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Showing posts with label Article. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Article. Show all posts

Sunday, June 13, 2021

‘A catastrophe’: UN warns of intensifying violence in Myanmar

11 Jun 2021

UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet says military government is ‘singularly responsible’ for violence and ‘must be held to account’.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that multiple reports indicate that armed conflict is continuing, including in Kayah State, Chin State and Kachin State [File: Denis Balibouse/Reuters]

The United Nations human rights chief has warned that violence is intensifying across Myanmar, slamming the country’s military government for being “singularly responsible” for a “human rights catastrophe”.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Beyond the Coup in Myanmar: The Views of Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

Jessica Olney and Shabbir Ahmad
June 10, 2021

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a Just Security series on the Feb. 1, 2021 coup in Myanmar. The series brings together expert local and international voices on the coup and its broader context. The series is a collaboration between Just Security and the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School.

This installment reflects conversations with Rohingya residents of refugee camps in Bangladesh about the coup in Myanmar. Camp residents’ views were collected by Shabbir Ahmad and other members of a team of Rohingya researchers during a recent community feedback collection project. The opinions expressed here are the views of the authors and camp residents, not those of any institution with which the authors are affiliated.

Bangladesh island gets UNHCR nod for Rohingya

04 June 2021
Bangladeshi authorities have shifted 18,000 out of a planned 100,000 people to the island to take pressure off Cox’s Bazar. (Reuters/File

  • The UNHCR had voiced concerns as to whether it was safe as the island is vulnerable to severe weather and flooding

DHAKA: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has recognized Bhasan Char as a potential location for the Rohingya seeking shelter in Bangladesh despite recent protests by some of the refugees living in the remote, cyclone-prone island.

Since December, Bangladeshi authorities have shifted 18,000 out of a planned 100,000 people to the island to take pressure off Cox’s Bazar, a city in Bangladesh that already hosts more than 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims, members of an ethnic and religious minority group who fled persecution in neighboring Myanmar during a military crackdown in 2017.

Are formal interactions with China helping legitimise Myanmar’s junta in the eyes of the world?

Pei-Hua Yu
10 Jun, 2021

  • A recent Chinese embassy statement referring to coup architect Min Aung Hlaing as the ‘leader of Myanmar’ is among the exchanges decried by the shadow National Unity Government
  • But analysts say while there are concerns over Beijing’s actions, they should not be over-interpreted – and Asean’s next moves could play a significant role in how the regime is perceived
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) bumps elbows with junta representative Wunna Maung Lwin at a June 8 meeting marking the 30th anniversary of formal relations between China and Asean. Photo: Xinhua

Recent formal interactions between Myanmar’s junta and officials from China have raised questions about whether the generals who staged February’s coup are garnering international recognition as the Southeast Asian nation’s legitimate executive authority.

7,000 Myanmar Refugees Seek Safety in India


Myanmar (International Christian Concern)- Thousands have fled the violence in Myanmar, where a military junta has ruled since a coup on February 1. The months following have seen escalating bloodshed and worsening attacks on civilians as a growing pro-democracy protest movement sweeps the country. Since the military took over, it has resulted over 800 deaths due to the violence of the coup.

Much of the violence today centers around the pro-democracy movement, but Myanmar has been torn by political, ethnic, and religious conflicts for years, leading well over a million refugees to flee the country and causing the internal displacement of hundreds of thousands more. The Tatmadaw has long persecuted Rohingya Muslims and ethnic-minority Christians, including with bombings, torture, and attempts to forcefully convert minorities to Buddhism.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Why the National Unity Government’s Statement on Myanmar’s Rohingya Is Important

Angshuman Choudhury
June 09, 2021

The shadow government’s formal pledges to offer a persecuted minority justice and rights could help shape Myanmar’s future.

On June 3, Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG) – a shadow government formed by civilian lawmakers deposed by the military in its 1 February coup – released a historic position paper on the country’s Rohingya community. The three-page document formally lays down a set of pledges and positions that mark a clear break from the past in the relationship between the Myanmar state and the stateless Rohingya Muslim community.

Welcomed by many as a progressive declaration, it sets out with the premise that “everyone in the Union has full enjoyment of fundamental human rights” and that the NUG will “not tolerate any form of discrimination.” It asserts that “all ethnic groups who are native to the Union have full enjoyment of individual rights held by individual people and collective rights held by ethnic groups.”

Thursday, June 10, 2021

New friends, old enemies: Politics of Ethnic Armed Organisations after the Myanmar Coup

new mandala 
10 JUN, 2021


Myanmar is still in turmoil with more than eight hundred civilian deaths and five thousand imprisoned since the military (Tatmadaw) overthrew a democratically elected government on 1 February. After the evaporation of dialogue and political solutions, the role of groups with armed forces became more prominent. The post-coup stances of Myanmar’s nearly two dozen ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) that have fought against the military regime will be a determinant in the country’s future.

