January 2015


Yangon’s circular railway clacks, rattles and chuffs along a 46km (28.5-mile) loop around the city. On the way to Danyingon—a bustling farmers’ market supplying the vendors who dot Yangon’s pavements—it runs through crowded urban neighbourhoods. Then the scent of exhaust gives way to loam, and ox-pulled ploughs replace cars amid paddy fields and rickety thatched houses. (more…)

The Ministry of Rail Transportation has announced that three developers are now in the running for the contract for the comprehensive development of Yangon Central Railway Station, according to the Global New Light of Myanmar on January 28. (more…)

Myanmar garment industry is booming with strong prospects that it could employ as many as 1 million workers within the next few years, according to a leading industry figure. (more…)

Those students aligned to the All Burma Federation of Student Unions will continue their march until they meet with their representatives who agreed on January 28 to hold February 1 quadripartite talks with the government, a student from the ABFSU central working committee told Mizzima on February 29. (more…)

An extensive survey of birds in Myanmar has revealed nearly two dozen not known to have existed in the country, including a large black seabird with a ballooning red neck sack and a tiny black and white falconet with a surprised, panda-like expression. (more…)

A pipeline transporting oil from Myanmar’s coast through to Yunnan, China has been inaugurated in a trial operation, according to Xinhua on January 28. (more…)

Abul Kassim, a Rohingya asylum seeker, was snatched from his home in the northern Malaysian state of Penang on Jan. 12. The next morning, his beaten and bloodied body was found. (more…)

(unofficial translation)

The New York Times published an editorial on the 24th that criticized China with provocative language. The piece says that China is launching a “massive pillage” of Myanmar’s precious natural resources, using “public stealing” and “elite capitalism.” The piece listed China’s “extinction” damage to Myanmar’s resources from teak to wild animals, and blamed China for the killing of a protestor by Myanmar police.  The editorial called for an end to such pillage and exploitation  of the Myanmar people. (more…)

(unofficial translation)

Recently, the military conflict in northern Myanmar has attracted a great deal of attention in the Chinese media. This is not only because of the overseas Chinese in the region, but also because the conflict has been close to the Chinese border and brought pressure on China’s border security and stability.
Three years ago, the Myanmar government military engaged in major conflict with the local ethnic armed group — the Kachin Independence Army. It caused in local Kachins to flee to China, harming the normal economic trade activities along the border. It also created humanitarian pressure on China’s Yunnan province to accommodate the refugees. (more…)

Burma’s government has accused ethnic rebels of trying to scuttle a nationwide peace deal, as tensions soar in the northern state of Kachin, where an activist said sporadic clashes between the army and insurgents have trapped more than 1,800 villagers. (more…)

Jade mining operations in northern Burma’s Kachin State will not be officially halted due to ongoing conflict in the area, according to a Ministry of Mines official. (more…)

Crowds amassed for a peaceful demonstration against electricity prices in southeastern Burma on Friday, with some attendees estimating attendance at more than 1,000 people. (more…)

The Myanmar government should promptly implement measures to honour its stated commitment towards ending child military recruitment and use, Child Soldiers International said in a report issued on the day when the government released 42 children and young people who have been recruited and used by the Myanmar military. (more…)

Following a study of Want Wam Village-Tract in Kyethe Township, Southern Shan State the Tai Youth Network (TYN) issued a statement saying that the government should clear landmines and unexploded mortar shells from the area. (more…)

Homeless people protested and demanded housing in Thandwe Township, Arakan State on 19 January. (more…)

A spokesperson for the President’s Office said on January 23, the deaths of two Kachin Baptist Convention teachers in Shan State on January 19, would be investigated. (more…)

After a delay of nearly two years, the government announced on Friday it would this month conduct a survey on household living costs in order to determine a nationally set minimum wage. (more…)

A Thai police investigation into the deaths of three Muslim Rohingya migrants being trafficked illegally through the country continued January 21 when a group of rescued people identified the cars used to transport them, according to a report in The Nation January 22. (more…)

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has called for increased bilateral trade between Myanmar and India during a meeting in New Delhi with visiting Myanmar Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham, according to a report in Business Standard on January 22. (more…)

Burma’s Union Parliament decided on Thursday to double down on its endorsement of six-party talks on constitutional reform, and agreed to re-examine a controversial National Education Law passed last year, with lawmakers asking the Ministry of Education to draft amendments for consideration. (more…)

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