Thursday, 8 June 2023

Cash Incentives and Coercion: The Controversial Strategy for Rohingya Repatriation

Source TheDiplomat, 2 June

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh report being offered $2,000 to return to Myanmar – and threatened with beatings if they do not.

Reports of coercive tactics and cash incentives being employed by the Bangladeshi government to induce Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar have stirred concern among human rights advocates and humanitarian agencies. The authorities in Bangladesh are reportedly utilizing misinformation, threats of violence, and financial incentives as part of a larger strategy aimed at facilitating the repatriation of Rohingya refugees, roughly 1 million of whom are currently residing in camps in Bangladesh.

Beginning on May 30, Bangladeshi authorities reportedly initiated a campaign on Bhasan Char, a silt island serving as a makeshift refugee camp, promising Rohingya families a cash incentive of $2,000 if they agreed to return to Myanmar. According to two refugees who have come forward to speak about the offer, a similar proposal was extended in Teknaf on May 29. 

By May 31, around 300 Rohingya families had expressed their intention to participate in the pilot repatriation program. By June 1, there was a significant surge of families, not initially listed for repatriation, lining up in Bhasan Char to avail of this offer.

Critics are wary of the motivations behind the cash incentive, equating the amount – even the very few educated refugees working for NGOs might take two years to earn $2,000 – to coercive tactics that exploit the desperate financial situations faced by these refugees. Meenakshi Ganguly, the South Asia director of Human Rights Watch, tweeted, "#RohingyaRefugees in Bangladesh were promised cash, livelihood, health, education to relocate to Bhasan Char—many risked drowning to flee. Now similar promises are dangled for repatriation to Myanmar where conditions remain unsafe, with no guarantee of rights protection." Providing first-hand insight, Sayed, a resident of Bhasan Char, recalled an unexpected announcement over the mosque's loudspeaker on May 30. The announcement asked families to report to the Camp-in-Charge (CiC) office the next day if they were willing to return to Myanmar. The announcement promised a cash incentive of $2,000.




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Notably, Sayed said that the announcement specified that both spouses, along with their children, had to agree to return. Furthermore, Sayed found that the announcement hadn't been broadcast on loudspeakers in all clusters; instead, majhis, or camp wardens, had informed certain clusters door-to-door.

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Alongside these financial incentives, other tactics reportedly used to encourage repatriation have raised alarm. Refugees claim that they are receiving misinformation about conditions in Myanmar. A video circulating on social media allegedly shows a staffer of the CiC telling a refugee that Rohingya are now a recognized ethnic group in Myanmar, among the existing 135 groups. Paired with threats of violence by Bangladeshi authorities, such misinformation has led to heightened concerns about potential coercion. Critics argue that these practices undermine the principle of free and informed decision-making, a cornerstone of any voluntary return process.

A Rohingya refugee, requesting to maintain anonymity, agreed to record a video detailing an encounter with an official known as Anwar, who reportedly threatened refugees with beatings if they refused to return. The official was quoted in the video as saying, "Is this your father's country? You have to return. You cannot stay here. If you do not go, after three days, we will beat you. You absolutely have to go."

In another recorded testimony, an elderly woman shared her experiences with Bangladeshi authorities and National Security Intelligence (NSI) officials. Maintaining her anonymity, she detailed instances of threats, intimidation, and the potential of physical violence. In the video, she is heard saying, "The authorities informed us that we would be 'forcefully sent back to Myanmar,' regardless of our objections or concerns, by 'beating us.'" She also mentioned an incident where an individual's ration card was photographed, suggesting the possibility of ration card cancellation if Rohingya refuse to return.


Jeff Crisp, formerly the head of Policy Development and Evaluation Service at UNHCR, said the pressure on these refugees to return to an unsafe country under the guise of "voluntary repatriation" is disturbingly reminiscent of tactics that have been used in other parts of the world. The "experience in other parts of the world indicates that some refugees accept such 'repatriation grants' as a means of paying off the debts they have accumulated. Which means that they have little or none of the money left by the time that they get back to their own country."

Throughout this complex issue, the recurring themes have been coercion and financial incentives – tactics that many argue exploit the vulnerable position of Rohingya refugees. The motivations behind the Bangladeshi government's approach, and the impacts it has on the refugees' rights and their welfare, are under intense scrutiny from refugee advocates and human rights organizations.

