Ethnic Issues


Police in Malaysia have arrested 20 people in a widening investigation into the murder of at least 18 Burmese nationals in the northern state of Penang since January. (more…)

The Myanmar government does not agree with proposal made by ethnic minority groups’ for the formation of a federal armed force with a rotating chief of general staff, U Ye Htut, spokesperson for the President told Mizzima on December 8. (more…)

Governments must focus on saving lives rather than keeping foreigners out at a time when more people than ever are embarking on risky sea crossings in search of asylum or a better life, the United Nations’ refugee agency said on Wednesday. (more…)

Twenty Burmese Muslims remain in prison awaiting a verdict almost five months after they were detained and accused of links to terrorism, with a lawyer representing some of the defendants saying odds for a fair trial look slim despite a dearth of credible evidence against the accused. (more…)

The 12 ethnic armed groups of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) officially announced that they planned to form their own so-called Federal Union Army, an initiative they said that would bolster defense cooperation and help with the creation of a single federal army for Burma in the future. (more…)

Eight people arrested in Rakhine State for their refusal to be registered as “Bengali” during Myanmar’s nationwide population census were sentenced December 2 to two years in prison, according to Daw Wai Wai Nu, director of the Women Peace Network Arakan. (more…)

U Aye Ne Win, a grandson of the late dictator General Ne Win, said on December 7 that peace could not be established in Myanmar because ethnic armed groups have not fulfilled their promises. (more…)

Rakhine businesses struggle in aftermath of unrest

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About 53,000 people left Bangladesh and Myanmar on treacherous smuggling boats bound for Thailand and Malaysia this year, about 540 of them dying on the journey, the UN refugee agency said November 5. (more…)

Camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) near Laiza, the headquarters of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), are facing a shortage of food supplies amid reported restrictions on UN and NGOs’ humanitarian aid deliveries. (more…)

Ethnic armed group representatives have confirmed official peace talks will take place before Christmas, the first such discussions since the Burma army attacked a Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) base near Laiza last month. (more…)

The fence stretches as far as the eye can see, its concrete pillars carrying coils of barbed wire across the mountains and marshes of western Myanmar.

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Seven days after an attack on ethnic army cadets in Kachin State, activists and social groups held donation drives and ceremonies on Wednesday to commemorate the 23 soldiers who died in the incident. (more…)

Bangladesh has outlined proposals to intern thousands of undocumented Rohingya before repatriation to Myanmar, which they fled because of targeted violence and systematic discrimination, an official Foreign Ministry document obtained by Al Jazeera America reveals. (more…)

The Burmese army systematically uses sexual violence against women – including gang rape by soldiers – to “demoralise and destroy the fabric of ethnic [minority] communities” and establish control over resource-rich areas, according to a women’s rights group. (more…)

Opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi told ethnic delegates at the Sibin guest house in Nay Pyi Taw on November 24, that her demand for quadripartite dialogue is not an attempt to leave ethnic groups out of the political process. (more…)

The United Nations voiced their alarm on November 24 at an upsurge of fighting in Myanmar’s northern state of Kachin, as shelling was reported near civilian areas and rebels said clashes could spread. (more…)

Two additional armed ethnic groups have said that members of their ranks were killed during an artillery attack on a Kachin Independence Army or KIA training facility on Wednesday. (more…)

The smuggling of Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar is so lucrative that Thai fishermen are converting their boats to carry humans, police and officials in southern Thailand said. (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…)

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