Burma’s emerging renewable energy sector is still undeveloped and lacking in government support, while about 65 percent of the country’s rural population is living outside of the national power grid. Many isolated communities meet their own energy needs with independently provided biomass, solar projects and small-scale hydropower. Often this assistance is supplied by non-governmental organizations focused on sustainable rural development, not from state institutions. (more…)

Last year, when I was in Ma Ja Yang in Northern Kachin State, Burmese fighter bombers, at the height of the peace process, had just flown low over the nearby IDP camp. Two terrified children dug themselves into an earth bank for refuge. In heavy rains the bank collapsed and they suffocated to death: two unrecorded deaths in a sixty year old war involving, arguably, the deaths of millions. But this year these two children may have surfaced, along with millions of others, in the most unlikeliest of places: the government’s 2014 census. Burma’s population, it turns out, is about nine million below what was expected. These two children, and nine million others, are not there. No one is commenting on this. No one is asking why. The most significant and extraordinary information to have come out of the country for decades, identifying 20 percent of Burma’s expected population is “Missing,” is disregarded. (more…)

The Arakan State parliament voted unanimously on Tuesday in favor of a non-binding resolution formally condemning UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his use of the word “Rohingya” during his most recent visit to Burma. (more…)

An increase in the smuggling of synthetic drugs like methamphetamine from Southeast Asia has fuelled a rise in violent crime in China this year, a state-run newspaper reported on Wednesday. (more…)

Negotiations over compensation for land taken from rubber plantation owners by Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprises or MOGE for a gas pipeline passing through Wel-Khru Village-Tract and Chan-Ta-Yar Land, Thanbyuzayat Township, Mon State have stalled, reports the Independent Mon News Agency November 18. (more…)

Oil prices were mixed in Asia on November 19 as dealers predicted that leading producer Saudi Arabia will resist pressure from other OPEC members to cut output in a bid to prop up falling prices. (more…)

A continued resurgence of the US dollar and a widening trade deficit has seen the kyat hit a new low on the exchange market. (more…)

Burma’s pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has conceded that she is unable to force through the constitutional changes that would allow her to run for the presidency, and has even gone so far as to acknowledge house Speaker Shwe Mann’s timetable for reform as “realistic”. (more…)

The first candidates in more than 50 years to run for municipal office in Rangoon have begun preparations for campaigns that will conclude late next month ahead of a landmark election set for Dec. 27. (more…)

Burma’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday approved a bill that will increase MPs’ salaries. (more…)

Government efforts to conduct a survey on laborers’ socioeconomic conditions and set a daily minimum wage have been delayed for more than a year and a half, even as salaries for lawmakers and civil servants are once again due to increase. (more…)

In the wake of parliamentary Speaker Shwe Mann’s declaration on Tuesday that constitutional changes would have to wait until after a new government is sworn in in 2016, lawmakers his week are questioning Naypyidaw’s reformist credentials anew. (more…)

A land and labour rights activist has staged a solo protest in five Mandalay townships, criticising the slow pace of the government’s reform program. (more…)

The opposition National League for Democracy is struggling to distance itself from an impassioned speech against Buddhist extremism by one of its officials U Htin Lin Oo, claiming the speech last month was “just personal” and not related to their party. (more…)

Preparations are underway to begin the survey of vacant land in January 2015 to set up seven new satellite towns in the Yangon region to resettle illegal squatters, U Toe Aung, deputy head of the Urban Development and Land Management Department of Yangon City Development Committee told Mizzima on November 18. (more…)

There are still 75 political prisoners still held in prisons and another 121 awaiting trial for political activities in Myanmar, said the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) in a report released on November 17. (more…)

Myanmar’s army launched a new offensive Wednesday against ethnic Kachin rebels in the steep hills around their headquarters on the Chinese border, killing over 20 people in a mortar attack and skirmishes that lasted the whole day, rebel officials said. (more…)

The Queensland Rohingya community gathered in front of King George Square in Brisbane, Australia on November 15 to remind the world leaders attending the G-20 summit of the plight faced by the Rohingya in Myanmar, said Noor Zaman, the president of Queensland Rohingya Community Inc, according to a report by Kaladan Press. (more…)

More than 600 trafficking victims from Burma and Bangladesh have been rescued off the South Asian coast, a navy spokesman in Dhaka said on Tuesday, in the single biggest operation of its kind by Bangladesh authorities. (more…)

Addressing the nation on the occasion of the 94th National Day on Sunday, Burma’s President Thein Sein noted that his government will prioritise raising education standards. (more…)

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