What's the best passport in the world for travellers?
Travel and Tourism Writer
The Aussie passport has been ranked as one of the best in the world for travellers, based on the number of countries Australians can visit without a visa.
The best passports are from the UK, Finland and Sweden, according to an index by Henley & Partners, a consultancy in residence and citizenship planning.
Each of the top three passports scored 173 in the rankings, meaning they can be used to enter 173 countries and territories without a visa.
The joint second-ranked countries are Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg and the US with a score of 172.Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands hold a joint third rank of 171, followed by Canada in fourth with 170, then Switzerland, Austria and New Zealand fifth with 168.
Burma’s long road to democracy
International Crisis Group (ICG), a highly respected Brussels-based non-governmental organisation, issued a report on the growth of anti-Muslim and anti-minority sentiment in Burma. Much of the violence, ironically, stems from Buddhist monks who are scapegoating hapless minorities. The report, intriguingly enough, blamed the bigotry and violence on the years of “frustration and anger built up under years of authoritarianism…”
Rangoon a Refuge for Some Thandwe Muslims
RANGOON — Muslims hiding out in Rangoon say they are among more than 100 followers of Islam who fled religious violence in Arakan State’s Thandwe Township last week to seek refuge in Burma’s biggest city.An argument between an Arakanese Buddhist and a Muslim in Thandwe spiraled out of control on Sept. 29 and eventually led to the spread of violence in surrounding villages over the next three days. Five Muslims were killed and more than 100 houses were burned to the ground.
Myanmar Urged to Ratify Chemical Weapons Treaty
South Asia Revealed
The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to a global chemical weapons watchdog on Friday has prompted a call for Myanmar to ratify a key international treaty banning the arms.New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Myanmar must ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention two decades after signing if it wants to prove to the international community it is serious about reforms.
For Myanmar's Kachin Rebels, Life Teeters Between War, Peace
by Anthony Kuhn, NPR
Despite progress in its transition to democracy, Myanmar has struggled to end all the ethnic insurgencies that have long divided the country.
Now the Kachin — the last of the insurgent groups that have been fighting the government — have signed a preliminary agreement that could end the conflict.
The agreement falls short of an actual cease-fire, but calls for both sides to work "to end all armed fighting."
Two years ago, Myanmar's army broke a cease-fire and launched an offensive against the Kachin Independence Army, or KIA. The fighting displaced more than 100,000 Kachin people, a hill tribe who live on both sides of the Myanmar-China border.Lamai Luseng is one of those who was forced to leave. She lives in a refugee camp in northern Myanmar's Kachin state. Many of the refugees have lived in the camp's wooden shacks since two years ago, when the fighting resumed.
- Myanmar Muslims from Rakhine say they found refuge in Yangon
- Pact between Myanmar's government and Kachin rebels questioned
- Myanmar must respect minorities
- Analysis: The pernicious virus interrupts fragile reform in Burma— RNDP
- Burmese village violence against children & families must stop, says UNICEF
- Burma Removes 1,000 Doctors From Blacklist
- Burma's Rakhine clashes death toll rises to seven
- KNU is ready to sign nationwide ceasefire, says CEC member
- 35 Buddhists, 13 Muslims Arrested for Thandwe Violence: Arakan Leader
- Malala Wins EU's Sakharov Human Rights Prize