Friday, August 19th, 2016


Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) spokesman Lt. Col. Naw Bu said that the forthcoming 21st Century Panglong conference would be affected to some extent by heavy weapon shells that were fired near Laiza, the GHQ of Kachin Independence Army (KIA).

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The Rakhine State government plans to form a commission of local elders to monitor peace and stability in the restive state, according to Chief Minister U Nyi Pu, though one member of the regionally dominant Arakan National Party criticised what he said was a lack of transparency and clarity about the body’s functions.

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A Workshop to formulate draft bills on interfaith harmony and against all forms of discrimination is being led by civil society organisations and law experts this week, with advocates saying they aim to submit the proposed legislation to parliament within the year.

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Human rights defenders gathered in Rangoon yesterday to discuss the challenges of a number of provisions in the Freedom of Association Law and the current Right to Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law.

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A bill to amend and repeal provisions of Burma’s colonial-era Ward or Village Tract Administration Law requiring citizens to report overnight guests continues to face hurdles in the Lower House of Parliament.

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Burma’s government has sought verification as to why state-owned enterprises have been unprofitable, in order to better consider a move toward privatization to reduce the budget deficit.

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Myanmar media recently reported that there would be no incoming students in Yangon University’s history department. This lack of interest is notable in an institution that was home to famous historians such as Dr Than Tun. As Myanmar turns toward a new political era, examining the past would seem to provide worthwhile insights.

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Myanmar’s de facto leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi expects China to support historic peace talks with armed groups near the countries’ troubled joint border, she said Friday during a landmark visit overshadowed by a stalled dam project.

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Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi told China’s premier on Thursday that her new government is willing to look for a resolution that suits both countries to a suspended Chinese-funded hydropower project in northern Burma, a senior Chinese diplomat said.

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In the first Myanmar visit by an Indian minister since a democratically elected government was instated there in March, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will next week travel to Naypyidaw and meet Aung San Suu Kyi.

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Growing criticism within Myanmar’s political circles about the erosion of parliamentary power is being directed at Aung San Suu Kyi’s fledgling leadership of the country. Several lawmakers, particularly veterans of the earlier parliament which sat from 2011 to 2016, have publicly criticized the heavy hand of the ruling National League for Democracy, which dominates the executive branch. Despite earlier hopes that a revived parliament could play a transformative role in post-junta Myanmar, some critics are now asking whether the institution will become steadily marginalized in the NLD-led political system.

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Being transgender can mean a world of possible gender identities, where people move from one gender to another and can also put aside the choice of male and female for one of “third gender”. Across Asia, including in Myanmar, many societies have a place for a third gender identity, and increasingly they are legally recognised too.

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Three ethnic armed groups—the Ta’ang Nationalities Liberation Army, Arakan Army and Kokang’s Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army—currently involved in active conflict with the Burma Army in northern Shan State issued a statement on Thursday announcing their readiness to join the Union Peace Conference, scheduled to begin on August 31 in Naypyidaw.

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