Friday, 27 November 2015

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, NLD U Win Htein, President Thein Sein, Ma Aa La General Min Aung Hlaing, stop telling the world your racist lies! Rohingyas are an official ethnic group of Myanmar.

Source Dr. Maung Zarni, 26 Nov

If you think Rohingya are BENGALI read these 5 pages of the Burmese language article.

Tatmadaw or Myanmar Minister of Defence publications are LITTERED with the official references to Rohingya - identity, language, culture, history and politics.
Tell NLD leader Win Htein (Defense Services Academy Intake-5) Lameduck President Thein Sein (DSA-9) and Min Aung Hlaing (DSA-19) that their own Ministry of Defense publications are littered with the word "Rohingya".

Tell the Rakhine racists that U Saw Oo, Ne Win's war time famous Rakhine colleague was publishing officially articles about the Rohingya historical background, culture, language and customs.

Here is the English translation of the oath that the Rohingya leaders took publicly as reported in the Khit Yay (or Current Affairs) journal published by Myawaddy, the official publication of the Army Psych-War Division based in Rangoon managed by Rakhine U Saw Oo.

"After having renouned our Mujahideen/warriors" uprising against the State of Burma, we hereby register our trust and dependence on the State. In the name of Allah, we pledge our unwavering allegiance it by never joining any future armed revolt against Burma."
- July 1961
Read page 32, first. Then 28, 29, 30 and 31 (the last page of the news article).



Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The Grand Delusion of Democracy in Myanmar

Source ABRO, 27 Nov
The National League for Democracy (NLD) in Myanmar, led by Nobel peace laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has won the majority of available seats in Parliament according to the official results released by the Myanmar election commission. International observers claim that after 50 years of military rule, this is a "Transition to Democracy". This article will explain why such claim is a Grand Delusion.

Despite this victory, the shadow of military dictator "retired" Senior General Than Shwe hangs over Myanmar. Not surprisingly, the so called"democratic" constitution crafted by the former military dictatorship in 2008, continues to serve the interests of the Junta. Myanmar's military dictators have found alternative ways to camouflage military dictatorship as "civilian government". They have succeeded in creating this illusion by changing their uniforms, forming a mock parliament and their own political party USDP (Union Solidarity and Development Party) from USDA (Union Solidarity Development Association) and creating an unamendable constitution. During the military dictatorship, USDA was an association lead by government officials with many of its members coerced into joining the association. Than Shwe appointed ex-military General Thein Sein as leader of USDP and President of Myanmar in November 2010. According to the constitution, 25% of parliamentary seats have to be reserved for representatives of the military. Constitutional amendments can only be made if more than 75% of the members agree to the changes.
The election commission itself has been appointed by military generals with a former lieutenant-general acting as commissioner. As this commission blithely released results indicating Aung San Suu Kyi as leader of the winning party should rightfully be President, legislation introduced by Than Shwe's military regime in 2008 bars a democratically elected leader like Suu Kyi who has foreign relatives (her late husband and her two sons are British Citizens) from becoming President. Even if to circumvent this law, Suu Kyi nominates someone to take her place as President, her nominee will be answerable to the National Defence and Security Council (NDSC) who have the authority to override certain decisions made by the President. There is almost no escape from military rule in Than Shwe's constitutional labyrinth with at least 5 of the 11 NDSC members having to be appointed by the Military Commander in Chief who in turn has to be appointed by the NDSC.

Just before the election held on 8th of November 2015, the Thein Sein government announced that the release of the official election results will be delayed indefinitely and power would be handed to the winner of the election by February next year. These delays give Thein Sein and his military backers further leeway to maintain or strengthen their power base regardless of the election result. After receiving the news of her election win, Aung San Suu Kyi is reported to have already sent letters to Thein Sein and he has not replied to any of these letters. There are also reports that Thein Sein's representative said that, until the election commission has resolved all complaints regarding the election results, talks with the NLD leader will not happen.

So how do minorities fare in this "democratic" election? Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD party has not contested in some constituencies in the Shan, Kachin and Chin states, as well as other areas of Myanmar which are under military control. One of the reasons being, the current government has used "security reasons" to prevent elections from being conducted in many of these areas. In Arakan state, the Rakhine National Development Party's (RNDP) leader Dr. Aye Maung, the main perpetrator of violence against the Rohingya and other Muslim groups, has made a clean sweep in the election with the Myanmar government barring 1.3 million Rohingya and other Muslim groups from voting. This provides him with further opportunity to accelerate the expulsion of the entire Muslim community from the state.

The poster child of democracy herself, Ms. Suu Kyi, has taken sides with the majority, ignoring the minorities who have been supporting her for decades. Her party has ethnically cleansed itself of all Muslim members ahead of the election. For the first time in the history of Myanmar, there will be no Muslim parliamentarians. At this moment in time, the person who courageously fought for freedom and rights against Myanmar's military dictatorship is fearful of losing majority support. It therefore follows that recent changes in the country are possible signs of the tyrannical rule of the military ending for the majority Buddhist people alone with the pathway to"freedom" being paved exclusively for them. The exclusion of the entire Muslim community including Rohingya, is a stereotype of 'majority representative democracy' or one could even call this aberration a 'Muslim-free democracy'.

