Press Release


Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, has been the dominant institution in the country for most of its post-independence history. After decades of military rule, it began the shift to a semi-civilian government. A new generation of leaders in the military and in government pushed the transition far further and much faster than anyone could have imagined. Major questions remain, however, about the Tatmadaw’s intentions, its ongoing involvement in politics and the economy, and whether and within what timeframe it will accept to be brought under civilian control. Transforming from an all-powerful military to one that accepts democratic constraints on its power will be an enormous challenge.
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It has been more than 30 months since armed clashes between the Myanmar
government armed forces and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) forces were first
rekindled in 2011, resulting in more than 120,000 IDPs.
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Myanmar-parliament_400Parliamentarians from across Southeast Asia have joined growing calls on fellow legislators in Myanmar to vote down a proposed law that would see restrictions placed on inter-faith marriage in the country.
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Amnesty International: Myanmar: Token and insignificant changes to repressive anti-protest law
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Thailand’s government should urgently send ethnic Rohingya children from Burma and their families to safe and open family shelters. New research documents abuses by Thai authorities, who should take action against camps in southern Thailand used for trafficking Rohingya and punish officials complicit in abuse.
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The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Myanmar Police Force will launch a four-day seminar today in Sittwe, Rakhine state, on international policing standards and the exercise of police powers. This is the first such seminar for police officers at Rakhine state level.
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“Today’s release is of course welcome, but the fact remains that there are many imprisoned for peaceful activism still behind bars in Myanmar. President Thein Sein has promised to release all prisoners of conscience by the end of the year, but time is running out for the government to show that this was not just empty words.”
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The release of 69 political prisoners in Burma today is cause for optimism that the drawn-out persecution of peaceful activists, which reached its apex just a few years ago when up to 2,000 people were locked up, is drawing to a close. Today’s amnesty includes the prominent rights activist Naw Ohn Hla, sentenced recently to two years in prison for her role in protests over the controversial Letpadaung copper mine. Authorities also freed 12 ethnic Arakanese activists sentenced for organizing a peaceful protest against a Chinese energy pipeline, as well as nine people sentenced for staging a protest without a permit in violation of the flawed public assembly law, and ethnic Shan and Kachin alleged to have contacts with rebel groups.
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Sporadic intercommunal violence and continuing tensions mean essential services are out of reach for many in Rakhine state. The ICRC and the Myanmar Red Cross Society are helping the local authorities to rebuild livelihoods for people affected on both sides of the communal divide.
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Burma’s draft associations law fails to meet international human rights standards and should be significantly revised or discarded, Human Rights Watch said today. If passed in its current form, the law would permit excessive government control over civil society groups, hindering freedom of speech and association at the expense of Burma’s reform and development.
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I have just concluded my ten-day mission to Myanmar – my eighth visit to the country since I was appointed Special Rapporteur in March 2008. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Government of Myanmar for its invitation, and in particular for granting me an extended visit this time, which has enabled me to cover more ground than I have done previously during my five-day missions. (more…)

By Delegation of CSO Representatives to Naypyidaw on Draft Association Law | August 4, 2013 (more…)

American companies investing in Burma should not let new US government reporting requirements lull them into complacency on human rights concerns. The US “Reporting Requirements on Responsible Investment” in Burma went into effect on May 23, 2013. (more…)

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

Twenty-third session, Agenda Item 3, General Debate

A written statement submitted by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC), a non-governmental organisation with general consultative status (more…)

PHR today released a report detailing the organized attacks against Muslims that took place in central Burma in late March and resulted in the killing of at least 20 children and four teachers. (more…)

The Asian Human Rights Commission on Wednesday condemned ongoing efforts by the courts and police in Burma to thwart prosecution of an influential person accused of abduction and rape of a child. (more…)

Recommendations in a government-backed report investigating last year’s devastating violence in Myanmar fail to effectively tackle discrimination against Rohingya Muslims and could trigger more human rights abuses, Amnesty International said.
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Burmese authorities and members of Arakanese groups have committed crimes against humanity in a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in Arakan State since June 2012, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.
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The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) urges the European Union (EU) to maintain the current level of sanctions on Burma until the Government of Burma takes further steps to demonstrate its commitment to peace, political reform, and respect for human rights.

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Landmines in Myanmar’s southeastern Kayin and Kayah states and Bago division, and in the northern Shan and Kachin states, threaten the return of more than 450,000 refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). (more…)

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