Friday, July 15th, 2016


The government has formed a high-level “Emergency Management Central Committee” tasked with preventing and mitigating interreligious violence in Burma, according to a statement from the President’s Office.

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After being detained for over two months for allegedly defaming the country’s top leaders on social media, ultra-nationalist provocateur Nay Myo Wai was discharged by a court in Irrawaddy Division on Friday.

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Communities hit hard by the floods and landslides that devastated areas of Myanmar in 2015 will receive assistance for resilient road reconstruction, livelihoods support, and recovery of the agriculture sector as part of the Flood and Landslide Emergency Recovery Project (FLERP). The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved US$200 million of financing for the project, according to a statement released on 14 July.

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Four migrant miners died in a landslide in Phakant that occurred on 12 July, state media reported on 15 July.

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The mainly stateless Muslim people who identify as Rohingya have been called the most persecuted people in the world – but in the IDP camps and surrounding villages in Rakhine State, where an estimated 140,000 are interred, members of another, often-overlooked Muslim minority are also suffering. The Kaman ethnic group, who say they are ignored by the international community, report facing abuse and discrimination at the hands of the Rohingya, and it seems even those who claim to represent the Kaman politically refuse to stand up for those in the camps.

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A survey to count the ethnic Taung Yoe population in Shan State was launched last month, with its organisers seeking to tally enough of their own to qualify the group for an ethnic affairs minister post in state government, according to Taung Yoe Literature and Culture Association patron U Kyaw Htwe from Pindaya township.

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After only its second meeting, the new committee formed to address issues in Rakhine State has identified 142 priority areas.

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Aung Kyi, an information minister under the previous Thein Sein government, has been appointed head of a new three-member “think tank” adjoined to the government’s re-branded peace secretariat, which includes various peace process veterans from the previous government.

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The once-warm ties between Myanmar and China appear to be cooling under Myanmar’s new government-led by State Counselor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi.

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The Thilawa industrial park just outside Myanmar’s biggest city has drawn $760 million in investment since its opening in spring 2014, helping the Southeast Asian country attract foreign businesses.

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Broadband and mobile connections are set to improve in Burma’s capital and its largest city after two major providers of telecommunications services in the country upgraded their offerings this week.

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Several thousand protesters marched to the Burmese (Myanmar) embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Friday to denounce the treatment of the Rohingya Muslim minority in the predominantly Buddhist country.

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It has been a bad week for Muslim-hating misogynist monk U Wirathu. First the vessel for religious hate and discrimination known as Ma Ba Tha, which he has championed as it pushed its hardline nationalist agenda, was disowned by the country’s principal Buddhist authority, the Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee.

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Myanmar’s peace process has made some steps forward since reforms began under the U Thein Sein government in 2011. In October 2015, eight ethnic armed groups signed a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement with the government, despite some of the largest groups in the country – including the Kachin Independence Army and the United Wa State Army – refusing to join the agreement.

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Saw Alex Htoo is the deputy director of Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN). He grew up along the Salween River in Karen State. He talks to DVB about the current threats the people and wildlife are facing with new hydropower projects proposed in the area.

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