March 2014


Burmese officials said the government has made a last-minute change to its position on registering the ethnicity of the Muslim minority in northern Arakan State during the current national census, saying enumerators would refuse to register any respondent who identifies themselves as Rohingya.
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Evicted former residents of Thingangyun Township have vowed to continue their sit-in protest in central Rangoon, despite an attempted forced eviction in the early hours Sunday.
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The Myanma Freedom Daily, one of two English-language private daily newspapers in Burma, has temporarily suspended its operations, the publication’s founder says.
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Tens of thousands of census-takers have fanned out across Myanmar to gather data for a rare snapshot of the former junta-ruled nation that is already stoking sectarian tensions.
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Last week, violence broke out in Arakan state’s capital Sittwe. The violence kicked off when local residents observed a foreign staffer of humanitarian NGO Malteser International, remove a flag from outside their offices.
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Earlier this month, Burmese newspapers and journals ran wild with the news that Burma had seen its first gay wedding.
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Nearly 200 villages in central Burma are suffering from acute water shortages, according to the Civil Society Network, an NGO that has begun an emergency import of potable water to village tracts in the area around Mount Popa in Mandalay Division where wells have yielded water contaminated by disease.
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Since the government gave the green light to 16 private daily newspapers on April 1, 2013, many are finding the harsh realities of Myanmar’s publishing market too hard to cope.
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They are competing in Myanmar’s first-ever hackathon, a 48-hour contest to create tech-based solutions for some of the country’s pressing development challenges.
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Presidential spokesman Ye Htut has said that international aid workers supporting communities in strife-torn Arakan State should be more sensitive to local customs, after a rumor that an aid worker improperly handled a Buddhist flag sparked attacks on the Sittwe offices of foreign aid organizations last week.
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With Burma’s eighth domestic airline taking to the skies last month and another three set to follow suit, the country’s civil aviation sector is overcrowded, and on the whole, unprofitable. However some suggest that increased competition will precipitate a shake-up of the sector, which still has much to be desired in terms of its safety record and infrastructure.
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Advocacy group pushes for solution to migrant workers’ plight
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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the Government of Myanmar to ensure the safety and security of all staff members and their property in the wake of recent attacks against the United Nations and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Rakhine state.
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One of them has helped reforest environmentally threatened regions and donated money to assist children with Down syndrome. A portion of every ticket his airline sells goes to social welfare organizations. And when Cyclone Nargis devastated Myanmar in 2008, his foundation contributed more than $8 million to rebuild schools, hospitals, and monasteries.
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The KNU Central Executive Committee member discusses the Tatmadaw, a federal army and the hope of finally achieving peace for his people.
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Foreign aid workers in Arakan State capital Sittwe are currently “huddled” at a local police station after a mob began attacking homes and offices of several international NGOs in the town on Wednesday night and again on Thursday morning, Malteser International spokesperson Johannes Kaltenbach has confirmed to DVB.
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Four demonstrators are likely to face charges from Pakokku Township Police for staging an unauthorised protest demanding constitutional reform.
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Dozens of aid workers were under police protection in western Myanmar Thursday sparking UN and US alarm after mobs attacked the offices of international relief agencies in a new surge of violence.
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Burma’s first census for 30 years is at risk of being derailed before it has even started, as renewed unrest in the country’s west threatens to send foreign aid workers fleeing, making conditions impossible for counters.
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Burma’s military chief said during an annual military celebration Thursday that eliminating ethnic armed conflicts is the most important factor for the country, and reiterated his support for ongoing negotiations toward a nationwide ceasefire.
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