• U.N. investigator says Facebook has not shared ‘evidence’ of Myanmar crime
    Reuters The head of a U.N. investigative body on Myanmar said Facebook has not released evidence of “serious international crimes”, despite vowing to work with investigators looking into abuses in the country including against the Rohingya Muslim minority. Nicholas Koumjian, head of the Independent Investigative Mechanism on Myanmar (IIMM), told Reuters the social media giant was holding material “highly relevant and probative of serious international crimes&rdq
  • Facebook rejects request to release Myanmar officials’ data for genocide case
    Reuters Facebook has objected to a request from Gambia, which has accused Myanmar at the World Court of genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority, to release posts and communications by members of Myanmar's military and police. The social media giant urged the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday to reject the demand, which it said would violate a U.S. law that bars electronic communication services from disclosing users' communications. Face
  • Canadian preacher jailed in Myanmar for holding services during virus ban
    YANGON, August 6 (Reuters): A Myanmar court on Thursday sentenced a Canadian preacher who said Christians were immune to the novel coronavirus to jail with hard labour for three months for holding church services in defiance of a ban on gatherings during the outbreak. David Lah, a Canadian of Burmese origin, and another man, Myanmar national Wai Tun, were detained under a disaster management law over services they held in the city of Yangon in April. A ban on public gatherin
  • Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi confirms contesting for second term
    YANGON, August 4 (Reuters): Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday formally declared her intention to seek a second term in an election in November that is seen as a test of the Southeast Asian nation's tentative democratic reforms. After decades of military rule, Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for campaigning for democracy, took the reins in 2016 after an electoral landslide, but has been forced to share power with the generals. Her international reputation
  • Flash floods kill two in Thailand, storm heads for Myanmar
    BANGKOK, August 3 (Reuters): Flash floods killed at least two people and swept through hundreds of houses in northern Thailand, authorities said after tropical storm Sinlaku dumped heavy rains on 18 provinces over the weekend. Muddy, waist-high waters poured into homes in rural areas on Sunday. Soldiers used small boats to rescue villagers and handed out aid packs in Loei, the worst-hit province. By Monday morning, residents in rubber boots were out clearing debris from
  • Myanmar may postpone election in war-torn Rakhine state – official
    NAYPYITAW, July 30 (Reuters): Myanmar will postpone elections in parts of war-torn Rakhine state if the military declares them unsafe, a senior election official said on Thursday, prompting a backlash from ethnic parties with strong support in the region. "It is necessary to have peace and stability to hold elections," said Union Election Commission chair Hla Thein, adding that the army-controlled ministries of defence and home affairs would soon determine whether the
  • Exotic wildlife smuggled from Myanmar seized in Assam, 2 held
    SILCHAR, July 29 (IANS): Assam forest officials have seized some exotic wildlife species, suspected to have been smuggled from Myanmar, and arrested two men from a truck carrying the endangered animals, officials said on Wednesday. Southern Assam's Cachar Divisional Forest Officer Sunnydeo Choudhary said that during a routine checkup, forest officials on Tuesday midnight intercepted a truck, coming from neighbouring Mizoram, at Lailapur forest sub-beat, carrying the exotic wildl
  • Twenty-four Rohingya feared drowned off Malaysian resort island
    KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 (Reuters): Malaysian authorities launched a search on Sunday for 24 Rohingya refugees who went missing while trying to swim to shore from a boat off the resort island of Langkawi. Muslim-majority Malaysia has long been a favoured destination for Rohingya Muslims seeking a better life after escaping a 2017 military crackdown in Myanmar and, more recently, refugee camps in Bangladesh. Malaysia's coastguard said 25 people had tried to swim to shore lat
  • US, China trade barbs in Myanmar as South China Sea rift deepens
    HANOI, JULY 19 (REUTERS): China's embassy in Myanmar on Sunday accused the United States of “outrageously smearing” the country and driving a wedge with its Southeast Asian neighbors over the contested South China Sea and Hong Kong, as tensions mount between the superpowers. Responding to U.S. claims Beijing was undermining the sovereignty of its neighbors, the Chinese embassy said U.S. agencies abroad were doing "disgusting things" to contain China and h
  • Myanmar holds muted Martyrs' Day tribute to fallen independence heroes
    Yangon, July 19 (Reuters): Myanmar's public marked one of the Southeast Asian nation's darkest moments on Sunday with tributes to slain independence heroes, though the annual Martyrs' Day gatherings were muted by the coronavirus pandemic due to social distancing measures.   Flanked by senior government and military officials, state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi laid a wreath at a mausoleum dedicated to Aung San, her father and the country's independence hero, wh
