Ethnic Issues


The Chin Human Rights Organisation (CHRO), a non-governmental human rights watchdog founded in 1995, has warned that hundreds of Chin refugee women and girls are becoming the victims of rape in the Indian city of New Delhi, with UNHCR and the Indian government failing to protect them.
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A coalition of aid and relief groups working in Kachin State issued a statement on Monday warning that more than 3,000 civilians have been displaced by fighting in the southeast part of the state, which remains ongoing.
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Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), who have already been displaced twice and some even trice, have to flee once again as battles rage in southern Kachin State and northern Shan State between Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Burmese Government troops.
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Fierce fighting between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Burmese government forces in Mansi Township has forced hundreds of Kachin IDPs and villagers to seek sanctuary in Namhkam and at the Burma-China border. No casualties have yet been announced.
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A four-day meeting between leaders of Burma’s ethnic armed groups and government peace negotiators concluded in Rangoon on Tuesday with the two sides announcing that they agreed “in principle” on a draft of a long-awaited nationwide ceasefire agreement. However, key parts of the wording of the elusive single draft agreement still had not been agreed upon.
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The United Wa State Party, which controls the country’s largest ethnic army, will soon decide whether to participate in nationwide ceasefire talks along with other armed ethnic groups, a spokesperson said.
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Over 300 people who fled Shan State’s Palaung Self-Administered Zone have been provided relief by sympathisers from Lashio.
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Two ethnic based organisations have been advocating for the release of 33 men and women who were forcefully recruited by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
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Clashes broke out between the Shan State Army South and the United Wa State Army over the weekend, with the fighting brought on by a dispute over Wa gold mining activities in southern Shan State’s Mong Pan Township.
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As Gen. Gun Maw, the deputy chief of staff for the armed wing of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), meets this week with his Burmese counterparts in Rangoon as part of a joint meeting with the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), his subordinates stationed at Ban Du Kawng post near Mai Ja Yang, the KIO’s second-largest town, will keep a watchful eye on the Burma Army post on the next hilltop.
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Clashes are continuing in northern Shan State between the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and government troops, as census enumerators try to collect demographic data in the area.
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The Karen State government has refused to allow a group of villagers, evicted from their homes by the Burmese military in February, to move to rebel-held territory, leaving them stranded.
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Since the Second World War, Myanmar has witnessed an accumulation of landmines and unexploded ordnance that has affected untold numbers of people. The legacy of these weapons, worldwide and across Myanmar, claims thousands of new victims each year. ‘International Mine Awareness Day’ draws attention to the issue and highlights progress towards their eradication.
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The UN Secretary-General’s special advisor on Burma, Vijay Nambiar, met with the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) in the armed group’s Laiza headquarters on Wednesday.
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More than 800,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Burma are facing a variety of critical humanitarian needs, according to Unicef, which found that one in three IDPs are children vulnerable to malnutrition and a host of knock-on effects.
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More than 200 villagers whose homes were bulldozed by the Burmese military in Rangoon Division in February have been blocked from traveling to rebel-controlled territory where an ethnic Karen armed group has offered them land.
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Communities in northern Shan State have grown worried over two large hydropower dams planned on the Salween River and its tributary, after government officials and representatives of a Burmese and Chinese company informed them about the projects last month, Shan NGOs said Tuesday.
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The Ta’aung (Palaung) National Party will repeat its request for an identity code that recognises the group’s distinct ethnic status in the national census underway throughout the country, party central committee member U Aung Win told Mizzima in Yangon on April 1.
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According to villagers in Shan State’s Namhsan township, The Ta’ang (Palaung) National Liberation Army (TNLA) are forcefully recruiting people into their ranks and are executing those who refuse.
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International relief organizations forced to flee western Myanmar after being targeted by Buddhist mobs say it will be almost impossible to return without strong diplomatic pressure on the government to depoliticize the distribution of aid: Until then, they say, the lives of more than 140,000 Rohingya Muslims in overcrowded, dirty camps will be at even greater risk.
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