Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Freedom House released its 2013 Freedom in the World rankings today. Over on the main site, David Kramer and Arch Puddington make some recommendations for the Obama administration’s second-term priorities based on the report’s findings. (more…)

The Burmese government and Kachin rebels were engaged in pitched ground battles over key positions in the mountains around Laiza on Tuesday, while the army also launched airstrikes in the area, according to a rebel commander. (more…)

With his wife and two children, Myint Than sleeps in a small hut west of Burma’s biggest city, without a door or walls to protect them from the cold chill at night. (more…)

The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) is sending teams across Burma to meet with local civil society groups to prepare for potential political talks with the government. (more…)

The Myanmar government started gauging telecommunications companies’ interest in nationwide licenses on Tuesday ahead of its plans to issue two permits by June. (more…)

It was announced on Monday that 47 companies across Burma have won a portion of a 37,700 million kyat (US $44 million) tender to work on rural development projects in their respective states. (more…)

For desperate Rohingya arrested in Thai territory, hope for the future can rest simply with how much money they have to pay off local officials and human traffickers. The prospects are dire for those without the required cash—being sold into slavery is commonplace. (more…)

High-ranking military officers from Burma and Singapore on Monday discussed plans to strengthen mutual cooperation, including infrastructural development, training, and the exchange of visits of warships, Burma’s state media have reported. (more…)

A monument to the South Korean victims killed by a North Korean-orchestrated bomb in Yangon in 1983 is to be built in the former Myanmar capital.

Britain has warned of the “increasingly serious” situation unfolding in Kachin state after fresh shelling hit the town of Laiza on Monday night, following the deaths of three civilians by artillery fire earlier in the day. (more…)

The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer met with President Thein Sein in Naypyitaw on Monday on the first leg of a surprise landmark visit by the ICRC to Burma. (more…)

A Singaporean company signed an agreement with Burma’s national chamber of commerce to organize four conferences this year on tourism, real estate, banking and finance, and transport. The events will offer local and international businessmen the chance to meet key Burmese government officials and international business executives active in these sectors. (more…)

The government’s ongoing war against the Kachin, who helped establish the Union of Burma, a political union of ethnically equal communities, has demonstrated that the country’s leaders are not interested in nation building, but in empire building. (more…)

José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, British foreign secretary William Hague, US secretary of state Hilary Clinton and most recently American president Barack Obama have all visited Burma in recent months. (more…)

Aung San Suu Kyi’s is a name that evokes courage and nobility in the face of tyranny. A poised, well-spoken heroine with a flower in her hair, she was released from 15 years detention in November 2010, in what turned out to be one of the first reform steps undertaken by Burma’s long-notorious military rulers. (more…)