Burma - The Irrawaddy
Senior US lawmaker: Burma Must Reform Before More Sanctions Easing

Republican leader says Burmese gemstones will remain US sanctioned unless the Constitution’s Article 59 (f), banning Aung San Suu Kyi from the presidency, is amended.

Rohingya in Arakan Suffer Worsening Health Crisis

Members of the Muslim Rohingya community who relied on international aid groups for medical treatments say basic health care services have all but disappeared.

Interim Report Constitutional Reform Committee Lacks Details

An interim report by a parliamentary committee discussing amendments to Burma’s controversial Constitution has failed to shed light on what changes the committee might propose.

Rangoon, Mandalay Universities Get Information Age Boost

Rangoon and Mandalay universities are increasingly wired to the outside academic world thanks to a program that is bringing wide-ranging access to scholarly literature.

Thai and Burmese Officials to Begin Talks on Repatriation

The talks will start on Aug. 1, although the UN refugee agency says conditions in Burma are not yet right for organized repatriation.

Ethnic MPs Skip Lower House Vote on PR System

Ethnic party MPs skipped a Lower House session to protest against discussions on a proposal to introduce a proportional representation electoral system in Burma.

Arakan Govt Softens Stance Toward MSF

The Arakan State government and Burma’s Ministry of Health encourage international humanitarian organizations—including the previously maligned Medecins Sans Frontieres—to work in the state.

Wa Again Absent as Ethnic Groups Meet for Ceasefire Talks

Representatives from Burma’s Wa and Mengla minority groups were invited but are not attending a conference of ethnic armed groups this week in Kachin State.

Burma’s Culture Ministry Vows to Limit Building in Pyu Cities

Following the addition of three ancient cities to the Unesco World Heritage list, the government wants to makes sure construction does not damage the sites.

UN Rights Rapporteur Visits Mandalay

Yanghee Lee, the new UN human rights rapporteur on Burma, met with Mandalay officials and community leaders to discuss the recent outbreak of anti-Muslim violence.

Burma Rep in Canada Says Doing Business With US-Sanctioned Tycoon Legal

Anyone who signed deals with Steven Law during his visit to Canada last month did not break Canadian laws, according to Burma’s honorary consul there.

Burma’s Special Branch Questions Journal Editors

Three editors from the Myanmar Herald weekly are taken in to answer questions, just as the parliamentary speaker intervenes over recent curbs on media freedom.

Burma Transition ‘Not Yet Taken Root’, Threatened by Continuing Abuses: Group

Burma’s transition to democracy, peace and justice is held back by old patterns of rights abuses and repression, warns the International Center for Transitional Justice.

Burma’s Former Religion Minister Hit With Sedition Charge

Former Religious Affairs Minister Hsan Hsint, who is being prosecuted for alleged misappropriation of his ministry’s funds, finds himself facing a sedition charge as well.

Rangoon Court Detains Editors Awaiting Trial for ‘Undermining Stability’

Bi Mon Te Nay journal is accused of defaming the government over a report quoting a statement from activist group Movement for Democracy Current Force.

Tipped as Next Burma Army Chief, Mya Tun Oo Gets Promotion

Lt-Gen Mya Tun Oo, current the chief of staff (army), is reported to be well-regarded by Burma’s former dictator Snr-Gen Than Shwe.

Media Group Criticizes Deportation of Burmese Journalists

A Southeast Asian press watchdog raises concerns after Thailand hands over two Burmese media professionals to Burmese authorities for prosecution.

NLD Urges Less Restrictive Campaign Rules for 2015 Elections

The National League for Democracy calls for changes to recently issued campaigning rules, saying they may not allow for free and fair elections in 2015.

NLD Says 5 Million Sign Petition to Change Constitution

Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party says it has collected about five million signatures seeking reduced powers for unelected military members of Burma’s Parliament.

Landslide Kills 5 Civilians in Kachin Camp

Five people were killed after a landslide hit a camp for displaced Kachin civilians near Laiza, Kachin State, on Tuesday, following days of heavy rain.