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Ousted Myanmar ruling party boss survives parliament vote
Myanmar's ousted ruling party chief narrowly survived a critical test on Thursday, when lawmakers voted to suspend discussion of a controversial bill that could have hastened his downfall amid the biggest political shake-up since the end of military rule. See full article
Army Restrictions Leave Kachin Refugees Without Aid
A group of more than 1,400 civilians displaced by recent fighting in Kachin state’s Sumprabum Township remain cut off from United Nations aid agencies and other relief groups, more than a month after heavy fighting in the area forced villagers to flee their homes in eight villages. Full article here
India claims Naga settlement
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi claims his government has signed on Monday a 'historic accord' to end the six decade long insurrection by the Nagas in the country's troubled northeast. Full article here
Kachin War Continues – Offensives in Mali Yang, Villagers Suffer
The fighting in Kachin State started in 2011, and in spite of attempts to negotiate a ceasefire the conflict has continued.The FBR estimate that fighting has led to more than 100,000 internally displaced and in June alone as many as 80 combatants, the majority of who are government forces, were wounded or killed. Full article here
In Part Two of an interview with Nancy Shwe, director of RFA’s Myanmar Service, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Commander in Chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces, says the military will support as president anyone who is willing to work for the country but says that person must be able to “get along with the military” and should not have any foreign family members. See full article
Quite a lot has happened during a time span of a week. It started out with the President Thein Sein’s invitation of 15 Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) to sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) on 11 August, followed by the purge of Thura Shwe Mann from the ruling party, Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), as Acting Chairman, on 13 August; Karen National Union (KNU) statement emphasizing that it would sign the NCA as accepted by the government, on 15 August; the four EAOs, KNU, Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), Karen Peace Council (KPC) and Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) joint-statement along the same line as KNU, on 17 August; and the government publication of the NCA for public consumption in its own newspapers, also on 17 August. On the heels of all these, an EAOs leadership meeting is scheduled to be held from 21 to 23 August... Full article here
EBO Background paper - August 2015. 'After what had been recognised as successful talks in July that brought the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) closer to fruition only three points remained to be addressed before a binding agreement could be signed. Perhaps crucially the most important for all concerned parties were which groups are to be included in the signing of the NCA. This has become a particularly difficult point to address as the Government and the armed ethnic group leaders have differing views as to the validity of those groups that can be a part of the process at the initial ceasefire stage'. Original link here. Ref.: Euro-Burma office, Published on 27 August 2015
This publication - written in February 2015 - is a joint product of EPRP and MPSI (Myanmar Peace Support Initiative) to explain the roles and functions of the Ceasefire Liaison Offices. The paper concludes that "given the present problematic state of negotiations on a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, but assuming the probability that many or all of the existing bilateral ceasefires will remain in place, CLOs may be among the few structures in the peace process to be maintained beyond the 2015 elections. They therefore represent an important element of continuity and stability in a dynamic peace process.
EPRP database of resources related to the peace process in Myanmar, peace processes in general and including specific topics and resources focussing on gender issues in peace processes.
Ethnic Issues and Peace in Myanmar
Gender and Peace
The Ethnic Peace Resources Project (EPRP) provides information and training to support ethnic organisations and communities to participate in Myanmar's peace process.
This website provides a database of Peace Resources covering Myanmar-specific topics as well as more general information about international practice regarding peace processes and international norms and international law:
Ethnic Issues and Peace in Myanmar reflects the situation of ethnic people in Myanmar, as individual and as communities within the Union of Myanmar.
Peace Processes includes more general information from international sources related to peace processes (such as human rights norms, ceasefires, mediation and negotiation).
The Gender and Peace section provides resources to raise awareness and support gender equity in the ceasefire and peace process.
The negotiations have so far not broken past the issue of the six groups the government doesn’t want signing the ceasefire – three because they have an ongoing offensive against the Tatmadaw, and three because they have no armed wing. The government has insisted that only groups it has already established a bilateral ceasefire with can sign the nationwide agreement. The six excluded groups are expected to be at the centre of the summit that kicks off today in Chiang Mai.
Ref: Myanmar Time Publish: 21 Aug 2015
As the negotiations for the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) enters into its final stage, both the ethnic armed organizations and the government claim that the last remaining hurdle is which groups will sign the NCA? Other issues are said to be surmountable. What then is the difference between the government’s 14+1 formula and the United Nationalities Federal Council’s (UNFC) or SD/NCCT’s 16+1 formula?
Ref: EBO Publish: 3 Aug 2015
The latest round of peace talks between Myanmar’s government and armed ethnic groups ended Friday without finalizing a nationwide peace accord, due to disagreement over the exclusion of six rebel groups and ethnic-proposed amendments, negotiators said.
The Union Peace Working Committee (UPWC), the government’s negotiating team, failed to agree on the number of armed ethnic groups that will sign the final nationwide cease-fire agreement (NCA). The government wants to sign the accord with 15 groups.
