Burma - The Irrawaddy
Burma’s Upper House Votes to Change Electoral System

Upper House lawmakers opt for a proportional representation system in 2015, to the displeasure of the military, the National League for Democracy and ethnic minorities.

Suu Kyi’s Presidential Bid Not Dead Yet: NLD

A committee will not recommend a crucial constitutional amendment, but it’s ultimately up to Parliament to decide, the country’s biggest opposition party says.

Abbot Lashes out at Govt-Backed Clergy Over Monastery Raid

The former abbot of a large Rangoon monastery blasts the State Sangha over the eviction of his followers Tuesday and claims he owns the monastery.

Burma Jails Another Kachin on Explosives Charges

A 55-year-old village head denies any connection to ethnic rebels, and suffered torture while in the custody of the Burmese military, according to his lawyer.

Parliament Committee Deals Blow to Suu Kyi’s Presidential Hopes

The parliamentary committee guiding the constitutional amendment process will not recommend changes to an article that bars Aung San Suu Kyi from Burma’s top post.

Suu Kyi Meets Critics of ‘Protection of Race and Religion’ Bills

The opposition leader and lawmakers from the Rule of Law Committee meet with civil society representatives lobbying against four bills to “protect race and religion.”

More Than 86,000 Have Fled Arakan State by Boat: UN

The United Nations Refugee Agency says 615 people were reported to have died trying to flee western Burma by boat in 2013.

US Agency Urges Burma to Scrap Proposed Religion Laws

Draft laws in Burma regulating religious conversions and marriages have “no place in the 21st century” and should be withdrawn, a US government agency says.

Outcry Continues Over UN Office Rents in Rangoon

Burmese activists and politicians raise concerns over the high monthly rental fees that Unicef and WHO are paying for their offices.

Japan to Fund New Rangoon Bridge

Construction on a new bridge to connect downtown Rangoon with Thaketa Township will begin next year, according to the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Permanent Residency System for Foreigners by October: Minister

A permanent residency system for foreign nationals will be implemented by October of this year, Burma’s immigration chief says.

Burmese Govt Blacklists Former Activist, Journal Chief

A former 88 Generation leader and the chief executive of the controversial Sun Rays journal have been blocked from returning to Burma.

Mon State Faces Shortage of Teachers for Mother-Tongue Education

The state government invited teachers with university degrees to come forward as the Mon language returns to state-school classrooms after more than 50 years.

Second Human Rights Film Festival to Kick Off Sunday

Burma’s second annual “Human Rights, Human Dignity” international film festival starts over the weekend, with free screenings of 67 documentaries, shorts and animations.

Burmese Trafficking Gang Busted in Thailand

Five Burmese nationals who allegedly trafficked their countrymen into neighboring Thailand are arrested in a joint operation by Thai authorities and Burmese advocacy groups.

Burma’s Buddhist Council, Police Raid Monastery in Land Dispute.

The State Sangha and an abbot dispute the ownership of Rangoon’s Maha Thanti Thukha monastery, which has now been sealed off by authorities.

Burmese Air Force Fighter Jet Crashes: Eyewitness

A military aircraft came down near a village in central Burma, with two pilots ejecting before the crash, according to a witness.

Opposition to Pioneering Coal Power Plant in Mon State Persists

Plans for Mon State’s first coal-fired power plant bog down amid local opposition, despite the fact that the area is off the national electricity grid.

Among the Impoverished Kayan, an Activist Puts Teachers in Schools

Many ethnic Kayan villages in eastern Burma lack teachers for their schools, but Kayan activists are training hundreds of teachers in order to help out.

Burma Joins Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

Burma endorses an international declaration of commitment to end sexual violence in conflict and sends an official delegation to a summit with the same goal.