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The Student Movement and MyanmarSince its creation, Partners Asia has been involved in the National Network for Education Reform (NNER). Many of our partners are members, and Yangon Director Kaung Nyunt has assisted in organising meetings, facilitating and assisting where needed. Like others, we are disappointed in the final Education Law that has resulted from the education sector review. Students in Myanmar are once again spearheading a movement to protest this law, and are gaining momentum. Meanwhile, the NNER continues to try to influence policy at local and regional levels, and has an ongoing timetable of national conferences at which representatives from non-state schools, charitable organisations, academics and other involved in education in Myanmar (and for Myanmar children in Thailand) can develop a better understanding of international practice. The next conference – ‘The Role of the Teacher in National Education Reform’ – is due to take place at the end of December, and Partners Asia is seeking to plug the $6,000 gap in funding for this conference.

In the new Education Law, Partners Asia is particularly concerned about the lack of clarity for the provision of teaching in ethnic minority languages and inclusive education for children with disabilities. Indeed, the Law seems to suggest that ‘special’ children will be educated outside of mainstream education, in government-provided special schools. This goes against all international best practice, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People which Myanmar has ratified. Moreover, given current practice and lack of budget oversight, it is unlikely that such centers can cater to the unmet needs of the 300,000 children under 16 living with disabilities in Myanmar (figure from the 2010 National Disability Survey, Myanmar government. The true figure could be much higher).” – Zunetta Herbert, Partners Asia Senior Advisor

Related: BurmaPartnership – As 2014 Comes to an End, Students Hold Key to New Chapter in Burma Politics

Relevant Links » Society and Challenges

US News and World Report – 8 ethnic rebel armies sign cease-fire pact with Myanmar government; major groups stay away

Reuters – Myanmar signs ceasefire with eight armed groups

BBC News – Ceasefire with rebel groups marks limited milestone for Myanmar

The Diplomat – Challenges Threaten Myanmar’s Historic Election

Amnesty International – Southeast Asia: Persecuted Rohingya refugees from Myanmar suffer horrific abuses at sea

US Department of State – Burma’s Challenge: Democracy, Human Rights, Peace, and the Plight of the Rohingya

Yahoo News – All work and no play, Myanmar’s children prop up economy

Radio Free Asia – Myanmar Military Clashes With Rebels in Shan State

The Journal Gazette – Myanmar election the first ‘real test’ of shift toward democracy

New York Times Asia Pacific – Myanmar’s Jade Trade Is a $31 Billion ‘Heist,’ Report Says

The Irrawaddy – The 1990 Election: Sorting Fact from Fiction

Burma News International – UK Mining firm withdraws Kachin State Jade mining permit application

The Irrawaddy – Ma Ba Tha: NLD is the Party of ‘Islamists’

Aljazeera America – In Myanmar, Muslim minority is targeted for hate, not for votes

The Irrawaddy – More Than 2,000 Enslaved Fishermen Rescued in 6 Months

The Irrawaddy – SE Asia Emergency Response Team Takes on Region’s Deluge of Disasters

The World Bank – Electricity to Transform Rural Myanmar

The Diplomat – How to Solve Southeast Asia’s Refugee Crisis – Steps can and should be taken to alleviate the plight of the Rohingya.

MyanmarTimes – Youth leaders debate new development goals

The Irrawaddy – From Tonzang to Tedim: Travels Through Mountainous Chin State

The Asia Foundation – Conflict and Governance in Myanmar

Yahoo News – Key issues for Myanmar’s upcoming general election

Radio Free Asia – Jailing of Myanmar Protesters Signals Government Resistance to Change: Rights Groups

NYT – Editorial – Myanmar’s War on the Press

The Irrawaddy – As Election Nears, Migrant Voters Left in the Dark

The Irrawaddy – Time to Return Home?