Myanmar people’s army aims wishfully at Tatmadaw


National Unity Government will be hard-pressed to form a force that can credibly challenge the 350,000-strong Tatmadaw

A screen grab from a video provided to AFPTV from an anonymous source and taken on May 23 shows a People’s Defense Force fighter shooting during clashes in Moebyel in Shan state, in which dozens of Myanmar security force members were killed and a police station seized, according to rebel fighters. Photo: Handout via AFP

If Myanmar’s security landscape was devilishly complicated before the February coup d’etat, the growing national-level armed resistance to the military-formed State Administration Council (SAC) junta has rendered it almost incomprehensible.

In recent weeks, veteran ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) such as the Karen National Union (KNU) and Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) have ramped up attacks on the military, or Tatmadaw. Peasant revolts using flintlock rifles and muskets in the hills of Chin state have likewise seen locally raised defense forces inflict major casualties on army units.

China Boosts Support for Myanmar Army, Countering U.S. Sanctions

Bloomberg News
9 June 2021

China says its policy toward Myanmar remains unaffected by the country’s domestic situation, bolstering support for a regime that has faced multiple rounds of sanctions from the U.S. and its Western allies following a coup four months ago.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin during a meeting on Tuesday in Chongqing that Beijing would continue implementing bilateral projects in the Southeast Asian nation, Myanmar state broadcaster MRTV reported.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

ASEAN meets with China as progress on Myanmar consensus stalls

Nikkei staff writer
June 8, 2021 

Bloc wants commitment from junta that its envoys have access to 'all parties' 

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (center) delivers a statement, flanked by his ministers following an ASEAN Leaders' Meeting in April in Jakarta where a five-point consensus over Myanmar was reached. © AP 

JAKARTA -- ASEAN "will appreciate" China's help in carrying out its five-point consensus to resolve the crisis in Myanmar, Indonesia's foreign minister said on Monday as the regional bloc looks to spur slow progress on the outcome of its emergency meeting in April.

Foreign ministers from the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations members met with their Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Chongqing on Monday to discuss regional issues, including the ongoing turmoil in Myanmar.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

‘The darkest days are coming’: Myanmar’s journalists suffer at hands of junta

The Guardian
Guardian reporter in Bangkok 
Mon 7 Jun 2021
A protest against Myanmar dictator Min Aung Hlaing in Yangon in February. He has cracked down on dissent and ordered the arrest of dozens of journalists. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

As a cyclone rolled over the Bay of Bengal on 24 May, American journalist Danny Fenster, 37, contemplated the brooding skies near a terminal window at Yangon international airport.

For a while, the threat of foreigners being seized at the airport by Myanmar’s military was real, but after watching international reporters exit the country safely in April, the Michigan native was more worried about turbulence.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Myanmar Shadow Government Pledges Citizenship for Rohingya

Sebastian Strangio
June 04, 2021 

The National Unity Government has called for the besieged community to join in the “Spring Revolution” against the military junta

In a move designed to burnish its claims to international support and recognition, Myanmar’s opposition National Unity Government (NUG) has promised to grant the country’s beleaguered Rohingya minority population citizenship.

In a policy statement released yesterday, the NUG, which was formed to oppose the military junta that seized power in February, said that the Rohingya are “entitled to citizenship by laws that will accord with fundamental human rights and democratic federal principles.”

It added, “We invite the Rohingyas to join hands with us and with others to participate in this Spring Revolution against the military dictatorship in all possible ways.”

The NUG statement promised to repeal Myanmar’s problematic 1982 Citizenship Law, which is underpinned by a complex taxonomy of 135 “national races,” from which the Rohingya are excluded, complicating their ability to gain citizenship. It said that whatever law replaces it “must base citizenship on birth in Myanmar or birth anywhere as a child of Myanmar citizens.”

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Bangladesh adds feather to cap as UN lauds Rohingya rehabilitation in Bay of Bengal island

Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury
ET Bureau
Jun 04, 2021,

Bhashan Char is a much better place than the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar, observed the UN delegation that visited the island recently

Bangladesh has added yet another feather to its cap with the UN lauding its efforts to address the woes of Rohingya refugees including in the Bhashan Char island in Bay of Bengal.

Bhashan Char is a much better place than the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar, observed the UN delegation that visited the island recently. "The Bangladesh government has made an important investment in Bhashan Char…," said UN Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees (Protection) Rouf Mazou.

ASEAN diplomacy in Myanmar intensifies as EU eyes more sanctions

4 Jun 2021

Analyst says ASEAN diplomacy ‘dead on arrival’ while shadow opposition government seeks recognition of ethnic Rohingya as citizens.

Protesters make the three-finger salute during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on Thursday [Stringer/AFP]

Diplomats from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are set for talks with Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, as Myanmar enters its fifth month of crippling unrest since the military seized power on February 1 amid the increasing prospect of new sanctions from the European Union.

