Norway’s role in Myanmar motivated by peace or business?

In an opinion article recently published in The Irrawaddee news agency, journalist Mon Mon Myat, posed a provocative question regarding Norway’s changing role in Myanmar.

Katja Nordgaard, Norway’s former ambassador to Burma, met with President Thein Sein in August 2013. Norgaard has recently joined Telenor after leaving the foreign service. (Photo: President’s Office website)

Katja Nordgaard, Norway’s former ambassador to Burma, met with President Thein Sein in August 2013. Norgaard has recently joined Telenor after leaving the foreign service. (Photo: President’s Office website)

Mon Mon Myat said Norway’s image in the eyes of many Burmese has long been that of a partner of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the world most prominent political prisoner under military rule. Norway was associated with promoting peace in Burma and other troubled countries for the past 20 years.

Until last year, Burmese exile broadcast media, Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), was based in Oslo and the Norway-funded organization continues to provide important coverage of news in Burma.

These days, the image of Norway in Burma has changed and the country is now more closely associated with Telenor, the Norwegian international telecom conglomerate that has plans to provide network coverage for 90 percent of the roughly 51 million Burmese within the next five years.

Read more: The Irrawaddee

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