Burma - The Irrawaddy
Uncertainty, Concern Surround Thai Govt Headcount of Refugees

Thai military orders a headcount in camps to prepare for repatriation, but refugees, NGOs and the UN are kept in the dark about the plans.

Ethnic Ceasefire Team Concludes Laiza Summit

Members of ethnic rebel groups’ Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team say they are ready to take the results of their talks to other peace process stakeholders.

Burma’s Information and Health Ministers Step Down

Burma’s ministers for information and health have been allowed to retire, state television reports, in the country’s second cabinet reshuffle in two months.

‘President’s’ Scholarships to Support Burmese Wanting to Study Abroad

For the first time in five decades, the government will offer scholarships for outstanding Burmese students who want study at international universities.

Burma’s Lower House Forms Committee on Proportional Representation

The speaker announces that a new body will review the electoral system after three days of heated discussion among lawmakers in Naypyidaw.

Govt Disagrees With UN Rights Envoy’s Burma Concerns

A Burmese government official pushes back against a UN statement in which its special rapporteur to Burma warned that the country risks backtracking on reforms.

Police in Shan State Seize Valuable Haul of Opium, Guns

A special drug squad in Tachileik claims the biggest bust of the year after stopping a pickup truck full of drugs and weapons.

Emergency Response Teams Deployed on Burma’s ‘Death Highway’

A rapid-response emergency services hotline is now available for drivers along the so-called “death highway” linking Rangoon and Mandalay.

Military MP Blames Sanctions for Opium Cultivation

A military representative in Parliament’s Upper House blames Burma’s growing opium woes on poverty induced by economic sanctions, according to state-run media.

New Zealand PM Welcomes Burma Reforms, But Constitution an Issue

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said Burma’s reform process has been “important and progressive,” but added that the country’s undemocratic Constitution remains an issue.

Australian Universities Court Burmese Students

Australian universities hope to draw more Burmese students to study in their country, with the land down under holding its first education exhibition in Burma.

Authorities Relax Mandalay Curfew

Mandalay authorities shortened the night time curfew with one hour, ordering residents to stay indoors from 10 pm to 3 am.

Burmese Govt Reversed MSF Ban Because of ‘International Pressure’

The medical NGO was last week invited to return to Arakan State after it was expelled over alleged bias in favor of Rohingya Muslims.

Three Escapees Shot Dead in Failed Kyauk Mae Jailbreak

Police officers were also injured when detainees faked a fight in order to escape from a police station in northern Shan State.

President’s Claim That Media Instigated Religious Violence Draws Ire

Burmese journalists reject President Thein Sein’s message to Parliament, in which he claims that “unethical” media share blame for the recurrent outbreaks of anti-Muslim violence.

‘Global New Light of Myanmar’ to Launch in September

The Burmese government mouthpiece will become a joint venture and transform into “a free and public centered media,” the information minister says.

UN Burma Envoy Worried Over Displaced Muslims

The new UN human rights envoy for Burma makes her first visit to the country, where she toured troubled Arakan State.

Opponents Seek to Halt Dam Construction on Salween River

Activists, researchers and environmentalists from Burma and Thailand meet to find a way to stop hydropower dams planned on Burma’s section of the Salween River.

Mon Activist Wins Asian Women’s Award

The women’s rights activist Khin Khin Kyu wins the N-Peace Award for her efforts to advance the rights of ethnic minority women in Burma.

Chin Activists Sentenced to Fines for Protest Against Alleged Rape Attempt

A court sentenced eight Chin rights activists to a US$30 fine for holding an unauthorized protest over an alleged rape attempt by a government soldier.