Thursday, November 5th, 2015


Boats carrying desperate Rohingya refugees have begun leaving the coast of Burma, sparking fears of a new Southeast Asian migrant crisis.
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Student activist Lin Htet Naing, also known simply as “James,” was arrested late Tuesday for his role the education reform protest movement, after spending more than seven months in hiding.
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Several unexplained night-time attacks on members of different religious communities in Mawlamyine have put the Mon State capital on edge in recent weeks. Community leaders fear the attacks are attempts to foment inter-communal tensions here in the run up to Myanmar’s Nov. 8 polls.
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Ten trucks of soldiers arrived in Maungdaw on 31 October and were deployed in Maungdaw South and Myoma Kayoundan Village in Maungdaw Town according to Jaffer, an elder from Maungdaw.
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A summit of leaders of armed ethnic groups outside the nationwide ceasefire agreement ended yesterday with demands for a political dialogue with Myanmar’s next government and a peace process that would also involve China’s direct participation.
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Myanmar’s ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) said on Wednesday it had not expelled ousted party chairman and parliamentary speaker Shwe Mann following reports and social media chatter it had dumped him four days before an election.
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Ahead of Burma’s high-stakes election, the National League for Democracy (NLD) has filed a complaint against President Thein Sein, claiming the nation’s chief executive has been campaigning on behalf of his Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in violation of the Constitution.
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Highly-charged political events around the world sometimes trigger internet restrictions, but a Myanmar official says the administration has no intention to switch off online access.
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When Aung San Suu Kyi’s candidate emerges at a campaign rally in the Irrawaddy Delta, the crowd bursts into cheers and showers him with flowers, confident that the opposition will prevail this weekend after decades of struggle against military rulers.
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Myanmar’s parliamentary election slated for November 8, 2015, is fundamentally flawed, depriving Myanmar of their right to freely elect their government, Human Rights Watch said today, the 4 November.
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Politicians with ties to Myanmar’s Muslim ethnic Rohingya have accused the government of excluding them from running in this Sunday’s general election.
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Some constituencies’ results were predictable even before campaigning began, but with just four days before the vote, others remain too close to call. Fierce competition, a divided populace – some areas will come down to the wire, and if all fall one way, the rest of the country is sure to follow.
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Amid the pop songs, flag-waving and grand promises of change from various political parties, what remains notably absent in the run-up to Myanmar’s elections is a serious debate over critical issues, say analysts and commentators.
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Local election monitors have voiced concerns over the casting of invalid votes as advance voting, which began on Thursday for individuals with duties at polling stations on election day, continues this week.
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Burma’s main opposition party claimed on Wednesday that phones lines on the remote Coco Islands had been deliberately cut to prevent the party’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from connecting with voters.
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Around 300 people have attended a midday protest in Maungdaw, near the Bangladeshi border in the north of Arakan State, to protest against the inclusion of a Muslim candidate who was briefly barred from contesting the Nov. 8 election.
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In an address on Tuesday to officers and rank-and-file members of the military in Sittwe, Arakan State, commander-in-chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing reiterated a familiar nationalist refrain widely interpreted as a call against voting for opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma’s Nov. 8 general election.
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“NLD must win; the people’s party; NLD to victory… Vote for real change… Vote for the NLD.”

These were the lyrics to a ringtone that blared from the mobile phone of Aye Thin, a woman in her 50s sporting a black t-shirt adorned with a portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi, the popular chairwoman of Burma’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD).
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The daughter of former dictator Ne Win has used a public announcement in the Messenger newspaper to distance herself from her son, who has spoken expansively on his political opinions to a number of media outlets in recent weeks.
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An estimated 100,000 internal migrants working at jade mines in Kachin State’s Hpakant will not be able to cast a vote in Sunday’s election, according to the local election commission.
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