By NYEIN NYEIN & HTET NAING ZAW
NAYPYIDAW — Burma Army Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing has called the demands of some ethnic armed groups “unrealistic” and described them as “far beyond the federal system.”
By Nyein Nyein
Spokesperson for Burma’s State Counselor’s Office U Zaw Htay, spoke to The Irrawaddy about the 21st Century Panglong peace conference, which convened in Naypyidaw on Wednesday, including on the Northern Alliance’s presence and the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)’s absence, as well as China’s role in the peace process.
Under what agreements did members of the Northern Alliance attend the peace conference?
By Moe Myint
RANGOON — A spokesperson for the Arakan Army (AA) denied on Tuesday his group had forced nearly 300 ethnic Chin to flee from western Burma to northeastern India, after an Indian newspaper reported the claims.
U Khine Thukha, spokesperson for AA’s western chapter, said allegations in The New Indian Express, which quoted a senior Assam Rifles officer who reportedly spoke to the refugees, were “based on groundless accusations.”
By Lawi Weng
RANGOON — Burma’s bloc of ethnic armed organizations the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) will not attend Wednesday’s Union Peace Conference as its members were only invited as “special guests,” which the bloc viewed as the status of observers.
“Based on the Panglong Spirit, all of us should have equal rights to self-determination and autonomy,” a UNFC statement released Tuesday read. “The UNFC will only support political talks based on genuine federal and democratic principles,” it added.
By Pe Thet Htet Khin & Rik Glauert 18 May 2017
RANGOON — The Union minister for Health and Sports Dr. Myint Htwe announced details of a US$460 million plan to combat HIV/AIDS in Burma at an event in Naypyidaw on Wednesday.
The Burmese government will contribute 18 percent of the budget with the rest funded by international organizations and NGOs—including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Three Millennium Development Goals Fund, and UN agencies, according to the Myanmar National Strategic Plan on HIV/AIDS (2016-2020).