Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

An ailing land rights activist who is serving a six-month prison term in connection with a property dispute in Kyaunggon Township, Irrawaddy Division, is innocent of the crimes he was convicted of and will appeal a verdict issued late last year, his wife says. (more…)

The United Nations Special Human Rights Rapporteur to Myanmar Ms Yanghee Lee discussed refugee affairs with civic organizations on her brief visit to northern Shan State, according to Ma Lo Lyar Rain, secretary of the Taaung Students and Youth Association. (more…)

A group of 20 Muslims, including a groom and bride-to-be arrested on their wedding day, were on Monday sentenced to lengthy prison terms on terrorism charges by a district court in Taunggyi, Shan State. (more…)

An international forum focusing on the need to safeguard the fabric of Rangoon’s heritage will begin in the city this week. The ‘forum on sustainable development’ event is organised by the World Monuments Fund (WMF) and Yangon Heritage Trust (YHT) and will run from 15-17 January. (more…)

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has accused President Thein Sein of ignoring proposals for a limited dialogue among herself and a handful of senior government leaders and politicians, following the president’s convening of a 48-party meeting here on Monday. (more…)

Members of the Union Election Commission say they are unsure if a constitutional referendum will take place in May, as the key logistics of the exercise remain shrouded in uncertainty five months before the vote is due to take place. (more…)

Mobile government teams tasked with curbing smuggling along the Burma-China border near Muse have seized illicit goods, including gemstones, timber, wildlife and precursor drugs, with an estimated total value of US$27 million in the past two years, according to Ministry of Commerce officials. (more…)

The British government has just released a report championing the good opportunities for British companies interested in investing in Myanmar’s oil and gas sector. (more…)

Birdwatchers have reported a stunning decline in wildlife at the Paleik Lake in Mandalay Division, with some suggesting that the animals are poisoned and sold in local markets. (more…)

The opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) on January 13 issued a statement focusing on the reform process that does not go ahead as a consequence of the administration sector’s interference in the judicial sector and of being unable to deal with corruption. (more…)

Villagers have voiced concerns over ongoing large-scale coal mining in southern Burma’s Tenasserim Division, saying the extractive project is affecting the livelihoods of residents in five area villages. (more…)

The Thai government has cranked up its drive against human trafficking by setting deadlines for action and reports, according to the Bangkok Post on January 13. (more…)

President Barack Obama’s UN ambassador said Monday the humanitarian situation in Burma’s Arakan State continues to deteriorate and virtually no one has been held to account for attacks on minority Muslims. (more…)

EU heads of mission in Myanmar have expressed concerns over pending legislation concerning race and religion in Myanmar.  The European Union has expressed concern over a set of religion and interfaith marriage bills set to be debated in the next session of parliament opening on Monday. (more…)

People are saying that it is difficult, these days, to stay optimistic about the immediate future. My friends who are Buddhists say nothing is permanent, and so they wait patiently for things to change. (more…)

Ye Htut was appointed Minister of Information last July, two years after the nominally-civilian government moved to end the junta-era pre-publication censorship regime and began to oversee the introduction of private daily newspaper licenses. He has also served as spokesman for President Thein Sein since 2013, emerging as a staunch and articulate defender of the government’s reform credentials and a frequent critic of journalists and opposition politicians on social media. (more…)