Sources tell Reuters that the former Ambassador of the UK to Myanmar has been taken into custody in the Southeast Asian country.
It is understood that Vicky Bowman (currently the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business, MCRB) and Htein Lin (a Burmese artist, ex-political prisoner), were detained on Wednesday.
According to reports, the arrest took place in Yangon (formerly Rangoon), which was once known as Burma.
It is unclear what charges they were held on, and a spokesperson from the Myanmar junta didn’t answer calls seeking comment.
The British Embassy in Myanmar spokesperson said that they were concerned about the arrest of a British citizen in Myanmar. We are in touch with the authorities and providing consular assistance.
The spokesperson didn’t identify the woman in question.
Ms. Bowman served as the British Ambassador to Myanmar from 2002 to 2006. She has over three decades of experience in the country.
On the website of the Institute for Human Rights and Business, a profile of her says that she is the Director of Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business since July 2013.
It says that she was previously the global mining company Rio Tinto’s policy leader in transparency, human rights, and resource nationalism/resource curse. She was also Director of Global & Economic Issues and G8 sousSherpa for Britain from 2008-2011 and Head, Southern Africa Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK Government, from 2006-2007.
She was ambassador from the UK, second secretary at the Myanmar embassy in the UK (1990-1993) and can speak Burmese. She was also a Member of the Cabinet of European Commissioner Chris Patten (1999-192002) and a press spokesperson for the UK representation to EU (1996-1999).
The website of the MCRB states that it is a “trusted, impartial forum for dialog, seminars and briefings to pertinent parties, as well as access international expertise and tools.”
It is funded by the governments of the UK and Norway, Switzerland, Netherlands. Ireland, Denmark, and Switzerland.