Inside Burma


One of the six suspects arrested in an area clearance operation made by Myanmar Army columns on 14 October died on the way to hospital three days later, state media reported on 27 October.

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A local villager in central Shan state’s Monghsu Township was reported dead as the Burmese Army launched attack on the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N) in the area on Wednesday, according to the ethnic armed group.

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Dozens of Muslim women have allegedly been raped by state security forces in northern Rakhine State during counter-insurgency operations there, according to rights groups citing “credible” sources. Tight military controls in the region, including shutting out international humanitarian organisations, means independent verification has not been possible.

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Outside government control and subject to the whims of numerous, often armed and competing actors, the enforcement of justice in ethnic areas is a tumultuous affair, according to a new report by the Asia Foundation.

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Oilfield workers in Magwe Region’s Yenangyaung township claim they are not being properly compensated for overtime work and that they do not have the appropriate safety gear. Myanmar Petrochemical Enterprise, which is accused by the workers of the labour violations, is a state-owned firm.

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A 5.0-magnitude earthquake struck 80 kilometres (50 miles) southeast of Mawlaik township in Sagaing Region yesterday morning, according to the Myanmar Earthquake Committee.

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Hundreds of villagers took to the streets in Mon State on October 24 to demand the restoration of their religious rights. The demonstrators, in Kawt Ka Dut village, Bilin township, say they want to retake control over a local pagoda.

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The tourism industry in Myanmar has grown rapidly since reforms began in 2011, with Ministry of Hotels and Tourism figures showing that the total number of foreign arrivals has soared from 1.6 million in 2012 to 4.68 million last year.

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A crackdown on illegal gambling at gaming centres in Yangon Region has resulted in scores of arrests and the seizure of millions of kyat so far this year, the regional assembly was told this week.

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Members of Ya Sa Ka, the country’s private vessel supervisory committee, have responded to allegations of negligence in the wake of the Aung Soe Moe Kyaw 2 ferry sinking, saying they had made complaints about overloaded vessels in the past but that their authority is constrained.

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Amid a dearth of independently verifiable information coming out of heavily militarised northern Rakhine State, a report that hundreds of Muslims were recently forced from their village was met with twin denials yesterday.

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The United Wa State Army is seeking to allay fears that it has invaded the territory of its neighbouring ethnic armed group and ally.

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Footage of a comedy skit criticizing Burma’s de facto leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has gone viral and prompted the group responsible to defend the performance as “not an insult” but a bridge between the government and the people.

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In preparation for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, women’s rights organizations are hosting a singing contest to raise community awareness about the issue.

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Burma has been listed in the top ten countries to visit in 2017 by renowned travel guide the Lonely Planet.

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The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (Splinter DKBA), which splintered from the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), will only reunify with the Karen National Union (KNU) after the two groups have held successful meetings.

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Community opposition is mounting to cement production in Hpa-an Township, Kayin State. For the past three years, residents of 10 villages have banded together as the Thanlwin Network to counter the proposed expansion of the cement industry in the Myaing Kalay area, about two hours’ drive east of Hpa-an.

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The code red weather alert has been lifted for the Ayayawady Delta and the southern part of the Rakhine Coast, but the weather bureau says severe weather, including rain and flooding, is still likely, state media reported on 25 October.

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Two weeks after a series of deadly attacks on border guard posts in northern Rakhine State left the region reeling, authorities say the whereabouts of Muslim residents who fled following the assault remain unknown.

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A coal-fired power plant in southern Shan State that was shut down two years ago due to residents’ complaints may be reopening, despite the opposition of the local community, villagers say. They are already accusing local officials of breaking their promises.

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