However, despite the criticisms and concerns, the Bangladeshi government and the international community have yet to find a solution that adequately addresses the safety, welfare, and rights of the Rohingya refugees. As Maung Zarni of the Free Rohingya Coalition aptly put it, "Bangladesh's decision to offer such financial incentives to return refugees to the killing fields of Myanmar raises questions about the true motivations behind the program's sponsors and the respect for the refugees' rights and well-being."


Shafiur Rahman

Shafiur Rahman is a journalist and documentary filmmaker currently working on Rohingya issues. 

Wednesday, 7 June 2023



Briefing the Burmese Rohingya Crisis World Refugee Day

(source:, or


The Plight of Muslims in Burma in 21st Century (international form KL, 19 June 2013)

(source:, or


Analysis of Demography in Arakan (Muslim identity and demography in Arakan state of Burma by Dr Habib Siddiqui, USA)


Rohingya Bonafide citizen issue 

by National Democratic Party for Development-NDPP, 24 March 2012


I Have never heard the name Rohingya” – Xenophobia or Racism! By Dr Habib Bahar, 8 Dec 2011


Migration period of ancient Burma- Indian and Burmese settlement in Arakan


Confiscations, Destructions and Muslims Locations in Arakan Up to Year 2010, by Habib

(source :

How Rakhine Monks and Authority Are Trying To Change Mosque To Monastery

(source deleted by server: (

The shrine mosque of Badar Makam (Budder Mukam), built in memory of the eminent Saint Allama Shah (Pir Badar Sha) in 1727. It is situated in the territory of East Sanpy (East Barsara), near Sittwe Point on the southern side of Akyab/Sittwe. It has been seized form 1978 and annexed into Navy camp.

List of Rohingya MPs in Burma Parliament


Rebuttal to U Khin Maung Saw’s misinformation on Rohingya


Muslim Identity and Demography in the Arakan State of Burma (Myanmar)


THE ROHINGYAS Bengali Muslims or Arakan Rohingyas?

Euro-Burma Office (EBO Briefing Paper No. 2 (26/03/2009)


Rohingyas are not British Era Settlers (by AFK Jilani, 6 Oct 2006)


A Long History of Injustice Ignored: Rohingya: The Forgotten People of Our Time

by Dr Habib Sidiqqui


The Etymology of Arakan, Rohingya and Rakhine (6 Oct 2006)

Compiled by Noor Kamal, general secretary of Arakan Historical Society (A.H.S), Chittagong


History & Books

"Essays on Myanmar's Genocide of Rohingyas (2012-18)" by Maung Zarni and Natalie Brinham


FIRST, THEY ERASED OUR NAME, by Habiburahman, Sophie Ansel




Burmese Invasion of Arakan and the Rise of Non-Bengali Settlements in Chittagong of Bangladesh (by Dr Abid Bahar, Canada, 15 Feb 2006)


Towards Understanding Arakan History (Part I, II and III)

by Abu Anin, 2006


Muslim contributions to geography by Nafis Ahmed, 1 Jan 1965)


The tragedy of Mrauk-U I & II (1660-1661), by Siddiq Khan



The Muslim Buddhist Kings of Arakan


A Short Historical background of Arakan (by Mohammed Ashraf Alam)



by Mohammed Ashraf Alam

(source: file:///C:/Users/61478/Downloads/marginalization_rohingya%20(1).pdf)

A Short History of Rohingya and Kamas of Burma (13 Sept 2007)

by M.A Tahir Ba Tha (translated by A.F.K Jilani, edited by Mohd. Ashraf Alam)


A Cultural History of ROHINGYA, by AFK Jilani, First Edition Published in July 2001


The Rohingyas of Arakan: Their quest for justice (by AFK Jilani)


Ancient geography and recent archaeology:Dhanyawadi, Vesali and Mrauk-U

(Ancient geography and recent archaeology:Dhanyawadi, Vesali and Mrauk-u), by Bob HudsonArchaeology Department, University of Sydney, Australia.


