Category Archives: Rule of Law

land rights, regional legal issues

Rule of Law in Myanmar


One of the biggest challenges of working in Myanmar is the lack of trust created by five decades of military rule, in which the law was used as a weapon of control.  Lawyers often have limited education, and are not respected in a system in which corruption is not just an add-on, but the very oil that makes the wheels turn. Beginning in November 2013, Partners Asia, with support from the Oak Foundation, has been assisting local groups in their […]

Oxford University Myanmar Day – April 2015


Partners Asia Senior Advisor, Zunetta Herbert Oxford University held a conference on April 29th to officially launch their partnership with the Yangon University Law Department. The meeting took place at St. Hugh’s College, in a room with portraits of a famous alumni, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Guest speaker Prof. David Steinberg remembered having first been there in 1991 at a conference with Martin Smith and Zunetta Herbert, who were both present. Oxford University’s program with Yangon University includes teaching […]

Myint Zaw wins the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize


Partners Asia Team Partners Asia is delighted that Myint Zaw’s work to protect the Irrawaddy River has been recognized by the prestigious Goldman Prize. In February 2015, U Myint Zaw asked for support for the ‘Living Rivers” conference he hoped to hold in Yangon to keep alive the need for a united popular opposition to the Myitsone Dam. While Myint Zaw was part of a movement in the 2009-11 that ended with the abrupt decision by ex-General and President Thein […]

International Investment in Myanmar: The Realities


Zunetta Herbert Partners Asia Senior Advisor As international investors and others continue to pour into Myanmar to search out deals and opportunities, one company gives a more humane view of the situation they found in special economic zones(1). The situation reported here is repeated all over Myanmar. In November 2014 Partners Asia staff traveled to Kachin State, and found that villages resettled for the abortive Myitsone Dam are now largely abandoned: the rows of brick houses with wire fences, the […]

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October 2014 Report – Myanmar Civil Society Organizations Forum


Reported by Zunetta Herbert Partners Asia Senior Advisor Myanmar Civil Society Organizations critique the transition and the role of international donors, October 2014. Myanmar is at a crucial period in history. Since 2011 the current President U Thein Sein (former General Thein Sein) has pursued liberal policies designed to attract western support and investment. This shift has brought significant resources to the country, but these new resources have often been disbursed without regard to existing community organizations and local knowledge. […]

Land Rights in Myanmar – Life is Not Sweet!


by Partners Asia staff Recently, Partners Asia staff had the opportunity to talk with some villagers being defended in court by a lawyer whom we have supported. The area is in Sagaing division, Kanbalu township. To protect the villagers, we have changed their names and those of their villagers. This interview gives some sense of the issues faced by tens of thousands of farmers in Myanmar. The government established a Land Commission in parliament in 2013 to receive complaints by […]

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