Burma - The Irrawaddy
Identity Hurdle Snags Tenasserim Mon’s Ethnic Affairs Minister Push

A Tenasserim Division population count finds over 62,000 people identifying as ethnic Mon, but the chance to elect a minister representing them may be missed.

Activists Uneasy Over Special Branch Reshuffle

Politicians express concern over a decision by Burma’s Home Affairs Ministry to bring under its direct control the country’s notorious Special Branch police.

Burma Students Reject Govt Warning to Stop Protests

University students from across Burma reject a government warning that they stop protesting against a new education law that they say curbs academic freedom.

Peace Talks to Continue After Union Day, Bypassing Ceasefire Goal

The signing of a nationwide ceasefire agreement on Union Day is officially off the agenda, after talks between the government and ethnic armies were postponed.

Bagan Named World’s 2nd-Best City in Travel Awards

Bagan may attract even more tourists in 2015 after the city claimed 2nd spot in the “Top City” category of Wanderlust Travel Magazine’s annual awards.

Tourism Ministry Moves to License International Tour Companies

The government will begin issuing licenses for outbound international tour operators starting from this month, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

Week of Protests Planned Against Suffrage for White Card Holders

Nationalist monks and laypeople will stage seven days of protests to denounce a parliamentary decision allowing temporary citizens to vote in a constitutional reform referendum.

Australian MP Pledged to Support Karen Resistance: KNDO Commander

Australian MP Luke Simpkins, who last month made a covert visit into eastern Burma, has conveyed his support to Karen ethnic armed groups.

UN Rights Envoy Rebuffs Foreign Ministry Criticism

Yanghee Lee, United Nations Special Rapporteur for Burma, says that a Foreign Ministry Statement accusing her of infringing upon state sovereignty is ‘hard to comprehend’

$360k Drug Bust in Pa-O Territory, Shan State

Anti-narcotics police seize a major drug haul in the Pa-O self-administered zone of eastern Burma, the fifth such operation since the start of the year.

Govt Vows End to USDP Forerunner’s Branding of Villages

The government says it will ensure that towns and villages that have been branded by the predecessor to Burma’s ruling party are stripped of partisanship.

As Buddha Bar Trial Drags On, Mother Says Charges ‘Difficult to Understand’

The three defendants charged with religious defamation for posting an online image of the Buddha wearing headphones appear in court for the seventh time.

Political Parties Pilot Gender Quotas

Burma is far from reaching gender parity in governance, but some political parties have begun adopting voluntary policies to empower women in Parliament.

After Govt Postpones Education Talks, Students Continue March to Rangoon

Indignant at the government’s decision to delay education reform discussions, students from across the country are preparing to join demonstrators on the march to Rangoon.

Jade Mines Grind to a Halt in Hpakant

Jade mining operations in Kachin State have all but ceased after arson attacks from local prospectors and more fighting between the military and KIA.

Government Chastises UN Rights Envoy for Burma Criticism

Burma’s government condemns the UN human rights envoy to the country, saying many of her concerns are out of touch and “interfere in state sovereignty.”

At Least 10 Dead After Army, TNLA Clash in Mongmit

Three days of fighting has seen casualties on both sides, with the government and TNLA at odds over what caused the outbreak of violence.

Govt Postpones Talks on Education Reform

Burma’s government postpones quadripartite talks on education reform due to recommence in Naypyidaw on Tuesday after questioning whether student participants truly represented their fellow protesters.

New Perspective of Famed Viaduct on Offer

Myanma Railways offers the opportunity to charter a rail gang car across the Goteik Viaduct, a towering 20th century engineering marvel in western Shan State.

Ethnic Bloc Calls for Agreement on Federalism to Mark Union Day

The UNFC calls for an agreement on federalism on Union Day, but maintains it will be “too soon” to sign a nationwide ceasefire agreement.