Saturday 31 May 2014

Ten Rohingyas Forced To Serve As Porters For Myanmar Military In Bangladesh-Myanmar Border Armed Conflict

Source RB, 30 May

Maungdaw, Arakan – Ten Rohingyas from Bandoola village in Northern Maungdaw Township in Arakan State has been forced to serve as porter for Myanmar military in Bangladesh-Myanmar border armed conflict. 

Today at about 7 am Myanmar military battalion 383 picked up ten Rohingyas from Bandoola village in Northern Maungdaw Township to serve for them as porters. The Rohingyas will be used as porters by Myanmar military in Bangladesh – Myanmar border where armed conflict has been taking place for the past few days. 

Although the Myanmar government has been propagating that the armed conflict is between a Rohingya armed group and Myanmar border guard police in reality the conflict is between Myanmar army and Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB), according to locals. 

The persons who were forced to serve as porters are:

(1) Sayedul Amin S/o Hassan Sharif (Age 28) 
(2) Shafiqul Rahman S/o Ashraf Ali (Age 52) 
(3) Hussein Ahmed S/o Mogul Ahmed (Age 48) 
(4) Hussein Johar S/o Mogul Ahmed (Age 45) 
(5) Shamshul Alam S/o Hussein Ahmed (Age 30) 
(6) Khalid Hussein S/o Sheikh Ahmed (Age 30) 
(7) Musa S/o Mamed Ali (Age 30) 
(8) Sayed Hussein S/o Sayed Akbar (Age 30) 
(9) Mamed Sharif S/o Mamedullah (Age 32) 
(10) Shafique S/o Noor Alam (Age 48)

It is serious human rights violation against Rohingyas and these innocent people will be used as porters in the frontline where the armed conflict is taking place. As of the late night they had not come back their homes and the families are worried about their lives.

Friday 30 May 2014

Myanmar refugee camps in poor condition after aid agency attacks

Source Channelnewsasia, 29 May
Foreign aid agencies said conditions in refugee camps in Myanmar's Rakhine state have gotten worse compared to two months ago, as the agencies are only functioning at half the capacity they used to.

File photo: A displaced woman cares for her baby at a camp on the outskirts of Sittwe in Rakhine state, western Myanmar.
( AFP/Soe Than Win)

YANGON: Foreign aid agencies said conditions in refugee camps in Myanmar's Rakhine state have gotten worse compared to two months ago, as the agencies are only functioning at half the capacity they used to.

This comes after they were attacked by locals who accused them of providing more assistance to the Bengalis or Rohingyas.

Many foreign aid workers fled, and with the security situation still uncertain, some have not returned.

Two months after locals attacked foreign aid agencies in Rakhine, their operations are still severely impaired.

Pierre Peron, spokesman for UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said: "The infrastructure logistics that was in place, was affected by what happened. So that takes a while to build up again.

"We also find that it's becoming increasingly expensive to work in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine and just in general because the landlords that rent properties to international organisations are increasing their price and that's simply because they themselves are getting threatened."

Such challenges mean that foreign aid agencies will not be able to respond quickly and effectively to any sudden health crises or natural disasters.

Those living in refugee camps are feeling the full impact.

Peron said: "The conditions, humanitarian conditions, for many people in Rakhine state were not good to begin with and it's even worse now.

"In some cases for example, they'd be given food and they would have to sell parts of the food every month to be able to buy things that they really, really need."

Foreign NGOs have identified over 300,000 people in need of help in Rakhine.

But with key medical aid agency Doctors without Borders still unable to operate there, the gaps are becoming increasingly difficult to plug.

Bertrand Bainvel from UNICEF said: "You have a lot of tensions, a lot of prejudice against the humanitarian development community especially in Sittwe.

"We have to enlist the support of the communities because at the end of the day, those suffering from these level of tensions, this level of restrictions that we face to the development, are actually the people. We saw the halving of nutrition surveillance activities among children living in camps."

The general sense of insecurity the aid agencies feel has also delayed some of their return.

Some of those living in the camps in Rakhine have no access to healthcare services.

International aid agencies said they do not sometimes have a clear picture exactly to what is going on, because they have no access to some of the camps.

Some of the aid agencies also told Channel NewsAsia that their local employees have quit for fear of their own safety. This is why many foreign NGOs are unable to say exactly when they will be fully functional again in Rakhine.

- CNA/xq

Monday 26 May 2014

8 Rohingya Families In Buthidaung Forced To Vacate Their Houses By Authorities

Source RB, 24 May
Buthidaung, Arakan – 8 Rohingya families living in the compound of the Buthidaung high school situated in Ward No. (1), Buthidaung Township of Arakan State were forced to vacate their houses by the local authority.

