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

Attacks in Rakhine, China turns the heat up in Kachin, Reuters appeal, drugs and war on the borders, aircraft blunders and more.
Mingalaba and happy new year to all. Kicking off the newsletter for 2019, with plenty of things to read about from the past few weeks.

I'm on the road for the next month and a half, so the next few newsletters might be shorter/quite to the point for some time to come. Thanks for continuing to read along and send such thought-provoking and informative emails in response.

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Without further ado, let's get to it.
Rohingya and Rakhine
Tensions in Rakhine flared again, with the Arakan Army attacking police outposts, killing 13. In response the government said it will crush insurgents and urged locals not to support the AA. Aid is still being blocked to IDPs in northern Rakhine as well (not to mention a major breach in international law).
Domestic affairs
Right before the holidays the government announced plans to transfer the General Administration Department to the civilian government. Here’s a little explainer about what that all means. But the chatter/excitement was short lived.
The military has acquired an aircraft made by European companies, despite the fact that sanctions have been tightening up/supposed to stop this kind of thing. Whoops.
The Reuters appeal verdict is due today.
On the borders
Kachin: China is trying to strong-arm Kachin into accepting the Mytisone dam project. Kachin villagers march in protest of a US-backed park. On a more cheerful note, I did a piece about a Kachin village in northern Thailand, where the sacred manau is still typically held every two years.  
Karen: Saferworld released a survey of over 2,000 people affected by the civil war between the Burmese military and the KNU. A sad but necessary read, with a good tweet breakdown.
Shan: the International Crisis Group released a report about how the illegal methamphetamine drug trade has eclipsed the formal economy of Shan. Read the report here/how’s this for a catchy title: Fire and Ice: Conflict and Drugs in Myanmar’s Shan State. Fighting also continues, displacing more civilians.
That's it for this week! Please enjoy this photo of Aung San Suu Kyi in Kachin State. In the same paper the president called for the peaceful unity of all ethnic groups in the country. No word on whether the military received the paper/message yet:
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Have a great weekend.

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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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