Myanmar's "democratic transition" is simply 'old wine in a new bottle'produced by General Than Shwe and his cohorts. As the western nations throw their support behind these cosmetic changes they turn a blind eye to the ongoing genocide, the wars in northern and eastern Myanmar and the detention of political prisoners.
The perpetuation of this Grand Delusion of "Democracy" comes at a horrific cost to the people of Myanmar, particularly the Rohingya of Arakan state.

Call to Action:
1) The International Criminal Court (ICC) should investigate the ongoing crimes against humanity and genocide across Myanmar.
2) International communities should create a safe zone for Rohingya people and establish an independent Rohingya state within Arakan state while the central rulers, authorities and majority ethnic/religious group continues to segregate and push out the Rohingya people.
3) According to the responsibility to protect, the UN and its member countries should enforce appropriate conditions that ensure aid delivery reach the hands of victims on the ground in Arakan state, Shan state, Kachin state and other areas.
4) Myanmar should immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners and thousands of Rohingya detained in and outside Arakan state.
5) Myanmar should immediately stop waging wars in Shan, Kachin states and other areas.
6) Myanmar should immediately cease segregation, discrimination and ethnic cleansing against Rohingya and other minorities including those from 42 concentration camps in Arakan state.
7) Myanmar should immediately lift the blockade on international aid supply in Arakan state, Shan state, Kachin state and other areas.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Fate of minorities in Burma, "Aung San Suu Kyi still has much to prove"

Source Paris Match, 12 Nov (translated from French)
Member of the Rohingya people, refugees in Australia, Habiburahman, author of "We the unspeakable. A Burmese taboo "returns for Paris Match on the fate of minorities in Burma, while the party of Aung San Suu Kyi won the recent elections.

Paris Match. How do you explain the electoral triumph of the party of Aung Sang Suu Kyi?Habiburahman. As the people were oppressed by the military dictatorship since 1962, the Burmese have borne the leader and the party who want to lead the country on the path of democracy and human rights. The results showed that in the general elections of 1990 and even now. However, the dictator Than Swe, resulting from the junta, remains as president and still control the situation behind the scenes. That's one reason why the results have yet been officially announced. Devolution is also postponed to February. This looks very complex. The former generals, including the current government, want to retain all powers. As you know, they founded a fictional Parliament with people who just changed uniforms, established the USDP (party unity, solidarity and development) as a political party, retained 25% of the seats for military officials. The electoral commission is also controlled by them and there are still items not be revised constitution that establish the power of the military. So this looks like a parody of election. Many political dissidents are still in prison.

What changes expected for minorities in Burma?Government forces continue to fight in the states of Shan and Kachin and organize the ongoing genocide against the Rohingya and Kaman people in Arakan State. About 150,000 Rohingya and Kaman members of people were locked in 42 concentration camps in Arakan State, a million people are confined since June 2012, while blocking aid and food intake. The party NLD (National League for Democracy) Aung Sang Suu Kyi continues to remain silent about the fate of minorities. The majority of voters Buddhists celebrate the victory while all Muslim candidates were excluded from the ballot by the Government and the NLD party. In other words ... a democracy without Muslim or Muslim representative. There is no democratic change for minorities.

Precisely, how to explain the silence of Aung Sang Suu Kyi?The people see Aung Sang Suu Kyi as the best person for the country. It is difficult to accept that a person who fought for democracy and human rights, expelled all Muslim members of his party for fear of losing the majority of his supporters. She may have adhered to the ideas of the majority. It still listen to the voices of minorities who have been victims of the central government and which are neglected by the majority. In a democratic system, everyone should have the same rights and the leader representing the people must treat fairly. Aung Sang Suu Kyi still has much to prove."The International Court of Justice should investigate crimes against humanity"

What can the international community to help the Rohingyas?The Rohingya need a security zone in Arakan State. Establish an independent state for the Rohingya is essential as the majority of the Burmese authorities organize and segregation and separate them from their means of subsistence. This can not happen without the help of the international community. The International Court of Justice should investigate crimes against humanity committed in Burma. The United Nations must help end the humanitarian crisis in Burma and allow aid and food from reaching the affected populations. The UN and its member countries must take effective and appropriate measures on Burma to lift all kinds of restrictions and to end discrimination and persecution. The High Commission for Refugees helps Rohingya refugees at sea and provide adequate protection to those in transit countries.

Are you optimistic for the future?The road to democracy in Burma will be difficult. It opens only for the Buddhist majority. During the long transition to democracy, minorities will be persecuted. Honestly, the Rohingya people has nothing to expect from the changes in Burma. Racial hatred was planted in the heart of the Buddhist majority. Remove kernels will take many years. First, the existence of the Rohingya people must be recognized. The laws must guarantee the safety and security of the Rohingya people. So I am very pessimistic for the Rohingya if I am using the current situation.

"Nous, les innommables
Un tabou birman"
de Habiburahman, avec Sophie Ansel
En librairie le 17 octobre 2012.
Collection : Témoignages
376 pages.
19,90 euros.
Préface de Reporters sans frontières.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Rakhine Extremists Attack Two Rohingyas In Mrauk-U, One Was Killed

Source RB news, 4 Nov

Mrauk-U, Arakan – Two Rohingyas from Mrauk-U and Minbya Township in Arakan State were attacked by Rakhine extremists and one was killed while another one escaped and now is in police custody. 

