News


Despite religious freedom being a tenet of Burma’s Constitution, the US State Department reports that government practices and actions by security forces show that there exists apparent state-sanctioned religious discrimination and violence throughout the country, particularly towards Muslims.
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Senior officials from the United Nations and China have told armed ethnic groups meeting at Laiza in Kachin State that they are ready to assist in efforts to ensure the success of negotiations for a nationwide ceasefire.
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When Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha announced on July 11 that the Thai refugee camps on the Thai-Myanmar border would be emptied, many wondered if there really is new resolve by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to repatriate the 130,000 Myanmar refugees who have been living in Thailand for many years.
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In the minds of Myanmar’s Buddhist extremists, Muslim men are constantly scheming for their women.
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At 20 pages, with seven chapters and about 120 different points, it’s hard not to agree with the international conflict resolution expert who recently called Myanmar’s draft nationwide ceasefire agreement as the world’s lengthiest ceasefire deal.
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The veneer of progress is wearing thin in Myanmar. A year ago, the President of Myanmar, Thein Sein, promised to release all prisoners of conscience. Earlier this year, to mark Myanmar’s Independence Day, the President ordered the release of thousands of prisoners. Now one year on from the promise to release all prisoners of conscience, the promise remains unfulfilled. Even more troubling is the fact that the government is arresting more prisoners of conscience.
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The Burmese government announced it will be offering scholarships for outstanding students who want study under- and postgraduate courses at international universities. It will reportedly be the first time in five decades that the government offers support for Burmese students to study abroad.
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Karenni leader Abel Tweed, who is chairing the last day of talks in Laiza among some 100 ethnic delegates of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), said on Monday that the ethnic alliance was “hoping for the best, but would also prepare for the worst”.
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Concluding a ten-day visit to Burma, the UN’s new special rapporteur on human rights, Yanghee Lee, painted a decidedly mixed picture of the country’s ongoing reform process at a press conference held at Rangoon airport on Saturday evening. She described the conditions in displacement camps across the state as “deplorable,” while noting that she had been advised during her visit to Arakan State to avoid using the word “Rohingya” when addressing the issue.
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Meeting in Laiza for pivotal talks aimed towards signing a nationwide ceasefire agreement, ethnic leaders of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) debated on Friday whether to include the words “revolution” and “revolutionaries” in a draft document when referring to themselves.
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Burma’s leading media bodies have reached a 16-point agreement to protect media workers and ensure that their legal rights are respected.
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Burma’s state-run English-language daily newspaper will from September be renamed and relaunched as
a joint venture with a private company, the newspaper reported Sunday.
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Shan, a 53-year-old farmer, wears a blue-and-white button-down shirt over her patterned longyi, a traditional Burmese wrap. She sits quietly with her family, next to the few belongings they were able to carry when they were forced from their home in April.
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Members of the Burmese media have rejected a message from President Thein Sein to Parliament on Friday, in which he claimed that local and international journalists share blame for outbreaks of anti-Muslim violence that have marred Burma’s democratic transition.
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Ten MPs took to the floor of the lower house of Burma’s parliament on Friday as debate commenced on whether to employ a system of proportional representation (PR) in future general elections.
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China imported 1.87 billion cubic metres of gas through the China-Myanmar gas pipeline in its first year of operation, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) said on Monday, as the pipeline slowly ramps up to full capacity.
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Japan-based Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) is currently conducting a survey to assess which small- and medium-sized business enterprises (SMEs) will be eligible for government loans to help their businesses.
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The illegal logging of rosewood in Myanmar and throughout the region highlights the challenge of preservation in the absence of adequate enforcement.
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Thai junta leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha has given an assurance that human rights principles will be upheld when the time comes to repatriate tens of thousands of Myanmar from refugee camps, the Bangkok Post reported on July 27.
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The Modi government will step up its engagement with Myanmar in the coming month with the visit of foreign minister Sushma Swaraj for her first bilateral engagement with the leadership in Naypyidaw.
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