Deadly secret: The illegal abortions killing Myanmar’s women

Yangon, May 2 (AFP) Thiri’s heart started pounding and her whole body shook after she swallowed the final dose of pills that would end her unwanted pregnancy in a Yangon hotel. Her boyfriend had abandoned her after finding out she was pregnant — a familiar story in Myanmar, where many consider women “ruined” if they […]

Planning an MPA system in Myanmar: Interview with Phil Dearden

The Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar officially emerged from military rule and geopolitical isolation in 2011. A civilian government now holds power, and the nation — home to more than 100 ethnic groups — is reopening itself to the world. Part of this reopening is in the realm of marine conservation: the government is partnering […]

One of world’s biggest superyachts ‘built using illegal Burmese timber’

A German shipyard used illegally-sourced teak from Myanmar to construct a superyacht for a Russian billionaire, a public prosecutor has claimed. Nobiskrug shipyard on the river Eider used wood supplied by a Burmese government-controlled firm which was sanctioned earlier this year for exporting teak from threatened forests, lawyer for the state Axel Bieler said. Timber […]

China’s climate aid flows into Myanmar

Than Bayar Khon village sits nested in the foothills of the Bago Yoma forest in central Myanmar. The low mountains, once heavily forested with teak and valuable tropical timbers, are now rapidly balding. Despite being only a few kilometres from the major highway connecting the port city of Yangon with the capital Naypyidaw, the three […]

Through reclusive Wa, China’s reach extends into Suu Kyi’s Myanmar

China is extending its sway over an autonomous enclave run by Myanmar’s most powerful ethnic armed group, sources in the region told Reuters, bolstering Beijing’s role in the peace process that is the signature policy of Aung San Suu Kyi. The “foreign policy” of the self-proclaimed Wa State is closely monitored by Beijing, senior officials […]

Gems Emporium Expected to Attract US and EU Traders

RANGOON — More Western jade traders are expected to attend to the upcoming Naypyidaw Gems Emporium, after the lifting of US economic sanctions last month. Among the American restrictions which were lifted was a longtime ban on transactions involving jade, gems and jewelry from Burma. The move by the US government—announced in September—was criticized by […]

Government Fixes Price for Massive Jade Stone at US$6 Million

RANGOON — The price of a massive unearthed giant jade stone in Hpakant Township, Kachin State, has now been fixed by the government’s Myanmar Gems Enterprise as worth around 7 billion kyats (around US$6 million). The 210-ton stone was discovered on Oct. 10 at Yadanar Taung Tann Gems Company’s mine, which is operating in a […]

Jade Curse Tests Post-Sanctions Myanmar

Its embrace can bring wealth beyond measure, or instant death. It is a magnet for the most impoverished migrant workers and the most ruthless exploiters. Its haunts are a cauldron of armed conflict beyond the law of the land. In what could be one of its most challenging tests, how will Myanmar’s democratic government deal […]

NGOs in Myanmar against EU agreement

EU has requested an investment protection agreement with Myanmar which is being criticized by local NGOs in Myanmar. The agreement was intended to secure investors from EU in case of dispute so the dispute could be raised at an international court of law. Local NGOs say that disputes about legal rights to land is a […]

To pay or not to pay? INGOs wrangle over income tax

With a new government in office and the start of a new financial year, international non-government organisations (INGOs) are holding intense discussions over whether their well-paid expat staff should pay income tax in Myanmar. Some have been paying tax for years; others claim to have deals that exempt their foreign staff; and others would not […]