Friday, August 12th, 2016


Two powerful ethnic armed groups along the China-Myanmar border have confirmed that they will attend the 21st-century Panglong Conference, scheduled to start on August 31, while three other important armies remain less sure, as the conditional wording for their participation remains a sticking point.

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Ethnic Ta’ang community leaders are demanding justice and human rights for five Namhsan township villagers detained by the military on August 1.

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What has the Yangon Region government achieved in its 100-day initiative? There are three major areas in which its accomplishments can be measured against its promises: tackling the squatter problem, reining in high-rise buildings and abolishing Ma Ba Tha.

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On the occasion of Karen Martyrs’ Day on Friday, the chairman of the Karen National Union (KNU)—whose military wing is Burma’s longest running ethnic armed organization—reminded the group that military preparations must still be carried out amid ongoing political negotiations.

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One country run by two persons: this is Burma. On the one hand, there is State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi; on the other, there is army chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing. If one were to ask who is ultimately in charge, they might find no clear answer.

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President Htin Kyaw on Friday formed a new commission to evaluate all proposed hydropower projects on the Irrawaddy River prior to their going ahead.

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The Union Parliament appointed Bo Bo Nge, a member of the National League for Democracy’s (NLD) economic committee, to the board of directors of the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM).

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An ethnic minority party is seeking to position itself as the democratic opposition to the ruling National League for Democracy in parliament. The Arakan National Party, the most successful ethnic party in last November’s election in terms of seats won, says it will criticise the government and the NLD, both in parliament and outside.

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The highest-ranking officer facing court martial for the killing of five villagers in the remote Shan State village of Mong Yaw denied giving orders to kill the men, according to witnesses who attended a hearing on the case on Tuesday.

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Myanmar is determined to pass by the end of the year a series of bills designed to ease restrictions on foreign capital as the newly established civilian government steps up efforts to attract outside investment.

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An outbreak of measles which affected some remote villages in far northwestern Myanmar’s Naga Self-Administrative Zone (SAZ) is now finally under control, according to the Naga SAZ authorities, state media reported.

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The recent measles outbreak in the Naga region has once again shone a spotlight on healthcare access in remote and contested areas.

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The United States is “encouraged” by the efforts of the Burmese government to address religious persecution in Arakan State, a senior official said on Friday, though the country remains on a shortlist of the world’s most repressive toward minority faiths.

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Many commentators on Myanmar’s forthcoming elections have noted that the Nov. 8 poll is likely to be the most free and fair, as well as consequential, as any in the country since the 1950s.

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Although Myanmar’s new civilian-led government has said little about the future of controversial, large-scale foreign investments, some projects are gaining ground without adequate public consultation and oversight. Among them is the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone, a China-backed project in Rakhine State.

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