October 2011

Family members of the 15 political prisoners who have been on hunger strike in Rangoon’s Insein Prison since Wednesday say they are anxious for the health and the lives of their loved ones. (more…)

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Seven people arrested last week during a demonstration in front of the Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development in Rangoon were released on bail on Friday after being interrogated. (more…)

Yangon – A senior United Nations official arrived in Myanmar on Monday for a five-day visit and was set to meet top members of the nominally civilian administration, according to the UN and government. (more…)

Burma’s government has invited pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to observe an international environmental conference, sources said, in the latest gesture of reconciliation by President Thein Sein’s administration moving to bring her into the mainstream political process. (more…)

Yangon – Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi might stand for parliament in an upcoming by-election after her party re-registers itself to enter politics, a party spokesman said. (more…)

ANYEINT troupe Thee Lay Thee will hold a reunion performance in Yangon on Independence Day, comedian Zaganar said last week. (more…)

Chiang Mai – Officials of both the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Association (DKBA) are in preliminary peace talks with Burmese government officials in Bangkok and in Mawlamyine in Mon State, respectively. However, little progress has been made. (more…)

Further democratic reform in Burma must be achieved before it can chair the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in 2014, observers have urged. (more…)

Beijing – China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand have agreed to joint security operations to go after “criminal organizations” which operate along the Mekong River after 13 Chinese sailors were killed in the area this month, Chinese state media reported Monday. (more…)

Yangon — Two senior US diplomats are due to visit Myanmar this week, an official in the military-dominated nation said Sunday, as Washington pursues a policy of engagement with the new civilian leadership. (more…)

Reports that have emerged from Kachin state in northern Burma since the region spiralled into war earlier this year have made for grisly reading: close to 40 cases of rape of ethnic women by Burmese troops; countless incidences of forced labour; hundreds of civilians trapped in free-fire zones, and so on. After a brief lull, fighting has escalated in recent weeks, and is nearing an intensity not seen in the region for nearly two decades. (more…)

The National League for Democracy (NLD), Burma’s main opposition political party led by Aung San Suu Kyi, will decide whether to officially register the party during a meeting of the NLD Central Executive Committee (CEC) next week. (more…)

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa arrived in Burma on Friday to scout out Burma to decide whether it should be granted the Asean chair for 2014. (more…)

Burma’s independence day in January next year will be marked with the launch of a film festival organised by two of the country’s leading pro-democracy luminaries, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and comedian Zarganar. (more…)

Yangon — Three China Central Television ( CCTV) channels — CCTV-4 (Chinese), CCTV-News (English) and CCTV-9 (Documentary) started launching in Myanmar Thursday in cooperation with Myanmar’s semi-government MRTV-4 and Sky Net. (more…)

Thailand’s labour minister says the government is working to ensure undocumented migrant workers can take shelter at relief centres and safely travel back to their home countries as the flooding crisis worsens. (more…)

Rangoon – Small-scale panning for gold will be allowed on Burma’s rivers and streams, but permits for large-scale mining will not be renewed when they expire in one year, according to the Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River System (DWRIRS). (more…)

Bangkok — Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa has arrived in Burma on the start of a three-day visit ahead of next month’s Asean summit in Bali where the 2014 chairmanship of the regional bloc is expected be decided. (more…)

In recent months the Burma Army has increased its attacks on ethnic people. The Burma Army has been accused of rape, forced labor and firing artillery shells indiscriminately into villages. The ethnic protests against the government’s military offensives have spread to neighboring countries. (more…)

New York – In a move that highlighted its sub-par human rights record, the government of Burma announced Oct. 11 that it would release 6,359 prisoners, but how many of these will be drawn from the country’s estimated 500 to over 2,000 political prisoners remains uncertain. (more…)

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