Ethnic Issues


The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar today called on the country’s authorities to address ongoing challenges to the democratic reform process “before they undermine the success achieved so far.” (more…)

Christian Solidarity Worldwide says it is deeply concerned about the violations of freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression in Myanmar, amid growing religious intolerance, as illustrated by two current cases of “religious defamation,” according to a press release on March 17.
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At the Defence Services Museum in Nay Pyi Taw there are cabinets devoted to the peace-making exploits of President U Thein Sein. When he wore an army uniform, especially during his time as chief of the Shan State’s Triangle Command, he was responsible for negotiations with ethnic minority armies.
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The recent re-sentencing of three prominent Rohingya community leaders in Arakan State and the ongoing detention of two others points to the uneven application of the rule of law in the restive region, their lawyer claims.
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Burma’s President Thein Sein met with leaders of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) in Naypyidaw on Monday.
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A Kokang rebel representative has said that an ethnic Chinese businessman who recently died under mysterious circumstances while in custody of the military intelligence agency had no active links with the rebel group. (more…)

The United Nations remains committed to helping Myanmar achieve its humanitarian and development needs in order to boost living standards for all its citizens, top UN officials have declared during their visit to the Asian country. (more…)

Burma has been identified as a country of concern by the United Kingdom for the 10th consecutive year as the UK foreign office prepares to increase direct aid to the country by more than 30 percent. (more…)

Men from villages in Loikaw Township, Karenni State dare not sleep at home because they are scared they will be taken away and forced to work as porters for the Burma Army.
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Three unrelated women recently joined hands in support of fighting-affected families in Putao, in the far north of Myanmar’s Kachin state. The way these women from the Red Cross Movement lent support to displaced women and their families typifies the spirit of women humanitarian workers the world over.
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Leaders of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) said they will observe a nationwide ceasefire meeting between the Burmese government and an alliance of ethnic armed groups on March 16, while there are tentative plans for a bilateral meeting between the KIA and the government.
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Two ethnic women from Myanmar testified at the Canadian Parliament on March 10, calling for Canadian pressure on the Myanmar government to end systematic human rights abuses, particularly sexual violence, by the Myanmar military, according to Inter Pares, a Canadian social justice organisation on March 11.
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The leading committee for compiling the human rights report on Myanmar held their second meeting at the Ministry of Home Affairs in Nay Pyi Taw on March 9, reports Myawady on March 10.
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Representatives of the Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) were detained by police whilst returning to Taunggyi, Shan State from a peace process workshop in Pa-An Town, Karen State.
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The leaders of the Kachin Independence Organisation and Kachin Independence Army (KIO-KIA) are still mulling whether to meet President Then Sein and Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing on March 12 or 13 in Nay Pyi Taw before the 7th nationwide ceasefire talk starts in Yangon on March 16. (more…)

China warned over escalating violence between Myanmar’s military and rebel forces after a civilian home was hit by shelling from across the border, apparently for the first time in the current unrest.
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Chinese armed forces are on high alert in the Sino-Burmese border region as clashes between Burmese soldiers and rebels continue in Kokang. Security has been tightened after damage from the violence spread over into Chinese territory on Sunday, in a sign that authorities are taking more proactive measures to cool tensions the area.
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As Myanmar gears up to host a visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May, New Delhi looks set to play an official role in talks between Nay Pyi Taw and the ethnic armed groups, reports the Indian Express on March 9. (more…)

An ethnic organization has accused the Burma Army of perpetrating human rights abuses in northern Shan State, where fighting over the last several weeks has flared between the government and ethnic Kokang rebels.
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The Burma Army lost eight soldiers and 51 were injured in recent days during attempts to conquer strategic hill top positions in Kokang Special Region in northern Shan State from ethnic Kokang rebels, state media reported on Tuesday.
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