Friday, October 9th, 2015


A religious foundation has threatened to discipline one of its member schools for allegedly hosting a visiting politician. The unnamed school, in Hinthada township, Ayeyarawady Region, is said to have welcomed a Union Solidarity and Development Party politician on October 5.
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The strapping 23-year-old Rohingya Muslim was matter of fact as he described being forced onto a boat in Myanmar for a tortuous two-month-long journey, beaten and kicked by traffickers as he watched scores die of starvation and thirst along the way.
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With just 29 days to go before a Nov. 8 poll, Burma’s election fever is now in full pitch. Even on a short walk around downtown Rangoon, it’s clear which party is most popular. Miniature red flags bearing a fighting peacock and a white star—the insignia of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD)—fly from taxi antennae and on nearly every trishaw passing by.  Car windshields are emblazoned with the same logo.
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There they were. The powerful men in the saffron robes. Time, they said, to celebrate. And celebrate people did: celebrate the possibility of enforced birth control, celebrate state interference in sexual relations between consenting adults, celebrate attempts to restrict interfaith marriage.
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The summit between the government and ethnic armed organisations that concluded in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on September 29 could be remembered as the day ethnic unity was broken.
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Election season has officially kicked off in Myanmar. Candidates from more than 90 registered political parties are currently campaigning around the country to win votes in what many are expecting to be the freest election Myanmar has seen in over half a century.
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The Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) has announced its intention to sign a nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) with the Burmese government.
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Fresh offensives by the Tatmadaw in mineral-rich areas of Kachin and Shan states have cast doubt over the government’s pledge that it would not use the refusal of armed ethnic groups to sign up to a nationwide ceasefire agreement as a pretext for further war.
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Nearly 2,000 villagers from eight villages in Karen State’s Hpapun District have fled their homes following an alleged recruitment drive by Brigade No. 5 of the Karen National Union (KNU).
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The decision of Burma’s oldest ethnic armed group, the Karen National Union (KNU), to sign a so-called nationwide ceasefire agreement is a bold step that has generated no small amount of controversy.
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The family of a man who was allegedly killed by police in western Burma has been offered compensation in exchange for easing charges against one of the suspects, according to the victim’s sister.
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A new report by Amnesty International has claimed that the Burmese government’s detention of rights activists and other prisoners of conscience has intensified as the country’s landmark general election draws near.
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An opposition candidate has filed an official complaint against Burma’s ruling party alleging violation of election law, the latest in a string of as-yet-unanswered grievances as a general election on Nov. 8 nears.
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Daw Aung San Suu Kyi appeared diplomatic when challenged in a TV interview with India Today over her failure to condemn the communal violence and poor treatment of Muslim Rohingya in Rakhine State.
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“Don’t look at the candidates’ names. Just find the National League for Democracy logo and cast your ballots.”

This is the core of the message that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivers in her public rallies. The statement has earned a lot of attention, as well as criticism, throughout the NLD’s election campaign.
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A National League for Democracy (NLD) candidate in Pegu Division has accused his rivals from the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), including the Burmese vice-president, of drafting Buddhist monks to garner votes and verbally attack the opposition.
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During Myanmar’s darkest days of dictatorship, the Mustache Brothers’ brazen, sarcastic stabs at military leaders won them nationwide notoriety, and fans. While the feisty comedic duo continues to draw large crowds under the nominally civilian government, there is one subject they refuse to poke fun at: Upcoming general elections.
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The government expects the number of tourists who come to Burma this year to reach 5 million, but some industry observers doubt that this figure will be met, and that it might be based on misleading numbers.
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A consortium of companies is hoping for approval for a large-scale automobile complex to be built on the outskirts of Yangon.
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The devastating impacts of August’s floods in eastern Shan State, which destroyed homes and farms in four villages and killed five people, were the direct result of unregulated logging and rubber monocropping in this remote mountainous area along the Mekong River.
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