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Myanmar to release 25,000 prisoners amid virus fears

YANGON — More than a quarter of Myanmar’s prison population is to be released, the president’s office announced Friday, as calls grow to ease pressure on overcrowded jails with coronavirus fears gripping the country. The Southeast Asian nation grants an annual pardon to thousands of prisoners to mark its April New Year holiday, but this […]

Online mystics cash in during Myanmar virus lockdown

YANGON: Myanmar lawyer Thiri had been excited about her wedding and new job this year – before the coronavirus threw both into doubt. With the stars very much unaligned, she turned to an astrology app for help. For a fee of a few dollars, Thiri’s online mystic advised the 26-year-old to carry out kind deeds […]

Civilians trapped as Myanmar rebels squabble over expected China boom

With artillery exploding around her village in Myanmar’s northeast, 70-year-old Nan Nyunt fled to a monastery, one of thousands of civilians trapped between rebel groups who are fighting for influence as a China-driven economic boom looms. “Houses were on fire and a buffalo died,” she told AFP, huddled on the floor with other elderly displaced […]

Muse: Myanmar’s militia-run, billion-dollar gateway to China

With tinted windows and their militia name emblazoned on the side of their Ford truck, “Pan Say” fighters cruise the sleazy streets of Muse, Myanmar’s main gateway to China and awash with weapons and cash from casinos, drugs and sex. Ten armed groups run the Shan State border town of Muse, which is separated by […]

Myanmar’s New Gold Mine is Dinosaur Amber

On the discovery of the “Amber hunter” for the discovery of the Jurassic Park-style of the Dinosaurs, through the rocks of precious resin in Myanmar – an attractive business that attracts the paleontologists but in the far north the struggle for decades also fueled. Kachin revolves around the merchants using the Amber Market torch and […]

Myanmar farmers going against the grain with apps

A free app on farmer San San Hla’s smartphone is her new weapon in the war against the dreaded stem borer moth that blighted her rice paddy in southern Myanmar for the last two years. As she watches her workers haul in this year’s harvest, the 35-year-old is in a triumphant mood, ascribing her victory […]

What Does Myanmar’s ‘Biggest Ever’ Drug Bust Actually Mean?

On Thursday, the government of Myanmar announced what it claimed as the biggest recorded drug seizure in the country’s history. While the development does deserve mention as part of a wider ongoing crackdown by Naypyidaw, the focus on such record-breaking individual seizures also obscures the massive scale of the problem the country faces as well […]

Myanmar workers in Thailand victims of a broken system

MYAWADDY, Myanmar: With only meagre belongings stuffed into backpacks and duffel bags, tens of thousands of Myanmar migrants have streamed home across the Thai border over the past two weeks. But it is not a joyous homecoming for the truckloads of men and women, who fled Thailand in fear of a new law that hardens […]

Myanmar’s edible bird nest industry comes home to roost

The cries of amorous swiftlets echo around the dark room, an unlikely gold mine for traders in southern Myanmar who are cashing in on rising demand for the edible nests from China’s growing middle class. Dozens of buildings dedicated to the tiny birds have sprung up around Bokpyin in recent years, their grey concrete structures […]

Skin cure fad driving Myanmar elephant poaching surge: WWF

YANGON: Myanmar’s wild elephants are being poached in record numbers with at least 20 killed this year due to surging demand for their hide, WWF said Monday, warning the species is facing a “crisis”. Hunters are increasingly targeting mothers and calves, using poisoned arrows to inflict a slow and agonising death before stripping them of […]