Monday, October 17th, 2016


The weekend was marked by more violence and arrests in northern Rakhine State as a young teacher was shot and an attack on security personnel ended in the deaths of three assailants. The latest bloodshed comes in the aftermath of what the government is calling a coordinated, deadly assault by Islamist insurgents on three Myanmar Border Police posts in Maungdaw and Rathedaung townships on October 9.

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Myanmar has fired the police official charged with guarding its troubled border with Bangladesh, officials said on Monday, after deadly attacks that sparked fighting with insurgents allegedly inspired by Islamist militants.

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Rescuers have recovered at least 29 bodies after a ferry carrying some 300 passengers capsized on the Chindwin River in Sagaing Division’s Kani Township on Saturday, the township General Administration Department (GAD) said on Monday.

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A coalition of nine local humanitarian organisations active in Kachin State released a statement on Friday voicing their concern over restrictions imposed by the Burmese government and military on humanitarian aid access to camps housing villagers displaced by the ongoing Kachin conflict.

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A ceremony was held at Park Royal Hotel in Yangon at 2 pm on October 16 cementing a deal between the Burmese language service of Voice of America (VOA)and the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB). The deal will see VOA Burmese TV programs aired on the DVB channel.

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The Central Executive Committee of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), a coalition of seven ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) that have not yet signed the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) met in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.

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Burma’s Minister for Home Affairs Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe told reporters on Monday that prisoners under investigation for recent attacks on border police in Arakan State are being treated in accordance with the law.

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Chinese traditional medicine clinics in Yangon will be shut down if they are found to be operating illegally, the regional Minister for Social Affairs said last week.

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Despite some educational reform taking place in Burma, ethnic education workers claim that equal opportunity for them will only be possible when the country’s education system is decentralized.

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A journalist who says he was forced to flee his home for fear of reprisals from timber smugglers has accused local authorities in Mandalay Region of not coming to his aid. And another reporter, a freelancer, staged a one-man protest denouncing “corrupt officials”.

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Historically, Burma has enjoyed strong relations with India, not with China.

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Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is recognised nationally and internationally as the nation’s de-facto leader. It’s time for the Tatmadaw to support the repeal of section 59(f) of the constitution and allow her to become head of state.

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