Monday, August 8th, 2016


During the Ethnic Youth Conference in Panglong, Shan State, at the end of July, U Aye Maung, chair of the Arakan National Party (ANP), delivered a contentious history of Paletwa, a border region on the Kaladan River claimed by both the Chin and the Rakhine. U Aye Maung appeared to be implying that the disputed territory rightfully belongs to the Rakhine, and was reallocated in the wake of independence.

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As a further step toward an inclusive peace process, government negotiators are today headed to Mongla to meet with three allied ethnic armed groups that have not signed a ceasefire.

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Relief workers from the government are teaming up with local civil society organisations to ensure the most effective spending of emergency funding. Nearly one-quarter of 1 million people are now receiving government assistance after being driven from their homes by flooding.

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The 28th anniversary of the 8888 uprising was commemorated across Burma on Monday.

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A series of clashes between government forces and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) over the past week has forced hundreds of people to flee from gold-mining sites in Kachin State’s Kamaing Township.

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Fighting between troops from the Border Guard Force and renegade soldiers from the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army this week wounded four villagers. The armed clash took place between Kawt Nwe and Tadangu village near the new Kawkariek-Myawaddy Asia Highway on August 4.

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The construction of a high-rise development in Rangoon owned by a former state parliamentarian and current leader of a government-aligned militia in Shan State was found to be proceeding in defiance of municipal government suspension orders.

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Burma’s Union Peace Conference will begin on August 31, State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi announced during a meeting of the conference’s central committee in Naypyidaw on Monday.

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Life on the sidelines is not suiting the former ruling party. After months of struggling with its much-diminished political role and watching former opposition lawmakers steer the government, the Union Solidarity and Development Party is looking to buff its reputation and reboot its image at a party conference later this month.

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The first crackdown on protesting workers under the National League for Democracy government occurred less than two months after it assumed power. On May 18, plywood factory workers and their supporters marching to Nay Pyi Taw from Sagaing Region were dispersed on the outskirts of the capital on May 18. About 70 protesters were detained and 15 remain in detention, including six workers.

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The Myanmar government’s commitment to poverty reduction and inclusive development will be realized through an overhaul of the tax system and effective, accountable and wise spending decisions.

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In a significant move, the Tatmadaw has relaxed its attitude towards the participation of three armed ethnic groups in the national peace conference planned for later this month, media reports said.

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As reports of more deaths filter out of a remote outpost of Sagaing Region, the army has been deployed and civilian volunteers are preparing to go to the scene to render assistance. Yesterday a local MP said the death toll had risen to 40 as a mysterious disease continues to spread.

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Lao President Bounnhang Vorachitch’s just-ended official goodwill visit to Myanmar has enhanced bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

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Aung San Suu Kyi’s plans for a 21st Century Panglong Conference following the NLD’s landslide victory in last November’s elections is a positive development raising the promise of national reconciliation after decades of ethnic conflict in Myanmar.

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“…if [Asia] implements the coal-based plans right now, I think we are finished,” Mr Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank president, told the Climate Action Summit in Washington in early May.

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In a backroom heavy with sawdust, Mr Akkarin Puri, 33, carefully examines the veneer of a half-finished guitar. There was a time when the craftsman’s attention was more focused on inhaling the vapours from a pill of yaba – a methamphetamine – heated over a flame. In fact, by the age of 21, his drug habit had landed him in juvenile detention at least six times and a military lock-up for 18 months.

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