News


Members of the United Nationalities Federal Council have committed to attending the 21st-century Panglong Conference scheduled to convene on August 31, according to a statement released by the ethnic bloc at the conclusion of a two-day “emergency meeting” in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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With less than one week to go until ethnic armed groups from around the country descend on the capital for the 21st-century Panglong Conference, Nay Pyi Taw police say they intend to request that attendees not bring weapons with them.

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AS PLANS continue for the 21st Century Panglong Conference to begin on August 31, debate has erupted over a proposal by ethnic armed groups for Myanmar to have eight states representing the country’s main ethnic groups.

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The Arakan National Party (ANP) has demanded that the government cancel the new Arakan State Advisory Commission formed on Wednesday, of which former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will serve as the chairman.

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A major highway project that will serve as a trade link between Burma and Thailand has been displacing local communities who live along the route in Karen State, southeastern Burma, say human rights organizations.

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A Myanmar court denied bail to human rights activist Khaing Myo Htun on 25 August. Earth Rights International (ERI) said in a statement that it condemns the decision and calls for all charges against him to be dropped.

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Myanmar, which lacks viable copyright protections, is in need of a Science, Technology and Invention Law to safeguard intellectual property, Amyotha Hluttaw MP U Myo Win (NLD; Mon 8) said yesterday.

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Myanmar’s army chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, reshuffled top posts on Friday, promoting his intelligence chief and other officers leading efforts to present the military as a responsible partner in a democratic transition.

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Two visiting high profile Indian economists have called on Myanmar government policy makers to be cautious in how they handle the economy, taking particular care in how they balance the need for State control with the uncertainties of market forces.

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Factory owners are circulating a blacklist of about 85 workers associated with trade union activity and the organisation of industrial action, workers’ representatives say. Known activists are finding it increasingly difficult to find employment even as employers are ordered to rehire workers dismissed for union-related activity.

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A campaign led by the US international aid agency aims to fight malaria among more than 3 million people in 33 townships across Kayin and Rakhine states, and Tanintharyi Region over the next five years.

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One of the resolutions which came out of the three-day Mon National Conference has been to stand against the use of a coal power plant by a cement company in Mon State’s Kyaikmayaw Township.

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Japan is planning to offer Myanmar loans totalling ¥100 billion (about K1.19 trillion, or US$995 million) for infrastructure development, Kyodo reported on August 26, quoting a Japanese government source.

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After over 20 years of sanctions and international pariah status, Myanmar has begun to come in from the cold. It has taken the 2010 elections, a new ‘civilian’ president and the by-elections of early 2012 to convince the international community that the transition to democracy is ‘real’.

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Next Wednesday Burma will hold the “21st Century Panglong Conference” — the latest step in the country’s long peace process. It will be a moment imbued with symbolism.

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After an emergency meeting in Thailand, the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)—an ethnic armed alliance—has confirmed that they will attend Burma’s Union Peace Conference, scheduled to commence on Aug. 31.

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A team from Unesco, the United Nations’ cultural agency, is traveling to Bagan to conduct a comprehensive review of damage to historical pagodas and temples after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit central Burma on Wednesday evening.

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A mid-year report on the human rights situation in Burma by a national watchdog has noted a “stark increase” in violations by Burmese government forces and ethnic militias.

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A group of people living in a squatter community in Hlegu Township, on the outskirts of Burma’s commercial capital Rangoon, held a press conference on Wednesday to voice their opposition to plans to evict them from their homes.

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A controversial Chinese dam project in Shan State has been given the go-ahead, as local human rights organisations warned that the development could stoke ongoing conflict in the region.

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