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Britain to give Myanmar financial boost

March 4, 2013 at 9:13 AM

LONDON, March 4 (UPI) -- With 25 percent of the people in Myanmar living in poverty, the British government said it was helping support Myanmar's economy with $900,000 in aid.

British Minister for Southeast Asia Hugo Swire on Monday met with members of the human rights community from Myanmar, known also as Burma, in London.

He said that over the last year and half, Myanmar has made "significant strides" in political reform through elections, internal peace provisions and through the release of political prisoners.

British Minister for International Development Alan Duncan said London was providing $900,000 to help set up a responsible investment center in Rangoon.

"One-in-four people in Burma live in poverty and three out of four people have no access to electricity. Burma has vast potential and I want to see an increase in responsible investment, with the U.K. playing a leading role," he said in a statement.

U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Tomas Ojea Quintana said following a February visit that there were shortcomings on some of Myanmar's reform efforts.

He called on the government to form a truth commission to address abuses committed by the previous junta with the aim of preventing "future human rights violations by learning from the past."

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