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US considers increased military ties to Myanmar

The Obama administration claims that the assistance will be non-lethal.

Mob of 1,000 Buddhists burns down Muslim homes and shops in Myanmar

Conflict between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar creates concern that interreligious violence will overtake the fledgling democracy.
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Myanmar security force personnel stand guard while a mob (background) look on following unrest at an Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp for Muslim Rohingyas on the outskirts of Sittwe town in Rakhine State on August 9, 2013. The United Nations has called for dialogue after another violent clash in a camp for dispossessed Rohingya Muslims in western Myanmar, as its human rights envoy toured the strife-torn area. (STR/AFP/Getty Images/AFP/Getty Images)

A mob of 1,000 Buddhists in Myanmar torched several homes and shops, mostly Muslim-owned, in a riot on Saturday.

The mob descended upon the village Htan Gone, located in the Sagaing region, in an act of retaliation after rumors spread that a Muslim man tried to sexually assault a young woman, Al Jazeera reported.

According to state television, about 42 houses and 15 shops were destroyed, but no injuries were reported.

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Aung San Suu Kyi talks presidency, poverty and rule of law at World Economic Forum

Three years into government reform, Suu Kyi says it's time for Myanmar to see results.
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Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks at a press conference during the World Economic Forum on East Asia at the Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyidaw on June 6, 2013. Aung San Suu Kyi on June 6 declared her intention to run for president, calling for all of the country's people to share the fruits of its dramatic reforms. AFP PHOTO / Soe Than WIN (Photo credit should read Soe Than WIN/AFP/Getty Images) (Soe Than Win/AFP/Getty Images)

Aung San Suu Kyi, chairman of Myanmar’s National League for Democracy (NLD), candidly reiterated her desire to hold presidential office earlier today, on the first day of the World Economic Forum, taking place in Myanmar’s capital city of Naypyidaw.

Released from house arrest in 2010 after serving 15 years for dissenting against the ruling military, she presently serves as a member of parliament from the Kawhmu constituency, and said the country’s constitution must be amended in order to create the possibility for a Suu Kyi presidency.

A clause in the current constitution bans anyone with a foreign spouse or child from running for office. Michael Aris, Suu Kyi’s late husband, was English and their two sons hold British passports. When asked about the likelihood of changes being made, she said she does not believe in indulging optimism, but rather will “work for the constitution to be amended.”

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Correspondent Patrick Winn tackles questions on Myanmar

Winn is based in Bangkok, Thailand, but has done extensive work in Myanmar detailing human rights violations, the status of the country's refugee camps and the struggle as Myanmar tries to emerge from decades of military rule. He answered questions from the public on Reddit. Here's the highlights.

Southeast Asian leaders converge on Myanmar for World Economic Forum on East Asia

BANGKOK — Heads of state, business moguls, academics and their entourages are flocking to Myanmar to talk shop in what has fast become Asia's most drooled-over economy.

Suu Kyi condemns Myanmar Rohingya two-child limit policy

Suu Kyi has drawn much international criticism for not defending in more explicit terms the estimated 800,000 Rohingya, especially after ethnic violence last year killed at least 192 people and displaced 140,000.

Thein Sein: Myanmar president to make historic visit to US

Thein Sein, Myanmar's reformer president, will make a historic trip to the United States in the near future, according to reports on state television.

On Location Video: Rocky path to peace in Myanmar's Kachin state

After decades of conflict and several broken cease-fires, the Kachin people say they are reluctant to trust the Myanmar government.

Copper mine strikes raise questions in Myanmar

Copper mine strikes have raised questions about China's 'soft power' in Myanmar. The government's response has raised questions about Myanmar's move toward democracy.
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A man holds a banner during a protest in Yangon on December 2, 2012 against a Chinese-backed copper mine in Monywa in northern Myanmar. (Soe Than Win/AFP/Getty Images)

YANGON, Myanmar – A stream of protesters, many of them Buddhist monks clad in saffron robes, trickled through the capital Monday as part of what observers here say is a growing movement against the government’s brutal crackdown on strikers at a Chinese-backed copper mining project in the northwest.

Hundreds of protesters carried placards and chanted a phrase that has become their slogan: “Violence is not the solution.” 

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Op-Ed: Myanmar is a test of US engagement in Asia

Human rights groups say that President Obama's trip to Myanmar was premature, but it was the right decision.
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US President Barack Obama speaks as Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi listens in Yangon on November 19, 2012. Huge crowds greeted Barack Obama in Myanmar on the first visit by a serving US president to the former pariah state to encourage a string of startling political reforms. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — President Barack Obama’s trip to Myanmar this week is the first by a sitting US president. Human rights groups say the trip was premature and that it is too early in Myanmar’s reform process to grant President Thein Sein the benefits of a US presidential visit.

For sure, more work is needed to consolidate peace and progress in Myanmar. But Obama made the right decision.

A visit from the US president encourages Sein to continue down the path of reform, while validating the Burmese people’s demands for freedom. The visit also underscores a central feature of the Obama administration’s foreign policy: the idea that engagement is critical to encouraging a more open and democratic system.  

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