Wednesday, May 18th, 2016


The testimony of several senior army officers implicated in the double rape-murder of two Kachin teachers did not proceed as planned on Wednesday, sources say.

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Locals living on land designated for the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) southeast of Rangoon are hoping a new government committee on land confiscation will help freeze the project’s implementation until lingering disputes over compensation are resolved.

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The Arakan State Hluttaw (parliament) on 11 May unanimously approved a proposal to provide urgent assistance to refugees from war in Arakan State proposed by U Kyaw Lwin the Kyaukphyu Constituency MP.

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Burmese government forces are reportedly conducting airstrikes on Kachin Independence Army (KIA) positions in the latest series of military skirmishes against the rebel group in Kachin State’s Mansi Township in northern Burma.

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The Burma Army has reportedly suffered heavy loses in recent heavy fighting against troops from the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) in northern Shan State.

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The mayor of Rangoon informed reporters on Wednesday that by-laws have been amended to allow the terms of serving members of the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) to be terminated after less than 18 months in office.

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Signs of a vibrant Hindu community are everywhere in downtown Yangon; ornate temples peer out from between the tenements, and periodic festivals enliven the streets with rhythmic music, colourful costumes and offerings of sweet masala chai. With their roots in several waves of Indian migration during the British colonial era, Myanmar’s Hindus are thoroughly a part of the country’s intricate cultural fabric.

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Photographer Shin Myint Mo lives in Kengtung in eastern Shan State, part of the notorious Golden Triangle region where the borders of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet and traders from China once paid in gold for opium and its derivative, heroin. Of Shan and Karen ancestry, Shin Myint Mo holds a bachelor’s degree in geography and works for a local NGO that promotes women and children’s rights.

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In wake of the extension of most of the US sanctions on Burma on Tuesday, several cronies have remained on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list, despite the expectation that they would be removed.

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Negotiations to end a march on Burma’s capital by former employees of a wood-processing factory in Sagaing Division broke down on Wednesday, resulting in the arrest of protest leaders as the group approached the town of Tatkon in the Naypyidaw Union Territory.

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The UNAIDS country coordinator has urged the Myanmar government, legislative bodies and people, not to discriminate against the LGBT community and to treat them in a dignified manner.

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A court here has ordered U Eindaka from Mandalay Division’s Mogok Township to pay a 20,000 kyats fine (US$17) or spend three months in prison under Burma’s Forestry Law, with the fine paid by his supporters following the verdict on Wednesday.

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Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw left Yangon Wednesday to attend the two-day ASEAN-Russia Commemorative Summit in Sochi.

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Myanmar and Indian business leaders will meet this week in an effort to bolster economic ties and hit an ambitious new target for bilateral trade.

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At a dinner commemorating Singapore and Myanmar’s 50 years of diplomatic ties, Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on Wednesday (May 1) revealed that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will visit Myanmar in June, where he will officially launch the Singapore-Myanmar Vocational Training Institute.

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A top State Department official said on Wednesday that the United States wants to see rights granted equally to all people in Burma, including the stateless Rohingya Muslims of restive Arakan State, also known as Rakhine.

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When the Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing declared quite recently that he was toeing the line of Aung San Suu Kyi’s 21st Century Panglong initiative, it looks like that the military, also known as Burma Army or Tatmadaw, is ready to take order from the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led regime and would help facilitate its national reconciliation and all-inclusiveness policy.

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