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Showing posts with label Military. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Military. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Torture in Myanmar: Don’t Let the Junta Normalize Cruelty


By Tomas Max Martin, Ergun Cakal, and Hannah Russell
JULY 13, 2021

Torture – and the fear that it engenders – has been central to the military junta’s efforts to quell popular resistance.

On June 26, CNN reported the story of American-Burmese journalist Nathan Maung, who was released by the Myanmar military after three months of detention, during which time he experienced severe torture. On June 22, Human Rights Watch published the account of a 17-year-old boy, who endured repeated beatings with a bamboo stick filled with cement, blows to the head with the butt of a rifle, and burial up to his neck in a mock execution.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Rohingya genocide case at ICJ: Myanmar military regime organises new legal team

The Daily Star
Digital Report
June 26, 2021

Armed police confront protesters on the streets of Naypyitaw, Myanmar’s capital, on Monday, February 8. Photo: AP

The Myanmar military regime has organised a new legal team led by its foreign minister, U Wunna Maung Lwin, to present the defense in the Rohingya genocide case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The regime's order restructuring the committee, which was previously led by detained State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, was announced in a bulletin published by the Myanmar Gazette on Thursday.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Internet ‘Whitelist’ Highlights Myanmar Military’s Wishful Economic Thinking

Sebastian Strangio
May 26, 2021

Facebook and Twitter are out. A suite of business applications and messaging services are in.

Myanmar’s military junta has drawn up a list of more than 1,200 online services and domain names to which it plans to grant the public access under its embryonic system of internet controls. A copy of this “whitelist,” which was given recently to local internet service providers and telecoms companies, was obtained by Nikkei Asia and published yesterday.

Since seizing power on February 1, Myanmar’s military has drastically tightened its controls over the internet in a bid to quash the rising protests against its coup. It has ordered the blocking of websites and the virtual private networks that are used to circumvent such blocks. It has also instituted nightly internet blackouts and cut off mobile data.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Atrocity Alert No. 253: Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Myanmar (Burma) and Colombia Format


19 May 2021

Atrocity Alert is a weekly publication by the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect highlighting situations where populations are at risk of, or are enduring, mass atrocity crimes.

As the war in the Gaza Strip has intensified over the past week, Israeli forces have displayed reckless disregard for the lives of Palestinians in the blockaded enclave, carrying out hundreds of airstrikes targeting residential buildings in one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Since 10 May at least 219 Palestinians, including 61 children, have been killed and over 1,500 injured by Israeli airstrikes. Airstrikes hit Shateh refugee camp on 15 May, killing 10 civilians, and also targeted a multi-story building that includes the media offices of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press. At least 130 buildings – including 17 hospitals and Gaza’s only laboratory for COVID-19 testing – have now been seriously damaged or destroyed, forcibly displacing over 58,000 Palestinians. Gaza’s sewerage system and water supply have also been damaged by airstrikes, with the UN reporting that 800,000 Gazans now lack access to safe drinking water. These attacks, which appear to deliberately ignore the principles of proportionality and distinction, may amount to war crimes under international law.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Beyond the Coup in Myanmar: “In Accordance with the Law” – How the Military Perverts Rule of Law to Oppress Civilians

by Pwint Htun
April 28, 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 local and expert 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).

“When protestors refuse to listen to our orders to disperse, we shoot at the protestors in accordance with the law.”

These are the chilling words of a Tatmadaw soldier. Unfortunately, they are not isolated ones, and they show how the idea of “law” has been perverted to justify both the Feb. 1, 2021 military coup and the deplorable violence that has followed. The word “law” (or “upaday” in Burmese) has long been a tenuous concept in Myanmar. After decades living under a military dictatorship, in which laws were used as tools of oppression and could change at the whim of those in power, the people of Myanmar have, understandably, little trust in law. The recent actions of Min Aung Hlaing and the current junta have only further affirmed this perception. The concept of law and the related idea of the rule of law have been warped and manipulated by soldiers and police officers, many of whom believe they are enforcing the “law” to uphold order when they crack down on protests against the coup.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

ASEAN Won’t Save Myanmar

APRIL 23, 2021,

The organization isn’t designed to solve problems—particularly not one as thorny as the post-coup unrest in Myanmar.
Protesters take part in a candlelight demonstration against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, on April 3. STR/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Ever since Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, staged a coup against the country’s civilian government on Feb. 1, leading to a seemingly irrepressible popular uprising, foreign-policy experts have continued to search for potential international solutions to the deteriorating situation. With major Western powers like the United States possessing limited leverage over the Tatmadaw, and China and Russia stymieing a robust response at the international level, many have looked to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to play a more significant role.

Friday, April 23, 2021

U.S. imposes additional sanctions on Myanmar, targeting two companies linked to the country’s military.

