Monday, 21 August 2017

Bangladesh sends back Rohingya boat carrying injured

Source TheIndianExpress, 19 Aug

The latest influx follows a months-long bloody military crackdown on the mainly Muslim minority in Myanmar that led tens of thousands to flee across the border. The United Nations has said the violence may amount to ethnic cleansing.

<img class="wp-image-4804268 size-full" src="" alt="" /> A coastguard patrol boat found the boat on the Naf river, which acts as a border between Bangladesh and Myanmar, as it tried to enter Cox's Bazar early in the morning.

Bangladesh coastguards today turned back a boat carrying 31 Rohingya Muslim refugees escaping renewed army activity in their neighbouring Myanmar homeland, an official said. The push-back came after at least 500 Rohingya fled their villages in Myanmar's Rakhine state, crossing the border to take shelter in refugee camps and hills in Bangladesh's southeastern Cox's Bazar district.

A coastguard patrol boat found the boat on the Naf river, which acts as a border between Bangladesh and Myanmar, as it tried to enter Cox's Bazar early in the morning. The refugees included women and children who said they were victims of violence, coast guard spokesman Sheikh Fakhr Uddin said quoting the escapees.

"We found two injured among 18 men, along with nine women and four children. But we had to send them back," Uddin told AFP. The latest influx follows a months-long bloody military crackdown on the mainly Muslim minority in Myanmar that led tens of thousands to flee across the border. The United Nations has said the violence may amount to ethnic cleansing.

"We have beefed up our patrol on the Naf as (Myanmar) army is gathering in the bordering villages, which may prompt them (Rohingya) to try coming to Bangladesh," Uddin said. Dhaka estimates that nearly 400,000 Rohingya refugees are living in squalid refugee camps and makeshift settlements in Cox's Bazar, which borders Rakhine.

Their numbers swelled last October when more than 70,000 Rohingya villagers began arriving, bringing stories of systematic rape, murder and arson at the hands of Myanmar soldiers. Last week, the UN special rapporteur Yanghee Lee voiced alarm at reports that a Myanmar army battalion had flown into Rakhine to help local authorities boost security in the region.

Buddhist-majority Myanmar has long faced criticism for its treatment of the more than one million Rohingya who live in Rakhine, who are seen as interlopers from Bangladesh, denied citizenship and access to basic rights.

But they are also increasingly unwelcome in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, where police often blame them for crimes such as drug trafficking. Dhaka has floated the idea of relocating tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees to a remote, flood-prone island off its coast, despite opposition from rights groups.

Burma covers up its systematic abuse of a minority group

Source washintonpost, 17 Aug

Jamalida, a Rohingya refu­gee from Burma. (Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
     August 17 at 7:30 PM

IN FEBRUARY, the United Nations released a report detailing the Burmese government's human rights abuses against the long-suffering Rohingya Muslim minority in Rakhine state — abuses that likely amounted to crimes against humanity. Burma should have responded by allowing U.N. investigators into the country and creating accountability mechanisms to prevent further violations. Instead, a government inquiry has concluded that there is "no evidence of crimes" and that "people from abroad have fabricated news claiming genocide had occurred."

On the contrary, there is considerable evidence to suggest that systematic human rights violations have occurred in Rakhine. The Rohingya have long been denied citizenship and pushed into ghetto-like conditions. This persecution escalated last year, when Burmese security forces conducted a scorched-earth campaign in the state amid widespread reports of mass rape, torture, arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial killings. The government has also restricted the movements of Rohingya people, imposing curfews and contributing to extreme food shortages. Nearly 90 people have died since the violence erupted last year, while an estimated 65,000 have fled Rakhine.

Burma's response was to establish an investigative commission that lacked credibility from the outset. The 13-member committee was headed by former military leader and current Vice President Myint Swe and included no Rohingya representatives. According to reports from civil society, its investigators used sloppy research methods, browbeat villagers and ignored complaints.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Burma's partially democratic government bears many similarities to its autocratic predecessor: It is overly sensitive to criticism, repressive toward minorities and willing to go to great lengths to protect the military. The international community should take note and renew calls to allow a U.N. fact-finding mission to visit the country. Congress should rethink the idea of expanding American military ties with Burma or, at the very least, consider imposing a vetting process and human rights benchmarks for any further military engagement. The United States has long championed democracy in Burma; the commission's announcement proves this fight is not over yet.

