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

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Agenda: World must not forget Rohingya crisis

The Herald
By Agenda ,By Dr Abdullah Yusuf
31st August
Dr Abdullah Yusuf, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, University of Dundee

THE horrifying situation in Afghanistan should act as a reminder of other grave humanitarian crises engulfing the world. I have spent the past few years researching the impact of other conflicts, many of which have been all but been forgotten by the international community.

It is now four years since the Myanmar military embarked upon a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing that forcibly displaced around a million Rohingya Muslims into Bangladeshi refugee camps. The persecution of the Rohingya is not new, but the scale and magnitude of the displacement since August 2017, is unprecedented. More than 700,000 refugees fled following actions internationally described as genocidal.


Wisconsin Muslim Journal 
Aug 31, 2021

Mohammad Islam, who lost his younger brother at the hands of the Myanmar military, said he is thankful to the Bangladeshi government for providing shelter.

Dhaka/Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh – Early last month, Rakibul Alam’s makeshift home built of blue tarpaulin and bamboo turned into a muddy mess when heavy monsoon rain hit southern Bangladesh.

Alam, his wife and their three children withstood knee-deep water inside their home for two days but were forced to evacuate when the fragile roof fell in due to excessive downpours.

The 35-year-old Rohingya refugee has changed home thrice in the past four years and learned to live inside shacks in one of the 34 refugee camps – together forming the world’s single largest refugee camp – in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar bordering Myanmar.

Arakan Army Seeks to Build ‘Inclusive’ Administration in Rakhine State

Kyaw Hsan Hlaing
August 31, 2021

The armed group’s decision to include Muslim Rohingya representatives in local administration marks a sharp break with a succession of central governments.

Seven months since the military coup in Myanmar, the political wing of the rebel Arakan Army (AA) has significantly expanded its administrative and judicial mechanisms across Rakhine State in western Myanmar, with hundreds of its personnel now effectively administering the region independently of the military junta that rules in Naypyidaw. The group is also attempting to involve the state’s entire population, including the Rohingya Muslims, in the governance of what it hopes will become an autonomous Rakhine State.

On April 11, 2020, the 11th anniversary of the formation of the AA, Gen. Maj. Twan Mrat Naing, the army’s commander-in-chief, outlined the concept of the “way of Rakhita,” which he described as “the struggle for national liberation and the restoration of Arakan’s sovereignty to the people of Arakan.” This refers to the restoration of the independent Arakan kingdom that ruled significant parts of western Myanmar until 1824, when it was conquered by the Burmese kingdom based in Mandalay.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

With Myanmar’s press muzzled, experts warn of surge in environmental crimes

Carolyn Cowan
27 August 2021

  • Myanmar’s military authorities have followed their Feb. 1 coup with a sweeping clampdown on press freedom, including the arrest of reporters, closing of news outlets, and driving of journalists underground or into exile.
  • Industry experts say the measures have effectively criminalized independent journalism in the country.
  • As conflict and violence spreads throughout the country, monitoring forests, illegal logging and the associated illicit trade on the ground is increasingly risky. Satellite platforms that monitor forest loss will likely become increasingly useful.
  • With the loss of the independent press watchdog a reality, experts say they fear the circumstances are ripe for overexploitation of natural resources.

Friday, August 27, 2021

China Doesn’t Want Myanmar’s NLD Dissolved: Informed Sources

The Irrawaddy
27 August 2021
Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) and Myanmar’s detained State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (left) at the launch ceremony for events to mark the 70th anniversary of China-Myanmar diplomatic relations in Naypyitaw in January 2020. / Myanmar State Counselor’s Office

China has voiced concern over the Myanmar military regime’s plan to dissolve the National League for Democracy (NLD), the party that won the junta-annulled 2020 general election in a landslide, several informed sources told The Irrawaddy. Chinese officials have conveyed to the regime’s leaders Beijing’s message that it wants to see the NLD continue to exist as a political party, they said.

Politicians close to the NLD and several China-Myanmar watchers said the Chinese recently told Myanmar officials that China will continue to support Myanmar and maintain border trade and infrastructure projects on one condition: that the junta keeps the NLD alive.

Afghanistan, Myanmar Crises Test India’s ‘Neighborhood First’ Policy

The Irrawaddy
26 August 2021
Myanmar military chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing (left) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet in New Delhi in 2019. / Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing’s website

Two of India’s key neighbors—Myanmar to the southeast and Afghanistan to the northwest—are in turmoil. The biggest South Asian power and the world’s largest democracy, India has over the years engaged with these two nations to varying degrees to aid in their democratic transitions.

