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Bishop calls for transparency over China-backed dam

MANDALAY (UCAN): Bishop Raymond Sumlut Gam of Banmaw in Kachin State has asked Aung San Suu Kyi’s government to inform the public about the status of the China-backed Myitsone Dam project, following reports of increased Chinese pressure to restart it. The $29.8 billion project was suspended in September 2011.
 
“It is the right time to inform the public because a lack of transparency from the government is worrying the people,” Bishop Gam, an ethnic Kachin, said.
 

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Myitsone Dam protest leader vows to fight on

MANDALAY (UCAN): A court in Myanmar’s Kachin State fined Bernadette Ja Hkawng 10,000 kyats ($50) for violating the peaceful assembly law.
 
Police in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin, charged Hkawng, who organised a protest on February 7 against the Myitsone Dam project, for using unauthorised slogans and a loudspeaker. 
 
“I work for the people not only in Kachin but also across the country, so I am ready to face any challenge,” Hkawng said.
 

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China wants pound of flesh for Myanmar’s diplomatic shield

While Aung San Suu Kyi’s government has a strained relationship with the west over its handling of the Rohingya crisis, China has shielded the country from international pressure and punitive action from the United Nations Security Council.
 
However, in exchange for its diplomatic protection, Beijing is now pressing Myanmar to revive the Myitsone Dam project, which has been suspended for seven years.
 

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Bishop calls for talks over Rakhine crisis

MANDALAY (UCAN): “Solving the problem with arms will not lead to a solution, so both sides need to go to the negotiable table (and work) towards stability and peace,” Bishop Alexander Pyone Cho of Pyay, said, as he called on all parties to return to the negotiation table as fighting escalates in Myanmar’s a Rakhine State.
 
The bishop said tensions remain high between the military and the Arakan Army.
 

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Bishop to visit internally displaced in Myanmar

MANDALAY (UCAN): Bishop Raymond Sumlut Gam of Banmaw, in Myanmar’s troubled Kachin State, has planned Christmas visits to camps for people displaced by violent clashes between rebels and government forces.
 
The bishop said he aims to give moral support to those in internally displaced person’s (IDP) camps.
 
“I’m going to give the message of holiness and patience to the IDPs who have longed to return to their homes after getting peace,” he said.
 

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Repatriation stalls as Rohingya refuse to return to Myanmar

MANDALAY (UCAN): Authorities in Bangladesh have pushed back a plan to repatriate thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees to Myanmar to next year after the latest attempt stalled amid opposition and safety concerns from Rohingya, rights groups and aid agencies.
 

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Leadership training for Myanmar’s young people

MANDALAY (UCAN): The Jesuits in Myanmar have opened the Myanmar Leadership Institute (MLI), a youth leadership training institute with the enthusiastic encouragement of Charles Cardinal Maung Bo of Yangon.
 
With the motto, Learn to Lead, Lead to Serve, the institute aims to help develop a more just society for the poor with professional leaders inspired by a commitment to peace and human rights, concentrating on the preparation of leaders in the fields of education, business and civil society.
 

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United Nations initiative on Myanmar atrocities an important step

Mandalay (UCAN): The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) passed a resolution on September 27 that creates an independent, international body to help prepare case files for future criminal proceedings against perpetrators of atrocities committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar.
 
The UNHRC’s 47 members voted in favour of the resolution, 37 to 3 with seven abstentions. China, the Philippines and Burundi voted against the resolution, which was drafted by the European Union and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
 

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Aung San Suu Kyi fails on rule of law

by Michael Sainsbury
 
 
In Myanmar and across the Western world, there is outrage at the jailing of two local Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, for seven years using antiquated colonial-era laws around state secrets—one of which, bizarrely, was a download of Pope Francis’ schedule for his visit last year.
 








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Calls for accountability over Myanmar atrocities

MANDALAY (UCAN): “Accountability is essential for genuine reconciliation between all ethnic groups and is a prerequisite for regional security and stability,” United Nations (UN) secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, said, as he called for accountability over the persecution of the Rohingya Muslim ethnic group in Myanmar which he described as one of the world’s worst humanitarian and human rights crises.
 

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