Inside Burma


Karenni leader Abel Tweed, who is chairing the last day of talks in Laiza among some 100 ethnic delegates of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), said on Monday that the ethnic alliance was “hoping for the best, but would also prepare for the worst”.
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Concluding a ten-day visit to Burma, the UN’s new special rapporteur on human rights, Yanghee Lee, painted a decidedly mixed picture of the country’s ongoing reform process at a press conference held at Rangoon airport on Saturday evening. She described the conditions in displacement camps across the state as “deplorable,” while noting that she had been advised during her visit to Arakan State to avoid using the word “Rohingya” when addressing the issue.
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Meeting in Laiza for pivotal talks aimed towards signing a nationwide ceasefire agreement, ethnic leaders of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) debated on Friday whether to include the words “revolution” and “revolutionaries” in a draft document when referring to themselves.
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Burma’s leading media bodies have reached a 16-point agreement to protect media workers and ensure that their legal rights are respected.
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Burma’s state-run English-language daily newspaper will from September be renamed and relaunched as
a joint venture with a private company, the newspaper reported Sunday.
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Shan, a 53-year-old farmer, wears a blue-and-white button-down shirt over her patterned longyi, a traditional Burmese wrap. She sits quietly with her family, next to the few belongings they were able to carry when they were forced from their home in April.
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Members of the Burmese media have rejected a message from President Thein Sein to Parliament on Friday, in which he claimed that local and international journalists share blame for outbreaks of anti-Muslim violence that have marred Burma’s democratic transition.
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Ten MPs took to the floor of the lower house of Burma’s parliament on Friday as debate commenced on whether to employ a system of proportional representation (PR) in future general elections.
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Yanghee Lee, the new UN rapporteur on the human rights situation in Burma, visited the Arakan State capital Sittwe and has met with leaders of the Arakanese Buddhist and Rohingya Muslim communities in the troubled region, local sources said.
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Lawyers representing the four jailed journalists and manager of Unity journal on Monday submitted an appeal against their conviction, one of the lawyers told The Irrawaddy.
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After two people were killed and 14 others were injured in the clashes, authorities declared a curfew on July 3, from 9 pm until 5 am. During those hours, gatherings of five people or more were prohibited.
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Burmese across the country paid tribute on Saturday to fallen independence hero Gen. Aung San and his comrades, with the government taking a greater role in commemorative activities than it has in decades.
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A rape case believed to have sparked recent riots in central Burma’s Mandalay was fabricated, according to an investigation carried out by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
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Ethnic members of parliament from constituencies in areas of conflict met with Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC) representatives in Naypyidaw on Monday.
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The opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party and 88 Generation Peace and Open Society (88GPOS) concluded on Saturday a nationwide petition campaign calling for the amendment of constitutional Article 436.
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A top military official has laid blame for recent fighting in Shan State on the Shan State Army-North, saying the group trespassed onto land under government control in violation of a 2012 peace agreement.

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The Women’s League of Burma, an umbrella group representing 13 women’s organizations in Burma has said that a culture of “systemic impunity” to rape exists in the Burma Army.
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Martyr’s Day in Myanmar – the National League for Democracy (NLD) wound up an eight-week campaign calling for changes to the country’s constitution. The campaign was launched on May 27 on the back of a series of colorful public rallies in Yangon and other cities. Since then, the NLD, along with former student leaders of the 1988 uprising against military rule, have held further demonstrations across the country and gathered millions of signatures in support of constitutional amendments ahead of next year’s election.
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The United States, which has made a priority of improving relations with Myanmar, said on Friday it was “very concerned” by reports that four journalists and a newspaper boss were sentenced to 10 years’ hard labor there this month.
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Aung Min, the President’s Office Minister and lead peace negotiator, addressed the Upper House on Thursday to reconfirm the government’s commitment to achieving a nationwide ceasefire agreement, and he voiced his confidence that an accord could be reached soon.
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