Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for November 17, 2022

Newsline: Former UK ambassador among prisoners freed in Myanmar

Myanmar’s military has freed a number of opposition figures, as well as a former UK ambassador, a Japanese filmmaker and an Australian adviser to the country’s ousted civilian leader. Ex-diplomat Vicky Bowman and journalist Toru Kubota were jailed earlier this year, while economist Sean Turnell was detained soon after the 2021 coup. All three have flown out of the country after being deported. (https://news.yahoo.com/vicky-bowman-former-uk-ambassador-032055614.html) Ms Bowman served as the UK’s envoy to Myanmar between 2002 and 2006 and was running the Yangon-based Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) at the time of her arrest. A fluent Burmese speaker, she is a well-known member of Myanmar’s small international community. Her husband Htein Lin, a former political prisoner, was also on the list of those to be freed. The couple were detained when they returned to the city from a home they have in Shan State. Military authorities charged them both with failing to register her as living at a different address. The military said some 6,000 pardons were to mark Myanmar National Day.

Newsline: Greece’s top diplomat calls off Tripoli visit on touchdown

Greece’s foreign minister called off the first leg of a visit to Libya on Thursday, refusing to disembark from his plane after landing in the capital of Tripoli, Greek authorities said. (https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/greeces-top-diplomat-calls-off-tripoli-visit-touchdown-93477794) Instead, he flew to the city of Benghazi, in the country’s east. The Greek foreign ministry described the fracas — effectively a snub of Libya’s western, Tripoli-based administration — as the result of a violation of protocol and agreed-on terms for the visit. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias was on a two-part trip that was to include a meeting with the president of Libya’s western, Tripoli-based government, Mohamed Younis Menfi. That was to be followed by a meeting in Benghazi with the east-based administration. A terse statement from the Greek ministry indicated Dendias did not want to meet with his Tripoli counterpart, Najla Mangoush, yet she came to the airport to greet him.

Newsline: Norwegian diplomat tweets insomnia prescription pic in India

Norwegian diplomat Erik Solheim tweets pic of an insomnia drug prescription. Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra took to Twitter to reply to Erik Solheim’s tweet.The recommended treatment for it was “throw away your computer and phone”. (https://www.indiatoday.in/trending-news/story/norwegian-diplomat-erik-solheim-tweets-pic-of-a-prescription-anand-mahindra-has-the-best-response-2297492-2022-11-15) “Looks like you were tweeting this to me, @ErikSolheim?? By the way, my wife prescribed this for me aeons ago. And she doesn’t even possess a medical degree,” the industrialist retweeted Solheim’s tweet with his response.