Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Immigration officials in Burma’s restive Arakan state have been instructed by authorities to prevent all Muslims from travelling outside of their townships, according to local sources. (more…)

A prominent Rohingya human rights activist and interpreter, who has helped many international journalists travelling to the conflict-torn Arakan state in western Burma, was detained by authorities in Sittwe on Tuesday morning, local police have confirmed. (more…)

Unidentified attackers armed with guns and machetes assaulted several villagers in northern Arakan State’s Maungdaw Township on Sunday, killing one man and seriously injuring three others, according to reports from local villagers. (more…)

The time is still not right to conduct by-elections in the townships of Mogaung and Hpakant, said Lower House speaker Thura Shwe Mann when he met with some 1,000 Kachin State residents on Sunday. (more…)

Thura Shwe Mann, Speaker of the Lower House on February 10 visited internally displaced persons camps in Kachin State resulting from the arm conflict between the government army and Kachin Independence Army that erupted in June last year. (more…)

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi offered Tuesday to help negotiate an end to conflicts between the government and the country’s ethnic minority groups, a challenge the country’s president called essential to building democracy. (more…)

Myanmar will offer members of the foreign media short and long-term visas under new press freedom regulations. (more…)

Development of the Dawei deepwater port has stalled because of planning uncertainties and conflicts with potential investors, Thailand’s Transport Minister Chadchat Sittipunt admitted yesterday [Monday]. (more…)

Waters levels on the Irrawaddy and Chindwin rivers, two of Burma’s most important waterways, are far lower than usual for this time of year, making them increasingly difficult to navigate and raising fears that they may become all but impassible as the dry season advances. (more…)

China’s Wanbao Company has requested Myanmar public to be patient until athe release of the final report regarding an investigation being made by the government into a controversial Chinese-backed copper mine project in Central Myanmar. (more…)

Myanmar is negotiating with South Korea about sending female workers under the Employment Permit System (EPS). (more…)

The border between Yunnan province and northern Myanmar (formerly Burma) has always been porous. To the people who live in the region, the border is a crooked mark on other people’s maps, an arbitrary boundary snaking its way 2,400 kilometres through rugged and wild terrain. The authorities in Beijing have seen the same land as a lawless borderland, a place to be controlled.

Myanmar’s transition to democracy has been widely lauded. In a visit to Yangon last November, US President Barack Obama publicly praised President Thein Sein’s reform agenda, and most recently, donor countries agreed to cancel over $6bn of debt. But has the international community had the wool pulled over its eyes? (more…)

I’ve just returned from Rangoon last week, after being invited to speak at a training session for young politicians from Asia, which included representatives from Burma. My assignment was to give a lecture on political parties and democratisation in Asia. A number of Burma’s young politicians participated in the programme. (more…)

Ruili, located in the west part of Yunnan province is a beautiful border port city. It borders Myanmar in the northwest, southwest and southeast. In the history of Myanmar, Ruili will leave an important mark for hosting some “special” Myanmar guests. On Feb 4, the central government of Myanmar and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) reached an initial result in their latest round of communications in Ruili. This has apparently helped to subside the conflict in northern Myanmar that has lasted for more than a year. Global Times journalists recently visited Ruili, Kachin state and Wa state in northern Myanmar for interviews. One senior leader of the Wa state said the ethnic groups in northern Myanmar have to play the dual role of “black smith and driver” to coexist peacefully with the central government- they need to be strong, as well as to know the timing and direction of peace talks. Other than the fact that the two sides no longer wish to drag out the conflict, the location of the talks underwent several changes and finally ended in Ruili, China. This has raised eyebrows in the outside world, with popular comments such as: “China plays the arbitration card. Its protection of its national interests is completely reasonable.”

Under the active mediation of the Chinese government, a Myanmar government delegation and the Kachin Independence Organization held peace talks in Yunnan China on Feb 4. (more…)

Members of the government and judiciary “don’t understand” the operations of the parliament and its efforts to institute a system of checks and balances, Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann says. (more…)