Ethnic Issues


Burma’s national government has drafted a plan that will give around a million members of the persecuted Rohingya Muslim ethnic minority a bleak choice: accept ethnic reclassification and the prospect of citizenship, or be detained. (more…)

A mob of about 100 people damaged a house, shop and mosque on Saturday in Myit Chay, a small town near the popular tourism destination of Bagan, after rumors spread that a Muslim man had beaten his Buddhist maid in the latest case of communal violence to hit Burma. (more…)

Burma gave citizenship on Monday to 209 Muslims displaced by sectarian violence, after the first phase of a project aimed at determining the status of about a million Rohingya whose claims to nationality have been rejected in the past. (more…)

A spirited discussion on ethical journalism and press accountability was among the highlights of a conference on media development in Myanmar which opened in Yangon on September 18. (more…)

As Burma’s government and ethnic armed groups prepare to meet for peace talks next week, on-and-off fighting between the Burmese Army and ethnic Karen rebels continues to plague eastern Burma. (more…)

Ethnic leaders have spoken to Mizzima on September 14 to reveal their concerns over the late release of census data relating to ethnicity and the impact it may have on the provision of political representation at state and regional level.  (more…)

The effort to implement a citizenship screening process in Rakhine State has been temporarily suspended because members of the Kaman ethnic minority in Sittwe district’s Myebon Township are refusing to participate in it, officials said. (more…)

As part of ensuring development of the country’s southeast, plans are under way to draft long-term projects for all-round development of states and to provide assistance to IDPs, according to Sein Kyaw Hlaing, an adviser from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) project team for multi-sector development in Kayin and Mon states.  (more…)

A coalition of Shan community based organizations has said a moratorium on resource extraction is urgently needed until there is nationwide peace and a discussion on the control and management of the country’s natural resources, much of which are in ethnic areas.
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More than 30 ethnic Karen community based organizations, including environmental watchdogs and civil society organizations, have criticized a blueprint for economic development in Southeast Burma published by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), an aid agency that operates under the Japanese government.
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Leaders of two Shan and Pa-O rebel groups that recently clashed because of a territorial dispute, held discussions on Thursday in an effort to resolve the argument, a rebel officer said.
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The leaders of Burma’s ethnic armed groups want President Thein Sein to get involved in peace talks, as negotiations toward a nationwide ceasefire deal continue.
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A survey revealing that the average daily income in Rakhine State is K2,200 (about US$2.25) was an indication that much remains to be done there to reduce poverty, state parliament was told on September 9.
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A court in Arakan State sentenced 17 Burmese workers to between six and 10 years each in prison on Sunday for destroying property and attacking Chinese workers on a cross-Burma oil pipeline project.
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Government officials have moved to distance themselves from media reports that Myanmar would resettle thousands of Rohingya currently residing in Bangladesh, highlighting the continued rift between the countries on the repatriation process, which has been stalled since 2005.
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A Dutch agency that helps developing countries gain access to the European market will provide US$1.9 million to help develop the tourism industry in Kayah State, according to commerce ministry adviser Dr Maung Aung.
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Oil Mountain, Myanmar—The mood at a ramshackle bar in this village on Ramree Island, in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State, is one of fatalism punctuated by the occasional comic trope.
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A special envoy of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has meet elders from the Buddhist community during a visit to the Rakhine State capital, Sittway.
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Rakhine Chief Minister U Maung Maung Ohn has asked non-government organisations to provide development aid for poor ethnic Rakhine villages, a state government minister told Mizzima on September 3.

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More than 30 political parties were represented at a meeting held in Yangon on September 3 for preliminary talks on the political dialogue due to begin after a national ceasefire agreement is signed.
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