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

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

‘Piles of bodies’ seen in Myanmar as violence escalates: reports

Kerry J. Byrne
April 10, 2021
Young protesters flash a three-fingered symbol of resistance in Yangon, Myanmar on April 10, 2021.AP

“Piles of bodies” were seen in one city in Myanmar after another gruesome attack by the country’s security forces against its own people.

Dozens of people were killed in the city of Bago Friday, “leaving piles of bodies in pagodas and on school grounds” in the deadliest single incident in Myanmar since a coup toppled the elected government Feb. 1, according to Radio Free Asia and other reports.

With Its Economy in Free Fall, Myanmar Braces for the Worst

Bloomberg News
12 April 2021,

Investors are fleeing and businesses are teetering close to the financial edge as the junta’s crackdown worsens.Bloomberg News

Protesters taking part in a candlelight demonstration against the military coup in Yangon's Tamwe township on April 3. Source AFP/Getty Images

With a tea shop right next to key protest zones in Myanmar’s biggest city, Soe is never quite sure whether he should keep the business open.

If protesters enter to evade authorities, the 43-year-old risks getting shot, arrested or having his property destroyed as the military and police hunt them down. But if he turns away fleeing demonstrators, he may face a backlash on Facebook and a boycott of his tea shop, among hundreds in Yangon that have long served as de facto community centers.

Myanmar Coup Puts the Seal on Autocracy’s Rise in Southeast Asia

By Hannah Beech
April 13, 2021, 

A protest this month in Yangon, Myanmar, against the military’s ouster of the civilian government.Credit...The New York Times

Not long ago, democracy seemed to be surging in the region. But in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and elsewhere, it is in trouble.

Late last month, foreign officials in army regalia toasted their hosts in Naypyidaw, the bunkered capital built by Myanmar’s military. Ice clinked in frosted glasses. A lavish spread had been laid out for the foreign dignitaries in honor of Myanmar’s Armed Forces Day.

Monday, April 12, 2021

The battle for democracy in Myanmar



11/04/2021 - HR/VP Blog – The world is horrified by the bloody military coup in Myanmar, with reports of more than 80 people killed in Bago last Friday. We are pursuing a robust diplomatic initiative in close coordination with like-minded partners. However, geopolitical competition in Myanmar makes it difficult to find common ground, to halt the violence and ensure a return to democracy.

Democracy is increasingly challenged these days, but in few places in such a dramatic and brutal fashion as in Myanmar. In the early morning of 1 February, the clock on Myanmar’s democratic transition was turned back many years with a 1970s-style military coup. The army claimed that the November 2020 elections, which the National League for Democracy (NLD) had won with a landslide, had somehow been ‘fraudulent’, without offering any evidence. It declared a state of emergency and put State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint under arrest, together with other democratic leaders.

Why do we think of Buddhism as peaceful?

Nick Swann

Buddhism is often regarded as the peaceful religion and its adherents as pacifists but is this true and why do we think so? Nick Swann explains

The Buddhist statue at Po Lin, Lantau Island, Hong Kong(Getty/ iStockphoto)

When teaching “Buddhism and violence”, I usually start by asking students to rank religious groups in the order of how many followers each has in the Army.

Typically, Christians are at the top of students’ lists and Buddhists at the bottom.

This reflects an unconscious bias many students have regarding Buddhism – they assume that all Buddhists are peaceful and that a Buddhist isn’t likely to embrace a career that may well involve violence.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

What Is Keeping India on the Wrong Side of History With Myanmar?

11 April 2021

India’s recent track record does not inspire confidence that democratic or humanitarian considerations will outweigh MEA’s perception of geo-strategic rationale and increasingly independent business interests.

Demonstrators are seen before a clash with security forces in Taze, Sagaing Region, Myanmar April 7, 2021, in this image obtained by Reuters. Photo obtained by Reuters

Why is India so defiantly indifferent to shaming to the point of attempting to deport a Rohingya girl child back to a Myanmar convulsed by violent turbulence?

And to compound that, the Supreme Court has legitimated Centre’s contentious directive of deporting the Rohingya refugees, holding inapplicable the legal principle of non-refoulement and turning its back on the genocide like situation in Myanmar.

What geo-economic and strategic compulsions are aligning democratic India on the wrong side of history with brutally repressive military dictators in Myanmar?

‘Supreme Court has signed our death warrant’: Rohingya in India

Aakash Hassan
9 Apr 2021

Supreme Court refuses to stop deportation of about 170 Rohingya detained in the Indian-administered Kashmir region’s Jammu area last month.
India's Supreme Court also underlined government’s claim that Rohingya posed a 'threat to internal security of the country' [File: Altaf Qadri/AP]

Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir – India’s Supreme Court has refused to stop the deportation to Myanmar of about 170 Rohingya refugees detained in the Indian-administered Kashmir region’s Jammu area, with the members of the beleaguered community calling it a “death warrant” issued by the court.

