NEWS ABOUT: Myanmar

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Saudi Men Need Permission to Marry Foreigners

Government cracks down, even for foreign women already in the country

(Newser) - Saudi men now need government consent to take foreign brides—and if their true love happens to be an expatriate from Myanmar, Chad, Pakistan, or Bangladesh, they're out of luck completely, reports Makkah Daily via the Al Arabiya Network . Police have informed Saudi men that they're banned from... More »

Dalai Lama to Buddhists: Stop Killing Muslims

He calls for end to violence in Burma, Sri Lanka

(Newser) - If monks going on the rampage against Muslims doesn't sound very Buddhist to you, then the Dalai Lama is in agreement. At a celebration high in the Himalayas to mark his 79th birthday, the religious leader spoke out against attacks on the Muslim minorities in Burma and Sri Lanka,... More »

Remember 'God's Army' Twins? Warriors No More

Myanmar's Johnny and Luther Htoo lead much quieter lives now

(Newser) - When they were kids, Johnny and Luther Htoo were bulletproof and invulnerable to land mines—or so went the story that briefly made them famous as hundreds of guerrillas followed and even worshiped them in the southeastern jungles of Myanmar. Today, more than a decade later, their "God's... More »

Burma Sets 73 Political Prisoners Free

But protesters still face arrest: activists

(Newser) - Following up on a promise made while in Europe, Burma's president is reportedly setting 73 political prisoners free today, adding to hundreds already let go. "The total number of remaining political prisoners has now dropped to lower than 100 for the first time in many years," says... More »

Burma Minority Limited to 2 Kids

Now a top official supports local rule

(Newser) - Burmese officials last month "reaffirmed" a controversial two-child limit on minority Rohingya Muslims in two townships in Rakhine state, and now a top official has lent his support to the effort. "This will benefit the Bengali women," Immigration Minister Khin Yi tells Reuters , using the government term... More »

Suu Kyi: I Want to Be President in 2015

Former political prisoner has grand ambition in Burma

(Newser) - This would have been unthinkable a scant few years ago—let alone during the 15 years she spent under house arrest—but Aung San Suu Kyi says she wants to be the next president of Burma in 2015, reports Voice of America . "I want to run for president, and... More »

Slaves May Be Catching the Fish You Eat: Report

15 Burmese workers beaten, forced to work for Thai crew

(Newser) - A new report by UK activists points to slave labor in the Thai fishing industry—whose biggest buyer happens to be the US. The Environmental Justice Foundation report , published Wednesday, cites a case of slave labor in which 15 Burmese people, paid little or nothing, were allegedly beaten and forced... More »

Burma, Monks 'Encouraging' Ethnic Cleansing: Report

125K Muslims displaced after last year's violence: Human Rights Watch

(Newser) - Burma and its Buddhist monks have "organized and encouraged" ethnic cleansing in the country, asserts Human Rights Watch in a new report . Some 125,000 of the country's minority Rohingya Muslims have been displaced, in what amounts to "crimes against humanity," per the report. It's... More »

Argument Triggers Deadly Religious Riots in Burma

With 20 dead, president declares state of emergency

(Newser) - Religious riots between Buddhists and Muslims have rocked a central Burmese town for two days, leaving at least 20 dead and prompting President Thein Sein to declare a state of emergency, the AP reports. A local reporter estimated the number of dead at closer to 40, the New York Times... More »

Burma's Opposition Re-Elects Suu Kyi

Party looking to infuse new blood, but keeps longtime leader

(Newser) - Aung San Suu Kyi was selected today to remain head of Myanmar's main opposition party, keeping her leadership post even as the party undergoes a makeover to adjust to the country's new democratic framework. The Nobel laureate was named chairwoman of the National League for Democracy's new... More »

China Gets Tougher on Internet Users

...while Burma opens way for private daily newspapers

(Newser) - No more aliases for China's Internet users. The government now requires users to give service providers their real names, a move that could potentially silence some microblog chatter. Internet firms are also facing more pressure to remove and report any banned postings. The crackdown comes after Internet users recently... More »

Kim Jong Un Keeps the Illegal Weapons Flowing

Shipments to Burma, Syria have been blocked this year

(Newser) - Dear ol' Dad may be dead and gone, but his illegal-weapons-exporting ways live on under the watch of Kim Jong Un, reports the Wall Street Journal , which spoke with officials who verify that ships and planes en route to Syria and Burma from North Korea and laden with missile technology... More »

Obama Praises Reforms in Historic Burma Visit

Thousands line streets as he meets Suu Kyi

(Newser) - President Obama praised progress in Burma and promised American help if reforms continue on his visit to the country today, the first by an American president. He met with pro-democracy leader and President Thein Sein before giving a televised speech at the University of Yangon, the AP reports. "Instead... More »

With Eye on Obama Visit, Burma Frees 452 Prisoners

But activists criticized move

(Newser) - Burma ordered 452 prisoners freed today in an apparent goodwill gesture ahead of a historic visit by President Barack Obama—but activists criticized the move for failing to focus on hundreds of political detainees. It was not immediately clear if any political prisoners were among those granted freedom, prompting rights... More »

6.8 Quake Kills 12 in Burma

Gold mine collapses in temblor

(Newser) - A strong earthquake of magnitude-6.8 struck northern Burma today, collapsing a bridge and a gold mine, damaging several old Buddhist pagodas and leaving as many as 12 people feared dead. A slow release of official information left the actual extent of the damage unclear; the epicenter was near the... More »

Obama to Become First US President to Visit Burma

Will make historic visit later this month

(Newser) - President Obama will make a groundbreaking visit later this month to Burma, an official said today, following through with his policy of rapprochement to encourage democracy in the Southeast Asian nation. Security for a visit on Nov. 18 or 19 has been prepared, the official said, but the schedule is... More »

Death Toll in Burma Ethnic Strife Hits 112

Clashes between Buddhist and Muslim communities continue

(Newser) - The death toll from recent ethnic violence in Burma's western state of Rakhine has surpassed 100, an official said today, as the government warned that the strife risks harming the country's reputation as it seeks to install democratic rule. Rakhine state spokesman Win Myaing said 112 people had... More »

Burma Boosts Security as Sectarian Violence Kills 50

Curfew imposed after 1K houses set on fire

(Newser) - Burmese authorities are sending extra security forces to a volatile region where at least 50 people have been killed and more than 1,000 homes burned in recent days in a fresh outbreak of violent clashes between Buddhists and Muslims, CNN reports. They've also lengthened curfews in several towns,... More »

Myanmar Learns Democracy ... From West Wing?

Generals turn to US show for tips

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton yesterday recounted a bizarre conversation with a Myanmar official on her recent trip there, notes the AP :
  • He "said to me, 'Help us learn how to be a democratic congress, a Parliament. He went on to tell me that they were trying to teach themselves by
... More »

Congress Gives Suu Kyi Its Top Civilian Honor

Myanmar heroine gets Congressional Gold Medal

(Newser) - Lawmakers united by their respect of Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi today presented her with Congress' highest civilian honor in a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda. Suu Kyi described it as "one of the most moving days of my life." She was awarded the Congressional Gold... More »

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