Monday, February 1st, 2016


Fighting flared again on Tuesday in Kawkareik Township, Karen State, where Karen rebels accuse a joint force comprising the Burma Army and Karen Border Guard Force (BGF) of burning down at least 10 houses in the village of Pyar Pin a day earlier.
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In December, some 40 ethnic Karenni organizations, including armed factions and political parties, penned a letter to National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi calling for Karenni voices to be adequately represented in the state’s new government.
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A coalition of three groups released a report on Monday highlighting the ailing health of 53 student demonstrators and supporters detained since March and urging their “immediate and unconditional” release.
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Phil Blackwood, a New Zealand bar manager convicted of insulting religion in a high-profile case last year, was quietly released from Insein Prison on January 22, the same day he was granted amnesty, according to two political prisoner groups. His Myanmar colleagues, the owner and co-manager of the bar, have not been freed and were not pardoned, the same groups said.
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Burma freed 101 political prisoners last week, bringing the number of political detainees released by President Thein Sein to more than 1,200 since his semi-civilian government took power in 2011, a watchdog group said on Monday.
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Police opened fire on suspects in Shwepyitha Township, Rangoon during a raid on the hideout of two high-profile criminals exposed by a viral social media post.
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Two Arakanese men, Hsan Win Tun and Kyaw Soe Moe, aka Arno, were arrested by Burma Army personnel in Sittwe Central Market on 22 January and taken to an unknown location, according to their families.
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Four youths have been arrested in Arakan State on suspicion of being involved in insurgent activities.
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Three newly elected Mon State Hluttaw (parliament) members met civil society organisation (CSOs) representatives on 21 January to improve collaboration between the Mon State government and CSOs.
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Following recent calls for their own state the Red Shan of northern Burma announced that they have formed an armed group called the Shanni Nationalities Army (SNA) on social media last week.
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While reports emerged last week of the National League for Democracy (NLD)’s potential appointees to speakership positions in Parliament, the party’s plans for president have been kept out of the media spotlight.
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Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar’s powerful army chief held fresh talks Monday on the country’s dramatic political transition, days before a military-dominated legislature hands over to the most democratic parliament in generations.
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Radio silence from the National League for Democracy on ministerial appointments is holding back dialogue with international financial institutions (IFIs), according to senior IFI officials.
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Participants at a world peace conference attended by President U Thein Sein slammed Myanmar for being “weak” on responding to religious conflict.
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At least a dozen gems prospectors are missing after a fresh landslide on Monday in Kachin State’s Hpakant jade mining region, the latest in a series of deadly incidents.
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Burma’s outgoing Union Parliament on Friday approved a new Condominium Law, clarifying some property regulations and making 40 percent of units available for foreign purchase.
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The end of 2015 saw a series of major announcements and decisions regarding Myanmar’s latest special economic zone (SEZ) in Kyaukphyu township of Rakhine State. In late December, Myanmar’s government approved the demarcation of land for the SEZ and awarded tenders to develop the SEZ to a CITIC Group-led consortium.
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Seven foreign firms are interested in bidding for Burma‘s fourth telecoms license, a government official said on Monday, as the prospects of one of the region’s least connected nations outweigh the challenges of a partnership involving obscure local firms with scant industry experience.
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The training of 400 teachers in a new child-centered curriculum for the instruction of the Mon language began this week in Moulmein.
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As man-made threats contribute to the yearly decline of Burma’s Irrawaddy dolphin population, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Myanmar is set to survey the species’ remaining numbers in early February.
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