Friday, July 8th, 2016


Chris Lewa, the founder and director of the Arakan Project, was in Geneva this week to as Burma’s compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) came under review for the first time since 2008. DVB spoke with her on Wednesday to learn more about the review, and about her work with the Arakan Project, which focuses on improving the human rights situation of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority living mainly in Arakan State.

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Burmese citizens abroad and at home flocked to social media in support of the Rangoon chief minister’s remark that the ultra-nationalist Buddhist group known by the Burmese acronym Ma Ba Tha was “not necessary.”

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A court in Mandalay Division’s Madaya township on Friday fined 105 farmers between 500 and 3,000 kyats (US$0.43–$2.56) for plowing in protest on land they claim had been seized from them.

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Za Hkawng, a 70-year-old ethnic Kachin man, prepares some tea in his small bamboo hut situated on a windy mountain ridge and recalls how he used to live off the land as a farmer.

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Clashes have resumed once again between two non-state armed groups contesting territory in northern Shan State, reports from Kyaukme Township said this week.

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As the water continues to rise in parts of flood-hit Rakhine State, the number of displaced people has grown dramatically over the past few days. More than 20,000 people across five townships have now been evacuated or lost their homes after a storm that began earlier this week, according to the Department of Relief and Resettlement in Nay Pyi Taw.

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Students yesterday reiterated their annual call for the resurrection of Yangon’s iconic student union on the anniversary of the day it was dynamited by General Ne Win’s government.

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Win Htein, spokesperson for the National League for Democracy (NLD), said that the party will not take seriously a demand by ultra-nationalist monks that the government punish a regional minister for recent remarks criticizing their hardline Buddhist group.

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Formalin, a chemical linked to cancer and other health problems, has been found in rice noodles and tofu sold at markets in Rangoon, according to a senior government health official.

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Under the new education policy of the National League for Democracy (NLD) government, the Ministry of Education will invest its efforts in informal education, a sector that was previously handled by civil society organizations.

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Burma’s national human rights commission will join the Ministry of Education in integrating human rights education into the national curriculum, a move likely to be implemented in the following academic year, the commission has announced.

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The vice-president of Thailand’s second-largest tuna export company has admitted that his company has purchased meat from a poultry farm that is facing allegations of abusing Burmese migrant workers, according to a migrant rights advocacy group.

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In a hugely positive step forward for women’s rights and reproductive health this week, it was announced that free long-acting reversible contraceptives are to be made available through the public health system.

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The Tagaung Institute of Political Studies was established in 2014 by nine former activists, including founding members of the Yangon School of Political Science. The institute closely monitors the Myanmar Armed Forces, and has released several papers about the Tatmadaw and the National Defence and Security Council, which is responsible for security and defence affairs in Myanmar.

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