Dawbon police find group of 18 Rohingya refugees in hiding

Source coconuts, 26 July

Authorities have arrested eighteen Rohingya Muslims who were hiding out in Dawbon Township, according to 7Day.

On Monday, police received an anonymous tip claiming that 'illegal Bengalis' — referring to the Rohingya — were being hidden in two apartment buildings in the township's Nwe Aye Ward. When they went to investigate, they found two Rohingya women and 16 Rohingya men within the two apartments.

Authorities confirm that they had come to Yangon from Rakhine State, where the majority of the country's Rohingya population reside.

"They arrived with the help of agents, and were trying to go to Malaysia from Yangon. We're investigating agents from Rakhine State, and we're also tracking down the people in Yangon who accepted and housed them," a Yangon Eastern District police officer told 7Day.

Members of the group are currently being interrogated. Dawbon police have also opened a case against the individuals who helped bring them to Yangon under Sections 367 ("Kidnapping or abducting in order to subject person to grievous hurt slavery") and 370 ("Buying or disposing of any person as a slave") of the Penal Code.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

India says to deport all Rohingya regardless of U.N. registration

Source Reuters, 14 Aug

FILE PHOTO: People belonging to Rohingya Muslim community sit outside their makeshift houses on the outskirts of Jammu, May 5, 2017.

Junior interior minister Kiren Rijiju told parliament last week the central government had directed state authorities to identify and deport illegal immigrants including Rohingya, who face persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has issued identity cards to about 16,500 Rohingya in India that it says help them "prevent harassment, arbitrary arrests, detention and deportation".

But Rijiju, a high-profile minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government, said in an interview on the weekend that the UNHCR registration was irrelevant.

"They are doing it, we can't stop them from registering. But we are not signatory to the accord on refugees," he said.

"As far as we are concerned they are all illegal immigrants They have no basis to live here. Anybody who is illegal migrant will be deported."

The UNHCR's India office said on Monday the principle of non-refoulement – or not sending back refugees to a place where they face danger – was considered part of customary international law and binding on all states whether they have signed the Refugee Convention or not.

The office said it had not received any official word about a plan to deport Rohingya refugees, and had not got any reports deportations were taking place.

The treatment of the roughly one million Rohingya in Myanmar has emerged as its most contentious human rights issue as it makes a transition from decades of harsh military rule.

The Rohingya are denied citizenship in Myanmar and classified as illegal immigrants, despite claiming roots there that go back centuries, with communities marginalized and occasionally subjected to communal violence.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled from Myanmar, with many taking refuge in Bangladesh, and some then crossing a porous border into Hindu-majority India.FILE PHOTO: A girl belonging to Rohingya Muslim community walks past a makeshift settlement on the outskirts of Jammu May 6, 2017.Mukesh Gupta/File photo

Many have also headed to Southeast Asia, often on rickety boats run by people-smuggling gangs.


Rohingya are generally vilified in India and over the past few months, there has been a string of anti-Rohingya protests.FILE PHOTO: Children belonging to Rohingya Muslim community read the Koran at a madrasa, or a religious school, at a makeshift settlement, on the outskirts of Jammu May 6, 2017.Mukesh Gupta/File photo

Rijiju declined to comment on the deportation process, even as some human rights activists question the practicality of rounding up and expelling thousands of people scattered across the country.

"There's a procedure, there is a rule of law," Rijiju said.

"We can't throw them out just like that. We can't dump them in the Bay of Bengal."

India said on Friday it was in talks with Bangladesh and Myanmar about the deportation plan.

But deportation is likely to be difficult, given Myanmar's position that all Rohingya need to be scrutinized before they can be allowed back in as citizens.

Myanmar officials were not immediately available for comment.

A senior government official in Bangladesh, which has complained of being burdened by the heavy flow of refugees, has said India was helping it solve the crisis.

More than 75,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since Oct. 9 after an insurgent group attacked Myanmar border police posts, prompting a security crackdown in which troops have been accused of murder and rape of Rohingya civilians.

