June 2007


The Burmese government has reportedly stepped up efforts to issue identification cards to ethnic minority civilians in preparation for a referendum tipped to happen after the National Convention ends.
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Piracy in Burma has brought the country’s music industry to its knees, according to performers and music producers, who say they can no longer compete with the stream of cheap copies of CDs and VCDs.
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Myanmar’s military junta has agreed to set up a special government position to deal with the U.N. children’s agency on the issue of child soldiers, a U.N. envoy said Friday.
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A tornado ripped through parts of Rangoon on Thursday, killing three people, injuring at least five and destroying about 90 houses.
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A spate of arms and ammunition seizures from border areas and passenger vehicles coming from Moreh by Indian troops, has led to tightening of security along the Indo-Burma highway.
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Sources from China Nonferrous Metal Mining (Group) Co., Ltd. (CNMC) say the company has gained regulatory approval to start constructing its nickel project in Burma with the financial support from the Export-Import Bank of China and China Development Bank.
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Burma’s 15-year narcotics elimination exercise which got off the ground in the 1999-2000 poppy season has so far yielded debatable results,  despite “clapping and cheering” by the UN Office of Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), according to SHAN’s Drug Watch members in Shan State who turned up on the border.
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The United States held rare talks with the Myanmar military junta in Beijing to press for the release of the Southeast Asian state’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, the State Department said Thursday.
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Many of the difficulties faced by the people of Burma were due to “ill-informed and outdated” socio-economic policies, neglected social services and the regime’s “uncompromising attitude” towards opposition and minorities, according to a confidential report by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator to Burma, Charles Petrie.
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The Japanese government will provide Myanmar grant aid assistance for two projects worth a total of 468 million yens (about 3.8 million U.S. dollars), according to a press release of the Japanese Embassy available here Friday.
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A Burmese pro-democracy activist who hijacked an airliner and held 50 passengers hostage has lost a court challenge against Canadian immigration authorities who want to deport him for terrorism.
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The rare meeting this week between a senior US official and Burmese ministers in Beijing perhaps signaled a changing US-Burma policy. The meeting o­n Tuesday was marked by a frank and free exchange of opinions from both sides, according to US State Department spokesman Tom Casey, who said it had come at the request of the military junta. (more…)

Yangon / Geneva  – The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Jakob Kellenberger, has strongly denounced violations of international humanitarian law committed against civilians and detainees by the government of Myanmar and demanded that the government take urgent action to end these violations and prevent them from recurring. (more…)

June 28, As Congress debates extending political and economic sanctions against Burma’s military regime, a new report from the University of California, Berkeley, and Johns Hopkins University documents how decades of repressive rule, civil war and poor governance in the Southeast Asian country have contributed to the spread of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases there. (more…)

Burma’s prominent student activists of the 88 generation urged the ruling military junta to create a political environment, which will allow free, frank and friendly discussions among all political stake holders in order to restore democracy in the country.
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Fifty one pro-democracy activists arrested during a prayer campaign in May for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi were freed on Wednesday night, a spokesman for her National League for Democracy announced o­n Thursday.
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June 26, For the first time in over a decade of its history at least 18 members of Burma ‘s Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) have put in their papers in Mon state, said a chairman close to the USDA organizer in the region. (more…)

A Chin family has written to Burma’s ruling junta charging that one of its members, a 33-year-old father of six, had been murdered by government troops.
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Hype regarding a growing Indo-Burma relationship notwithstanding, ties between the two neighbours seem tenuous. The Government of India has taken a serious view with respect to a series of incidents that have occurred around the border post of Moreh.
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Bangladesh law enforcement authorities suspect an Arakanese rebel group in the recent abduction of two foreign NGO workers from Chittagong Hill Tract near the Burma border, reports local media.
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