April 2015


Despite reports of heavy fighting between the Tatmadaw and the Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army in Shan State on April 23, the government has not released any information about casualty numbers related to the clashes.
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Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi addressed her constituency on Monday, urging them to support her party in general elections later this year.
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As elections near and Burma’s leading lady, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, is still categorically barred from the country’s highest office, more and more political onlookers are raising the question of what role women will play in designing future policy. (more…)

Tripartite discussions between Burma’s Ministry of Labor, workers’ representatives and factory owners in recent days have revealed wide differences of opinion about the country’s future minimum wage, which will be determined in the next few months.
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Displaced civilians who have returned to the Kokang Special Region capital of Laukkai said living conditions in the battle-damaged town remain difficult as authorities have failed to provide them with food, shelter and basic amenities, while fighting continues not far from the town in northern Shan State.
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Municipal authorities in Rangoon have announced they will begin a neutering program to curb the number of street dogs in Burma’s largest city, after an outcry over the poisoning of local strays.
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An exiled NGO alleges timber trucks have been destroyed by Myanmar military aircraft in an attempt to stifle the flow of money to the Kachin Independence Organisation.
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The Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) sat with government representatives on Monday in Myitkyina to identify the catalyst for a series of recent clashes in Hpakant and Tanai townships in Kachin State.
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The Karen State-based Arakan State Army (ASA) says it wants to be included in the ongoing negotiations between the Burmese government and ethnic armed groups aimed at a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.
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As many as 500 villagers in Karenni State’s Hpruso Township protested in front of the township court on Monday after three of their peers were sentenced for their part in a symbolic “plough protest”.
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A revered Buddhist monk gave testimony in a Sagaing Division court on Monday, acting as a defence witness for a former information officer for the National League for Democracy (NLD) who stands accused of defamation.
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Continued delays over compensation for land expropriated from farmers will result in decisions being dropped on the next government, which could be in place before the end of the year, warns an MP involved in the so-called land-grabbing issue. (more…)

China repeated demands on Tuesday for Myanmar to take steps to prevent fighting with rebels from spilling over the border after more shells fell on Chinese territory during counter-insurgency operations. (more…)

Australian mining firm Eumeralla Resources and its local partner Myanmar Energy Resources Group (MERG) received approval last year from state authorities to explore a 400km square area in Karenni State. The application, made through Eumeralla’s local Burmese subsidiary Mawsaki Mining Co. which is 70 percent owned by the parent company, still has to be approved by relevant central government authorities but has already raised concerns from local groups worried about the impact that the firm’s activities could have on the environment and the local community. (more…)

Malaysian chemical products distributor Samchem Holdings Bhd is looking to expand into Myanmar and Laos within the next three to five years to complete its presence within the Indo-China region, reports the Sun Daily on April 27, 2015.
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Mitsubishi Corporation says it is to conduct soil tests as the Japanese company proceeds with plans for a coal-fired power plant in Ngayokekaung township, Ayeyarwady Region.
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Upper Myanmar’s Chindwin River, a tributary to the great Ayeyarwady, is choking to death – on gold. As it flows through Sagaing Region’s Hkamti township, rich in natural treasures, it is fouled with red sludge and spoil, the ruins of former and active mines and diggings.
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Representatives of the ASEAN People’s Forum have expressed concerns over a rash of problems in the Southeast Asian region that seriously inhibit their dreams of society becoming “people centred.” (more…)

Amnesty International has called for the immediate release of activist U Thein Aung Myint has been jailed for a further six months for participating in a peaceful protest in Myanmar, according to a press release on April 27. (more…)

Criminal groups benefit US$2 billion annually in Asia through people smuggling leading to serious human rights abuses and deaths, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) warned on the April 28. (more…)

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