Burma - The Irrawaddy
Commuter Train Service to Begin on Strand Road

The largely dormant Strand Road rail line will be used for a new commuter train service beginning this month, according to Myanmar Railways.

Menace or Myth, Burma Frets Over Rohingya Militant Group

The Rohingya Solidarity Organisation, a Muslim militant group believed to now be defunct, is perceived as an existential threat by many Burmese officials.

Lawmakers Slam Hesitation on Six Party Talks

One day after a presidential spokesman labeled a constitutional roundtable ‘impractical’, lawmakers have criticized the government’s reluctance to hold discussions on reform.

Information Access on Agenda as Media Prepare for Military Meeting

Burma’s Interim Press Council meets with journalists to decide the main topics to be discussed at a first-ever workshop between media members and military officers.

ICRC Sets Record $30m Budget For Burma

The International Committee of the Red Cross announces a record US$30 million budget for work in Burma over the coming year.

Money, Jewelry Pilfered From Famed Inle Lake Pagoda

More than 10 million kyats worth of money and jewelry was stolen from Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda on Wednesday, according to custodians.

Letpadaung Mine Development Risks Further Abuses: Amnesty

Amnesty International has criticised a controversial copper mine project in Sagaing Division, highlighting the practice of forced resettlements and the failure to address environmental concerns.

Burma Constitution Summit ‘Impractical’: Presidential Spokesman

A summit of political leaders proposed by Burma’s parliament to debate constitutional change is “impractical” and unlikely to happen, the president’s spokesman.

Govt Neglecting Student Demands, Mandalay Protestors Say

Student activists in Mandalay say authorities are neglecting the desires of students and teachers despite a sustained campaign of protests against the National Education Law.

Ethnic MPs Select Aye Maung for Proposed Talks on Constitution

Ethnic MPs appoint Aye Maung to represent them at proposed six-member talks on constitutional reform but other attendees, including Thein Sein, are yet to commit.

Suu Kyi Woos Military Lawmakers Ahead of Talks on Constitution

The opposition leader invites military lawmakers to dinner in a bid to build ties ahead of a proposed summit on changing the Constitution.

Attack on KIA a Setback for Nationwide Ceasefire, Negotiators Say

A recent attack on a KIA base is a setback for the nationwide ceasefire process and it seems unlikely a breakthrough can be achieved soon.

Family Worried Over Soldier Held After Signing NLD Charter Petition

The family of an army officer facing military tribunal, allegedly for signing a petition in favor of amending Burma’s Constitution, remains unable to see him.

Steam Train Service to Target Bagan’s Upmarket Tourists

A weekly passenger service from Bagan to Kyaukpadaung and Mount Popa will seek to cash in on the high-end tourism market.

Permanent Residency for Exiles, Foreigners to Start Next Week

Burmese exiles and foreign residents living in Burma for more than one year will be able to apply for permanent residency from Dec. 5.

Supreme Court Rejects Appeal of Unity Journalists

The Supreme Court rejects the appeal by four journalists and the CEO of the Unity journal, who are serving seven years in prison.

Poor and Besieged, Burma’s Arakanese Join Rohingya Exodus

An exodus of Arakanese Buddhists reflects a wider economic malaise in western Burma, where violence recently caused tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to flee.

Former Political Prisoner Allowed to Run For Rangoon Office

Win Cho, a former political prisoner and renowned rights activist, is approved as an eligible candidate for upcoming municipal elections in Rangoon.

Slain Cadets Remembered During Rangoon, Sittwe Services

Donation ceremonies and church services have been held to commemorate the deaths of 23 ethnic army cadets in Kachin State last week.

Students to Protest Education Law in Mandalay

Students will again take to the streets to protest the National Education Law, reiterating a request for a quadripartite meeting to discuss the controversial legislation.