On The Border


Unity among the Karen people was the theme in nearly all of the ethnic leaders’ speeches on the recent occasion of Karen Revolution Day. It was estimated that over 10,000 Karen people from Burma, Thailand and the rest of the world gathered to celebrate the event.
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Myanmar has arranged security plans to stop illegal entry from Bangladesh, said Colonel Thit San, head of Rakhine State police.
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Who would ever have imagined it – singing karaoke, dancing and joking. This was not some theatre vaudeville event but the closing ceremonies of the bleak, humourless, military-dominated parliament of Myanmar before yielding to a largely democratically elected new parliament.
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Accounts surfaced this week that authorities in Mong La, a special administrative region known as a hub for illicit activity on the Sino-Burmese border, may have executed a Chinese national after he was found guilty of homicide and arson.
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The ban on barter has almost shut down overland trade with India, local merchants say. Since the popular barter system was suspended at the Myanmar-India border post of Tamu, cross-border trade has slumped.
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Two miles north of Muse, on Myanmar’s border with China, a company is negotiating with farmers to buy their land with a view to building a dry port.
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Security forces plan joint patrol on a 30-km stretch in Kabaw valley on the border on a pilot basis.
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As the methamphetamine drug known in Thailand as “yaa baa” spreads among Bangladesh youth, the authorities seized 2.8 million tablets this week in two raids.
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A man was gunned down in broad daylight on Wednesday in Sagaing Division’s Tamu, a township on the border with India, with the shooter still at large.
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Thailand and Myanmar are set to double bilateral trade to between Bt350 billion and Bt420 billion within two years, while also promoting cross-border trade to Bt300 billion, under closer cooperation through the Joint Trade Commission (JTC) and Asean integration.
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Authorities are offering financial help to rebuild damaged homes of nearly 2,000 people after a strong earthquake that struck India’s remote northeast along the border with Myanmar early Monday. (more…)

Road transportation between India and Myanmar got a boost on Wednesday when the Indian cabinet approved the construction of 69 bridges including approach roads on the Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa (TKK) road section of the trilateral highway in Myanmar.
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A powerful earthquake struck northeastern India before dawn on Monday, killing at least four people and injuring nearly 100, though the toll was expected to rise, with rescue efforts hampered by severed power supplies and telecommunication links.
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About 1,800 Kachin internally displaced persons (IDPs), living in makeshift shelters along the Sino-Burma border, are enduring freezing conditions with minimal supplies, aid workers said.
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A Rohingya man was shot and killed by Burma Border Guard Police (BGP) near to Maung Nama Village in Maungdaw North as he was travelling by car from Bawli Bazzar to Buthidaung on 7 December.
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Bangladeshi naval forces detained 92 fishermen in 12 trawlers from Myanmar for illegal angling within Bangladeshi waters in the Bay of Bengal, a regional police official said on Wednesday.
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Refugee camp officials on the Thai Burma are hugely concerned that suicides among camp residents are climbing.
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Maung Maung, a 23-year-old Rohingya Muslim man traveling from Arakan State’s Maungdaw to his home township of Buthidaung on Monday evening, was shot dead by a Burmese Border Guard Police officer, according to an investigating officer and the victim’s father.
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Hakim a mosque committee member said: “The villagers had renovated the mosque and maqtab after they were destroyed by Cyclone Komen that hit Arakan from 29 to 31 July 2015. During that time many houses and paddy fields were destroyed across Arakan State.”
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For refugees from Burma living in camps just across the border in Thailand, a landmark election in their homeland triggers mixed emotions – hope that a hated government will be defeated, and fear of the uncertain future such an upheaval might bring.
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