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Human Rights Defenders Continue to Suffer in Burma

Despite recent political reforms, activists frequently remain the target of violence, torture, abuse, and sometimes even enforced disappearance and extrajudicial killing.

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Chin State Capital Faces Possible Food Shortages Due to Heavy Rains, Landslides

Torrential rains in Chin State’s Hakha have triggered landslides and caused many houses to collapse, blocking roads and leading to concerns of food shortages.

The Irrawaddy Business Roundup (August 1, 2015)

Yoma moves more than chicken as tractor sales soar; Telenor outpaces Qatari competitor; Thai mogul to help build the Myanmar Information Highway.

Burma’s Draft Prison Law is Too Vague to Protect Inmates

The draft Prison Law currently being debated in Naypyidaw dampens hopes that the prison system is about to undergo the substantive reforms it urgently needs.

Among Trio of Party Coalitions, Deals to Avoid Competing Prove Elusive

Burma’s three largest political party alliances look set to enter the Nov. 8 election without any firm commitment to avoid infighting.

Many locals are not pleased by the release of 155 Chinese loggers, claiming that while the sentence was extreme, so is exoneration.

Chainsaw Diplomacy
Ethnic Leaders Renew Push for All-Inclusive Ceasefire Ahead of Early August Talks

Ethnic leaders will not sign a nationwide ceasefire if it excludes certain armed groups, senior representatives reiterated Wednesday after four-day talks.

Cyclone Komen Drenches Western Burma, Expected to Move Northwest

Effects of Cyclone Komen are beginning to unfold as reports emerge of severe flooding and heavy winds in western Burma’s Arakan State.

Actor Min Oak Soe Sentenced to Life for Employee’s Murder

Burmese actor and director Min Oak Soe is sentenced to life imprisonment for the brutal December murder of his former employee, Nu Nu Yin.

Another Sordid Chapter in the History of Karen Factional Conflict

Violence once again flared between rival Karen groups this month, adding another chapter to an ignominious history of factional strife and power struggles.

Heavy Rains Flood Farmland, Shutter Schools in Delta Region

Heavy rains inundate more than 50,000 acres of farmland in Irrawaddy Division, according to state media, with the floods forcing dozens of schools to close.

Jolie’s Plans to Visit Arakan State Dampened by Cyclone

Hollywood film star Angelina Jolie Pitt postpones a visit to western Burma’s Arakan State due to a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal.

Burma Frees Thousands of Prisoners in Advance of Polls

Nearly 7,000 prisoners are granted amnesty, including 210 foreigners, though it is still unclear how many were considered prisoners of conscience.

Report Says Crash Site of Missing Lao Helicopter Found

Search teams in Laos have located the crash site of a Soviet-made military helicopter that went missing this week with 23 people on board, state media says.

India Execution Brings Out Mixed Feelings on Punishment

Though well over a thousand people have been sent to death row in India this century, just four have been executed.

Hong Kong Students Warn of Erosion in Academic Freedom

University of Hong Kong students say academic freedom is under attack in what they maintain is the politically motivated stalling of the appointment of an administrator.

Turkish President Erdogan in Beijing Amid Ethnic Tensions

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with top Chinese officials on Wednesday in Beijing amid tensions over China’s treatment of its Uighur minority.

USDP Offers Glimpse of 2015 Field as Suu Kyi Officially Files to Contend

The ruling party names 149 candidates that it intends to field in Rangoon for the election, while Aung San Suu Kyi officially files for candidature.

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