The Forgotten Kingdoms of Arakan

The Forgotten Kingdom of Arakan” History Workshop.Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, November 2005


Arakan and Bengal : the rise and decline of the Mrauk U kingdom (Burma) from the fifteenth to the 17th Century AD (doctoral thesis, 2008)


A History of Arakan Past and Present (by Mohammed Yunus, 1994)


Arkan rule in Chittagong (1550--1666 A.D) by S.M Ali


Missing Links in Arakan History, by Satyendra Nath Ghoshal


Coming of the Muslims to Arakan (by Ba Tha of Buthidaung township, March 1965 Lawka-ni-ti Magazine)


Arkan place in the civilization of the Bay, (A study of coinage and foreign relations by M.S.Collis, in collaboration with San Shwe Bu)




Rohingyas Outcry and Demands by Rohingya Patriotic Front


The Muslims of Burma (A short history of Arakan & Rohingya)

(by NLD secretary Maung Maung Tin, published in1959-60)

(source: deleted)

Myanamar National Muslims' History-formation and National Duty

U Maung Maung Gyi (Historian).

(source: deleted)

Thursday, 25 May 2023

UN not given access to Rohingya refugee camps after Cyclone Mocha

Source TheGuardian

UNHCR says it's awaiting permission from Myanmar government to distribute health supplies in Sittwe, where an estimated 90% of Rohingya homes have been destroyed

A Rohingya woman sits by what remains of her home at Basara refugee camp in Sittwe after Cyclone Mocha hit the region. Photograph: Sai Aung Main/AFP/Getty Images

UN staff say they have not been given permission to help thousands of Rohingya living in displacement camps in Myanmar who are in urgent need of food, medicine and shelter in the aftermath of Cyclone Mocha, which struck the west of the country on Sunday.

People living in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state, said they estimated that about 90% of homes of Rohingya people had been destroyed and more than 100 people killed when winds of more than 150 miles an hour hit the region. However, the refugee agency UNHCR said the Myanmar government had not yet granted access to the camps in Sittwe, home to about 100,000 people. "As yet, UNHCR has not been granted access to carry out needs assessments."

Bright Islam, a 28-year-old Rohingya activist, said: "The cyclone destroyed everything we had. We have nothing to eat, and people have to sleep on the road. Injured people don't have access to medical treatment."

It really is a nightmare scenario for this cyclone to hit areas with such deep pre-existing needs
Ramanathan Balakrishnan, UN humanitarian coordinator

He said he witnessed people drown in the flood water in Sittwe, "mostly children and older people", and counted about 110 dead bodies when the waters cleared. "I cried because I was afraid, I could also be dead," he said.

Habibullah, who only wanted to be known by one name, said his 55-year-old aunt died in the storm because she was too scared to leave her home in Dar Paing camp in Sittwe. "She didn't expect that it would be that bad," he said.

He said he had to leave her in her house while he helped others. After the cyclone, he found her body. "I am very sorry to leave her there. But I had no other choice. If we had early warning and precaution in time, she would still be alive."

Cyclone Mocha hit Myanmar on its journey across the Bay of Bengal. Sittwe was the worst affected area, but the category 5 storm also damaged towns further east in Chin, Sagaing and Magway regions.

The UN said on Thursday that 17 townships in Rakhine and four in Chin had been declared natural-disaster-affected areas by the government. Images on social media show trees, buildings, and electricity poles toppled, and debris piled on the ground. The UN said health supplies and water purification tablets for 200,000 people have been sent to Sittwe.

ThekayPyin camp in Sittwe, as Cyclone Mocha approaches.
ThekayPyin camp in Sittwe, as Cyclone Mocha approaches. Photograph: Screengrab/Obtained by Reuters

On Tuesday, Ramanathan Balakrishnan, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Myanmar, said 5.4 million people were thought to live in the cyclone's path. "Of these, we consider 3.1 million people to be most vulnerable to cyclone impacts by taking together indicators of shelter quality, food insecurity and poor coping capacity.

"It really is a nightmare scenario for this cyclone to hit areas with such deep pre-existing needs," Balakrishnan said.

The Rohingya live in internal displacement camps after being forced from their homes in Myanmar by numerous military attacks since the 1970s. A military "clearance" in 2017 pushed a million Rohingya to seek refuge in Bangladesh.

Reuben Lim, the chief communications officer for UNHCR Myanmar, confirmed that "deaths by drowning have been reported in displacement camps with many others missing".

Ro Nay San Lwin, a Rohingya activist in Europe, said he expected high casualties. He said early warning announcements of the cyclone made by the military through loudspeakers in the camps were "just for show" as no logistical support, shelters or transport, were provided and Rohingya were not allowed to leave the camps.

