The last three years in Burma have seen remarkable change, as the country starts out on the hard, but essential, journey towards democracy. Working closely with the U.S. and the international community, the U.K. has supported Burma’s progress. We continue to work with the government, political parties, and armed groups to reach a nationwide ceasefire and establish an inclusive nationwide political dialogue. But there is still much to do to ensure Burma continues to move forward on its path to democracy.
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Yanghee Lee, the new UN rapporteur on the human rights situation in Burma, visited the Arakan State capital Sittwe and has met with leaders of the Arakanese Buddhist and Rohingya Muslim communities in the troubled region, local sources said.
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Lawyers representing the four jailed journalists and manager of Unity journal on Monday submitted an appeal against their conviction, one of the lawyers told The Irrawaddy.
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After two people were killed and 14 others were injured in the clashes, authorities declared a curfew on July 3, from 9 pm until 5 am. During those hours, gatherings of five people or more were prohibited.
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Burmese across the country paid tribute on Saturday to fallen independence hero Gen. Aung San and his comrades, with the government taking a greater role in commemorative activities than it has in decades.
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A rape case believed to have sparked recent riots in central Burma’s Mandalay was fabricated, according to an investigation carried out by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
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Ethnic members of parliament from constituencies in areas of conflict met with Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC) representatives in Naypyidaw on Monday.
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The opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party and 88 Generation Peace and Open Society (88GPOS) concluded on Saturday a nationwide petition campaign calling for the amendment of constitutional Article 436.
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A top military official has laid blame for recent fighting in Shan State on the Shan State Army-North, saying the group trespassed onto land under government control in violation of a 2012 peace agreement.

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The Women’s League of Burma, an umbrella group representing 13 women’s organizations in Burma has said that a culture of “systemic impunity” to rape exists in the Burma Army.
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Martyr’s Day in Myanmar – the National League for Democracy (NLD) wound up an eight-week campaign calling for changes to the country’s constitution. The campaign was launched on May 27 on the back of a series of colorful public rallies in Yangon and other cities. Since then, the NLD, along with former student leaders of the 1988 uprising against military rule, have held further demonstrations across the country and gathered millions of signatures in support of constitutional amendments ahead of next year’s election.
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The Union Election Commission has said it will no longer attend meetings of an Amyotha Hluttaw committee appointed to consider proportional representation because it wishes to avoid any implications from being involved in drafting proposals to change the voting system.
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Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann has urged stakeholders in the peace process to protect civilians through their actions, rather than their own interests, following repeated clashes between the Tatmadaw and various armed groups.
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Residents raise environmental, health concerns
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China’s strategic investment in an oil transhipment terminal on the Myanmar coast at Kyaukphyu and a 900-kilometre pipeline to Yunnan could soon be justified by a surge in piracy in the Malacca Strait between Malaysia and Indonesia.
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Although China remains the biggest foreign investor in Myanmar, investments from other countries are quickly catching up in the Southeast Asian nation, which was once a pariah in the international community.
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The Mayanchaung Centre in Rangoon’s Helgu Township houses around 1,600 people, 140 of who suffer from leprosy — a disease that leaves its sufferers stigmatised by society. The centre was established in 1989 to house patients from the nearby Htauk Kyant leprosy hospital. Living conditions at the centre are poor. Though it receives funding from the government, there is not enough money to provide adequate accommodation or facilities. Also known as Hansen’s disease, leprosy is a bacterial infection that causes skin lesions and loss of feeling in parts of the body such as arms and feet. If left untreated, the disease can lead to the loss of limbs. Throughout history, leprosy sufferers have been stigmatised and often made to live together in colonies. “Nobody cares about us if we have this disease. We are not accepted. We have pain in our lives; we have pain in our hearts,” said one woman who lives at the centre. As the centre cannot afford to care for all the patients’ needs, many must find work. In a society that is hostile to leprosy sufferers, finding a job can be extremely difficult. “We have to find jobs and work part-time. But it’s not enough to make a living. That’s why we need donors,” said a man staying at the centre. While leprosy is curable these days, those living in remote areas in Burma often don’t get diagnosed until the condition has reached an advanced stage when it is too late for a cure.
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Students at Yadanabon University in Burma’s second-biggest city staged a protest against the national education bill on Monday, urging the government to amend it after consulting with teachers and students.
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Thousands of Burmese at the Ei Htu Hta refugee camp in eastern Burma are struggling to feed themselves as monthly food supplies from non-governmental organizations have been interrupted by Thai authorities, according to an aid worker.
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A three-day ASEAN senior economic officials meeting is underway in Yangon to make preparations for an ASEAN economic ministers meeting scheduled for August, meeting sources said Sunday.
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