Tuesday, October 11th, 2016


Sectarian tensions have simmered for decades here on the country’s western frontier with Bangladesh, and they exploded with deadly violence in 2012 when mobs of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists drove minority Muslim Rohingyas from their homes. Four years later, about 120,000 people remain displaced and, with hostilities as high as ever, the government is struggling to help them return home.

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The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) has issued a statement saying that despite ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) best efforts successive Burmese governments have failed to engage in genuine, meaningful political dialogue.

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More than two dozen residents of a village tract purportedly owned by the military have dug their heels in. But after nine months through the cold, the rain and repeated eviction orders, the farmers laying claim to the contested 19-acre plot are beginning to lose hope that the impasse will be resolved.

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A team led by Information Minister Dr.Pe Myint will visit Rakhine State from October 11 to 14 to conduct briefings on attacks on police outposts in Maungdaw and Rethetaung townships in order to restore stability and to inform people about the truth, according to a government press statement.

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In its latest effort to finance debt on the free market, the government held its first treasury bond auction earlier this month, selling K200 billion (about US$161 million) at a weighted average yield of 8.843 percent.

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At a speech in Rangoon, Speaker of the British House of Commons Rt Hon John Bercow stressed that restrictions on humanitarian aid to conflict-affected communities in Kachin, northern Shan and Arakan state should be urgently lifted.

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A UK Government-supported programme, to strengthen the development of a modern, dynamic oil and gas sector in Myanmar, is to be launched later this month, according to a joint press release from the British Embassy in Yangon and Aberdeen International Associates (AIA).

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Last week a series of attacks on Myanmar’s border posts attracted little international attention. But they should have. These assaults in which nine Myanmar policemen died, marked the start of a violent reaction by the Rohingya people to their continuing official repression, even in a country that is now run by a much-admired Nobel Peace Laureate.

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When it became obvious last November that the National League for Democracy was heading for a landslide election victory, party leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi urged her supporters not to gloat. After becoming de facto government leader earlier this year, Aung San Suu Kyi has spoken with national reconciliation in mind. She has rarely, if ever, publicly criticised the former ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, the Tatmadaw or any other elements that have displayed antagonism toward the NLD.

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