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

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Biden Administration to Probe Rohingya Genocide Claim

Sebastian Strangio
January 21, 2021

What would it mean for the U.S. government to officially declare the Myanmar atrocities “genocide”?

The incoming Biden administration is reportedly planning to launch an interagency review to determine whether Myanmar’s fierce persecution of its Muslim Rohingya minority amounts to genocide. The plan was revealed by incoming Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this week, during which he said that if confirmed, he would oversee the review process.

The review would examine events that have taken place since August 2017, when the Myanmar army, or Tatmadaw, launched a brutal “clearance operation” in Rakhine State in the west of the country. Justified as a response to scattered attacks by Rohingya militants, the offensive saw soldiers and vigilantes torch villages, shoot civilians, and drive an estimated 750,000 desperate people over the border into Bangladesh.

There is compelling case to be made that the actions of the Myanmar military amount to genocide, as defined in the 1948 Genocide Convention, which defines the crime as an “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group.” The United Nations’ human rights chief has previously described the military’s actions as possible “acts of genocide,” while formal charges of genocide were later brought against Myanmar by The Gambia in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. In January 2020, the ICJ declared that there was prima facie evidence of breaches of the Genocide Convention, warning that the estimated 600,000 Rohingya remaining in Myanmar were “extremely vulnerable” to attacks by the military.

Myanmar: Trafficking issues, plight of Rohingyas in Thailand

Jan 21 2021

South Asia Weekly | Volume XIV; Issue 3
News and analyses from South Asia this week.

Enot Poloskun — iStock/Getty

Sreeparna Banerjee

In an appalling event, last week, 19 Rohingyas and a Thai woman accused of housing them were arrested for illegal entry into Thailand. Another group of 100 Rohingyas were uncovered from Yangon in Myanmar. Both these groups were bound to travel to Malaysia in search of a better life. In addition, there are reports that around 33 Thai officials along with civilians will be charged with disciplinary action for facilitating human-trafficking along the Thai-Myanmar border.

This discovery comes at a time when people of Thailand are accusing migrant workers from Myanmar as being responsible for the rising number of the Covid-19 cases in the country. After two months of hate-speech and confusion, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was tactful in stating that the recent infections were due to foreign workers smuggled across Thai border and had nothing to do with Myanmar migrants per say. On a positive note, this entire event also uncovered the difficult conditions that the migrant workers, especially those from Myanmar, are facing in Thailand.

Friday, January 22, 2021

OPINION - Leading UN member-states fail to end Rohingya abuse

Maung Zarni

China-brokered tripartite meeting will bring no solution for either Bangladesh or Rohingya refugees

With an air of renewed optimism, Bangladesh side has widely reported on the Beijing-brokered meeting yesterday to resuscitate the repatriation process of 1 million Rohingya.

In sharp contrast, today's [Wednesday's] Global New Light of Myanmar, Naypyidaw's official mouthpiece, completely downplayed the significance of this resumed virtual meeting by sticking the news of the "Tripartite Informal Vice Ministerial Meeting" on page 6, under "National" news and allocating less a quarter of a page, at the bottom.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

ED: So far so good

 Tribune Editorial
January 19th, 2021

The amenities at Bhashar Char have been carefully thought-out

From the very moment that the Bashan Char project was announced, the plan to relocate Rohingya refugees to these improved accommodations has been met with strong criticism from the international community. But now, after two batches of refugees have been relocated, and a third batch of 2,000 people all set to be moved by the end of this month, it would seem that the critics were mistaken, and that Bhashan Char is indeed a great improvement over the Cox’s Bazar camps. As a senior Navy officer involved in the relocation commented: “So far so good.”

Saturday, January 16, 2021

ျမန္မာမ်ားအား လူကုန္ကူးဟု ထိုင္းရဲ ၃၀ ေက်ာ္ စြပ္စြဲခံရ

16 January 2021
၂၀၂၀ ဇူလိုင္လအတြင္း စန္ခလပူရီၿမိဳ႕နယ္ကို ခိုးဝင္လာေသာ ျမန္မာမ်ားအား ထိုင္းရဲက ဖမ္းထားစဥ္/ Piyarat Chongcharoen / Bangkok Post

