Inside Burma


As some schools in northern Rakhine State prepare to reopen today, human rights groups continue to call for greater access to the region where thousands have been displaced in the wake of a deadly assault on border guard posts earlier this month.

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In a two-day peace meeting, women’s organisations agreed that civilians must collaboratively demand a halt to recent offensives as well as more gender-inclusive peace negotiations.

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The Burmese government has asked United Wa State Army (UWSA) members to withdraw their troops, citing a push for greater stability in the Mongla region of eastern Shan State, according to a senior officer from the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), which controls the enclave on the Chinese border.

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Dozens of residents fleeing violence in Arakan State’s Maungdaw Township began returning home with the help of government agencies on Monday after sheltering in Danyawaddy sports ground in the state capital of Sittwe.

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Renovation and conservation work to nearly 400 earthquake-hit ancient temples and pagodas in Bagan will start on January 1 of next year, officials said.

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Muslim residents and rights activists say a military operation in northwestern Burma has killed more people than official reports have acknowledged, as a fresh bout of ethnic unrest threatens to undermine the country’s fledgling peace process.

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A large tropical depression in the northern Bay of Bengal is moving towards the Myanmar coast, prompting the issuance of a code red weather warning for the Ayeyawady Delta and the southern part of the Rakhine coast by the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, state media reported on 24 October.

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Leaders from the Karen National Union and the News Mon State Party agreed more effort is needed to prevent territorial disputes between the two groups. Both parties met on October 15, at an undisclosed location on the Thai-Burma border to discuss their concerns about territory.

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Among all the murky reports to emerge from Rakhine State this week, one thing that is clear: When it comes to the biggest crisis to hit Myanmar since Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian led administration was elected, the military is undoubtedly running the show.

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Which comes first: amending the constitution and laying out the details of the long-promised federal Union? Or surrendering arms in a truly nationwide ceasefire as a prelude to political negotiations?

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A human rights group in Karen State is calling for the demilitarisation of former conflict areas to ensure that Burma’s ongoing peace process is “stable and long lasting”.

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Residents of Chipwe in Kachin State staged a protest march to demand that the Lisu National Development Party (LNDP) retracts its demand for a Lisu self-administered zone made at the 21st Century Panglong Conference.

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Independent media outlets covering the Shan State Hluttaw (parliament) in the state capital Taunggyi have been discriminated against and are being restricted in their coverage of the parliament.

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More than a week after attacks on police officers began a wave of bloodshed in western Myanmar, a lockdown by security forces has prevented aid workers from operating in the area, and new videos of what appear to be local Muslims calling for resistance have raised fears of more violence.

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An international rights group has urged the government of Myanmar to lift restrictions on the flow of humanitarian aid to western Rakhine and northern Kachin states.

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Casualties were reported in fighting between a splinter group of the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) and a joint force of the Burma Army and the allied Border Guard Force (BGF) on Wednesday in Kawkareik Township of Karen State.

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Survivors of a ferry disaster in Sagaing Region that killed at least 50 passengers have alleged that the supervisory body tasked with monitoring private vessels knew the boat was overloaded beyond capacity, but chose not to act. A complaint has been lodged with the region government.

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Environmentalists and Shan, Kayin and other activists are mobilising amid moves by Myanmar, China and Thailand to accelerate controversial plans to build a series of dams on the Thanlwin (also known as the Salween), the longest remaining free-flowing river in Southeast Asia.

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Food aid for more than 80,000 people in parts of northwest Myanmar has been suspended because of a military clampdown in the area, the World Food Programme said Wednesday.

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The government has launched a five-member team tasked with investigating the reason for the deadly sinking of the Aung Soe Moe Kyaw 2, a ferry that went under in Sagaing Region on October 15.

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