There were two Rohingya young men who work at farms as daily wages workers, one named Sadek S/o Shofi Alam (Aged 20) from Si Thay village Mrauk-U Township who worke at the farm of Hason in the same village, while another young man is named Shomshu Alam S/o Dil Mohammed (Aged 18) from Nagara village, Minbya Township, working at the farm of Mohammed Shah in Si Thay village, Mrauk-U Township. 

On November 2nd at 5pm both of them went to paddy field to cut some grass to feed their cattle. While they were cutting and collecting the grass, a group of Rakhinese Dai-net (Samma Buddhists) extremists from Nan Kya Rakhine village nearby the paddy field came and surrounded them and started attacking both with swords and knives. 

Despite this Shomshu Alam was able to flee with injuries, Sadek, however, was unable to escape and was brutally killed by the extremists group. While Shomshu Alam was trying to escape from the extremists, he reached to Nan Kya Rakhine village and he was beaten again by the Rakhine villagers at there. The police have received information informing them that Shomshul Alam was attacked. The police came to the village at 11pm on that day and brought him to police custody at Min Bwe station, Mrauk-U Township. 

Shomshul Alam has been in police custody in Min Bwe police station and no one is allowed to meet or talk with him. 

The dead body of Sadek was found at 8am on November 3rd. 

Now the police have charged that Sadek was killed by a Rohingya man from Pe Pin Yin village in Mrauk-U Township even with Shomshul Alam as an eye-witness dismissing this accusation. The police mean to arrest the man who stands accused instead of arresting the Rakhine extremists group. 

Reporting by Saed Arkani.

(Photos: Supplied by Saed Arkani; Dead body of Sadek at paddy field)

Saturday, 7 November 2015

See the True Cost of Burmese Jade

Source time, 6 Nov

"The biggest natural resource heist in modern history"
Freelance miners search for jade on a pile of earth-waste which is dumped by a mining company, Hpakant, Kachin State, Burma, June 2015
Small-scale miners search for stone as dump trucks from Myanmar Sein Lei Aung mining company dump waste in Hmaw Si Zar, Lone Khin, Hpakant, April 2015
Dump trucks pass by near the Kyaing International company mining site, Sai Ja Bon, Hpakant, April 2015. Kyaing International company is widely known to be owned by the family of former military dictator Than Shwe
A team of miners work in a jade mine. Some miners work alone while some like this young men here work by a team in a small plot land that is owned by their 'Lao-ban' (meaning 'Boss' in Chinese), Hpakant, July 2014
Minzayar Oo
Freelance miners search for jade on a pile of earth-waste which is dumped by a mining company, Hpakant, Kachin State, Burma, June 2015
1 of 11

For the Chinese, jade's luster represents good fortune, prosperity and longevity. For impoverished Burmese toiling in squalid mines, it represents escape, or at least the dream of it.

The reality, as captured by Burmese photographer Minzayar Oo, is that as Burma emerges from a half-century of military dictatorship, with landmark general elections on Sunday, this precious stone is all about the Southeast Asian nation's enduring misery.

"We have this rich natural resource but it is not helping the people at all," Minzayar Oo, who made five trips to document Burma's jade trade over two years, tells TIME.

Kachin state, the desperately deprived northernmost region of Burma (which is officially known as Myanmar), is the world's foremost source of top quality jade. A single milky-green amulet from here can fetch tens of thousands of dollars in the swanky jewelers of Shanghai and Hong Kong.

In military-dominated Burma, though, virtually all this wealth is pocketed by cronies of the former junta and local rebel armies, with fierce battles fought for control of the best quarries. The precious stones are then ghosted across the porous Sino-Burmese border with the help of venal officials.

The illicit profits are enormous: New analysis by London-based NGO Global Witness put the size of Burma's jade industry at $31 billion in 2014, equating to nearly half of national GDP and over 46 times the nation's spending on healthcare. But the same year's tax receipts from jade stand at just $374 million — representing not even 2% of production.

"Myanmar's jade business may be the biggest natural resource heist in modern history," says Global Witness analyst Juman Kubba. "Local people suffer terrible abuses and see their natural inheritance ripped out from beneath their feet."

Jade mining myanmar burmaMinzayar OoA Chinese trader waits for customers in hotel room where he rents to keep the raw jade stones which are smuggled from Kachin State, at a hotel in Yin Jiang, China, June 2015.

Presidential spokesman Ye Htut told reporters on Oct. 26 that the Burmese government does not plan to respond to Global Witness's allegations nor investigate its findings. And so the convoys of bright yellow diggers will continue to gouge the dark earth in search of mineral deposits.

Burma's jade industry is split between military-aligned companies with government mining licenses, and the swarms of illegal miners "who, with little more than an iron rod and a pair of worn-out shoes, wander around the piles of rubble dumped by companies and look for stones," says Minzayar Oo, whose work was supported by the Natural Resource Governance Institute NGO.

The 27-year-old photographer, a Rangoon native, is a regular visitor to the mining hub of Hpakant. A quarter of Burma's 51 million population subsists on less than $1.25 a day, meaning young and old flock to this wasteland to eke out a hardscrabble existence.

With little oversight, workplace accidents are common; a single landslide can bury dozens of miners, especially during sudden monsoonal downpours, and there is the constant risk of arrest, assault and extortion by the police. Industrial waste imperils not just the miners but the wider community as well.

"When I first got there I was shocked by the vast landscape," says Minzayar Oo, "and then I realized that this wasn't actually natural but formed from piles of half-mined mountains."