‘A dangerous time’ in Myanmar: Burmese in California struggle for answers, attention

Los Angeles Times 

JUNE 3, 2021 5
Members of the Burmese American community hold a demonstration April 24 outside the Office of the Consulate General of Myanmar in Los Angeles, denouncing the military coup against the elected government of Myanmar.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Banny Hong sighed as he sat at his Burmese restaurant on a recent weekday, recounting the violence that has swept through his homeland since a military coup four months ago.

Two portraits of Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi decorated the wall before him, flanking a photograph of Yangon, the nation’s largest city.

“It’s a dangerous time there,” he said as two masked employees cleaned tables and swept the floors before his Stanton eatery, Irrawaddy Taste Of Burma, opened for the day. “A lot of untold stories. Missing bodies. It’s a devastating moment. I am very desperate.”

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Young Women and Men from Myanmar Cities Head to the Jungle

Unquiet flows the Irrawady
2 JUNE, 2021

Htar Htet Htet, who represented the nation at the first Miss Grand International beauty pageant in Thailand in 2013, now is sporting an assault rifle in her hand.

To top it, she just quoted the Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara’s famous words on her Twitter handle: “The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.”

After this quote, she gave her punch line: “We Must Win”.

The photograph and quote have been reported widely around the globe. There is hardly a newspaper that did not publish her photograph holding a rifle in her hand and wearing battle fatigues.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Rohingya protest against living conditions on Bangladesh island

1 Jun 2021

Police say 4,000 refugees demonstrated when senior UN officials arrived on remote Bhasan Char island to visit the settlement.
Rohingya seen inside a tent as they wait to get on board a ship to Bhasan Char island, in Chattogram, Bangladesh [File: Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters]

Several thousand Rohingya refugees have staged “unruly” protests against living conditions on a cyclone-prone island off Bangladesh where they were moved from vast camps on the mainland, police said.

Since December, Bangladesh has shifted 18,000 out of a planned 100,000 refugees to the low-lying silt island of Bhashan Char from the Cox’s Bazar region, where around 850,000 people live in squalid and cramped conditions.

Myanmar's Women Are Fighting for a New Future After a Long History of Military Oppression

MAY 31, 2021 

Aye is the author of award-winning cookery book Mandalay: Recipes & Tales from a Burmese Kitchen. She was born and brought up in the U.K. by Burmese parents, but regularly visits friends and family back in Burma. Aye also hosts the food and culture podcast The MSG Pod.

The world will have noted that women have been on the front lines of the revolution in Myanmar, with activists, elected officials, and journalists such as Ei Thinzar Maung, Thinzar Shunlei Yi, Wai Hnin Pwint Thon, Daw Myo Aye, Naw K’nyaw Paw, and Tin Htet Paing playing significant roles.

Many have assumed that this is a newfound feminist ferocity, but from ancient Queen Pwa Saw, to the first woman surgeon Daw Saw Sa, who qualified in 1911, Myanmar women have always been as strong as, if not stronger than, our men. The sad truth is our cause was set back by over 60 years of brutal and misogynistic oppression by the Burmese military.

Myanmar violence, hunger and ruin risk deeper refugee crisis

DOMINIC FAULDER, Nikkei Asia associate editor
JUNE 1, 2021
Medical personnel tend to internally displaced people in Myanmar's Karen State following military air strikes in the area, in this handout image released on May 7. © Karen Medical Information/AFP

Flaring conflicts between military and ethnic groups make bad situation worse

BANGKOK -- A bitter tide of internally displaced persons, or IDPs, is washing up along the historically fractious Myanmar-Thailand border as fighting spreads into new areas.

Over 50,000 people from some 150 villages were reported to have fled their homes around Loikaw and Demoso in the north of Kayah State and Shan State's southerly Pekon township after fighting erupted on May 21.

Why the US Should Recognize the Rohingya Genocide The Biden administration has a chance to reasse

Michael P. Scharf, Paul R. Williams, and Milena Sterio
June 01, 2021

The Biden administration has a chance to reassert the United States’ moral authority on human rights.

Justice delayed is justice denied. As lawyers who have advised nearly every international criminal and hybrid tribunal, as well as over two dozen peace negotiations around the world, we have seen firsthand the consequences of ignoring atrocities in the name of preserving peace or alliances.


Minara Begum, 22, in her shelter at Balukhali
refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, March 5, 2018.

The Biden administration is faced with an historic opportunity. By labeling the atrocities committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar’s Rakhine State as genocide, the Biden administration has a chance to reassert the United States’ moral authority on human rights and to lead the international community on issues of justice and accountability. The Biden administration should speak out firmly and clearly in favor of holding Myanmar and the individual perpetrators accountable for “the crime of all crimes.”