2012 PDF Print E-mail
Obama springs surprise trip to Burma. By Lindsay Murdoch. Sydney Morning Herald, November 10, 2012. President Barack Obama has surprised the world by choosing to go to Burma two weeks after his re-election, the first trip by a US president to a nation emerging from five decades of repressive military rule. The trip will have enormous symbolic importance for Burma, also known as Myanmar, where President Thein Sein has overseen dramatic reforms and where the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been allowed to become opposition leader and a member of parliament. Click here

In search of my home. A film which covers a journey with a Burmese and an Afghan family in New Delhi, as it explores the complexities in their everyday battle for survival. Weaving their emotional stories of hope and despair, love and loss, the film uses live-action, photography, music and text narratives to tell a story that is absent from India's collective conscience. This film was made by Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas as part of the Infochange Media Fellowships 2009. Click here Skilled Burmese Have Duty to Return: 88 Gen. By Lawi Weng. The Irrawaddy, November 9, 2012. Burma‘s future prosperity is under threaten from a severe skills shortage and so educated nationals living abroad should return to help develop the country, says 88 Generation Students leader Min Ko Naing. The 50-year-old activist, who spent 24 years in prison for his role in peaceful democracy demonstrations, made the comments in a Facebook video published on Thursday. “Your motherland and your country is suffering and under threat from a lack of education,” he said. “You must all sympathize with your countrymen who have no education. Click here

Gov’t to resettle refugees in Arakan state: Burmese FM. Democratic Voice of Burma. AFP, 6 November, 2012. Burma is working to resettle tens of thousands of people displaced by communal bloodshed in western Arakan state as soon as possible, the country’s foreign minister said on Monday. “The priority of the government for the present moment is to resettle and rehabilitate those victims who are homeless,” Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin told AFP on the sidelines of an Asia-Europe summit in Laos. Click here

Dialects from Chin State taught in Australia. Chinland Guardian, 6 November,2012. New classes to study Zomi, Falam and Matu dialects of Chin State, Burma have been opened at the Victorian School of Languages (VSL) in Melbourne, Australia. The face-to-face classes are made available with the help of the Ministry of Education and Early Childhood programme. Click here

Kaladan project resumed in Chin State. Chinland Guardian, 3 November 2012. Preparation of work on the Indo-Burma multimillion dollar Kaladan project is underway since last Thursday after a break during the rainy season as a group of Indian engineers arrived in Paletwa town of Chin State on 31 October 2012. … The Arakan Rivers Network said it is anticipated that the transport system will remain fully owned by the Burmese state, but be primarily used by Indian companies to increase trade with Southeast Asia and link the land-locked Mizoram region to the sea. Click here

73 Chins to be repatriated by Mizoram Government. Chinland Guardian, 31 October , 2012. India's Mizoram government said it will soon send 73 persons of 11 households, identified as foreigners, residing in Saikhumphai village of Champhai District back to Burma. Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Champhai District with other government officials made a decision at a meeting held yesterday, saying 11 out of a total 52 households in the village are Burmese nationals and therefore be pushed back to their own country. Click here

Burmese refugee women in India: Victims and agents of empowerment. By Sheena Kumari. In Peace Prints: South Asian Journal of Peacebuilding, Journal of Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace. Focuses on issues of resettlement, cultural adaptation, adjustments of belief systems and gender roles, sexual and racialised violence and their subsequent political and economic mobilisation. Click here

Ethnic violence in Burma leaves dozens dead. Sydney Morning Herald, October 26, 2012. By Lindsay Murdoch. A new wave of ethnic violence in western Burma has left dozens of people dead and almost 2000 homes destroyed as the US called for Burmese authorities to take immediate action to halt the violence. Bangladesh has mobilised patrols along its borders amid reports of dozens of overcrowded boats putting to sea carrying people fleeing the violence. … [and has] stepped up vigilance to make sure they can’t enter. At least five people died in the clashes between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya in the town of Minbya, a local government spokesman said. Click here

Help from afar brings a degree of inspiration. Sydney Morning Herald, October 27, 2012. By Benjamin Preiss. A town on the Thai-Burma border populated with thousands of refugees from nearby camps might seem an unlikely place for a university graduation ceremony. ... The students were the first Burmese refugees to complete degrees through a project by Open Universities Australia, which is offering online courses from Australian universities to residents of refugee camps. Click here