ထိုင္း-ျမန္မာနယ္စပ္တြင္ လူကုန္ကူးမႈအတြက္ စြဲခ်က္တင္ခံရၿပီးေနာက္ ထိုင္းနိုင္ငံမွ ဒါဇင္ႏွင့္ခ်ီေသာ ရဲမ်ား သည္ ရာဇဝတ္ေၾကာင္း အေရးယူမႈႏွင့္ စည္းကမ္းပိုင္းဆိုင္ရာ အေရးယူမႈမ်ားကို ရင္ဆိုင္ၾကရသည္။

ထိုအမႈမ်ားတြင္ ရဲတပ္ဖြဲ႕ဝင္ အနည္းဆုံး ၃၃ ဦးပါဝင္ပတ္သက္ေနေၾကာင္း ထိုင္းအမ်ိဳးသားရဲတပ္ဖြဲ႕ ဒုတိယရဲ ခ်ဳပ္ ရဲဗ္ိုလ္ခ်ဳပ္ ဒမ္ေရာင္ဆက္ ကစ္တီပရာပက္ ေျပာၿပီး စြပ္စြဲခံရသူမ်ားတြင္ ျပန္တမ္းဝင္အရာရွိ မဟုတ္သူမ်ား၊ ျပန္တမ္းဝင္အရာရွိမ်ားႏွင့္ ဒုတပ္ဖြဲ႕မႉးအထိ ပါဝင္ေၾကာင္း ရွင္းျပသည္ဟု ဘန္ေကာက္ပို႔စ္က ဆိုသည္။

Friday, January 15, 2021

Out of sight, out of mind: Who will protect Rohingyas sent to remote, flood-prone island?


CJ Werleman
14 January, 2021

Rohingya refugees on a Bangladesh Navy ship are taken to Bhashan Char island [Anadolu] 
Comment: The international community must act now to prevent further atrocities against Rohingya refugees, writes CJ Werleman.

For the more than 1 million Rohingya Muslim genocide survivors, 2020 was a year of hardship, suffering and victimisation. Sadly, the new year has already brought new horrors, with Bangladesh uprooting thousands from the refugee camps of Cox's Bazaar, and sending them to a remote island in the Bay of Bengal, otherwise known as Bhasan Char.

The Rohingya refugee crisis needs our attention

Ema Popovic
January 15, 2021

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

‘We Tried to Warn You’

The Atlantic
January 12, 2021

While reporting on Facebook’s operations in Myanmar in 2018, I wrote about mobs hunting down people in the streets, violent animosity toward a beleaguered minority group, and the targeting of journalists (some of whom were branded as terrorists)—all of which could be traced back to hate-filled misinformation that had rippled across social media unimpeded. At the time, a Facebook employee, an American diplomat, and several others who had spent time in Myanmar (also known as Burma) told me they worried that similar trends were under way in the United States.

Beijing’s New Toys in Myanmar

By Amara Thiha
January 11, 2021

Infrastructure is high on China’s agenda in Myanmar, but it is also making headway in other important sectors. 

A year after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first state visit to Myanmar, Foreign Minister Wang Yi is scheduled to arrive in the capital Naypyidaw today for a two-day official visit. The trip to Myanmar follows an African tour that has taken Wang to Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Tanzania, and the Seychelles. The agenda of his Myanmar trip is yet to be confirmed, but the ongoing progress of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), along with COVID-19 diplomacy, is very likely to be high on the list.

First signed between China and Myanmar in 2018, the CMEC envisions the construction of a network of railways, roads, ports, and new cities running overland from China’s Yunnan province to the sea. Although numerous memorandum of agreements related to CMEC and Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have been in place for years, progress has lagged considerably. Indeed, progress on the CMEC seems to have been slowed further by Beijing’s pandemic-induced belt-tightening and the unprofitable nature of many of the infrastructure projects that fell under its aegis. This had prompted Beijing to adopt an alternative model of engagement in Myanmar: one that is more economically feasible, and that leverages its strategic assets, innovation, and technology to expand its sphere of influence, rather than focusing on infrastructure alone.

Rohingya Dreams of Better Life Abroad Shattered After Mass Arrest in Myanmar

Vice World News

“Even an animal would not stay in that kind of trapped situation.”

A member of Myanmar's security forces stands guard in September 2018 at "no-man's land" between Myanmar and Bangladesh, where Rohingya who fled a 2017 crackdown have taken shelter. Photo: Aung Naing Soe

The mass arrest of nearly 100 Rohingya Muslims hiding in safe houses in Myanmar’s biggest city last week cast a harsh spotlight on the lengths to which the persecuted minority go to escape the country, and how a small mistake can shatter dreams of a better life.

