Myanmar Monitor Weekly


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Refugee camps have popped up on the Chinese side of the China-Myanmar border [Xie Kuangshi/EPA]

Security

Northern Myanmar rebel clashes turn deadly, China offers help
At least 11 people have died this month in northern Shan state in escalating clashes between security forces and armed rebel fighters. Thousands have fled their homes since fighting erupted in late November, with many crossing the border into China, which has offered Myanmar to work together to stabilize their shared border. China is worried about the risk of violence in northern Myanmar spilling onto its side of the border, as it did last year, when five Chinese people were killed.
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Small shifts in Myanmar’s war on drugs
Myanmar joined several ASEAN nations and China in Bangkok on 30 November in a joint commitment to strengthen community-based health services for drug-users in the region. The meeting, organised by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), follows a similar pledge by the group of countries last year to put more focus on treatment services rather than punitive measures for certain drug users.
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Foreign Affairs

Rohingya crisis: Myanmar bans workers going to Malaysia
Myanmar has banned workers from going to Malaysia as relations sour between the neighbours over the military crackdown on the Rohingya minority. The move came after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak lashed out at Aung San Suu Kyi for allowing “genocide” on her watch during a rally on 4 December in Kuala Lumpur. Myanmar’s immigration ministry said on 6 December that it had ceased issuing licences for its nationals to work in Malaysia – for years a top destination for migrant labour.
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Foreign Affairs

Rohingya crisis: Myanmar bans workers going to Malaysia
Myanmar has banned workers from going to Malaysia as relations sour between the neighbours over the military crackdown on the Rohingya minority. The move came after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak lashed out at Aung San Suu Kyi for allowing “genocide” on her watch during a rally on 4 December in Kuala Lumpur. Myanmar’s immigration ministry said on 6 December that it had ceased issuing licences for its nationals to work in Malaysia – for years a top destination for migrant labour.
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Economy

Off-grid solar to help Myanmar bring electricity to all by 2030
Thousands of off-grid projects are being rolled out across Myanmar as a part of a huge government-led scheme to bring electricity to the entire country by 2030. The burgeoning solar-power industry is looking to develop off-grid solutions and recent examples include a solar-powered irrigation system for rice farmers near Pathein and solar mini-grids in 11 villages in the remote provinces of Shan and Chin.
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Minister suggests ‘sharing plan’ could help lift Myanmar from LDC status
Speaking in parliament on 1 December, U Aung Thu, Union minister for agriculture, livestock and irrigation, acknowledged that state funding are not robust enough to finance all the infrastructure that the country needs, and suggested that some kind of “sharing plan” with the public was needed. He also suggested lawmakers could implement a similar system in their respective constituencies in order to finance works and maintenance.
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Education

Deputy Minister promises changes to Myanmar’s National Education Law
Myanmar’s Ministry of Education has announced that steps are underway to reform the country’s National Education Law in accordance with students’ concerns. Student unions in the country say however that the committee tasked with revising the law has yet to directly contact unions or students for input. It was widely hoped that the NLD would overhaul the system and allow for a more decentralised model.
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