August 2012

A day after their names appeared in a government list of Burmese nationals who are no longer regarded as threats to national security, a group of high-profile dissidents returned to their homeland on Friday for the first time in more than two decades. (more…)

Laiza, Burma — When Burmese mortar rounds crashed into his village last July, Magawng La Hkam hobbled into the bush with nothing but his wooden crutches. (more…)

Rangoon – Htay Myint, the owner of the Yuzana Company, says the company will give back more than 1,000 acres of confiscated land in the Hukaung Valley in Kachin State to the original owners, said activist Bauk Ja. (more…)

The Chinese authorities have banned officials of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) from accessing Kachin refugees who are being forced back home into war-torn northern Burma. (more…)

CHIANG MAI – China is forcing back thousands of Kachin refugees fleeing ethnic violence in northern Myanmar, activists and aid workers say. (more…)

A question mark hangs over Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s planned visit to Dawei, Myanmar, scheduled for this month, as Nay Pyi Taw has yet to endorse the proposed itinerary. (more…)

The prominent Burmese Buddhist monk who helped lead the “Saffron Revolution,” Ashin Gambira – now known as Ko Nyi Nyi Lwin since he took off his robes –  has released a letter accusing the military of using the Arakan community unrest for its own purposes. (more…)

Last month, two ethnic armed groups in Myanmar – the Karenni National Progressive Party and the New Mon State Party – signed a ‘deed of commitment’ with an international NGO, Geneva Call, pledging to end the practice of underage recruitment and protect children in armed conflict.  The agreement with the two armed groups came close on the heels of the Joint Action Plan (JAP) agreed between the UN and the Government of Myanmar, which aims to bring an end to recruitment and use of child soldiers in Myanmar’s armed forces. (more…)

A political activist and lawyer, who recently returned home after years in exile, was sentenced to six months in prison for charges of contempt of court on Wednesday. (more…)

Wednesday – Fighting between the Burmese government troops and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) broke out between the two mining villages of Maw Mau Bum and Myauk Hpyu in Hpakant at 3 P.M.  Some civilian homes were burnt by shelling from the Burmese soldiers, said eyewitnesses.  Fighting had occurred in the area on Monday, August 27 as well. (more…)

From January 2011 to date, the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) has documented 20 separate incidents of forced labour, some involving orders to multiple villages, according to a new report released on Thursday. (more…)

Rangoon – A hearing was held in the Sanchaung Township Court on Tuesday in a case against the organizers of an anti-Rohingya protest held during the visit of UN Special Envoy on Human Rights Tomas Ojea Quintana to Burma in early August. (more…)

The 8 point guideline set by President Thein Sein’s Union Peacemaking Central Committee (UPCC) in May was spurned by a two-day meeting on the Thai-Burmese border of Shan Community-based organizations (CBOs) in exile that ended yesterday. (more…)

Myanmar’s parliamentary House of Representatives (Lower House) has formed a 15-member investigation team, headed by U Nanda Kyaw Hswa, to probe into impeachment against the Constitutional Tribunal for breaching the provisions of the constitution and the failure to discharge the vested duties, official media reported Thursday. (more…)

YANGON, Myanmar — The names recently trimmed from Myanmar’s blacklist read like a who’s who of prominent diplomats, human rights campaigners and Asian-based journalists. (more…)

BANGKOK – Thein Zaw has been a rice farmer in the Irrawaddy River delta of Myanmar all his life. This year, he did something he hadn’t done before: he sold half of his seven-acre farm to a neighbour with deeper pockets because he could no longer afford to cultivate it. (more…)

The International Trede Union Confederation (ITUC) has welcomed the imminent return to Burma of the leader of the country’s trade union movement. (more…)

SINGAPORE – Western energy firms eyeing Myanmar’s wealth of untapped resources face potential minefields of risk from entrenched corruption and still-fragile reforms, which could damage global reputations and cause huge losses if not carefully managed. (more…)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is urging China to offer temporary protection to ethnic Kachin (ka-CHIN) refugees who have fled conflict in northern Myanmar and not force them back. (more…)

Washington’s ambassador to Myanmar hinted last week that the US may have a new foe in the reforming dictatorship. Derek Mitchell, whose appointment this year marked a significant warming of relations between the two countries, spoke of the vile fallout from sectarian unrest in June that has overshadowed Myanmar’s reform efforts. (more…)

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