Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
December 2020 - Myanmar News
- Renewed Clashes as Karen Chafe at Stepped-Up Myanmar Military Presence in Kayin State Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2020 -- The Myanmar military's increased encroachment into territory inhabited by ethnic Karen people in southeastern Myanmar's Kayin state has caused fresh armed clashes that have forced more than 3,000 villagers to flee their homes, a Karen activist group said Wednesday.
- Amid Fragile Ceasefire, Frustration Over Missed Election in Myanmar's Rakhine State Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2020 -- Rakhine's ethnic army and politicians blamed Myanmar's ruling party and electoral authorities Thursday for the failure to hold elections in the war-torn state, as analysts warned that holding a vote will be critical to keeping a fragile ceasefire going into 2021.
- UN: Still No Permission From Bangladesh to Access Rohingya Island Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2020 -- The United Nations confirmed on Thursday that Bangladesh had not yet permitted it to assess the habitability of an island where the government has relocated nearly 3,500 Rohingya refugees, although Dhaka said it was prepared to facilitate U.N. participation.
- Myanmar Military, Arakan Army Say They Aim to Prevent Fresh Fighting in Rakhine Radio Free Asia 30 Dec 2020 -- The Myanmar military on Wednesday denied that it is reinforcing troops in war-torn Rakhine state amid reports by civilians of a buildup of manpower, and said that its talks with the rebel Arakan Army are still underway to prevent further clashes in the region.
- Families of 18 Missing Rakhines Get First Interview With Myanmar Police Since March Disappearance Radio Free Asia 30 Dec 2020 -- After nine months of pressing for answers about 18 Rakhine civilians who disappeared in the war-torn western Myanmar state, family members and witnesses were interviewed by police over allegations the missing men were abducted by government soldiers, relatives of the missing men told RFA on Wednesday.
- Amid New COVID-19 Outbreak, Thailand to Give Migrants Temporary Work Permits Radio Free Asia 29 Dec 2020 -- The Thai cabinet on Tuesday approved a program to temporarily legalize undocumented workers from three other Southeast Asian countries, as a measure to stem the spread of the coronavirus amid a huge outbreak in one migrant labor community, officials said.
- Bangladesh Relocates 2nd Group of Rohingya Refugees VOA 29 Dec 2020 -- Bangladesh has moved a second group of Rohingya refugees to a low-lying island in the Bay of Bengal, despite strong opposition by international human rights activists.
- Bangladesh continues relocation of Rohingya refugees to island Press TV 29 Dec 2020 -- Bangladesh has started relocating a second group of Rohingya Muslim refugees to a flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal.
- Representatives from Myanmar's Ruling NLD to Meet With Ethnic Political Parties Radio Free Asia 29 Dec 2020 -- Myanmar's ruling party will begin meetings with various ethnic political parties on this week, making good on its stated plan to include ethnic minorities in its efforts to build a democratic federal union after winning national elections in November, party officials said Tuesday.
- Myanmar Villagers Return to Refugee Camps Amid Fears of Renewed Fighting in Rakhine State Radio Free Asia 29 Dec 2020 -- Some displaced villagers who returned to their homes last month amid a lull in fighting in Myanmar's Rakhine state are moving back into temporary camps ahead of the expiration this week of an unofficial cease-fire between Myanmar forces and the rebel Arakan Army, with signs government troops are returning.
- Fugitive Former Lawmaker Turns Himself in to Myanmar Police Radio Free Asia 28 Dec 2020 -- A fugitive former lawmaker from Myanmar's main opposition party who had been on the run for more than a year after being charged with sedition for allegedly condemning the country's leaders while speaking at a rally opposing U.S. sanctions on senior military officials, turned himself in to police on Monday, a police official said.
- Bangladesh moves more Rohingya refugees to remote island Press TV 28 Dec 2020 -- Bangladesh has started relocating a second group of Rohingya refugees to a controversial remote, flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal despite international criticism.
- Bangladesh Begins Relocating 2nd Group of About 1,000 Rohingya Refugees VOA 28 Dec 2020 -- Bangladesh is going ahead Monday with plans to move a second group of Rohingya refugees to an island in the Bay of Bengal, although rights activists have voiced strong opposition about the transfer.
- Bangladesh to send hundreds more Rohingya to remote island Press TV 27 Dec 2020 -- Bangladesh is set to send hundreds more Rohingya Muslim refugees to a controversial facility on a remote island in the Bay of Bengal, weeks after it started their forced removal from the border with Myanmar.
- Anti-Myanmar hate speech flares up in Thailand over coronavirus cases Press TV 24 Dec 2020 -- A surge of coronavirus cases among Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand has prompted a flare-up in online hate speech against them.
