February 2014


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has called for dialogue with local residents in Sittwe protesting the aid group’s presence in Arakan State, a suggestion that was dismissed by one of the protest leaders on Wednesday as demonstrations against the international NGO entered their fourth day.
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The census will begin early in the self-administered ethnic Wa zone of eastern Burma, according to the United Wa State Army (UWSA).
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Burma’s biggest opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), says it will hold its first nationwide youth congress in late April.
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Fighting broke out between the Shan State Army – South (SSA-S) and the Burma Army on Sunday, the first such clash this year, according to the SSA-S.
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A monastery once presided over by famed monk Ledi Sayadaw is to be moved from its current grounds — the site of the Latpadaung copper mine.
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Seventeen labourers in Burma’s western Arakan State have been charged with arson, aggravated trespassing and abetting crime for alleged involvement in a fire at a relay station along the Shwe gas and oil pipelines in January.
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A battle took place on Monday between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) 9th Battalion troops and Burmese army troops from 123rd Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) near Chying Htawng village in northern Shan State at 10:30 am. No casualties on either side have been reported so far.
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There are several hurdles to overcome before a nationwide ceasefire can be achieved, said Nai Hong Sar, who serves as the vice-chairman of New Mon State Party and leader of the newly formed Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT).
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A report by the Ministry of National Planning and Business Development has said that the gap between rich and poor in Myanmar is widening.
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Half of large Asian companies see Burma as an opportunity to expand their business, according to research by Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOB) disclosed at a forum for regional investors Wednesday.
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The country set a revenue target of $700 million for the year, $150 million more than what it actually achieved, according to U Toe Nandar Tin, treasurer of the Myanmar Fisheries Processors and Exporters Association of the Myanmar Fisheries Federation.
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New Delhi’s relationship with Myanmar had changed “extraordinarily” since President U Thein Sein’s government came to power in 2011, Indian ambassador Gautam Mukhopadhaya said on February 26.
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The appointee to become the top US defense official for Asia said Tuesday engagement with the Burmese military is crucial for democratic reform in the Southeast Asian nation.
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The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) led a workshop hosting several local companies as a part of a new project aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, an official said.
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Human rights groups are concerned that Myanmar’s first census in 30 years will inflame ethnic tensions, further marginalise ethnic groups and be used as a tool for repression – especially against stateless Rohingya Muslims who are already denied basic human rights.
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As Myanmar defends itself against allegations of state-sponsored persecution of its Rohingya Muslim minority, attention has turned to what neighboring countries are doing to protect Rohingya asylum seekers. International refugee rights organizations say a coordinated response is needed for what is a growing refugee crisis in the region.
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In the listless heat of Yangon, a tiny pink fan pushes stifling air around a cramped three-roomed shack.
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Leaders of Burma’s ethnic armed groups will hold a side meeting with government peace negotiators in Rangoon early next month ahead of the long-awaited next round of official talks, scheduled to take place in the Karen State capital of Hpa-an.
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Tens of thousands of people living in informal settlements in wards 61, 67 and 93 of Rangoon’s Dagon Seikkan township are on-edge, after a deadline to leave their homes or face forced eviction came and went without incident last Sunday. If the forced removal is carried out, it will be the largest such event in Burmese history. Residents told DVB they believe local authorities will grant them reprieve until the school year ends in March.
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Brig-Gen Timothy Laklem of the Karen National Union Peace Council (KPC), an offshoot of the Karen National Union (KNU), has said that peace with Naypyidaw will only be possible once poverty has been reduced in Karen State. (more…)

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