Reporting by Sanjeev Miglani and Krishna N. Das; Additional reporting by Simon Lewis; Editing by Robert Birsel

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Burmese Troops Gun 3 Rohingys Down, Torch a House in Northern Buthidaung

Source Rohingyavision, 11 JUly

Burmese Troops Gun 3 Rohingys Down, Torch a House in Northern Buthidaung

By RVision TV Correspondent

11th July, 2017

Buthidaung – Burmese troops surprisingly and abruptly attacked a house of Rohingya and fired the house-owner to death along with his two neighbors on July 9, 2017 in the upper site of Taung Bazar, northern Buthidaung Township under Arakan state of Burma, our correspondent reported.

Some military stationed at the hamlet of Khammwei– Buddhists who live in hillside- in Tin May village, of the upper site ofTaung Bazar on 8, July. The next day afternoon, some of them suddenly entered into the Rohingya village and started firing at the house of the son of Muhammad Yunus after besieging it.

As the bullets hit the owner, he died soon at the sport. And their bad blood didn't stop there until they burnt down the house too. Moreover, two neighboring Rohingya men died as the bullets that came out from the military's guns hit them.

Due to the military's cruel firing, the villagers did not come out of the houses. The military took away the corpses wrapping them with the pieces of black tarpaulin but none could identify the dead bodies.

On the returning way, the found a 70-year-old psychopath who was beaten inhumanely and detained later. When the old man was groaning due to torture, his grand-daughter came out to the road. But the military noticed the gold necklace in her neck which was snatched by them.

Being desperate, a local said, "The Burmese troops deployed for regional security have become killers and robbers. Some of them started robbing the Rohingyas wearing burka at night."

It has been reportedly known that military wear burka and enter into the houses of Rohingyas in the guise of female guests at night. When the male members of the families come to know that they are military, they run away to avoid the arbitrary arrests and then, the military start looting by molesting the females.

Edited by: Md. Shuaib

Mob in western Myanmar kills Rohingya despite police guards

Source washintonpost, 4 July

YANGON, Myanmar — A mob in Myanmar's western Rakhine State killed a member of the Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority and injured six others who were on a police-guarded trip Tuesday from the displacement camp where they live to the city that many Rohingya were forced to flee five years ago.

The seven were given a ride by police to the dock area of Sittwe, the Rakhine capital, to purchase some boats. The Rohingya are normally confined to the camp, and police provide rides in a closed truck to both restrict and protect them.

A police officer and one of the men said the group was attacked by about 100 members of the Buddhist Rakhine ethnic group, whose violent assaults in 2012 drove most Rohingya residents from their Sittwe homes.

Communal tensions have not eased much since the 2012 violence, which killed hundreds and drove about 140,000 people — predominantly Rohingya — to camps for the internally displaced, where most remain. The Rohingya face severe discrimination in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where they are widely regarded as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh stealing Myanmar land, although many have been settled in the country for generations.

Violence in recent years has been more widespread in northern Rakhine, where there is a bigger Rohingya population but spread across unguarded villages. Last October, the army launched counterinsurgency operations there after the killing of nine border guards. U.N. human rights investigators and independent rights organizations charge that soldiers and police killed and raped civilians and burned down more than 1,000 homes during the operations.

The camps near Sittwe are generally safer from attack but with unhealthy conditions and little chance to make a living. The Dar Paing camp from which Tuesday's victims came houses about 8,000 people. A small group of Rohingya remain in Sittwe in a closed-off ghetto.

"As one of the Kalars got off from the truck and was talking to another guy, some of the Rakhine Buddhists started shouting 'the Kalars are entering the city' and attracted the mob," police officer Phyo Wai Kyaw told The Associated Press. "Kalar" is a widely used derogatory term referring to Rohingya.

"The Rakhine started beating the Muslims up. One of the Kalars died on the spot and six were taken right away to the hospital. The two police guarding the Muslim guys couldn't do anything as it was a big mob. The mob even followed the injured guys to the Sittwe hospital. The hospital gate needed to be shut because of the big mob."

Abdu Alam, 65, one of the injured men, was hit in the head by a brick. His account of the attack was similar to the police officer's.

He said that when one of the seven people in the police truck got out to talk with the boat seller, some Rakhine men saw him and started shouting, drawing others to attack them.

