International


Myanmar president’s office spokesman U Zaw Htay said on January 22, that the religious affairs ministry had been asked to look into the “rude and harsh” comments made by controversial monk U Wirathu, but he indicated the government was unlikely to take action. (more…)

Following a stinging rebuke by the United Nations’ human rights chief, Myanmar’s ultranationalist Buddhist monk fired back Thursday, saying he didn’t regret calling a U.N. special envoy a “whore” and a “bitch” after she criticized a bill opposed to interfaith marriage and religious conversions. (more…)

The US has urged Myanmar to investigate the deaths of two teachers who activists claim were raped and murdered by government troops, as crowds gathered in the country’s far north on January 22 to express rising anger over the killings. (more…)

A commentator with America’s influential Council on Foreign Relations has written a column that expresses concern over opinion that the coming national elections could be “waylaid.” (more…)

The international aid group Doctors Without Borders announced Wednesday that it has returned to Myanmar’s troubled state of Rakhine nine months after it was ordered out by the government for hiring members of the long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority. (more…)

A study into the openness of governments to publishing data has found Myanmar ranked bottom out of 86 countries surveyed by a foundation set up by the inventor of the internet. (more…)

Amnesty International has welcomed the release of peaceful activist Dr Tun Aung, jailed for trying to prevent communal violence, but called on the Myanmar authorities to free the dozens of other prisoners of conscience still behind bars. (more…)

A senior US diplomat onJanuary 20 criticised Myanmar’s policies which impose severe restrictions on the Muslim Rohingya community in Rakhine, saying they “oppress” people in the strife-torn state. (more…)

Visiting human rights officials warned Myanmar on Friday that using religion to divide the population is like “playing with fire” and new laws proposed by the government could inflame sectarian tensions. (more…)

Critics have slammed Mr Hugo Swire MP, a junior minister in the UK’s Foreign Office, on January 15, for his failure to provide a robust response to a litany of Myanmar human rights abuses during a debate held in the British Parliament. (more…)

Concluding her second official visit to Burma on Friday evening, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Burma, Yanghee Lee, urged the government to redouble efforts to improve the country’s still-worrisome human rights situation. (more…)

The government has reiterated that there is no longer any need for the United Nations to have a special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, in comments that came as the envoy was making her second visit to the country. (more…)

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a forum of 34 countries which aims to address globalisation issues, released a new report on Burma on Wednesday, part of the group’s ongoing Multi-dimensional Review of Myanmar [Burma] project. Of the latest economic investigation, it says that “overall, the report finds that the need for reform is immense.” (more…)

Rakhine National Party chairman Dr Aye Maung told Mizzima that his party plans to break off relations with all UN organisations because of the bias he perceives the UN to hold in its handling of Rakhine State. (more…)

A US human rights delegation is meeting with Burmese government officials on Wednesday in Naypyidaw for the first of two days of talks, spearheading the continued scrutiny of the human rights situation in Burma by Washington. (more…)

President Barack Obama’s UN ambassador said Monday the humanitarian situation in Burma’s Arakan State continues to deteriorate and virtually no one has been held to account for attacks on minority Muslims. (more…)

EU heads of mission in Myanmar have expressed concerns over pending legislation concerning race and religion in Myanmar.  The European Union has expressed concern over a set of religion and interfaith marriage bills set to be debated in the next session of parliament opening on Monday. (more…)

The United States is hoping to nudge Burma’s quasi-civilian government on stalled reforms during a high-level human rights dialogue, yet expectations are limited as the former pariah nation enters a crucial election year. (more…)

The UN Special Human Rights Rapporteur to Myanmar Ms Yanghee Lee on Friday urged the residents in Rakhine State to accelerate the process of building mutual trust in order that the two communities in the State can co-exist peacefully. (more…)

Finland’s government has defended a project it funded in a conflict-affected part of eastern Burma as “successful” in assisting both villagers and government officials “to make positive changes.” The project, which came under the umbrella of the Norway-backed Myanmar Peace Support Initiative (MPSI), was heavily criticized in a report released last month by the Karenni Civil Society Network (KCSN), an NGO based in Burma’s smallest state. (more…)

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