“Possibly that is the fear that if they go back to Myanmar, they will be slaughtered. But we cannot control all that,” the top court said on Thursday, stating that the fundamental right to settle in India is available only to its citizens.

The Arakan Dream: The Search for Peace in Myanmar’s Rakhine State on the Verge of Civil War

Jack Broome
April 9, 2021

  Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 19 Issue: 7

On March 23, the Arakan Army (AA)—an ethnic armed organization (EAO) based largely in Myanmar’s Rakhine State—finally released a statement condemning the military’s seizure of power in the February 1 coup. AA spokesperson, Khine Thu Kha, said that the AA was “together…with the people” and would “continue to go forward for the oppressed Rakhine people” (Dhaka Star, March 23).

Up until this point, the AA had held back from issuing any kind of response to the coup, despite an increasing number of EAOs having already declared their support for the civil disobedience movement (CDM). Some groups, such as the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), which is one of the AA’s alliance partners, have even begun to carry out attacks against the military in retaliation (Kachin News, March 12). Similarly, when the State Administrative Council (SAC), Myanmar’s new military government, announced on March 10 that it had removed the AA from the list of terrorist organizations, the rebel group made no formal acknowledgement of the move (The Irrawaddy, March 11).

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Seeking Refuge in India a Crime? The Rohingya Crimmigration Story

the quint
Published: 08 Apr 2021, 

India’s crimmigration policy dehumanises Rohingyas as security threats, subjecting them to detention & deportation.

Sound sleep has become folklore for Minra Begum. For the past two months, she just can’t put her running thoughts to rest, and rest her head without fear. She doesn’t want to lose sight of her three children, two girls and one boy, as they sleep quietly lying next to her. A moment of slumber, just a blink, she believes, might separate her from her children forever.

Minra Begum is haunted by the fate of her aunt Husseina, an 85-year old partially blind woman, who was picked up by the police on 21 January 2021. As Husseina was escorted to a police van by three officers, all men, the plea of her 26-year-old son fell on deaf ears. Minra was aware of her aunt’s destination; after all, that’s where they took her father 11 years ago. But, she still asked, with a quivering voice, “why are you taking her, she’s so old, she has a family... where are you taking her.”

US sanctions on Myanmar gems target key junta funding source

09 April 2021
FILE - In this May 25, 2012, file photo, a worker carves jade from Myanmar at a jade processing factory in Ruili, near Myanmar border, Yunnan Province, China. U.S. sanctions on Myanmar Gems Enterprise target an army-controlled gems business rife with corruption and abuses that is one of the junta’s key sources of revenue. The sanctions announced Thursday, April 8, 2021, freeze any assets the firm holds in the U.S. or in U.S. jurisdictions and bar American citizens from doing business with it. The company is a major exporter of gems and semi-precious stones like jade, which bring in significant amounts of revenue to government coffers. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Myanmar Is on the Precipice of Civil War

APRIL 8, 2021,

Existing conflicts with ethnic groups add fuel to the fire.

Protesters hold homemade weapons during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon's Tamwe township in Myanmar on April 3. STR/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Since the Feb. 1 military coup, Myanmar has rapidly destabilized into widespread protests and indiscriminate violence. According to the monitoring group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, at least 614 protesters have been killed and 2,857 detained as of April 8. The Tatmadaw, as Myanmar’s military is called, appears unwilling to back down despite growing international pressure.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Twitter launches #MilkTeaAlliance emoji to mark 1-year anniversary of solidarity movement

Coconuts Hong Kong 
Apr 8, 2021 

The Milk Tea Alliance, originally a loose coalition that brewed among activists in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand, has grown into a broader movement against growing authoritarianism in many parts of Asia. Photos: Twitter

Twitter has introduced an emoji for the #MilkTeaAlliance hashtag to mark the the first anniversary of the solidarity movement, which has united protesters in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and beyond in their fights against authoritarianism.

Jokowi's ASEAN leadership

7 APRIL 2021
Police personnel stand guard during a demonstration by supporters of detained Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu in front of a court house in Yangon on November 3, 2020. (AFP/Sai Aung Main)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has received a strong mandate to host an ASEAN special summit to discuss how the regional grouping should deal with the crisis unfolding in one of its member states, Myanmar, after the military seized power from the democratically elected government on Feb. 1.

This is a diplomatic scoop for Jokowi, who has previously shown little appetite for foreign affairs but now is taking firm action to assist the Myanmar people.

The End of Quiet Diplomacy in Myanmar

| APRIL 7, 2021

The U.N. dials up the pressure campaign against Myanmar’s putschists.

U.N. Special Envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener arrives at Sittwe Airport in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, the site of the mass displacement of Rohingya Muslims, on Oct. 15, 2018. PHOTO BY STR/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

In the weeks following Myanmar’s military coup, United Nations special envoy Christine Schraner Burgener privately delivered a blunt appeal to foreign diplomats: Shun Myanmar’s military regime lest you lend it legitimacy, impose an arms embargo, and hit the coup plotters with targeted financial sanctions. Make it hurt.

