Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016


Two hurdles bedevilled a final consensus at the second-day meeting to review the framework for political dialogue – a core instrument for upcoming peace negotiations – involving representatives from the government, ethnic armed organisations and political parties.

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United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon will attend a landmark peace conference in Myanmar this month, an official and armed group confirmed yesterday, bolstering the new government’s drive to end decades of fighting in Myanmar’s borderlands.

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Labour representatives on a key employment disputes resolution body should be elected by workers themselves, Mandalay union representatives are insisting. They are protesting against a decision to reselect members of the local Arbitration Council who, they say, were not properly elected.

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Some 200 Burmese nationals seeking employment in neighbouring Thailand signed job contracts at a press conference held in Rangoon over the weekend to publicise a new “ethical recruitment” scheme.

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Representatives of 13 ethnic groups have concluded a five-day meeting in Shan State capital Taunggyi, where they discussed how a future Shan State would accommodate each minority group.

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Ethnicity has long been a sensitive subject in Myanmar, but particularly so in recent years as nationalistic, religion-linked notions of what defines citizenship have risen, at times violently, to the fore.

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In a surprise shake-up at the top, former president U Thein Sein handed over his Union Solidarity and Development Party leadership role today to U Than Htay, a member of the USDP central executive committee.

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Myanmar former ruling party the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) on Monday vowed to adopt a new strategy in accordance with the desire of the people without altering its original objective.

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Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi is standing by the country’s central bank governor, despite concerns from commercial bankers, government advisors and some of his own officials at the pace of reform on his watch.

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In a statement on Friday, Burma’s National Human Rights Commission criticized overcrowding, and inadequate staffing and provisions of water and medicine, at Katha Prison in Sagaing Division, and called for drastic improvements to be made.

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The Karen National Union (KNU) said it is taken action to curb the sale and use of drugs in its controlled area.

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Isn’t there any likelihood of Myanmar being won over by China and exploited in the larger nation’s self-serving schemes?

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In Burma, over 1.1 million Rohingya currently suffer from the impacts of systematic, widespread oppression. For decades, the Muslim minority in a largely Buddhist country has been denied citizenship, rendered stateless, and stripped of basic rights. The Rohingya face daily threats to their life and security in what the United Nations declares amount to “crimes against humanity.” Human rights activists deem the Rohingya the most persecuted minority in the world, warning of direct state involvement in actions that could constitute ethnic cleansing.

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I have always admired the courage and political instincts of Myanmar’s press. Although my knowledge is limited to English-language media, when I read what Myanmar journalists are writing I have often been impressed by how valuable and reliable the best Myanmar journalism is.

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