Military


Which should come first: the nationwide ceasefire or political dialogue? This is not a chicken-and-egg question. We are having this debate because the politics of the 2015 elections are impacting the peace process.
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Several thousand civilians have returned to their villages in and near the Kokang region in recent weeks but a renewed offensive by government forces close to Myanmar’s border with China has prompted another exodus of refugees, the World Food Programme (WFP) said yesterday.
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A court hearing into the death of a journalist while in military custody in October 2014 heard testimony from his widow yesterday, but was overshadowed by the revelation that the soldiers who shot him had already been acquitted by a military tribunal last year.
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Three Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) volunteers who were victims of ambushes on aid convoys in February in northeast Burma will receive the Presidential Award for Excellent Performance on Friday.
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An elected Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) member has attacked the Myanmar Ports Authority (MPA) on his Facebook site for renting out a prime location to a retired army officer at a knockdown rate. (more…)

The joint chairman of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) has used a celebration on the Thai-Burmese border to make the case for a federal system of governance and the retention of ethnic armies, after ethnic leaders repeated their desire for constitutional amendments which would devolve power from Naypyidaw.
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A Karen activist has accused the chairman of the Karen National Union (KNU) of failing to act transparently in overseeing the ethnic armed group’s handling of Burma’s peace process.
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Aung Min, President’s Office minister and the government’s chief negotiator at peace talks, has said that the signing of a ceasefire deal will not include all ethnic groups, and that only those ethnic armies approved by Naypyidaw will be invited to join the peace process.
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The Burmese armed forces have deployed airstrikes against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in efforts to quell illegal logging in the northern region, according to military-owned Myawaddy TV.
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According to recent interviews by Shan Human Rights Foundation, Kokang refugees sheltering in China remain fearful of return, due to alleged “killings, beheadings and disappearance” of villagers caught returning home.
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Military Supreme Court has acquitted two soldiers unconditionally as the death of freelance reporter Aung Naing (a) Aung Kyaw Naing (a) Par Gyi broke out in their active service, according to Myanmar Human Rights Commission’s announcement released on May 8.
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Burma’s Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing visited President Mamnoon Hussain of Pakistan last week, when the pair discussed closer military relations and bilateral trade.
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According to recent interviews by SHRF, Kokang refugees sheltering in China remain fearful of return, due to killing, beheading and disappearance of villagers caught returning home.
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Farmers want permission to grow crops on 600 acres of farmland to the south-east of So-Hlar-Ku village in Phruso Township, that Burma Army Battalion 531 confiscated 20 years ago, said Ko Tureh a farming affairs activist.
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Seventeen people from the townships of Minbya, Rathedaung, and Kyauktaw in Arakan State were put on trial on 4 May, accused of being involved with the Arakan Army (AA) and remanded in custody.
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Armed soldiers were amongst a delegation from the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) that arrived in Loikaw on Thursday for talks with Burmese military representatives, despite an order from government authorities that troops must not enter the town or travel outside their designated territory with weapons.
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Hopes that the government and leaders of armed ethnic groups would finalise a nationwide ceasefire agreement this month appear to be fading after talks hosted this week by the United Wa State Army (UWSA).
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Opinions on amending Burma’s controversial Constitution are divided as parliamentarians prepare to reconvene on Monday, with charter reform likely to be a major subject of debate during the next legislative session.
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In a surprise move, Burmese President Thein Sein has held a series of informal meetings with ethnic leaders during a visit to the Shan State town of Kengtung, according to pictures posted on the Facebook page of Information Minister Ye Htut.
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The European Union (EU) ambassador to Burma, Roland Kobia, told journalists in Rangoon on Thursday that the EU regretted the events in which riot police cracked down violently on students’ protests in Letpadan in March, but denied that the EU was responsible.
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