"They started stoning us. Some guys grabbed wooded sticks to beat us. Things happened so fast that we were stuck in the vehicle and the mob started attacking us," said Abdu Alam, who was able to return to his camp later from the hospital.

"The policemen tried to stop them but there were too many of them and it was impossible to stop them. Finally we all got injured and taken to the hospital by the police."

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Turkey educates 4,000 Rohingya children in Pakistan

Source AA, 7 June

Turkey's Diyanet Foundation is providing schooling to 4,000 Rohingya children in Pakistan's commercial capital Karachi, the project's coordinator has said.

Ahmet Kandemir told Anadolu Agency the scheme, which started in 2015 with 25 courses, now includes 100 courses.

Students enrolled in the program are taught Urdu, English, mathematics, religion, culture and the Quran. Books and logistic support for the schools are all provided by the foundation.

The project targets the coastal Korangi and Malir districts of the city, where the Rohingya population ekes out a living as cheap labor in the fishing industry.

A law passed in Myanmar in 1982 denied Rohingya -- many of whom have lived in Myanmar for generations -- citizenship, making them stateless, removing their freedom of movement, access to education and services, and allowing arbitrary confiscation of their property.

They have been fleeing Myanmar in droves since mid-2012, when communal violence broke out in Rakhine state between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims.

For years, members of the minority have been fleeing to nearby countries, including Pakistan.

"The Rohingya have settled on the eastern shores of Pakistan, escaping political pressure from their countries," Kandemir said. "These people have no right to citizenship in Pakistan so they are deprived of any kind of service provided by the government.

"With the support and donations we get from Turkish people we are looking forward to give these children hope for their future."

Zafer Iqbal, managing director of Diyanet's Pakistan partner The NGO World, said the schools are monitored by the education directorate.

"The families in these areas have never had the opportunity to send their children to schools," he said. "Now they have a goal, a hope."

Reporting by Mahmut Serdar Alakus;Writing by Meryem Goktas

Monday, 5 June 2017

Up to 150 children under five die each day in Aung San Suu Kyi's Myanmar

Source theguardian, 23 May

Government reforms do not reach children worst affected by conflict and poverty, says Unicef report, calling for an end to blocks on aid deliveries

As many as 150 children die every day in Myanmar before they reach their fifth birthday, the UN children's agency said on Tuesday, in a report calling for the government to end blocks on humanitarian access to conflict areas.

Despite reform and reconciliation efforts undertaken by the one-year-old government headed by Aung San Suu Kyi, children affected by widespread fighting and poverty are not reaping the benefits, Unicef added.

There are disparities across the country, especially for families stuck in war zones and unable to reach health centres, said Bainvel, adding that untreated diseases among newborns, such as pneumonia, are among the big killers.

The child mortality rate is estimated at about 50 per 1,000 live births in Myanmar, Bainvel said. In the UK, the rate is four per 1,000.

The report calls for improved humanitarian access to the estimated 2.2 million children affected by violence, and an end to child rights violations, including the use of children as soldiers.

Myanmar has been lauded worldwide for political reforms spearheaded by a military-aligned government in 2010, which eventually led to the huge election victory of Aung San Suu Kyi in November 2015, ending decades of oppressive army rule.

In spite of this progress, life for many children in Myanmar remains a struggle, Unicef said. Nearly 30% of children under five suffer from moderate or severe malnutrition and more than half of all children live below the poverty line.

The report acknowledged that an "unprecedented period of change and opportunity" was under way in the country. But, it said, "the optimism of 2015 and early 2016 has been tempered by slower than expected progress on economic and policy reforms. Even more worrisome is the escalation of several key conflicts in the country's more remote border areas."

Although barred from the presidency by a military-drafted constitution, Aung San Suu Kyi is the de facto head of state, working as state counsellor and running several ministries.

Children at the Baudupha camp for displaced people in Rakhine state
Children at a camp for displaced people in Rakhine state. Photograph: Brown/Unicef

The former prisoner of conscience promised to first focus on national reconciliation, yet the country – one of south-east Asia's poorest – remains entangled in brutal conflicts along its borders, with the army blocking aid deliveries.

