Myanmar takes up PEN
By Chit Su
Since her release from prison in 1999, Myanmar writer and doctor, Ma Thida (Sanchaung), has dreamt of a day when Myanmar writers would be able to join colleagues around the world and establish an internationally recognised forum in which to develop creative literature and critical thinking.
Her dream came true last month with the founding of a new PEN International centre in Myanmar. The centre, with 23 active members, will serve as an NGO for writers and for advocacy and education about literature, helping aspiring writers from all backgrounds in Myanmar.The effort to open the PEN Centre was nearly 15 years in the making and came about through the persistence and steadfast effort of Dr Ma Thida.
U Sein Win, Champion of Myanmar Press Freedom, Dies at 91
Disparaged as ‘dogs,’ Rohingya kids suffer in Myanmar: Warehoused in schools, given hard labor
MAUNGDAW, Myanmar — The 10-year-old struggles up the hill, carrying buckets filled with rocks. Though he tries to keep a brave face in front of his friends, his eyes brim with tears. Every inch of his body aches, he says, and he feels sick and dizzy from the weight.
“I hate it,” whispers Anwar Sardad. He has to help support his family, but he wishes there was a way other than working for the government construction agency.
Walk a Mile in a Burmese Midwife’s Shoes
RANGOON — The mornings were full of walking, says Khin Mar Shwe, a nurse near Burma’s biggest city, recalling her days as a midwife under the former military regime.
She was a young woman then, and would begin a few days every week walking from village to village in Taikkyi Township, knocking on doors to find expectant mothers who required assistance.“Early, at 8 am, I would start my journey, and I would return at 4 pm, depending on the distance between villages,” she tells The Irrawaddy. “In the evening if a mother was about to go into labor, I would stay overnight.” The midwife, who has since become a nurse, was responsible for covering six villages, some about four kilometers apart. Sometimes she would ride by bicycle, and she almost always traveled alone.
Migrants to Start Receiving Regular Passports
Burma’s Ministry of Labor has announced plans to start issuing regular passports to Burmese migrants in Thailand from next month.
The passports, which are the same as those issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs in Rangoon, will replace temporary passports that are valid only in Thailand.The goal of the new policy is to treat migrant workers like other Burmese citizens, Kyaw Kyaw Lin, the labor attaché at the Burmese embassy in Bangkok, told The Irrawaddy.
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