The Union Parliament passed the National Education Law on Sep 30, amidst strident opposition from student unions and education professionals. (more…)

Burma’s emerging renewable energy sector is still undeveloped and lacking in government support, while about 65 percent of the country’s rural population is living outside of the national power grid. Many isolated communities meet their own energy needs with independently provided biomass, solar projects and small-scale hydropower. Often this assistance is supplied by non-governmental organizations focused on sustainable rural development, not from state institutions. (more…)

On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama arrives in Burma for his second diplomatic visit in as many years. In advance of the Asean and East Asia summits in Naypyidaw, Obama answered questions from The Irrawaddy correspondent Lalit K Jha about his visit, the reforms of the past three years and the future of Burma’s democratic transition. (more…)

On Wednesday and Thursday, Burma will host the 25th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit and the East Asia Summit in the capital Naypyidaw. Top leaders from across Asia will attend, as will US President Obama and Russian Prime Minister Medvedev. (more…)

Import restrictions under the previous military government ensured car prices in Myanmar were among the highest in the world. Now, under the current quasi-civilian government which took power in 2011, restrictions have eased and car prices have fallen dramatically. Legislation has, however, often been less than clear, as car import policies have been frequently changed. The Irrawaddy’s Kyaw Hsu Mon spoke with Soe Tun, director of Farmer Auto Showroom and a member of the Automobile Dealers Association, on the state of the country’s car industry. (more…)

Obama will attend the East Asia Summit and the US-ASEAN Summit in Naypyidaw, where he will meet with Myanmar’s President Thein Sein. He is also scheduled to meet opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi later in the week. The visit is part of the US president’s six-day trip to Asia-Pacific, which includes stops in China and Australia. (more…)

Mizzima News
‘Census data can empower all communities’ – Hans Hulst

Myanmar’s first census in more than 30 years, which took place from March 30 to April 10, was not without criticism but occurred relatively without major incident. The United Nations Population Fund had the responsibility of providing technical assistance to the government for the population count. The first batch of provisional results was released in August and the complete details are due to come out in May 2015. Mizzima Weekly’s Hans Hulst sat down with the UNFPA’s country representative, Janet Jackson, for a wide-ranging interview that covered the census process and the challenges ahead. (more…)

John Sifton is the Asia Division Advocacy Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), based in Washington DC. He has covered South and South East Asia for HRW since 2001, and conducts advocacy with the White House, State Department, Congress and the Pentagon.

As an activist U Robert Sann Aung has seen many jails from the inside. His opposition to the former military regime landed him ten years in the “black house”. He began practising law in 1981 but his licence was revoked in 1993 and it was another nineteen years, until July 9, 2012, before he was allowed to practise again. U Robert Sann Aung has since appeared in more than 60 cases, most of which have been political, with the most prominent being the case against four journalists and the chief executive officer of Unity Journal. (more…)

A group of politically minded women in Mon State recently formed a party to contest the general elections in 2015, with the express goal of securing more seats for women in both houses of Burma’s Parliament. The Women’s Party applied to the Union Election Commission (UEC) in Naypyidaw on 14 Oct. to register as a political party. (more…)

The exiled Burmese activist Aung Din recently returned to his native country for the first time in 16 years. Many formerly exiled activists have returned since President Thein Sein’s government began introducing political reforms in 2011. (more…)

Efforts to sign a nationwide ceasefire appear to have stalled in recent months, despite several meeting between ethnic leaders and the government, raising concerns about Burma’s peace process prospects. (more…)

Karen News spoke exclusively with General General Baw Kyaw Heh, the Karen National Liberation Army’s Vice-Chief of Staff, explains about what the alliance between four Karen armed groups and what lies behind the recent outbreak of fighting.

Sebastien Hie, Regional sales director, Orange (more…)

Dr Nyo Nyo Thinn
Independent Yangon Region Hluttaw MP (more…)

“The Monk,” a film about a novice weighing the choice between monastic and lay life, has earned the respect of international audiences and brought greater world exposure to formerly hermetic Burma. (more…)

Burma has one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in Asia; UNAIDS estimated that about 190,000 people in Burma were living with HIV in 2013, and that about 11,000 died that year from the incurable illness. The country’s overloaded and under-resourced health system—Burma spends less per capita on health care than any other nation in the world—offers minimal assistance for HIV-positive patients, who also suffer from severe social stigma. (more…)

The Tatmadaw’s release of 109 child soldiers on September 25 was the largest since the government and the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting on grave violations against children (CTFMR) developed an action plan on the issue in June 2012. (more…)

U Thein Swe, who was a senior Military Intelligence officer, was sentenced to more than 100 years in prison in April 2005, under claims of corruption. (more…)

The Myanmar Times speaks with Maybank’s Pollie Sim after it was announced the Malay outfit won one of the coveted foreign banking licences. (more…)

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