Burma - The Irrawaddy
DKBA Unveils Overture to United Karen Armed Forces

The Democratic Karen Benevolent Army has used the weekend’s Karen New Year celebration to showcase a gesture towards the unification of local ethnic armed groups.

Illicit Trade in Wild Cats Down in Tachilek, Up in Mong La: Report

Illegal trade in Tigers and other wild cat parts from Burma into China grows in Mong La, while the trade into Thailand through Tachilek falls.

Applicants Bemoan Waiting Times After Thai Embassy Changes Visa Processing 

The Thai Embassy in Rangoon lifts restrictions on the number of visa applications it processes daily, but the new system has drastically increased waiting times.

Chin Newspapers Try to Turn Page on Govt Ban

An ethnic-language newspaper shut down by the Chin State government earlier this year resumes publication, while another newspaper is shuttered for a second time.

10 Sentenced in Thandwe for Deadly Religious Riots

Ten people were sentenced on Wednesday for their role in deadly riots between Buddhists and Muslims in Thandwe, Arakan State, late last year.

Teachers Federation Rejects Ministry Plans for Official Unions

The Myanmar Teachers’ Federation says Education Ministry plans to form student and teacher unions violates freedom of association principles and Burma’s own draft labor law.

Rangoon Literary Festival to Showcase Nobel Laureates

Rangoon will host a second international literary festival next month, with 200 locals and up to 15 international writers slated to participate.

YCDC Candidates Doubt Integrity of Municipal Poll

Candidates in next Saturday’s election say that the YCDC has failed to enforce a signage ban and eligible voters have been left off the rolls.

NZ National May Face 4 Years for Insulting Religion: Lawyer

Philip Blackwood and two Burmese nationals, arrested last week after distributing materials considered an insult to religion, was were arraigned at a Rangoon court on Thursday.

Thai NGOs Call for Improved Social Benefits for Migrant Workers

Thai NGOs supporting migrants call on Thailand to reform its social security system so that registered migrant workers can better access social benefits.

Koh Tao Suspects Innocent: Govt Investigation Team

A team formed by the Burmese government to investigate the Koh Tao double murder case says it is confident that the accused men are innocent.

Govt Message ‘Contradictory’ on Return of Exiles: Activists

Activists accuse the government of sending “contradictory” messages for exiles wishing to return to Burma by ostensibly encouraging repatriation while simultaneously hindering that process.

Police Say They Cannot Investigate Company Thugs Attacking ‘Squatters’

Rangoon police say they cannot launch an investigation into attacks by thugs sent by a construction company to drive poor families in Hlaing Tharyar Township away.

Burma Among World’s ‘Top 10 Jailers of Journalists’

Burma has one of the world’s worst records for jailing journalists during the past year, according to an annual prison census by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Rights Groups Call on President to Drop Charges Against Slain Schoolgirl’s Father

Thein Sein has been urged to help end the prosecution of Shayam Brang Shawng, who alleged that the Burma Army killed his daughter in 2012.

Election Chief Under Fire for Raising Prospect of Coup

Politicians slam Union Election Commission chairman Tin Aye for comments he made this week signaling the possibility of another military coup if “instability” threatens Burma.

NLD Member Denied Bail at Religious Offence Trial

Htin Lin Oo has been taken into custody for offending religious sentiment, while outside the courtroom journalists have reported intimidation by nationalist monk demonstrators.

Govt Delays Aid Distribution in Northern Burma: UN

As winter approaches in northern Burma’s Kachin State, some 27,500 internally displaced persons are without assistance such as blankets and clothes, the United Nations said

Presidential ‘Press Corps’ to Improve Media Access

Representatives of independent media will reportedly be allowed to join a press corps that could access the Presidential Palace and high-level public events.

Public Mostly Hopeful About Burma’s Development, Elections: Survey

Survey finds 62 percent of the public are positive about the direction Burma is heading in; 77 percent believe democratic elections will bring positive change.