Only Sickest HIV Patients in Burma Get Drugs. By Margie Mason. The Irrawaddy. October 22 2012. RANGOON—Thein Aung has been trained not to show weakness, but he’s convinced no soldier is strong enough for this. ... Although Thein Aung is ill enough to qualify for HIV treatment in other poor countries, there are simply not enough pills in Burma. Only the sickest of the sick are lucky enough to go home with lifesaving medicine here. The others soon learn their fate is ultimately decided by the number of infection-fighting cells found inside the blood samples they give every three months. ... Of the estimated 240,000 people living with HIV, half are going without treatment. And some 18,000 people die from the disease every year, according to UNAIDS. Click here

‘Living in fear’ in Arakan state. Democratic Voice of Burma. October 19 2012. Barbed wire and armed troops guard the Muslim quarter of a violence-wracked city in western Burma, a virtual prison for the families that have inhabited its narrow streets for generations. Click here

Suu Kyi: wins and losses. Mizzima News, by Myat Thu Pan. Thursday 18 October 2012. The big win was the outpouring of accolades, tributes and adulation from the UN, Americans all over the nation and by the Burmese diaspora. She reaped tributes for all her sacrifices and steadfast defence of freedom for all Burmese, and she deserves it all without a doubt. Her loss is Khun Htun Oo, the Kachins and the ethnic groups and their regard for her. This is much much more crucial. Click here

Bleak prospects for Chin refugees in India. By Amelia Shepherd-Smith, IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis. 21 June 2012. In a slum in New Delhi, the Indian capital, Chhery Lem, 37, from the Chin ethnic minority group in Myanmar, recoils at the stench from a broken sewage pipe in the rundown apartment block where she and her three young children live with numerous other refugee families. In the evening, she will go to the night markets and scavenge for vegetables among those the market sellers have discarded on the ground. Click here

Crowd welcomes prominent Chin exile at Rangoon airport. Chinland Guardian.com. 10 October 2012: A crowd of over 200 ethnic Chin and Burmese news crew packed Rangoon international airport this afternoon to greet Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong, a prominent ethnic leader who returns for a short visit to his native country after spending the last two decades in exile. Click here

Suu Kyi Calls for Ethnic Rights in First Debate. The Irrawaddy, July 25, 2012 . Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for laws protecting the rights of ethnic minorities during her first parliamentary debate in Burma’s Lower House on Wednesday. Click here

No end in sight for Kachin conflict. Democratic Voice of Burma, 14 June 2012. Click here

Q&A: Unrest in Burma's Rakhine state. BBC News Asia. 11 June 2012. A state of emergency has been declared in the western Rakhine state of Burma, after deadly communal clashes. The BBC News website explains what lies behind the latest unrest. Click here

Suu Kyi warns against Burma optimism. Sydney Morning Herald. June 2, 2012. Among more than 600 world leaders and business delegates from 50 countries there was only one star: a slightly built 66-year-old former political prisoner making her first appearance at a major international event in 24 years. As the World Economic Forum on East Asia focused on such heady subjects as the economy, dark-suited delegates pushed to shake the hand of Aung San Suu Kyi, the woman known fondly as ''The Lady,'' whose appearance at the Bangkok event this week marked another milestone in Burma's peaceful transition from an isolated backwater. Click here

In Thailand, Burmese Workers Call Out to ‘Mother Suu’. New York Times. May 30 2012. When word got out that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the long-imprisoned democracy campaigner, would visit this gritty town on the Gulf of Thailand, the mood became electric in the massive fish and shrimp processing plants where some Burmese eke out a living and where she is a heroine to many. Wednesday was Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s first full day outside Myanmar in 24 years, and for a woman who has sacrificed her family life to bring democracy to her people, it seemed fitting that she began the day among the downtrodden. Click here

Delhi plays reluctant host to Myanmar's nowhere people. The Times of India. May 26, 2012. Hands clasped behind his back, Nazeer Ahmad stands stiff. He's in a lungi, kurta and skullcap at the edge of a huddle of men speaking to a reporter in the shade of a barely-there tin sheet propped up on bamboo stilts. ... "The UN has wronged us," he says. "The UN has given refugee status to all other Burmese refugees but for us. It says India doesn't allow it. Why?" ... Ahmad is a Rohingya Muslim, one of an estimated 4,000 now in India's cities. Click here

