April 2013


As Myanmar is increasingly brought back into the international fold, foreign investment is increasingly flooding into the country. While the funding helps to nourish a developing economy, some warn it may be excessive.
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Pages of a Koran lay torn and spread on the ground outside two mosques in the town of Okkan, on the outskirts of Rangoon. At the Cho Bali mosque, Korans were dumped in a small well outside.
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Hundreds of protesters have dared the police to put them behind bars in northwest Burma, in an act of solidarity with activists who are wanted by local authorities after opposing a controversial copper mine project in the region.
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Police in central Burma fired warning shots to disperse a crowd after a mosque and shops were attacked on Tuesday, the president’s spokesman said, in the latest religious unrest to hit the country.
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The Myanmar government’s peace-making committee vice-chairman Aung Min, has sent a letter to the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) requesting a further round of peace talks in early May, according to peace broker Hla Maung Shwe. (more…)

The KHRG’s report released on 23rd of April, documented that BGF battalions based in Papun Township – the 1013th and the 1014th – forced villagers from Meh Kanaw, Meh Thri Gyi, Meh Thri Poekhi and Htee Htaw Khi to transport wood, bamboo poles and thatch shingles to build its army camps.
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A Myanmar Government Commission report has recommended a family planning program be implemented to curb the growth of the country’s Muslim Rohingyas.
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Ford Motor Co. announced its entry into Myanmar on Tuesday, saying it plans to open the nation’s first sales and service showroom for new vehicles by August.
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The Chinese military has sent armed helicopters equipped with air-to-air missiles to Burma’s largest ethnic rebel group the United Wa State Army (UWSA), according to a report published in Jane’s Intelligence Review on Monday.
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The Chinese embassy in Yangon has denied fresh allegations that its government sold weapons to one of Myanmar’s armed ethnic groups.
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Abu Tahay is a small passionate man who has something important to say. He has said it to David Cameron, to William Hague, to Hugo Swire and now here in the single air-conditioned room of a small local grass roots organisation (optimistically named “Smile”) in Mingalar Taung Nyunt township in Yangon, he is saying it to me. It is a desperate story and he is well-versed in it.
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Instead of focusing only on profit from ‘development’, the Thai govt should also be helping to solve Myanmar’s deep-rooted problems
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Recommendations in a government-backed report investigating last year’s devastating violence in Myanmar fail to effectively tackle discrimination against Rohingya Muslims and could trigger more human rights abuses, Amnesty International said.
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Mun Awng, the famed exile Kachin singer and songwriter, rose to popular prominence in Burma during the 1980s. He fled his country after the military’s brutal crackdown in 1988 and now lives in Norway.
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The immediate objective of the ongoing Burma Army campaign against allied rebel armies in northern Shan State is to cut off Wa support for them, both moral and material, according to an informed source who requests anonymity from the Sino-Burmese border. (more…)

It is Aung San Suu Kyi’s mantra for embedding democratic reform, but for many who endured Myanmar’s authoritarian and deeply corrupt former junta the “rule of law” remains a distant hope. (more…)

Reconstruction of homes and shops in Meiktila, and rehabilitation of the displaced townsfolk, will take two or three months, a senior relief officer told Myanmar Times last week.
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Myanmar’s authorities suspended official population assessment on Bengali migrants in Rakhine State due to disagreement among Bengali population which demanded to recognize them as “Rohingya” not “Bengalis”, according to officials.
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A port construction project in Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will start next year using US$205 million low-interest, long term loan from Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), according to Myanma Port Authority (MPA). (more…)

Wrapped in a saffron robe, Buddhist monk Wirathu insists he is a man of peace. Never mind his nine years in prison for inciting deadly violence against Muslims. Never mind the gruesome photos outside his office of Buddhists allegedly massacred by Muslims. Never mind that in the new Myanmar, the man dubbed the “Burmese bin Laden” has emerged as the spiritual leader of a pro-Buddhist fringe movement accused of fueling a bloody campaign of sectarian violence.
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