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Alternative Asean Network on Burma
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Burma/Myanmar: Significant Reforms Needed Before Human Rights Due Diligence Possible
April 2016 - Pdf, Word

Burma/Myanmar has a legacy of human rights violations linked to foreign investment and land acquisition for business activities, including large-scale development projects. A flawed and outdated legal framework, poor policy coherence, weak governance, rule of law deficiencies, and an exploitative and predatory approach to controlling natural resources have fuelled human rights violations and armed conflict. Despite a new government, ongoing military control and/or influence over key ministries remains a barrier to land reform. The legal framework for land acquisition violates international standards. Institutionalized impunity and discrimination, a lack of transparency, and corrupt and unregulated industries present a significant risk to local residents, as well as local and foreign investors. As foreign direct investment increases in Burma, it is crucial that the new National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government tackles land acquisition as a priority policy issue. The current legal and policy framework must be significantly reformed to ensure transparent investment practices and that human rights are respected by businesses operating in the country. Such measures should be conflict-sensitive, clearly address the impact of past abuses and provide concrete means to protect human rights. This short factsheet summarizes business and human rights concerns in Burma/Myanmar, and highlights the need for reforms before appropriate human rights due diligence can be conducted.

 
March 2016 Burma Bulletin
March 2016 - Pdf, Word

In the March 2016 issue: Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing reiterates military's "leading role"; National League for Democracy (NLD) President Htin Kyaw sworn in, alongside hard-line military Vice President Myint Swe and NLD Vice President Henry Van Thio; appointment of Myint Swe sparks concern; New cabinet ministers approved and appointed to ministries; NLD proposes new powerful “state counsellor” position for Aung San Suu Kyi in new government; The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar’s second report highlights land rights, impunity for sexual violence, calls for release of political prisoners and public denouncement of discrimination; Amnesty International urges release of political prisoners in new report detailing “disturbing resurgence” in repression since 2014; US State Department report highlights “severe and disproportionate” rights restrictions against Rohingya, but says not genocide and much more…

 
February 2016 Burma Bulletin
February 2016 - Pdf, Word

In the February 2016 issue: Police crack down on activists before NLD-led government takes control of parliment, piling on new charges for protests dating back to 2014 - five leading women activists are amongst those targeted; Court denies bail for Saffron Revolution leader Gambira despite mental illness; Muslim interfaith activists sentenced to two years in prison on immigration charges; RCSS/SSA-S and TNLA clashes in northern Shan State cause 4,200 to flee with Tatmadaw accused of involvement; Civilians continue to be subjected to severe human rights violations and extrajudicial killings; NLD sets 10 March date for presidential elections as transition talks continue, NLD-led National Parliament sworn in and speakers elected; A Tatmadaw soldier brutally rapes a nine-year-old Rohingya girl in Arakan/Rakhine State, and BGP officers gang rape two Rohingya women in home raids; BGF troops and poppy farmers in Kachin State shoot at members of the Pat Jasan anti-drug vigilante group injuring 33, seven critically; List of Reports and much more…

 
Post-Election Burma/Myanmar: Human Rights Developments
(Nov 15 - Jan 16)
February 2016 - Pdf, Word

This short factsheet summarizes human rights developments in Burma/Myanmar since the November 2015 elections, ahead of the 31st session of the UN Human Rights Council. It highlights the need for intensified pressure to ensure that the incoming National League for Democracy (NLD) government prioritizes reforms that will bring institutional behavior, policies and legislation into line with international human rights standards. Concerns include ongoing discrimination against the Rohingya population and the influence of extremist nationalist group Ma Ba Tha; the continued detention of political prisoners and the challenge facing an NLD government in ending this; civilian abuse in conflict including torture and rape by the Tatmadaw, which remains unaddressed in the exlusive peace process; and immunity secured for outgoing President Thein Sein as the transition continues.

 
Burma Bulletin - Issue 109 - January 2016
January 2016 - PDF, Doc

In the January 2016 issue: NCA non-signatory ethnic armed groups boycott Union Peace Conference; women's involvement needed in peace process; report shows cover-up of military rape, murder; Tatmadaw demands disarmament against calls for federalism, constitutional amendments; new armies established as Tatmadaw attacks Arakan Army; outgoing USDP Parliament passes Former Presidents' Immunity Law; Tatmadaw denied control of immigration and citizenship affairs; Thein Sein grants last prisoner amnesty, jails more activists; NLD nominates Parliamentary Speakers, military MPs appointed; multiple jade mine waste landslides; US called on to beef up investment oversight; Other Burma news; List of Reports and much more...