Committee to Protect Journalists – More signs of Myanmar’s toughening stance on media

NYT – A Migrant Mother’s Anguished Choice

The Washington Post – Burma’s grim reality

The Irrawaddy – Stateless ‘Sea Gypsies’ Face Severe Discrimination: Report – Stateless at Sea: The Moken of Burma and Thailand

The Irrawaddy – Veteran Student Activist Named as Citizen of Burma Award Winner

The Irrawaddy – ‘Too Many Lives Have Been Lost’: Humanitarian Seng Raw on Kachin War

Voice of America – Huge Proposed Hydropower Dam in Myanmar Draws Local Opposition

The Irrawaddy – New Citizens Kept Grounded in Arakan State

Shan Herald Agency for News – Shan Community Based Organizations Demand an End to Construction of Upper Salween Dam

The Irrawaddy – ‘The Disabled Must Also Benefit from Development

MyanmarTimes – Disabled still face formidable social barriers

The Guardian – Rohingya in Burma: claim that one in ten have fled on boats, about 100,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled

The Irrawaddy – Mongton Dam Consultations a ‘Rubber Stamp’: Community Groups

The Irrawaddy – ‘When Will We Go Home?’ Mary Tawn, co-founder and coordinator of local relief agency Wunpawng Ninghtoi

Asian Correspondent – Burmese villagers say they are being misled on Tasang Dam project

The Irrawaddy – The Kachin Conflict: A Timeline

NYT Asia Pacific – Myanmar to Bar Rohingya From Fleeing, but Won’t Address Their Plight

IBT – Myanmar’s Persecuted Rohingya Muslims Remain Stateless And Vulnerable After Risking Lives At Sea

CNN – Religious extremism looms over Myanmar

Radio Free Asia – Kachin Soldiers and Myanmar Government Troops Engage in New Clash

Newsweek, World – Who Are the Rohingya and Why Are They Fleeing Myanmar?

NPR, International – Why No One Wants The Rohingyas

Khonumthung News Group – Only six per cent of children in Chin state get health care

Lion’s Roar – White House hosts US Buddhist leaders

MyanmarTimes – We’re not going underground, says fugitive student union boss

Burma News International – Kunhing Villagers Protest Salween Dam Project

The New York Times (Op-Ed) – The Real Problem With Myanmar

Democracy Lab – A People on the Brink – Burma’s Rohingya face an existential threat — and we must not look away.

CNN – Lost at sea, unwanted: The plight of Myanmar’s Rohingya ‘boat people’

Burma Partnership – Human Rights at the Bottom of the Andaman Sea

MSN News / AP – 1,600 Rohingyas, others land in Indonesia and Malaysia [beach]

The Irrawaddy – Win Tin Honored on One-Year Anniversary of His Death

DVB – Gun Maw interview: ‘Include all ethnic armed groups in ceasefire deal’

The Irrawaddy – The Hard Life of Burma’s Former Child Soldiers

Eurasia Review – Is Myanmar Playing Politics with the White Cards? – Op-Ed

UCAN – Myanmar locals push back against Chinese megaprojects

Asian Correspondent –  Kyaukphyu: History to repeat itself in Burma’s newest Special Economic Zone?

The Diplomat – Why the Fighting in Kokang Threatens Peace in Myanmar

The Irrawaddy – Photojournalists in Burma Weigh Duty Against Dangers

The Irrawaddy – Ethnic Chin Activist Cheery Zahau to Contest 2015 Election

World Policy blog – Myanmar Still Has A Long Way to Go

The Japan Times – Despite obstacles, Myanmar farmers dream of resurrecting Asia’s rice bowl

Myanmar Times – The difficult conversations I must have with my Myanmar friends – Kenneth Wong

Huffington Post-Canada, the Blog – Optimism For Burma Quietly Gives Way To Oppression And Violence

The Irrawaddy – Rights Activist Back to Insein on Peaceful Assembly Rap

The Irrawaddy – Burma’s Union Parliament Passes Population Control Bill

Asia Pacific – Myanmar Files Charges Against 69 Education Law Protesters

The Econmist – Who is fighting in Myanmar, and why

The Irrawaddy – Students Hit the Streets, Police Make Arrests

Bangkok Post – Locals fearful as Myanmar’s Dawei project nears green light

Bangkok Post – Slave-labour fish mixes in with Thai catch

Karen News – If The Dam Is Built… We Will Be Disappeared  – local villagers to protest the building of the hydro-power Hat Gyi Dam, in Hlaingbwe Township, Karen State

Myanmar Times – Fresh delays for registration of migrant workers in Thailand

EastAsiaForum – Buddhist nationalism threatens Myanmar’s democratic transition

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