An AAPP staff member briefs a tourist on Myanmar's political history. Photo: Portia Larlee
An AAPP staff member briefs a tourist on Myanmar's political history. Photo: Portia Larlee

The Friendship Bridge that connects Myawaddy to Mae Sot is a sight for sore eyes after a 15-hour bus ride from Yangon to the booming Thai border town. If you travel direct from Yangon you will likely arrive at the border by late morning and will need to shed the sweater, hat, mittens and socks that kept you warm in the over-chilled air-conditioning on the bus. But don’t worry, the protracted immigration process allows plenty of time to wake up, readjust your luggage and prepare for the short walk across the Moei River to Thailand.

Monday, 23 February 2015 15:37

‘Now they are speaking up’

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Karen News journal pushes boundaries as it expands

Nan Paw Gay
Nan Paw Gay. Photo: Portia Larlee

Nan Paw Gay did not become a migrant worker out of necessity. She chose to work as a nursery school teacher and then as a live-in cleaner in Bangkok after graduating from Mawlamyine University in 1995 because she wanted to understand the experience of millions of Myanmar people who went abroad to seek a livelihood. She was a journalist then, without realising.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015 14:40

‘Radio is access’

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Inside the factory walls: Myanmar radio reaches migrants in Thailand

Mae Sot MAP Radio station manager U Naw Kham. Photo: Portia Larlee
Mae Sot MAP Radio station manager U Naw Kham. Photo: Portia Larlee

The thousands of Myanmar migrants working at factories and farms in and around the Thai border town of Mae Soe rely on one media source: community radio. It is a medium that transcends factory walls, immobility due to precarious immigration status – and illiteracy.

Saturday, 14 February 2015 17:53

Action Aid, UMFCCI, MCU workshop

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Building a better future for the rural poor

Rice farmers in Irrawaddy region. Photo: Min Min
Rice farmers in Irrawaddy region. Photo: Min Min

The years of military rule left the Myanmar economy in tatters. State control and economic isolation led to the emergence of a large informal economy, a crippled manufactoring sector and widespread poverty. A small elite profited, but most of Myanmar had to deal with shortages, unemployment and inflation.

Monday, 09 February 2015 13:54

‘It is time to hold hands and work together’

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Karen mark a revolution and yearn for peace

Karen National Liberation Army soldiers at the KNLA/Karen National Union headquarters in Kayin State. CREDIT Portia Larlee
Karen National Liberation Army soldiers at the KNLA/Karen National Union headquarters in Kayin State. CREDIT Portia Larlee

Saw An Ya, 47, can barely recall the day he was shot during combat. He is no longer sure of the year. He remembers a thunderous barrage and shielding his face with a hand as Myanmar government forces opened fire. Saw An Ya lost his left eye and, without proper medical treatment, was left with permanently broken fingers.

Thursday, 05 February 2015 09:56

Shadow dancing

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Five Kachin parties to compete against USDP proxy in elections

USDP members campaigning in the run-up to the 2010 elections. Photo: Thet Htoo/EPA
USDP members campaigning in the run-up to the 2010 elections. Photo: Thet Htoo/EPA

An interesting political battle is looming in Kachin State, where six ethnically based parties have registered for the general election due to take place later this year.

Tuesday, 03 February 2015 16:43

‘If I write that story they will harm me’

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Reporters without bylines: women journalists in minority areas

UN secretary general Ban ki-Moon addressed the Myanmar press in Nay Pyi Taw in November 2014. Photo: Hong Sar (Ramonya)
UN secretary general Ban ki-Moon addressed the Myanmar press in Nay Pyi Taw in November 2014. Photo: Hong Sar (Ramonya)

Ma Shanmalay was standing outside her home in Taunggyi one cool evening in January 2013 when she was attacked by a young man who slit her cheek with a crude construction tool. Blood was everywhere, recalled Ma Shanmalay, a reporter for the Shan Herald Agency for News, who days before had broken a story about police corruption. It implicated her assailant’s father, a police officer. Ma Shanmalay had her face cut open for doing her job as a journalist.

Monday, 26 January 2015 15:46

‘Fighting cancer better’

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Palliative care in Myanmar: hospices and help from visiting specialists

Fighting-cancer-better-1
Photo: Hong Sar (Ramonya)

Breath is not bated at the U Hla Tun Cancer Hospice in a Yangon’s rural East Dagon Township and time, for its 50 patients, appears neither a burden nor a blessing. visitors may emerge from the hospice compound feeling oddly at peace with their own mortality – but unquestionably grateful for more time.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 17:08

Centres of excellence proposed

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Visiting minister promotes Israel’s agricultural expertise

Yair-Shamir
Photo: Hong Sar/Mizzima

Israel is hoping to conduct agricultural trials in Myanmar to demonstrate techniques that can produce tenfold increases in crop yields, Agricultural Minister Yair Shamir said on January 14.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 13:26

Defeated by Hkakabo Razi

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Bad luck and hostile circumstances

Defeated-by-Hkakabo-Razi
 

Which mountain is the highest in Myanmar – and mainland Southeast Asia – is still under debate. Some say Hkakabo Razi is the highest with an estimated height of 5,881 metres. Only one mountaineer, Japan’s Takashi Ozaki, has summited Hkakabo Razi, he did so in 1995. He would later die on the flanks of Mount Everest.