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11 Aug 2016 description

Key points:

  • Connect Settlement Agency says its program will be "very small"
  • Five refugees were resettled from Nauru to Cambodia, but only one remains
  • Immigration declined to say why the new agency is needed

By South-East Asia correspondent Liam Cochrane

The Australian Government has refused to explain why it has added a second refugee resettlement agency in Cambodia, when only one person has resettled there from Nauru.

01 Dec 2013 description

By Katie Silver

Aside from meeting with politicians and supporters, one of Aung San Suu Kyi's major roles in Australia is to speak today at Melbourne's celebration of World AIDS Day.

The democracy activist's commitment to HIV/AIDS is not new.

"She's long been committed to this issue," Eamonn Murphy, country coordinator of UNAIDS Myanmar, said.

After she came out of house arrest, one of the first places she went to was a hospice for people receiving HIV treatment, Mr Murphy says.

25 Jun 2013 description

By Asia editor Catherine McGrath

After around two-and-a-half decades of isolation, Myanmar may soon be in a position to receive direct developmental aid funds from Australia.

Currently Australian aid to Myanmar, also known as Burma, is delivered through multilateral groups such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and non-government organisations.

But AusAID director-general Peter Baxter told a recent Senate estimates hearing about new plans to work directly with the Myanmar government.

12 Mar 2013 description

PM By Southeast Asia correspondent Zoe Daniel
Updated Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:45pm AEDT

There are mounting allegations the Thai military is trading Rohingya refugees from Western Burma to human traffickers.

Last week PM broadcast allegations that Thai military officers shot and killed Rohingya off the Thai coast but there is also continued accusations that Thai officials are involved in selling Rohingya to brokers, who then sell them on as bonded labourers.

08 Feb 2013 description

Australia's government has confirmed the details of a plan to divert AusAID funds to pay for the upkeep of asylum seekers.

Australia's government on Friday confirmed the details of a plan to divert aid funds from the Pacific and South East Asia to pay for the upkeep of asylum seekers in Australia.

Last year, the government announced $375 million of the existing aid budget would be used to pay for the living expenses of asylum seekers being processed on the mainland.

13 Sep 2012 description

Authorities in western Burma's Rakhine state are enforcing their policy of segregation in an effort to prevent further fighting between indigenous people and the Muslim community.

Thousands of homes were burnt and dozens of people died when violence flared in June and tensions remain extremely high.

In the state's main town of Sittwe, there are holes where homes once stood and the community's wounds are still beyond repair.

An uneasy calm in the town is artificial.

03 Feb 2012 description

Australia's foreign minister Kevin Rudd says he is planning to visit Burma in the coming months to encourage moves towards a fully-democratic Burma.

Mr Rudd travelled to Burma last year and met with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Presenter: Cheri Mangrai (Khin Mar Win)

Speaker: Kevin Rudd, Australia's foreign minister

31 Mar 2011 description

Updated April 1, 2011 13:08:14

Health authorities in Burma say they are making progress against the HIV-AIDS pandemic that currently affects over 210-thousand people according to the United Nations AIDS programme.

But officials say international sanctions against Burma undermine efforts to curb the virus' spread.

Presenter: Ron Corben

28 Mar 2011 description

Updated March 28, 2011 12:22:26

Fresh water is emerging as a pressing need for those in Burma affected by last week's magnitude 6.8 earthquake.

The quake killed 74 people in Burma and one in Thailand but there are uncomfirmed reports from within the country putting the toll twice as high. The powerful was felt as far away as Vietnam's capital Hanoi.

Presenter: Liam Cochrane

Speaker: Chris Herink, World Vision's country director for Burma

COCHRANE: Now, you've sent some photos through to us earlier this morning showing us the destruction.

25 Mar 2011 description

The confirmed death toll from an earthquake in Burma has reached 60.

Officials say they are still trying to reach some of the worst affected areas near the border with Thailand.

South-East Asia correspondent Zoe Daniel reports that most of those killed were in a town near the epicentre of the 6.8 magnitude quake, on the Burmese side of the border.

Local officials say five monasteries and many other buildings fell down in the town of Tarlay.

The number of dead may still rise.

