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More troops killed in fighting

A fierce fighting on April 26 between the government troops and rebels in Laukkaing region left many soldiers dead, wounded and missing, according to the Myawaddy news.

Myanmar troops launched the attack on two hills on Shin Khote Tan and San Ta Aite Shan where the rebel bases are situated.

A combined force of the Kokang rebels repelled the attacks, inflicting heavy casualties on the government troops.

The makeshift rocky hills have been reinforced with bunkers, fences and trenches.

Kokang rebels to attend Panhsan conference

Twelve armed national groups, including Kokang’s Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) led by Phone Kyar Shin, will attend the conference for ethnic groups to be held in Panhsan in Shan State from May 1 to 3, said Aung Myint secretary of the central office of the United Wa State Army (UWSA).

Three representatives will attend the conference from each group and chairs, vice-chairs, chiefs of staff and their deputies have been invited.

Rebels accused of legal breach

According to a photo being posted on some Facebook accounts, Kokang rebels seem to have breached the Geneva Convention concerning the treatment of prisoners of war.

In the photo, government soldiers taken prisoners appeared to be tied with ropes in a way that hurt their dignity. The Daily Eleven was unable to contact the Kokang rebels to gain a response.

Article 130 of the Geneva Convention concerns prisoners of war, prohibiting torture, inhuman treatment, causing great suffering or serious injury.

UN chief alarmed at ethnic election status

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Friday that there were troubling signs of ethnic and religious differences being exploited in the run-up to the 2015 election.

He stated that stability would not be obtained if the government could not solve the citizenship status of the Bengalis in Rakhine State.

During the meeting with the Myanmar delegates, Ban said: “The continued animosity between the communities could be seriously destabilising.” He urged the government to solve the status issue of so-called white-card holders.

Asean protest demands student release

Asean youths calling for the release of detained students and supporters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo – Nan Zay)

A group of international young people joined Myanmar protesters at the Asean People’s Forum in Malaysia to demand the release of students detained at Thayawaddy Prison.

The protest was staged in central Kuala Lumpur during the public march held after the People’s Forum, which took place from April 22 to 24. Demonstrators carried peacock flags and placards saying “Free Burma students”.

Cheap homes planned for Yangon

A rental housing project will be implemented on a 12-acre site in South Dagon Myothit Township, according to the Yangon regional government. 

This project aims to house families that cannot afford to buy their own homes. Yangon will implement it with the help of Ks20 billion from the Union government for this fiscal year. 

The Human Settlement and Housing Development Department handed over its 12.5 acres at the corner of No.2 and Mahabandoola roads to the regional government. 

Student leader faces two more lawsuits

Female student leader Phyo Phyo Aung has been charged by two townships in Yangon under the Peaceful Assembly Law for demonstrating in February, her father Dr Ne Win said. 

The Action Committee for Democracy Education member is being detained at Tharawaddy Prison under sections 143, 145, 147, 332 and 505 (b) of the Penal Code for calling for educational reform. Now courts in Botataung and Pabedan have opened files against her under Section 18. 

Yangon and Chiang Mai university sign MOU

Yangon and Chiang Mai universities have signed a memorandum of understanding at the Arts Hall of Yangon University.

The document will allow for the exchange of students, teaching tools, technologies, combined research and conferences as well as a diploma programme.

Power cuts hit Yangon

Many townships in Yangon have seen frequent, prolonged blackouts, according to residents.

Kyaw Soe from Tamwe Township said: “There are frequent power cuts these days. Sometimes it lasts nearly two hours. The power cuts occur not only in the afternoon but also in the evening and at night. It’s difficult to cook.”

During the past four days, there were more than 15 blackouts in central Yangon.

Speaker tells workers to find better way to approach superiors

No one could give Parliament orders, Lower House Speaker Thura Shwe Mann told a meeting of workers and business owners in Hlaingthaya Township on April 24.

A representative of workers submitted a letter which included calls for amendments to the 2011 Labour Organisation Law and the Settlement of Labour Dispute Law.

Although what they suggested was good, there were weaknesses in their letter, Thura Shwe Mann said, adding that the workers needed a better way of approaching someone who was superior to them.