The former British ambassador to Myanmar has been detained in the Southeast Asian country, sources told Reuters.
It is understood that Vicky Bowman, who now runs the Myanmar Center for Responsible Business (MCRB), and her husband, Htein Lin, a Burmese artist and former political prisoner, were detained on Wednesday.
The arrest reportedly took place in Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, the largest city in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.
It is unclear what charges they were detained on, and a spokesman for the Myanmar junta did not return calls for comment.
A spokesman for the British Embassy in Myanmar said: “We are concerned about the arrest of a British woman in Myanmar. We are in contact with the local authorities and are providing consular assistance.”
The spokesperson did not release the name of the woman in question.
Ms Bowman was the British Ambassador to Myanmar between 2002 and 2006 and has over thirty years’ experience in the country.
Her profile on the Institute for Human Rights and Business website says she has been the director of the Myanmar Center for Responsible Business (MCRB) since July 2013.
Prior to that, she led global mining company Rio Tinto’s policy approach to transparency, human rights and resource nationalism/resource curses from 2011, the report said, and was director of global and economic affairs and co-Sherpa of the G8 from 2008-2011. in the United Kingdom. and Head of Department for South Africa at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2006-2007.
In addition to being an ambassador, she was also second secretary at the British Embassy in Myanmar from 1990-1993 and speaks Burmese. She also worked in Brussels as a member of the cabinet of European Commissioner Chris Patten (1999-2002) and as a spokesperson for the UK Delegation to the EU (1996-1999).
According to the MCRB’s website, it “seeks to provide a robust, impartial forum for dialogue, workshops and briefings for relevant parties, as well as access to international expertise and tools.”
It receives funding from the governments of Great Britain, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Ireland and Denmark.