News


A joint session of Burma’s Parliament on Thursday voted in favor of an immediate tripling of salaries for national level lawmakers. With the decision parliamentarians ignored a revision to the bill by President Thein Sein that would have introduced the sharp pay rise gradually. (more…)

An MP in Burma’s parliamentary lower house raised a formal question on Wednesday, inquiring what the government can do to help local merchants and farmers in northern Shan State who have been left without payment by Chinese trade partners. The unpaid amount total hundreds of millions of kyat. (more…)

The plunge in global oil prices in recent months has proven to be good news for Burmese consumers, but is shrinking profit margins for the country’s crude exporters, industry observers told The Irrawaddy this week. (more…)

Following a stinging rebuke by the United Nations’ human rights chief, Myanmar’s ultranationalist Buddhist monk fired back Thursday, saying he didn’t regret calling a U.N. special envoy a “whore” and a “bitch” after she criticized a bill opposed to interfaith marriage and religious conversions. (more…)

The US has urged Myanmar to investigate the deaths of two teachers who activists claim were raped and murdered by government troops, as crowds gathered in the country’s far north on January 22 to express rising anger over the killings. (more…)

A commentator with America’s influential Council on Foreign Relations has written a column that expresses concern over opinion that the coming national elections could be “waylaid.” (more…)

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi must have greeted the New Year with some anticipation, and trepidation: 2015 is when her hopes to lead Myanmar will be put to the test. All the battles, campaigns and strategies have been leading towards a chance to get in the ring for a proper electoral showdown. (more…)

The transition to a “discipline flourishing” democracy initiated by the former military regime in 2003 when then Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt unveiled its roadmap to democracy – that he has reportedly said privately was based on plans drafted in 1993 – is on the surface slowly bearing fruit. (more…)

Wirathu is in the news again. But this time, even some of his followers feel that the nationalist Buddhist monk went too far when he called a visiting UN rights envoy a “whore” and a “bitch” in a recent public speech. (more…)

A Burmese Buddhist monk who called a UN human rights envoy a “whore” has violated his monastic code and could damage his religion, another prominent monk said on Tuesday, but he is unlikely to face censure. (more…)

The Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) said on Wednesday that a national peace accord is unlikely to be signed next month without further meetings between ethnic army representatives and the government. (more…)

Burmese authorities continue to investigate the case of two female schoolteachers who were found brutally murdered on Tuesday at a village in northern Shan State. (more…)

Mandalay Division Court on Wednesday said it will hear arguments from a lawyer representing farmers from Sint Gu Township in order to decide whether to accept a case against police officers accused of firing at farmers during a protest over a land dispute. (more…)

Five activists who have been detained for their role in a protest in front of the Chinese embassy in Rangoon last month made another appearance in court in Dagon Township on Tuesday. (more…)

Three inmates escaped from Henzada prison in Irrawaddy Division on Wednesday morning. (more…)

President Thein Sein has continued to defer on six-party constitutional reform discussions, handballing the proposal back to the legislature with a statement issued to the Union Parliament on Monday. (more…)

A parliamentary drafting committee on Tuesday rejected President Thein Sein’s revisions on a plan to raise government salaries, according to lawmakers. (more…)

The Thai government has decided not to implement a mooted plan to get prisoners to work on fishing vessels in the wake of criticism of the idea by labour and human rights groups, according to a recent press release from the Thai foreign ministry January 19. (more…)

Thai investment in Burmese natural gas development might be curtailed because the army generals running Thailand are worried about dependence on supplies from its neighbor, according to reports. (more…)

Minister of Commerce Win Myint has said that the volume of goods being smuggled across Burma’s borders with China and Thailand is on the rise, despite recent efforts by authorities to crackdown on the rampant, unregulated trade. (more…)

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