TAIPEI, 5 February 2013: Taiwan on Sunday appointed the chairman of China Airlines as the new economic affairs minister as part of a dramatic cabinet reshuffle to tackle the sluggish economy, officials said.
Chang Chia-chu will succeed Shih Yen-shiang, the cabinet said in a statement. Shih has come under fire for a controversial hike in domestic oil and utility fees last year.
“Mr Chang has served as the chief executive in private enterprises and joined the government sector before,” the statement said, referring to Chang’s previous experience as chairman of the island’s China Steel Corp and as a deputy transport minister.
YANGON, 2 January 2013: Myanmar President Thein Sein on Tuesday called for “mutual trust” between the ruling regime and the people in his first New Year address since taking power and ushering in sweeping reforms.
He pledged a new drive to communicate more directly with the nation in a radio speech he said aimed to “bridge the gap” between the authorities and the public.
“The most important ingredient for the success of Myanmar’s democratic transition is the mutual trust between the government and the people,” he said.
BANGKOK, 26 November, 2012: Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Sunday faced a no-confidence debate launched by her opponents in parliament, a day after political protests turned violent in Bangkok.
But the motions, which also target three other government ministers, appeared to have little chance of being passed by a legislature dominated by Yingluck’s Puea Thai party and its coalition partners.
“The prime minister has failed to govern this country as promised. She allows corruption,” Democrat Party opposition MP Jurin Laksanavisit said at the start of the debate, which is scheduled to last for three days.
WASHINGTON, 18 July 2012: The United States will present its highest award to Myanmar’s democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in September when she makes her first US trip since years under house arrest, sources said Tuesday.
Suu Kyi, who was elected to parliament this year in a dramatic sign of Myanmar’s reforms, will travel to Washington in September to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, congressional aides told AFP.
The medal is the top honour bestowed by the US Congress, with the ceremonies often bringing together the president and top lawmakers. Congress voted to give the medal to Suu Kyi in May 2008 when the prospect of her leaving Myanmar looked remote.
COLOMBO, 16 July 2012: The Maldivian opposition has hijacked the tourism slogan “sunny side of life” to highlight alleged rights abuses after failing to secure a boycott of the luxury destination, an official said Sunday.
Government spokesman Masood Imad said the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party was sabotaging the tourism ministry’s Twitter campaign after an unsuccessful bid to discourage holidaymakers to the pristine archipelago.
“They hijacked the Twitter campaign after they failed miserably to discourage tourists from visiting us,” Imad told AFP by telephone on Sunday. “This will also fail like their previous attempts to pressure the government.”
PARIS, 29 June 2012: Myanmar democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi said Thursday that she is prepared to lead her country one day, speaking with AFP in Paris at the end of a triumphant Europe tour.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in Europe for the first time in a quarter-century after enduring many years of house arrest, also spoke of her joy at the warm reception she received on her five-nation tour.
Asked whether she would be ready to lead the country also known as Burma one day, she said: “I think all party leaders have to prepare themselves for the possibility, if they truly believe in the democratic process.
PARIS, 27 June 2012: President Francois Hollande told Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi during her Paris visit Tuesday that France would do everything possible to back the country’s democratic transition.
Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi, on the final leg of a landmark European tour, meanwhile called for investment in her country’s struggling economy, but said this should not be at the expense of ongoing political reforms.
Hollande, after welcoming the democracy leader at the Elysee Palace, said France will support “all actors” in Myanmar’s reforms and that Paris was ready to host reformist President Thein Sein if he wanted to visit.
OXFORD, UNITED KINGDOM, 20 June 2012: Aung San Suu Kyi made an emotional return to Britain on her 67th birthday Tuesday, visiting her former home of Oxford and speaking of the “sacrifice” her family were forced to make.
The Myanmar democracy icon was greeted at Oxford University, her alma mater, after taking part in a debate at the London School of Economics (LSE) and meeting the radio DJ she credits with giving her a lifeline during 24 years spent mainly under house arres.
She spent nearly 20 years in Oxford, southern England, and brought up her two sons there with her late husband, the academic Michael Aris.
OSLO, 18 June 18: Myanmar’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi meet on Monday one of her biggest fans at a Norwegian peace forum — Bono, the U2 frontman and activist rock star who has written a song about her.
Nobel laureate Suu Kyi, who has herself received superstar treatment on a triumphant Europe tour after years of house arrest and isolation, will be joined by the Irish singer and 100 other guests at the annual Oslo Forum talks.
After their panel talk, Bono will give Suu Kyi a lift to Dublin aboard his private jet, a Norwegian foreign ministry official said, where she will be feted at the “Electric Burma” tribute concert hosted by Amnesty International.
BANGKOK, 6 June 2012: Association of Thai Travel Agents called on the government and political parties, Tuesday, to reconcile their differences and build harmony in the country.
It was commenting on TV scenes in parliament that showed opposition and government MPs fighting or throwing objects at the house speaker.
ATTA president, Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, said the government and the opposition must truly reconcile and set a good example to prevent violence that could ultimately damage the country’s image and tourism confidence.