But coincidentally, history is repeating itself and democracy is in disarray in both countries—the military has seized power in Myanmar by overthrowing a democratically elected government and the Taliban insurgents have taken over in Afghanistan.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

We must focus on building Rohingya and host community resilience

The Daily Star
Robert Chatterton Dickson
Wed Aug 25, 2021 
Rohingya refugees stretch their hands to receive aid distributed by local organisations at Balukhali makeshift refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, September 14, 2017. Photo: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

This month marks the fourth year since the flight of more than 730,000 Rohingya from Myanmar's Rakhine State to Bangladesh after a military-led crackdown. The exodus followed decades of systemic disenfranchisement, discrimination, targeted violence and persecution against the Rohingya in Myanmar.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

The Coup And The Crisis In Myanmar

The Organisation for World Peace
Evelyn Elliott

August 14, 2021

Myanmar, a nation whose young democracy began only a decade ago, is currently facing a threat it may not recover from. On February 1st of 2021, the military of Myanmar staged a coup d’état in the Southeast Asian country, overthrowing the democratic government and issuing a year-long state of emergency. Orchestrated under the idea that the nation’s November election was fraudulent, a claim that lacks any substantial evidence, the armed forces took control and arrested senior members of the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) party. The situation was exacerbated by the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi, a pro-democracy activist and Nobel Prize winner, who led the NLD. The country’s state of emergency has been extended for another two years under the direction of Min Aung Hlaing, a leading army general who declared himself to be the nation’s prime minister at the beginning of August. Now, after months of violence and oppression, Myanmar is confronted with the same military regime that it suffered under previously.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

New ASEAN Envoy to Myanmar Pledges to Meet With Opposition, Detained Activists

Sebastian Strangio
August 10, 2021

The envoy’s mission relies on good faith commitment on the part of the junta, but this remains unlikely.

ASEAN’s newly appointed special envoy to Myanmar says he will insist on meeting with jailed politicians, including Aung San Suu Kyi, in line with the Five-Point Consensus agreed by the Southeast Asian bloc in April.

Second Foreign Minister of Brunei Erywan Yusof was formally appointed by ASEAN last week, after protracted negotiations among the bloc’s 10 member states. Speaking to reporters on Saturday in his first public remarks about the role, he said a plan to visit Myanmar was “in the pipeline,” and would be confirmed once he had consulted with all countries and actors concerned.

Asean too late for Myanmar?

Bangkok Post

The appointment of Brunei's Second Foreign Minister Erywan Yusof as Asean special envoy to Myanmar last week is better late than never.

The special envoy's appointment is part of a five-point consensus that was agreed upon by Asean leaders during an April 24 meeting searching for a solution to the Myanmar crisis following the Feb 1 coup that ousted the elected civilian government under Aung San Suu Kyi who has been detained together with other civilian officials.

The delay in the envoy's appointment is described by the international media as due to internal wrangling within the group; with Indonesia and Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines opting for a proactive approach; while the rest, including Thailand, preferring quiet diplomacy which is almost synonymous with sitting on the problem while violence is being committed.

Monday, August 9, 2021

They Wait Hours to Withdraw Cash, but Most A.T.M.s Are Empty

New York Times
Richard C. Paddock
Aug. 7, 2021

Myanmar has been crippled by a cash shortage since the military seized power six months ago, plunging the Southeast Asian nation into a financial crisis.

People lining up to withdraw cash in Yangon, Myanmar, in March. Since the military seized power in a coup six months ago, the Southeast Asian nation has been brought to its knees by a critical lack of cash.Credit...The New York Times

The customers, desperate for cash, began lining up at the A.T.M. at 3:30 a.m. By dawn, the queue had swelled to more than 300 people. By noon, when temperatures had reached 100 degrees, many were still waiting, hoping this would be the day they could finally withdraw money from their own bank accounts.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

ASEAN’s humanitarian aid to Myanmar must not legitimise military junta: Progressive Voice & FORUM-ASIA

The Online Citizen
Asia, Civil Society

“ASEAN and the international community must recognize and engage with the NUG, and disengage with the junta in provision of humanitarian assistance to prevent them from weaponizing humanitarian aid."
 Protesters hold a banner supporting the National Unity Government (NUG) during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on 11 July 2021 (Source: AFP)

The Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the rest of the international community must provide humanitarian assistance through the COVID-19 Task Force set up by the Ministry of Health under interim government of Myanmar – the National Unity Government (NUG) – and Ethnic Health Organisations, as well as through cross-border channels, local humanitarian networks, ethnic service providers, and community-based organisations, said Progressive Voice and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) in a joint statement on Wednesday (4 Aug).

ASEAN urged to address Myanmar crises, as special envoy named

4 Aug 2021

Rights groups call on regional political bloc to work with shadow NUG, local health organisations to deliver urgent humanitarian aid.

Volunteers in protective suits carry a COVID patient lying on a bed as they try to relocate oxygen-dependent patients from the COVID centre during floods in Karen state [Karen Information Center/Handout via Reuters]

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) urgently needs to address Myanmar’s “dire” human rights and humanitarian crises, which are being compounded by a COVID-19 health emergency and recent flooding, rights groups have said, warning the regional bloc to avoid giving legitimacy to the country’s military.

ASEAN Still Stalemated Over Choice of Myanmar Envoy

Sebastian Strangio
August 03, 2021

A candidate was expected to be announced at yesterday’s Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, but the bloc appears deadlocked on a number of issues.

