Ethnic Issues


The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an umbrella organisation of ethnic armed groups, is to hold an official meeting with the National League for Democracy (NLD) and other Burmese pro-democracy groups for the first time.
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The nationwide ceasefire accord, development projects and drug eradication were among the top issues discussed when Shan, Wa and Mongla army leaders met with Burma’s president and military chief earlier this week.
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Rakhine Chief Minister U Maung Maung Ohn has told the state’s Emergency Coordination Centre that a plan to resettle about 170,000 people living in camps for the internally displaced has been delayed, ECC member U Than Tun told Mizzima on August 27.
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In a speech delivered at the celebration marking the formation of Border Guard Force, a militia group under the control of the Burma Army, Colonel Chit Thu, claimed that his troops are for the benefit of the Karen people.
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Tens of thousands of people are fleeing violence in Myanmar only to be robbed, beaten and starved on boats helmed by human traffickers, according to a new report from the United Nations Refugee Agency.
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Buddhist Arakanese leaders are considering a proposal that would see Rohingya Muslims without documentation proving their right to citizenship detained in camps.
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More than a hundred farmers from nine villages in Hpa-an Township, Karen State, staged a rally on Monday demanding the return of lands they say were seized by the military many years ago.
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Villagers in Paunglaung, located between Naypyidaw and Shan State, have said that a relocation project designed to make way for the Upper Paunglaung Dam is insufficient.
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The Tatmadaw has agreed to discuss the potential formation of a federal army, one of the ethnic armed groups’ key demands in the ongoing peace process.
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Two years after inter-communal violence first broke out in Rakhine State more than 310,000 people are still in need of humanitarian assistance there, says the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
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The Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT)—a 16-member body which has been negotiating a nationwide ceasefire with Naypyidaw on behalf of most of Burma’s major armed ethnic groups—would like civil society organizations to refrain from participating in the upcoming tripartite peace talks on political issues, said NCCT leader Nai Hong Sar. The three-party peace talks will involve the NCCT, political parties, and the Burmese government.
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The Mon State government should provide an official, public explanation for its 1,000 million kyat budget discrepancy during the 2014-2015 fiscal year, according to Dr. Aung Naing Oo, the chairman of Mon State’s parliamentary Law Implementation, Observation, and Analysis Committee.
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Leaders of ethnic armed groups say they want Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to observe the signing of the nationwide ceasefire agreement and the accompanying political dialogue. Nai Han Tha, leader of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), said on August 19 the groups wanted the NLD chairperson to take a larger role in the peace process as a leading representative of the public.
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Myanmar’s government has been pressuring aid workers and foreign officials not to speak “Rohingya” name, activists and UN officials say.
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A pressure group for educational reform have sent a letter on August 22 to the government and parliament demanding a percentage of classes taught in ethnic minorities communities be taught in the language of that community.
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The Burmese government’s Union Peacemaking Working Committee (UWPC) and ethnic rebel groups’ Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) met to discuss the signing of a nationwide ceasefire agreement in Rangoon last week.
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The Burmese government and ethnic leaders say they will hold another round of peace talks early next month to hammer out final disagreements before setting a date for the nationwide ceasefire accord.
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One civilian was shot dead and another hospitalized with a gunshot wound following a clash between government troops and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) on Monday morning in northern Shan State, according to the ethnic rebel group.
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In a move that a local politician has said was the first of its kind in Kachin State, the Burmese Army apologised to villagers displaced by recent clashes in Hpakant Township between government troops and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
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In an exclusive interview with Karen News, Ms Charm Tong, a founder of the Shan Women’s Action Network, expressed grave concerns over ongoing Burma Army offensives in Shan State in areas of supposed ceasefire, and criticised the international community for not applying more pressure on the government to stop its offensives.
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