Rohingya Appeal to Suu Kyi. The Irrawaddy. May 24, 2012. An exiled Rohingya activist last night appealed to MPs and to National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi to assist the almost 2 million Rohingya living in Burma and elsewhere. The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic minority living mostly in western Burma’s Arakan State where they are denied Burmese citizenship, and subjected to various forms of discrimination: they generally have to wait two to three years for permits to marry; are usually prohibited from leaving the village where they live; and are subject to human rights and other abuses by local civil and military authorities. Click here

Suu Kyi sworn in, vows to keep true to her vision. Naypyidaw, Burma. Sydney Morning Herald. May 3, 2012. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been sworn in to Burma's military-backed parliament, taking public office for the first time since launching her struggle against authoritarian rule nearly a quarter of a century ago. Click here

Chin Refugees Coexist and Survive in India. By Project Maje. The Irrawaddy. April 28, 2012. A photographic exploration of the journey to India taken by many Chin people fleeing human rights violations and severe food insecurity. Click here

It is too soon to celebrate Burma's fragile democracy. Thein Sein may be making all the right noises, but huge problems such as violence and corruption still threaten reform. By Simon Tidsall. The Guardian. Thursday 22 March 2012. Click here

The Burma question: is reform possible after 50 years of military control? By Anthony Ware, Research Fellow in International Relations, Deakin University. The Conversation. March 2, 2012. Click here

Chin National Day Celebrated. By Zarni Mann. The Irrawaddy. Tuesday, February 21, 2012. A community hall in West Delhi is buzzing with Chin refugees dressed in colorful traditional costumes. Smiles light up the faces of everyone—young and old. The air is alive with traditional songs as the 64th anniversary of Chin National Day is celebrated. Click here

Trouble brews as Burma turns to world markets. By Nancy Hudson-Rodd. 8 February 2012. Democratic Voice of Burma. The Burmese delegation to the UN in Geneva complained last year that some countries refused to show due respect to them by speaking of Burma, not Myanmar. Now most diplomats and news reporters refer to ‘Myanmar’, rewarding the regime with their respect for so-called positive change. Is this respect justified, or are we suffering from selective amnesia? Click here

Reforms look uncertain as no reconciliation takes place in Burma. By Zin Linn. 8 February 2012. Asian Correspondent. Several citizens of Burma are still skeptical on government’s reform process. Most observers believe the situation is in a state of insecurity seeing that the conventional faction and moderate group in the cabinet are struggling for muscle. On the surface, it looks like change started since government introduces reforms by letting some political space for Aung San Suu Kyi. In fact, reforms in the country continue uncertain, even with hopeful achievements made by President Thein Sein recently. Click here

NLD AIDS activist to run for Parliament. Tuesday, 07 February 2012. Mizzima News. Phyu Phy Thin, who has worked in an HIV/AIDS shelter programme in Rangoon for 10 years, knows what it’s like to be at the bottom end of Burma’s limited health care system. …. She now runs a centre providing medicine and counciling for HIV patients in Rangoon. …. Soon, if she is elected to the Burmese Parliament as one of the NLD candidates, she can speak out through the voice of experience in calling attention to the needs of the have-nots in Burmese society, particularly AIDS patients who are often shunned and misunderstood. Click here

UN counts 55,000 displaced Kachin. By Ko Htwe. 6 February 2012. Democratic Voice of Burma. The number of people forced to flee their homes by fighting in Kachin state rose to 55,000 in January, while new areas of displacement have been reported both in Kachin and northern Shan state, where the conflict spread to last year, the UN says. .... It warns of dwindling aid supplies in the nearly 90 makeshift refugee camps that have sprung up in the northern state since June last year. Click here

Before the gold rush: Burma braces for march of the multinationals. By Jason Burke. The Guardian (UK). Tuesday 31 January 2012. As foreign investors get ready to strike it rich once sanctions are lifted, Rangoon's poorest fear they will lose out again. .... Hundreds of the world’s biggest companies are making plans to move into the country if political progress towards democracy continues. They hope to make millions as the repressive regime seeks to reintegrate in the international community. Click here

Aung San Suu Kyi launches bid for parliament. The Australian. January 19, 2012. Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi launched her historic bid for a seat in parliament yesterday in the latest sign of change in the country after the end of decades of outright military rule. The Nobel Peace Prize winner is standing in April 1 byelections seen as a major test of the regime's reform credentials following a surprising series of conciliatory gestures by the new nominally civilian government. Click here