 
Burma Bulletin - Issue 108 - December 2015
December 2015 - PDF, Doc

In the December 2015 issue: Aung San Suu Kyi meets with former dictator Than Shwe, President Thein Sein, Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing, and National Parliament Speaker Shwe Mann to discuss peaceful transition; Government submits bills to shield Thein Sein from prosecution and to lessen NLD authority on National Defense and Security Council; Framework for Political Dialogue is set without equal representation for non-signatory EAOs, women, and civil society; Tatmadaw refuses safe passage for IDPs facing food and health crises; Two more jade landslides kill up to 70 people as Mines Ministry calls for martial law; and much more...

 
Burma Bulletin - Issue 107 - November 2015
November 2015 - PDF, Doc

In the November 2015 issue: Election results show an overwhelming victory for the NLD with huge USDP losses; New Parliament will be the first without Muslim MPs since independence, reflecting increasing discrimination; Aung San Suu Kyi takes steps towards political dialogue with President Thein Sein and Tatmadaw CiC Min Aung Hlaing; Observers and media report advance voting problems; Current Parliament reconvenes to push through legislation in final session; 10,000 displaced by worsening conflict in Shan State, civilian abuse and sexual violence reported in Shan and Kachin; Imprisoned student activists suffer health problems during hunger strike; Up to 213 killed in landslide at mine in Kachin State; and much more...

 
Burma/Myanmar Post-Election Outlook: Trials for Triumph
November 2015 - Pdf, Word

Results announced on 13 November confirmed the overwhelming victory of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in the 8 November elections, which decided 75% of seats in Burma/Myanmar’s National and Regional Parliaments. While the military will retain its allotted 25% of parliamentary seats, the NLD now holds an overall majority in the National Parliament, giving it the power to form Burma/Myanmar’s next government and select a President.
This briefer summarizes post-election issues, including; the presidential selection process; the military power preserved in the 2008 Constitution; Aung San Suu Kyi's call for "reconciliation talks" with President Thein Sein, Commander-in-Chief Sr Gen Min Aung Hlaing and Parliamentary Speaker Shwe Mann; and the final parliamentary session for sitting MPs. 

 
Burma/Myanmar Election Day: Free-est & Fairest is Not Free and Fair
November 2015 - Pdf, Word

On 8 November, Burma/Myanmar held what has been called its ‘free-est and fairest’ election in 25 years. An 80% turnout rate was reported for the 33.5 million Burmese eligible to vote in the election, which saw the first participation of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) in a general election since the (later annulled) 1990 elections.
After a half century of rule by authoritarian regimes, and 2010’s sham election which saw the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) win through widespread fraud, the landmark vote was heralded as the most credible in a generation, but was far from being ‘free and fair.’ The results will determine the composition of 75% of Burma’s National and Regional Parliaments, while 25% of seats remain reserved for the military.

 
Burma Bulletin - Issue 106 - October 2015
October 2015 - Pdf, Word

In the October 2015 issue: The Election Commission (EC) proposes to delay the 8 November elections; EC cancels voting in over 600 village tracts; Tatmadaw hostilities block campaigns; NLD staff and supporters suffer multiple violent attacks; Police arrest NLD activists and crackdown on social media; Ma Ba Tha enjoys impunity and USDP support; Only 8 armed ethnic groups sign NCA, Tatmadaw punishes others; UN Special Rapporteur casts doubt on 'free and fair' elections; Laborers begin hunger strike; Reports released in October and much more...

 
Fear & Voting in Burma/Myanmar: 2015 Election
October 2015 - Pdf, Word

On 8 November, up to 32 million Burmese voters will elect representatives to fill 1,171 seats in the National and State/ Division Parliaments. Ninety one political parties will compete for 75% of seats in the legislature, while 25% remain reserved for the Tatmadaw. Despite official promises of a “free and fair” election, multiple flaws continue to undermine the credibility of the process.

This briefer summarizes obstacles to "free and fair" elections, including; widespread voter lists errors; disenfranchisement of Rohingya, overseas migrants and people in conflict areas; candidate disqualifications; Election Commission (EC) media restrictions; the extremist Organization for the Protection of Race and Religion (Ma Ba Tha)'s anti-Muslim rhetoric; and increased police surveillance.

