Tuesday, February 19th, 2013


Burmese government peace negotiators held peace talks with Shan rebel leaders in Thailand on Tuesday and, in a sign of the growing trust between the two sides, they agreed to meet again in Burma’s capital Naypyidaw in the near future, according to a Shan rebel spokesman. (more…)

A leading activist lobbying for the cancellation of a controversial Chinese-backed copper mine in Upper Burma said “a total shutdown” of the project would be in the best interests of all parties involved, including the Burmese government, local people and the Chinese government. (more…)

Deputy Minister for Defence Brigadier General Aung Thaw is to become a media spokesperson for the ministry, Deputy Information Minister U Ye Htut told The Myanmar Times last week. (more…)

Officials from all 54 of Myanmar’s registered political parties have been invited to attend a seminar in Yangon this week organised by two European non-government organisations. (more…)

Sixty-six Christian churches have been burnt down in Kachin state since the conflict erupted in June 2011, according to the Kachin Women’s Association of Thailand (KWAT), a figure that is backed by Myitkyina-based Kachin Baptist Convention. (more…)

As the Myanmar government prepares for talks on Wednesday in northern Thailand with the main ethnic bloc United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), one of the peace brokers, Nyo Ohn Myint, said that President Thein Sein’s team expects to move the peace process forward in three stages. (more…)

Thailand-based Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG) on Monday slammed a September 20 research paper published by Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation in which the author proposes a revised working model for the suspended Myitsone Dam in Kachin State. (more…)

A group of peace marchers currently walking to the Kachin capital of Laiza has divided into two groups—both now marching separately—following disagreements, according to the leaders of the two factions.  (more…)

The Myanmar government’s failure to protect aid workers from threats and intimidation by extremists in Rakhine State is “unconscionable,” Human Rights Watch told AlertNet following reports  that such action was impeding efforts to help tens of thousands of displaced people. (more…)

Myanmar on Saturday dismissed an independent report that alleged security forces used white phosphorus in a crackdown on a protest against a copper mine last year, which left dozens of people injured. (more…)

Burma’s notorious armed forces will continue to receive the largest portion of next year’s national budget, despite criticisms from a number of MPs over the lack of transparency in the ministry’s expenditures and policies. (more…)

A move to resolve the starvation situation in Chin state, Burma led to a survey between 7 January and 10 February by Pu Lal Maung Cung, a member of state Hluttaw and a representative from Than Tlang constituency. He is a member of the Chin National Party. (more…)

Singapore. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., Southeast Asia’s biggest phone company, wants to focus on wireless services in Myanmar as it vies for the right to operate in one of the world’s last untapped mobile markets. (more…)

The supply of natural gas from Myanmar will be disrupted again from April 4-12 when electricity demand peaks at the height of the hot season, says the energy minister. (more…)

Isolated for decades under the rule of military dictators who invested almost nothing in education and choose to keep the people ill-informed, generations have grown up with just the most basic learning. Even now, with a nominally-civilian government introducing a series of democratic changes, some feel the situation is so bad that people have to relearn how to learn. (more…)

President Thein Sein and his reform government have made important changes in Myanmar. Many political prisoners are free, real steps are under way to bring in basic freedoms of speech and gathering. The elected Myanmar parliament has engaged in open dialogue and criticism, especially since the election of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. The president has shown a desire to engage the world community. (more…)

(Unofficial Translation)

Zhang Wei, a researcher at the China Policy Studies Center at the University of Nottingham recently published a commentary  entitled “Xi Jinping should learn from U Thein Sein”. The article argues that Xi Jinping, as the leader of a problematic big power China, should learn from and imitate U Thein Sein who has both the wisdom to follow the trend of the history and the courage to bear historical responsibility. (more…)

A group of 32 Myanmar nationals rescued by the Sri Lankan navy have claimed that nearly 100 others are missing at sea, police said on Sunday. (more…)

Human rights abuses are still occurring in Myanmar despite reforms by the quasi-civilian government, a U.N. rights envoy said on Saturday, singling out arbitrary arrest and torture of alleged ethnic Kachin rebels. (more…)

Human rights groups and analysts say the international community needs to pay attention to warnings from the United Nations rights envoy about on-going abuses in Burma. (more…)

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