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

More sanctions, UN visits, (more) peace talks, Facebook moves, journalists in court, nationalist rallies, business moves and more.
The news came hard and fast this week, starting with thousands of pro-military nationalists marching through the streets of Yangon on Sunday, oscillating between spewing betel nut/insults about the international community. Lots to catch up on, so let's get to it.
 
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Rakhine and Rohingya
 
The United States and eight other countries on Tuesday requested a United Nations Security Council meeting on Myanmar to hear from a UN fact-finding mission that has accused the country's military of atrocities against Muslim Rohingyas.
 
United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener came to Myanmar and met with military and civilian leaders after  visiting various ethnic states.
 
As camps close in Rakhine, humanitarians fear complicity in permanent segregation.
 
Switzerland joins the EU in sanctioning Myanmar’s military generals. The ban also restricts the sale of technology and software that can be used to monitor communications like the internet and cell phones.
 
New York Times published a piece about Facebook’s role in the genocide, and how members of Myanmar’s military were “prime operatives behind a systematic campaign on Facebook that stretched back half a decade and that targeted the country’s mostly Muslim Rohingya minority group.” The piece received a lot of pushback from Myanmar watchers and academics.
 
The UK has suspended a timber industry reform project support because of the Rakhine crisis.
 
Dutch lifted travel restrictions to southern Rakhine. Come one, come all.
 
Domestic affairs
 
Three Eleven Media journalists were in court this week, facing charges filed against them by Yangon government over a news story the government says was false. Mine for AP. But there is good news- Myanmar’s president has ordered those who filed charges to instead abide by the Media Law and file the complaint through the Myanmar Press Council instead of immediately suing them and putting them behind bars. The next court date is scheduled for Oct 26.
 
Garment workers for a Chinese company (that produces clothing for German and UK brands) protested earlier this week, being quickly met with violence. Reminder that Myanmar’s textile industry is the country’s second-highest export after oil/gas.
 
A large nationalist/pro military rally was held in Yangon on Sunday, with thousands in attendance. Nationalist firebrand monk Wirthu was present, condemning everyone from Obama to the ICC to the UN. My favorite quote from the day: “The day the International Criminal Court comes to our country, that’s the day R2P (responsibility to protect) comes to our country. That’ll be the day that Wirathu picks up a gun,” Wirathu said speaking in third-person. Mine for AP.
 
Another peace talk attempt with some armed ethnic organizations, the government, and the military. Paperwork was signed, but it seems little was actually agreed upon.
 
On the borders
 
A Shan civilian was shot and killed by Tatmadaw forces in the northern the state. In an unlikely move, the armed forces provided compensation for the family (though it was recorded that this was likely pushed upon them so they wouldn’t go to court.)
 
A look at Myanmar’s gas production dilemma. Hopefully they get things in order so we not longer have nationwide power outages like we recently experienced.
 
Toli moli (“miscellaneous” in Burmese)
 
Local free expression activist organization Athan launched their mid-term report on press freedom. The gist? Things have gotten much worse under Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy-led government. And they have the data to back it up.
 
Facebook kicked more users off the platform. “The social media giant said in an October 15 blog post that it had removed 13 pages and 10 accounts that were “engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour on Facebook in Myanmar”.
 
ASSK brother trying to get his half of the historic house she was on house arrest in, demanding the estate is sold and that the profits are split. He previously went to court in order to get  rights to half of the historic property.
 
Outside of the major cities you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bookstore. Odd, for a country where 90% of the population is literate. Myanmar’s largest telecoms company, MPT, is launching an ebook store to tap into that market.
 
Rejoice! The Irrawaddy dolphin is getting more protected area set aside for them.

And that's it for this week!

A few snaps from my week. From the nationalist demonstration to the Tarmwe courtroom:
 
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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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