, the director of Euro Burma Office and a main player in the current peace process.

“It is not true that the government has denied a visa to Harn Yawnghwe,” said Zaw Htay, the director-general of the State Counsellor’s Office, speaking at a press conference yesterday. “Mr Harn Yawnghwe has previously worked with Myanmar Peace Centre and was given multiple visas. But under the current peace process involving the new NLD-led administration, no contracts or agreements have been made between the Euro Burma Office and the government.”

He added: “The government did not blacklist Harn Yawnghwe, but he will not get multiple visas as before. We have already informed our embassies so that he can get a social visa to enter Myanmar.”

Social visas are often issued to Burmese expatriates when returning to the country for any length of time.

The press statement came after several media reports last week that a visa had been denied to Harn Yawnghwe, who is the son of Burma’s first president Sao Shwe Thaike. Shan Herald reported that Harn Yawnghwe is “increasingly seen as an influential person in the ethnic political arena.”

His Euro Burma Office has been one of the major donors to the ethnic armed organisations and civic groups involved in peace talks.