The envoy’s outreach marked a stark departure from the U.N.’s traditional nonconfrontational approach to diplomacy, which places a premium on maintaining cordial relations with regimes in power. In the past, U.N. envoys to Myanmar, including Burgener, and other top officials have largely held their tongues in public, even when the country’s military, known as the Tatmadaw, threatened democracy and carried out mass atrocities against the country’s minority Rohingya Muslims.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Myanmar coup: Asean leadership offers best chance to avert a refugee crisis

South China Morning Post
Lucio Blanco Pitlo III
7 Apr, 2021

  • Many international actors are vying to play the role of peacemaker in Myanmar, but Asean – flaws and all – remains the most suited to broker talks
  • The efforts of Indonesia, along with other key members, show genuine interest to stop growing instability in the country from spilling across the region
Myanmar refugees line up to receive rescue materials in a camp in Manghai, a small border town between China and Myanmar in Yunnan province, in November 2016. Continuing violence in Myanmar has neighbours China, India and Thailand worried about a fresh exodus of refugees fleeing across their border. Photo: Simon Song

A breakthrough could be in the offing as China lends support to an Asean-led initiative to de-escalate the situation in Myanmar and bring warring parties to a dialogue. Last week, foreign ministers from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines flew to Nanping in southeastern Fujian province to meetForeign Minister Wang Yi.

Religious freedom must be guaranteed for everyone, everywhere, all the time


© Getty Images

Merdan Ghappar was put in a prison camp in China for being a Muslim. Pastor Youcef was thrown in jail in Iran for following Jesus and helping others do the same. Twenty-five-year-old Ravinder Singh was killed in Pakistan for being a Sikh. And just last week in Indonesia, two terrorist suicide bombers targeted Roman Catholics as they were leaving Sunday morning mass.

What do they have in common? Religious persecution.

OPINION - Political calculations to settle Myanmar crisis

Ramdhan Muhaimin
JAKARTA, Indonesia

Myanmar’s military coup has put Association of Southeast Asian Nation at crossroads
The writer teaches at the Center for Peace and Defense Studies (PSPP), University of Al-Azhar Indonesia.

Since the military forcibly seized control and forced the exit of the National League for Democracy (NLD) from the government on Feb. 1, the socio-political conditions in Southeast Asian nation Myanmar have again moved towards uncertainty.

The coup, led by the head of Tatmadaw -- the national armed forces – Gen. Min Aung Hlaing shortly after Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD won the election, has become a nightmare for people in the country.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Myanmar’s Brutal Military Was Once a Force for Freedom – but it’s been Waging Civil War for Decades

Tharaphi Than
APRIL 5, 2021

With great fanfare – but few guests – Myanmar’s armed forces recently celebrated their 76th anniversary in the nation’s capital of Naypyitaw.

Only Russia, China, Thailand, and a handful of other Asian countries sent representatives to attend the March 27th parade showing off Myanmar’s modern war machines – mostly imported from Russia and China over the past decade, to the tune of $2.4 billion.

The Myanmar military has been terrorizing civilians since a coup two months earlier. On the day of the parade, soldiers killed over 90 people for protesting military rule, including a 5-year-old boy and three teenagers. An estimated 564 people have been killed in Myanmar since the Feb. 1 coup.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Alarmed by inaction, lawmakers push Japan to embrace rights diplomacy

the japan times
Apr 6, 2021

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi go to meet Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State, and Lloyd Austin, U.S. Secretary of Defense, at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on March 16. | POOL / VIA AFP-JIJI

As Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga gears up for his trip to Washington late next week, one potential discussion topic could throw a wet blanket over his excitement: Japan’s role in advocating for human rights through diplomacy.

As much as Tokyo is elated over having the first foreign leader to meet U.S. President Joe Biden in person since his inauguration and reaffirmation of Washington’s commitment to national security cooperation, there are worries that the meeting could be used by Biden to compel Suga to augment the Japanese government’s contributions to defending human rights in Asia.

Myanmar crisis: Asean's next moves

Bangkok Post

Myanmar's Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin takes part in a virtual meeting of Asean foreign ministers in Nay Pyi Taw last Friday. AFP

The recent call by Indonesian President Joko Widodo for a meeting with his colleagues on the Myanmar crisis is gaining traction. It is now possible to say that the proposed leaders' meeting could take place at the end of this month, after the Songkran break and the Muslim Ramadan festival.

Senior Asean officials will have to decide tomorrow whether to have the physical meeting either in Bandar Seri Begawan or the Asean Secretariat and the preferred date. Both places have their own merits in discussing the Myanmar crisis. Therefore, the right timing is imperative for a face-to-face rendezvous. Asean has learned to its cost that a teleconference on the Myanmar crisis could cause harm and bitterness due to the lack of clarifications and personal rapport in virtual meetings. This time, the Asean chair wants to ensure that all Asean leaders, including Senior Gen Min Aung Hlaing, join the meeting.