Wednesday, October 7th, 2015


After a life turned upside down by conflict, Htan Wang craves peace and security in her Kachin homeland more than any democratic dividend promised by next month’s Myanmar election. (more…)

Myanmar’s military launched an attack against a group of ethnic insurgents in the country’s eastern Shan state on Tuesday, according to a rebel spokesman who said the move was retribution for refusing to sign a nationwide cease-fire agreement the government hopes to conclude later this month. (more…)

Kayin civil society organisations in Myanmar and abroad have slammed leaders of the Karen National Union as undemocratic and lacking transparency by agreeing to sign the nationwide ceasefire agreement with the government later this month. (more…)

More than 40 Karen organisations based overseas have released a statement expressing a lack of confidence in the Burmese peace process after it emerged that no more than eight armed groups – three of which are ethnic Karen – will be signing the agreement. (more…)

Phil Blackwood, a bar-restaurant manager who has been incarcerated in Rangoon’s Insein Prison for nearly ten months, is malnourished and suffering from mental stress, according to his parents in Wellington, New Zealand. (more…)

The World Bank’s October 2015 Myanmar Economic Monitor is out and boasts the growth of social spending overdefence, but between the lines the positive news is somewhat misconstrued. (more…)

Burma’s Union Election Commission (UEC) has begun distributing advanced vote ballots for more than 34,000 citizens abroad who have registered to vote, a sizeable contingent that nonetheless represents only a fraction of the estimated population of Burmese nationals residing overseas. (more…)

Prominent women’s rights activist and National League for Democracy (NLD) candidate Susanna Hla Hla Soe says she is concerned for her safety after her supporters were assaulted following a campaign rally in northern Rangoon. (more…)

President Thein Sein used his monthly radio address on Tuesday to emphasize the significance of the country’s looming general election, calling on voters to make considered decisions at the ballot box and for the result to be respected. (more…)

The National League for Democracy’s electoral campaign committee (central) on November 3 announced that there may be hundreds of thousands of fake names in the voters lists for the upcoming election. (more…)

Despite lacking an invitation, soldiers from an armed ethnic group in Shan State lurked at the back of an election kick-off rally this weekend, leaving voters with an eerie reminder of the security forces in past elections. (more…)

Police are preparing a comprehensive security blanket in advance of the November 8 election. Training is about to begin for more than 40,000 special police officers drafted nationwide to supplement the regular force during elections, while there is also a provision for calling the military to be prepared if need be. (more…)

The EU Myanmar Trade Development Programme (TDP) was launched at a ceremony today. With joint support from  the EU and Germany, the programme seeks to strengthen Myanmar’s economy and support the country’s return to the Global Trade Market according to a programme statement on 6 October. (more…)

Maybank has officially launched its Myanmar operations, aiming to focus on transaction banking, corporate lending and treasury services as part of its objective to establish itself as a leading cross-border bank in Myanmar the company said in a statement on 5 October. (more…)

More than 1,000 workers at the Han Jen garment factory in Rangoon’s Shwepyithar Industrial Zone-1 are mounting a hunger strike in demand of basic workers’ rights. (more…)

Myanmar will market parboiled rice to Europe, as exports have fallen by 50 percent this year due to falling international prices and increasing competition. (more…)

Both the president and vice president promised to bolster the education system on World Teachers’ Day yesterday, adding that freedom of education is of utmost importance. Student activists have fiercely protested the government’s overhaul of the education system, mainly on the grounds that it curtails academic freedom. More than 70 students and activists remain in jail, on trial after protests and marches that erupted in response to the National Education Law. (more…)

Japan has unveiled a US$10.6 million grant to Yezin Agricultural University – the largest single international donation to the university to date. (more…)

Burma Campaign UK today accused Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire MP of failing in one of his most fundamental duties, the support and protection of British citizens overseas. Hugo Swire, the Foreign Office Minister with responsibility for Myanmar, has abandoned Philip Blackwood, a British political prisoner serving hard labour in the country’s notorious Insein Jail, the group said in a statement on 5 October.

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After nearly two years of negotiations, Myanmar’s hopes for a nationwide ceasefire have collapsed, and on Sunday, it was announced that only eight of the original 15 planned signatories intend to sign off on a proposed ceasefire agreement.

(more…)

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