- DVB Bulletin: 17 December 2014
- Malaysia to check Burmese migrants for criminal records
- Tavoy farmers in land dispute stand-off
- DVB Debate: ‘Nationalism is exploited for political gain’
- Students ask for symbol of the 1962 protests to be rebuilt
- UNOCHA announces $190m budget
Posted: 17 Dec 2014 04:22 AM PST
On tonight's bulletin:
You can watch DVB Bulletin every weeknight on DVB TV after the 7 o'clock news.
Posted: 17 Dec 2014 03:42 AM PST
Burmese nationals seeking work or who hope to visit Malaysia will be screened for criminal records, the Malaysian Home Minister has announced.
According to Malaysian daily The Star, Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that only Burmese citizens without a criminal history will be permitted entry to the country following a series of brutal murders involving Burmese nationals.
Twelve Burmese men are currently being detained in connection with two recent murders, the latest in a spate of violence in which 18 Burmese nationals have been murdered in the northern state of Penang in the last year.
There has been a series of crackdowns by Malaysian police on Burmese migrant workers in recent years. In 2013, more than 900 migrants from Burma were detained following the deaths of two Burmese individuals.
Many believe violence involving Burmese nationals in Malaysia is connected to ongoing religious and ethnic tensions between Buddhists and Muslims in Burma.
The Malaysia government is looking to improve its border controls, such as investing in facial imaging software and high-definition CCTV cameras, as they become increasingly concerned with monitoring Burmese citizens entering the country.
Last month, the Burmese parliament complied a report into targeted violence against Burmese migrant workers in Malaysia. The report urged the Malaysian government to take steps to protect Burmese nationals after a Burmese construction worker was murdered in a palm oil plantation in Penang. It was noted that if Malaysia did not respond to the report, Burma's parliament would raise the issue with ASEAN's Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.
The Burmese embassy in Kuala Lumpur also released a statement in July saying that Burmese nationals were being targeted by "extremist groups" in Malaysia.
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Posted: 17 Dec 2014 02:04 AM PST
A stand-off was continuing on Wednesday between farmers and construction company workers at a development project in Tavoy, in Burma’s southern Tenasserim Division.
The farmers claim the 300 acres of land on which the project is being built was seized from them by the Burmese government in 1990.
Situated in Sanche ward in Tavoy, officially known as Dawei, the construction project was contracted to Toe Tat Kaung Construction Company by the government to make way for new government offices.
On Tuesday, a group of about 20 farmers confronted the construction workers who had arrived to erect markers on the land.
"We grow crops on this land every year," said Shwe Zin Yu, a local farmer. "We just started cultivating the land for this year's harvest and the company have arrived to dump soil on the land to prevent us from using it."
Su Su Swe of the Tavoy Women's Union said the company is dumping soil on a plot of land originally owned by a local woman by the name of Mu Mu San, whose husband was jailed after confronting local authorities in June when they came to segregate the land.
"As the bulldozers rolled in, Ma Mu Mu San sat down on the ground and told them that she would rather they kill her. She didn't even go back to her home for lunch as she was worried they might begin work he moment she left," said Su Su Swe.
As of 1pm on Wednesday, the company workers were laying fences around the plot, while Su Su Swe and several villagers maintained a vigil inside the perimeter. Another group of farmers became embroiled in an argument with company staff, according to Sai Khe Hseng of a local environmental NGO.
Nine farmers, including Mu Mu San's husband, were jailed and 10 others were fined 10,000 kyat (US$10) each in July after they confronted local authorities the month before.
Posted: 17 Dec 2014 01:19 AM PST
On this episode of DVB Debate, the panel questions whether nationalism is exploited for political gain in Burma.
Panelists agreed that nationalism is a powerful force in Burma, and needs to be carefully monitored if peace, harmony and democracy are to flourish.
Watch the Debate clip in English here, then visit the website: dvbdebate.net
The post DVB Debate: ‘Nationalism is exploited for political gain’ appeared first on DVB Multimedia Group.
Posted: 17 Dec 2014 12:18 AM PST
The newly formed Rangoon University Students Union will call on the Burmese government to rebuild the Student's Union building that was blown up by the military under dictator Gen. Ne Win's rule in 1962.
At its launch event on 16 December, the group, whose stated objective is to campaign for students' rights, said they will soon release a statement with their stance on the controversial National Education Bill.
Rangoon University maintains a highly symbolic status in Burma, particularly among students.
The Student's Union building was blown up by the military during the July 7 Rangoon University protests in 1962, when students demonstrated against unjust university rules.
The demonstrations saw dozens of students being shot dead by government forces, and though the exact number remains unknown it is believed to be in the hundreds. The military brought the protests to an end by dynamiting the Student's Union building where many protestors had been taking refuge.
Last July, students organised a peaceful demonstration at the university to mark the 52nd anniversary of the demonstration. The group carried flags, banners and laid wreaths of flowers, remembering those who had lost their lives 52 years ago.
In his visit to Burma in November, US President Barack Obama gave a speech at Rangoon University where he addressed the political reforms in Burma. He spoke to students about the importance of bringing about positive social change in their country as Burma’s democratic reforms continue to receive international scrutiny.
Considering the legacy of the 1962 protests and symbolism of the building, if the government were to rebuild the Student's Union due to student-lead pressure this would be seen by many as the Burmese government's commitment to renewed discourse with student activist groups.
The post Students ask for symbol of the 1962 protests to be rebuilt appeared first on DVB Multimedia Group.
Posted: 16 Dec 2014 10:38 PM PST
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has announced that more than 536,000 people in Burma – about one percent of the country's population – have been affected by conflict or inter-communal violence and are in need of protection.
It said some US$190 million would be required to support those affected throughout next year.
The UNOCHA's Myanmar Humanitarian Response Plan 2015 said the aid will target 416,600 people in Arakan State and 119,800 in Kachin and northern Shan states.
It said 65 percent of the $190 million budget will be used to provide security, clean water, sanitation, education and health assistance.
Doi Pyisa, chairman of the Kachin Refugee Committee, said supplies of aid to IDP camps in areas under control of the rebel Kachin Independence Army around Laiza have been halted as of October.
He said residents in the camps are in need of housing materials.
"Their makeshift huts are made of bamboo and getting quite rickety as they were built back in 2011. We need to rebuild homes for them," said Doi Pyisa.
Zaw Zaw, a committee member for a Muslim displacement camp in Arakan State's Myebon Township, said the camp has not received any supplies for eight months other than monthly food rations from the World Food Programme (WFP).
"People in this camp have no jobs and no income – we struggle to survive," he said. "We have not been getting anything apart from rations of rice, cooking oil, salt and beans, which is provided by the WFP."
He said he worried that the prospect of malnutrition.
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