This desecration of nature extends to the miners themselves — typically gaunt from inadequate food, bent double from years of hacking through the flinty earth and all too frequently ravaged by drugs. Heroin abuse is endemic in mining communities, and grim shooting galleries, where miners swap a $2 lump of gleaming jade for a fleeting opiate glow, pepper the stark landscape. The scarcity of clean needles means HIV/Aids is rife.

"Without [heroin] I am very tired," one addict tells Minzayar Oo. "But after the shot, I feel happy to work and I can chase my dreams again."

Minzayar Oo is a photojournalist based in Rangoon, Burma. Follow him on Twitter @minzayar88.

Charlie Campbell is Associate Editor for TIME, focusing on Southeast Asia. Follow him on Twitter @charliecamp6ell.

Mikko Takkunen, who edited this photo essay, is the International Photo Editor at Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Monday, 2 November 2015

Letter from America: Is Genocide Occurring in Myanmar’s Rakhine state?

Source Asiantribune, 1 Nov
By Dr. Habib Siddiqui

The Genocide Convention was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948 and entered into force in 1951. It declares that genocide is a crime under international law. It imposes affirmative legal obligations on states to prevent genocide from occurring and to punish perpetrators of genocide.

Article II of the Genocide Convention defines genocide as: any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

a. Killing members of the group;

b. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

c. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

d. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

e. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

As the Genocide Convention recognizes, "genocide is a crime . . . contrary to the spirit and aims of the United Nations and condemned by the civilized world," the prohibition of the crime of genocide has become an undeniable part of customary international law. Furthermore, it is a principle binding on all states even if they have not consented to the obligation by ratifying the Genocide Convention.

Genocide is not a term to be used lightly. Genocide is the ultimate denial of the right to existence of an entire group of human beings. As such, it is the quintessential human rights crime because it denies its victims' very humanity.

Recently, the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School has published a legal analysis for Fortify Rights, a human rights organization based in Southeast Asia, on the subject of genocide. The 78-page legal analysis — Persecution of the Rohingya Muslims: Is Genocide Occurring in Myanmar's Rakhine State? A Legal Analysis— draws on nearly three years of research and documentation provided to the Lowenstein Clinic by Fortify Rights, including eyewitness testimonies, internal government documents as well as UN data, reports, and information.

It is worth noting here that the publication is the first to apply the law of genocide to the situation of the Rohingya in Myanmar. The legal analysis reads, "The Rohingya are a Muslim minority group in Rakhine State, which occupies the western coast of Myanmar. An estimated one million Rohingya live in Rakhine State, primarily in the northern townships. Since the government passed the 1982 Citizenship Act, Rohingya have been denied equal access to citizenship. Rohingya have also been subjected to grave human rights abuses at the hands of the Myanmar authorities, security forces, police, and local Rakhines (the Buddhist majority population in Rakhine State).

These actors have perpetrated violence against Rohingya, claiming thousands of lives. Hundreds more Rohingya have been the victims of torture, arbitrary detention, rape, and other forms of serious physical and mental harm. Whether confined to the three townships in northern Rakhine State or to one of dozens of internally displaced persons camps throughout the state, Rohingya have been deprived of freedom of movement and access to food, clean drinking water, sanitation, medical care, work opportunities, and education."

It continues, "This legal analysis assesses whether the abuses of Rohingya Muslims' human rights in Myanmar's Rakhine State amount to genocide. Part I presents a detailed historical account of the situation of the Rohingya since Myanmar's independence. Part II applies the law of genocide to the treatment of Rohingya in Rakhine State. This Part considers three questions: First, do Rohingya constitute a protected group under the definition of genocide?

Second, do the acts perpetrated against Rohingya fall into the categories enumerated in the Genocide Convention?

Third, does the requisite "intent to destroy" Rohingya exist? This analysis concludes that Rohingya constitute a protected group and that the group has suffered enumerated acts.

Although the analysis does not support a definitive answer to the third question, the information the Lowenstein Clinic has considered, assuming it is credible and comprehensive and accurately reflects the situation of the Rohingya in Myanmar, provides a strong foundation from which to infer genocidal intent by security forces, government officials, local Rakhine, and others. Thus, this paper finds persuasive evidence that the crime of genocide has been committed against Rohingya Muslims. The legal analysis highlights the urgent need for a full and independent investigation and heightened protection for Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar's Rakhine State."

In light of the findings, Fortify Rights said the United Nations must immediately establish a Commission of Inquiry into widespread and systematic human rights violations in Myanmar's Rakhine State, including into whether the crime of genocide has occurred.

"Allegations of genocide should not be taken lightly," said Matthew Smith, Executive Director of Fortify Rights. "Rohingya face existential threats, and their situation is worsening. Domestic remedies have failed. It's time for the international community to act."

The government of Myanmar has openly attempted to prevent Rohingya births, in policy and legislation. It denies freedom of movement to more than 1 million Rohingya, and at least 140,000 internally displaced Rohingya are confined to more than 60 internment camps throughout Rakhine State. The government is responsible for denying Rohingya access to adequate humanitarian aid, sanitation, and food, and these abuses have led to avoidable deaths. Authorities have effectively forced Rohingya to take deadly journeys by sea, particularly since 2012, knowing the risks of death they face in doing so.

