Latest News March 18, 2011
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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Latest News March 18, 2011

By THE IRRAWADDY Friday, March 18, 2011


Burma Donates US $100,000 to Crisis-Stricken Japan

Burma has donated US $100,000 to earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan's hard-hit Tohoku region, the country's media reported on Friday. Burmese Foreign Minister Nyan Win passed the donation to Japan's ambassador to Burma, Takashi Saito, at a ceremony held in Naypyidaw on Thursday, according to the state-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper. Japan was Burma’s main foreign aid donor until 1988, when a brutal army crackdown on a mass pro-democracy uprising that left at least 3,000 dead prompted an end to or cuts in assistance from many multilateral and bilateral sources. Cambodia and Laos earlier this week pledged $100,000 donations to disaster victims, although the two countries remain recipients of Japanese development aid.

Burma Dismisses Radioactive Rainfall Fears

Meteorological experts in Burma have denied claims that the country could experience radioactive rainfall as a result of a series of explosions at nuclear power plants in Japan following last week's earthquake and tsunami. Such fears are unfounded and not based on science, a number of local weeklies quoted the experts as saying on Thursday. As the crisis in Japan continues amid growing concerns of a meltdown at a nuclear reactor in northern Japan's Fukushima Prefecture, messages suggesting that the situation in Japan could affect Burma have been spreading on the Internet and via mobile phones, causing panic among many Burmese. Adding to the concerns is the unseasonably cold, wet weather that has hit Burma since last weekend, especially on Wednesday and Thursday. Mid-March usually marks the beginning of summer in Burma.

Burmese Military to Launch New Newspaper

Burma will launch a new daily newspaper on March 27 to mark the 66th anniversary of Armed Forces Day, according to a report by Deutsche Presse-Agentur. The new newspaper, to be called The Myawaddy, will be run by the military's Directorate of Public Relations and Psychological Warfare, one of the new daily's employees said. Its launch comes at a time when the military is supposedly withdrawing from politics. There are currently only three daily newspapers in Burma, all state-owned and operating under the Ministry of Information. The new newspaper will be based in the Burmese administrative capital of Naypyidaw.

Thailand Probe Complaints Against 400 Foreign Monks

Thai authorities on Thursday inspected Wat Talom in Bangkok's Phasi Charoen District following complaints that 400 foreign Buddhist monks there took alms in the afternoon and sold the offerings, according to a report in the English-language newspaper, The Nation. Immigration Bureau officials, police and the Office of National Buddhism found that many foreign monks—from other countries such as Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Laos—stayed in tents set up in the temple compound and that 12 Indian monks and one novice had no passport. Some sources said that eight monks were believed to be involved in this case.

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