Myanmar Prisoner Amnesty Comes With a Rohingya Massacre Mystery
For about an hour on Wednesday, the website of Myanmar National Television carried a surprising report: A mass prisoner amnesty the previous day, it said, had included seven members of the country’s military who were briefly jailed for a massacre of Rohingya Muslims.
— The New York Times
Myanmar’s media landscape needs more than press freedom
Threats to press freedom in Myanmar are seriously challenging the country’s democratic transition. Restrictions on media have been exacerbated by outbreaks of communal violence in Rakhine State since 2012 that have led to the exodus of nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees.
— East Asia Forum
India govt. signs highway construction project of India-Myanmar-Thai
The India–Myanmar–Thailand Trilateral Highway is that will connect India with the ASEAN region. The highway will link Moreh in Manipur state (India), via Mandalay city (Myanmar) and to Mae Sot district (Thailand).
— Eleven Myanmar
Myanmar govt spokesman denies state media report that Inn Din soldiers were released from prison
Myanmar government spokesman Zaw Htay has denied a report that seven soldiers were released in this week’s presidential amnesty, just days after they were convicted for murdering 10 Rohingya men last year.
— Coconuts Yangon (paywall)
Myanmar NGO Asks Kachin State Chief Minister to Help Rescue Villagers Displaced by War
A Myanmar NGO has sent a letter to the head of the war-torn Kachin state government calling for the rescue of civilians trapped in a battle zone in Tanaing township, as hostilities continue to rage between the national army and an ethnic militia.
— Radio Free Asia
Peace, Charter Reform Take Back Seat as Myanmar President Stresses Social Issues
Myanmar’s new president on Tuesday unveiled his reform agenda for the country, generating cautious optimism with a plan that places an emphasis on boosting living standards and addressing other popular discontents, while downplaying broader political problems such as the country’s moribund peace process and the sensitive issue of amending the Constitution.
— The Irrawaddy
2000 displaced in Myanmar’s northeast
More than 2000 people are in need of aid after becoming trapped in Myanmar’s northeast during clashes, rights groups say.
UN draws attention to plight of over 400,000 Rohingya in Myanmar
UN’s deputy relief chief says that 400,000 Muslim people still living in Myanmar’s Rakhine State continue to face a life of hardship and marginalization due to movement restrictions.
— Vatican News
Myanmar Rejects Evidence Presented in UN Report on Mass Sexual Violence Against Rohingya
Myanmar rejects evidence gathered by human rights researchers that support charges by the United Nations Security Council that its soldiers raped 300 Rohingya Muslim women and girls during a crackdown in Rakhine state last year, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.
— Radio Free Asia
Airport Authority of India to develop airport in neighbouring Myanmar
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will develop an airport in the neighbouring nation of Myanmar, it has been announced.
— International Airport Review
The ethnic parties’ dilemma: Merger or strategic alliance?
Many ethnic parties paid dearly for split votes in 2015 but mergers to maximise their chances at the ballot box in 2020 seem unlikely in all states but two.
— Frontier Myanmar
Flawed return deal offers no way back for refugees
Bungling, distortion and diplomatic doublespeak have hollowed out the deal to repatriate Rohingya from Bangladesh to Myanmar, with refugees refusing to return to a homeland that remains perilously insecure.
Crime Down but Fatalities Up During Thingyan Water Festival, Police Say
A total of 109 crimes claimed 26 lives during the Thingyan water festival and Burmese New Year celebrations across the country, police said Wednesday.
— The Irrawaddy
Press Myanmar on repatriation
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for more international pressure on Myanmar to take back Rohingya refugees, rejecting an assertion by Myanmar that it has repatriated the first Rohingya family of five.
— The Daily Star
UK campaign group disappointed after around 90 political prisoners kept in Jail
Burma Campaign UK yesterday expressed disappointment at the apparent decision by Aung San Suu Kyi’s government to keep around 90 political prisoners in jail.
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