Wednesday, March 9th, 2016


Ethnic rebel group the Arakan Army said it killed over 30 government troops in a clash in Burma’s west on Thursday evening. The Burmese army has not reported the fight or confirmed any loss of life.
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The three-day annual meeting of the Committee for the Shan State Unity (CSSU) ended after only one day on Friday due to pressure from the local military in Rangoon.
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A peace broker with ties to the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) says the ethnic armed group is unlikely to heed calls from the government’s lead peace negotiating body for a de-escalation of its combat posture, after a KIA brigade reasserted itself in conflict-wracked northern Shan State last week.
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MPs from the National League for Democracy (NLD), legal experts on land laws, and activists on land issues, held a meeting at the local NLD office, Pauk Township, Magway Region, on 3 March to discuss matters relating to land confiscation and amendments to land laws.
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At the entrance to the Mawlamyine Christian leprosy hospital (MCLH) in Myanmar’s Mon state, a poem, inscribed on a stone tablet, begins: “People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centred.”
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One of the richest legacies of the Arakan Kingdom that flourished in western Myanmar from 1429 to 1785 is the site of hundreds of temples and pagodas built in and around its capital at Mrauk U, a wealthy trading hub near the Kaladan River.
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As a four-year battle continues, residents of Ka Lone Thar last month sought divine intervention in a quest to scuttle plans for a massive reservoir which threatens to put their village underwater.
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All Mon Regions Democracy Party (AMDP) and Mon National Party (MNP) leaders will meet on 18 March to discuss merging the parties, party officials told Hinthar Media.
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Over two-thirds of the Karen State Hluttaw (parliament) civilian members of parliament (MPs) have not been paid for working last month Nan Khin Htwe Myint, the MP for Hpa-an Township’s Constituency 1, told KIC News.
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Two senior Myanmar officials were purged from their posts this week after an investigation over corruption in the country’s multi-billion-dollar jade mining industry, authorities said Friday.
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One week ahead of Burma’s scheduled presidential nominations, a senior member of the National League for Democracy (NLD) has disclosed to the media that the heads of all states and regions will be appointed from within the party.
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Myanmar’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party has set up new team to scrutinize questions and motions from its lawmakers before they introduce them in parliament to determine whether they should be submitted, an NLD legislator said Thursday.
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It is the kind of reminiscence that is all too widespread among the new MPs now finding their feet in the grand parliament buildings of Nay Pyi Taw: the tribulations of their life behind bars. Some may speak of it, others prefer not to. Famously, National League for Democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi herself shares some of the same experiences.
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Political rivals Pyu Lwin and Hla Swe will argue their cases regarding allegations of land confiscation and a counter-defamation suit, respectively, before an election tribunal in Naypyidaw on March 11.

Last August, Pyu Lwin submitted a complaint to the Land Investigation Commission recommending an inquiry into former Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) lawmaker Hla Swe’s alleged land grabs under Burma’s former military regime. He also accused the ex-parliamentarian of bribery, with those claims coming just weeks ahead of the 2015 election’s official campaign period, which kicked off Sept. 8.

Pyu Lwin went on to defeat Hla Swe in Burma’s November general election, ousting the incumbent from his seat representing Magwe Division’s Upper House constituency No. 12.

Speaking to The Irrawaddy on Thursday, Hla Swe repeated previous denials of the allegations. His said his opponent had used misleading information to manipulate voters and weaken his support base.

Hla Swe said he filed the defamation charges against Pyu Lwin, the now-sitting lawmaker for the National League for Democracy (NLD), at the Gangaw police station prior to the election campaign period.

Pyu Lwin denied manipulating voters and said he had concrete evidence proving Hla Swe’s wrongdoings to present to the committee.

The NLD lawmaker told The Irrawaddy that he had received more than 100,000 votes on Nov. 8,  compared with 30,000 for his nearest opponent Hla Swe.

Pyu Lwin was one of hundreds of NLD candidates to defeat USDP opponents in the November election, riding a wave of popular support for the party of Aung San Suu Kyi. The NLD won nearly 80 percent of elected seats, allowing it to select Burma’s next president in a parliamentary vote due this month.

Pyu Lwin confirmed that a ruling against him could jeopardize the seat he won in November, adding that tribunal proceedings could take 3-4 months to play out.

Link: http://www.irrawaddy.com/burma/election-tribunal-to-hear-cases-brought-by-ex-mp-hla-swe-nld-rival.html

An already-unstable exchange rate dropped again this week in the local market due to less demand, a change observers attributed to uncertainty ahead of Burma’s presidential nominations in Parliament.
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The Shan State Farmers’ Network (SSFN) and the Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF) issued a statement yesterday saying that they deplored renewed attempts by gold mining companies to buy the silence of villagers impacted by toxic mining waste in eastern Shan State, instead of responding to their demands to stop mining and restore their lands.
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German retail and distribution giant Metro will decide by the end of this year on whether to expand into Myanmar and post-sanctions Iran, its chief executive said in a magazine interview on Thursday.
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An over-five decades-old hydropower station in eastern Myanmar’s Kayah state has resumed full operation following the completion of its all-round rehabilitation project, an official report said Thursday.
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Over 4,000 residents have signed a petition against the use of coal to power a cement factory owned by Mawlamyine Cement Limited (MCL) in the Pyar Taung area of Kyaikmaraw Township, Mon State.
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Health specialists met in Yangon yesterday to discuss insect-fighting clothes as a way of eliminating malaria in Myanmar.
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