March 2016


Ethnic Shan communities in northern Shan State have called for an end to four planned hydropower dams on the Namtu River, an Irrawaddy tributary, citing irreparable damage to the environment.
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With an increase in gender equality movements in recent years in Burma, advocacy groups are beginning to prioritize engaging men in an effort to end sexual harassment and violence against women.
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The Maupin Prison in Irrawaddy Division on Wednesday set free Chaw Sandi Tun, the 25-year-old National League for Democracy (NLD) supporter who was jailed last year for an online posting of a photo collage deemed defamatory to the military.
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As darkness fell in Khanwebo on the night of February 3, a sudden ruckus erupted when dozens of policemen entered the coastal village in Ayeyarwady Region. They were looking for farmers locked in a long-running land dispute with a local company.
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Burmese authorities are warning women not to wear “skimpy clothing” if they plan to take part in this year’s Thingyan water festival to celebrate the traditional Buddhist New Year.
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Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) spokesperson Sai Leik told the Daily Eleven yesterday that his party will not participate in the new Shan State government on account of its political goals, despite overtures made by the National League for Democracy (NLD).
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Myanmar’s slow transition to democracy took a momentous step Wednesday as a trusted aide to ruling-party leader Aung San Suu Kyi took over as the country’s president, officially ending more than 50 years of the military’s control over government.
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Take a look inside the National League for Democracy’s new proposed government with insider profiles of the party’s 18 candidates for ministerial posts:
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Chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi will continue to lead the National League for Democracy (NLD), despite holding ministerial positions that constitutionally ban her from party activities, according to the NLD spokesperson.
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Following a long-awaited power transfer on Wednesday, Burma’s new civilian-led National League for Democracy government formed a reconfigured 11-member National Defense and Security Council (NDSC) as one of its first acts in office.
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Shortly after newly elected President Htin Kyaw completed a swearing-in ceremony in Myanmar’s parliament on Wednesday morning, the country’s new leader, a ‘proxy’ of National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, headed to the Presidential Residence in Naypyitaw.
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Burma’s economic growth is forecast to recover to 8.4 percent in fiscal year 2016-17, a new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Wednesday.
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Burma’s newly launched Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) has left observers wondering what this could mean for the country’s volatile real estate market.
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The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) approved 48 projects at its meeting on March 25.

The MIC’s decisions have been criticised as some of the approved projects belong to companies related to two of former President Thein Sein’s economic advisors—Khin Maung Aye and Ko Ko Gyi. Furthermore, some companies had up to five projects approved that day, just five days before the end of the Thein Sein administration.
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Ethnic and community based health organizations issued a call for Burma’s new government to recognize community based health services that are being carried out in ethnic areas. These services are often provided in remote places that are far from the government’s health services.
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Labour rights investigators have accused South Korean factory owners in Myanmar of a raft of abuses, including forced overtime, poor safety conditions, the use of child labour and sexual harassment of female workers. The investigating organisation, Myanmar Action Labour Rights, said the South Korean-owned factories flagrantly violate labour laws, such as mandatory weekly caps on overtime and providing contracts in Myanmar language.
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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has long been envisioned as a foundation stone for stability, security and increased prosperity in Asia. But with uncertainty plaguing the political systems of Myanmar, Malaysia, and Thailand, ASEAN may be entering a period of policy and diplomatic inertia. At a time when China’s economic downturn and unilateral territorial claims are posing serious challenges to the region, ASEAN’s weakness could prove highly dangerous.
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The issue of the Myitsone dam has been a thorny one. The Chinese project not only bears upon Myanmar’s foreign relations, economic development, and peace process with ethnic armed groups; it also has garnered widespread attention domestically and internationally as a bellwether issue by which the new government’s policy orientation and resolve might be judged, rightfully or wrongfully. It is thus crucial that the issue be approached and resolved quickly and decisively.
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“What happened to my daughter hurts so much. I curse the Burmese soldiers from the mountain for what they did to my daughter,” the mother of Roi Ja, a young woman who disappeared after being taken prisoner by the country’s military in 2011, said solemnly.
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After his appointment to the role of Arakan State Chief Minister by the National League for Democracy (NLD), party member and Lower House MP Nyi Pu spoke to The Irrawaddy’s Moe Myint on Tuesday about the local opposition to his selection for the post, the state level cabinet and terminology regarding the state’s Muslim minority.
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