BURMA - The Irrawaddy Magazine
Protesters Gather at Insein Prison After Presidential Pardon

Five political prisoners are released and dozens more are expected to walk free in early January, but protesters called for their freedom sooner.

Keep Demonstration Permit in Assembly Law: Rights Commission Chairman

The Myanmar Human Rights Commission chairman expresses concern over Peaceful Assembly Law arrests, but says some rules on demonstration permits should remain unchanged.

Govt Reaches Out to Rebel Groups on Upcoming Census

Burma’s immigration minister tries to explain the upcoming national census to the leadership of the country’s numerous armed rebel groups.

Burma Pardons Political Offenders

Burma frees five prisoners and more are expected to be released as part of pledge by to free all political prisoners by the year’s end.

Suu Kyi’s Party to Contest 2015 Elections

The National League for Democracy said it will contest 2015 parliamentary elections even if Burma’s Constitution barring her from running for president is not amended.

For the Kids on Burma’s Streets, a Chance for Education

An organization providing informal schooling for children already out on the streets and working faces difficulties keeping kids in lessons.

In Burma, Facebook Is Increasingly Used for Social Activism

Facebook is hugely popular in Burma and lately the social networking site is also increasingly used for social activism.

Burma’s First ‘TechCamp’ to Take Place in January

Organizers say they want to build connections between civil society organizations and those with technical expertise at the US-backed event.

Cooperative Loan System Dogged By Corruption Complaints

Farmers from Naypyidaw’s Ottarathiri Township accuse officials of nepotism and corruption in implementing the government’s cooperative schemes, highlighting long-standing concerns over the decades-old policy.

Fire Destroys Houses in Mae La Camp on Thai-Burmese Border

Some in the biggest camp on the border, which is mainly home to ethnic Karen refugees, say as many as 170 homes were destroyed by a fire.

Ngwe Saung: A Tourist Paradise at the Expense of the Locals

Local farmers, fishermen and coconut tree owners were moved to make way for hotels built by companies with close likes to Burma’s former military junta.

Extremist Monks Hold Talks Throughout Strife-Torn Arakan State

Buddhist monks of the nationalist 969 movement are holding sermons throughout Arakan State, raising concerns over new outbreaks of violence between Buddhist and Muslims.

In Township Development, Civil Society Seeks a Voice

Community-based organizations in Burma want a greater say in how lawmakers use the US$100,000 they have been allotted for development projects in each township.

DKBA Leader Hospitalized in Rangoon, Seeks Overseas Treatment

Democratic Karen Benevolent Army leader, Gen Saw Lah Pwe, has been hospitalized in Rangoon and is seeking a passport in order to receive treatment overseas.

Aung Min Insists Car Licenses Are Not Import ‘Permits’

The Burma government’s chief peace negotiator deflects criticism over licenses which critics say are intended as an economic perk for ethnic leaders.

Violence in Kachin State Continues Christmas Eve

A renewed offensive against ethnic Kachin rebels in north Burma this week could prolong ceasefire negotiations, Kachin activists and rebel leaders say.

Minister, Ethnic Leaders to Hold Ceasefire Talks in Chiang Mai

Government peace negotiator Aung Min will meet with ethnic leaders in Chiang Mai, Thailand, for several days of talks on drafting a nationwide ceasefire agreement.

Ethnic Traditions Vanishing as Burma Opens Up

Tribal ways – dress, festivals, even languages – passed down countless generations are vanishing as Burma opens its doors wider to the outside world.

Burmese Maids Prepare for Work in Hong Kong

Domestic helpers can move abroad to Hong Kong, the second place after Singapore where the Burma government has allowed them to apply for work abroad.

Police Rescue 56 Burmese Women Trafficked to China Over 11 Months

Burma’s anti-human trafficking police unit, based in Naypyidaw, says a total of 244 trafficking victims were rescued up to November this year.