 
Burma Bulletin - Issue 105 - September 2015
September 2015 - Pdf, Word
In the September 2015 issue: Muslim candidates rejected by the Election Commission (EC); Voter list errors still widespread; Parties and extremist groups use questionable campaign a tactics; 100,000 disenfranchised in post-conflict areas of Karen State; Regime-backed militia prevents campaigning; NCA fails on inclusiveness; Calls for Letpadan police charges and student releases; Statement from UN Sec Gen Ban Ki-moon; Deforestation at dangerous levels; Reports released in September and much more...
 
UNGA 2015: Developments since the 2014 UNGA Resolution on Burma
October 2015 - Pdf, Word
The Burmese authorities have failed to implement most of the recommendations from Resolution 69/248 adopted in 2014. In 2015, authorities continued to either fail to address, or collude in serious human rights violations, and took steps to undermine the possibility of ‘free and fair’ elections on 8 November: 3.2 million people are excluded from voting in the 2015 elections; Naypyidaw passed discriminatory laws backed by extremists while tens of thousands of Rohingya fled persecution causing May's 'boatpeople crisis'; a new war erupted in Kokang Self-Administered Zone and the Tatmadaw continued civilian abuses; arrests and imprisonments of political activists and human rights defenders increased by 172%.
 
Burma Bulletin - Issue 104 - August 2015
August 2015 - Pdf, Word

In the August 2015 issue: Floods hamper political parties’ candidate registration; Election Commission disqualifies candidacies based on parentage; Detained students go on hunger strike; Shwe Mann purged from USDP Chairmanship; Yanghee Lee’s third visit;  Other Burma news; List of Reports and much more....

 
Burma Bulletin - Issue 103 - July 2015
July 2015 - Pdf, Word
In the July issue: Regime frees 13 political prisoners, arrests student protesters opposing military presence in Parliament; Letpadan students’ trials continue; Regime Election Commission announces 8 November polls date; Clashes in Kachin, Shan and Karen States; UNHRC passes resolution on Rohingya; Other Burma news; List of Reports and much more...
 
Burma Bulletin - Issue 102 - June 2015
June 2015 - Pdf, Word
In the June issue: Par Gyi verdict inconclusive; Media restrictions rising ahead of elections; EMG editors charged with contempt of court; Clashes in Kachin and Shan States; Disenfranchisement of temporary ID card holders confirmed; Other Burma news; List of Reports and much more...
 

Burma Bulletin - Issue 101 - May 2015

May 2015 - Pdf, Word
In the May issue: Thai trafficking crackdown after mass grave discovery; Over 8,000 boatpeople abandoned by traffickers; ASEAN reluctant to address crisis; Evidence of genocide in Arakan; Fighting escalates in Kachin, Shan States; Other Burma news; List of Reports and much more...
 
Burma Bulletin - Issue 100 - April 2015
April 2015 - Pdf, Word
In the April issue: Tatmadaw's continued offensive in Kokang Self-Administered Zone; Clashes in Chin, Arakan States; Clashes in Kachin, Shan, Karen States; Thousands of temporary ID cards seized in Arakan State; ASEAN politicians call to address rising intolerance in Burma; Other Burma news; List of Reports and much more...
 
Burma Bulletin - Issue 99 - March 2015
March 2015 - Pdf, Word
In the March issue: Regime crackdown on student protesters; Journalists covering protests harassed; Tatmadaw offensive in Kokang Self-Administered Zone; Clashes in Kachin and Shan States; UNHRC passes Burma resolution; China condemns Tatmadaw air strike which hits Yunnan Province; Other Burma news; List of Reports and much more...
 
Universal Period Review (UPR) joint submission on Burma
March 2015 - Pdf, Word

The submission by ALTSEAN-Burma and FIDH focuses on: Myanmar’s adherence to international human rights instruments; its domestic legislation and the rule of law; the intimidation and targeting of human rights defenders (HRDs); armed conflict and displacement; the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, including Muslim Rohingya; rape and gender-based violence; human rights abuses in prisons and in conflict areas; and the National Human Rights Commission. Read more...

