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Yangon Lights Up

On the industrial outskirts of Yangon, a rusted chimney exhales wisps of white smoke as a three-decade-old gas-fired power station chunters on. Just meters away on the same compound in Thaketa Township, a low m...
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Myanmar Stop-Go on Free Press

Last week Myanmar hosted a travelling circus of academics in Yangon for a “Challenges of a Free Press” conference organized by the East-West Center in Hawaii. Established by the US Congress in 1960 for policy s...
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New Hurdles for Myanmar’s Already Hobbled Press

Last month, press freedom in Burma suffered a setback when the government detained reporters and editors from the Unity Journal, a local publication that ran a story about an alleged secret chemical weapons plant in central Burma. Instead of disproving the ...
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Myanmar’s Anti-Money Laundering Drive

Myanmar looks set to get a new law to counter money laundering soon, but the country still faces numerous challenges in curbing financial crimes. Last Thursday the Upper House passed an Anti-Money Laundering...
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Chin Refugees’ Indian Dilemma

Expatriate refugees from the poverty-stricken nation of Myanmar have begun filtering back, partly as their country of origin has democratized and more ominously because they are feeling the heat from host count...
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Burma’s Ill-starred Mortality Rate

At 200 deaths per 100,000 live births, Myanmar’s maternal mortality rate is one of the worst in the region, according to a recent United Nations Population Fund report. This number has been halved since 1990, but the Millennium Development Goal of 130 deaths p...
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Western Money and Social Dilemmas in Myanmar

Myanmar seems to be making efforts to improve its image on the international scene before the year ends. This week, the Ministry of Information announced that the BBC, along with three other international news ...
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Development Risks Rangoon’s Architectural Heritage

Rangoon's architectural heritage has been recognized by the World Monuments Fund, which on Oct. 8 put Burma's largest city on its "Watch" list of places "at risk from the forces of nature and the...
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Should U Thein Sein Get the Nobel?

The 2013 winner - or winners - of the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced in the next few days, an award that relatively few Asians have won. When the nominations for the 2013 Peace Prize closed in February, among the 15 or so names mentioned as possible laure...
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Myanmar’s Suspended Big Dam May Restart

Myanmar's controversial Myitsone Dam hydroelectric project, suspended last year by President Thein Sein in the first signal that the new democratically elected government was willing to listen to public protest...