As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) kicked off a week of summitry-by-videolink, it remained deadlocked on the appointment of a special envoy to address the political crisis in Myanmar.

Alongside a discussion of COVID-19 and the South China Sea, yesterday’s 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was expected in some quarters to feature the announcement of an ASEAN envoy to shepherd Myanmar’s military junta and its opponents toward the negotiating table.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Fighting Myanmar's regime with compassion and military skills

DENIS D. GRAY, Contributing writer
August 1, 2021 

Free Burma Rangers help thousands fleeing brutal attacks by security forces
David Eubank, founder of the Free Burma Rangers aid organization, rescues a 5-year-old Demoa after her mother was killed by Islamists in the battle for Mosul. (Courtesy of Free Burma Rangers)

     CHIANG MAI, Thailand -- David Eubank, a former U.S. Special Forces officer, believes that some causes are worth dying for. His Free Burma Rangers aid organization, founded to help victims of an earlier Myanmar crisis, has since brought frontline help to many thousands in war-scarred Syria, Iraq and Sudan. Now, it is back in Myanmar helping ethnic minorities to flee escalating attacks by the regime's security forces.

Bangladesh-Myanmar Economic Ties: Addressing the Next Generation Challenges

Shazzad Hussain
August 1, 2021

Bangladesh-Myanmar relations have developed through phases of cooperation and conflict. Conflict in this case is not meant in the sense of confrontation, but only in the sense of conflict of interests and resultant diplomatic face-offs. Myanmar is the only other neighbor that Bangladesh has on its border besides India. It is the potential gateway for an alternative land route opening towards China and South-East Asia other than the sea. Historically, these two countries have geographic and cultural linkages. These two bordering countries, located in separate geopolitical regions, have huge possibilities in developing their bilateral economic relations. At the initial phase of their statehood, both countries undertook numerous constructive initiatives to improve their relations. Nevertheless, different bilateral disputes and challenges troubled entire range of cooperation. Subsequent to these challenges, Bangladesh and Myanmar have started negotiation process on key dubious issues. The economic rationales over political tensions in Bangladesh-Myanmar relations prevail with new prospects and opportunities.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

New Great Game rages in post-coup Myanmar

Bertil Lintner
June 12, 2021

China and US on opposed sides in Myanmar's escalating civil war while Japan, India and ASEAN struggle to strike a middle ground

Anti-coup protesters show their support for Myanmar's National Unity Government. Photo: Jose Lopes Amaral / NurPhoto via AFP

CHIANG MAIChina has declared its support for Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s military-coup government in Myanmar. The United States and the European Union have implemented sanctions and declared their support for the people’s power movement agitating against the dictatorship.

India and Japan are keeping quiet because they don’t want to push Myanmar further back into the clutches of China. Thailand is too dependent on natural gas imports from Myanmar to dare to condemn or even criticize the coup.

The rest of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, has once again demonstrated that it is wholly incapable of resolving regional crises. 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Myanmar’s Junta Tries – and Fails – to Appoint a New UN Ambassador

July 21, 2021

But the military’s takeover has trapped foreign governments between dueling moral and diplomatic imperatives.

Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that Myanmar’s military junta has attempted – unsuccessfully – to replace the country’s ambassador to the United Nations, foreshadowing a looming battle over diplomatic recognition at the world body.

In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres dated May 12, a copy of which was obtained by the news agency, the junta’s Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin said he had appointed the former military commander Aung Thurein as Myanmar’s U.N. ambassador.

Wunna Maung Lwin said in an accompanying letter that Kyaw Moe Tun, Myanmar’s currently recognized U.N. ambassador, “has been terminated on Feb. 27, 2021, due to abuses of his assigned duty and mandate.”

Yunnan Sees COVID-19 Spike as Myanmar Slides Toward ‘Super-Spreader’ State


Sebastian Strangio
July 21, 2021


The former head of the Myanmar’s COVID-19 response says the country could be facing “up to 400,000” dead.

China yesterday reported its highest daily toll of COVID-19 infections since January, driven by a sudden increase in infections in Yunnan province, where cases are spilling across the border from Myanmar.

The National Health Commission reported 65 new confirmed cases on Monday, up from 31 the day before. As Reuters noted, this was the most since January 30, when 92 new cases were reported.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Inside A Myanmar Clinic Fighting A New COVID Surge

18 July 2021
Volunteers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) prepare to transport the body of a victim of the COVID-19 coronavirus to a cemetery in Hlegu Township in Yangon on 10 July, 2021. (AFP Photo)

In a clinic in a remote Myanmar town, some of the few doctors still working after the coup emptied hospitals are battling to keep their COVID-19 patients alive as the virus resurges.

Infections are spiking in Myanmar, with the State Administration Council – as the military junta calls itself – reporting more than 4,000 cases on Thursday, in a crisis made worse by shortages of critical medical equipment.

AFP footage from inside a clinic in the north-western town of Kalay showed patients slumped in makeshift beds, oxygen canisters at their feet.