Ethnic Issues


Technical teams representing government and ethnic peace negotiators convened in northern Thailand on Thursday in anticipation of talks between the President and five ethnic armed groups next week.
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Burma’s Union Parliament has approved two bills that place restrictions on religious conversion and polygamy, the last of four controversial bills concerning race and religion to have sped through the legislature since late last year.
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Residents of western Myanmar’s Chin state will face challenges reaching polling stations to vote in general elections in November because of washed-out roads and bridges caused by recent floods along with continued heavy rains, local election officials said Wednesday according to an RFA report on 19 August.
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Myanmar is soon to hold elections for regional/state assemblies, the national parliament, and the president. Voting for the first two, scheduled for November 8, will influence the third – the election of the president, which may take place in February 2016. Much is at stake, not only for political forces within the country but also for powers elsewhere in the region. The process of conducting free and fair elections and their eventual outcome will very likely influence regional politics.
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Four armed ethnic groups in Myanmar have expressed willingness to sign a nationwide cease-fire agreement (NCA) with the government, according to a joint press release issuedby the groups on Tuesday Xinhua reported on 18 August.
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The Burmese government announced on Tuesday a third extension of the State of Emergency and martial law in northern Shan State’s Kokang Self-Administered Region, due to ongoing fighting between the Burmese army and Kokang ethnic rebels Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA).
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I never imagined it would evolve the way it has: extremely complex, open, frustrating and exciting. I also did not imagine that I would sit in on the negotiations and play a meaningful role.
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In the second and final installment of The Irrawaddy’s interview with Professor Larry Diamond, the Stanford University democracy scholar discusses complaints about the leadership style of Aung San Suu Kyi, the rise of Ma Ba Tha and the efforts to negotiate a nationwide ceasefire agreement with Irrawaddy founding editor Aung Zaw.
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Burma’s Border Guard Police (BGP) arrested three Rohingya villagers in Maungdaw North, Arakan State and accused them of having Bangladeshi mobile phones and selling Bangladeshi SIM cards before extorting money from them said an ex-school teacher who wished to remain anonymous
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Central committee members of the Mon National Party (MNP) and the All Mon Regions Democracy Party (AMDP) have resigned from their posts because they are unhappy with their parties’ candidate selection process for the 2015 elections
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A Karen rebel group announced its intention to sign a nationwide ceasefire agreement on Saturday, as other ethnic armed groups this week consider their own positions on the long-awaited pact.
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Mon residents in Ye Township have decided to establish a support group to maximise the number of ethnic Mon representatives in the Hluttaw (parliament) and help Mon election candidates to run their election campaigns.
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The Global Rohingya Centre opened an office on Sunday in Istanbul to provide support to Rohingya Muslims the Daily Sabah reported on 17 August.
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The Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) announced a total ban on new logging of teak and other hardwoods in Karenni State, and has outlawed all logging businesses in the territory.
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The revolution is not yet complete. That was the message from Karen National Union chair Padoh Saw Mutu Say Poe, who said at a ceremony to mark Karen Martyrs’ Day yesterday that the group’s goals had not yet been achieved.
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Burma’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs lashed out on Thursday against “a wide range of allegations” made by UN rights rapporteur Yanghee Lee.
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More than 1,000 villagers, who fled their homes to avoid being caught in the crossfire of armed conflict between Burmese government forces and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), are running out of food in their temporary shelters, and are in urgent need of assistance, according to local relief workers in Kachin State.
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Burma’s Union Parliament is set to reconvene on Aug. 18 with two remaining “Protection Bills” expected to pass during the final legislative session before a Nov. 8 general election, according to lawmakers.
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Due to the poor standard of the candidates contesting the 2015 election for the Pyithu Hluttaw (House of Representatives) in the Thanbyuzayat Township constituency a Mon People’s Affairs candidate has been selected to run against them
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Over half of the people rescued from human smuggling boats in May have been repatriated to Bangladesh, after a fourth group of migrants returned on August 10, local officials said.
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