Rohingya, who are not recognized as citizens in Buddhist-majority Myanmar and lack access to many basic services, have been fleeing their homes in Rakhine state for decades. But conditions worsened after a 2017 crackdown drove 740,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh in a violent campaign that is now the focus of a genocide investigation.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Will Supplementary Elections Be Held in Myanmar’s Rakhine State?

Sebastian Strangio
January 11, 2021

The Tatmadaw and Arakan Army are both in favor, but the ruling National League for Democracy remains hesitant.

Last week, Myanmar’s military issued a statement again calling for supplementary elections to be held in areas of Rakhine State where recent national elections were canceled due to an ongoing conflict.

During the November 8 election, around 1.2 million voters in the war-torn region were unable to cast their ballots after the Union Election Commission (UEC) cancelled voting in many townships on security grounds. Voting was also cancelled in parts of Shan and Kachin states.

The Myanmar army, or Tatmadaw, said in its statement that elections should be held before newly-elected lawmakers are sworn at the beginning of February.

The military’s call follows two months of encouraging progress in efforts to resolve the conflict between the military and the insurgent Arakan Army (AA), which has raged in Rakhine State since 2018, during which time hundreds have been killed and injured and some 226,000 people have been forced from their homes.

Education crucial if Rohingya are to avoid ‘lost generation’


Dr. Azeem Ibrahim
January 10, 2021

Noor and Aziz will be part of new educational content to support children and families affected by the Rohingya refugee crisis. (@sesamestreet)

A heartwarming initiative from the creators of “Sesame Street” shows that the international community is finally beginning to understand how to effectively approach the perennial issue of education for refugees. Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that creates the early education TV show, has unveiled Aziz and Noor, two new Muppet characters who are twin brother and sister Rohingya children.

This will be the first time that Rohingya children will have seen anyone like them in a mainstream media production. What is more, the two characters will appear alongside Elmo and other beloved characters in shows in the Rohingya language that are dedicated to topics in math, science and health, among others. This is all part of a curriculum developed by Sesame Workshop, alongside a number of other high-profile charities, specifically for Rohingya children.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

China’s BRI Dream Could Turn Nightmare As Myanmar Puts ‘Roadblocks’ Before Key Infra Projects

The Eur Asian Times

Jayanta Kalita
January 9, 2021

Unlike China’s ‘iron brother’ Pakistan, which has rolled out the red carpet for its BRI projects, Southeast Asian nation Myanmar is set to clip the wings of the dragon.

China may be aiming to conquer the world with its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) undermining local sentiments in certain host countries, but the dragon is not invincible it seems. Myanmar is one country where citizens are resisting aggressive and intrusive policies Beijing is known for.

A global infrastructure strategy, BRI reflects President Xi Jinping’s dream of taking China to the ‘numero uno’ spot in the world. It envisages road, rail, and port projects in six economic corridors spread across Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe.

No wonder, the Communist regime has already incorporated the BRI in the country’s Constitution as China plans to invest $1.5 trillion in the next decade.

According to global financial services group Nomura, more than 80 countries are likely to benefit from the BRI project. At the same time, it “will have enormous economic, geopolitical and investment implications for China”, Nomura warns. 

Tales of the 21st Century: Rohingyas Without home

Inter Press Service

DHAKA, Bangladesh, Jan 8 2021 (IPS) - Mohammad Rakibul Hasan is a Bangladeshi documentary photographer, photojournalist, filmmaker and visual artist who has been visiting the camps in Cox’s Bazaar to document the Rohingya refugee crisis.

Rakibul Hasan is a recipient of the Lucie Awards Discovery of the Year 2018. He also received the 23rd Human Rights Press Awards from The Foreign Correspondents’ Club Hong Kong, Amnesty International and the Hong Kong Journalists Association, for his series “The Looted Honor” which documents Rohingya refugee rape survivors.