Remote Kachin, Shan and Kayin states continue to experience recurrent clashes between the Myanmar military and ethnic minorities. Civilians find themselves at risk from poverty, statelessness and trafficking, while having only limited access to essential health and education services, Unicef said.

In western Rakhine state, 120,000 internally displaced people live in camps as a result of inter-communal conflict that erupted in 2012. Violence against Rohingya Muslims, for whom the government does not provide full citizenship rights, has surged since October following attacks on border guard posts.

Unicef's representative said aid access to Rakhine had improved slightly but remained very problematic.

"But when it comes to Kachin and northern Shan, access has been denied to us for almost a year, in spite of our requests … it is denied by the government," Bainvel added.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1991, has been criticised by more than a dozen fellow laureates, who wrote an open letter to the UN security council in December warning of a tragedy "amounting to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity" in Rakhine state.

Unicef said the laying of landmines by all parties to the conflicts must end, and mine clearance work should start wherever possible. One out of every three victims of landmines is a child, the report said.

Facebook Bans Racist Word ‘Kalar’ in Myanmar, Triggers Collateral Censorship

Source globalvoice, 2 June
Burmese word "Kalar pae" means chick pea or split pea. Photo by Sanjay Acharya, Wikipedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

According to Myanmar Facebook users, their posts are being taken down by the popular social media company for containing the word 'kalar'.

Although the etymology of the word is still debated, it is traditionally used to refer to people of east Indian origin or as an adjective meaning "Indian" in general. Facebook is censoring the word "kalar" or ကုလား (in Burmese script) as part of its initiative to tackle the problem of widespread hate speech on the Burmese language social network.

In recent years, the rise of radical nationalist movements has given the word an extremely derogatory connotation. In particular, it is a word most used by ultra-nationalist as a hate speech against Muslims who constitute a minority population in Myanmar.

But in this effort to combat hate speech in Myanmar, the company has censored a good deal of viable content from its platform.

'Kalar' may be commonly associated with racism today, but the word on its own does not necessarily constitute hate speech. Context matters — many people have reported that posts in which they discussed the use of the term, or expressed concern about its usage, were censored as well.

Moreover, there are several Burmese words with completely different meanings that contain the same string of characters as 'kalar'. For instance, chair in Burmese is also written 'kalar htaing', which contains the same characters, as well as other words such as 'kalar pae' (split pea), 'kalar oat' (camel) or 'kalarkaar' (curtain).

Facebook user Aung Kaung Myat explained the different meanings of words that sound like 'kalar':

A post made by one of my friends was deleted today because there was the word, kalar, in it. However, he was wittily asking his friends if they know where he can cure his lower back pain by using a pun. The phrase, ku la — 'cure' (ku) + question word (la) in Burmese language — bears striking resemblance verbatim with the racist term but they are wholly different in context.

There have been various reactions to this initiative of Facebook. Zin Win Htet thinks that it will reduce hate speech posts of radical nationalists, but also stressed that Facebook needs to be more analytical before it removes any post suspected of promoting racism:

Facebook team is not manually deleting the word "Kalar". It automatically filters the word. That's why it won't understand any status you write. What it should do is that they should carefully analyse post and validate using the words beside it. For instance, "Kalar Htine" (chair) and "Kalar pae" (split peas). The good thing is that these dirty nationalists who are spreading hate-speech will have a pretty good lesson. Now it's time to curtail their nationalism.

While the move may send a strong signal to those spouting hate speech, the efficacy of this strategy might not last long. The experiences of social media platforms in China, such as Sina Weibo and WeChat, have proven that keyword censorship often becomes a game of cat-and-mouse, wherein social media users will simply begin using a new word or alternate spelling of the censored word in order to keep expressing their views.

Writer Aung Kaung Myat described how Facebook started to remove his posts when he simply notified his friends that the word 'kalar' is already banned on the social network:

…when I discovered this new policy of Facebook, I made a post telling my Facebook friends the word is banned. Ironically, my post was removed by Facebook and I was banned from liking, posting, and sharing content on Facebook for 24 hours because the post "doesn't follow the Facebook Community Standards".

Facebook has removed numerous posts by people who do not have any negative intentions or who were simply trying to show their opinions against the hate speech used by radical nationalists.

