Myanmar’s blocking of aid to Kachin ‘may amount to war crime’ – report

An elderly Kachin woman looks for shelter after fleeing fighting between Myanmar's army and Kachin rebels in December 2011. (Photo: World Watch  Monitor)
Myanmar has blocked humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of forcibly displaced people in the ongoing war in northern Kachin state – for over seven years – says humanitarian group Fortify Rights in a new report. “Consecutive governments and the military have wilfully obstructed local and international aid groups, denying . . . Read More

Myanmar: Peace talks resume but ethnic autonomy not on the agenda

Myanmar's defacto leader Aung San Suu Kyi leaves the 2016 Panglong Conference. (Photo: AUNG HTET/AFP/Getty Images)
A third round of peace talks are taking place in Myanmar this week between armed ethnic groups and government forces, but the military has ruled out discussions on the autonomy that ethnic groups crave. The six-day meeting, which has been dubbed the 21st century ‘Panglong Conference’ after the historic 1947 . . . Read More

Myanmar: new peace talks announced during Pope’s visit

Pope Francis meeting Aung San Suu Kyi during his visit to Myanmar, Nov 2017 (Getty)
The third ‘Panglong Conference’ has been announced by Myanmar’s government during an official visit by Pope Francis, reports Catholic news agency Fides. Tabled for the last week in January, it will be the latest in a series of peace negotiations between armed ethnic groups and government forces. The original Panglong . . . Read More

2017 Myanmar refugee suicide study

A new study has found a high incidence of suicide among women in camps housing long-term refugees fleeing Myanmar’s ethnic conflict, reports the BBC News Magazine. In a study of refugees in Thailand’s Mae La camp, where 90% are ethnically Karen – a group that mainly identifies as Christian – . . . Read More

Myanmar Christians join latest peace talks

Myanmar’s Christians have joined other ethnic groups at this week’s five-day peace conference in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, aimed at ending decades of conflict. The conference was attended by the UN Secretary-General, but some critics say it’s happened without enough preparation and consultation. The 17 ethnic groups, including representatives . . . Read More

Freedom of religion among Myanmar’s ‘biggest challenges’

Freedom of religion among Myanmar’s ‘biggest challenges’
Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Myanmar’s first Catholic Cardinal, at the UK Parliament in London, 25 May, 2016. World Watch Monitor   Myanmar’s first ever Catholic Cardinal has said protecting freedom of religion or belief for all is among the “biggest challenges” facing his country as it adapts to life after . . . Read More

Ethnic affairs ministry ‘vital’ to Myanmar

Myanmar’s new President-elect says the appointment of a new ethnic affairs ministry is “vital” for the country’s future. In his first public address, Htin Kyaw said the ministry would be central to Myanmar’s “peace, development and sustainability”. Myanmar is made up of eight major ethnic groups, who all hoped for . . . Read More