Monday, February 22nd, 2016


On Union Day, 69 years since the signing of the Panglong Agreement, it is time for a reappraisal and a new start to what has ultimately been an unsuccessful peace process. Key elements toward achieving a successful peace agreement have been missing throughout the past five years: inclusivity, trust, the meaningful and full participation of women, and—perhaps key to the whole process—political will from the Burma Army. It is the latter that will be the biggest challenge facing the incoming NLD government as it contemplates how to address both the faltering peace efforts and the civil war that has plagued Burma’s ethnic communities since independence.
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This month brought some positive news for women with children.

The vastly outdated law on child support has been changed so that fathers who have separated from their wives and children are now liable to pay K50,000 each month per child.
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The strongly suspected link between the Zika virus and infants being born with unusually small heads and other neurological disorders has been declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. There is an urgent need to coordinate efforts at the global level to investigate and better understand the relationship between these conditions, just as there is a need to take all measures necessary to prevent Zika’s spread.
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Legal Clinic Myanmar provides free legal aid to vulnerable persons, in particular women and children, to ensure the protection of their legal rights in a court of law.
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Taking office as Speaker in what might well be the most complex and politically charged of Myanmar’s 14 states and regions, U San Kyaw Hla is anticipating an “exciting” time as the new MPs take their seats. The Ponnagyun township MP for the Arakan National Party, which holds 23 of the state’s 47 seats, is one of only two state and regional hluttaw speakers in the country who is not a member of the National League for Democracy. Here he discusses his role with The Myanmar Times senior reporter Nyan Lynn Aung.
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For an event where only 7 percent of the 700 attendees were women, Myanmar’s first peace conference achieved a milestone on gender issues.
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Dozens of residents from Hsa Khar village in Mandalay Division’s Myingyan Township protested on Wednesday against the destruction of the Mya Nandar reservoir, the only source of water for the village’s residents.
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More clashes have been reported between the Ta’ang National Liberation Army and the Shan State Army-South this week, with both armed groups trading blame over the cause of hostilities.
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Devoted National League for Democracy (NLD) members have hit a snag in preparations to mark the revered General Aung San’s 101st birthday on Feb. 13, with the party faithful, as well as student union members, reporting that authorities are demanding they obtain official permission.
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Summoned to yet another court appearance on Thursday, detained student activists were determined to remain upbeat, marking an early Valentine’s Day by wearing matching t-shirts and presenting each other with chocolates.
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The United Nations World Food Programme will support flood-affected people in Chin State with 500 tonnes of rice, as they continue to struggle after landslides and flood waters ravaged swathes of land in the country’s poorest state last year.
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The Chin National Front (CNF) has elected its top leadership at their 6th Congress which was held at their party headquarters on Indo-Myanmar border from January 26 to 30.
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Yaypu Sayadaw from Moegot in Mandalay Region, who is facing trial on three charges of illegal gems mining, possessing a pile of illegal timber and defaming religion, said he was hoping the new government would protect its citizens under the law.
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A woman from Kachin State who was sold as a bride to a Chinese man has opened charges against her traffickers after escaping from her buyer while four-months pregnant, reports say.
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Aung Win used to fight against the government, asking for better policies. Now, he is sitting in Burma’s new Parliament hoping to create better policies.
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Proposed members of a key parliamentary committee were put forward by Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker Mahn Win Khine Than yesterday, as MPs approved the list of nominees for the Joint Bill Committee.
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Fierce political debate over whether the constitution should be changed to allow Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to assume the presidency has led to rifts within the nationalist Buddhist lobby led by Ma Ba Tha.
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The sceptred pomp, the fine mansion, the lofty throne – none of it means anything to her. Once harried by landlords, constantly short of money, her husband behind bars, Daw Cho Cho has seen too much to be impressed by baubles and ceremonies. But as wife of the newly elected Speaker of the lower house, the first official to be elected by the incoming parliament and the most senior, so far, of the National League for Democracy’s elected hierarchy, she will just have to get used to them.
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The Union Parliament today heard the nominations for the joint public accounts committee to scrutinise the use of government funds.
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Police in Myanmar have for the first time decided to give protection to Aung San Suu Kyi after a death threat.
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