‘Pay-back time’ for Myanmar

The president of Myanmar ended his visit to Norway this week after three days of top-level meetings, official lunches and dinners and red-carpet treatment. Now, given Norway’s political and economic support for Myanmar in recent years, expectations are high that Myanmar’s reforms will continue and that Norwegian business and investors will be welcomed in the […]

Myanmar’s needs, Norway’s goals

EXPATRIATE MUSINGS: As part of his five-nation European tour, Myanmar President Thein Sein’s first stop this week is Norway, marking the first official visit ever by a head of state in Myanmar to the oil-rich nation with just 5 million inhabitants. Peter Sang, originally from Myanmar and now earning a master’s degree in Norway, stresses […]

Myanmar’s leader pays official call

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg visited Myanmar (Burma) last fall and now the president of the long-isolated and oppressed country is making a return call of his own. Thein Sein landed at Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen early Tuesday morning and launched a three-day official visit that got underway at midday.  Norway is the first country […]

Norway’s leaders on major Asia tour

Norway’s top government leaders are winding up a major tour through Asia that has included an official visit to Japan, the opening of a new embassy in Myanmar (Burma) over the weekend and a regional summit meeting in Laos. While Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s visit to Myanmar marked a breakthrough, after years of conflict between Burmese […]

Photo special: Burmese Day in Oslo

Celebrating the Nobel Peace Prize, Oslo locals and exiled Burmese joined each other for what was billed as a Folkefest (party for the people) in the square in front of Oslo’s City Hall on Saturday. It turned out to be a colorful gathering with many of the Burmese minority representatives wearing their traditional dress. [flgallery […]

Norway lifts sanctions against Burma

The Norwegian government has decided to lift economic sanctions against Burma, also known as Myanmar. All limits that have been placed on foreign aid, financing and visas will now be removed, announced Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre over the weekend. “We’re doing this to send a positive signal to those behind the reforms of the […]

Business urged to go back to Burma

Except now it seems more politically correct and common to call the country Myanmar, a sign of recognition of the country’s military leaders who are lifting years of oppression. Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, just back from a trip to the US, plans to return himself soon, after lifting Norway’s own sanctions against  Myanmar […]

News from Burma cheers Norway

News this week that Burma’s government was releasing political prisoners, after earlier easing press censorship and showing other signs of more openness, cheered Burma-watchers in Norway and not least the Foreign Ministry. Former Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, who long has followed events in Burma, said the Burmese government seems to finally be moving towards […]

Norway re-thinks Burma policies

Norway has started talking with some new leaders in Burma, but state secretary Espen Barth Eide insists the Norwegian government won’t let itself be fooled by them. He thinks there’s been “real change” within the Burmese dictatorship and that it’s worthwhile to have a dialogue. Eide traveled to Burma at the end of last week, […]

Solheim in Burma’s lavish new capital

Erik Solheim, Norway’s development minister, during a visit to Burma’s capital Naypyidaw on June 1. Solheim held talks with several members of Burma’s military government to discuss foreign aid, human rights and the environment. Visible in the background is Burma’s nearly completed lavish parliament, whose purpose remains unclear. Burma’s military leaders have said they will […]