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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.

Myanmar holds journalists over 'chemical weapons' report

Myanmar has detained several journalists after they published allegations of a military facility producing chemical weapons, according to their newspaper editor, as a media watchdog raised fears over press freedom. Five journalists including the chief executive of the Unity Weekly News were arrested on Friday and Saturday, according to colleagues, who said they are facing charges over a report in January.

Myanmar holds journalists over 'chemical weapons' report

Myanmar has detained several journalists after they published allegations of a military facility producing chemical weapons, according to their newspaper editor, as a media watchdog raised fears over press freedom. Five journalists including the chief executive of the Unity Weekly News were arrested on Friday and Saturday, according to colleagues, who said they are facing charges over a report in January.

Myanmar frees scores of child soldiers from armed forces

Myanmar's army has freed 96 children and young people from its armed forces, the United Nations said Saturday, hailing a "historic step" towards ending the use of child soldiers in the formerly junta-run nation. The move was the largest single release of child recruits since Myanmar's new reformist government and its "tatmadaw" army signed a June 2012 pact with the UN on the issue. A total of 272 children and young people have been released over the past 18 months as the military has slowed -- but not yet completely halted -- its use of children.

US blacklists Myanmar firms for arms trade with N.Korea

The US Treasury leveled sanctions Tuesday against a Myanmar military official and three Myanmar businesses for trading arms with North Korea. The Treasury said the sanctions, which forbid any US person or entity from doing business with those blacklisted, "does not generally target" the government of Myanmar.

Myanmar president to visit Philippines

Myanmar president to visit Philippines YANGON, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar President U Thein Sein will pay a state visit to the Philippines soon, an official announcement said on Sunday without specifying the date of his visit. U Thein Sein's three-day visit to the Philippines, at the invitation of his Philippino counterpart Beniano Aquino, will be his first to the Southeast Asian nation since his assumption to office in March 2011.

EU supports police reform in Myanmar

EU supports police reform in Myanmar YANGON, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) has introduced in Myanmar a model project for community policing and best practice in crowd management as part of its support of the country's police reform. The project, funded by the EU with up to 10 million euro (13.6 million U.S. dollars) will last 18 months, EU Ambassador to Myanmar Roland Kobia told the press Friday.

Myanmar military launches investor charm offensive

The Myanmar military's secretive business empire made a rare foray into the public spotlight on Wednesday, seeking to reassure foreign investors over their treatment in the former junta-ruled country. The unusual step out of the shadows by Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd (MEHL) came as the sprawling mining-to-brewing conglomerate announced it had begun arbitration proceedings against Singapore-based food and beverage giant Fraser & Neave (F&N). The row centres on MEHL's bid to buy F&N's 55-percent stake in their joint venture Myanmar Brewery Limited (MBL).

Myanmar police probe string of bomb blasts

Police in Myanmar said Monday they were investigating a series of mysterious bomb blasts that have left two people dead and several wounded in recent days.

Myanmar frees more child soldiers from army: U.N.

Myanmar freed 68 more child soldiers from military service Wednesday, bringing the total of freed children and young people to 176 since September in line with an agreement with the United Nations, the U.N. Children's Fund said Wednesday. The latest discharge represented the largest among the four groups released so far and follows the freeing of 42 soldiers a month earlier, according to a statement released by UNICEF in Yangon.
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