Magwe sesame farmers whose land was taken to build a railway line say the compensation they have received is inadequate. The farmers, in Kyarkan, Gyogyarkan and neighbouring villages near Magwe city, have repeatedly protested that the compensation paid is too little and too late.
A heady mix of ethnic politics, environmental concerns and thirst for rural development is driving the election campaign around Inle Lake. The sight of politicians taking part in traditional tribal dancing to the sound of drums is becoming increasingly common in Shan State’s Nyaungshwe township.
Smaller opposition parties without the fame and celebrity status of the National League for Democracy have reversed Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s campaign slogan: Vote for the candidates, not the party, they say.
Opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has taken her campaign to Kachin State, offering familiar pledges to fight corruption and bring development, pitching for the support of residents apprehensive about the possible return of the Myitsone Dam project. But she is battling what appears to be flagging support in an electoral battleground that has shifted considerably since her party’s by-election triumph three years ago.
Leaders of several armed ethnic groups say they will not take responsibility for security for next month’s elections in territory they control, stressing that the peace process – not voting – is their priority.
Electoral officials in Mandalay Region are struggling to process requests for voters list additions from more than 70,000 people who have complained that their names have been omitted.
The self-appointed guardians of “race and religion” yesterday justified their religiously infused politics as necessary under the circumstances. Speaking in Yangon at the finale event after a month-long victory lap for their four newly enacted and controversial laws, members of Ma Ba Tha said their political work is necessary to protect Buddhist people during a period of transition.
After nearly a week of taking blows for everything from the peace process to “atrocious” conditions at internally displaced persons camps to the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of ethnic minority voters, foreign minister U Wunna Maung Lwin struck back at the UN this weekend.
Seven armed ethnic groups and government negotiators agreed yesterday to set October 15 for signing the “nationwide ceasefire agreement” after nearly two years of negotiations, despite the refusal of several major factions to join the pact.