Ref: RFA Publish: 26 July 2015
The latest round of peace negotiations between the Burmese government and the country’s ethnic armed groups wrapped up in Rangoon on Friday, with little concrete progress toward a long-awaited nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA).
Talks will resume in early August in efforts to resolve three remaining issues with a current draft of the accord, which has been in the making for more than 18 months and aims to end decades of civil conflict in the country between ethnic rebels and the Burma Army.
Ref: Irrawaddy Publish: 22 July 2015
Once the nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA) has been signed the ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) and government negotiating teams will have 60 days to come up with a political framework that will finalise the details of the political dialogue, which has to start within 90 days of the NCA being signed.
Ref: MID Publish: 18 July 2015
The government and ethnic groups’ representatives have agreed in principle to work towards signing the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) and the drafting of a political dialogue framework with President U Thein Sein’s administration.
The Union Peacemaking Working Committee (UPWC) led by Minister U Aung Min and the ethnic Senior Delegation led by Padoh Naw Zipporah Sein met on 3 and 4 July in Chiang Mai, Thailand for the first time since the formation of the Senior Delegation. The preliminary meeting was to exchange views before an official round of talks takes place in Rangoon, which, according to U Aung Min, will be held around the third week of July.
Ref: BNI Published: 10 July 2015
The draft framework for political dialogue (FPD) is now almost completed to await for the much anticipated Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement signing which is expected to take place next month, according to reports coming out from the FPD consultations in Rangoon which ended Friday, 10 July.
“But unlike the NCA draft, it is not an instrument for agreement,” said academic Hannes Siebert, who has advised all stakeholding parties creating their own FPD drafts. “On the contrary, it (the finished product) is an instrument for further negotiations.”
Ref: Panglong News Publish: 13 July 2015
Once the sole female peace negotiator between the Burmese government and ethnic armed groups, Saw Mra Razar Lin has worked shoulder-to-shoulder with powerful men for decades.
Ref: The Irrawaddy, Published 24 August
Drugs have long been a serious problem in resource-rich Kachin State. There are fewer female drug users than males, but females are often in more vulnerable situations and are less likely to receive help.
Ref.: The Irrawaddy, Published on 21 August 2015
As the deadline closes for political parties to finalize their candidate lists, those disclosed reveal a staggering gender imbalance despite promises that women’s empowerment would be prioritized in this year’s polls.
Ref: The Irrawaddy, Published 18 August 2015
Last month the British Embassy welcomed Ms Angelina Jolie Pitt to Burma, in her capacity as Co-Founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI). During her four day visit Ms Jolie Pitt helped to highlight the vulnerability of women and girls living in protracted conflict situations to sexual violence, trafficking and other human rights violations.
Ref: The Irrawaddy, Published 11 August 2015
The eldest daughter of Kanbawza’s (KBZ) founder, Ma Nang Lang Kham. Ma Nang Lai Kham spoke with The Irrawaddy’s Kyaw Hsu Mon about the role of women at Kanbawza, promoting women business leaders and encouraging women’s participation in all sectors of the economy.
Ref.: The Irrawaddy, Published on 22 July 2015
The first woman to be appointed as an Ambassador of Burma in five decades, Daw Yin Yin Myint represents the country in Germany, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland and Poland. During a recent visit to Germany, the Irrawaddy sat down with Yin Yin Myint for to discuss Burma’ diplomatic relations with Europe and her experience as a female diplomat.
Ref.: The Irrawaddy, Published on 21 July 2015
Negotiations on a nationwide ceasefire agreement between the government and ethnic armed groups that had appeared to be progressing well, recently hit a stumbling block. On March 30, 2015, the government’s Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC) and the ethnics’ negotiating bloc, the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), announced the completion of a draft Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA).
Ref: The Irrawaddy, Published 13 July 2015
An event commemorating the fourth anniversary of the Kachin War, organized by the Kachin Peace Network, was held at the Micasa Hotel in Rangoon on June 9, 2015. The focus of the event was support and care of civilians displaced by the war, and invited guests were mainly representatives from various international aid agencies and embassies. The keynote address delivered by Lahpai Seng Raw, co-founder of the Metta Development Foundation.
Ref: The Irrawaddy, Published 10 June 2015
The Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) has called on the international community to increase pressure on the Burmese government to end ethnic conflict in the Shan and Kachin States, as the estimated number of people displaced by the fighting continues to rise. In a press release issued on 9 June, KWAT levels accusations of human rights abuses at the Burmese military, including the rape and murder of two Kachin volunteer teachers, and the attempted rape of a 73-year-old woman earlier in 2015.
Ref: DVB, Published 9 June 2015
In an unexpected about-face, a political party founded by women in eastern Burma accepts the government’s request to change its name.
Ref: The Irrawaddy, Published 04 June 2015