Burma

Select few reap benefits from boom at top Burma pilgrimage site

 
The Golden Rock pagoda is one of Burma’s most emblematic tourist destinations. Yet despite a huge spike in the number of tourists, most locals aren’t reaping the profits. Our Observer, a street vendor, explains that while a handful of businessmen are making good money, her living conditions haven’t improved one bit. Read more…
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Rampant child labour in Burma: “11 years old and waiting tables”

 
In Burma, it is not at all unusual for a child to serve you tea at a café. Child labour remains a major problem in the country, even as it opens up to the rest of the world. One of our Burmese Observers went to meet some of these underage workers in Rangoon. Read more…

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Burmese refugees in Thailand feel mounting pressure to return home

 
After living in refugee camps in Thailand for over a quarter century, more than 140,000 Burmese refugees who fled civil war at home are starting to feel like their welcome has worn out. One of our Observers, a refugee, tells us how pressure is growing on them to return to Burma, despite a highly uncertain future there. Read more...
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‘969’: The three digits that are terrifying Muslims in Burma

 
Brightly-coloured posters and stickers bearing the number "969" are popping up in cities all over Burma. These look innocuous enough at first glance. However, “969” actually denotes an anti-Islam campaign led by hardliner Buddhist monks. Burmese Muslims say it has stirred up hatred and paranoia, resulting in a string of bloody anti-Muslim riots across the country over the past weeks. Read more…

Muslim Burmese refugees stay shut up in camps, fearing more violence

 
One month after the attacks that targeted its Muslim community, life in the central Burmese city of Meikhtila is still a long way from getting back to normal. Meikhtila’s police presence has been strengthened, and nearly half of the city’s 30,000 Muslim residents are now living in heavily-guarded refugee camps that they don’t dare venture out of. Read more…
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Burmese Muslims sceptical of ‘accidental’ deadly Islamic school fire

 
At least thirteen children were killed early Tuesday in a blaze at an Islamic boarding school in Rangoon, Burma’s biggest city. Police immediately blamed the fire on an electrical failure, but according to reports, hundreds of local Muslims who gathered near the scene expressed suspicion that this could have been done intentionally. Read more...

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Buddhist-Muslim violence continues for third day in Burma

 
Photos and videos from the central Burmese town of Meikhtila show rioting and attacks against Muslim-owned businesses, in the country’s worst communal violence since last year's clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in the eastern part of the country. The ongoing unrest has has displaced thousands and left at least 20 people dead, according to a member of parliament from Meikhtila District. Read more…
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Angry Burmese citizens shame bad drivers by posting photos online

 
Heavy traffic has become quite a headache in Burma’s biggest city, Rangoon. Some of its residents find this problem is made worse by bad drivers, who they’ve decided to shame by posting photos of traffic violations online for all to see. Read more…
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