DMG reporter Khaing Roe La recently interviewed Phado Saw Kwe Htoo Win, vice chair of the Karen National Union, about Myanmar’s peace process, with the discussion touching on progress made, challenges facing the negotiations and hopes for peace between the government and ethnic armed groups.

Given the mixed results to date, DMG reporter Khaing Roe La asked five stakeholders to compare and contrast Myanmar’s peace process under the previous government and the current administration.

Dr. Tin Mar Aung raised eyebrows last month when it was revealed that she would contest the 2020 general election as a member of the Arakan League for Democracy (ALD). The former personal assistant to State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will be contesting an Arakan State Hluttaw constituency in Taungup Township, considered a stronghold of the ruling National League for Democracy — the party of her old boss.

Sitting Arakan State lawmaker U Poe San from Kyaukphyu Township is not likely to defend his seat in this year’s general election, after election officials rejected his candidacy on the basis of his son’s alleged links to the Arakan Army. 

DMG reporter Khin Tharaphy Oo recently interviewed Dr. Aung Naing Lin, who travelled from Yangon to work temporarily at Sittwe General Hospital, about the health conditions of COVID-19 patients, infections among medical staff, and prevention and treatment measures.

On August 24, the Tatmadaw announced that it was extending a unilateral ceasefire until the end of September in order to facilitate efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic and honour its obligations under recent peace agreements. But like its original declaration made in May, the renewal does not include “areas where terrorist groups declared by the government take positions.”

As conflict continues to plague Arakan State, military inspections of camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) have reportedly increased in recent months, raising anxieties in the camps. DMG interviewed U Wai Hla Aung, manager of Tin Nyo IDP camp in Mrauk-U Township, where more than 3,000 people are sheltering.

DMG reporter Khin Tharaphy Oo interviewed U Tin Hlaing Win, general secretary of the Kaman National Development Party (KNDP), a minority ethnic political party contesting the 2020 general election.

The Arakanese lawmaker Daw Htoot May is preparing to contest the 2020 general election, but her situation is an unusual one: The Arakan National Party to which she previously pledged allegiance is not allowing her to resign from its ranks to contest with her preferred (and rival) political party, the Arakan League for Democracy. So she’s switching things up this year, opting not to contest the seat she currently holds in the Amyotha Hluttaw and instead running for the Yangon Region Arakanese

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As Myanmar looks ahead to a general election slated for November 8, 2020, the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) will look to tout its record in power ahead of the vote. With campaigning activities not far off, DMG solicited the opinions of individuals from various societal spheres by posing this question: What has changed in Arakan State in the four-plus years that the NLD has held office following its landslide election victory in 2015?

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