• Myanmar's first openly gay candidate kindles hopes for LGBT+ rights
    YANGON, October 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation): Myo Min Htun, who is bidding to be elected as Myanmar's first openly gay lawmaker next month, knows what discrimination feels like in a country where same-sex relations can be punished with 10 years in jail. Rejected at job interviews and repeatedly mocked in the street over his sexuality, Myo Min Htun said he would fight for change and LGBT+ equality if elected on Nov. 8 to the regional parliament in Mandalay, Myanmar's
  • Myanmar insurgents say they kidnapped ruling party candidates
    YANGON, October 19 (Reuters): Insurgents from western Myanmar on Monday claimed responsibility for the kidnapping last week of three ruling party candidates in conflict-torn Rakhine state, and demanded the release of detained student protesters in return for letting them go. The ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) said the three – two women and a man – were abducted on Wednesday while campaigning in Rakhine before a Nov. 8 election. The western region, whe
  • Myanmar ex-political prisoners turn counsellors to ease coronavirus isolation
    YANGON, October 19 (Reuters): After spending years in confinement, few understand uncertainty, isolation and family separation better than Myanmar's former political prisoners. As the coronavirus spreads in Myanmar, sending thousands of people into quarantine facilities, the detainees under military rule are using their experiences to help promote mental health of those now in isolation, amid concern about infection, stress and social stigma. Among them are Aung Myo Kyaw
  • Myanmar reports more than 2,000 daily coronavirus cases in new record
    YANGON, October 10 (Reuters): Myanmar's health ministry reported 2,158 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday in a record daily rise, along with 32 new deaths. The Southeast Asian nation has locked down its biggest city, Yangon, and air and overland travel in the country has been halted. A total of 26,064 cases and 598 deaths have been reported in Myanmar, the vast majority since a second wave began in mid-August. The country is preparing to hold a general election on N
  • Myanmar's trishaws turn campaigners as virus curbs canvassing
    YANGON, October 5 (Reuters): As surging coronavirus infections make election canvassing difficult in Myanmar, humble trishaw drivers are becoming unlikely champions for a nationwide ballot just a few weeks away. Lockdowns have put the brakes on election activities, with parties focusing efforts on social media and trishaw drivers who spread the message on the street, festooning their bicycles and passenger seats with party flags, umbrellas and logos. "It's like we a
  • Amid China face-off, India Army chief, FS meet Suu Kyi in Myanmar
    NEW DELHI/NAYPYITAW, OCTOBER 5 (IANS): Indian Army chief General M.M. Naravane and Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla on Monday finalised India's coastal shipping agreement with Myanmar in a meeting with its State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. It will further strengthen security ties between the two countries amid the Chinese aggression. India and China continue to remain locked in a military face-off along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. On Monday, the Indian embassy i
  • India gives 3 000 vials of Remdesivir to 'friendly' Myanmar to help fight COVID-19
    Army Chief Gen. MM Naravane and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla is on a two-day visit from Sunday to Myanmar with an aim to further expand ties in a range of areas Naypyitaw, October 5 (PTI): As part of India's contribution to help "friendly neighbour" Myanmar in its fight against COVID-19, Army chief Gen. M M Naravane and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Monday handed over 3,000 vials of Remdesivir to State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. Gen. Nara
  • Myanmar volunteers under strain as coronavirus toll grows
    YANGON, October 4 (Reuters): As Myanmar's coronavirus infections soar, the work never seems to stop for volunteers who have stepped in to help carry those suspected of symptoms to quarantine centres or hospitals. "The situation is not good. Our ambulances and crews can’t even get a break," said Kyi Myint, 66, who leads a volunteer group in Yankin township, one of the worst hit in Myanmar's main city, Yangon. Myanmar's thousands of volunteers are a
  • Myanmar election app goes offline, has been criticized over label for Rohingya
    YANGON, October 2 (Reuters): A smartphone app produced for Myanmar’s Nov. 8 election with help from international organizations appears to have been removed from circulation and may be amended after criticism over its use of a label for Rohingya Muslims that the Rohingya view as derogatory. The mVoter2020 app, launched on Tuesday and aimed at improving voter awareness, labels at least two candidates belonging to the Rohingya ethnic group as “Bengali”, a term t
  • Myanmar's COVID quarantine campaign raises questions over election
    YANGON, October 2 (Reuters): From a quarantine centre in northern Myanmar, aspiring lawmaker Maw Htun Aung, wearing a bright yellow surgical mask, lays out his plan for an upcoming general election in a Facebook broadcast. The 37-year old is running his campaign from one of the state-run facilities in which about 45,000 people across the Southeast Asian country have been quarantined, one of a multitude of challenges confronting political parties as Myanmar pushes ahead wit