Government and Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) Set to Meet This Week. By Wai Moe. The Irrawaddy, Monday, 16 January, 2012 . Despite ongoing military offensives in Kachin State, delegations of the Burmese government and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) are scheduled to meet again for peace talks in the Chinese border town of Ruili on Jan. 18. ..... In early December, Rangoon journals quoted Kachin State Chief Minister La John Ngan Hsai as saying that President Thein Sein had ordered government troops to halt military offensives in the state. However, there has been no cessation of the conflict since then, raising questions about relations between the government and the army. Click here

Despite UN access, Kachin state remains a crisis zone. By Bill Davis. Democratic Voice of Burma, Monday, 16 January 2012. Recently Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) investigated and reported on human rights violations and humanitarian needs in Kachin state. PHR’s report, Under Siege in Kachin State, Burma, called for the government of Burma to permit humanitarian organisations access to Kachin state, where tens of thousands of internally displaced peoples (IDPs) are running low on food and relief supplies. Recently, the UN was allowed to deliver blankets and pillows to IDPs in Laiza, a town controlled by the Kachin Independence Organisation. This is the first time the Burmese central government has allowed the UN to visit a conflict area. Click here

How many political prisoners remain in jail? Mizzima News. Monday, 16 January 2012 . Western nations welcomed Burma’s release of political prisoners over the weekend, even as it became clear that the release did not include all the prisoners of conscience held in Burmese jails. Click here

Ceasefire is not surrender: Interview with Chin National Front negotiation team leader, Dr Sui Khar. Chinland Guardian, 13 January, 2012. Dr. Sui Khar is leader of the Chin National Front's negotiating team, which recently signed a 9-point ceasefire agreement with the Chin State Government, which effectively ended 23 years of fighting between the Burmese Army and the Chin National Army. In this exclusive interview with Chinland Guardian, Dr. Sui Khar explains about the peace process and details of their recent discussions in Hakha. Click here

Two Chin activists confirmed released. By Salai Nyein Chan. Chinland Guardian, 13 January 2012. Two prominent Chin political activists are among the 651 prisoners reportedly released on Friday under an Executive Pardon as part of a series of reforms undertaken by the Burma's new government. They were arrested in late 2007 for their roles in the famous 'Saffron Revolution' led by Burmese monks. Click here

Burma prisoner amnesty – 13 Jan releases. Democratic Voice of Burma. 13 January 2012. Unprecedented events today in Burma, and the strongest signal yet of genuine reform? Let’s wait and see. The government released the country’s highest-profile political prisoners – Min Ko Naing, Ashin Gambira, Khun Tun Oo, Ko Ko Gyi, Khin Nyunt and many more – and the sceptics may be rethinking their stance somewhat. Suspicion still surrounds the government however (“They still have characteristics of a dictatorship,” said Gambira) but unlike past amnesties, few will be disappointed with this one. Click here

Karen army, Burma govt agree to ceasefire. By Naw Noreen. Democratic Voice of Burma, 12 January 2012. A Karen National Union delegation who met with government officials today for ceasefire talks talks say they have reached an agreement for a truce in the volatile eastern state. It becomes the strongest signal yet that peace may finally come to a region devastated by the world’s longest-running civil war, although deep scepticism still remains. Click here

Burma close to ‘democratic breakthrough’ : Suu Kyi. Mizzima News via Burmanet News. 12 Jan 2012. Aung San Suu Kyi told members of the Asia Society in New York that Burma is “on the verge of a breakthrough to democracy” as she accepted its Global Vision Award in a recorded video on Wednesday. Click here

Suu Kyi tells AP: Myanmar army could block reforms. By Grant Peck | AP – Fri, January 6, 2012. YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi cautioned Thursday that the democratic reforms started by Myanmar's nominally civilian government are not "unstoppable" and will succeed only if the powerful military accepts the changes. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate said she is cautiously optimistic more progess can be made. ........ "The Kachin situation is important now because of the hostilities and the fate of the refugees and the local people," said Suu Kyi. But the conflict is also representative of relations between the government and ethnic nationalities all over the country, a problem that should be resolved by a political settlement, she said. Click here

Last Updated ( Feb 28, 2013 at 08:38 AM )