The 8 Rohingya families had been living in five houses in the compound of the Buthidaung high school for the past twenty years. Now they are forced to leave from their houses by Buthidaung Township administrator Than Shwe, according to a locals.

"The house of headmaster of the school is also inside the compound. There is a pond beside the house of headmaster. And the Rohingya houses are beside of the pond. 8 families are living in five houses for more than twenty years. They didn't have any problem in the past. Nobody disturbed them. But yesterday Buthidaung Township administrator Than Shwe told them to vacate the houses." a local told RB News.

"Township Administrator Than Shwe has been treating us like his enemies. As a township Administrator he has to deal us like his friends but he always rude on us. In the meetings he told us "you Kalars are nothing. I don't consider you Kalars as human beings". He has been insulting us racially and religiously many times. His works are based on racially." the local continued.

Now the eight families became homeless. They became like beggars on the road. As they were forced to leave their homes the relocation and housing should be arranged by the authority. Cruelly they are facing troubles for being homeless with no assistance.

"If the authority does not want them to live there they must arrange for the relocation and the houses. Now these families are like beggars on the road and are facing troubles. We request the concerned authorities to arrange houses for them." the local concluded.

Friday 23 May 2014

Myanmar Red Cross Society Team's treatment caused a Rohingya died, three lost consciousness

Source RB, 22 May
Myanmar Red Cross Society Team in Sittwe, Arakan (Photo: ICRC/Aye Zaw Myo)

Minbya, Arakan – One Rohingya died, three lost consciousness and three became abnormal after treatment of Myanmar Red Cross Society in San Tu Tan hamlet of Kyaite Taung village tract in Minbya Township of Arakan State. 

Today, May 22nd, at 10 am a group of doctors and nurses who work for Myanmar Red Cross Society arrived in San Tu Tan hamlet of Kyaite Taung village tract in Minbya Township to give treatments to local Rohingyas. A Rohingya died, three lost consciousness and three became abnormal after the treatment of doctors from Myanmar Red Cross Society.

"A group of doctors and nurses from Myanmar Red Cross Society came and said that they will provide the treatments. They provided some medicines and people took them there. Muktar Ahmed died once arrived back to his home. Three lost consciousness for some time and the condition of other three became worse than they had before. We tried to bring the Myanmar Red Cross team back to our village as they left but they didn't come back and see." a villager told RB News. 

A Rohingya who died is Muktar Ahmed S/o Alisan (Age 55). Zahayda D/o Halaya (Age 35) lost consciousness for 3 hours. And Marni Sar D/o Halaphutu (Age 35) and Arbulu S/o Abul Kasim (Age 50) also lost consciousness for almost one hour. 

The people who's condition worsened are: 

(1) Anowar S/o Zawmir Shah (Age 15) 
(2) Anowar Begum S/o Shafi Alam (Age 18) 
(3) Tayouba (Age 40)
- See more at:

Thursday 22 May 2014

Myanmar Border Guard Police Kill At Least 36 Rohingyas In Myanmar – Bangladesh Border

Source RB, 21 May

Maungdaw, Arakan – Although Myanmar government has claimed that there was a fight between an armed group and Myanmar Border Guard Police no evidence has been exposed yet. Now, Rohingya villagers and Bengali villagers who live nearby Myanmar – Bangladesh border claimed that at least 36 Rohingyas have been killed by Myanmar Border Guard Police since May 17, 2014.

On May 21 at 8 am No. (2) Border Guard Police Branch under No. (1) Border Guard Police supervision have killed six Rohingyas near mile post 45. Mile post 45 is located between Saleh Taung Myanmar Border Guard Police station and Asartuli BGB station of Bangladesh. The six Rohingyas were killed on the road nearby the toll gate. They were shot dead and threw roadside by Myanmar Border Guard Police. The corpses were there till Wednesday at 8 pm. 

The Bengali villagers from Bangladesh side told RB News that they heard the sound of gunfire at 10 pm on May 20 and at 2 am on May 21. They said the sounds came from mile post 38, 39 and 40. Similarly the Bengali villagers from Asartuli villager said they have also heard the firing sound from mile post 45 at 8 am on May 21. 

The Rohingyas in the border claimed that Myanmar Border Guard Police have been arresting and killing the passers-by. An eyewitness told RB News that villagers Rafique and Mubarak were among the people who got killed in the morning of May 21. 

