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Buckle up- it's time for another weekly news round-up.

Continued violence in Rakhine, peace talks, Rohingya flee India, Kachin activists raise their voices, rice duties, history lessons and more.
Another week where Rakhine dominates the headlines, except most of what is in the Myanmar media focuses on what is happening on this side of the border rather than Bangladesh.
 
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Without further ado, let's get to it.
Rohingya and Rakhine
 
Violence in Rakhine is bad right now. Attacks continue, both sides are making remarks that are sure to stoke the fire. The Irrawaddy did an interview the Arakan Army chief. Village administrators in northern Rakhine are resigning out of fear of being associated with the Arakan Army (an offence you can be jailed for). Government spokesperson Zaw Htay gave an interview (whoa) about the peace process, with a lot of talk about the Arakan Army. The UN refugee chief’s visit to Rakhine was delayed due to recent violence as well.
 
Rohingya are fleeing India for Bangladesh, as nationalist groups in India call for their deportation.  
 
On the borders
 
Take a quick glance at the government newspapers, official statements and actions lately and you'll notice two things: 1) they're spending a lot of talking about and visiting ethnic communities across Myanmar and 2) they're constantly talking about "unity" in the name of "development." Lest we forget that dam, road and other development projects in ethnic areas across the country have fueled conflict for decades. After loosing seats to ethnic parties in the last midterm, it'll be interesting to watch how the NLD steers its messaging around ethnic groups as the 2020 election approaches.

Kachin: There have been more and more propaganda coming from China and pro-Chinese development project factions regarding Kachin and the Mytisone. Well, this week several Kachin groups made sure their voices were heard about how they actually really don’t want the Myitsone dam that Chinese have been cooing about. Frontier did a great piece about bananas, land, and environmental issues.
 
Karen: Out of the conflict has emerged a radical grassroots initiative that works to preserve an ethnic community’s bio-cultural diversity, provide protection from war and prevent unwanted development projects. Listen to my piece taking you to the opening of the Salween Peace Park.
 
Shan: A railway from China would pass through TNLA territory, and the TNLA is not happy about it. This week they declared they want a seat at the table regarding the project.
 
Domestic affairs
 
The Reuters journalists’ appeal was rejected last week- something many of us aren’t surprised by, but none of us hoped for.
 
The EU has reinstated duties on rice from Myanmar.
 
Toli moli (“miscellaneous” in Burmese)
 
A history lesson about the Chin military from Edith Mirante. If you like that thread I highly suggest her book “Down the Rat Hole.”
 
And that's the gist for this week. Enjoy this moment of hospitality I experienced last week, kicking off my seven-week travel spree:
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Have a great weekend.

Thoughts? Feel there's something I missed?

Send me a message at victoria.milko@gmail.com
or find me on Twitter or Instagram.
This newsletter was made by Victoria Milko,
a multimedia journalist based in Myanmar.
She would love to hear from you.


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Victoria Milko · Mingalar Taungyunt · Rangoon 11181 · Myanmar

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