Ethnic Issues


Thousands of acres of confiscated land in Mon State are being returned by the military and other government departments. A total of 16,527 acres in ten townships has been pegged for return to rightful owners.
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Newly appointed Rakhine State minister Kyaw Lwin says he will not accept the decision to dismiss him from the Arakan National Party (ANP) for accepting the ministerial job from the National League for Democracy (NLD).

The ANP announced that it would not take ministerial posts in the state government if it were not allowed to select the chief minister and appoint the cabinet. The ANP won a large majority of Rakhine State seats but the 2008 Constitution says that the central government can appoint the chief ministers and cabinet. The NLD won only eight Rakhine State parliamentary seats.

MP Kyaw Lwin accepted the state-level minister for agriculture, livestock, mining and forestry post in the NLD-led administration of MP Nyi Pyu. The ANP central executive committee (CEC) then dismissed him from the party.

Kyaw Lwin, ANP chairman for Ramree Township and also a CEC member, was elected for Ramree last November.

He said he made the decision to accept the job with difficultly after his constituents urged him to do so and threatened to unseat him if he refused.

“The party has not informed me yet. They cannot dismiss me from the party because I am a CEC member. I will stand as a member of the ANP, whatever they say. I will represent the party and will not break its policies. I will cooperate with the NLD if its policies are the same. It wants Rakhine State to develop and so do I,” said Kyaw Lwin.

The Arakan League for Democracy and Rakhine National Development Party founded the ANP, although Kyaw Lwin came from a third party.

“He is downgrading our party’s dignity besides he broke the rules and regulations. He shamed the Rakhine people. The voters are thinking we cannot control our members,” said Tun Aung Kyaw, ANP general secretary.

Link: http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/local/anp-rebel-refuses-accept-dismissal

Authorities in Thailand’s Ratchaburi Province have helped 17 migrant factory workers from Burma who are victims of human trafficking.
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US ambassador Scot Marciel said Washington would help end Myanmar’s many civil wars, according to representatives of ethnic armed groups who met him on April 7 in Yangon.
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Sai Thiha Kyaw is a two-term lawmaker in the lower house of Burma’s parliament representing Mongyai Township in northern Shan State.
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Amid news of charges being cleared against political detainees, in a court in Mandalay’s Chanayethazan Township, two Muslim interfaith activists were sentenced to two more years in prison—with labor—on Friday for allegedly associating with unlawful organizations.
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The Burma Army is continuing to send reinforcements into Wan Hai, headquarters of the Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) in Shan State’s Kyethi Township, said an SSPP/SSA central executive committee member.
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Six Arakanese youths, convicted of being insurgent members of Arakan Army, was convicted and sent to Sittwe prison on Monday by the Kyauk Taw township court of Arakan State.
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The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) elected a new central committee during recent township meeting in Kyaukme Township, A total of 265 representatives from 46 townships attended the township meeting in northern Shan State.
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The Karen National Union (KNU) in Dupalayar District is preparing three different areas in Burma for returning refugees from Thai camps. A 22-member group of officials from the Thai Noh Hpo refugee camp, Karen Refugee Committee (KRC), Thai authorities, NGOs workers, and The Border Consortium (TBC) recently met with KNU officials to discuss upcoming resettlement operations.
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Local farmers in Kyaukphyu Township, Arakan State, plan a protest for next week Monday demanding compensation for land they say was damaged to make way for a contentious oil and gas pipeline laid by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).
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A coalition of Arakanese environmental groups and political parties are hoping to collect 300,000 signatures to petition the national government to decentralize natural resource sharing.
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Burma’s long-established ethnic Karen armed organization, the Karen National Union (KNU), has been preparing land and shelter for the possible return of civilians displaced internally and on the Thai-Burma border after more than six decades of civil war with government forces.
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Members of the European Burma Network (EBN) have called upon the new NLD government to act swiftly to start to address the Rohingya crisis in the country in a statement released on 6 April.
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Manpang People’s Militia coerced leaders and residents of several villages to attend a meeting about coal excavations in Lashio district in northern Shan State. The militia led by Lit. Mon summoned the residents of Kwan Koot, Ho Nar, and Loi Nguen villages to Kwan Koot Monastery to discuss the militia’s involvement in excavating coal in Tanyang District.
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Three Kachin political parties have agreed to merge. The Kachin State Democracy Party (KSDP), the Kachin National Congress for Democracy (KNCD), and the Kachin Democratic Party (KDP) prepared for the merger during a recent meeting in state capital Myitkyina.
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Former President Thein Sein’s spokesperson Zaw Htay, better known by his Facebook account Hmuu Zaw, will serve another term in the President’s Office but in the higher position of deputy director general, he said at a press conference in Naypyidaw on Wednesday.
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The New Mon State Party (NMSP) objected to the use of coal power for a cement factory in Mon State. Nai Win Hla, NMSP central executive committee member and officer-in-charge of Home Affairs, said the party has no problem with the building of the cement factory, but it’s against the use of coal power which will cause damage to the environment. He cautioned against big investments in Mon State until all conflicts between the government and ethnic armed groups are resolved.
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Prospective investors to Mon State are being advised to ensure consultation with local civil society organizations and the dominant ethnic Mon rebel group before sinking money into the region.
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Ethnic armed group leaders say another possible “summit” meeting of groups that have not signed the Myanmar National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) may be held in the coming weeks.
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