On May 17 at 2 pm Myanmar Border Guard Police arrested 30 Rohingyas who are working at the construction of GE Regiment in mile post 53 and 54. The Rohingyas in the area said that they all were killed and 15 Rohingya villagers from Thet Kaing Nyar village are included in those victims. They said that they don't know where they were buried by the killers, the Myanmar Border Guard Police. Two Buddhists were included when Myanmar Border Guard Police arrested people from mile post 53 and 54 but they were released promptly. 

Many passers-by have been arrested since May 17, 2 pm according to local villagers. A source of Bangladesh BGB told RB News that Myanmar Border Guard Police threw two corpses to the Bangladesh side but the outpost officer of Bangladesh BGB found them promptly and returned them to Myanmar Border Guard Police. This was in the morning of May 21.

Two countries flag meeting was held at the mile post 50 on May 21. The superintendent of No. (1) Border Guard Police supervision, police Brigadier General Tin Ko Ko, Police regiment commanders from Myanmar side and Bangladesh BGB Commander Farid attended the meeting but the discussions detail is unavailable.

Myanmar government legalize anti-Muslim genocidal racism and campaigns

Source maungzarni, 21 May 

Myanmar‬ government legalize anti-Muslim genocidal racism and campaigns 


This week our current affairs program examines the following topics: 

1) the rapid growth and the rise in the social power of the Ma-Ba-Tha in Myanmar;
2) the question as to whether President Thein Sein and the state's sole governing body of the Buddhist Order - Sanga Maha Nayaka - are in effect recognizing the new league; and 
3) who really is supporting and backing this defense league.

This analysis is presented by U Sithu Aung Myint (STAM) with the assistance from Daw Ingyin Naing (DIN) (of the VOA Burmese).

U Sithu Aung Myint: On 12 and 13 May, the Sangha Maha Nayaka convened a general meeting of all Buddhist sects, which it had not held for 20 years. While the preparations for the meeting were underway one curious development took place: on 8 May, the patron abbots of the Sangha Maha Nayaka publicly received the leading and executive monks from the Race and Faith Defense League or RFDL and offered the latter words of advice and guidance. 

One reason this development is rather curious is this: under the rules and regulations or policies of the Sangha governing body, adopted 30 years ago, the Sangha Maha Nayaka is recognized as the sole official national Sangha organization. So, the fact that the governing body of the Buddhist Order reportedly met with the new RFDL really is noteworthy - and indeed curious. 

We begin by discussing the birth and rise of RFDL, its activities, who are the behind-the-scenes key players, and whether the rumors that there is considerable involvement (from the powers that be) in the RFDL. 

Daw Ingyin Naing: As all of us the Burmese know 2012 saw the birth and rise of the campaign to mobilize Buddhism under the banner of 969. Last year two major RFDL offices, central headquarters and the main branch (Upper Burma), were established in Rangoon and Mandalay. Subsequently, we also saw the formation of township level RFDL organizations. The main objective of the RFDL is to push for the emergence of a (National) Law in defense of Buddhist Race and Faith in Burma. Towards that end, these organizations held public forums and launched signature campaigns throughout the country. 

Rev. Wirathu of Mandalay's new Ma-soe-yein monastery, one of the most prominent monks from the RFDL, began to promote the political message coupling the need for the National Defese of Faith and Race Law and opposition against a Constitutional amendment of Article 59 (F), which bars Daw ASSK from running for president. His twofold message 'Support Race and Faith Defense Law, Oppose the amendment of Article 59 (F)' has caused widespread suspicions among the Burmese public as to whether the RFDL has a (hidden) political aim, who is supporting and backing the RFDL, its message and activities. However, the leading monks from the RFDL deny that their campaign is purely for the defense of race and faith and they have nothing to do with politics. 

U Sithu Aung Myint: Recently, the President of the RFDL, namely Rev. Ti-Law-Ka Bi-Wun-Tha from Insein Ywama, Rangoon, wrote to President Thein Sein urging the President to enact 4 new bills including the 'National Defense of Race and Faith'. The letter was sent to the President along with the signed petitions. All previous military governments as well as the present quasi-civilian government of ex-General and President Thein Sein had never recognized any Sangha or monk organizations other than the official Sangha Maha Nayaka organization. According to the policies and regulations of this Sangha governing body, the RFDL is not yet a lawful monks' organization. 

However, what is perplexing is President Thein Sein not only announced to the nation the receipt of the written request from RFDL for the enactment of 4 new laws including National Defense of Race and Faith but he has also referred the matter to Thura Shwe Mann, the Speaker of the Lower House (and Chairman of the ruling USDP Party). 