The New York Times
By Glenn Thrush
April 21, 2021
Myanmar’s thriving timber and pearl industries are sources of funding for the military and its leadership.Credit...Romeo Gacad/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

American officials announced new sanctions on Myanmar in the wake of the recent military coup, targeting two state-owned businesses with connections to the armed forces as part of an escalating international effort to jolt the country back onto a democratic path.

The move on Wednesday came two days after European Union officials expanded their own sanctions against Myanmar’s military leadership, targeting 10 officials who were involved in toppling Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government and a violent crackdown on protesters.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

China's Relationship With Myanmar's Military: It's Complicated

MAR 29, 2021

Originally published on March 29, 2021 11:37 pm

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


It was a bloody weekend in Myanmar. Security forces, again, used live ammunition against protesters all over the country, killing at least 114 people. It was the bloodiest single day since the coup began and drew condemnation from around the world but not from neighboring China, a country with a complicated relationship with Myanmar's military. Michael Sullivan reports from neighboring Thailand.

MICHAEL SULLIVAN, BYLINE: In mid-January, China's foreign minister Wang Yi made a high-profile visit to Myanmar and met with the leader of the democratically elected government, Aung San Suu Kyi - yet another sign of China's deepening economic ties with an approval of Suu Kyi's civilian-led government. Just two weeks later, she was in jail. Myanmar's military was back in charge, and the country was in turmoil.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

'Kill Me Instead': Despite Nun's Pleas, Military Junta Shoots Pro-Democracy Protesters in Myanmar

Common Dreams
Kenny Stancil, staff writer
Tuesday, March 09, 2021

"We heard loud gunshots, and saw that a young kid's head had exploded, and there was a river of blood on the street," said Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng. "We need to value life. It made me feel so sad."
"I knelt down… begging them not to shoot and torture the children, but to shoot me and kill me instead," Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng said of her attempt to dissuade police officers in Myitkyina, Myanmar from shooting people at a pro-democracy demonstration on March 8, 2021. (Photo: Twitter screengrab via Reuters)

Kneeling before a group of police officers in a northern Myanmar city on Monday, Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng courageously begged the forces of the country's new military junta to refrain from shooting pro-democracy activists—a plea that was ultimately ignored by the officers who went on to kill at least two people and injure several others as the violent repression of peaceful demonstrations against last month's coup continues.

"I knelt down… begging them not to shoot and torture the children, but to shoot me and kill me instead," Tawng told AFP on Tuesday after a video of the incident went viral.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

ALP opposes military dictatorship and commits to building up the federal union

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 
The Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) issued a statement on February 14th, opposing military dictatorship and pledging the continued efforts for building up the federal union.

Saw Mya Yazar Lin, Spokesperson of the ALP declared “No one will view the military coup as a good thing. We don’t want the situation of a coup. Now the unrest has erupted nationwide. It may hamper the country’s development, resulting in great losses to the citizens.”

She added “The ALP has been constantly working for the emergence of a genuine democratic federal union, national equality and autonomy, for more than three decades.”

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Why did the Myanmar military overthrow the NLD government?

The Daily Star

Mohammad Abdur Razzak
February 16, 2021

File photo of Min Aung Hlaing with Aung San Suu Kyi. Photo: AP

Myanmar started its democratic journey in 2011 with a quasi-civilian government headed by the retired General U Thein Sein. Before becoming President, he worked as a member in the military junta's State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) in 1997. Later, he was made the Prime Minister in General Than Shwe's cabinet (2007 to 2011). Ahead of the general elections in 2010, General U Thein Sein, along with 22 other military officials, were sent on retirement from the Army to form and lead the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). USDP won the majority in a controversially contested election in 2010. General U Thein Sein was sworn in as the 8th President of Myanmar on March 30, 2011.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Myanmar coup: military steps up action against protesters


Myanmar’s military deployed armoured vehicles onto the streets of several cities across the country on Sunday and warned protesters they could face up to 20 years in prison.

Anti-coup protesters calling for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and an end to military rule continued on Monday while the military stepped up its presence on the streets of Myanmar and threatened demonstrators with long prison sentences and fines.

Rohingya family living in UK: 'We have to hold the military accountable for its atrocities'

Asian Image
Muhammad Khan
13th February 2021
Rohingya family living in UK: 'We have to hold the military accountable for its atrocities'

A Rohingya family now living in the UK have spoken of their experiences and the atrocities carried out by the Burmese military. They also told of life in a refugee camp.

Sirazul Islam, 21, was born in a camp in Kutupalong, Bangladesh and lived there till the age of eight before coming to the UK. He currently lives with his family in Bradford.

The world’s largest refugee camp in Cox’s bazaar in Bangladesh is home to one million Muslim Rohingya people. The Rohingya are commonly referred to as the most persecuted minority in the world.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Myanmar May Target Free Speech in Effort to Stifle Protests

The New York Times

By Richard C. Paddock
Feb. 12, 2021

Myanmar May Target Free Speech in Effort to Stifle Protests

Civil society groups say a proposed measure to limit online expression and privacy rights could lead to mass arrests of those who criticize the military government.

