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Unannounced Visit of Burmese Foreign Minister to Canada

By Canadian Friends of Burma  •  October 6, 2012

Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB) learned an unannounced but ‘official visit’ of Burmese Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung to Canada from Oct. 2 to 4.

“U Wunna Maung Lwin, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, paid an official visit to Canada,” The state-run newspaper, The New Light of Myanmar, reported on Saturday Oct. 6., 2012.

However, Canadians in general and Burmese-Canadians in particular are not aware of his presence in the country. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) did not seem to make any public announcement or media advisory on his visit. The state-run newspaper indicated that the Burmese Minister visited “At the invitation of the Honorable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada.”

During the visit, he is reported to have held a bilateral meeting with the Canadian Foreign Minister, observed the proceedings of the Lower House of the Parliament and inspected renovation of the new Burmese Embassy building in Ottawa.

The two ministers also discussed on mutual interest including promotion of Canadian investment and economic cooperation, providing assistance in education, health, HRD, and granting of ODA, continuation of humanitarian assistance, opening of the Canadian Embassy in Burma.

The Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB) thinks it is unnecessary — possibly unprecedented — for the Government of Canada to keep such a ministerial visit secret, to which Burma’s state-run newspaper described as an “official visit” and the first time “in over 40 years.”

Therefore, we urge the Government of Canada, especially foreign affairs officials to be more transparent on policymaking on Burma.

For further inquiry, please contact Tin Maung Htoo at 613-297-6835

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This post is in: Press Release

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