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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   24 April 2013  

Myanmar president frees 56 political prisoners

MYANMAR'S president announced an amnesty yesterday for about 100 prisoners, a senior official said, 56 of whom were confirmed as political detainees by a group monitoring activists held in the country's jails.

The release is the latest in a series of amnesties decided by reformist President Thein Sein and came a day after the European Union lifted all sanctions on Myanmar excluding an arms embargo.

Bo Kyi, of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, told Reuters the group had confirmed the release of 56 political prisoners from five jails. According to AAPP, 176 remain in detention.

More than 800 political prisoners were freed in amnesties between May 2011 and November 2012.

Previous releases of prisoners of conscience, as they are often known, coincided with reviews of Western sanctions or high-level visits, such as that by Thein Sein to Washington last September and US President Barack Obama's landmark trip to Myanmar two months later. Reuters

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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