"The plan of the government is to finish our people, to kill our people, but they cannot kill us all by the bullet," a Rohingya man, 52, told Fortify Rights. "What they can do is deny us food and medicine, and if we don't die, then we'll opt to leave the country. [In these cases] the government has used a different option to kill the people. We must understand that."

The Lowenstein Clinic identifies specific state actors—including the Myanmar Army, the Police Force, and the now-disbanded NaSaKa—as responsible for acts that could constitute genocide. It also exposes links between perpetrators and the central government in Naypyidaw.

Fortify Rights and the Lowenstein Clinic called on the UN Human Rights Council to urgently adopt a resolution mandating an international Commission of Inquiry to fully assess the totality of the situation in Rakhine State, including human rights violations against Rohingya Muslims as well as Rakhine Buddhists. A Commission should objectively evaluate the facts, identify responsible perpetrators, and provide clear recommendations for action to effectively address and prevent further abuses in Rakhine State, Fortify Rights said.

Operationally, a commission should collate existing UN data, hold hearings, interview victims, survivors, government officials, political operatives, leaders of the Buddhist sangha, and others in Myanmar and Southeast Asia.

The UN Human Rights Council, Security Council, General Assembly, Secretary General, and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights all have authority to establish commissions of inquiry. Examples of such commissions exist throughout the world. Most recently, the UN established inquiries into serious human rights violations in Libya, the occupied Palestinian territory, Syria, North Korea, Sri Lanka, and the Central African Republic.

"The UN should truly put human rights up front in Myanmar," said Matthew Smith, referring to the UN Secretary General's Human Rights Up Front initiative—an effort to prevent and respond to large-scale violations of human rights. "UN member states should stop tolerating these abuses and take action."

As a keen observer of the Rohingya crisis for more than a decade, I am not surprised with either the findings of the Fortify Rights or the conclusion of the legal experts of the prestigious Yale Law School. The question of genocide of the Rohingya people has come up a few times in various conferences, especially since 2012 when they, rightly considered the most persecuted people on earth, are targeted for extermination in a national project in the Buddhist majority Myanmar.

Seven months ago (March 30, 2015) I had the privilege to deliver a lecture at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and share the podium with Professor John Ciorciari discussing the same subject "Is genocide unfolding in Myanmar?"

Following a trip in March of this year in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum staff believed that 'conditions are ripe for genocide' of Rohingyas.

Nearly two years ago, at the First International Rohingya Conference in the USA, "Stop Genocide and Restore Rohingya's Citizenship Rights in Myanmar," held at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, the experts, which included Dr. Greg Stanton, a foremost authority on genocide, concurred that the Rohingyas were victims of genocide.

For the last two years, the Genocide Watch has also been arguing that Rohingyas are facing genocide.

On October 21, 2015 the U.S. lawmakers expressed deep concerns about Burma's backsliding on human rights and commitment to democratization at a hearing by the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.

Repression and disenfranchisement of the Rohingya along with the military's constitutionally guaranteed 25% of parliamentary seats means this election will not be free or fair, before even a single vote is cast. United to End Genocide President Tom Andrews was a featured witness, testifying before the Subcommittee warning of ongoing hate campaigns and abuses that put the country at risk of future mass atrocities and even genocide.

Professor Penny Green of Queen Mary University, UK has also issued a dire warning, "Myanmar's Rohingya are being slowly annihilated through sporadic massacres, mass flight, systematic weakening and denial of identity. A genocidal process is underway in Myanmar and if it follows the path outlined in our report, it is yet to be completed. It can be stopped but not without confronting the fact that it is, indeed, a genocide."

The International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) at Queen Mary University of London, based on an 18-month investigation, has recently found "compelling evidence" that Rohingya face "mass annihilation" by the government of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and that a genocide has been taking place for three decades. Myanmar's Rohingya minority population is in "the final stages of a genocidal process" comparable to that in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and Rwanda in the 1990s, and attacks against them are planned at the highest levels of government, according to this new report from the British research institute. The 106-page report includes evidence from leaked government documents and detailed accounts from witnesses about the severe lack of food and employment opportunities; difficulties trying to obtain health care; and discrimination and violence from Buddhist monks and non-Muslim villagers.

"You don't need to engage in mass killing to obliterate an ethnic group. You can do it by other means," says Professor Penny Green, a professor of law and globalization at Queen Mary University of London and lead researcher of the report who spent four months on the ground in Rakhine as part of her research. Green and her team of researchers were denied access to northern Rakhine state by the government. "You can make life so intolerable that they leave, and those remaining have no agency and are effectively in detention camps," says Green. "You create a very fragmented diaspora around the world."

"It's really important to construct genocide as a social process, because if we don't, we can never intervene before mass killing takes place," Penny Green told Newsweek. She added that the elections "reinforce the elimination of the Rohingya from the political realm of responsibility of Myanmar."

The Rohingya are now two steps away from all-out genocide, having already been subjected to four stages:

stigmatization, harassment, isolation and systematic weakening, according to the ISCI. There is evidence that the remaining two stages—extermination and "symbolic enactment," or erasing the group from Myanmar's history—are already well underway, says Green. The systematic weakening of the group has been so successful that the Rohingya's rights have been "effectively destroyed" and "those who can, flee, while those who remain endure the barest of lives," the report says.

The ISCI report also criticizes the international community for its lack of action.

