Thursday, October 8th, 2015


Deputy Minister of Immigration and Population Win Myint has announced his ministry has issued permanent residency to 125 foreigners in the period from December 2014 to September 2015, out of a total 131 who applied. During a meeting on Oct. 6, the minister said officials were scrutinising a further 55 applications, while 45 foreigners’ applications were still waiting to be processed.

http://www.myanmar-now.org/news/i/?id=c1f2bfb2-61fa-4d4c-9ecc-46690f9cace8

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said she plans to lead the next government if her National League for Democracy (NLD) comes to power in the Nov. 8 election, despite being barred from becoming president.
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Huddled in an open-plan office atop a tower block in Yangon’s scruffy downtown, a group of teenagers in jeans and T-shirts sifts through the list of candidates in Myanmar’s election and stares at their computer screens and mobile phones.
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Htay Oo, joint chairman of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), on Tuesday launched his election campaign in Hinthada (Henzada) Township in Irrawaddy Division, with a swipe at opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
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If the National League for Democracy forms the next government, it will ensure fairness and transparency in collecting taxes, said party leader Aung San was Suu Kyi.
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Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has said her country can leverage its good relations with India and China to help both countries “overcome their problems”.
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Two senior leaders of the Association for Protection of Race and Religion, also known by its Burmese acronym Ma Ba Tha, have presided over the opening of a political party office they say was founded on the Buddhist nationalist group’s principles.
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This November, several pro-government militia leaders elected in Burma’s widely discredited 2010 parliamentary poll are seeking a return to office on the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) ticket, a further reminder that guns still very much have a place in the country’s political arena.
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Despite having their election candidacy shunted by the National League for Democracy, members of the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society have not quit campaigning for the largest opposition party. Veteran members of 88 Generation joined NLD patron U Tin Oo yesterday to rally mainly Muslim voters in Pabedan township in downtown Yangon.
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Outside of Nai Soi village in northern Thailand, more than 14,000 refugees from Kayah State debate elections going on just across the border. While there will be no voting for those in Thailand’s largest refugee camp – most lack ID cards – that doesn’t mean they don’t have opinions about the coming polls.
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Strike action temporarily stopped the ferry from Teknaf in Bangladesh to Maungdaw in Rakhine State, Burma after the captain was severely beaten by Burma Border Guard Police (BGP) on 1 October.
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The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Trade Finance Program (TFP) and Cooperative Bank (CB Bank) today signed an agreement that enables the TFP to provide guarantees of up to $12 million per annum in support of the trade finance operations of CB Bank. This marks the first such ADB TFP facility to assist trade finance capacity for a local bank in Myanmar according to an ADB statement on 6 October.
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Two thousand acres of cultivated farmland flooded. Eight thousand people displaced. Eighty-four percent now living in poverty. More than a third hungry. Ten suicide attempts.
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With lights flashing and sirens blaring, volunteer ambulance driver Myint Hein weaves through traffic-choked Yangon, a lifeline in Myanmar where healthcare was crippled by decades of chronic underfunding during junta rule.
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Some 54 students held in detention in Bago Region’s Tharrawaddy Prison since March have threatened to go on hunger strike on Oct. 15 if the Myanmar government does not release them and several hundred other political prisoners. According to a briefing by the Thailand-based
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China’s One Belt, One Road project is already having very real repercussions for Myanmar.

While the world is focused on a China creating islands in the South China Sea, analysts and commentators may be missing another development in Chinese international affairs of equal importance. Very real environmental and regional security repercussions from the One Belt, One Road strategy are already emerging in the greater Mekong sub-region. And these impacts can be seen at first hand in the jungles and towns of Myanmar’s Kachin state and Sagaing region.
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A notorious human trafficking ring was busted in Thailand’s Kanchanaburi Province, following reports of murder, rape and extortion of vulnerable Burmese migrant workers.
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The US Embassy in Rangoon said Wednesday that a federal court summons for President Thein Sein and several Burmese ministers for human rights violations allegedly committed against the stateless Rohingya Muslim minority has nothing to do with Washington’s policy toward Burma.
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Many people regularly question how free and fair the November 8 election will be. This is not surprising given the bitter experience in the 2010 election with advance votes. Concerns about the credibility of the election are usually based on the voter lists, advance votes, the potential for violence and other security issues. Finally, there is the question of whether the Union Election Commission (UEC) is really independent in its actions. However, very few people have political finance, which plays a vital role in determining how free and fair an election could be.
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Ko Nay Phone Latt knows quite a bit about what happens when politics and technology collide. He’s a third-generation National League for Democracy member – now running on the party’s ticket to take a seat in the Yangon Region Hluttaw – whose early brushes with activism include joining the 1988 uprising as an eight-year-old. He was sentenced to 20 years’ prison in 2008 after bloggers used his internet cafes to get news out about the 2007 protests, but was released as part of a mass amnesty in January 2012. Here, he speaks to Catherine Trautwein about Myanmar’s changes and how social media will impact the November 8 election.
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