Friday, October 16th, 2015


Rights groups on Friday condemned this week’s arrests of two activists in Myanmar who had mocked the army, warning that an escalating crackdown against free speech ahead of elections could derail hopes for the country’s democratic transition.
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Development priorities will be given to areas where the ceasefire accord is in place, said Union Minister U Aung Min at a press conference after the nationwide ceasefire accord signing ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday the Global New Light of Myanmar reported on 16 October.
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A week of clashes between the military and the Shan State Army-North appears to have ended after the ethnic armed group vacated a strategic river port in Mong Hsu Township.
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President U Thein Sein says the door to peace remains open for all armed ethnic groups. But judging from yesterday’s proceedings it would appear that the three factions fighting in the Kokang border region since February will be made to wait on the sidelines while the Tatmadaw continues its operations.
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Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi urged supporters on Friday not to let the issues of race and religion dominate a Nov. 8 parliamentary election, as she fended off questions over the country becoming majority Muslim if her party were to win.
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Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday shifted her election campaign to a region that presents the most formidable challenge — the Rakhine state, which has been a hotbed of sectarian conflict between Rohingya Muslims and hard-line Buddhists.
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On 8 November, Burma will go to the polls in what has been billed as the first free and fair parliamentary election in 25 years, yet the marginalisation of the Muslim community has left local and international observers concerned about how democratic the vote will be.
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Members of Aung San Suu Kyi’s security detail were briefly stopped from entering the volatile city of Taunggok in Arakan State on Thursday evening after rumors spread that Muslims were coming into the heavily Buddhist area.
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The Naypyidaw Union Territory’s electoral subcommission has barred a sitting National League for Democracy (NLD) lawmaker from campaigning door to door in the civil servants’ quarters of Zabuthiri Township.
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Burma’s pre-election press coverage has been consistently unbalanced, particularly among state-owned media enterprises, according to a new report produced by a media monitoring project.
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As the United States expressed concern over the plight of the 16-year-old son of two detained Chinese rights lawyers, the country’s state media said that members of a banned opposition party in exile ‘conspired’ to smuggle the boy illegally into Myanmar, where he was detained earlier this month RFA reported on 15 October.
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Burma’s business community sent a strange and redundant message on Friday, when the country’s chief business associations published adjacent, identical ads in state media commending a ceasefire agreement between the government and armed rebels.
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Surging demand following the widespread destruction of paddy fields during the recent flooding has forced a record spike in prices, say the Myanmar Rice Federation and local paddy and rice traders in Nay Pyi Taw.
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Investment in Myanmar will continue to grow after the elections, business sources predict.
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Digital port management is expected to come on-stream in 2017, says U Kyaw Myint, managing director of Myanma Port Authority.
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The Russian Emergencies Ministry will help Myanmar build an early warning system for natural disasters and supply it with equipment needed for clean-up operations, Russia’s ambassador to Myanmar said Wednesday, according to a Sputnik News report on 14 October.
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The ethnic Shan community in this northern Thai city gathered on Thursday evening to pray and light candles for hundreds of people affected by recent fighting in central Shan State. Eighteen Shan community-based grooups organized the event at the Buddhist temple Wat Ku Tao, to call attention to a situation affecting at least six villages across four townships in Burma.
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People in Asia’s developing countries believe the next generation of women will face a tough time combating gender inequality, according to a survey released on Friday.
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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed today the signing of a ceasefire agreement in Myanmar as “a milestone” and expressed his hope that the new government formed after next month’s elections will keep moving forward along the present path of negotiations UN News Centre reported on 15 October.
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The heart-breaking misfortunes of the minority Muslim community in the Rakhine State of Myanmar, known generally as Rohingya, show little sign of improvement. As most Rohingya are no longer regarded as nationals of the country where many have lived for generations, they have almost all been debarred from standing as candidates and even from voting in the country’s general elections due on November 8.
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