January 2014


Myanmar’s strongest rebel group, the United Wa State Army (UWSA), appears to be in no rush to hold talks with other armed ethnic organizations or the government ahead of a proposed nationwide cease-fire agreement and political dialogue for a durable peace.
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Dozens of families from a community displaced by the Thilawa Special Economic Zone have called for a meeting with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to spell out their concerns regarding the project, after demands put to the Japanese development agency last year went unanswered.
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Police and fire fighters have said that a fire that broke out on Tuesday night in Du Char Yar Tan village in Maungdaw Township, Rakhine State, was premeditated.
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A public address by visiting British Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire, scheduled to be held at Rangoon University on Thursday, was moved to a last-minute closed-door session at the British Council in Rangoon “for reasons beyond our control.”
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Civilians displaced by fighting in Kachin State told British Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire they want to go home when he visited a refugee camp housing more than 1,000 people near Myitkyina in January 29.
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The joint parliamentary constitution review committee expects to meet the January 31 deadline for submitting its long-awaited report to the Pyiduangsu Hluttaw, Mizzima was told on January 29.
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Expatriate refugees from the poverty-stricken nation of Burma have begun filtering back, partly as their country of origin has democratized and more ominously because they are feeling the heat from host countries like Thailand, India, Bangladesh and Malaysia to leave.
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The government must build more low-cost housing to stabilise the soaring price of real estate, according to a real estate association.
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Qatar’s Ooredoo and Norway’s Telenor received the first ever operating licenses for the development of telecoms systems in Burma on Thursday as both companies penned agreements with Burma’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Naypyidaw.
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Violence targeting Muslims and the escalating humanitarian situation in Rakhine State could gravely undermine Myanmar’s reform process, Britain’s Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire warned in Yangon on January 30.
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Myanmar is emerging decisively from conflict, fragility, and isolation toward a prosperous and peaceful future. It is in the midst of a triple transition: from a military government to democracy, from conflict in border areas to peace, and from a state-centered to a market-oriented economy.
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This week top officials of the Burma government met with lawmakers, foreign diplomats, and representatives from civil society groups, UN agencies and other development partners in Naypyidaw to discuss ways of accelerating international development assistance into the country. Among those at the Myanmar Development Cooperation Forum was Gavin McGillivray, head of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) Office in Burma. The DFID, a government department that provides international aid for more than 25 countries, contributed about US$100 million in assistance to Burma in the 2013-14 fiscal year. On the sidelines of the forum, McGillivray explained how those funds are used and what projects are in store for the future, while also sharing more details about a training course held earlier this month for members of Burma’s military.
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A fire on Tuesday night destroyed 16 homes in Du Chee Yar Tan village, the site of the alleged killing of dozens of Rohingyas two weeks ago. An Arakan State government official claimed that the Muslim villagers could have started the fire and “burned their own homes.”
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Three days after Burma’s ethnic armed groups concluded a conference in a rebel-controlled area of Karen State, ethnic leaders met with the government’s chief negotiator, Minister Aung Min,  on Wednesday.
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Burmese workers registered under the country’s social security scheme will begin seeing the benefits of more generous social protections from April of this year, according to the program’s director general.
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The Rakhine Investigation Commission said on Tuesday that evidence proves that a policeman was killed in Maungdaw Township in western Burma, but denied the mass killing of Muslim Rohingyas.
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Police in Rakhine State have arrested 11 people following a confrontation between Myanmar and Chinese workers building an oil pipeline to southern China.
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Burmese President Thein Sein has ordered an independent investigation into allegedly fatal incidents which occurred in the village of Duchira Dan [also written Du Char Yar Tan] in Maungdaw Township, northern Arakan State, on 13 January.
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The United States has wound up a special resettlement programme for Myanmar refugees in camps on the Thai-Myanmar border, the United Nations said Wednesday.
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Qatar’s Ooredoo can begin rolling out a telecommunications network in Myanmar after its licence is formally awarded this week, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
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