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Quick Reads + Myanmar (Burma)

Media archive · 542 posts

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar's First Digital Library for Higher Education

Myanmar's Ministry of Education and the Open Society Foundation have teamed up to establish the country's first digital library. Oleksandr Shtokvych, Senior Manager at the Open Society Foundations’ Higher Education Support Programme, explained the importance of the project:

It will also mean including their students and scholars (of the University of Yangon and the University of Mandalay) as active participants in the production of new knowledge and critical thinking, and bringing the unique and rich legacy and current developments in Myanmar into the limelight of international scholarship.

State of Literature in Post-Dictatorship Myanmar

Writing for The Dissident Blog, James Byrne reviews the status of Burmese literature in the post-dictatorship era in Myanmar:

When I was in the country last year there were poems being read about the Arab Spring. There were others about the harsh treatment of Burmese farmers. There were satires about power cuts and short stories that had a beginning and middle, but no end. All of these would have been instantly banned just a few years previously.

He also observed the following challenge that needs to be addressed:

If you probe deeper and talk to many of the writers inside the country suspicion of the government and Western cultural organisations remains.

First Public Gay Marriage in Myanmar

Myo Min Htet and Tin Ko Ko marry as the first public gay couple in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Thet Htoo, Copyright @Demotix (3/2/2014)

Myo Min Htet and Tin Ko Ko marry as the first public gay couple in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Thet Htoo, Copyright @Demotix (3/2/2014)

Myanmar's Last Remaining Synagogue

Built 120 years ago, the Musmeah Yeshua synagogue in Yangon is the last remaining Jewish synagogue in Buddhist-dominated Myanmar. Aside from being a tourist attraction, it is also listed as an archaeological heritage building in the city.

Assessing Myanmar's Democratic Transition

Tomás Ojea Quintana, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, concluded his mission by assessing the country's democratic transition:

For the time being, the military retains a prevailing role in the life and institutions of Myanmar. State institutions in general remain unaccountable and the judiciary is not yet functioning as an independent branch of Government. Moreover, the rule of law cannot yet be said to exist in Myanmar.

He also talked aboout the challenges facing the media sector:

I met journalists who described a prevailing climate of uncertainty and fear of arrest, particularly if reporting dealt with issues too close to the interests of the military or other powerful elites.

A Visual and Musical Journey Through Myanmar

Like a visual postcard, the short video A handful of Myanmar by Berta upe Tilmantaitė invites its viewers to marvel at the wonders of the Southeast Asian country. Reid Willis‘ music replaces the natural sounds of the place, as rhythm and tempo adapt to the flow of the rivers and the laughter of young monks.

PHOTOS: How Pebble Mining is Destroying Villages in Myanmar

Several houses destroyed by muddy waste. Photo from the Facebook page of The Irrawaddy

Several houses destroyed by muddy waste. Photo from the Facebook page of The Irrawaddy

Dozens of homes were destroyed in the Nga Pu Taw Township of Myanmar due to muddy waste produced by pebble mining companies.

Human Trafficking in Southeast Asia

The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development has published a policy briefer that tackled the extent of human trafficking in Southeast Asia.

Many Southeast Asian countries are at the bottom of a lot of the world's supply chains, including for food, garments, and technology. Yet few countries in the region have adequate laws for addressing corporate responsibility for human trafficking, including in their supply chains.

The primer also provides country-specific recommendations on how to best address the human trafficking issue in the region

Dissecting Myanmar's Internet Connection Woes

Jefry Tupas analyzed some of the issues that affect Myanmar's Internet sector. He cited the high costs of acquiring telephone handsets, SIM cards, and Internet connection in the country. He also wrote about the social and economic impact of the slow Internet speed which is believed to be controlled by the government. There is an easing of media regulation but the lingering effect of censorship is still felt and indirectly enforced.

Remembering the 1988 Student Revolt in Myanmar

Aung Zaw, the founding editor in chief of the Irrawaddy magazine, recalls the historic 1988 student uprising in Myanmar:

As a student at that time, I can clearly remember the exhilaration of knowing that the entire nation was behind us, that we could not possibly lose.

He issues this challenge to Myanmar citizens:

Only by continuing to resist the forces of ignorance and brutality will we be able to win the war on students, and on the minds of all Myanmar citizens.

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