Inside Burma


Several revered Buddhist monks from across Myanmar have spoken out against the nationalist Ma Ba Tha movement, describing it as a minority group, and its actions as divisive and politicised.

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Hundreds of flood victims protested in Magwe Region’s Sidoktaya township on July 17, demanding upgrades to local dams and compensation for crops lost to flooding.

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EARLY IN the morning, before the sun has appeared over the horizon, U Zaw Lin Htun waited at the bus stop in his bustling neighbourhood. People stopped to stare at him as they walked by.

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Burma Army Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing’s attendance at the annual commemoration of Martyrs’ Day in Rangoon on Tuesday generated hope for restoring relationships in the war-torn country, said representatives from the country’s ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD).

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The Karen State Government has denied the Karen National Union (KNU) permission to hold a workshop outlining their land policy to residents of the state capital of Hpa-an, according to local sources.

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The Shan State parliament has approved an urgent proposal imploring government intervention to bring an end to simmering conflict between the national army and ethnic armed groups in the state’s north, which has displaced thousands of civilians.

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Fruit farmers whose land was seized more than 35 years ago to build a prison say it’s time they got their property back.

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After drawn out negotiations, 85 workers from a recently shuttered garment factory in Yangon’s Hlaing Tharyar township received part of their severance compensation yesterday, following their second protest staged over the weekend.

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Amnesty has called for urgent action to be taken to secure the release of 15 factory workers and student union members who are still detained in Myanmar and face a range of criminal charges for their peaceful protest to demand better working conditions. They are prisoners of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally released, according to a recent statement.

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Delegates from ethnic political parties and women groups are to be invited to the plenary ethnic armed groups’ summit scheduled to be held from July 26 to 29 at Mai Ja Yang, Kachin State.

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Young and ambitious activists were out in full force this month as the third biennial Myanmar Youth Forum was held in Monywa, Sagaing Region. Building on its achievements over the past four years, participants from all over the country convened to tackle a targeted agenda of issues that affect the nation’s young people: drug use; human rights; environmental change; youth and education policy; and Myanmar’s ongoing peace process.

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The 21st-century Panglong Conference will likely prove only partially inclusive, sources from the ethnic armed groups said yesterday.

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The eight armed groups that are signatories to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) are holding a meeting in Chiang Mai on 18-20 July in preparation for a landmark summit in Kachin State’s Mai Ja Yang at the end of the month.

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Just a few months before 2012 by-elections, a group of concerned citizens worried about the fate of Myitsone gathered together at a location overlooking the confluence of three rivers in Myitkyina, Kachin State. A man walked to a podium with the assistance of a friend and said, with tears in his eyes, that the Ayeyarawady River was the lifeline of the whole of Myanmar and it’s endangered and near extinct flora and fauna would be diminished forever if and when the planned Myitsone hydropower dam was built there. The man was U Ohn an eminent environmentalist who loves his country.

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More than a thousand local residents in northern Shan State’s Lashio Township on Saturday staged a protest demanding an end to the arbitrary killing of civilians in the area.

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In an effort to educate the public about its involvement in the peace process, the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF) held a public discussion in state capital Hpa-an.

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The government has formed a high-level “Emergency Management Central Committee” tasked with preventing and mitigating interreligious violence in Burma, according to a statement from the President’s Office.

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After being detained for over two months for allegedly defaming the country’s top leaders on social media, ultra-nationalist provocateur Nay Myo Wai was discharged by a court in Irrawaddy Division on Friday.

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Communities hit hard by the floods and landslides that devastated areas of Myanmar in 2015 will receive assistance for resilient road reconstruction, livelihoods support, and recovery of the agriculture sector as part of the Flood and Landslide Emergency Recovery Project (FLERP). The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved US$200 million of financing for the project, according to a statement released on 14 July.

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Four migrant miners died in a landslide in Phakant that occurred on 12 July, state media reported on 15 July.

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