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Maldives court sentences opposition activist to 10 years for child abuse

Maldives court sentences opposition activist to 10 years for child abuse COLOMBO, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Former Under-Secretary of the President's Office and opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activist Ibrahim Rasheed "Hoara Ibbe" has been sentenced to 10 years in jail after the Criminal Court found him guilty of the charge of sexually abusing a 17-year old girl. The police arrested Rasheed a year ago in December after being discovered at a house in the Galolhu Ward of Male with the minor.

Japan welcomes progress in industrial complex development in Myanmar

Japan's industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Monday said he welcomed progress between Japanese and Myanmarese companies on the development of an industrial complex in the suburbs of Yangon and offered continued cooperation in the project. At the outset of a meeting with Thura Shwe Mann, the speaker of Myanmar's lower house, Motegi said, "I am very pleased that the project is making smooth progress toward its inauguration in 2015. We are eager to work in close cooperation on the issue."

Thousands rally for south Yemen independence

Thousands demonstrated in south Yemen's main city Aden on Saturday to demand a return to independence, a day after President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi said only autonomy was on the table. The rally in central Parade Square came as southerners marked the anniversary of the end of British colonial rule in 1967, which created an independent state that lasted until union with the north in 1990. Demonstrators waved southern flags and banners proclaiming: "Yes to Freedom and Independence," and: "Our Goal is the Reclamation of Statehood."

Construction starts on Japan-Myanmar JV industrial complex in Yangon

The construction of a joint venture industrial complex between Japanese and Myanmar companies started Saturday in Yangon with an official ribbon-cutting and ground-breaking ceremony held at the site. The industrial complex, located inside the Thilawa Sepecial Economic Zone, about 23 kilometers south of the city center of Yangon, is expected to draw businesses involved in apparel, car manufacturing and other services, upon its completion in 2015.

Myanmar launches first phase of Thilawa SEZ project

Myanmar launches first phase of Thilawa SEZ project YANGON, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar on Saturday began construction of the first phase of Thilawa Special Economic Zone project on the outskirts of Yangon. The first phase, covering 400 hectares out of the entire 2,400- hectare zone, is expected to be completed by 2015, U Set Aung, Chairman of Thilawa SEZ Management Committee and Deputy Minister of National Planning and Economic Development, told Xinhua at commencement ceremony of Thilawa SEZ.

Thousands rally in southern Yemen to call for secession

Thousands rally in southern Yemen to call for secession ADEN, Yemen, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of pro-secession protesters took to the streets of Aden, southern Yemen on Saturday to mark the 46th anniversary of independence from British occupation and demand autonomy from the north. The separatist demonstrators across the southern areas gathered in Aden's central Parade Square, waving flags of the former South Yemen and carrying banners with pro-independence slogans.

Indian envoy meets new Maldives vice president, pledging strong relations

Indian envoy meets new Maldives vice president, pledging strong relations COLOMBO, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- India and the Maldives enjoy " privileged ties" that had stood the test of time, Indian High Commissioner to Maldives noted when meeting the newly elected Vice President, local media reported on Friday. Indian envoy to Maldives Rajiv Shahare had made these comments during a courtesy call on Vice President Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed who was elected on Nov. 16. This was his first meeting with the new Maldives government.

Newly elected Maldives president meets Chinese envoy for key talks

Newly elected Maldives president meets Chinese envoy for key talks MALE, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Newly elected Maldives President Abdulla Yameen on Thursday met the Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives in the first ever meeting between the two officials since Yameen's appointment. Chinese Ambassador Yu Hongyao met Yameen for talks that aim to deepen ties between the two countries. China is a major market for Maldives's lucrative tourism industry, with over a quarter of the one million tourists to the Indian Ocean group of islands coming from China in a year.

Japan helps Myanmar maintain railroads

Japan helps Myanmar maintain railroads YANGON, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Japan has provided modern railway equipment to Myanmar to help the country maintain its railroads, official media reported Thursday. The kinds of equipment, worth 5.327 million yens (about 53,270 U.S. dollars), was provided by the Japan International Transport Institute (JITI) to the state-run Myanmar Railways. Myanmar has been seeking assistance from the Japanese government's International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and other Japanese firms for the development of its rail transportation network.

Ban issues appeal for unity in Maldives

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday urged all sides to unite in Maldives, now that the nation has elected a new leader after nearly two years of violence and strife. New Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen was sworn in on Sunday, one day after his shock election victory ended nearly two years of turmoil that threatened to turn the honeymoon island nation into an international pariah. "The Secretary-General welcomes the conclusion of the run-off of the presidential election in the Maldives," Ban said in a statement released by his office.
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