"People lost their lives because they had no freedom of movement. The junta has been committing serious international crimes against the Rohingya for many decades. Their aim is to eliminate the entire population from the country."

A Rohingya woman holds her baby next to her destroyed house at Basara refugee camp in Sittwe.
A Rohingya woman holds her baby next to her destroyed house at Basara refugee camp in Sittwe. Photograph: Sai Aung Main/AFP/Getty Images

Islam said they were "living in hell". "We got more affected by the cyclone because our camp is close to the sea and our movement is under control," he said. "If we could stay in our original homes, it wouldn't have been that bad."

In Bangladesh, about 60,000 people were displaced and 30,000 homes damaged or destroyed in Cox's Bazar district, where more than 1 million Rohingya live in refugee camps.

Rohingya Refugee Response, which coordinates humanitarian support for more than 900,000 refugees in Bangladesh, said 5,800 shelters were damaged and 400 destroyed. Health and education centres and water points were damaged by landslides. UNHCR said it has been providing emergency shelter and other services in Bangladesh.

The worst conditions were on the southern-most tip of mainland Bangladesh and in the Nayapara refugee camp, where refugees who lost their homes to a fire two years ago again saw homes damaged.

"Our block was already burned down and so the shelters were only light plastic and bamboo," said Amir Hossain, whose shelter was damaged. "People were worried before the cyclone hit the camp. As soon as the strong winds started, most of the tarpaulin roofs were blown away and only the frames of the homes were left.

"People are struggling to rebuild again, we have not got the materials to rebuild the shelters. Some people are living in community centres and schools for now," he said.

Amid the destruction, seven babies were born in one of the refugee camps further north, on Sunday, according to the NGO Friendship.

OP-ED: Seven Points All Myanmar People Want ASEAN to Consider

Source DVB, 2 May

Indonesia is gearing up for the forthcoming ASEAN Summit. Its popular two-term, and hence outgoing, President Joko Widodo, and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, have reportedly visited the site of the scheduled May 9-11 Summit in Labuan Bajo. One of the first things Indonesian leadership has embarked on is public diplomacy or strategic communications about what its leadership can and cannot do for the peoples of Myanmar through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).   

Amidst grumbles from international policy and activist circles with Myanmar concerns worldwide, the Indonesian leadership has been tight-lipped about what it's doing to address one of the hottest – and so far intractable perennial issues. As outrageous as it is, not even a textbook, full-blown genocide of Rohingyas had, in the past, inconvenienced the regional bloc, largely indifferent to ideals of human rights, in spite of its Human Rights Charter. Lest we forget that ASEAN legitimized and promoted Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge at the United Nations even after the fact that one-third of the Cambodian population had perished in less than four years (1975-79). 

Two years before the coup, Malaysia's then Foreign Minister Saifuddin bin Abdullah said pointedly to a group of us visiting legal and genocide scholars with Rohingya concerns, in Putrajaya that he wanted today's ASEAN to do better than the original ASEAN of the 1970's. For the original ASEAN allowed the genocide in its own backyard and proceeded to protect the perpetrators as "representative" of Cambodia. Saifuddin's sentiment notwithstanding, objectively speaking, ASEAN has continued to fail Rohingya genocide victims, again, with ASEAN navies pushing away from their shores thousands of Rohingya boat people over the years, who are fleeing hell on the earth and risking life on the high seas in search of refuge in places like Aceh, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Be that as it may, the 2021 Myanmar military coup and resulting bloodbath, still ongoing, has unnerved the rest of the ASEAN member states, including the money-obsessed Singapore (Myanmar's largest investor). The bloodbath of civilians by the military, and the ensuing armed revolution, ASEAN under the two previous chairs – Brunei and Cambodia – did not accomplish much in terms of either stopping the killings or starting a mediation process. Both Brunei and Cambodia continued to treat the coup regime of Min Aung Hlaing, as if the killers in green uniform were the sole representatives and spokespersons of Myanmar as a member state. 

So, Indonesia under Jokowi's leadership this year has ignited a widespread, if limited optimism, among Myanmar people. We have thought that Jakarta will at least use its renewed leadership position globally.  This optimism is in significant part based on its successful role as the G-20 host that facilitated the first-ever substantive meeting in Bali of U.S. President Joe Biden and China's Xi Jinping, with their mutually hostile policies. A brief detour of Indonesia-Myanmar ties may be in order.

