Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

A Burmese Buddhist monk who called a UN human rights envoy a “whore” has violated his monastic code and could damage his religion, another prominent monk said on Tuesday, but he is unlikely to face censure. (more…)

The Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) said on Wednesday that a national peace accord is unlikely to be signed next month without further meetings between ethnic army representatives and the government. (more…)

Burmese authorities continue to investigate the case of two female schoolteachers who were found brutally murdered on Tuesday at a village in northern Shan State. (more…)

Mandalay Division Court on Wednesday said it will hear arguments from a lawyer representing farmers from Sint Gu Township in order to decide whether to accept a case against police officers accused of firing at farmers during a protest over a land dispute. (more…)

Five activists who have been detained for their role in a protest in front of the Chinese embassy in Rangoon last month made another appearance in court in Dagon Township on Tuesday. (more…)

Three inmates escaped from Henzada prison in Irrawaddy Division on Wednesday morning. (more…)

President Thein Sein has continued to defer on six-party constitutional reform discussions, handballing the proposal back to the legislature with a statement issued to the Union Parliament on Monday. (more…)

A parliamentary drafting committee on Tuesday rejected President Thein Sein’s revisions on a plan to raise government salaries, according to lawmakers. (more…)

The Thai government has decided not to implement a mooted plan to get prisoners to work on fishing vessels in the wake of criticism of the idea by labour and human rights groups, according to a recent press release from the Thai foreign ministry January 19. (more…)

Thai investment in Burmese natural gas development might be curtailed because the army generals running Thailand are worried about dependence on supplies from its neighbor, according to reports. (more…)

Minister of Commerce Win Myint has said that the volume of goods being smuggled across Burma’s borders with China and Thailand is on the rise, despite recent efforts by authorities to crackdown on the rampant, unregulated trade. (more…)

President U Thein Sein says that under a cabinet reshuffle, some existing Union-level ministries face closure, while other set to be merged by the end of April. (more…)

Commerce minister Win Myint said the huge volume of illegal trade in Myanmar is responsible for the country’s low trade figures compared to China and Thailand. (more…)

President U Thein Sein has called on the Myanmar parliament to rethink aspects of a new education bill in the face of renewed student protests, state-backed media said January 21, as activists vowed to continue demonstrations. (more…)

The international aid group Doctors Without Borders announced Wednesday that it has returned to Myanmar’s troubled state of Rakhine nine months after it was ordered out by the government for hiring members of the long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority. (more…)

A study into the openness of governments to publishing data has found Myanmar ranked bottom out of 86 countries surveyed by a foundation set up by the inventor of the internet. (more…)

Amnesty International has welcomed the release of peaceful activist Dr Tun Aung, jailed for trying to prevent communal violence, but called on the Myanmar authorities to free the dozens of other prisoners of conscience still behind bars. (more…)

Winter weather has brought more misery for thousands of internally displaced people who have sought refuge in camps in Kachin and northern Shan states on the border with China to escape fighting between the Tatmadaw and the Kachin Independence Army. (more…)

Archbishop of Yangon Charles Maung Bo was among 20 new cardinals whose appointments were announced by Pope Francis on January 4. The appointment of Myanmar’s first cardinal followed celebrations last November marking the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Catholicism in Myanmar. A special papal envoy who attended the celebrations praised the organisation of the anniversary, saying it was a “marvellous experience”. (more…)