Norway irked by squatter hut demolition ahead of King’s visit

The Norwegian Foreign Ministry has sent a letter to the Myanmar authorities objecting to the destruction of squatter huts on the bank of the Ayeyarwady River ahead of King Harald V and Queen Sonja’s visit to Mandalay.

Photo: The Royal House of Norway
King Harald V and Queen Sonja during their recent visit to Mandalay. Photo: The Royal House of Norway

“This is unfortunate and an extremely misunderstood need to put a glossy picture on things,” Øyvind Halleraker, a member of Norway’s parliamentary foreign affairs and defence committee, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “Myanmar is a poor country and it is this poverty that Norway wants to address.”

Foreign ministry officials were also angered. “Poverty isn’t something you can hide away,” Frode Andersen, communications chief for the foreign ministry, told NRK. “It’s a problem you need to solve through development, and that’s why Norway engaged itself in Myanmar.”

Read more: Eleven Myanmar

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