Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015


The leader of an influential and controversial Buddhist lobby group has called for the people of Rakhine state to govern themselves in order to prevent a Muslim “occupation”, according to a report by Channel News Asia on 31 October.
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The first day of an ethnic summit in Panghsang, the capital of the semi-autonomous Wa Special Region in northeast Shan State, began on Sunday with the host rebel group calling on the next Burmese government to prioritize the rights of ethnic nationalities and resolve conflict through political means.
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Brang Shawng had never written a letter to the president before, never even dreamed of it. But he’d heard that his country was changing, and that the military junta in Myanmar had given way to a civilian government. And he believed that in this acclaimed new democracy, he could find justice for a 14-year-old girl shot to death.
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Villagers are fleeing fighting around the Wan Hai headquarters of the Shan State Progressive Party, with rumours swirling that government forces are preparing air strikes.
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Some 200 Shan rebel troops were repelled from a command post in Kehsi Mansam late last week by Burmese government soldiers … and their wives, state media reported on Monday.
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The sweeping reforms Burma announced in 2011 after a half-century of crushing military rule seemed too good to be true to much of the outside world. And to some degree, they were.
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During nearly seven decades the villages of the Karen have been torched, their men summarily executed and their women raped as the ethnic minority battled Burma’s military regime in the world’s longest-running insurgency. Their homeland has been called the “hidden Darfur,” where some 350,000 people have been driven from their homes into the jungles or refugee camps in neighboring Thailand.
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Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi told tens of thousands of supporters Sunday to be vigilant against election fraud during a huge show of strength a week before landmark elections.
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Should the National League for Democracy (NLD) win the necessary majority in Sunday’s general election, the next logical question is: who will the party put forward as a presidential candidate?
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With less than a week until Burma’s Nov. 8 general election, and just days left to campaign, more than 6,000 candidates are hard at work getting their message across. Among them are a number of figures that are already well-known to the public; the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), for its part, has put forth a roster packed with sitting ministers and lawmakers.
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National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi told a Rangoon rally that her party had filed 100 complaints with the country’s electoral body and police over violations of election rules.
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At the end of a day’s training in a vast military compound in the suburbs of Rangoon, Cpl Khin Maung Than and three of his fellow comrades stepped out of a lush paddy field, their green uniforms coated with mud.
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With just weeks before Burma’s landmark elections, a fleet of cars covered with stickers of the National Development Party (NDP) carrying flag-waving party supporters and Buddhist monks crawled through the streets of Moulmein, officially called Mawlamyine, the capital of Mon State.
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U Naing Ngan Lin, a National League for Democracy candidate who was badly injured in a machete attack in Yangon last week, is due to have another operation today, but his wife says he wants to get back on the campaign trail soon.
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Daw Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday held the biggest rally of her two-month election campaign, telling tens of thousands of supporters one week before they vote that the ruling military-backed party had no will to deliver change.
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Hotels, harbours or mines, Myanmar’s big-ticket industries are still in the grip of military-linked tycoons, who will remain gatekeepers to the country’s opening market whoever wins Sunday’s crunch polls.
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Thai businesses should take a more aggressive approach to penetrating Myanmar before other investors get too far ahead, according to Thailand’s ambassador to Myanmar, Visanu Suvanajata.
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The kyat’s marginal strengthening versus the US dollar over the past few weeks is a reflection of expectations of changing policies following the November 8 general election, say experts.
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The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed deep concern at the continuous resort to hate speech, provocation of communal hostilities and the abuse of religion for political purposes, incited by “extreme element among the majority community in Myanmar”.
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The world is watching Myanmar as election day nears. The governments of the United States and other countries, which view this contest as a potential watershed for democracy, hope that Sunday’s voting will be “inclusive and credible.” But with just days to go, the election is shaping up to be just the opposite.
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