Patrick Murphy wrote that his post not related to hate speech was taken down:

Non-hate speech post removed by Facebook. In the post, the author was sharing his opinion on why extreme nationalism and religious fundamentalism in the country are bad.

Chan Myae Khine believes Facebook should have done more before launching this initiative like consulting the Burmese Internet community:

Facebook might have good intention to minimise racism in Burma through their platform but that's not how it works. Censoring such words will just bring more hatred among different communities. Plus, they seemed to initiate that without proper local context nor tech support hence banning words like "chair" and "pea curry". Even when they found out that they made mistakes, they don't attempt to rectify wrongly deleted posts. If only they could respect a bit more to 15 million user base that's generating a great revenue for them, it'd be great.

Facebook's automated censorship has made users to mock its approach. Instead of taking it seriously, users are now making fun of Facebook by deliberately writing the word 'kalar' in non-hate speech context to see if their posts would be taken down.

Here are some screenshots of Facebook posts that have been removed despite containing nothing resembling hate speech:

Used with permission.

The Burmese text says "I want to sit on a chair and eat split peas curry and watch an Indian movie. Just testing if Facebook will remove the post that contains kalar." Screenshot, used with permission.

The post reads "So if you are a doctor, do you cure people?" Screenshot, used with permission.

Over the past five years, Myanmar has seen the rise of extreme nationalist ideology and religious fundamentalistswho have been using social media to amplify their voices and influence. Hate speech is blamed, among others, for stirring communal violence in Myanmar, especially in the Rakhine state where clashes between Muslims and Buddhists displaced thousands of residents.

Facebook was criticitized for its failure to tackle the rampant hate speech occurring on its Burmese pages. But instead of simply deciding to censor the word 'kalar', it should have reviewed and learned from ongoing initiativesthat aim to combat online hate speech in Myanmar that focus on context, rather than code.

Monday, 22 May 2017

11 trafficked Rohingya Muslims arrested in Yangon

Source aa, 18 May

Myanmar authorities have arrested 11 Rohingya Muslims who were smuggled from the troubled western Rakhine state to the country's biggest city Yangon, an official said Thursday.

Win Naing, an officer at the Yangon Police Force, told Anadolu Agency that they were arrested by a police patrol at the Aung Mingalar Highway bus station in Yangon's North Okalapa Township.

"These Bengalis are waiting for traffickers who will smuggle them first to the Myanmar-Thai border, then to Malaysia over land," he said by phone on Thursday, referring to the stateless minority group with a term that suggests that they are interlopers from neighboring Bangladesh.

Tens of thousands of Rohingya -- described by the United Nations as among the most persecuted minority groups worldwide -- have fled their homes in Rakhine since October, when Myanmar's military launched a crackdown that has attracted severe international criticism of its brutality.

Security forces have been accused of gang-rape, killings, beatings, disappearances and burning villages in the Maungdaw area of northern Rakhine since October.

Win Naing added that the men were smuggled by traffickers who were ethnic Rakhines from the Rakhine state to Yangon over land, and that they are searching for the traffickers in cooperation with the Rakhine Police Force.

The 11 middle-age Rohingya men will be charged for "illegal intrusion" under the Residents of Burma Registration Act (1949) and Myanmar's Penal Code, he said.

Last October, after being arrested in Yangon, 18 trafficked Rohingya men were sentenced to two years in prison on the same charges, while four underage Rohingya were ordered to spend two years at a training school for boys.

Rohingya have been fleeing Myanmar in droves since mid-2012 after communal violence broke out in Rakhine between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya.

The violence left around 57 Muslims and 31 Buddhists dead, some 100,000 people displaced in camps, and more than 2,500 houses razed -- most of which belonged to Rohingya.

For years, members of the minority have been using Thailand as a transit point to enter Muslim Malaysia and beyond.

A law passed in Myanmar in 1982 denied Rohingya -- many of whom have lived in Myanmar for generations -- citizenship, making them stateless, removing their freedom of movement, access to education and services, and allowing for arbitrary confiscation of their property.​

Aung San Suu Kyi: Nobel Peace Prize Winner-Turned Genocide Apologist

Source Carbonated, 
She is celebrated worldwide for her years of suffering at the hands of despots. So why is Aung San Suu Kyi allowing a genocide now that she is in charge?
Burma's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi is a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a celebrated human rights icon, but she is also an apologist for genocide ethnic cleansing and mass rape of Rohingya Muslims.

