Current Affairs March 2016

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Htin Kyaw sworn in as first elected President of Myanmar

Htin Kyaw (69) sworn in as the first elected civilian (non-military) President of Myanmar after 53 years of military rule. Myanmar’s Army was in power since 1962 coup.

He belongs to National League for Democracy (NLD) Party and succeeds Thein Sein, who had stepped down after end of five years of army-backed rule.

Apart from him, Military backed Myint Swe and NLD member Henry Van Thio were sworn in as first vice-president and second vice-president of the country along 18 Cabinet ministers.

Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi who is the leader of NLD party that has majority in the Parliament was sworn in as foreign affairs Minister. She also is Minister of President’s office, education, and energy and electric power.

Htin Kyaw is a close aide and adviser of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. He was as the first civilian President of the country by the Myanmar’s Parliament on 15 March 2016.

Even though NLD is having majority in Parliament, Aung San Suu Kyi was not able to become President as the military drafted 2008 constitution of country bars citizen having children of another country nationality. Her children hold British passports.


Russia approves OVL’s deal to acquire 15% stake in Vankor oilfield

The Russian Government has approved a deal of ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) to acquire 15% stake in Vankor oilfield from Rosneft.

The deal was signed between the OVL and Rosneft in September 2015 and is worth 1.3 billion US dollars. Vankor is Russia’s second biggest oil field with capacity of total 2.5 billion recoverable reserves barrels (or 500 million tonnes).

As per the deal

  • OVL’s stake in Vankor will raise to 26% from 15% and will give it about 3.5 million metric tonnes of oil a year
  • Consequently, Rosneft will retain the remaining 50.1 per cent and also retain full control of infrastructure of the Vankor cluster.

This deal is in addition to another deal that was signed in March 2016 between the OVL and three other oil companies. Both of these deals will help India to secure access to lucrative Russia’s oil market, while Rosneft in turn will through OVL gain access to the Indian market.

Vankor oilfield was discovered in 1988 and is main source supplier to the East Siberia Pacific Ocean (ESPO) Pipeline that is key contributor to the energy needs of China.


Ebola outbreak in West Africa no longer poses global risk: WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared that Ebola outbreak in West Africa is no longer constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

WHO, a specialized agency of the United Nations has officially declared an end to a nearly 20-month Ebola outbreak emergency that has killed about 11,300 people.

The declaration was made by WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan after accepting the recommendations of a committee of independent experts.

The committee also has called for the lifting of any travel and trade restrictions affecting Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Ebola outbreak

Guinea was birthplace of deadliest Ebola outbreak in history and was initially centred on country’s remote south-eastern region of Nzerekore in 2013. Later it had spread to its neighbouring countries Liberia and Sierra Leone and also seven other countries. So far has killed more than 11,300 people in these three worst hit western African nations.