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Diplomatic link between Vatican and Myanmar

NAYPYIDAW (SE): The parliament of the Union of Myanmar in Myanmar approved a proposal to establish formal diplomatic relations with the Holy See during a session on March 10.

The vote confirmed a government decision to formally set up full diplomatic relations with the Holy See. To date, Myanmar has maintained some relationship through an apostolic delegate based in Bangkok.

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An opening given to the Rohingya

KUALA LUMPUR (AsiaNews): The Malaysian government has become one of the first to introduce a skills training programme for the Rohingya people who have fled persecution in the Union of Myanmar and failed to find a welcome in Bangladesh or Thailand.

The programme is aimed at turning out semi-skilled workers that can be absorbed into the country’s labour market. It will also normalise their status in the country in order to give them the protection of labour legislation.

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Bishops talk peace with Suu Kyi

MANDALAY (UCAN): Ethnic minority groups in the Union of Myanmar have always regarded Aung San Suu Kyi, the state counsellor of the nation, as having little interest in their fate, so they believe the challenge of bringing peace to their country necessitates she develop a new concern.

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Fast and pray for peace

YANGON (SE): “Sincerely there is no happiness in many parts of this country,” the archbishop of Yangon, Charles Cardinal Bo, said of his land of the Union of Myanmar in his message for the beginning of 2017.

“War goes on in many parts. For more than 200,000 internally displaced people in the camps, there is NO Happy New Year,” he stated in a sad reflection on the state of the nation.

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Church bombed in Myanmar

LASHIO (UCAN): A Catholic church was bombed in the conflict-torn northern Shan State in the Union of Myanmar as renewed fighting between the military and armed ethnic groups intensified.

In an ironic twist, the church of St. Francis Xavier in Mongkoe Township near the Chinese border was hit by air strikes on December 3, the feast day of the patron of the parish.

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Call for a Church school comeback in Myanmar

YANGON (UCAN): Saying that in the heyday of the Christian school system during the 1950s, Burma had the best educated children in Asia, Charles Cardinal Maung Bo, from Yangon, intends to make an appeal to the government to allow Churches to contribute once again to the revitalisation of the nation.

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Myanmar censures religious prejudice

MANDALAY (SE): The State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee of Myanmar, an official council of senior Buddhist monks, refused to validate what it regards as the renegade, trouble-fomenting Ma Ba Tha, which is variously translated as the Patriotic Association of Myanmar or Association for the Protection of Race and Religion, as a legitimate Buddhist organisation.

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Talk peace not balance of fear

MANDALAY (UCAN)  A reluctance or inability to pro-actively promote peace on behalf of the Church in the Union of Myanmar has lead Charles Cardinal Bo to say that he believes that the Church is letting the people down.

He said that religious leaders need to do more than just condemn violence or be content with a balance of fear.

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Moral power can overcome oppression

LIVERPOOL (CNS): Catholic people throughout the world truly do support those in even far-flung places who are suffering from oppression and other forms of persecution, the archbishop of Yangon in the Union of Myanmar, Charles Cardinal Maung Bo, told a gathering in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King in Liverpool, the United Kingdom, on May 22.

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Bid to expel Muslims from their homes fails

Mandalay (UCAN): A Buddhist group in Myanmar’s religiously divided Rakhine state in the Union of Myanmar has failed in its bid to pressure local authorities to expel Muslims from Sittwe.

Soe Naing, from the Rakhine National Network, a civil society organisation based in Sittwe, said that a petition with around 400 signatures was sent to the state’s chief minister in mid-May demanding that Muslims be expelled from the city’s Aung Mingalar quarter.

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