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The Irrawaddy Business Roundup (July 4, 2015)

Coca-Cola disclosure prompts calls for transparency, IMF warns of private debt growth, Singapore to finance Rangoon developments and rural microfinance soars.


Relics of history are dotted around the once booming silver and lead mine in Shan State that boasts links to a former US president.

Garment Industry Rejects Minimum Wage Proposal

Garment manufacturers say they can’t afford to pay laborers 3,600 kyats (US$3.24) per day minimum wage recommended by an expert committee.

Military Opposition to Charter Change Could Entrench Public Trust Deficit

The military’s opposition to constitutional amendments may harm efforts to conclude a nationwide ceasefire and undermine trust at home and abroad.

Outgoing Swiss Ambassador to Burma Christoph Burgener, who attended a preliminary meeting of ethnic peace negotiators in Chiang Mai on Thursday, speaks to The Irrawaddy

Nai Hong Sar: ‘If They Continue to Hold a Hard Line, Peace Will Be Difficult’

A senior negotiator for Burma’s ethnic armed groups talks about apprehensions when it comes to disarmament, as well as discussing the broader peace process.

Thein Sein To Consider Second Term: Japanese Media

In a rare interview with Japanese news agency NHK, Burma’s President urges infrastructure investment and indicates that he will consider second term.

Preliminary meetings ahead of the forthcoming Karen National Conference kick off in Rangoon, uniting ethnic Karen people from various parts of the country.

Forced Labor Shows Back-Breaking Lack of Reform in Burma’s Military

Stateless Rohingya say there is no let-up in soldiers forcing them into hard labor, despite the government launching a campaign to end the practice.

India’s Push to Save Its Cows Starves Bangladesh of Beef

Some 30,000 Indian soldiers guarding the border with Bangladesh have a new mandate this year—stop cattle from crossing illegally into the Muslim-majority neighbor.

Southeast Asia Plans Fund to Help Migrants, But Offers Decried as Inadequate

Southeast Asian nations propose setting up a fund to tackle illegal migration of so-called “boat people,” but rights groups dismiss the offers as mere tokens.

Ethnic Peace Team Meets in Thailand Before Govt Talks

In the lead-up to a meeting with the Burmese government’s chief peace negotiator, ethnic leaders convene in northern Thailand to discuss the nation’s peace process.

Military Slams Proposal for States to Choose Chief Ministers

Burma’s unelected military lawmakers argue firmly against a proposed constitutional amendment that would grant state-level parliaments the right to nominate chief ministers.

Htin Lin Oo’s Appeal Rejected in Religious Offense Case

A district court rejected an appeal on Monday against the two year sentence handed down to former NLD member Htin Lin Oo for offending religious feeling.

Student Protesters Charged for Rally Against Military MPs

Student leaders involved in a protest in Rangoon against military lawmakers’ presence in Burma’s Parliament are charged with unlawful assembly, a senior police officersays.

Aid Transparency Improving but Not Enough: Report

International aid donors are falling short on commitments to provide open data on their spending and operations in developing countries, according to a new report.

5 Arrested With Firearms in Mandalay Could Face Treason Charges

Five men found carrying drugs and unlicensed arms late last month may face charges of high treason, according to the Mandalay Division Police Force.

Asia Highway Closed as Burma Army, DKBA Exchange Fire

Renewed fighting between government troops and the DKBA in eastern Burma lead to a temporary shutdown of the new Asia Highway.

Students Arrested in Mandalay for Graffiti Protest

Four students from Yadanabon University were arrested on Monday after spray-painting messages critical of the government on the university’s grounds.

After Wifi at the Taj, Modi Revives Campaign for ‘Digital’ India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges companies to make electronic and digital goods, reviving a campaign promise to bridge India’s digital divide.

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