Ahead of elections, crunch time for Myanmar cease-fire talks – Nikkei Asian Review

TAUNGGYI, Myanmar – A draft national cease-fire deal was agreed in March, but whether the agreement will be signed is questionable, given that the government has refused to recognize six of the 21 ethnic armed groups as potential signatories. The government’s stance has caused a rift among the ethnic organizations. Some, including the powerful Karen National Union and the Restoration Council of Shan State – Shan State Army South, said in August that they would back the deal regardless of others’ involvement, but have since wavered. The Kachin Independence Organization, with an estimated 10,000 fighters, has said it will not sign the national cease-fire without all armed groups on board. If the Kachin were to opt out, any deal would be toothless. “You really need the Kachin involved for it to be comprehensive,” said a close observer of the negotiations, who did not want to be identified.

Could Myanmar’s economic reform bring business to war-torn border regions? – Christian Science Monitor

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2012/0910/Could-Myanmar-s-economic-reform-bring-business-to-war-torn-ethnic-regions Myanmar has passed a new foreign direct investment law. Now a cease-fire in the country’s Karen state has...