Over the last 10 days, a civil disobedience movement against the military takeover in Myanmar has seeped into nearly every aspect of society.Credit...The New York Times

The military government in Myanmar has increasingly used nighttime arrests, legal threats, a curfew and a ban on large gatherings to tame weeklong anti-coup protests that have spread from the cities to the countryside. Now, civil society groups fear that the military is preparing a new law that would further restrict online expression and limit the privacy rights of citizens.

One telecommunications company, Telenor, said Friday that it was aware of the proposal and was reviewing it. A coalition of 158 civil society organizations signed a statement raising concerns that the potential new law would lead to the widespread arrest of government critics.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

EXPLAINER: Why did the military stage a coup in Myanmar?

FILE - In this May 24, 2017, file photo, Myanmar's Vice President Myint Swe, right, smiles while sitting with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, left, and then President Htin Kyaw during a photo session after the second session of the 21st Century Panglong Union Peace Conference at the Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. Myanmar military television said Monday, Feb. 1, 2021 that the military was taking control of the country for one year, while reports said many of the country’s senior politicians including Suu Kyi had been detained. The military TV report said Commander-in-Chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing would be in charge of the country, while Myint Swe would be elevated to acting president. (AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo, File)

Myanmar coup: Aung San Suu Kyi detained as military seizes control


02 February 2021

Myanmar's military has seized power after detaining Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratically elected leaders.

Troops are patrolling the streets and a night-time curfew is in force, with a one-year state of emergency declared.

US President Joe Biden raised the threat of new sanctions, with the UN and UK also condemning the coup.

The army alleges the recent landslide election win by Ms Suu Kyi's party was marred by fraud. She urged supporters to "protest against the coup".

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Ceasefire Raises Hopes of Elections in Myanmar’s Rakhine State


Sebastian Strangio
December 07, 2020

The most important obstacle – a ceasefire – is now in place, but many more challenges remain.

One least heralded developments to have taken place in Myanmar since the country’s election on November 8 is the lull in fighting in Rakhine State in the west of the country. Until last month, fighting between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army (AA), which is fighting for greater autonomy from the central government, had raged in Rakhine since 2018. During that time, it had killed or injured hundreds and forced some 226,000 people to flee their homes.

Sasakawa Yohei, Japan’s special peace envoy to Myanmar, helped broker the ceasefire between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army.Credit: Flickr/ Palácio do Planalto

The conflict followed the army’s brutal assault on Muslim Rohingya communities in northern Rakhine, which caused thousands of civilian deaths and drove more than 700,000 people over the border into Bangladesh.

The fighting also prompted the Union Election Commission (UEC) to cancel the elections in nine townships of northern Rakhine State, in addition to other conflict-torn parts of Myanmar, claiming that these regions were “not in a situation to hold free and fair elections.” But now, an informal ceasefire between the AA and the Myanmar military, or Tatmadaw, has opened the door to supplementary elections in Rakhine, and beyond that, to the glimmer of a lasting solution to the civil war.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Japan’s Kirin should stop supporting Myanmar military

July 6, 2020 
Rohingya refugees flee into Bangladesh after a military crackdown sparked a mass exodus of the Muslim minority. File Photo: AFP / Fred Dufour

Take a walk, watch television, or use the subway. Do any of these activities in Japan and you will likely come across a Kirin advertisement. Since its inception in 1885 as Japan Brewery, Kirin has grown into a household name in Japan, and arguably one of the world’s best-known Japanese brands.

The beverage giant offers everything from soft drinks to plum wine to yogurt. But its beer is the company’s trademark product, available in more than 40 countries. Its distinctive label depicts the legendary kirin, a magical creature “believed to be a harbinger of good luck.”

Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Legacy Of Aung San Suu Kyi’s Defense Of Military At International Court Of Justice – OpEd

December 19, 2019
Burma Campaign UK

In our blog on 10 December, we wrote about why Aung San Suu Kyi may have decided to personally lead the defence against charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Now that the first round of hearings is over, what has been the impact of that decision?

In the run-up to the hearings, state media went into overdrive portraying Aung San Suu Kyi as defending the nation against false accusations. The case was portrayed not as a state to state case focussed mainly on crimes by the military, but rather as one against the people of the country and an attempt at damaging the reputation of the country. Private media largely followed the same line, with some even saying it was everyone in the country being accused.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

U.S. blacklists head of Myanmar military for alleged rights abuses against Rohingya

The sanctions targeted the commander-in-chief of the Burmese military, Min Aung Hlaing, on the same day that Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, attended the first day of hearings in a genocide case against Myanmar at the U.N.’s highest court.