It goes without saying that the UNSC and the international community have to take up the matter of genocide of the Rohingya people immediately failing which it must bear the responsibility for not stopping the crime.

- Asian Tribune -

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Why Thein Sein alone could not honor election result

by Habib,


Since Nov 2010, the military dictators find alternative to legalize them and their systems acceptance to general public and intl communities by changing their uniforms, forming of mockery parliament and political party USDP from USDA with their military generals, the both occupying about 64% of total seats.

It is literally- 'old wine with new bottle'.


In Arakan state, the Rakhine people party RNDP's leader Dr. Aye Maung who is the main perpetrator of the violence, likely to win the election in Arakan state, will in deed make an opportunity for him to immediately wiping out of entire muslim community from the state.



Progress of Free and Fair?

Former military general Thein Sein, alone could not guarantee to honor the election result while

the top military dictator Than Shwe remain as a president of the country and control the country and his generals from behind. Their military constitution is unamendable by any power and it also bars Ms. Suu Kyi from becoming PM or president.


Noble Laureate Ms. Suu Kyi who is still seem to be the most popular has taken side with majority, has now forgotten to minorities who have been supporting her for decades. Her party has expelled all muslim members the ahead of election. On the time, the person who fought for freedom and rights against the military rules has fear losing of majority supports.


Recent changes are possible signs of ending tyrant military rules for majority Buddhism people and path way of 'freedom' for them only. However, exclusion of the entire mulsim community including Rohingya, is also a stereotype of 'majority representative democracy'.

Such little changes gain supports from western nations that come to ignore ongoing genocide, wars in northern and eastern and political prisoners.




1) ICC must investigate the ongoing crimes against humanity and genocide across Burma.

2) Intl communities to create a 'safe zone' for Rohingya people and establish 'an independent Rohingya state' within Arakan state while the central ruler, authorities and majority people segregating and pushing out the Rohingya people.

3) UN and its member countries to effectively and appropriately use forces to ensure aid delivery reach to the hand of victims on the grounds in Arakan state, Shan state, Kachin state and other areas.

4) Immediately and unconditional release of all political prisoners and thousands of Rohingya detained across Arakan state.

5) Immediate stop of waging wars in Shan, Kachin states and other areas.

6) Immediately cease of segregation, discrimination and ethnic cleansing against Rohingya and other minorities including those from 42 concentration camps of Arakan state.

7) Immediately lift the blockage of intl aid supply in Arakan state, Shan state, Kachin state and other areas.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Al Jazeera Investigates - Genocide Agenda

Source Aljazeera

see via the link

Al Jazeeras Investigative Unit has uncovered what amounts to "strong evidence" of a genocide coordinated by the Myanmar government against the Rohingya people, according to an assessment by Yale University Law School.
The Lowenstein Clinic spent eight months assessing evidence from Myanmar, including documents and testimony provided by Al Jazeera and the advocacy group Fortify Rights.
"Given the scale of the atrocities and the way that politicians talk about the Rohingya, we think it's hard to avoid a conclusion that intent [to commit genocide] is present," concluded the clinic.
Exclusive evidence obtained by Al Jazeeras Investigative Unit and Fortify Rights reveals the government has been triggering communal violence for political gain by inciting anti-Muslim riots, using hate speech to stoke fear among the Myanmarese about Muslims, and offering money to hardline Buddhist groups who threw their support behind the leadership.
As the first fully contested general election in 25 years approaches on November 8, eyewitness and confidential documentary evidence obtained by Al Jazeera reveals that the ruling, military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) has attempted to marginalise Muslims and target the Rohingya.
Al Jazeera has made several requests for comment to the Myanmar President's office and government spokespeople but has not received any response.
Genocide Agenda
The investigation, presented in a new documentary, Genocide Agenda, consults legal and diplomatic experts on whether the governments campaign amounts to systematic extermination.
The University of Londons Professor Penny Green, director of the International State Crime Initiative (ISCI)m said: "President Thein Sein (USDP) is prepared to use hate speech for the government's own ends, and that is to marginalise, segregate, diminish the Muslim population inside Burma.
"It's part of a genocidal process."
An independent report by the ISCI concluded that riots in 2012, which saw conflicts between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims erupt, were pre-planned. The violence saw scores killed, and tens of thousands of people displaced after several thousand homes were burned.

Monday, 26 October 2015

The great jade heist and the quiet theft of Burma’s billions

Source asiancorrespondent, 23 Oct
Freelance jade miners collect jade stones near a mine in Kachin State, Burma. Pic: AP.

Freelance jade miners collect jade stones near a mine in Kachin State, Burma. Pic: AP.

A report just released by Global Witness illuminates the staggering theft of billions of dollars worth of jade revenue by a nexus of military and business tycoons, and drug lords, that have long dominated Burma's legal and illegal economies. The vast majority of Burmese jade goes to China, yet around 50 to 80 percent of this is smuggled illicitly over the border. In effect then, only around a third to a half of the entire revenue from jade, or $12.3 billion, ends up in state coffers — the remaining $20 billion or so is sold off illegally. Rather than contributing to public spending, it goes straight into the pockets of dominant figures in this nexus, and helps sustain their position as key power brokers in Burma.

