Ethnic communities across Burma are raising their voices to strongly oppose plans by the Burma government and the global hydropower industry to build large dams that threaten to destroy their lives and livelihoods.
The United Wa State Army withdrew its troops from the Mongla region this week, signalling the end of a six-month-long standoff with the National Democratic Alliance Army, which controls the autonomous area in northern Shan State.
State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi took the opportunity at a Union Day commemoration in Shan State on Sunday to urge non-signatories to the so-called nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) to drop their reservations and have the “self-confidence” to join the accord.
An ethnic Tai-Leng, or “Red Shan,” schoolteacher was reportedly shot dead by unknown assailants on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the murder of a fellow Red Shan man in similar fashion, both in the Kachin State jade mining township of Hpakant.
The United Wa State Army is set for its biggest leadership shake-up in a quarter century, senior sources told Reuters, raising the prospect of a period of instability in a group that is key to Aung San Suu Kyi’s signature peace process.
One civilian was killed on Tuesday and hundreds more were displaced in northern Shan State’s Kyaukme district as fighting broke out between the Shan State Army-South, a nationwide ceasefire agreement signatory group, and the non-signatory Ta’ang National Liberation Army.
Christians around Burma say they are no better off under the democratically elected government headed by Aung San Suu Kyi, despite promises made in the lead-up to the historic 2015 general election to protect the nation’s’ four major faiths.
In an emergency session on Wednesday, the Shan State legislature passed an urgent proposal to designate as “terrorist organisations” the four ethnic armed groups fighting with Burmese government forces in the state’s north.