United Nations Development Programme experts have recommended Myanmar cut back on military spending and focus on social services, warning that the lack of protection for at-risk populations could halt or even reverse development progress in Myanmar.
The Pyithu Hluttaw has agreed to discuss the introduction of proportional representation, helped in part by many ethnic MPs boycotting the vote to show their opposition to the proposal, which has sharply divided the political landscape.
Residents in Mandalay are urging the authorities to lift the city’s curfew completely, saying it is no longer needed as the situation has returned to normal after violence earlier this month that left two people dead and dozens injured.
Dozens of students have protested outside Mandalay’s Yadanarpon University demanding that the National Education Bill passed by the Pyithu Hluttaw on March 16 be abolished.
Political parties say a new directive issued by the Union Election Commission that will place tight restrictions on campaigning means next year’s election is unlikely to be free or fair, as tension grows between opposition forces and the military-backed establishment over the country’s political future.
Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann has written to President U Thein Sein asking him to explain the government’s position on media freedom, following a spate of arrests and jailings that journalists say constitute a government crackdown.
Hundreds of farmers in Sagaing’s Kanbalu township have are facing prison time for staging “plough protests” that saw them reoccupy land seized in 1997 by military-owned Myanmar Economic Corporation and Shwebo No 2 Supply and Transport Battalion.