Suu Kyi is the de facto head of government, in Myanmar, where members of the Rohingya Muslim minority in the northern Rakhine state have been shot, stabbed, starved, robbed, raped and driven from their homes in the hundreds of thousands.

Some 1 million of these people live in apartheid-like conditions where they are denied access to employment, education and health care. They are thus forced to leave their homes and move to neighboring countries just to survive.

Suu Kyi, however, has adopted a cowardly stance on the issue where she is not only remaining silent but also is complicit in the atrocities taking place. She has clearly chosen the side of Buddhist nationalism and crude Islamophobia.

She has also clearly proved she's an islamophobe when in a 2013 interview with BBC's Mishal Husain, Aung San Suu Kyi complained, "No one told me I was going to be interviewed by a Muslim.

The Intercept has rightly described Suu Kyi in a piece that reads: "'Saints should always be judged guilty,' wrote George Orwell, in his famous 1949 essay on Mahatma Gandhi, 'until they are proved innocent.' There is no evidence of innocence when it comes to Aung San Suu Kyi and her treatment of the Rohingya — only complicity and collusion in unspeakable crimes. This supposed saint is now an open sinner. The former political prisoner and democracy activist has turned into a genocide-denying, rape-excusing, Muslim-bashing Buddhist nationalist. Forget the house arrest and the Nobel Prize. This is how history will remember The Lady of Myanmar."

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Myanmar Military uses Buddhist monks against Muslims in Myanmar: A Strategic Symbiosis

Source Maungzarni, 10 May

​In Burma, everyone who is remotely informed about the ways the military works ​knows th
​at the Burmese military is the ​Hidden Hand behind 
​anti-Muslim hate campaign across the country 

In Germany of 1920's and 1930's, the Nazi party was the main mobilizer, scapegoating the German Jews for the economic hardships and social ills in society. 

In Burma today, the army uses the Sangha or Buddhist Order - conservative, typically racist, ill-educated in terms of intellectual outlooks and growth of its members, and rural (parochial) - as its proxy mobilizer. 

The military - at the senior most level of leadership - has patronized a tiny gang of influential monks to do the army's bidding - racist divide and rule within the society that is generally anti-military.

Here two monks, namely Sitagu and Wirathu, are seen travelling with their security details. 
Sitagu, the more senior of the two, is based in Rangoon​. 

Wirathu became the "face of Buddhist Terror" when TIME ran a cover story with that title 

Beyond patronizing individuals monks, the military also bent the country's laws governing Buddhist organizations. The previous military government of the late general Ne Win (1962-88) singled out the Burmese monks - the Buddhist Order - as one of the two biggest threats to the military: student activists and monks -traditional allies. After a series of periodic unrests which were led by monks and students the Ne Win administration enacted a law, registering all Buddhist monks with the Department of Religious Affairs under Home Affairs Ministry and allowing only one central national monks' association. After the 2010 electioons which were "won" by the military's political proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party, the ruling party under ex-general and then President Thein Sein allowed the openly racist, anti-Muslim wing of the Buddhist Order to form "Race and Faith Defence League" where both Sitagu and Wirathu are most famous leaders. 

This is a strategic symbiosis which has served the Burmese military's objectives of social control extremely well. It has enabled the military to keep the NLD - with absolutely no capacity for intelligence gathering or control of security forces - on its toes in terms of the socially destablizing impact of such racist mobilization by monks - with state impunity. 

Here Ma Ba Tha leader - TIME's Coverstory Wirathu - seen with Myanmar Commander in Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing (in off-white traditional Burmese jacket) in Mandalay, 2016. The hate preacher travels with the military's protection.

The first several pictures are Wirathu, very recent travels in Rakhine state including Rohingya towns. 

The last picture is the most influential monk Sitagu with Karen Border Guard Force (ultimately the under Myanmar army's command) in Karen State where the army intelligence attempted to incite anti-Muslim violence, in collaboration with the border guard force and Karen monks). (Taken in March 2017)

Police fire warning shots as extremists speed up their anti-Muslim operations in capital city
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