 
Regime Continues Anti-Rohingya Policies
March 2015 - Pdf, Word

The situation for Rohingya, often described as one of the world's most persecuted peoples, has severely deteriorated during President Thein Sein’s presidency, with a spike in hate crimes and the introduction of additional discriminatory draft laws and policies. Pre-existing discriminatory policies against Rohingya, including restrictions on marriage and birthrates, remain in full force. Stricter enforcement of the 1982 Citizenship Law ensures most Rohingya remain stateless. Read more...

 
Burma update since 2014 UNHRC Resolution
March 2015 - Pdf, Word

Since the 2014 UNHRC resolution, Burma’s transition has slid backwards, as the regime failed to implement many of the resolution’s recommendations. Among the critical issues the regime has failed to tackle are the ongoing Tatmadaw attacks in Kachin and Shan States and their dire impact on civilians, the repeated sentencing of human rights defenders, increasing media repression, and discrimination against Rohingya. This briefer provides updates on key elements raised in UNHRC Resolution L.21 (adopted on 28 March 2014), focusing on the period from September 2014 to February 2015. Read more...

 
Burma Bulletin - Issue 98 - February 2015
February 2015 - Pdf, Word
In the February issue: Tatmadaw launches major offensive in Kokang Self-Administered Zone; Red Cross convoys attacked; Clashes, civilian abuse continue in Kachin and Shan States; Students protest National Education Law; Regime revokes temporary IDs; Michaungkan protesters sentenced, more arrested; Other Burma news; List of Reports and Read more...
 
Burma Bulletin - Issue 97 - January 2015
January 2015 - Pdf, Word

In the January issue: Tatmadaw offensives continue in Kachin and Shan States; Civilians abused and teachers raped in Shan State; Students protest National Education Law; Yanghee Lee goes to Burma; More arbitrary arrests and imprisonments; US, EU officials slam regime; Other Burma news; List of Reports and much more...

 
Burma: Crackdowns on Peaceful Assembly and Association in the Context of Business Activities
January 2015 - Pdf, Word
A veneer of reform disguises the threats posed to freedom of assembly and association in Burma. Publicly expressed dissent has often been met with disproportionate force, particularly in relation to large-scale development projects or natural resource extraction. The regime also continues to ignore calls from CSOs to address human rights abuses, including land confiscation, associated with these projects. Read more...
 
Burma Bulletin - Issue 96 - December 2014
December 2014 - Pdf, Word
In the December 2014 issue: Letpadaung copper mine; Michaungkan protesters; Fighting in Kachin and Shan States; 'National Race and Religion Protection' bills submitted; Burma top opium producer; Tatmadaw soldier jailed for backing reforms; Other Burma news; List of Reports and much more…
 
Burma Bulletin - Issue 95 - November 2014
November 2014 - Pdf, Word
In the November 2014 issue: Burma hosts ASEAN Summit; US President visits Burma; Constitutional reform delayed; Tatmadaw attack on Laiza; Rohingya exodus; UNGA adopts Burma resolution; Other Burma news; List of Reports and much more…
 
Burma Bulletin - Issue 94 - October 2014
October 2014 - Pdf, Word
In the October 2014 issue: Regime frees five political prisoners, jails activists, media workers; Clashes in Shan and Karen States; Parliamentary committee submits report on constitutional amendments; Tatmadaw kills journalist; Yanghee Lee’s report; More than 10,000 Rohingya flee Arakan State; Other Burma news; List of Reports and much more…
 
Developments After the 2013 UNGA Resolution
October 2014 - Pdf, Word

The Burmese authorities have failed to implement most of the recommendations from previous United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions, in particular Resolution 68/242, adopted in 2013. This briefer summarizes developments on the ground with direct reference to key paragraphs of the resolution. Read more...

 
New arrests and imprisonment of activists and human rights defenders in Burma
September 2014 - Pdf, Word
A total of 158 activists and human rights defenders were documented as arrested or prosecuted in the past nine months (i.e. since December 2013). Of this number, 85 were confirmed as sentenced to jail, while many others await trial or sentencing. Read more…
 
Burma Bulletin - Issue 93 - September 2014
September 2014 - Pdf, Word
In the September 2014 issue: Regime backpedals during ceasefire talks; Tatmadaw offensives in Karen, Mon, Kachin, Shan States; By-elections cancelled; Parliament's 11th session; HRDs repeatedly sentenced; More arbitrary arrests, imprisonments; Other Burma news; List of Reports and much more…
 

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