Wall falls

Across the border in Thailand, a woman was killed in the Mae Sai district when a wall …

16 Feb 2011 description

Thailand has confirmed that it deported 91 Rohingya refugees who were found by Indian police off the Andaman and Nicobar islands last week.

Indian doctors and police said the refugees were found starving and dehydrated, with 25 requiring admission to hospital.

A Thai foreign ministry spokesman said the refugees were deported, but denied they were pushed out to sea with little food and water.

Richard Sollom, deputy director of Physicians for Human Rights, has told Radio Australia's Connect Asia program those allegation against Thai authorities are …

03 Dec 2010 description

An Australian senator says sporadic violence is continuing in eastern Burma, near the Thai border, and says villagers are still fleeing into Thailand in their hundreds and sometimes thousands. But they are often being pushed back into areas of fighting by Thai soldiers and are forced to flee again days later. The Australian Greens Party senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, has raised the alarm after visiting the town of Mae Sot, a key crossing point for Burmese fleeing their country.

08 Nov 2010 description

Zoe Daniel, Southeast Asia Correspondent

Burma has been placed under a 90-day state of emergency after holding its first election in 20 years.

The state of emergency prevents political gatherings and stops soldiers from leaving the military for three months.

It is part of a campaign by Burma's junta turned political party to limit fallout from yesterday's election, which was held under strict controls.

Results may not be known for a day or more, but at least one ethnic politician has apparently won a seat in Shan state.

10 Oct 2010 description

Around a dozen people have been killed as heavy rains and floods lash several parts of Burma. Thousands more have been left homeless after being evacuated from towns and villages.

Among the hardest hit regions is the Mandalay division where around 2,000 people have been hospitalised.

13 Sep 2010 description

Increasing numbers of landmine victims are crossing the Burmese border into Thailand to find a way to walk again.

Villagers, militia fighters and government soldiers are all victims of mines laid along the border.

At Mae Sot on the Thai Burma border landmine victims craft new limbs for those joining their ranks.

Mo Kay, Prosthetics manager, says those at the clinic come together with a common aim - no matter which side they're on.

"We are doing good deeds for the little people, you see, because to get prosthesis inside Burma is quite difficult," he said.

Every …

26 May 2010 description

Sen Lam

A regional organisation has warned that Burma's military is escalating violence in the ethnic minority states, ahead of upcoming elections, to be held under a new constitution.

The Alternative ASEAN Network for Burma says so far this year, over 43,000 civilians have been displaced, fleeing into neighbouring Thailand and China.

The network's coordinator Debbie Stothard says the situation will only get worse, as ethnic groups refuse to surrender their weapons.

"The constitution actually deprives the ethnic nationality groups control over their own lands and …

04 Mar 2010 description

The Thai deadline for foreign workers to register for permits has expired.

The Nation newspaper in Bangkok says authorities are ready to deport about half a million Burmese, Laotian and Cambodian workers because they failed to meet the deadline.

It quotes the Employment Department's deputy director-general Supat Gukun saying his officials will not be lenient and those who have not met the requirements will be arrested and deported.

He says his department will work closely with the police and the Immigration Bureau in enforcing the law.

Human Rights and Development …

25 Nov 2009 description

Karen Percy, South East Asia correspondent

As Australia steps up pressure on its Asian neighbours to reduce people smuggling in the region, the Malaysian government is under pressure to demonstrate its commitment to stem the human tide.

An estimated 100,000 refugees are thought to reside in Malaysia.

13 Nov 2009 description

Linda Mottram, Singapore

Australia's Foreign Minister Stephen Smith says the government is considering providing development assistance to Burma, in addition to the humanitarian aid it already provides.

The move comes as the United States pursues a new approach to Burma, attempting to engage the military junta and urging other nations, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, to do the same.

Mr Smith says, like the United States, Australia wants to see the release of political prisoners in Burma and free and credible elections next year.

He says the government is looking …

19 Oct 2009 description

China and Burma have agreed to work together to ensure stability along a shared border after violence erupted on the Burmese side in August, pushing thousands of refugees into China.

Chinese vice-premier Li Keqiang says China will continue to support Burma's 'economic construction and sustainable development'.

In August, the Burmese army seized control of the Kokang region, which is along the border with the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan, after it had been controlled for years by an ethnic Chinese militia.

Many of the refugees who fled were …