Throughout the last 70 years since Myanmar and Indonesia shook off the yoke of colonial subjugation by their respective European abusers – the Dutch and the British, both civilian and military leaderships of these post-colonial countries had retained close ties. As a matter of fact, Myanmar people under Prime Minister U Nu contributed to the national liberation struggle of Indonesians by providing the latter with "rice and guns" (India under Nehru also shipped weapons to Rangoon where our democratic government was under siege by the then secessionist Karen National Defence Organization That is just what good neighbors do: offer rice and guns as an act of solidarity).

President Sukarno and Prime Minister Nu were co-founders of the Non-aligned Movement, along with India's Nehru. Their non-aligned movement in the thick of the Cold War, was kicked off in the mountainous city of Bandung, Java. The likes of world revolutionaries – Che Guevara and Fidel Castro – were part of this movement. (The duo made a visit to Rangoon, staying at the colonial-era Strand Hotel, as part of their Asia-Africa tour, and told Rangoon's English language press that they were horrified to know that the Burmese elite learned about their Cuban Revolution from TIME magazine, which they apparently – and rightly – considered a U.S. imperialist propaganda publication on grocery check-out stands!)

When the initial flames of democracy were extinguished by the U.S.-backed bloody military coups, waged ostensibly against "the Communist threats" in Rangoon in 1962 and Jakarta in 1965, the two usurpers – Generals Ne Win and Suharto – forged their dictatorial ties, while the Myanmar military began modeling itself after Indonesia's "dual function" paradigm – as the sole national defender and national (political) guardian. Both Ne Win and Suharto were forced out of power and died in disgrace, although Suharto continues to be given respect among some quarters in Indonesia, Ne Win remains one of the most universally hated military figures in Myanmar.

The top dishonor of the most reviled person goes to Min Aung Hlaing. Myanmar people will not accept that the man whom they consider not simply the deliverer of death and violence but the thief who has stolen their dreams of a better future. To remove this criminal and corrupt usurper from power is where some of us Myanmar activists look to Indonesia as a potential external actor.   

So far, Indonesia has not disappointed. For starters, Jakarta publicly  broke with the ASEAN customary behavior of only interacting with the ruling military and/or "political representatives" of the State in Myanmar since its admission into the bloc in 1997. During his state visit to Singapore, President Jokowi broke the news that his foreign policy team has been meeting with "all stakeholders" (including anti-coup ethnic revolutionary organizations, other ethnic armed organizations, the National Unity Government and the coup regime of Min Aung Hlaing).   

To be sure, Jakarta is still operating with the framework of the Five Point Consensus (5-PC for short), including the cessation of violence and the starting of "all inclusive dialogue" among "stakeholders" of Myanmar –  reached the Special Summit Jokowi hosted in Jakarta in April 2020, two months after the bloody coup in Myanmar. Significantly, Min Aung Hlaing was a key participant in that summit, not as Head of State of Myanmar, nonetheless as Commander-in-chief of the largest military force in the country.    

Two full years on, objectively speaking again, Min Aung Hlaing and his deputies have binned the 5-PC, whatever the rest of the ASEAN think of the virtues and potentials of it. If in doubt, one only has to take a cursory glance at the 24-months of incessant, excessive and unlawful use of violence against civilians by the Myanmar military under his command. After a long lull in global reportage about Myanmar's repression and resistance, long overshadowed by the U.S. proxy war in Ukraine, the military's precision airstrikes on April 11 targeting a large gathering of civilians, with 170 killed, including 40 children, has put Myanmar back in the media spotlight. 

To its credit, Indonesia officially issued a rather stinging response to the unacceptable use of airstrikes against civilians, in the form of Chair's Statement of "Strong Condemnation", which did not need ASEAN Consensus, but nonetheless reflects the widespread views throughout the ASEAN capitals. On his part, Min Aung Hlaing gave Jakarta a political equivalent of a fat finger by sending planes and gunship helicopters to strike civilian targets in Chin State, Karen State and Karenni State as recently as April 24. These bombing runs did not include a second airstrike at the same crime scene like in Pa Zi Gyi village on April 11. CNN framed the violence in its "killer always returns to the crime scene" television report.

