On The Border


The United States has wound up a special resettlement programme for Myanmar refugees in camps on the Thai-Myanmar border, the United Nations said Wednesday.
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Back-to-back fires that ravaged two refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border—killing one person and affecting 900—have added to mounting pressure on the refugees to return home, amid talks on repatriating them as Burma opens up after half a century of brutal military rule.
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Refugees face increased hardship as funds dry up ahead of their expected repatriation
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Efforts to integrate the children of migrant worker from Burma into the country’s higher education system are bearing fruit, with a threefold increase in the number of Burmese students in Thailand slated to take a 2014 matriculation exam that was administered for the first time earlier this year.
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A human rights organization said some Burmese former political prisoners in Thailand should be resettled in third countries, as they do not want to return to Burma.
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In a further complication of the many-fold issues faced by Burmese migrant workers in Thailand, Burma’s planned opening of border offices that could provide temporary passports to migrants is being postponed, the Burma Embassy said.
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Along with being a bustling business hub of northern Myanmar, the Shan State town of Muse is the site of many crimes. However, because Muse shares a border with China, countless criminals have escaped to Myanmar’s northern neighbor after committing their respective crimes.
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Rice rations for many of the more than 120,000 Burmese refugees living on the Thai-Burma border will be reduced, due to a reduction in funding for a humanitarian organization that has provided food for them for more than two decades.
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The Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot will soon be forced to relocate when its land lease expires.
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As a journalist, Kyaw Zin Moe makes the news every day. But now he is in the spotlight for a different reason: Kyaw, his wife and baby have become the first Myanmar refugee family to be assisted home by UNHCR in Bangladesh.
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A recent study published in Conflict and Health explores the traumatic stress of medics working in low-resource war-affected areas of Karen state, eastern Burma (also known as Myanmar). The study is the first of its kind to document the psychological effects of conflict on health providers in difficult-to-access areas of Burma.
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Siam Cement Group (SCG) on Monday confirmed that it will proceed with plans to build a cement plant in Moulmein which it expects to open in mid-2016.
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The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) has announced that it will meet with the Myanmar government’s Union Peace Working Committee (UPWC) next week to discuss technical details of the peace process.

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More than two dozen migrant schools in western Thailand face closure as international donors continue to slash funding for groups on the Thai-Burma border, a local NGO has warned.

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Hundreds of Rakhine Buddhists have fled Bangladesh to neighboring Myanmar in recent months, alleging that they were persecuted for their faith and felt unsafe living in that country. (more…)

A Burmese migrant labor activist group has been honored with the International Labor Rights Award for its contribution to the labor rights movement and exposing work-related rights violations. (more…)

A little over a week ago, a young Myanmar friend of mine, let’s call him Myo, found himself hiding in some farm fields, avoiding the Thai police while being smuggled from Mae Sot to Bangkok.  Unlike many other undocumented migrants who get smuggled—and sometimes arrested—in this way, Myo had applied for a passport and work permit through Thailand’s legal registration process.  Myo’s situation thus speaks to the dysfunction of Thailand’s current migrant registration system.  But this needs some explanation. (more…)

Prachuap Khiri Khan – Singkhorn temporary checkpoint on the border with Myanmar has been upgraded and will be opened as a new permanent pass on Wednesday. (more…)

Burmese migrants, who have arrived ‘legally’ in Thailand under a bilateral agreement intended to boost labour flows between the two countries, continue to be systematically exploited and abused by their Thai employers, activists have warned.
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Thai border forces are still investigating the cause of a March 22 fire that killed 38 people and displaced over 2,000 more in the Ban Mae Surin refugee camp. According to local police under the authority of Colonel Naruchit, 300 of 400 witnesses have been questioned since the blaze.
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