Friday, July 22nd, 2016


MYANMAR’S state and regional legislatures have been slow to find their feet during the country’s transition. While lawmakers in Nay Pyi Taw cut ministry budgets and reshaped draft legislation, the 14 sub-national parliaments have been largely bit players in the reform process. Rarely have they challenged the state and region governments on which they are supposed to exercise oversight.

(more…)

The Board of Trustees for Rangoon’s Shwedagon Pagoda told The Irrawaddy on Friday that they received a complaint from a group of Buddhist monks claiming that an on-site vendor was selling religious goods supplied by a non-Buddhist wholesaler, an act which does not violate any existing regulations.

(more…)

A national youth conference will be held in southern Shan State’s Panglong in late July, aiming to build unity among young people representing ethnic groups from across Burma.

(more…)

“Better late than never”, residents of Rakhine State might well be saying after the state government reveals its “100-day” initiatives today, having postponed the public disclosure three times previously.

(more…)

Eleven former slaves who recently escaped a fishing village in Tanintharyi Region’s Yephyu township have asked government officials to save the rest of the human-trafficking victims in the area.

(more…)

At a press conference in Rangoon on Wednesday, the Burma Army re-stated their defense of a low-ranking soldier accused by locals of murdering an unarmed ethnic Kachin student, aged 19 years old, in the Kachin State capital Myitkyina on June 20.

(more…)

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar (SECM) warned public companies this week that it would take action against those that sell shares without the SECM’s approval, according to a commission member.

(more…)

Myanmar had only used the SEA-ME-WE 3 fibre optic cable previously, but people in the country will be able enjoy the benefits of the SEA-ME-WE 5 and AAE1 cables soon.

(more…)

A cholera outbreak in Pyay District of Pegu Division has hospitalized almost 100 people, according to the Pyay General Hospital, which is caring for those affected, half of whom are in a severe state.

(more…)

It is home to myriad rare creatures and even, legend says, a dragon. Pilgrims believe that gold in the surrounding hills is one of nine Buddhist miracles to grace the region.

(more…)

In 1988 the military junta in Burma brutally cracked down on a wave of peaceful uprisings. From then on, the country was under the iron fist of a military dictatorship, which repressed all democratic opposition, violated human rights, and was pervasively corrupt. In reaction, the U.S. government imposed a strict embargo against Burma. After seeing signs of political reform, in 2011 the U.S. government slowly began lifting sanctions against Burma, including through constructing a “carrot and stick” regulatory framework. First, targeted sanctions were imposed against certain entities and individuals directly involved in human rights abuses. Second, a General License was issued to allow U.S. investments in Burma so long as investors complied with reporting requirements. Specifically, all businesses that invested over $500,000 had to submit reports to the Department of State detailing their human rights policies and risk management mechanisms.

(more…)

As a former legal advisor to the now ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), lawyer Ko Ni has played a prominent role in helping to shape legislation to address a variety of issues. In 2013, he proposed a new law to deal with the growing problem of religious discrimination and hate speech, but it went nowhere under the government of former President Thein Sein. Now, with the NLD in power, he believes that there is a real possibility that a new law could be adopted before the end of the year. He recently spoke to DVB about his thoughts on the prospects for a law that could help to stem the tide of hate crimes in Burma.

(more…)