Burma - The Irrawaddy
US Agency Urges Burma to Scrap Proposed Religion Laws

Draft laws in Burma regulating religious conversions and marriages have “no place in the 21st century” and should be withdrawn, a US government agency says.

Outcry Continues Over UN Office Rents in Rangoon

Burmese activists and politicians raise concerns over the high monthly rental fees that Unicef and WHO are paying for their offices.

Japan to Fund New Rangoon Bridge

Construction on a new bridge to connect downtown Rangoon with Thaketa Township will begin next year, according to the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Permanent Residency System for Foreigners by October: Minister

A permanent residency system for foreign nationals will be implemented by October of this year, Burma’s immigration chief says.

Burmese Govt Blacklists Former Activist, Journal Chief

A former 88 Generation leader and the chief executive of the controversial Sun Rays journal have been blocked from returning to Burma.

Mon State Faces Shortage of Teachers for Mother-Tongue Education

The state government invited teachers with university degrees to come forward as the Mon language returns to state-school classrooms after more than 50 years.

Second Human Rights Film Festival to Kick Off Sunday

Burma’s second annual “Human Rights, Human Dignity” international film festival starts over the weekend, with free screenings of 67 documentaries, shorts and animations.

Burmese Trafficking Gang Busted in Thailand

Five Burmese nationals who allegedly trafficked their countrymen into neighboring Thailand are arrested in a joint operation by Thai authorities and Burmese advocacy groups.

Burma’s Buddhist Council, Police Raid Monastery in Land Dispute.

The State Sangha and an abbot dispute the ownership of Rangoon’s Maha Thanti Thukha monastery, which has now been sealed off by authorities.

Burmese Air Force Fighter Jet Crashes: Eyewitness

A military aircraft came down near a village in central Burma, with two pilots ejecting before the crash, according to a witness.

Opposition to Pioneering Coal Power Plant in Mon State Persists

Plans for Mon State’s first coal-fired power plant bog down amid local opposition, despite the fact that the area is off the national electricity grid.

Among the Impoverished Kayan, an Activist Puts Teachers in Schools

Many ethnic Kayan villages in eastern Burma lack teachers for their schools, but Kayan activists are training hundreds of teachers in order to help out.

Burma Joins Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

Burma endorses an international declaration of commitment to end sexual violence in conflict and sends an official delegation to a summit with the same goal.

Influential Burmese Artist Kin Maung Yin Dead at 76

Kin Maung Yin, one of Burma’s leading contemporary artists, lost a battle with throat cancer on Tuesday and passed away at the age of 76.

Groups Opposing ‘Protection’ Bills to Meet Suu Kyi’s Law Committee

Human rights groups that are against quartet of proposed laws aimed at “protecting race and religion” will meet with Parliament’s Rule of Law Committee.

Rights Group Sounds Alarm on Missing IDPs, Alleges Military Involvement

Two brothers are still missing after disappearing over one and a half years ago from a camp for displaced people in Kachin State.

US to Train Engineers Repairing Burma’s ‘Death Highway’

The US Agency for International Development will help the Burmese government improve safety on the Rangoon-Mandalay highway, which has seen several fatal traffic accidents recently.

US Ambassador Concerned About Death Threats to Burmese Activists

The US ambassador to Burma has raised concerns over reports that women who publicly opposed a controversially interfaith marriage law have been threatened with violence.

TNLA Kills Burma Army Major and 2 Soldiers

The Ta’ang National Liberation Army say they ambushed and killed a Burma Army battalion commander and two soldiers in northern Shan State last week.

Gap to Be 1st US Retailer to Enter Burmese Market

A company executive calls the move “a historic moment for Myanmar” as it begins sourcing products from a South Korean-owned factory operating in the country.