Naypyitaw


The rector of Yangon University has confirmed he will be retiring at the end of this month, edged out by civil service regulations just prior to an anticipated overhaul of the education system under the amended National Education Law.
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Burma’s President Thein Sein should refuse to sign into law the discriminatory interfaith marriage bill passed by parliament on July 7, 2015, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill targets Buddhist women who marry – or seek to marry – non-Buddhist men and introduces vaguely defined acts against Buddhism as grounds for divorce, forfeiture of custody and matrimonial property, and potential criminal penalties.
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A controversial Burmese marriage bill is discriminatory and risks undermining democratic progress, the European Union (EU) said, after parliament passed the legislation this week in another sign of hardline Buddhist nationalist influence.
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Beijing’s recent courting of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was deliberate and well-calculated. At a time when the political maneuvering in Myanmar is heating up ahead of elections later this year, “The Lady” flew to Beijing in June to meet Chinese president Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People.
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A second raft of proposed constitutional amendments largely met the same fate as a first set of changes put to Parliament last month, with unelected military lawmakers again exercising their effective veto power on Wednesday to block efforts to reform the controversial charter.
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MP Khin Maung Nyo from the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) has submitted an urgent proposal to parliament, urging the government not to change to the retirement age of civil servants, keeping the age of retirement at 60.
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Burmese President Thein Sein vowed on Thursday to “try” to carry out free and fair elections, which will be held later this year.
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The Union Election Commission (UEC) on Wednesday instructed political parties to submit lists of parliamentary candidates for the general election no later than 8 August.
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While some importers follow the rules and set up their own lots, others simply park their wares in empty spots on the street or other public areas until they are able to make a deal.
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A controversial Myanmar marriage bill is discriminatory and risks undermining democratic progress, the EU said, after parliament passed the legislation this week in another sign of hardline Buddhist nationalist influence.
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Myanmar’s parliament is “playing with fire” by passing a bill regulating the right of women from the country’s Buddhist majority to marry men from outside their religion, an international human rights group said Wednesday according to a report by ABC on 8 July.
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Myanmar has ratified the chemical weapons convention, bringing the treaty a step closer to its goal of acceptance by every country in the world.
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Proposed amendments to the 2008 constitution are now up for debate in parliament. After voting on the first six proposed changes on June 25, parliament has continued to discuss a broader range of amendments contained in a second bill. The debate concluded yesterday, after 63 MPs discussed the bill.
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The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the killing of Mr. Johnny.

URGENT APPEAL – THE OBSERVATORY

MMR 003 / 0715 / OBS 057
Assassination
Burma / Myanmar
July 9, 2015

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Burma / Myanmar.
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Local prison authorities in Arakan State’s Buthidaung Township say more than 100 “Bengalis” were released this week after serving the duration of their sentences in connection with violence between Buddhists and Muslims that wracked the state in 2012.
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The Former Political Prisoners Society yesterday requested a presidential pardon for all political prisoners and jailed activists so they can be released ahead of the general election scheduled for November.
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Burma’s Union Parliament on Tuesday passed a controversial bill that critics say would create unnecessary restrictions for marrying outside of one’s faith.
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Following months of public outcry, the government announced on state television Tuesday night that five planned developments in Rangoon will be cancelled.
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Debate on key amendments to the constitution continued yesterday with the military warning that decentralisation would lead to a worsening of armed conflict.
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Highly anticipated parliamentary elections considered a key test of Myanmar’s reforms will take place on November 8, according to an official announcement of the date made yesterday by the Union Election Commission (UEC).
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