A bus owner who launched a revolutionary new concept to make customers happier and increase profits – hire only women as conductors – is contemplating breaking another barrier: training women to drive the buses as well.
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India and Myanmar would soon start formal border trade through the northeastern state of Mizoram, a senior state government official said here on Wednesday.
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China is showing interest in reviving long-standing proposals for a deep-water canal through the narrowest part of Thailand’s long peninsula to link the Indian Ocean with the South China Sea. (more…)

After wrapping up its inquiry into the National Education Law in Naypyidaw, the Upper House Draft Law Committee will publish its findings on Friday, members of the National Network for Education Reform (NNER) have told The Irrawaddy.
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Leading members of the National Network for Education Reform (NNER) have voiced criticisms of the government’s approach to the current education reform movement in Burma.
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The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar today called on the country’s authorities to address ongoing challenges to the democratic reform process “before they undermine the success achieved so far.” (more…)

A U.N. human rights investigator said on Wednesday she expects Myanmar to guarantee her security, despite failing to censure a radical Buddhist monk who called her a “whore” and incited his followers against her.
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Christian Solidarity Worldwide says it is deeply concerned about the violations of freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression in Myanmar, amid growing religious intolerance, as illustrated by two current cases of “religious defamation,” according to a press release on March 17.
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The World Food Programme has welcomed the Myanmar’s adoption of the Zero Hunger Challenge and its aim of achieving Zero Hunger in Myanmar by 2025, according to a press release from the United Nations Development Programme and World Food Programme on March 13. (more…)

On Mar. 13, a Myanmar warplane reportedly dropped a bomb in the Lincang county of Yunnan Province, killing four Chinese civilians. This might mark the worst day of Sino-Burmese relations since June 1967, when Chinese embassy in Rangoon was attacked and Chinese nationals killed as a result of local opposition to the policies of the Cultural Revolution. Over the weekend, Beijing responded in a ferocious manner, lodging diplomatic protest, dispatching fighter jets to the border and demanding investigation, punishment, apology and compensation. (more…)

Public opinion is a critical force in shaping and transforming society. But how can we know what public opinion is? (more…)

After a bomb from a Burmese aircraft killed four Chinese near the China-Burma border, many Chinese have been expressing their outrage on the Internet — not only against the Burmese government but against their own for not taking a harder stance.
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At the Defence Services Museum in Nay Pyi Taw there are cabinets devoted to the peace-making exploits of President U Thein Sein. When he wore an army uniform, especially during his time as chief of the Shan State’s Triangle Command, he was responsible for negotiations with ethnic minority armies.
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U Sein Win Aung, former Myanmar ambassador to China

Relations between Myanmar and China have been strained by the fighting that erupted in the Kokang region on February 9 between government troops and forces loyal to Pyone Kyar Shin, who heads the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army. It is the most serious fighting in the region since 2009, when the MNDAA was ousted from power in fighting that followed its refusal to form a border guard force under Tatmadaw command. Mizzima’s Kay Zue discussed the relationship between Nay Pyi Taw and Beijing in an interview with U Sein Win Aung, who was Myanmar’s ambassador to China from 2000 to 2003. (more…)

A committee formed by the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF) to investigate the killing of 35 of its own members in the early 1990s released a report on Sunday documenting the extrajudicial killings and torture in detail, offering the first official account of a dark chapter in the rebel armed group’s 26-year existence. (more…)

Released detainees claimed that 20 women arrested during a recent crackdown on student protests were administered mandatory pregnancy tests while in detention, drawing criticism from activists who view the practice as unusual, unnecessary and intended to cause humiliation. (more…)

Four members of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU) were detained for questioning at Thayawady Prison because they asked to inspect the list of people being held by the police overnight, Police Colonel Win Sein, the deputy head of Bago Region, told the Daily Eleven.
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Two labour union leaders and two activists under arrest for demonstrating for higher wages have threatened to go on hunger strike in Yangon’s Insein prison if their case is moved to another court. (more…)

MP Khin San Hlaing from the National League for Democracy told Parliament that foreign loans were alarmingly high, having risen 400 times in five years under the current government.
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The Myanmar Journalist Network has called on media organisations to boycott the activities of government officials in response to what they claim was the direct targeting and beating of journalists during the March 10 crackdown on student protesters in Letpadan. (more…)

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