A regional crackdown on human trafficking in Southeast Asia could have an impact on thousands of Bangladeshi migrants and Rohingya, the ethnic group that has been the target of discrimination in Myanmar.
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Thai national police chief Somyot Pumpunmuang has proposed setting up official camps to shelter Rohingya migrants in a bid to regulate the influx of migrants and to deal decisively with human trafficking.
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The massive crackdown on human trafficking networks in Padang Besar is a good sign, reflecting that Thailand’s government is serious about dealing with the problem. However, the illegal activities in Songkhla are just the tip of the iceberg, activists say.
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The refugees fleeing Myanmar, from the Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority, have been persecuted for decades. They have been evicted from their homes and kicked off their land, and attacked by the military and by Buddhist extremists in Rakhine, the western coastal state where they live. Their voting rights were effectively revoked in February. Their government insists that they are in the country illegally, and most neighboring countries refuse to accept them.
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An unusual book launch was held at the House of Media & Entertainment on Yangon’s Bo Aung Kyaw Street on April 25. The title of the book is Vibhajja Echo, and all of the contributors are monks.
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The joint chairman of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) has used a celebration on the Thai-Burmese border to make the case for a federal system of governance and the retention of ethnic armies, after ethnic leaders repeated their desire for constitutional amendments which would devolve power from Naypyidaw.
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A Karen activist has accused the chairman of the Karen National Union (KNU) of failing to act transparently in overseeing the ethnic armed group’s handling of Burma’s peace process.
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Members of a proposed Woman’s Party said they will not bow to the government’s request that they change their name to something “more specific,” arguing that doing so this close to elections would confuse their supporters and damage their support base.
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Aung Min, President’s Office minister and the government’s chief negotiator at peace talks, has said that the signing of a ceasefire deal will not include all ethnic groups, and that only those ethnic armies approved by Naypyidaw will be invited to join the peace process.
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The Burmese armed forces have deployed airstrikes against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in efforts to quell illegal logging in the northern region, according to military-owned Myawaddy TV.
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According to recent interviews by Shan Human Rights Foundation, Kokang refugees sheltering in China remain fearful of return, due to alleged “killings, beheadings and disappearance” of villagers caught returning home.
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Military Supreme Court has acquitted two soldiers unconditionally as the death of freelance reporter Aung Naing (a) Aung Kyaw Naing (a) Par Gyi broke out in their active service, according to Myanmar Human Rights Commission’s announcement released on May 8.
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A book entitled “Political Assassinations that Changed the World” has aroused heavy criticism for featuring Aung San Suu Kyi’s picture alongside deceased leaders.
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The Mon National Party (MNP) and the All Mon Regions Democracy Party(AMDP) will give priority to youths and women to represent their parties in the 2015 general elections.
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Myanmar and Laos formally opened the first-ever friendship bridge across the Mekong River that links Myanmar’s Tachileik in Shan State and Laungnamtha Province of Laos, according to Xinhua May 9.
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After some local banks unofficially received word last week that they would be permitted to issue credit cards, lenders expect logistical hurdles, inexperience and red tape to stall their introduction in the immediate future.
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Tariffs applied to imported goods will soon be valued using World Trade Organisation (WTO) standards, though awareness is low among traders about how this will work, according to experts.
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Villagers who say they have suffered from environmental and economic chaos as a result of a newly built hydropower dam in Pegu Division’s Taungtaunggyi held a protest on Sunday, calling on the government to act.
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U Win Myint had little to celebrate during the Thingyan Water Festival. To accommodate the festivities in nearby Mandalay, the authorities had released an extra or unusual amount of water from the Sal Taw Gyi dam, and in the process flooded U Win Myint’s paddy fields in the Mya Nandar Advanced Farmland district, Pa Thein Gyi Township. U Win Myint spent the Water Festival draining his paddy fields.
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The Thai Cabinet signed two memorandums of understanding on May 9 on the supply of natural gas and energy purchasing deal with Myanmar over the course of 10 years, according to NNT.
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