On 29th August, Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi, a Burmese filmmaker, was sentenced to 1 year in prison for criticising the military-drafted 2008 Constitution and the military’s role in politics.
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The Department for International Development (DFID), Britain’s aid ministry, does not have any policy in place to ensure that British aid money does not end up in the hands of companies owned by the Burmese military.
UN investigators have said governments should sanction Burmese military-owned companies, but the British government refuses to do so.
Aung Marm Oo is a journalist currently in hiding from Burma’s notorious Special Branch police, fearing arrest and up to five years in jail.
Seven student activists were arrested in April for criticizing the military in their satirical performance during the Burmese New Year celebration. They are currently on trial while being detained in Insein Prison.
Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were released from prison on 7 May. They were sentenced to 7 years in prison in September 2018 for their investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya men buried in a mass grave.
Tata is a huge Indian company. In the UK they are best known for the Tetley tea brand, owning Jaguar and Land Rover, and investments in the steel industry.
The annual British aid budget for Burma is almost £90 million a year, but not enough of it is reaching people from ethnic minorities who have fled attacks by the Burmese military.
The British government is spending millions of pounds supporting the peace process in Burma, but since the peace process began, conflict and human rights violations have increased.
Western Union is one of the world’s biggest money transfer companies. They have more than half a million agents around the world where money can be transferred.