March 2013


A much-delayed government inquiry into last year’s sectarian violence in Arakan State is due for release in two days, but investigation commission members said on Friday that they did not know if it would be publicized as planned. Another postponement of the report seems likely. (more…)

Hundreds of Karen community leaders met with top government officials in Pa-an, Karen State, on Friday to discuss unity among the various political, armed, religious and community organizations. (more…)

Police and soldiers seen patrolling in the streets of Pathein (more…)

Exiled Chin news group Khonumthung will begin publishing a journal inside Burma after receiving approval from the Ministry of Information earlier this month. (more…)

The lack of sufficient infrastructure in Myanmar is causing some potential foreign investors to delay investing, but they will invest once Thilawa Special Economic Zone is complete in 2015, an official with a Japanese investment agency said. (more…)

The Ministry of Commerce has announced that as of April 1 the export-import license for equipment used in oil and natural gas enterprises will no longer be needed.  (more…)

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Burma human rights said Thursday he had received reports of “state involvement” in some of the recent violence between Buddhists and Muslims in the former army-ruled nation. (more…)

Former US President Jimmy Carter will come to Myanmar to explore ways to support the country’s ongoing democratic transition.
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Burma’s biggest city is spooked this week: many in Rangoon, a hot, sprawling, messy, splendid melting-pot of a city, fear that the contagion of communal violence which killed dozens in the central Burmese town of Meiktila last weekend is heading their way. (more…)

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Two years ago, Burma’s military junta stepped down, handing the keys to a softly spoken soldier called Thein Sein. (more…)

As Myanmar marks two years of its historic journey towards normalcy under President Thein Sein, the country is facing an array of challenges that accompany a transition like this. (more…)

Although there are reasons to be hopeful about Myanmar now, events of the past ten days have cast a dark shadow over the country. The violence against Muslims in Meiktila, which then spread to Naypyitaw, Bago and threatened Yangon, is so serious it has drawn the attention of the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. If it spreads and is not stopped, it could result in the Good Friday and Easter Sunday story in reverse – flickers of hope and light snuffed out by brutal violence and terror. (more…)

Not one bullet was fired, not one smoke bomb was dropped as scores of Muslims were attacked and some were burnt alive in Myanmar last week. The security forces just looked on. In a country where they routinely use brute force against political dissidents, villagers who protest land grabs and even monks, their passivity was sadly revealing. (more…)

President Thein Sein blamed the ongoing anti-Muslim riots that have rocked central Burma on “political opportunists and religious extremists” on Thursday, and warned that he “will not hesitate to use force” to quell the unrest. (more…)

More than 300 farmers in northern Burma’s Sagaing Division have resumed their protests against a controversial Chinese-backed copper mine, saying they will refuse compensation and continue to push for the mine’s complete closure. (more…)

Ethnic Wa rebels said at a recent conference in Lashio in Shan State they would continue to work toward achieving an independent state in eastern Burma. (more…)

A new English word has entered the colloquial language in Myanmar, a word that could not even be uttered in public until recently. The word is “crony,” and it describes the business elite who exploited their closeness to the country’s military rulers to amass vast wealth in the past two decades. (more…)

The blaze that raged through the Mae Surin refugee camp in Mae Hong Son’s Khun Yuam district on Friday was probably an accident, National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general Paradorn Pattanatabut said.

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The looming threat of religious violence in Rangoon is beginning to take its toll on the economy, after authorities force businesses to close early and residents are too scared to venture outside their homes, locals have warned. (more…)

Garment exports are on track to exceed US$1 billion for the fiscal year ending this month as the industry prepares for a makeover to gain access to western markets, officials from the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association said.
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