Weekly Diary, No.637 (29 July-6 August 2013)

Tips for UNFC/WGEC: Frenemies?

Think Piece
A man should not compromise his principles, but he need not flaunt them as a banner. There is a time to talk and a time to be still.

Louis L’amour, The Walking Drum

The World
2 August 2013

Al-Qaeda threat prompts shutdown of US embassies in Arab world. (Agencies)

International Relations
24 July 2013

Deputy Foreign Minister Thant Kyaw, an MP, says border demarcation between Myanmar-India-China has not been completed due to Sino-Indian border dispute. (News Light of Myanmar)

1 August 2013
Ambassador Derek Mitchell, together with Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes, says initial military engagement will focus on humanitarian issues, officer professionalization and human rights. There is no definitive roadmap for military-to-military activities, “not even close” to arms sales or operational training of Myanmar troops. (Myanmar Times)

1 August 2013
Burma has received a sum of $ 160 million from Global Fund to combat HIV/AIDS, 2013-2016, according to Health Planning Department. There are an estimated 200,000 people living with HIV in Burma. (Eleven Media Group)

2 August 2013
Burma has received $ 2.8 million by Aus AID and $ 16 million by UK for the 2014 census. The government has committed $ 15 million and the UN $ 5 million. (Bernama)

Thai-Burma Relations
27 July 2013
New Light of Myanmar reports two Thai firms GMS Power and Global Power Synergy have signed MoU to generate 500 MW power plant in Irrawaddy and Rangoon regions. (Mizzima)

1 August 2013
1.5 million migrant workers have been documented while another 1.5 million are yet to be registered, says Htoo Chit, advisor to Education and Development Foundation in Thailand. (Jakarta Post)

Politics/ Inside Burma
27-28 July 2013
Rangoon’s Thuwanna National Stadium holds peace festival, organized by Zarganar and Myanmar Peace Center. (Irrawaddy)

30 July 2013
ILO Conference in Rangoon, 30 April-1 May 2013:
  • U Maung Maung, General Secretary of the Federation of Trade Unions of Burma (FTUB) walked out saying the conference “has no rules”
  • Participants say people he brought in were not from established workers organizations. He has strong backing from ITUC and AFL-CIO.
(Social Europe)

1 August 2013

President Thein Sein says there must be a demarcation line between politics and religion. (Xinhua)

1 August 2013
It will take only 30 days to amend the constitution, if relevant authorities really want to amend it, says Aung San Suu Kyi. (RFA)

Ethnic Affairs
23 July 2013
The Karen National Union (KNU), Democratic Karen Benevolence Army (DKBA) and Karen Peace Council (KPC) meet in Myawaddy. They agree to work towards Karen self-determination. (Karen News)

24 July 2013
KIO opens liaison office in Myitkyina, attended by UPWC vice chairman U Aung Min. (New Light of Myanmar)

24 July 2013
A program pledging $70 million to help refugees in Kachin and Shan states over the next two years announced by 7 NGOs after a conference in Rangoon. (Mizzima)

29-31 July 2013
Ethnic Conference on Peace and Reconciliation held in Chiangmai. 120 participates in the gathering organized by the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC). Participants include representatives from United Wa State Army (UWSA) and Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA). (SHAN)

31 July 2013
All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF), says vice chairman Myo Win, will be meeting U Aung Min, government negotiator, on Sunday, 4 August, in Pa-an or Rangoon. (Irrawaddy)

2 August 2013
The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), in a press conference held in Chiangmai, says:
  • The UNFC and the non-UNFC movements are moving along the Common Aim, Diverse Action principle
  • The new federal constitution should be drafted before the end of 2013

Shans/ Shan State
27 July 2013
Section 144 revoked and curfew, 22:00-03:00, lifted in Lashio two months after communal violence on 28 May. (Mizzima)

31 July 2013

Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF) General Secretary Ta Phone Kyaw meets U Aung Min in Muse. Observers from New Mon State Party (NMSP) and Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS). “Satisfactory” but no agreement signed yet, he says. (SHAN)

Human Rights
18 July 2013
Township Border Committee (TBC) meeting in Mae Zay, Kayah State agrees to begin preparations for the readiness to return the refugees back to Burma as soon as peace returns. Burma’s Lt-Col Moe Kyaw Thu says authorities are surveying suitable sites for resettlement. (TNA)

29 July 2013

Ethnic Mons demonstrate in front of Myanmar embassy in Bangkok to protest against Nay Pyi Taw’s alleged violation a ceasefire agreement on 16 July, when an armed Mon group based in Mergui was attacked. (Bangkok Post)

29 July 2013
Anti-Corruption Bill passed with 291 votes in support and 211 against. (Irrawaddy)

28 July 2013
Pipeline Watch Committee calls on the government: to re-negotiate the contract to provide the state with a higher percentage of the profits, increased transparency and environmental and safety measures. (DVB)

29 July 2013
CNPC announces the gas pipeline has formally begun operations. A parallel crude oil pipeline is expected to start next year. (Financial Times)

29 July 2013

Win Tun, Minister for Environmental Conservation and Forestry, informs Parliament his ministry is planning to produce 186,650 tons of teak during this fiscal year, 80,000 tons less than last year. (Eleven Media Group)

29 July 2013
Kachin Development and Networking Group (KDNG) says China Power Investment (CPI) continues to pursue Myitsone Project. (Kachinland)

1 August 2013
Officials say floods caused by heavy rains have affected more than 37,000 people, killing one person. 79 relief camps have been set up by Karen State authorities in 12 townships, according to Aung Kyaw, assistant director of relief department. (Irrawaddy)

1 August 2013
Government will allocate only 20 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to Kyaukphyu until completion, when the pipeline will carry a total of 500 million cubic feet per day, 400 for China and 100 for local use. (Mizzima/ New Light of Myanmar)

2 August 2013

Pa Pa Lay, 67, the leader of the Moustache Brothers, passes away in Mandalay of prostate cancer. (Irrawaddy)


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