News


A journalist from the Burmese language weekly Popular Journal was reportedly beaten on Mar. 10 by three members of the now-infamous red armband gang in Rangoon, after an attempt to conduct an interview over their role in a violent attack on student protesters outside Sule Pagoda.
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The recent re-sentencing of three prominent Rohingya community leaders in Arakan State and the ongoing detention of two others points to the uneven application of the rule of law in the restive region, their lawyer claims.
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Buddhist monks have prepared a lawsuit against Myanmar’s interior minister, accusing police of using poisonous chemicals to break up a protest in 2012, the monks and a human rights organisation said on Monday.
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Burma’s leading opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), has suspended its Taungoo District chairperson, Sein Tun, for alleged misappropriation of local village funds and donations provided by the party for disaster victims.
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Burma’s President Thein Sein met with leaders of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) in Naypyidaw on Monday.
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The opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) will compete in this year’s general election and try to win a majority in most constituencies, says Nyan Win, spokesperson for the party.
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Western embassies in Myanmar have outlined a comprehensive package of support aimed at helping to ensure that the election due late this year is inclusive, credible and transparent. (more…)

A new political party in Arakan State called the ‘Arakan Patriotic Party, APP’ has registered with the election commission in Naypyidaw.
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Myanmar expressed “deep sorrow” on Monday for the deaths of five people across the border in China’s Yunnan province that it has been blamed for, while Beijing said it was clear Myanmar’s air force was responsible.
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China sent fighter jets to its border with neighboring Burma on Saturday and lodged a diplomatic protest after it said a Burmese warplane dropped a bomb on Chinese territory, killing four people.
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The Myanmar Rice Federation’s choice of companies that will be registered for legal exports to China is receiving criticism from small-scale players as well as large businesses.
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Burma’s Ministry of Health has declared ten brands of Chinese-made medicines prohibited for sale, saying that they are not registered with local health officials. (more…)

Parliamentarians and some student leaders will resume talks today on proposed amendments to the National Education Law, amid suggestions of a split in student ranks.
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Kyaw Min Yu’s first political rally was almost his last.

On March 16, 1988, he joined a group of Yangon students protesting against the military junta which then ran Myanmar. They had reached a lakeside spot called White Bridge when police and soldiers attacked.
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China’s premier, Li Keqiang, delivered his government’s highest-profile warning yet to Myanmar over violence spilling across the border, when he used an annual news conference on Sunday to condemn the deaths of four Chinese farmers he said were killed by a bomb from a Myanmar warplane. (more…)

President Obama has based his foreign policy on the notion that it is better to “engage” than confront hostile nations and that such diplomacy should encourage gradual reforms, rather than revolution or regime change. The results of such outreach to Cuba and Iran are not yet in, but his administration continues to tout Burma as an example of how his strategy can work. There, a once-isolated military regime freed political prisoners and allowed its opposition to participate in a parliamentary election while being showered with U.S. economic and political concessions, including two visits by Mr. Obama. As recently as last month, the State Department’s top official for Asia, Daniel Russel, said Burma could be a model for North Korea: “Change in North Korea does not need to be regime change, as the example of Burma shows,” he said.
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When the government in Naypyidaw looks at the Salween River and other rivers in Burma, they don’t see their beauty: they see Thai baht, Chinese yuan, US dollars and Indian rupees. (more…)

Activists and celebrities packed a Yangon hall of the Free Funeral Service Society yesterday to denounce police violence against students and other protesters in Letpadan and to demand their release from prison. (more…)

Two Burmese journalists were released from a prison in Pegu Division on Friday after being detained for three nights. Nine students were also let go. (more…)

Burmese Buddhist monks have claimed that the government fabricated accounts that appeared in state media, which claimed that those monks detained in the aftermath of the Letpadan student protests had apologised for their actions and promised to avoid political action in the future. (more…)

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