- Vietnam Telecoms Ties Help Fund Myanmar Military Abuses â€” Rights Group Report Radio Free Asia 24 Dec 2020 -- A murky business partnership between the armed forces of Myanmar and Vietnam, with Myanmar's Mytel telecom company as a nexus, helps funds Myanmar military atrocities in Rakhine state and other conflict zones, an investigative report by human rights activists says.
- Myanmar Migrant Worker Says His Seafood Market Boss Started Chain of COVID-19 Infections Radio Free Asia 23 Dec 2020 -- A Myanmar migrant worker in Thailand who became infected with the coronavirus said Wednesday that he contracted the illness from his Thai employer in a huge seafood market compound in coastal Samut Sakhon province near the capital Bangkok.
- Families of 17 Missing Rakhine Men Get No Help From Myanmar Rights Body Radio Free Asia 23 Dec 2020 -- Myanmar's human rights body said it will not investigate the case of 17 villagers allegedly abducted by the government military nine months ago in war-torn Rakhine state, angering family members of the men who say they were lied to and given the runaround by authorities.
- Casinos, COVID or Drugs? Why China Is Building a Fence on Myanmar Border VOA 23 Dec 2020 -- Media reports say Chinese authorities are putting up a barrier along their southeastern border with Shan State, a volatile part of Myanmar, a move some analysts believe will stop coronavirus-infected people from sneaking in while deterring Chinese casino gamblers and their debt-collection gangs from sneaking to the other side.
- China Border Fence, Aimed at Curbing COVID-19 Spread, Draws Complaints in Myanmar Radio Free Asia 22 Dec 2020 -- Chinese authorities building a fence topped with barbed-wire along China's border with Myanmar's Shan state to curb the spread of the coronavirus failed to hold pre-construction talks with their Myanmar counterparts and may have infringed upon the officially demarcated border line, local administrators said.
- Thai PM, Officials Suspect Foreign Workers as Source of New COVID-19 Outbreak Radio Free Asia 21 Dec 2020 -- The Thai prime minister and health officials said Monday that foreign workers who entered the country illicitly were the likely source of a record outbreak of coronavirus cases detected at Thailand's largest seafood market complex, where hundreds of migrants from Myanmar have been infected.
- Myanmar's Jade Center Suspends Most Mining Amid Coronavirus Spike Radio Free Asia 18 Dec 2020 -- The Myanmar government has suspended large-scale jade-mining activities in Kachin state, home to the world's largest jade mine and a magnet for poor scavengers, until early next year in the face of surging coronavirus infections, the state's natural resources minister said.
- Myanmar Ethnic Regions Keep Schools Open Amid National Closures for Pandemic Radio Free Asia 17 Dec 2020 -- Schools in ethnic army-controlled areas near Myanmar's borders with Thailand and China have been operating regularly throughout 2020, even as most schools have been closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which is surging in the Southeast Asian country.
- Two-Year-Old War in Myanmar's Rakhine Takes Toll on Children Radio Free Asia 16 Dec 2020 -- Two years of war between the government military and a rebel ethnic army have made Rakhine state Myanmar's deadliest place for children, who suffer trauma and hunger on top of violence, local civil society groups said Wednesday.
- Myanmar President Appeals For Rakhine Elections Amid Truce in Conflict Radio Free Asia 15 Dec 2020 -- Myanmar's President Win Myint has called for cooperation among all sides in the Rakhine state conflict so elections can be held in the troubled state where voting was cancelled last month because of fighting, but a rare truce has held for five weeks.
- Myanmar Lawyers' Group Says Ruling NLD Has 'Failed' on Rule of Law Radio Free Asia 14 Dec 2020 -- An association of lawyers' groups in Myanmar has called on the ruling National League for Democracy to strengthen rule of law in the country, saying the NLD has largely failed in the first five years of its rule to protect legal rights.
- Myanmar's Military Sentences Three Soldiers to 20 Years for Rape in Rakhine Radio Free Asia 11 Dec 2020 -- A Myanmar military tribunal Friday sentenced three privates to 20 years for raping an ethnic Rakhine grandmother during army operations in her village in war-torn Rakhine state in June, the lawyer for the victim told RFA.
- Myanmar NGOs Urge Reform of Defamation Laws Used to Silence Critics Radio Free Asia 11 Dec 2020 -- Over 50 civil society organizations in Myanmar called this week for a reform of six defamation laws used by the government and army to silence dissident voices in the country, urging that complaints against critics be pursued as civil rather than criminal cases.
