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

Repatriation moves ahead, violence in the borderlands, debating new sanctions, by-elections coming right up, the decay of internet freedom, and more political prisoners.
Myanmar made plenty of headlines again this week, whether it be repatriation or sanctions. It's also been a less than peaceful time in Myanmar lately, with clashes in Chin, Rakhine, Shan and Kachin all being recently reported.

Without further ado, let's get to it.

 
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Rohingya and Rakhine

The big news this week is that Bangladesh announced that repatriation is moving ahead, with over 2,000 Rohingya being returned to Myanmar. The announcement is being critically received, with many voicing concern that conditions are not sufficient for safe and fair return.
 
The EU has been discussing putting certain trade sanctions on Myanmar. They had their people in Myanmar this past week, and their findings will "feed into the analysis on whether to remove these trade preferences through a temporary EBA withdrawal procedure." On the other hand Japan made a statement that they do not agree with sanctions being placed on Myanmar in response to the violence in Rakhine.
 
Residents of camps set up members of the displaced Hindu community in Rakhine say they haven’t received food since August.
 
This graphic came out in the second half of October but is worth taking a look at. It shows the continued arson/destruction of villages in Rakhine even months after the initial “clearance operations” conducted by the Burmese military:
Domestic affairs
 
By-elections are happening on Saturday, here is why you should care. Let’s hope the voter turnout is higher than it was last year, when less than 20% of some precincts turned out to participate in democratic duties.
 
Protestors expressing support for Myanmar to be referred to the ICC were in downtown Yangon this week, with arrests reported. This fit the trends with the increase in political prisoners in Myanmar experienced in October. But one bright spot- a former child solider who was convicted for “incitement” was found not guilty on another charge he was facing. Though lest we forget he is still behind bars for sharing his story of being abducted and forced in the Burmese military as a teenager.
 
Internet freedom in Myanmar has continued to decline under Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD government, says a report from watchdog group Freedom House.
 
Read about the shadowy trade of gold and dollars taking place- the government blames this for contributing to the declining value of the kyat.
 
On the borders
 
It’s been a violent and turbulent month in the borderlands. The Karen National Union announced it would no longer be participating in the peace process for awhile. The Arakan Army has reported clashes with the Burmese military in Chin and Rakhine states. Thousands have been displaced due to recent fighting between EAOs in northern Shan. More landmine victims…. let’s see if anyone asks the government how the peace process is going at the bi-weekly presser on Friday.
 
Support for armed ethnic groups’ service provisions (like school, land titling, etc.) will “build federalism from below” according to a new report.
 
And here’s your latest Edith Mirante history thread, taking a look at the military history of the land of the Kachin people.
 
Toli moli (“miscellaneous” in Burmese)
 
Myanmar’s sea turtles are fighting against the odds.

And that's it for this week! A snapshot from Kandawlay, Yangon:
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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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