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12 dead in Myanmar road smash

Twelve people were killed on Saturday when a bus collided with a car and burst into flames on an accident-plagued highway in Myanmar, police said. "A bus accelerated to pass a car which was crushed under the bus and caught fire," said police lieutenant colonel Min Aung of the Myanmar Police Force headquarters in the capital Naypyidaw. Six people on the bus -- which was travelling from eastern Shan State to Yangon -- were killed and four were injured, while six car passengers died, he said.

Suu Kyi cautions Myanmar 'not yet a democracy'

Myanmar's opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi warned Friday that her country, despite a spate of reforms hailed by the international community, "is not yet a democracy". Speaking in Berlin to accept a human rights award, she said the country formerly called Burma still needs a democratic constitution, true national reconciliation and a change of mindset among its ex-military rulers.

Myanmar opposition leader Suu Kyi meets Germany's Merkel

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday met face-to-face with German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the first time while visiting Berlin. Ahead of the meeting, Suu Kyi told reporters that Berlin overcame the East-West division of the past and is a model for Myanmar to become a truly democratic state. Merkel expressed her admiration for the leader of Myanmar's National League for Democracy, saying Suu Kyi showed to the world the courage to fight for freedom and democracy.

Suu Kyi in Germany hopes Myanmar can overcome strife

Myanmar pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi said on a trip to Germany Thursday that she hoped her country could also overcome its internal divisions amid deadly Buddhist-Muslim strife. Suu Kyi, 68, said ahead of her first face-to-face talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Myanmar sought the support of "all countries that believe in democracy" as it makes it transition from iron-fisted military rule.

Suu Kyi among spectators at Myanmar army parade

Tanks and missile carriers rumbled through Myanmar's showpiece capital Thursday as fighter jets soared overhead at an annual parade attended by top generals and pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The show of military strength came as the opposition campaigns to remove unelected soldiers from the country's fledgling parliament, three years after the end of junta rule. Suu Kyi attended the Armed Forces Day parade for a second straight year along with army chief Min Aung Hlaing, as rifle-toting soldiers marched through the purpose-built capital Naypyidaw.

Myanmar army role to be 'gradually' decreased

Myanmar's leader on Wednesday said the role of the powerful military should be reduced slowly in the transition to democracy amid opposition campaigns to ease the army's grip on political power. President Thein Sein, a general-turned-reformer, reaffirmed his support for a "strong" military in the former junta-run country, as authorities are yet to strike a national ceasefire with several ethnic armed groups.

HRW slams Myanmar's proposed curbs on interfaith marriage

Myanmar should scrap proposed restrictions on interfaith marriages, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday, warning that the "blatant discrimination" threatens religious freedom and women's rights. Muslims, Christians and men of other minority faiths could face up to a decade in prison for marrying Buddhist women under a law being considered by parliament, according to the New York-based watchdog.

Japan pledges 24 bil. yen in fresh loans to Myanmar

Japan on Monday pledged 24 billion yen in fresh loans to Myanmar to set up electricity supply networks in central part of the country, according to Japanese officials. The new pledge was made by visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida during his meeting with Myanmar President Thein Sein at the Presidential Palace in the capital Naypyitaw, they said. Thein Sein thanked Japan for the assistance and restated his determination to create good conditions for foreign investors in Myanmar, they said.

Japan to offer 8 bil. yen in fresh grant aid to Myanmar

Japan will announce Monday it will provide about 8 billion yen in fresh grant aid to Myanmar to help the Southeast Asian nation build a train operation monitoring system and introduce advanced medical equipment to hospitals, sources close to the two countries' governments said Sunday. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, who arrived in Yangon on Sunday, will unveil the new financial support Monday during talks with his Myanmar counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin and President Thein Sein in the country's administrative capital Naypyitaw, the sources said.

US Export-Import Bank opens to Myanmar

The US Export-Import Bank said Thursday it would start offering credit for trade with Myanmar, hoping to support businesses against competitors in a market that has boomed since democratic reforms. Officials said they hoped to boost US exports and jobs by providing similar terms as credit agencies from European and Asian nations, whose governments have gone even further in ending barriers to trade with the once pariah state.
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