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Trevor Wilson was Australia’s ambassador to Myanmar from 2000 to 2003, when Western sanctions were pushing the country closer to China, the repression of activists was ruthless, and the country was ruled by the State Peace and Development Council. In August 2003, the SPDC unveiled its seven-point “roadmap to a discipline-flourishing democracy”, that paved the way for the remarkable transition which began under the Thein Sein government in 2011.
Information Minister U Pe Myint is a doctor-turned-journalist who was a critic of the previous government’s media policy. An ethnic Rakhine born at Thandwe in 1949, the former vice chair of the Myanmar Press Council is a renowned author who won a national literature award winner in 1995. Pe Myint faces big challenges and some big questions in his new role, including a public debate over whether the role of the Information Ministry can be justified. Frontier spoke to Pe Myint in an interview that touched on his plans for reforming the media, the competitive advantage of state-run publications over their private sector counterparts and his top priority as minister.

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Stories in this issue
Myanmar enters 2021 with more friends than foes
The early delivery of vaccines is one of the many boons of the country’s geopolitics, but to really take advantage, Myanmar must bury the legacy of its isolationist past.
Will the Kayin BGF go quietly?
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.

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