  • Myanmar poet accused of staging protest over internet blackout
    Reuters   Maung Saung Kha, a prominent Myanmar poet and activist, appeared in court on Tuesday to face accusations that he helped stage an unlawful protest demanding an end to internet blackouts imposed on two of the country's poorest states.   Since June last year, authorities have shut the internet in Rakhine and neighbouring Chin states - home to about a million people.   Justified on emergency grounds amid a growing insurgency, it is the longest
  • Myanmar sets Nov. 8 for election set to test democratic reforms
    Reuters   Myanmar state media on Wednesday announced Nov. 8 as the date for a parliamentary election set to serve as a test of the country’s first democratic government in half a century.   A statement attributed to union election commission chairman Hla Thein and read out on state television said a "multi-party general election for the parliament" would be held on that day.   The polls are seen by analysts as an important test of the My
  • Thousands in western Myanmar flee as army plans operations, monitors say
    Reuters Thousands of villagers have fled their homes in Myanmar’s Rakhine state after a local administrator warned dozens of village leaders that the army planned “clearance operations” against insurgents, a lawmaker and a humanitarian group said.   But a government spokesman said late on Saturday an evacuation order issued by border-affairs officials had been revoked. Border affairs acknowledged issuing the order through the local administrator but said
  • Malaysia can't take any more Rohingya refugees, PM says
    KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 (Reuters): Malaysia can no longer take in Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Friday, citing a struggling economy and dwindling resources as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.   Muslim-majority Malaysia has long been a favoured destination for Rohingya seeking a better life after fleeing a 2017 military-led crackdown in Myanmar and refugee camps in Bangladesh.   But Malaysia, which does
  • ‘We lost our sight’: Life in Myanmar under world's longest internet shutdown
    Reuters   Since Myanmar shut off the internet in two states a year ago, lawyer Oo Twan Hla, who was once able to check online when his cases were scheduled, said he must now travel through a war zone to read a signboard.   An aspiring medic, in a community largely barred from accessing healthcare, can no longer search the web for remedies to help sick neighbours.   The government-ordered shutdown in two of Myanmar’s poorest states - Rakhine and ne
  • Myanmar reports 23 coronavirus cases in migrants deported from Thailand
    Reuters   Myanmar reported 23 cases of coronavirus infection on Friday among a group of people held in quarantine there after being deported from Thailand.   The health ministry said in a statement the group had tested positive while in a quarantine center in the southeastern Kayin state.   Thant Zin Aung, a lawmaker for Myanmar's Myawaddy township, which borders Thailand, said all 23 had been deported to Myanmar from Thailand on June 8. They had be
  • UN charts new territory with project to track all Myanmar's forests
    Joint Myanmar-Finland project will venture into conflict zones to better protect Southeast Asian nation's forests   KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A new five-year project in Myanmar will for the first time document all forests in the Southeast Asian nation - including places affected by ethnic tensions - to pinpoint deforestation risks and boost conservation, the United Nations said.   The joint Myanmar-Finland project, launched this week w
  • Refusing to be gagged, Myanmar journalists work from shadows
    Reuters Hiding from Myanmar's police, journalist Aung Marm Oo refuses to conceal his anger with the civilian government led by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi as his country prepares for an election later this year.   “Democracy is already dead,” the 37-year-old editor-in-chief of Development Media Group (DMG) told Reuters from a secret location where he is in hiding.   “They blocked media, restrict media agencies, banned news, punish jour
  • Trash is treasure as Myanmar environmentalist turns food scraps into fertiliser
    YANGON, June 4 (Reuters): To most people in Myanmar, food waste is nothing but garbage, and that attitude leaves Inda Soe Aung baffled.   But the 35-year-old environmentalist isn't complaining, because what he views as his compatriots' lack of imagination has given him the business opportunity of a lifetime - turning what they throw away into fertiliser.   "People think that food waste is just trash, trash, trash," he said. "It's di
  • Myanmar jails doctor for insulting monks over sex education
    Reuters   A Myanmar court has sentenced a doctor to 21 months in jail after convicting him of insulting Buddhist monks in connection with a debate about a proposal to teach sex education in schools.   Kyaw Win Thant, 31, was arrested in May after angry scenes at a monastery in the central city of Meiktila, where he apologised to monks for deriding them in Facebook posts, a senior monk said at the time.   A court in the city of Mandalay sentenced him und