UN warns Myanmar Against Rohingya Demolitions

UN warns Myanmar Against Rohingya DemolitionsThe UN has warned authorities that plans to demolish hundreds of homes belonging to ethnic minority Rohingya Muslims will “heighten tensions” in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where the military is accused of abusing civilians during counterinsurgency operations. The warning came in a Dec. 28 letter obtained by IRIN and addressed to Rakhine State Chief Minister Nyi Pu.…

Violence Against Myanmar’s Rohingya Spreads to Aid Workers

Violence Against Myanmar’s Rohingya Spreads to Aid WorkersSoe Aung works for an international aid agency in his hometown of Sittwe, the capital of Myanmar’s Rakhine State. It’s a good job, but he isn’t eager to discuss it in a public setting or outside his close circle of friends and family. That’s because his agency helps Rohingya Muslims. “I stay low-profile here,” said…

Myanmar’s Illegal Wildlife Supermarket

Myanmar’s Illegal Wildlife SupermarketMong La, a boomtown on the border between Myanmar and China, is notorious for a number of reasons from rampant prostitution to a booming gambling industry. But the town's best-known trade is in illegally purchased wildlife, a business that has turned the former village into an international market for endangered animals.  Among the latter are…

China Contractors Wreck Myanmar Villagers’ Lives

China Contractors Wreck Myanmar Villagers’ LivesHkawn San is one of about 5,000 people who were resettled by Chinese contractors from the catchment area behind the projected Myitsone Dam, which Myanmar President Thein Sein abruptly and unexpectedly cancelled in 2011, shortly after he took office.  Like those in far too many other resettlement villages, Hkawn San is not happy. "The house…

Opium and the Disconnect Between Farmers and Users

Opium and the Disconnect Between Farmers and UsersAt the end of every year in Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle, red and white poppies burst into picturesque bloom, festooning with color the hills and mountain slopes of northern Myanmar, which ranks as the world’s second largest opium producer after Afghanistan. At the other end of the opium pipeline lie millions of wrecked lives from…