Ethnic Issues


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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Armed members of the Karen Peace Council (KPC) confronted police in Karen State capital Hpa-an on Wednesday following the arrest of a high-ranking officer.
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With a single step, Saw Win Tun’s life was changed forever.
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Forget your typical school district. If you’re a student in Karen State, what matters most for your education is whether you live in a white, gray or black zone.
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The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an umbrella organisation of ethnic armed groups, is to hold an official meeting with the National League for Democracy (NLD) and other Burmese pro-democracy groups for the first time.
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The nationwide ceasefire accord, development projects and drug eradication were among the top issues discussed when Shan, Wa and Mongla army leaders met with Burma’s president and military chief earlier this week.
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Rakhine Chief Minister U Maung Maung Ohn has told the state’s Emergency Coordination Centre that a plan to resettle about 170,000 people living in camps for the internally displaced has been delayed, ECC member U Than Tun told Mizzima on August 27.
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In a speech delivered at the celebration marking the formation of Border Guard Force, a militia group under the control of the Burma Army, Colonel Chit Thu, claimed that his troops are for the benefit of the Karen people.
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Tens of thousands of people are fleeing violence in Myanmar only to be robbed, beaten and starved on boats helmed by human traffickers, according to a new report from the United Nations Refugee Agency.
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