The Union Election Commission will see a difficult situation if a referendum is asked to be held in an attempt to amend the 2008 constitution in the year of the election, said Tin Aye, the chairman of the UEC.
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Yatanarpon Teleport (YTP) is working with a management committee to form a consortium of local partners, which will bid jointly for Myanmar’s coveted fourth telecommunications operator licence, according to YTP chief executive officer U Shane Thu Aung.
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A wooden fishing boat carrying hundreds of desperate migrants from Myanmar moved farther out to sea on Friday after the Thai authorities concluded that the passengers wanted to continue their journey, instead of disembarking in Thailand, according to an aid group involved in negotiations over the vessel’s future.
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Desperate migrants facing death as their overcrowded boat began sinking fought for space on the stricken vessel, reportedly throwing some people overboard before they were plucked to safety on Friday by passing Indonesian fishermen.
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Myanmar may snub a regional meeting hosted by Thailand later this month aimed at easing the current Bay of Bengal migrant crisis, the president’s office said Friday.
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Thein Sein aide says country not likely to attend meeting on boat people; Prayu says this is neighbours’ right

THAILAND could not force countries to attend a regional meeting in Bangkok this month to discuss how to manage the crisis over Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants as every country has its own dignity, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday. (more…)

More than 100 Burmese men who worked as slave fishermen in Indonesia have arrived home and were waiting Friday to return to their villages to be reunited with families many have been separated from for years.
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The explosives landed in a rural area of Lincang in Yunnan province on Thursday night, close to where Myanmar soldiers have been fighting ethnic insurgents for months.
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Stray artillery shells landed on Chinese territory on Thursday evening causing injuries to five civilians, as conflict intensifies near the China-Burma border between Burmese government forces and Kokang rebels of the Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA).
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The flow of desperate migrants across the Bay of Bengal will continue unless Myanmar ends discrimination against its Rohingya Muslim minority, U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said on Friday.
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The United States is coming under pressure from human rights groups and some in Congress to help Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants stranded at sea as Southeast Asian nations refuse to let them come to shore.
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The French Ambassador at Large for Human Rights, Patrizianna Sparacino-Thiellay, will conduct her first visit to Myanmar from May 19 to 22, France Embassy in Yangon announced today.
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The next general election, scheduled for late this year, is not shaping up to be the benchmark of democratic consolidation that many Myanmar observers had hoped. The government, which is still largely controlled by senior military officers, has failed to strike a power-sharing agreement with either the mainstream opposition or ethnic armed resistance groups. Not only does this endanger the legitimacy of the election, it also exposes a dangerous leadership vacuum within both the government and the opposition. (more…)

Between 6,000 and 8,000 refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants from Burma and Bangladesh are currently stranded in boats off the coasts of Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, with the governments of all three nations refusing to allow the boats to land. With reports of deaths on board and thousands more lives at risk, the Guardian asked a panel of experts how the crisis could be solved. (more…)

Burma’s Rohingya face an existential threat — and we must not look away.

Driving through Sittwe, the dusty provincial capital of Rahkine state in northwest Burma, you notice a small poster affixed to nearly every shop and home. In English these signs read “white card,” and they alert anyone passing by that the building’s occupant sides with recent government efforts to prevent Burma’s most threatened ethnic and religious minority group, the Rohingya, from participating in the upcoming national elections. Most of Burma’s Rohingya are, in fact, stateless, and “white card” refers to the special identity documents issued to them by the government in lieu of the papers held by Burmese citizens. A few months ago officials decided that white card holders would not be allowed to participate in the national vote scheduled for this fall — effectively excluding the overwhelming majority of Rohingya. (more…)

Efforts to finalise a nationwide ceasefire agreement risk collapsing if the government insists on excluding three groups fighting in northern Shan State, the chief negotiator for 16 ethnic armed factions warned yesterday.
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Journalist Shwe Hmone, a reporter for Thamaga News Journal, has been threatened with charges for her participation in a public prayer for detained media workers late last year.
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Three political parties organized a first-of-its-kind ethnic conference in Karenni State this week, with about 300 people from political parties, civil society and government gathering in the state capital Loikaw to air grievances and discuss the country’s political future.
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Myanmar’s President Thein Sein on Thursday requested the country’s parliament to extend martial law by three months in Shan state’s Kokang region, where fierce fighting between ethnic insurgents and government troops has displaced tens of thousands of civilians since February.
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Authorities in the conflict-torn northern Myanmar border region of Kokang have detained three Chinese citizens on suspicion of spying for the Chinese military, local sources said on Thursday.
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