December 2014


More than 10,000 people want to participate in the citizenship verification process by agreeing to be listed as “Bengali,”according to U Khin Soe, the official in charge of the Rakhine State Immigration and Population Department. (more…)

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution urging Myanmar to grant citizenship to its Rohingya Muslim minority and grant them equal access to services. (more…)

(unofficial translation)

The king of Kokang has returned after five years. On one hand, he wishes to gain the right to participate in the 2015 political elections. And on the other hand, he wishes to restore his rule in Kokang in northern Myanmar. (more…)

Sitting in a small rattan shack, Aye Khaing holds out her most-valued new possession: a pink identification card, indicating she is a full citizen of this country after years of statelessness. (more…)

Kachins are grabbing opportunities for change from a reluctant government

In the town of Mai Maw, near Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin state in northern Myanmar, a local Baptist minister enthuses about his plans. Most importantly, says La La Hkawng Dau, known to all simply as Jack, he wants to reopen a long-closed school. Given that most of Myanmar’s vastly overcrowded schools have fallen into utter disrepair after decades of neglect, the authorities might be expected to welcome this. In Myanmar, however, it would be, as Jack acknowledges, “illegal”, or even subversive. (more…)

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi called on the government on Tuesday to hold a transparent election next year and said her party was waiting for a poll date to be set before deciding whether to run. (more…)

At around 4pm on Saturday, the doors were closing at 1,086 polling stations across Burma’s commercial capital, Rangoon, wrapping up what was expected to be a “landmark” day in a city that had not seen elected municipal leaders in more than 60 years. Poll workers in each station—mostly teachers and other civil servants—peeled the tape around seven giant Tupperware-like bins and began to count the color-coded cards inside. (more…)

(unofficial translation)

On November 19, the Tatmadaw bombed a Kachin military school, leading to the death of 23 cadets and severe injury another 16, all of whom were from multiple armed ethnic groups. Since then, the armed conflict in northern Myanmar bordering Yunnan has continued. On the afternoon of December 28, intense fighting broke out in Hpakant between the Kachin Independence Army and the Tatmadaw.  As of now, fighting continues between government military forces and ethnic armed groups at various levels of intensity. In the midst of this reignited confrontation, the Kokang National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) has miraculously reemerged after being defeated by government forces five years ago. They have engaged with Tatmadaw repeatedly, killing and injuring hundreds of Myanmar officers and soldiers and putting great pressure on the troops stationed in Kokang and even to the west of the Salween River. (more…)

(unofficial translation)

The expansion plan of the China-Myanmar joint venture in the Letpadaung mine elicited public demonstrations on December 21. Myanmar police clashed with the demonstrators, leading eventually  to the death of one villager and the injury of twenty. The event has brought wide attention from the international community. Some western media have used the opportunity to increase tension, using strong language such as “suppression” and “police abuse of power” to exaggerate the story. On the afternoon of the 23rd, Wanbao Mining Corporation, the Chinese partner in the project, sent Global Times a statement regarding the event. The statement emphasized that Wanbao Mining is against any violence  not conducive to conflict resolution;  dialogue and communication are the best means of resolving differences. (more…)

Muslims were sentenced on Wednesday for their role in deadly inter-communal riots in Thandwe, Arakan State, late last year, according to their lawyer. (more…)

An ethnic-language newspaper that was shut down by the Chin State government earlier this year resumed publication last week, while another newspaper was shuttered for a second time after also attempting to restart its operations. (more…)

The number of thefts has increased significantly this year from 2013 and 2012 rates, according to the Myanmar Police Force Headquarters. (more…)

Yangon residents will now need to prove that they have parking space for their imported vehicles in order to receive an import permit, according to Road Transport Administration Department. (more…)

The Myanmar Embassy’s special team representing the Koh Tao murder suspects claims their clients are not guilty and have called on the Samui court to summon two British witnesses. (more…)

Nestled on a bed of gravel, an hour’s drive from Mandalay, the second largest city in Myanmar, also known as Burma, is the country’s newest power station. (more…)

The Myanmar Teachers’ Federation (MTF) has emphatically rejected the Ministry of Education’s decision to form its own teacher and student unions at higher education institutions, saying that the plan violates the internationally accepted principles of freedom of association. (more…)

Burma has become a full member of the Asean Infrastructure Fund, the last country of the regional grouping to gain shareholder status, the fund announced on Thursday. (more…)

Myanmar’s reform process is backsliding and the continued incarceration of political activist U Aung Soe and other political prisoners is proof of that, according to Burma Campaign UK. (more…)

The Elders have urged Myanmar’s armed groups bogged down in decades-long conflicts to grasp the opportunity to have a ceasefire and build an all-inclusive new federal nation. (more…)

Burma has one of the world’s worst records for jailing journalists during the past year, according to an annual prison census by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). (more…)

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