Burma - The Irrawaddy
Govt Reintroduces Top Civil Servant Post

Burma’s government is reintroducing the post of permanent secretary, bringing back the old position for the highest civil servant in a ministry.

Murder Probe Opened in Shooting of Letpadaung Farmer: Lawyer

Police reportedly open a criminal probe into the fatal shooting of a farmer at the Letpadaung mine, indicating that authorities consider the case a murder.

Colleagues, activists and admirers remember Win Tin, one of Burma’s most famous champions of democracy, by marking the first anniversary of his death in Rangoon.

Burmese Activist Wins ‘Green Nobel’ for Campaign Against Irrawaddy Dam

Myint Zaw was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for his successful efforts to stop the Myitsone Dam from being built on the Irrawaddy River.

Meikhtila on Edge After Standoff Over Interfaith Couple

Central Burma’s Meikhtila remains on edge after a tense standoff following news that a young Buddhist woman had eloped with her Muslim partner.

Thingyan Brings No Respite in Burma’s Ethnic Conflicts

Fighting flares in the ethnic strongholds of Shan, Kachin and Arakan states, undermining recent claims that Burma’s peace process has turned a corner.

Rebel Summit in Wa Area to Discuss Ceasefire, Decision on Accord to Follow

Twelve ethnic armed groups will convene in Wa rebel area soon, but a decision on endorsing the nationwide ceasefire will be made at another meeting.

Germany Receives US Blacklisted MP for Financial Tour

A US blacklisted lawmaker leads a delegation of Burmese bankers to Germany this week for a study of financial institutions.

Charter Referendum ‘Unlikely’ in May: Ethnic Leader

A nationwide referendum on amending Burma’s controversial Constitution is unlikely to happen in May as a senior parliamentary leader previously suggested, an ethnic politician says.

Water Festival Crimes, Accidents Leave 16 Dead, 356 Injured

Police said a total of 16 people died and 356 others were injured because of traffic accidents and crimes that occurred during Thingyan celebrations.

Charity to Donate 50 Prosthetic Hands

The Dr. Saw Mya Aung Foundation will provide 50 amputees in Burma with prosthetic hands that can seize and hold objects.

UK-Based Burmese Doctor Jailed for Fondling Female Patient: Reports

A 43-year-old married Burmese physician is sentenced to 18 months in prison for fondling a teenager’s breasts in the United Kingdom, British media report.

At High-Level Dialogue, Six Parties Agree to More Talks

Reform talks involving Burma’s biggest political players conclude with the government calling the meeting “a success” and an ethnic leader saying more discussions would come.

Suu Kyi’s Political Skills Tested in Pre-Election Showdown

With an historic election approaching, Burma’s opposition leader is locked in a high-stakes showdown with a military-backed government that she says isn’t interested in reform.

New Rangoon Parking Permit Policy Said to Be Fueling Corruption

A Rangoon Division policy that requires car buyers to arrange a parking permit in advance is reportedly leading buyers to make under-the-table payments to officials.

Thingyan Satirists in Rangoon Set to Defy Govt Censorship Order

Thangyat performers say that censorship has increased in recent years, but officials say restrictions on subject matter concerning ethnic minorities and sensitive topics are needed.

During Water Festival, Burma’s Minorities Celebrate With Diverse Traditions

The Mon, Arakanese and Shan celebrate Thingyan with more than just water-throwing and partying; they also uphold festival food traditions and religious ceremonies.

Government, Kokang Insurgents Dispute Casualties in Latest Skirmish

State media has reported that fresh fighting has killed 10 Burma Army soldiers and wounded a further 62, figures disputed by Kokang insurgents in Laukkai.

Suu Kyi Hopes High-Level Meeting Leads to Fair Elections

The opposition leader meets Friday with Burma’s top leaders, but says the talks will be meaningful only if they lead to credible elections this year.

Ethnic Chin Activist Cheery Zahau to Contest 2015 Election

Cheery Zahau, a human rights educator and long-time advocate for Burma’s Chin community, will seek election with the Chin Progressive Party.