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A Myanmar Border Guard Forces guard near a bunker at the 'Friendship Bridge' Thailand-Myanmar border bridge gate in Myawaddy, Kayin State, Myanmar, October 3, 2014. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA
A Myanmar Border Guard Forces guard near a bunker at the 'Friendship Bridge' Thailand-Myanmar border bridge gate in Myawaddy, Kayin State, Myanmar, October 3, 2014. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

Human rights violations may have dropped over the last three years in Kayin State but Myanmar government soldiers have been quietly, or in some cases, noisily building an increased presence.

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U Zaw Min Htike, 37,a  volunteer driver of the Myanmar Red Cross who was wounded in rescue convoy attack on February 17, holds a newspaper featuring his picture on the front page, at Lashio General Hospital, Lashio, northern Shan State, Myanmar, February 19, 2015. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA
U Zaw Min Htike, 37,a  volunteer driver of the Myanmar Red Cross who was wounded in rescue convoy attack on February 17, holds a newspaper featuring his picture on the front page, at Lashio General Hospital, Lashio, northern Shan State, Myanmar, February 19, 2015. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

Aid workers called on February 19 for a ceasefire to allow the evacuation of people trapped around a town at the centre of fierce fighting between Myanmar's army and ethnic rebels, after the deaths of two more civilians in an area cloaked by a state of emergency.

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Amnesty-International
 

Myanmar’s backsliding on human rights reforms – only a few months before the general elections – underscores the necessity of the UN Human Tights Council to adopt a strong resolution on the situation of human rights in the country and to extend their mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, according to Amnesty International on February 18.

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Myanmar people gather as they await the arrival of rescue trucks to flee fighting in and around the Kokang capital Laukkai, northern Shan State, Myanmar, February 17, 2015. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA
Myanmar people gather as they await the arrival of rescue trucks to flee fighting in and around the Kokang capital Laukkai, northern Shan State, Myanmar, February 17, 2015. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

The Myanmar government and Kokang rebels are trading accusations over the February 17 attack on a Red Cross convoy, one day after the government declared a state of emergency in the northern region, according to Voice of America on February 18.

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Professor Tha Hla Shwe, president of the Myanmar Red Cross. Photo: Myanmar Red Cross Society
Professor Tha Hla Shwe, president of the Myanmar Red Cross. Photo: Myanmar Red Cross Society

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement said it was deeply saddened to learn that two volunteers from the Myanmar Red Cross Society were wounded on February 17 when a convoy transporting displaced families came under fire, according to statement issued by the ICRC on February 18.

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U Kyaw Min, chairman of the Democracy and Human Rights Party, speaks at a press conference in 2014 in Yangon. Photo: Thein Zaw/Facebook
 U Kyaw Min, chairman of the Democracy and Human Rights Party, speaks at a press conference in 2014 in Yangon. Photo: Thein Zaw/Facebook

The Democracy and Human Rights Party has expelled more than 1,000 members who are temporary identification card holders because the right of these “white card” holders to be political party members has been removed, the party chairman U Kyaw Min told Mizzima on February 17.