Tuesday, March 29th, 2016


Myanmar’s outgoing government has lifted a nearly four-year curfew in the western state of Rakhine, where clashes between the minority Rohingya Muslims and majority Buddhists left more than 200 people dead, mostly Muslims.
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Five ethnic armed groups in conflict with the government and Burma’s largest non-state army will first seek to negotiate an end to hostilities, but the strategy will evolve into “joint defense” if those talks fail, the groups’ leaders agreed following a meeting in Panghsang, Wa Special Region.
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Myanmar local parliaments Monday agreed to the assignment of three more chief ministers for three respective regions out of 14, according to local parliament sources Tuesday.
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U Zaw Ye Htet, the Hpasithan Journal Chief Editor, was released on bail on 21 March following 14 days in prison charged with defaming the police force and the Karen State authorities.
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When he became Myanmar’s leader five years ago Thein Sein was dismissed as a junta stooge — but as he prepares to hand power to Aung San Suu Kyi’s government, the taciturn ex-general can also claim credit for steering a peaceful political transition that has stunned the world.
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Three-hundred representatives from various organizations will be invited to participate in the transfer of power ceremony at outgoing President Thein Sein’s residence in Naypyidaw on March 30, senior National League for Democracy (NLD) official Win Htein said on Monday.
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The National League for Democracy yesterday silenced military concerns over the credentials of two nominees for the Constitutional Tribunal, voting down a proposal to discuss their eligibility.
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The ambitious plan for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to lead four of the 18 civilian ministries is only a temporary arrangement, according to one of the new cabinet members.
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A group of refugees has left the Mae Ra Ma Luang camp on the Thai-Burmese border to return to Karen State, saying conditions in the camp had become intolerable.
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Hundreds of locals in the Karen State capital Hpa-an gathered on Tuesday to voice objections to a recently revived proposal there to develop a limestone quarry and cement factory, which was put on hold two years ago pending public consultation.
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Telenor continues to confront thorny health and safety issues in Myanmar, with an accident on one of its tower sites leading to two deaths and continued instances of child and underage labour cropping up.
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Trading volumes leapt on the second day of First Myanmar Investment’s life as a listed company. The firm’s share price has increased almost 35 percent in just two trading days, although there are signs the sharp rise in value is slowing.
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The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Border Affairs to reduce food insecurity in 11 regions and states of Myanmar, official media reported Tuesday.
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Burma is at a crossroads in its decentralization process. The National League for Democracy’s (NLD) election manifesto affirms that it will implement transparent projects for the balanced development of all 14 states and regions of the country. In an effort to reduce centralized financial control, the NLD vows to divide authority and responsibility for financial matters appropriately between Union and regional governments.
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Last week, Myanmar announced the first Cabinet proposed by its NLD-dominated government. Although a handful of important ministries, like defense, were reserved for the armed forces, the NLD took most of the other important posts. In fact, Suu Kyi herself decided to take four ministerial posts, including the foreign ministry.
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In 2012, during the early days of Myanmar’s transition to democracy, U Gambira sat in the front row of a crowded hall at Yangon University and listened while U.S. President Barack Obama delivered an historic speech.
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Lei Lei Maw, a sitting lawmaker in the regional legislature for Tenasserim Division, was appointed chief minister of the division on Monday, becoming one of Burma’s first females to hold the position.
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Bertil Lintner, a Swedish-born journalist and author, has written many articles and several books on Burma over the course of his career. He is a former correspondent with the Far Eastern Economic Review and currently contributes to various news outlets, including The Irrawaddy. In this interview with The Irrawaddy’s founding editor Aung Zaw, Lintner discusses what an Aung San Suu Kyi-led government might mean for Burma and the prospects for peace regarding the country’s engagement with foreign donors and peacemakers.
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In recent months, Pat Jasan, an ethnic Kachin public movement, has made headlines with its vigilante-style march on opium-producing poppy plantations, which its volunteers cut down in an effort to curb rising drug abuse in northern Myanmar’s Kachin State.
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Signatories to Burma’s so-called nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) have formed a new group to engage in the peace process with the incoming National League for Democracy (NLD) government.
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