Myanmar President Thein Sein has called for a surprise meeting with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s powerful military chief, leaders of other political parties and ethnic groups on Friday to discuss the country’s political problems, according to some of those invited and news reports.
They said the meeting in the capital Naypyidaw could grapple with long running efforts to forge a nationwide cease-fire agreement between armed ethnic groups and the government, as well as proposed constitutional amendments aimed at ending the military’s veto power in parliament.
-Heavy rains affected parts of Sri Lanka in the last few days. According to media (as of early 29 October), a landslide hit the area of Haldummulla (Badulla, central Sri Lanka) early on 29 October, killing at least three people. At least 150 people are still missing. Rescue operations are on-going.
PATHEIN, Irrawaddy Division — Local farmers in Labutta Township, Irrawaddy Division, are facing hardship after their rice paddies were flooded by saltwater, wiping out several farmers’ entire harvests.
Seawater inundated the paddy fields after a sluice gate burst near Thinganlay village in Labutta Township in late August. Standing seawater remained in many paddy fields for more than a month, destroying the plants.
A combination of climate change vulnerability and food insecurity is amplifying the risks of conflict and civil unrest in 32 countries, including the emerging markets of Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria and the Philippines, according to the seventh annual Climate Change and Environmental Risk Atlas (CCERA) released by global risk analytics company Maplecroft.
A leading activist for Myanmar’s ethnic Rohingya minority says there is a significant exodus - on a scale possibly unprecedented - of Rohingya leaving the country. There are concerns about the fate of those who departed about two weeks ago.
The stateless Rohingya reportedly began boarding cargo ships on Myanmar's coast two weeks ago at the end of the rainy season.
By KHIN OO THA / THE IRRAWADDY| Friday, October 24, 2014
Recent drug seizures and reports of growing drug abuse in western Burma’s Arakan State are causing concern among local residents and state authorities, with some fearing that the developments indicate a rise in drug trafficking through the region to neighboring Bangladesh.
In September, at Nandawgon City Wall of the old Arakan temple complex of Mrauk-U children playing in the area found a hidden haul of some 400,000 methamphetamine pills, Mrauk-U Township police force have said.
Representatives of the European Union are consulting with members of Myanmar NGOs to see how the EU might best help support civil society.
In the first of four meetings, EU representatives met with members of over 80 civil society organisations in Yangon on October 22, will hold meetings in Mandalay on October 24 and Mawlamyine on November 10, and will hold another meeting in Yangon on November 14, according to a press release.
The Chief Minister of Rakhine State U Maung Maung Ohn has told local Rakhine people that they will lose out if they act against international aid agencies.
Speaking at a ceremony October 14 to recount his experiences on a recent trip to Europe, he said that the international community is ready to offer a helping hand to Rakhine State to implement the Rakhine Action Plan that seeks to help develop the largely poverty-stricken region.
Syria, Iraq, Ebola, Gaza, Mali – there has been a huge increase in the number of tragic crises in recent months… The humanitarian sector is under enormous pressure. This litany of tragedies is further cause for us to focus on the quality of assistance and protection operations for civilians. It also raises questions about the capacity and role of a sector which remains vital, but is increasingly in danger.
A refusal by Myanmar’s military to give up its parliamentary veto to any amendment to the country’s constitution may scuttle government efforts to forge peace with armed ethnic groups after decades of civil war, a rebel leader says.
Colonel Khun Okkar, joint-general secretary of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), a bloc of 12 ethnic armed groups, said failure to amend the constitution to provide more powers to ethnic states would make current efforts to forge a nationwide ceasefire meaningless.
The burning question in Washington about Myanmar’s transition is: are things regressing, stalled, or moving forward? The short answer is all of the above. In August, 2014, CSIS organized a delegation to examine the status of the Myanmar transition in three key dimensions: health and development; political reform and governance; and conflict resolution with the country’s minority groups. This report is a summary of CSIS’ observations and thoughts on strengthening U.S. support for Myanmar’s transition. The bottom line: active U.S.
By SAW YAN NAING / THE IRRAWADDY| Wednesday, October 22, 2014 |
Top-ranking Karen rebels are gearing up for an assembly in southeastern Burma this week, where a fractured leadership will discuss their future role in the nation’s main ethnic coalition and the possibility of uniting Karen rebels under a single military alliance.
The Karen National Union (KNU) will hold its central standing committee meeting from Oct. 23-25 in the group’s headquarters at Lay Wah, also known as Law Khee Lar, in Karen State.
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.
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.