Burma

Communal Violence Threatens Democratic Change in Myanmar

The outbreak over the past week of communal violence between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine State seriously threatens the ongoing reform process in Myanmar, according to experts here.

NLD spokesman Nyan Win at a Feb. 20 press conference in Rangoon. Credit:Mizzima

Burmese Hinge Hopes on Free, Fair Polls

As campaigning for the Apr. 1 poll in Burma (also Myanmar) gets into full-swing, there are misgivings on whether the National League for Democracy (NLD) party of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will get a fair deal.

EU Moves on Myanmar Questioned

Extraordinary political changes in the year since former army general Thein Sein came to power in Myanmar have prompted European powers to ease restrictions on the isolated nation, raising questions whether such rewards are too little or too much.

BURMA: Kachin Refugees Get UN Relief, Finally

Six months after fighting erupted between Burmese troops and ethnic Kachin separatists, international relief is finally trickling in for over 30,000 people who fled their homes near the snow-capped mountains north of the country.

BURMA: Rape Used as Military Weapon

The Burmese army has been following a policy of systematically raping women and girls to subjugate the country's rebellious ethnic minorities, according to a new report.

BOOK-BURMA: On the New Road to Mandalay

Condemned for decades as an international pariah, Burma is enjoying a diplomatic spring with droves of former critics heading towards the Southeast Asian nation.

The Screen Speaks for Suu Kyi

Twenty years after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, and a year after being released from house arrest, Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is the subject of a sweeping film that may increase international pressure on Burma’s ruling regime to speed up tentative reforms.

Elaine Pearson of Human Rights Watch, Jeanne Marie Hallacy, director of "Into the Current", and Thet Moo, former Burmese political prisoner Credit:  Christian Papesch/IPS

FILM: Political Prisoners Are Burma’s Unsung Heroes

In a move that highlighted its sub-par human rights record, the government of Burma announced Oct. 11 that it would release 6,359 prisoners, but how many of these will be drawn from the country's estimated 500 to over 2,000 political prisoners remains uncertain.

Western Sanctions Look Fussy in Burma

On the face of it, the sudden release of political prisoners in Burma would appear a triumph for the sanctions regime imposed on the Southeast Asian nation by Western governments.

BURMA: ‘Civilian’ Govt Eases Iron Grip

With Burma’s quasi-civilian government relaxing the iron grip on power maintained for half-a century by military juntas, the big question is: How real is the change?

Burmese Convict Brutality Spurs Calls for International Probe

Burmese convicts forced into military service have endured mistreatment that warrants a U.N. investigation into war crimes in the country, according to a new report released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) Wednesday.

McCain Cold to Warmer U.S.-Burma Ties

If Burma’s quasi-civilian government was hoping for warmer ties with the U.S. government, Senator John McCain’s visit to this South-east Asian nation has placed such hopes on ice.

SOUTHEAST ASIA: ASEAN in Quandary over Burma’s Request to Head Bloc

The new Burmese government’s request to chair the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by 2014 has given its neighbours a political headache they have decided to put off dealing with till later this year.

Asian Allies Back Burma Uneasily

Already Burma’s new civilian government poses problems for its Asian allies as it tries to woo the international community. The month-old quasi-civilian administration, led by President Thein Sein has launched a new diplomatic charm offensive in an effort to get international approval for the cosmetic changes that have been introduced under the guise of a new civilian government.

THAILAND: Malaria Spreads Amidst Insurgency in South

A raging insurgency in Thailand’s southernmost provinces has become a breeding ground for another potential killer – the malaria-carrying Anopheles mosquito – that is threatening to wipe out the gains Thailand has achieved in fighting the disease.

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