The jade industry is referred to by Global Witness as the "big state secret" in Burma, and for good reason. Several of the biggest companies in the trade are patronized by figures right at the top of the politico-economic hierarchy — former dictator Than Shwe, current Livestock Minister Ohn Myint, and drug lord and financier of the United Wa State Army, Wei Hsueh-Kang, to name but a few. Together their companies recorded hundreds of millions in official pre-tax sales in 2014, a figure that doesn't include the greater revenue earned from unofficial sales.

Those who profit most from jade have something of a symbiotic relationship with the trade. For people like Ohn Myint, a former military commander-cum-politician, the wealth they have accrued has helped to buy a degree of power that ensures their continued access to the industry's profits. The wealth-power relationship that underpins the economic hierarchy in Burma, which is also known as Myanmar, means that to lose this access to jade profit, possibly as a result of a more level economic playing field, could threaten their political preeminence and, ergo, future economic wealth. It is therefore in their strongest interests to ensure the industry maintains the veil that has allowed billions to be quietly siphoned out of the state budget, and hence why efforts to open it up to scrutiny will meet with heavy resistance.

The location of the most lucrative jade mines adds another sinister dimension to the industry. Billions of dollars of jade are mined each year from a site in Kachin State that is contested by both the government/military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). They have been fighting one another since 2011, when a 17-year ceasefire broke. A principle reason for the resumption of fighting rested on the destructive nature of the 17 years of "peacetime" experienced in Kachin State, during which the government (and Chinese companies) took control of much of the region's natural resources, jade included, yet distributed virtually none of the revenue gained back to Kachin civilians.

In this Sept. 18, 2015 photo, local people examine the quality of a jade stone in the Hpakant area of Kachin state, northern Myanmar. Uncontrolled mining of Myanmar's famously valuable jade deposits is enriching individuals and companies tied to the country's former military rulers while exacting a growing human and environmental toll on impoverished Kachin state. (AP Photo/Esther Htsusan)

A woman checks the quality of jade stones in Burma's Kachin state. Pic: AP.

Amid a push over the past two years by the government to broker another ceasefire, extraction of jade soared, with 2014 seeing the some of the highest output on record. One explanation is that those with vested interests in the industry knew that any ceasefire would result in stronger demands for revenue sharing by the Kachin, and therefore upped their operations to extract as much as possible before the competition widened. If true, this gives weight to theories that the conflict is highly profitable for those with stakes in jade — any ceasefire backed by the Kachin would have to have enshrined fairer revenue distribution, something that would have cut heavily into the interests of those currently in control of the mines. Hence there are powerful forces in the jade industry that have vested interests in keeping the conflict going, as do the lower-rung officers stationed in Kachin State to fight the KIA who extort significant amounts of money from the jade miners that pass through military checkpoints en route to markets in China.

Global Witness has questioned whether the siphoning off of jade revenue could be the "biggest natural resource heist in modern history". The vast polarization that results from the disenfranchisement of millions civilians to benefit a small elite network will be largely unchanged by whatever limited shift towards civilian rule results from elections next month. Whoever moves into positions of influence after the vote will know that any real attempt to upend this hierarchy of power will invite the fiercest of resistance.

As the report notes, the estimated $31 billion gained from jade sales in 2014—both officially and unofficially—equates to around 48 percent of Burma's official GDP. But only one percent of state spending is sourced from the mining sector—more comes from oil and gas, despite revenue from these paling in comparison to Global Witness's estimations of jade revenue. This gives some indication of the inordinate amount of wealth being mined from Burma's north that completely bypasses the public. Viewed against the backdrop of the World Bank's independent assessment last year that 37.5 percent of the country lives in poverty, the figures show how significant the human cost of state-sanctioned corruption in Burma can be.


Friday, 23 October 2015

Amnesty International says Rohingya death toll higher than UN estimates

Source aljazeera, 21 Oct

Rohingya migrants stand and sit on a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea on May 14, 2015. A boat crammed with scores of Rohingya migrants -- including many young children -- was found drifting in Thai waters on May 14, with passengers saying several people had died over the last few days. AFP PHOTO / Christophe ARCHAMBAULT
Rohingya migrants stand and sit on a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea on May 14, 2015. A boat crammed with scores of Rohingya migrants -- including many young children -- was found drifting...

Human rights group details beatings and abuse faced on boats by ethnic minority seeking refuge from Myanmar

Hundreds or even thousands of Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution in Myanmar may have died at sea this year, according to a new report by Amnesty International, which says the number of those who have died attempting the treacherous boat journey to Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia is "much higher" than U.N. estimates. 

The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, has estimated that 370 refugees have died this year in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea in search of safety and a better life. But Amnesty International said in a press release that "hundreds — if not thousands — of people remain unaccounted for, and may have died during their journeys or have been sold for forced labor." 

The human rights organization said that it believes the number of Rohingya refugees deaths is "much higher" than the UNHCR figures, based on testimony from eyewitnesses who said they saw dozens of large boats full of refugees and migrants in similar circumstances — despite only five boats arriving in Indonesia and Malaysia, according to Amnesty's U.N. sources. 

The Rohingya are a Muslim minority group living in Myanmar, which has a Buddhist majority. Although Rohingya families have lived in the country for generations, they were stripped of citizenship in the 1980s and are viewed by authorities in Myanmar as illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh. In recent years, they have been subjected to anti-Rohingya propaganda and violence. 