At the forthcoming summit in Indonesia, the ASEAN heads of state and their teams are expected to review the implementation of their Myanmar template – the 5-PC. President Jokowi's Myanmar policy team headed by his Foreign Minister Marsudi, a career diplomat, has been holding consultation meetings with different "stakeholders." The Indonesians have amassed a wealth of raw intelligence, or "situation updates" about the violence, the civil war, the actors, the fighters, etc.They have for days listened to the concerns, the analyses, and the expectations of these Myanmar parties in conflict. It is worth sharing some of the common views and concerns which the Indonesians have been presented with. For it paints a general picture of what may be termed Myanmar's domestic consensus only on the basis of which a lasting solution for it can be found.

First, despite the typical framing of Myanmar resistance movements as simply "disunited," if not "in disarray," there has emerged a consensus that disparate groups and movements do share a unity of mission or purpose: every group and movement wants a federated democracy where basic human rights are guaranteed and protected, where the equality of ethnic groups is enshrined in the Constitution, and where the tyranny of ethnic majoritarian democracy such as the National League for Democracy (NLD) under Aung San Suu Kyi is prohibited by the electoral system.

Second, no civilian and political stakeholder will ever accept the 2008 Constitution which has in effect enshrined the eternal political role of Myanmar's military as if it were the sole guardian of the nation and the protector of the people. From this widely popular perspective, the 2008 Constitution with no sunset clause for the military to phase itself out of politics, cannot be revived under any circumstances. It goes without saying that the electoral legitimacy claimed through the elections held within this anti-democratic constitutional framework is no longer acceptable. This is a significant moral and intellectual challenge to the NLD old guards which are leading the Committee Representing People's Parliament (CRPH) and the National Unity Government (NUG). In addition to Aung San Suu Kyi, who at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) defended the military while discrediting Rohingya genocide rape victims. Many of them, these second and third line NLD leaders served as genocide cheerleaders, denialists, and supporters. This is something the Muslim-majority Indonesians have found extremely objectionable morally and spiritually. Certainly, the NUG will remain morally and intellectually damaged unless these old elements of criminality and racism are replaced by the younger more progressive representatives. 

Third, all the civilian and political actors that participated in Jakarta's extensive and intensive consultation process – over four months – agree that elections held without a political settlement or a blueprint for Myanmar as a federal democracy is not a solution or a step forward. Quite the contrary, the elections in the middle of intensifying and expanding civil war will only add more fuel to the violence conflict. This much, the leaked Ministry of Home Affairs intelligence chiefs' meeting minutes of December 2022 has been observed already. 

Fourth, all the pro-democracy participants share the view that the political settlement must involve the establishment of a transitional body which includes civil society actors such as women's organizations, political parties and ethnic armed organizations. This body will be tasked with both transitional governance and drafting a new People's Constitution on the basis of which a new election may be held.

Fifth, based on this Constitution of, for and by the People, the new electoral system will need to be designed to give multiple ethnic nations or electorates proportional representations – as opposed to the "Winner-Takes-All" electoral design which propelled the Bamar and Buddhist-centric NLD to power, with not a single Muslim MP in the parliament from 2015-20. This will in turn prevent the repeat of the emergence of the ethnic majoritarian democracy, or mono-ethnic control of the state and its organ, Myanmar's cardinal problem since its independence from Britain in 1948. 

Sixth, no "stakeholder" from amongst Myanmar participants objects to the idea of "all inclusive dialogue" which ASEAN proposed as a step towards a peaceful resolution of Myanmar's violent crisis. However, the killings, including air strikes, legal murders, artillery fire, scorch-earth security operations, torture and jailing of civilians and activists, by the coup regime must stop, unconditionally, before any meaningful dialogue is morally acceptable and intellectually justifiable.  

Finally, all Myanmar people, especially the ethnic nationalities communities, demand the establishment of a process for transitional justice – along different models be they South Africa's post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission or proper tribunal for those who the highest command responsibility for the numerous and grave crimes in international and national laws which Myanmar's military has perpetrated since it usurped the state's power in a coup in 1962. For more than half a century, the non-Bamar ethnic communities, including Rohingyas, have been subjected to variously genocidal and semi-genocidal abuses by Myanmar's military. For no oppressed society can move forward from the dark past unless perpetrators and victims come together and process the vast store of their collective trauma in their respective search for peace and reconciliation. 

Maung Zarni is the co-author of Essays on Myanmar's Genocide of Rohingyas (2012-18). He is a UK-based Burmese exile with over 30-years of first-hand involvement and scholarship in Burma affairs. 

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