Thursday, December 20th, 2012

An outlawed student armed group is meeting with government ministers, politicians and activists in Rangoon to discuss their role in peace processes between the Burma Army and ethnic rebels, a leader of the group said on Thursday. (more…)

Burmese government troops are still committing a litany of human rights abuses in Shan State, according to Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN), a Thailand-based NGO which recently returned from a fact-finding mission to Burma. (more…)

The government yesterday dismissed media reports that Myanmar President Thein Sein has asked to scale down the size of its deep-sea port and industrial estate in Dawei. (more…)

Hpa-an, the little capital of Kayin, or Karen, State is set among jagged, green limestone hills along the banks of the Salween River. (more…)

More than US $185 million in MoUs for imports and exports was agreed at the Muse-Namkham Chamber of Commerce office on December 10 at a trade fair held in Muse, a town on the Burmese side of the border with China. (more…)

A planned industrial project will threaten the environment and health of thousands of people in Rakhine State as well as destroying Burma’s second largest mangrove forest, according to a report titled “Danger Zone” which was released this week by Arakan Oil Watch, an environmental NGO in Burma.

Pro-union lecturers at Rangoon University are being transferred to different institutions across Burma in what the professors say is a deliberate move to undercut unions.

When former Thai politician Surin Pitsuwan took over as the chief of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2008, his leadership was put to the test early on. In May of that year, Cyclone Nargis wreaked havoc on Burma, leveling townships and killing at least 138,000 people. (more…)

Burmese President Thein Sein is en route to New Delhi to join regional leaders for a two-day Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)-India Commemorative Summit to begin on Thursday amid protests from democracy activists. (more…)

Burma’s new quasi-civilian government has vowed to improve its record on tackling human trafficking, but still has a long way to go until it can remove Burma’s name from the list of countries on the US Person Trafficking Report, according to the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative Against Trafficking (COMMIT). (more…)

The United States is poised to take “nascent steps” to open up military ties with Myanmar as a way of bolstering political reforms undertaken by the former pariah state, a senior US defence official said Wednesday. (more…)

A United Nations envoy, Vijay Nambiar, has wrapped up a visit to Myanmar during which he was able to meet with people displaced by the inter-communal violence this year in Rakhine state, as well as discuss with the Government how to address the problems facing the communities there. (more…)

‘There’s even a tomboy,” chortled the elderly female Human Rights Commissioner in Burma. She was describing the new female staff the commission was about to hire. It did not need translation for our visiting delegation to understand this new staff member was a lesbian. (more…)

The helicopter cuts a sharp arc away from the sea and sweeps over pagoda-topped hills and dusty farmland until a mass of dirty white tents comes into view. Soon throngs of people can be seen coming out of their makeshift homes and rushing towards the airfield, until they resemble a human fence, snaking five-deep around the camp. There are mothers in pastel hijabs, men in T-shirts and longyis, and naked children clutching on to grandparents, jostling for space among puddles and dust, held back by guards with rifles. (more…)

On December 7th, 2012, the United-Nations expressed “grave concerns” for the displaced people in Kachin State in areas where the UN has no access. Located between Burma, China and India, the Kachin state is one where jade, diamonds, rubies, gold and precious hard woods are abundant. Today, it is also precious for its hydropower potential. Fierce fighting has raged in Kachin state since a 17-year ceasefire between the military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) shattered in June 2011. (more…)