Young Women Pray for Peace in Shan State


While our Young Women’s Leadership Training goes on, so does the violence and conflict in Shan State continue. Recent attacks during May 2016 by the Burma Army have broken a ceasefire and have amounted to war crimes according to some critics. May’s violence in Shan State has left numerous dead and many traumatised by torture, bombing and being used as human shields. On the 21st of May, the youth in SWAN’s Young Women’s Leadership Training decided to hold a vigil for the victims, to send thoughts and prayers to the survivors and to manifest peace. Their training continues despite the unrest in their home state and they will hold more vigils if the attacks do not end.

The Burma Army has pushed further into territory in northern Shan State since the beginning of 2016, causing thousands more people to become internally displaced, and many fleeing over the border into China. Reports show that Burma Army soldiers have launched sustained attacks on civilians in the area, with local villages reporting widespread use of torture, rape, forced labour and unwarranted arrests.linkout These attacks come on the back of multiple Burma army attacks on villages in central Shan State at the end of 2015, which sent thousands fleeing to temporary IDP camps and across the Thai-Burma border. SWAN continues to assist some of these newly arrived IDPs through its crisis support centre located in Fang District, near the border.

To read more detailed and timely updates on fighting in Shan State, visit the website of the Shan Human Rights Organisation,

Leadership, empowerment of women central to Asia-Pacific forum

The forum was funded by the government of the Netherlands.

Dozens of women from across the Asia-Pacific region are in Melbourne this week for high-level meetings to find out how Victoria deals with domestic violence and other issues affecting women.

The week-long Women's Action for Voice and Empowerment (WAVE) forum is hosting women from Cambodia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, East Timor and elsewhere, paid for by a $22 million grant from the government of the Netherlands.

Open letter to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi regarding plans by Norway’s SN Power to build the Middle Yeywa Dam on the Namtu River

To: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor and Foreign Minister, Naypyidaw

SN Power Middle Yeywa Project Page 022

On March 30, 2016, we published a report “Save the Namtu River” raising concerns about four planned dams on the Namtu/Myitnge River, including the 700 MW Middle Yeywa dam, planned by Norway’s state- owned SN Power in Nawng Khio township of northern Shan State.

Since publishing our report, we have obtained a promotional document summarizing SN Power’s pre- feasibility study for the Middle Yeywa dam, completed in June 2015 (see attached). SN Power is currently undertaking a feasibility study for the dam under an agreement with the former Ministry of Electric Power.

Download full letter | project presentation images