Refugees


Wang Jia’s life in the northern Myanmar city of Laukkai was the picture of normality. The 40-year-old mother of four watched her 5-month-old son and her three other children. Her husband, a farmer, kept busy slaughtering pigs.
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Thousands of residents have fled their homes in ethnic Ta’ang (Paloung) villages in the mountain ranges near Namhkam Township, Northern Shan State, due to troop movements by government and ethnic armed forces in the area.
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Thai police said on March 31 that they had charged 70 migrants from Myanmar and six Rohingya Muslims with illegal entry after they were arrested on a train bound for a southern province bordering Malaysia.
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A United Nations request to move more than 10,000 “highly vulnerable” displaced Muslims out of two camps in Rakhine State before the onset of the monsoon season has met with a tough response from the chief minister, who said they must first comply with the citizenship verification process.
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When news of the military’s rapid advance filtered through to the sugarcane plantations in the remote reaches of northern Myanmar, Ying Onn and her family made the decision to run.
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A year-long investigation by Associated Press reporters has revealed hundreds of Myanmar migrant workers are being used as slaves on fishing boats in Indonesian waters.
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Refugees in Kokand are accusing Myanmar government troops of gang rape, beatings and shootings of unarmed civilians, in a bid to terrorize the local population since fighting with rebel forces began on February 9, according to Radio Free Asia on March 25.
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Tamalar Paw and Thar Doh are desperate to see peace in their ethnic Karen State—more so, they say, than Burma’s President Thein Sein and the Karen rebel leader Mutu Say Poe.
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The National League for Democracy has been forced to expel more than 8000 members who hold associate or temporary citizenship, but says it will help them get full citizenship if they are eligible so they can rejoin the party.
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More than 1,900 refugees are still living in three internally displaced person (IDP) camps in Meiktila two years after the deadly violence which started there on March 20, 2013.
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The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar today called on the country’s authorities to address ongoing challenges to the democratic reform process “before they undermine the success achieved so far.” (more…)

The United Nations remains committed to helping Myanmar achieve its humanitarian and development needs in order to boost living standards for all its citizens, top UN officials have declared during their visit to the Asian country. (more…)

An ethnic organization has accused the Burma Army of perpetrating human rights abuses in northern Shan State, where fighting over the last several weeks has flared between the government and ethnic Kokang rebels.
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Refugees taking shelter on the Sino-Burmese border after fleeing fighting in northeast Burma’s Kokang Special Region are facing shortage of humanitarian support, according to Kokang lawmakers in contact with them.
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Bilateral meetings have been held over the weekend in both China and Burma aimed at reducing tensions over the ongoing Kokang conflict, state media reported on Monday.
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Stateless Rohingya Muslims in Arakan State were dealt the latest blow to their prospects for obtaining recognition as one of Burma’s ethnic minorities when the government announced last month that their temporary identity cards would be rescinded.
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A Shan Human Rights Foundation spokesperson claims that the Myanmar Army it threatening civilians in the Kokang region of Shan State, according to a report in Karen News on March 6. (more…)

Bangladeshi border guards clashed with a group of illegal migrants who had crossed from neighbouring Myanmar on Friday, before deporting 136 of them, including women and children.
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A total of 2,458 internally displaced people have returned to Laukkai, the capital of Kokang region in northeastern Shan state, as situation there improved, an official report said Friday. (more…)

Tens of thousands of refugees from fighting in the northern Myanmar region of Kokang near the border with China are being evicted from at least two camps in China, reports Radio Free Asia on March 4. (more…)

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