UNHCR has said that since 2014 more than 1,100 refugees who have departed by sea from Bangladesh or Myanmar have died, and an additional 1,000 people  — who were thought to be at sea in May of this year — remain unaccounted for. The majority of the refugees are believed to be Rohingya, but also include many Bangladeshis. 

Boat crews abandoned thousands of people in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea in May, after a trafficking crackdown by Thai authorities. The crackdown coincided with the discovery of several mass graves, containing bodies believed to be migrants, along the Malaysia-Thailand border.  

Several Rohingya interviewed by Amnesty for its report detailed abuses they had witnessed and faced while at sea. 

In one such incident, a 20-year-old Rohingya man, who said he spent eight months on a ship anchored off the coast of Thailand, said he was beaten with plastic pipes with metal inside until his family wired a $1,700 ransom payment demanded by traffickers. He was then transferred to another ship and was eventually taken to Indonesia.

In another case, a 15-year-old girl said traffickers demanded a $1,700 payment to secure her release from a large boat, where she said she had been frequently beaten. The girl told Amnesty that the boat crew called her father, who was at a refugee camp in Bangladesh, and made him listen to her crying as they beat her while demanding the ransom payment. 

Other witnesses told Amnesty that people who became sick or were unable to pay a ransom were killed. 

While Indonesia and Malaysia have allowed asylum-seekers to stay until May 2016, Amnesty has called on the governments to do more, and for international agencies to take "coordinated action against human trafficking in a way that does not put people's lives or human rights at risk."

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Myanmar separatist group Arakan Army leader Renin Su nabbed in Rangamati

Source BDnews, 14 Oct

Photo taken from Facebook.

Photo taken from Facebook.

Police in Rangamati in Bangladesh's Chittagong Hill Tracts say they have nabbed Renin Su, a top leader of the Myanmar separatist group, Arakan Army.

Rajsthali police OC Wahidullah Sarkar said on Wednesday that Su was arrested from an under-construction mosque at Islampur around 3am.

The operation to nab Renin Su was jointly conducted by BGB's Major Shabbir Ahmed, Major Kamal Pasha and OC Wahidullah Sarkar.

Renin Su is now in police custody at the Rajsthali Police Station.

The separatist leader is a medical graduate who has lived in Netherlands.

For the last few years, he has been living in Rangamati since he married a local Marma tribal girl.

He has a house in Rajsthali, police said.

Bangladesh security agencies say Renin Su has since then been a commander of the separatist Arakan Army.

On Aug 24, guerillas of the Arakan Army attacked a joint patrol of the Bangladesh Army and the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) at Thanchi in Bandarban district.

After that, the security forces have been trying to track down Renin Su.

They raided his Rajsthali house two days after the Thanchi attack. Renin Su could not be found but his lieutenant Ong U Rakhine was nabbed from there.

Cloth for combat fatigues used by the Arakan Army were seized along with cameras, laptops, propaganda material and two horses.

Ong U Rakhine admitted last month before a Rangamati court that he was a member of the Arakan Army.

He also provided information about Renin Su.

Two caretakers of the Rajsthali house—Mong Chu Aung Marma and Chui Aung Marma—are now in police custody.

Bangladesh police has shut down the bank account of an Arakan Army leader Renin Su and his close relatives.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Myanmar president sued over alleged Rohingya abuse

Source Aljazeera, 5 Oct

Activists' suit alleges Thein Sein, top officials planned and instigated 'hate crimes' against Myanmar's Rohingya

October 5, 2015 10:15PM ET

Muslim rights activists have filed a lawsuit in the United States against Myanmar President Thein Sein, accusing him and several ministers of human rights abuses against minority Rohingyas, just a few weeks before an historic general election.

The complaint filed in Manhattan federal court accused Thein Sein and top officials of planning and instigating "hate crimes and discrimination amounting to genocide."

Thumbnail image for Who are the Rohingya of Myanmar?

According to the plaintiffs, Muslim Rohingya are "subjected to genocide, torture, arbitrary detention, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" by officials controlled by Thein Sein and his ministers.

Myanmar's government spokesman was not immediately available for comment, and did not respond to emailed requests.

The civil lawsuit was filed on Thursday by Burma Task Force, a group of 19 Muslim organizations, and a Rohingya man, Hitay Lwin Oo.

It seeks compensatory and punitive damages for alleged violations of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), a U.S. law often invoked in lawsuits alleging human rights abuses.

The government will have a chance to respond to the lawsuit once it is served. It typically takes at least a few months for a judge to decide whether a case may proceed.

In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court made it harder to pursue many ATS lawsuits. It said claims must "touch and concern" U.S. territory "with sufficient force" to displace the presumption that the law does not cover non-U.S. conduct.

Myanmar does not consider the Rohingya to be citizens, rendering them effectively stateless, while denying that it discriminates against them or that they are fleeing persecution.

 A tide of anti-Muslim sentiment swept through the country a year after the military ended its rule in 2011, morphing into communal violence.

At least 200 people were killed and more than 140,000, mainly Rohingyas, were displaced in fighting between Muslims and Buddhists in Myanmar's western Rakhine State.

During the flare up of the boat people crisis in Asia in May, Myanmar denied that its treatment of the Rohingya caused their exodus.

Religious and ethnic tensions are intensifying ahead of Nov. 8 elections in Myanmar. The government has barred most Rohingyas from voting and registering as candidates, drawing criticism from western countries and undercutting Myanmar's efforts to portray the poll as its first free and fair election in 25 years.