Even more perplexing is this: Speaker of the Parliament Shwe Mann opted NOT to have any parliamentary discussion as to whether the monks' request for the enactment of the 4 new laws re: race and faith defense merits any serious consideration or which of the four should be tabled and which should be rejected. Instead the Speaker decided to refer the matter back to the Executive Branch (of President Thein Sein) and asking the latter to draft all 4 bills as urged by the RFDL. In effect, what this all amounts to is in clear violation of the existing policies and regulations governing the affairs of the Buddhist Order, both President Thein Sein and Speaker Shwe Mann have not only effectively recognized (the legality of) the RFDL but these two senior most leaders of the country have reached an instant agreement to enact the 4 laws as urged by the Race and Faith Defense League. 

Daw Ingyin Naing: There is one more important move (by the government and its leaders). That is, the Minister for Religious Affairs ex-general Hsan Hsint had intervened to make the sole Sangha governing body to confer on the Race and Faith Defense League instant official recognition. Hsan Hsint had justified his intervention by stating that of the 3 utmost duties of the Sangha or Buddhist Order - namely, purity, maintenance and promulgation of the (Buddhist) faith - the Race and Face Defense League is carrying out the two duties - maintenance and promulgation, thereby officially making the RDFL a monks' organization independent of the Sangha's official governing body. This is the very first time such development - the creation of an independent and separate monks' organization - has taken place. 

U Sithu Aung Myint: Meanwhile, the two leading Ma-Ba-Tha monks from Mandalay Division, Rev. Eida Sakka Biwun and joint secretary Rev. Ya-tha, signed the official RFDL statement declaring over 100 Burmese civil society organizations to be 'national traitors'. The reason for this 'national traitors' designation is that these listed organizations have aired their public objection against President Thein Sein ordering the drafting of the National Defense of Race and Faith bill. 

Likewise, the Esteemed Rev. Badanda Pyinya Nanda and another Esteemed Rev, Dharma Pee Ya Lankaya, Saggaing RDFL's Chair-Monk and a member of the Executive Committee respectively, have signed the statement declaring many civil society organizations to be "lice from inside the flesh" (or a-thar htae ga lauk mya'). 

Furthermore, some of the RFDL monks from Shan State RFDL and Mandalay Division RFDL have began agitating against investment from Muslim countries and urging the public to boycott Oredoo Telecommunications - (one of two telecom giants which won the bid to build telecom infrastructure and services in Burma; the other is Norway's Telenor). 

Finally, Rev. Par-mauk-hka of the Ma-gwe Monastery who is with the Race and Faith Defense League (Central headquarters) is saying that he will be doing a petition drive to get the voting rights of Buddhist monks and sending petitions, to President Thein Sein to urge the latter to oblige the monks' request. 

Examining these developments, the direction of the Race and Faith Defense League, the nature of its activities have become more obvious. Additionally, the clouds of opaqueness as to who is backing and supporting this Race and Faith Defense League have gone: President Thein Sein, Speaker Shwe Mann and Minister of Religious Affairs Hsan Hsint themselves stand firmly behind the Ma-Ba-Tha. 

This is all from us this week.

Current Affairs/(Burma's) Domestic News Analysis
19 May 2014

(unofficial translation by Zarni)
- See more at:

Wednesday 21 May 2014

A Rohingya Lady Gang-Raped By Police Officer And Village Administration

Source RB, 20 May

Taung Pyo Let Wal, Arakan – A 25-year-old Rohingya lady was gang-raped by a police officer and two members of village administration in Leik Ya village track of Taung Pyo Let Wal sub-township in Arakan State.

On May 19th at 8:30 pm police Major Wai Linn Ko based in Leik Ya village tract and the Village Administrator, an aide of Village Administrator Maung Maung entered the house of a 25-year-old Rohingya lady located in the middle hamlet of Leik Ya village tract. The group of the authority reasoned that they wanted to check if there is any guests in the house. 

Once they got into the house they raped the lady. The group of three were intoxicated at that time. The lady was unable to escape from them. She was helpless being alone at home. 

Before the group left the house, they warned her that she will be shot dead if she informs anyone about the incident. And they also threatened that she will be arrested on the accusation that she is using an illegal mobile phone.

RB News has details of the victim we have left it out the report for the security and the dignity of the lady.

