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The Politics of Rakhine State, Asia Report N°261

The highly volatile situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine State adds dangerously to the country’s political and religious tensions. Long-term, incremental solutions are critical for the future of Rakhine State and the country as a whole.

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Conflict Sensitive Journalism: Special Edition Myanmar

Myanmar has a short history of a free media. Until august 2012 all publications were censored and journalists had to work within boundaries that were defined by the government. Therefore, it is not surprising that many journalists in Myanmar do not have experience working in a free media environment. The absence of a free media also means there are few journalists with the necessary skills and knowledge of journalism to make an independent media flourish.

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Developments after the 2013 UNGA Resolution

The Burmese authorities have failed to implement most of the recommendations from previous United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions, in particular Resolution 68/242, adopted in 2013. In some areas, the situation has deteriorated as a result of deliberate actions by the authorities. This briefer summarizes developments on the ground with direct reference to key paragraphs of the resolution.

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Birth registration project launched in Magwe, Mon, Chin


A pilot project to register the births of all children in Magwe Division, Mon and Chin states was launched on Monday by various Burmese government ministries, in cooperation with UNICEF and with financial assistance from the EU.

The pilot scheme will target non-registered children in the principal towns in those regions, namely Magwe, Moulmein and Hakha, and is the initial part of a long-term national objective of registering every child’s birth in Burma.

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World + 51 others
Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 15 - 21 October

The weekly Global Overview aggregates information from a range of sources and provides the latest updates on and a ranking of current humanitarian crises.

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Thailand + 2 others
How Changing Behaviour is Beating Malaria in Thailand

By Angela Carreño and Alison Crawshaw

IOM Thailand, with the support of the Global Fund, is implementing a malaria Behaviour Change Communication campaign to reach migrants and their host communities with malaria and personal protection messages. This includes multilingual comic books, posters, flip charts, board games and radio broadcasts which together have reached almost 170,000 beneficiaries over the first two years of the campaign.

International Organization for Migration:

Copyright © IOM. All rights reserved.

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World + 4 others
Asia and the Pacific region celebrates World Food Day with a focus on small holder and family farmers towards the eradication of hunger

Bangkok, Thailand, 15 Oct 2014 -- This year’s World Food Day (16 October) is celebrated across Asia and the Pacific with increasing optimism that the region could achieve the Millennium Development Goal on reducing hunger by 2015.

This was among the key messages delivered on the eve of World Food Day at a regional event in Bangkok to mark WFD 2014, convened by the Asia-Pacific regional office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The theme of this year’s celebration is ‘Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the earth.’

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Dispatches: A Scathing Verdict on Burma’s Stalled Reforms

OCTOBER 17, 2014

John Sifton

A remarkable set of meetings took place this week in Rangoon, with more than 650 representatives from Burmese civil society groups gathering to discuss the status of the country’s reform process.

Human Rights Watch:

© Copyright, Human Rights Watch 350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor New York, NY 10118-3299 USA

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Schools, businesses close as tensions rise in Hpakant

By NAW NOREEN 18 October 2014

Hpakant Township residents say that tensions between government forces and the Kachin Independent Army (KIA) continue to rise in the area, forcing schools and businesses to close down.

The already tense atmosphere in the jade-rich Kachin State township was exacerbated on October 15 when a local Burmese army battalion prohibited Aung Bar Lay Village residents from moving freely around the area.

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Landmine Blast Injures 3 at Kachin School


By ZARNI MANN / THE IRRAWADDY| Monday, October 20, 2014 |

RANGOON — A landmine exploded outside a school in Kachin State on Saturday, injuring three people including two young students. No casualties have been reported.

Police are still investigating the incident, which followed a week of tension between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in several villages near the state’s jade-rich Hpakant.

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Burma Army Agrees to Withdraw From Disputed Shan Territories


By NYEIN NYEIN / THE IRRAWADDY| Monday, October 20, 2014 |

Government troops have agreed to retreat from some areas near the upper Salween River, during an emergency meeting with ethnic Shan rebels on Saturday.

Members of the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) met with the government’s Union Peace-making Work Committee in Lashio, Shan State, to discuss skirmishes between Shan soldiers and the Burma Army in Kyethi Township, near areas under the control of the United Wa State Army (UWSA).

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Magwe village inundated by flash flood

More than 100 homes, farms and plantations in Magwe Division’s Kanyin village were inundated by a flood triggered by heavy rains on 17 October.

Local residents in Kanyin said their homes and farm equipment were damaged by an abrupt surge in the water level on Friday evening that also left farms and fields buried in mud.

Residents who were most affected by the flood were evacuated to a temporary shelter at the village monastery where they were provided supplies and donations by fellow villagers – no official relief had arrived as of Sunday.

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Myanmar confirms increasing domestic HIV funding by US$ 5 million


Myanmar’s Minister for Health, Than Aung, confirmed during a meeting with the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, J.V.R. Prasada Rao, that domestic funding for HIV treatment will be increased by US$ 5 million. Mr Rao completed a five-day visit to Myanmar on 17 October, in which he focused on supporting the country’s efforts to rapidly and effectively scale up its AIDS programme.

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Malaria’s New Frontline



HTEE KAW HTAW, Karen State — Seventeen-year-old Ma Win was exhausted, to put it mildly. During the rainy season this year, the young woman fell sick with chills, body aches, joint pain and dizziness—not once, but twice, within two months. “I couldn’t walk,” she said in July, just days after recovering.

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World + 10 others
Humanitarian Assistance in Review - East Asia and the Pacific | Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 – 2014

Recurrent floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, and seasonal typhoons present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in the East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region. Some countries also face civil unrest and associated humanitarian impacts, as well as limited government capacity to respond to disasters. Between FY 2005 and FY 2014, USAID’s Office of U.S.

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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee (A/69/398)


The important transition and far-reaching reforms in Myanmar must be commended. Yet, possible signs of backtracking should be addressed so as not to undermine the progress achieved. The present report sets out the Special Rapporteur’s preliminary key areas of focus and recommendations aimed at contributing to Myanmar’s efforts towards respecting, protecting and promoting human rights and achieving democratization, national reconciliation and development.

I. Introduction

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Ceasefire watchdogs for northern Shan and Kachin states: Peace Foundation

Mizzima News

Written by Foe Soe Thu

Work is underway to form “ceasefire watchdog groups” by the end of this year to monitor clashes between ethnic and government troops, said Maran Gyaw Gun, peace process assistant manager of the Nyein Foundation, based in Myitkyina, Kachin State on October 13.

“The foundation will offer training to local people. Results from monitoring the actions of both government and ethnic troops will be reported to relevant officials. In particular, they will assess who is responsible for opening fire,” he told Mizzima.

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Fighting Escalates Between Gov’t, Rebel Alliance in Shan State


By LAWI WENG / THE IRRAWADDY| Friday, October 17, 2014 |

RANGOON — Fighting erupted for the second time this month between the Burma Army and an allied force of ethnic armed groups in northern Shan State this week, according to an officer of one rebel group.