Regional


More than half a million Myanmar migrant workers are stuck in limbo after Thailand announced over the weekend yet another series of deadlines and registration processes for foreign workers.
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Taiwan is seeking to bring in migrant workers from Myanmar to resolve labour shortages in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, reports CNA on March 9.
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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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Thai stock exchange-listed steelmaker Millcon Plc (MILL) is expected to start its operations in Myanmar next year after being granted a licence to invest in the special economic zones recently, reports the Bangkok Post on March 5.
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When a New York Times editorial in January criticized China’s “wholesale looting” of Myanmar’s natural resources, the Chinese foreign ministry was quick to dismiss the charge as distorted. (more…)

Opposition party members have postponed their planned visit to the People’s Republic of China, citing their tight schedule as the reason for the postponement, party spokesperson Nyan Win confirmed on Tuesday. (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…)

Myanmar must ensure lower temperatures along its border with China and all parties must exercise restraint, a senior Chinese official told a Myanmar envoy, following clashes that have pushed refugees into China. (more…)

The Thai cabinet has endorsed guidelines for the management of migrant workers, agreeing to allow those who complete the nationality verification process by this month to work for another two years after their work permits expire in March next year, according to the Bangkok Post on March 5. (more…)

Violent clashes in Myanmar’s northern Shan state have led to suspensions of some development projects and humanitarian aid. (more…)

Myanmar’s relationship with China has always been uneasy. After Chairman Mao assumed power in 1949, remnants of the Kuomintang fled into northern Myanmar, creating all kinds of problems for the newly independent government that was already dealing with a widespread armed ethnic insurgency. The US eagerly supported the KMT. (more…)

Three local teenagers have been arrested on Koh Samui for the murder of Burmese migrant worker Thet Soe on the Thai island last Friday.
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President U Thein Sein has warned China not to encroach on Myanmar’s sovereignty, as the two sides discuss the crisis on their border following three weeks of fighting with ethnic Chinese rebels in the Kokang area.
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Two Thai construction companies are expected to sign an agreement with the Burmese government to start developing the first phase of the Dawei megaproject.
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(Unofficial Translation)

Myanmar’s civil war started in 1960 when Ne Wen grabbed power, established a military government, denied ethnic groups the right of self-determination and began the Burmanization of the ethnic minorities. Since then, Myanmar has endured a civil war lasting more than 5 decades without any sign of ending. The Burman ethnic group makes up about 2/3 of the 60 million population in Myanmar, with a few large ethnic minority groups including the Shan, the Karen, the Kachin, the Mon and the Wa. There are 25 public ethnic armed groups and more than 10 low-profile ethnic armed groups in the country. In Shan State, there are more than 10 such groups constantly engaged in operations. Some of these groups were descendants of KMT soldiers or of BCP. However, the ones fighting most fiercely with the government military are not those with deep ties in China, but rather the KIA, who have historic U.S. connections and support.  The U.S. has played an non-negligible role in the war between the Tatmadaw and the KIA.
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(Unofficial Translation)

The Myanmar military rallied two forces with air power, canons and armed helicopters to battle the Kokang NDAA which has less than 2000 people. After two months of bombing, wasting a lot of military supplies, and causing civilian casualties, the Tatmadaw still has not achieved its goal. They have created more than 100,000 refugees, half of whom fled into China, affecting border peace and stability. Under great domestic and foreign pressure, the Myanmar government, especially the military, is so ashamed and angry that they want to blame China for their failure.
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The Myanmar Rice Federation’s second deadline of February 27 has passed for companies aiming for permission to export rice to China – but unlike in the first round, no bids were submitted, according to federation joint secretary U Soe Tun.
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A senior Chinese diplomat on Sunday clarified China’s policy toward its neighbor Myanmar since conflict in northern Myanmar has triggered rumors.
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A representative of the United Wa State Army (UWSA), Burma’s most powerful ethnic armed group, on Friday denied allegations made by the Burma Army that the UWSA is involved in the ongoing Kokang conflict in northern Shan State.
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A Burmese Labor Ministry official has warned Burmese migrant workers in Thailand that they should renew their Thai work permits before the permits expire on March 31.
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