Rakibul Hasan has shared with IPS a selection of images document life in the Rohingya refugee camps.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Why Joe Biden Should Help the Rohingya People of Myanmar

January 6, 2021 

A large group of Rohingya people, fled from ongoing military operations in Myanmar's Rakhine state, try to cross the border at Palongkhalii, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, on October 17, 2017.
Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Matthew Smith is CEO and co-founder of Fortify Rights and a Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Follow him on Twitter @matthewfsmith.
Andrew Riley is a consultant to Fortify Rights and was the principal author of “The Torture in My Mind”: The Right to Mental Health for Rohingya Survivors of Genocide in Bangladesh and Myanmar. Follow him on Twitter @andrewkyleriley.
Then the Myanmar Army attacked and massacred ethnic Rohingya civilians in 2017, more than 700,000 men, women, and children fled to Bangladesh, some riddled with bullets, burns, and gaping wounds. Hundreds of villages were in ashes, razed by soldiers and their civilian proxies.

But long after the physical wounds scarred over, Rohingya continue to suffer mental harm on a massive scale. President-elect Biden can and should do something about it.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Signs of the time: Take me across the waters, ‘cause I need some place to hide…

Friday, January 1, 2021

The UK should join the ICJ case against the Myanmar genocide

Dr. Azeem Ibrahim
December 31, 2020

Rohingya refugees fleeing genocide in Myanmar cross into Bangladesh on September 10, 2017. (Shutterstock image)

The ongoing case on behalf of the Rohingya people at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Myanmar for genocide has been initiated and championed by the small nation of The Gambia and has broken new ground in international law for being the first case of its kind brought by one UN country against another. In truth, all signatories to the UN Genocide Convention have the ability, and indeed the moral responsibility, to prosecute the crime of genocide wherever it may occur. And the UK should lend its full backing to the action by The Gambia.

This step seems to have become more likely with over 100 members of parliament signing a letter addressed to the government that the UK should be joining the legal action led by The Gambia. Among the signatories is the former UK Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, which lends further weight to this initiative.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Rohingya Complain About Myanmar’s Relocation Plans to ‘Flooded’ Camp

The Irrawaddy 
Khine Rola
23 December 2020
Rohingya at the Kyauk Ta Lone camp. / Ko Phyu Che

Sittwe — The Rakhine State government is planning to relocate a camp for displaced Rohingya Muslims near Kyauk Ta Lone pagoda in Kyaukphyu Township.

The plan to close the camp is part of a national resettlement strategy by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement adopted in 2018.

Land has been developed near Gone Chein village around 200 meters from the Kyauk Ta Lone camp to resettle the Rohingya and home building will begin soon, according to the state government.

“The current camp is only a shelter but the new camp will have detached houses like a village,” said state municipal minister U Win Myint.

The Politics of Losing Home

The Daily Star  
Md Touhid Hossain
December 24, 2020
COLLAGE: Kazi Akib Bin Asad

In August 2017, the Myanmar military perpetrated a genocide on the Rohingyas, an ethnic group residing in Northern Rakhine. Large numbers of Rohingyas were killed, women and girls were raped, villages burnt and upwards of 800,000 men, women and children were driven out of their homes. They crossed the border into Bangladesh to save their lives and are now sheltered in camps in Teknaf and Ukhia, in the southern tip of Bangladesh.

Although this outrageous event was sort of a 'final solution', atrocities on Rohingyas have a long history. The first mass expulsion took place in 1977-78 when 250,000 were driven across the border. Most of them were sent back through negotiations. However, following the second mass expulsion in 1989-90, many of the 250,000 refugees could not be sent back. Meanwhile, the Burmese Citizenship Act of 1982 disenfranchised the Rohingyas of their citizenship. Under continued atrocities by the military and the local Rakhines led by extremist Buddhist monks, a slow exodus continued till 2016, when another 80,000 were expelled. At least 300,000 Rohingyas were displaced in Bangladesh before 2017.

'What choice do we have?': Rohingya women face odyssey of misery

THE Edition

24 December 2020 

 Stay in a squalid refugee camp -- hopeless, starving, and made to feel a burden -- or leave, risking death, rape, human trafficking and months at sea to reach a husband you've never met.

This is the bleak choice many Rohingya women, already scarred from fleeing violent persecution in Myanmar, are now facing.

As conditions deteriorate in increasingly overcrowded Bangladeshi refugee camps, desperate parents are marrying off their daughters to Rohingya men thousands of kilometres (miles) away in Malaysia.

Wed by phone or video apps, the girls have little say in such unions and rely on occasional calls to build a relationship with their new partners as they begin treacherous journeys to reach them.