- Police in Myanmar's Rakhine Turn Away Villagers Seeking Help in Case of Abducted Relatives Radio Free Asia 11 Dec 2020 -- Family members of villagers kidnapped by government soldiers in Myanmar's Rakhine state were turned away by police this week after trying to file a missing persons report, their second attempt to call for accountability following the villagers' disappearance in March.
- U.S. Position on Relocation of Rohingya Refugees to Bhasan Char US Dept. of State 10 Dec 2020 -- "The United States has long noted its appreciation for the Government of Bangladesh's commitment to hosting the Rohingya refugees but is concerned about the relocation of 1,642 Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char and plans to carry out further relocations. The United States concurs with the UN that any such relocations must be fully voluntary and based on informed consent without pressure or coercion."
- US Expresses Concern About Bangladesh's Transfer of Rohingya to Remote Island Radio Free Asia 10 Dec 2020 -- The United States on Thursday joined the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations in expressing concern about Bangladesh moving more than 1,000 Rohingya refugees to a remote island that critics say is uninhabitable.
- Democracy Iconâ€™s Myanmar Holds â€˜Not a Small Numberâ€™ of Political Prisoners Radio Free Asia 09 Dec 2020 -- Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi â€“ for decades arguably the worldâ€™s most admired prisoner of conscience -- is facing calls to strike down harsh laws that have kept the population of political prisoners embarrassingly high for an emerging democracy run by a Nobel laureate.
- Transfer of Rohingya refugees to Bay of Bengal island 'must be voluntary': UN refugee agency UN News 07 Dec 2020 -- The head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), has voiced concerns over the reported relocation of some Rohingya refugees by Bangladeshi authorities, to an island off the country's coast, in the Bay of Bengal.
- UN: Relocation of Rohingya Refugees to Remote Island Must Stop VOA 06 Dec 2020 -- The United Nations refugee agency says it opposes the relocation of Rohingya refugees from Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, to a remote island in the Bay of Bengal. Bangladeshi authorities Friday moved more than 1,500 Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char, an uninhabited Bay of Bengal island vulnerable to cyclones and prone to flooding.
- Bangladesh starts 'coercive' relocation of Rohingya refugees to remote island Press TV 04 Dec 2020 -- Bangladesh has started forced removal of hundreds of Rohingya Muslim refugees to a controversial facility at a remote island in the Bay of Bengal.
- Rohingya Refugees Relocated by Bangladesh Begin Arriving on Remote Island VOA 04 Dec 2020 -- The Bangladesh government has begun sending some Rohingya refugees to the controversial Bhasan Char island, despite calls from human rights groups to halt the process.
- Rohingya refugees coerced into going to remote Bay of Bengal island: Aid workers Press TV 03 Dec 2020 -- Rights groups and humanitarian workers say some of the thousands of Rohingya refugees being shipped to a Bangladeshi island have been coerced into going to the remote, flood-prone place.
- Rights groups urge Bangladesh to halt relocation of Rohingya Press TV 03 Dec 2020 -- Human rights groups have urged Bangladesh to immediately stop its plan to relocate thousands of Muslim Rohingya refugees to a remote, flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal.
- Bangladesh Roundly Criticized as it Begins Moving Rohingya to Remote Island Radio Free Asia 03 Dec 2020 -- International criticism grew louder as Bangladesh began moving more than 1,000 Rohingya refugees to a flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal on Thursday.
- Myanmar Military, Arakan Army Leaders Held Online Chat Last Month, Says AA Radio Free Asia 02 Dec 2020 -- Senior leaders of Myanmar's military and the rebel Arakan Army held an online conference call late last month to discuss elections and food aid in Rakhine state, contacts aimed at "building trust" during a de facto ceasefire in the western state, a spokesman for AA told RFA on Wednesday.
- Bangladesh Hopes to Start Sending Rohingya Refugees to Remote Island This Week Radio Free Asia 02 Dec 2020 -- Bangladesh hopes to begin moving Rohingya from crowded camps along its southeastern border with Myanmar to a remote Bay of Bengal island this week, officials and refugees said Wednesday, although human rights groups have criticized the plan.
- Myanmar Government Under Fire as Coronavirus Cases Top 90,000 Radio Free Asia 01 Dec 2020 -- Myanmar's government is facing growing criticism from physicians and experts over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic as the country's number of cases surpassed 90,000 for the first time Tuesday and the health crisis continued to hammer the Southeast Asian region in recent weeks.
- Myanmar's Armed Forces Questions Balloting After Proxy Party's Poor Results Radio Free Asia 01 Dec 2020 -- Myanmar's military is reviewing last month's electoral process to determine whether voting by servicemen and their families was conducted legally, following reports of disputes and claims of fraud by its proxy political party.
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