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KNU Training Achieves 30 percent Quota for Female Participation

The Karen National Union lauded female participation in a recent, local political training after the course attained a 30 percent quota. The second basic politics training, a five-day event last week, involved residents from villages in KNU-controlled Kawkareik township. Among the 100 trainees, 30 were women. “I’m very glad to see many women at the training. I hope women will…

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Solar Panels Light up Thousands of Homes in Karen State

Over 11,000 rural households in Karen State are set to newly receive electricity thanks to a long-awaited solar panel program. Under the National Electrification Project (NEP), the World Bank and the Department of Rural Development are installing heavily subsidized solar panels, which were sold to villagers at a fraction of the real cost. The panels are being installed atop more…

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Baptist World Alliance Honors Cynthia Maung’s Work at the Mae Tao Clinic

Cynthia Maung, a doctor who has spent nearly three decades working with migrants and refugees along the Thai-Myanmar border, was honored with the 2017 Baptist World Alliance Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award. “I’m proud to receive this award for the civic-based organizations and individuals who are working with us on health, education and human rights issues,” she told…

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Displaced Children at Myaing Gyi Ngu IDP Camp Vaccinated

Over 200 children at the Myaing Gyi Ngu internally displaced persons camp have received their first ever inoculations this week, amid a joint vaccination drive by the Karen Department of Health and Welfare and the state health department. Between July 4-6 children under five were given a slew of vaccines protecting against tuberculosis, tetanus, chickenpox, diphtheria, pertussis, hepatitis B, pneumococcal…

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KNLA Leaders Warn Soldiers to Remain Cautious of the Ceasefire

On Karen armed forced day last week, one ethnic armed group leader sounded a cautionary note, instructing soldiers to recall that a ceasefire is not the same as peace, while urging them to remain “alert”. “The ceasefire is a political game,” said Lieutenant General Saw Baw Kyaw Heh, speaking at an event commemorating the 68th Karen Armed Forces (Kawthoolei Army)…

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Steering Team to Review Peace Process

With peace still looking elusive and negotiations as fractured as ever, a steering committee established by the ceasefire signatories has agreed to conduct a broad review of the peace process. The Peace Process Steering Team (PPST) announced on July 2 that it would undertake the survey. The team, compromised of representatives from the eight ethnic armed groups party to the…

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First Karen National Police Force Day to be held this year

The Karen National Union (KNU) will celebrate its police force, inaugurating the first annual ‘Police Day’ on September 9, according to an official from the KNU’s Interior and Religious Affairs Department. “The KNPF has been active for 20 years, but the public does not know them. They are only slowly gaining public recognition,” said P’doh Saw Ah Toe, head of…

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Thai Crackdown Disrupting Burma Migrant Schools: BMTA

A recent crackdown by Thai authorities against illegal foreign workers has resulted in the temporary closure of several Burma migrant schools in Tak Province, according to the Burmese Migrant Teachers’ Association (BMTA). BMTA secretary U Naing Naing Tun told Karen News on June 29 that migrant school teachers have been spooked by the crackdown over the past week so are…

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Ethnic Media Conference calls for the release of three detained journalists

Participants of the Fifth Ethnic Media Conference have submitted an open letter to the President, the State Counsellor and the Tatmadaw’s Commander-in-Chief calling for the release of three journalists who have been detained in Shan State. After holding an emergency session on the issue of the detained journalists from the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) and the Irrawaddy, 25 media…

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Fifth Ethnic Media Conference Convenes in Loikaw

The Fifth Ethnic Media Conference got underway in Loikaw, Kayah (Karenni) State on June 26. Led by Burma News International (BNI) and Kayah State-based Kantarawaddy Times, the three-day conference aims to raise the profile of ethnic media, according to BNI’s director Nai Kasauh Mon. Nai Kasauh Mon said ethnic media was vital in “providing truthful information to the public”. Under…

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