  • Myanmar’s ‘maximum containment’ COVID plan pushed to brink as virus surges
    YANGON, September 24 (Reuters): Myanmar has quarantined tens of thousands of people to prevent a coronavirus outbreak from overwhelming its fragile healthcare system but public health experts and doctors say the strategy is on the brink of collapse as infections surge. The Southeast Asian nation is housing more than 45,000 people, including COVID-19 patients as well as those yet to be tested, their close contacts and returning migrant workers, in buildings from schools and mona
  • Myanmar rejects calls to postpone election despite virus surge
    YANGON, September 21 (Reuters): Myanmar plans to push ahead with a November general election despite calls from opposition parties to postpone it because of a surge in novel coronavirus cases, officials said. The Southeast Asian country reported 671 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, its highest daily toll since the beginning of its outbreak in March, taking its total to 5,541 infections and 92 deaths. Myanmar had gone weeks without a case of local transmission before a
  • Myanmar orders Yangon stay at home from Monday
    YANGON, September 20 (Reuters): Myanmar announced a stay-at-home order for its biggest city Yangon after reporting a record daily increase in new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. The order in Yangon, Myanmar's commercial capital, comes into effect on Monday and will force all employees to work from home. Schools were already closed under previous lockdown measures. The health ministry said on Sunday it had recorded 671 new coronavirus cases, without saying where. Most of the
  • Thailand seals border with Myanmar to stem Covid-19, drug trafficking
    BANGKOK, SEPTEMBER 16 (IANS): Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said on Wednesday that the border checkpoints between Thailand and Myanmar are temporarily sealed in an attempt to curb possible Covid-19 infections and drug trafficking. Wongsuwan said that as the region is experiencing economic woes triggered by the pandemic, many were tempted to make big bucks by trafficking drugs into Thailand, then destined to a third country, Xinhua news agency reported. &qu
  • Myanmar army probes 'wider patterns' of abuse against Rohingya
    Reuters The Myanmar military has said it is investigating "possible wider patterns of violations" before and during a 2017 crackdown in Rakhine State that the United Nations has said was executed with genocidal intent against Rohingya Muslims. More than 730,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh that year following the launch of a sweeping security campaign that refugees said included mass killing, gang-rape and arson. The army has denied genocide, saying it was carrying ou
  • Myanmar casualties may represent war crimes: U.N.'s Bachelet
    GENEVA, September 14 (Reuters): The U.N. human rights chief said on Monday that three years after a Rohingya exodus "no concrete measures" on accountability had been taken by authorities and said some cases of recent civilian casualties in Myanmar may represent war crimes. "In some cases, they appear to have been targeted or attacked indiscriminately, which may constitute further war crimes or even crimes against humanity," U.N. High Commissioner for Human R
  • Three years after exodus, Myanmar erases names of Rohingya villages, U.N. map makers follow suit
    Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, September 11 (Reuters): Three years ago, Myanmar’s military burned the Rohingya village of Kan Kya to the ground and bulldozed over its remains. Last year, the government erased its name from official maps, according to the United Nations. About 3 miles (5 km) from the Naf River that marks the border between Myanmar’s Rakhine state and Bangladesh, Kan Kya was home to hundreds of people before the army chased 730,000 Rohingya out of the countr
  • Thailand tightens border surveillance as Myanmar infections rise
    BANGKOK, September 11 (Reuters): Authorities in Thailand tightened security on Friday along its border with Myanmar and carried out COVID-19 tests in nearby towns to try to keep the virus out, as Myanmar tackles a surge in cases amid a second wave of infections. Both countries have so far been spared the major outbreaks seen elsewhere in Asia, but Myanmar's quadrupling of its cases to 2,265 in less than a month has put Thailand on the alert. Footage broadcast by loc
  • EU lawmakers suspend Myanmar's Suu Kyi from rights prize events
    BRUSSELS, September 10 (Reuters): Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi will no longer be invited to events of the European Parliament's human rights prize, which she won in 1990, EU lawmakers said on Thursday, a protest over accusations of genocide in her country. Suu Kyi, a former political prisoner of Myanmar's then ruling military junta in the 1990s who now rules as state counselor, was awarded the parliament's Sakharov Prize in 1990. As part of that honour, she is
  • Myanmar increases lockdown measures, airlines suspend services
    YANGON, September 10 (Reuters): Myanmar increased lockdown measures in its biggest city on Thursday after reporting another record daily rise in coronavirus cases, with 120 new infections taking its overall cases past the 2,000 mark. Health authorities expanded a stay-at-home order to nearly half of the townships in greater Yangon, a city of at least 5 million people, where most of the new infections were found. The country has now reported a total of 2,009 COVID-19 cas