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US ambassador and KNU discuss development, peace

The US ambassador to Myanmar met with the Karen National Union on July 21 to get input about supporting local health and education projects in a bid to spur peace through development, according to a KNU official present at the gathering. The meeting at the KNU’s liaison office in the Kayin (Karen) State capital lasted over an hour. “The ambassador…

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Car Accident Put Karen State Chief Minister in Hospital

Karen State Chief Minister Daw Nan Khin Htwe Myint suffered from injuries in a car crash near Hpa-an on Friday, July 14 at around 7 AM as she was on her way to the birthday ceremony of Sayadaw U Pyinyar Thami, in Tuangalay, Hpa-an, Karen State. The Chief Minister was scheduled to attend the 57th birthday ceremony of Sayadaw U…

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NCA Signatories Send Liaison Officers to Attend Peace Leadership Training in Cambodia

Representatives from eight ethnic armed groups took part in a training program offered by the Cambodia-based Centre for Peace and Conflict Study from July 7-11. The officials – all of whom represent groups that have signed the nationwide ceasefire agreement – are taking part in a four-part leadership training held by the peace-building centre. P’doh Saw Hla Tun, joint secretary…

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Karen State Residents Oppose Coal-fired Power Plant through Petition

Over 1,000 signatures have so far been collected on a petition against building a coal-fired power plant in Karen State, according to local activists. Saw Aung Than Htwe from Htone Taung village said that around 1,300 signatures have been collected in 20 villages in Hpa-an township, as well as in Ta Kaung Boe and U Daung village tracts in Hlaingbwe…

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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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