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Non-ceasefire Ethnic Groups release statement on 21st Panglong Conference

Source: Mizzima

Published on Feb. 23, 2017, 1 p.m.

The 3rd plenary meeting of non-ceasefire ethnic armed groups who have not yet signed Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) released a statement which says they will exchange their views and discuss their position on the forthcoming 2nd meeting of 21st Century Panglong Conference.

The official statement released by the United Wa State Army/Party (UWSA/UWSP) says the plenary meeting organized and sponsored by them started on February 22 at their HQ at Panghsang.

Ten non-ceasefire armed ethnic groups were invited to the meeting and eight of them will attend.

Delegations attending include Kachin Independence Organization/Army (KIO/KIA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Palaung State Liberation Front/ T’ang National Liberation Army (PSLF/TNLA), Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA), Eastern Shan State National Democratic Alliance Army (PSA/NDAA) and United League of Arakan/Arakan Army (ULA/AA)…



State Counselor to Attend U Ko Ni Memorial Service

Source: the Irrawaddy

Published on Feb. 23, 2017, 12:35 p.m.

RANGOON – Burma’s State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will attend a memorial service in Rangoon on Sunday to mark one month since prominent National League for Democracy (NLD) legal advisor U Ko Ni and taxi driver U Ne Win were shot and killed at Rangoon International Airport on Jan 29, according to NLD sources.

Vice chairman of the NLD in Rangoon U Soe Win told The Irrawaddy on Thursday that they arranged the event as the State Counselor had indicated that she felt remiss about the period following U Ko Ni’s death, when she was preoccupied by the peace process.

The ceremony will take place at the Royal Rose restaurant in Bahan Township on Sunday, according to the NLD’s press invitation, and will also be attended by Lower House Speaker U Win Myint, Rangoon Division Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein, central executive committee members of the NLD, and U Ko Ni’s family members...

Moe Myint and Htet Naing Zaw


Locals Say Armed Groups ‘Disappear’ Civilians Caught in Northern Shan Conflict

Source: the Irrawaddy

Published on Feb. 23, 2017, 12:30 p.m.

NAMTU, Shan State — During recent clashes in northern Shan State, Shan and Palaung (Ta’ang) ethnic armed groups have “disappeared” civilian farmers from Namtu town, according to local community leaders.

The two armed groups—the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA)—have fought sporadically since 2015, when the RCSS leadership signed the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) with the Union government. The TNLA has refused to sign the NCA.

During a recent visit to Namtu town, Shan and Palaung rights groups and community leaders told The Irrawaddy that both ethnic armed groups had detained or “disappeared” civilians—a majority of them coming from Namtu—whom they accuse of supporting the other side in the ongoing conflict...

Lawi Weng


Rights group to check detention cells

Source: Myanmar Times

Published on Feb. 23, 2017, 12:30 p.m.

The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) will conduct checks on the detention cells of police stations, the courts and hospitals in the Yangon Region to determine if they comply with international human rights standards, said U Yu Lwin Aung, the organisation’s commissioner.

A team led by U Yu Lwin Aung will go to the cells starting today (February 23) and observe the situation and conditions, before issuing a report that contains the findings, analysis and suggestions regarding the cells.

The report will then be sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs, according to MNHRC office staff Ko Ye Naing Win.

The first visit will be to the police stations and courts at Hlegu township, along with Hlay Hlaw Inn and Min Kun working camp, all of which are scheduled for today...

Shoon Naing


Forced relocation of Myanmar nationals in Bangladesh can create tension: ICRC

Source: BD News 24

Published on Feb. 23, 2017, noon

The head of the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Dhaka has said they are against any forced movement of the people who have taken shelter in Cox’s Bazar after fleeing persecution in Myanmar.

The government has recently announced its plan to relocate them to Thengar Char, an island in the Bay of Bengal, before repatriation.

“This is new information for us. The foreign ministry informed us during a briefing. For us, ICRC as a humanitarian organisation, what is important is that the needs and the safety of the people are respected,” Ikhtiyar Aslanov told


Nurul Islam Habib


Rights campaigner again denied entry to Myanmar

Source: Frontier Myanmar

Published on Feb. 23, 2017, noon

YANGON — Immigration officials have again denied a visa to Mark Farmaner, after the executive director of Burma Campaign UK and veteran human rights activist sought entry to Myanmar this week.

An application for an entry visa was denied in London earlier this month, and Farmaner was told to re-apply with a letter listing a travel itinerary and itemising which individuals he would meet while in Myanmar.

A further application for a business visa through a Bangkok agency was denied without explanation, and he was told that future applications would also be rejected...

Sean Gleeson


Skilled labour shortage still a problem

Source: Myanmar Times

Published on Feb. 23, 2017, noon

As Myanmar attracts more investments, the country is struggling to provide skilled labour for the construction, tourism and manufacturing sectors.

One problem was the lack of certification workers needed to prove their skills to foreign investors, said U Ko Naing, an adviser to the German Agency for International Development Cooperation (GIZ) which provides support for the National Skills Standards Authority (NSSA).

“We have skilled manpower but they don’t have the papers to prove their skills. When foreign investors come, they want to see those certificates....

Kyaw Ko Ko


350 protesting farmers face court

Source: Eleven Myanmar

Published on Feb. 23, 2017, noon

More than 350 farmers have been sued for protesting against land seizures in Mandalay Region while their families claim to be living in poverty. 


About 350 farmers from Pyi Oo Lwin, Singu, Madaya, Sintgaing, Thabeikkyin, Myittha, and Nganzun townships are facing charges.

“Mandalay Region is where most farmers face trials or are detained over land disputes. The problems will not be solved only by arresting the farmers who protest,” said Ko Lin from an organisation giving assistance to farmers in upper Myanmar...

Htay Hla Aung


Motion raised to allow lands owned by non-nationals in Rakhine to be seized and given to citizens

Source: Mizzima

Published on Feb. 23, 2017, noon

Rakhine State Legislative Assembly legislator Aung Win from Myaybon constituency (2) said that he would raise a motion at the Rakhine State assembly to take back lands owned by non-nationals allowing them to be given back to landless farmers.

He added that the reason behind the motion was settling the unemployment problem and landless farmers’ problem as these lands were seized and owned by non-nationals, businessmen and Tatmadaw (Defence Services) illegally.

The Myaybon constituency (2) legislator and leader of Land Scrutiny Committee in assembly said, “The laws stipulate that land can be owned only by Myanmar nationals. Aliens cannot own land but many lands are in their hands. We don’t know whether they are Myanmar nationals or not. So the State needs to retake these lands from their hands and redistribute them to landless farmers who are jobless now.”…



No plans to suspend Criminal Act 144 in Minbu oil refineries

Source: Myanmar Times

Published on Feb. 23, 2017, noon

The imposition of Criminal Act 144 in Minbu district, Minbu township Mann oil refinery and oil refineries from Tauksharpin-Kanniyay, Magwe Region will not be suspended pending the enactment of other laws to safeguard the areas, said Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Major General Aung Soe.

The deputy minister was answering a question by Amyotha Hluttaw MP U Tin Aung Htun from Magwe Region Constituency 5 on whether there are plans to suspend Criminal Act 144 in Minbu township.

Criminal Act 144 allows for the imposition of a curfew in areas deemed needing “immediate speedy remedy” of criminal activities...

Pyae Thet Phyo