Southeast Asia Bureau Chief
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Jul 4, 2012

Exclusive: Myanmar poised for cabinet shake-up, lawmakers say

NAYPYITAW (Reuters) – Myanmar President Thein Sein plans to reshuffle his cabinet and appoint a new vice president soon to reduce the influence of anti-reform ministers and accelerate changes in the former pariah state, several lawmakers with close ties to the government said.

The reshuffle is expected in the current session of parliament that reconvenes on Wednesday and could sideline some hardliners by reducing their responsibilities in the 37-member cabinet or give them new roles, say the lawmakers.

Jun 30, 2012

ADB sees progress in resuming aid to Myanmar

BANGKOK (Reuters) – When the Asian Development Bank cut off aid to Myanmar in 1988, troops had just crushed a pro-democracy movement, killing thousands.

Today, Myanmar, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank are inching closer to a deal that would lead to a full-fledged resumption of aid, possibly within a year, a senior ADB official said on Saturday.

Jun 26, 2012

Breakneck reform pace overloads Myanmar

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (Reuters) – The desks are mostly empty. Two computers idle in a corner. A young woman in a sarong leafs through a newspaper. Welcome to what should be the fast-beating heart of Myanmar’s economy: the headquarters of the central bank.

The first tour of the complex in the capital Naypyitaw by a foreign journalist reveals an almost lifeless institution. The Monetary Policy Department has just three computers, about the same as the Bank Supervision Department. A training department has fewer than five, including one being used for video games. Two children giggle in the corner.

Jun 26, 2012

Special Report: Breakneck reform pace overloads Myanmar

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (Reuters) – The desks are mostly empty. Two computers idle in a corner. A young woman in a sarong leafs through a newspaper. Welcome to what should be the fast-beating heart of Myanmar’s economy: the headquarters of the central bank.

The first tour of the complex in the capital Naypyitaw by a foreign journalist reveals an almost lifeless institution. The Monetary Policy Department has just three computers, about the same as the Bank Supervision Department. A training department has fewer than five, including one being used for video games. Two children giggle in the corner.

May 30, 2012

Myanmar banking’s new “wow” factor – ATMs

YANGON (Reuters) – As Myanmar opens up after five decades of military rule, a country run on cash is finding a new alternative: plastic.

Private banks in Myanmar have begun rolling out automated teller machines in recent weeks, revolutionary in a country where people often haul sacks and suitcases of cash to banks.

May 30, 2012

Feature – Myanmar banking’s new “wow” factor – ATMs

YANGON (Reuters) – As Myanmar opens up after five decades of military rule, a country run on cash is finding a new alternative: plastic.

Private banks in Myanmar have begun rolling out automated teller machines in recent weeks, revolutionary in a country where people often haul sacks and suitcases of cash to banks.

May 25, 2012

Myanmar protests an opportunity to show more reform

YANGON, May 25 (Reuters) – Five days of street protests over
chronic power shortages present Myanmar’s reformist government
with a headache and an opportunity.

Police forcibly dispersed protesters in the central Myanmar
town of Pyi on Thursday, a heavy-handed response reminiscent of
the previous military junta that could fuel grievances among an
impoverished and long-neglected people.

May 23, 2012

Myanmar to boost electricity after protests

YANGON (Reuters) – Myanmar’s government announced emergency measures on Wednesday to boost electricity supplies following protests over chronic power outages that are testing the nascent democracy.

Six generators purchased from U.S.-based Caterpillar Inc, the world’s largest maker of construction machinery, will be air-freighted within a week, and two 25-megawatt gas-turbines would be bought from General Electric Co, the largest U.S. conglomerate, state television said.

May 23, 2012

As Myanmar opens, protesters test boundaries

YANGON (Reuters) – As long-isolated Myanmar opens up, its people are flexing their newly democratic muscles and testing the boundaries of freedom in a series of protests over chronic power outages.

On Tuesday evening, several hundred people in the commercial capital Yangon marched at Sule Pagoda, the focal point of demonstrations in 2007 and 1988 that were crushed by the military which ruled for nearly half a century until last year.

May 22, 2012

As Myanmar opens, protesters test boundaries of freedom

YANGON, May 22 (Reuters) – As long-isolated Myanmar opens
up, its people are flexing their newly democratic muscles and
testing the boundaries of freedom in a series of protests over
chronic power outages.

On Tuesday evening, several hundred people in the commercial
capital Yangon marched at Sule Pagoda, the focal point of
demonstrations in 2007 and 1988 that were crushed by the
military which ruled for half a century until last year.

    • About Jason

      "As Southeast Asia Bureau Chief, Jason Szep manages text, pictures and television news operations across 10 countries for Reuters. He has been a Reuters correspondent, bureau chief and editor since 1990 and won the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi award in 2007. He is a Boston native and has had postings with Reuters in Toronto, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Boston and Bangkok. His assignments have ranged from Kabul and Islamabad to the U.S. presidential campaign trail during the 2008 election."
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