A fake arrangement for delegation in Sittwe/Akyab

Source TSR, 20 May

Akyab Arakan State, Burma: Vice President of Myanmar (Burma), Sr. Sai Mon Khant, Union General Maung Maung Ohn, Chief Minister of Arkan State Hla Maung Tin and other officers visited Débaing Clinic and The Chaung IDP camp in Sittwe (Akyab).  

Before the visitors reached Débaing Clinic, Rakhine authority smoothly arranged fake nurses, fake doctors and fake patients to show the visitors that the Government of Myanmar is given an equal treatments to all Rohingya without discrimination and show the delegations that there is no human right violation. Denying the term Rohingya and keeping Rohingya under Genocidal blockage is the worst human right violation on Earth. Myanmar Government has been committing crimes against humanity for a half dozen of decades.

State's vice commander of battalion 354 of Sittwe (Akyab), Htun Lin Aye, went to Badupa IDP at 7:00 PM and threatened all Rohingya. He browbeaten Rohingya, who were praying Namaz ''Do you know who I am'' Rohingya were silently listening to him. He said '' I am the person who killed 70 Kalars in Maungdaw in 2012. I am king of all Kalars, senior general Min Aung Hlaing appointed me here to give great lesson to you, and I will give you remarkable lesson for the generations of all Kalars/ Rohingyas." All the rubbish commands of this commander voice is recorded by a Rohingya.

In Maungdaw, Rakhine authority has been arresting, extorting money and torturing innocent Rohingya. As Hamid Husein, 46 years old was arrested and tortured yesterday. He is in the hospital with police escort now. The patient lost his consciousness after authority tortured him

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Myanmar’s Buddhist Bigots

Source nytimes, 19 May

Myanmar's Buddhist Bigots

Even some of the so-called New Atheists have fallen for Buddhism's allure. For most of its Western sympathizers, Buddhism is a deeply humanist outlook, less a religion than a philosophy, a way of life to create peace and harmony.

The Rohingya people of Myanmar take a very different view of Buddhism. The Rohingya are Muslims who live mostly in Rakhine, in western Myanmar, bordering Bangladesh. Early Muslim settlements there date from the seventh century. Today, in a nation that is 90 percent Buddhist, there are some eight million Muslims, of whom about one in six is Rohingya.

For the Myanmar government, however, the Rohingya simply do not exist. The government is conducting a national census; 135 ethnic categories are listed on the form. One ethnicity is conspicuously absent: the Rohingya, who the government insists must define themselves as "Bengalis" (that is, as foreigners). "If we ask a family about their ethnicity and they say Rohingya, we will not accept it," a presidential spokesman, Ye Htut, said recently.

The problems faced by the Rohingya are far graver than a refusal by the state to acknowledge their identity. Their very existence is under threat.

Since 2012, there has been a vicious series of pogroms against the Rohingya. Villages, schools and mosques have been attacked and burned by Buddhist mobs, often aided by security forces. Hundreds of Rohingya have been killed, and as many as 140,000 people — more than one in 10 of the Rohingya population— have been made homeless. A report last September from the independent Sentinel Project for Genocide Prevention suggested that "recent violence has moved beyond mere pogroms" and toward "the ethnic cleansing of entire regions."

The anti-Muslim campaign has been led by Buddhist monks, who say their actions are in keeping with the demands of their faith. The principal anti-Rohingya organization, the 969 movement, takes its name from the nine attributes of Buddha, the six qualities of his teachings and the nine attributes of the monks. Its leader, a monk named Wirathu, has reportedly called himself the "Burmese Bin Laden." Muslims, he told an interviewer, "breed quickly and they are very violent." Because "the Burmese people and the Buddhists are devoured every day," he argued, "the national religion needs to be protected."

The extremist monk has proposed a "national race protection law" under which a non-Buddhist man wishing to marry a Buddhist woman would have to convert to Buddhism and obtain permission from the state. The proposal has won support from Myanmar's president, Thein Sein, and may become law by the end of June.

How do we reconcile the perception of Buddhism as a philosophy of peace with this ugly reality of Buddhist-led pogroms in Myanmar?

Few would suggest that there is anything inherent in Buddhism that has led to the persecution. Instead, most would recognize that the anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar has its roots in the nation's political struggles.

The military junta that came to power in 1962 has frequently sought to build popular support by fomenting hatred against minority groups. It has stripped the Rohingya people of citizenship, and placed restrictions on their travel, education and land ownership. It has even imposed a "two-child policy" on Rohingya families, to limit their population.

Paradoxically, the recent successes of Myanmar's democracy movement have only worsened the problems of the Rohingya. In an effort to bolster its position, the government has sharpened its rhetoric of hate, while opponents of the regime have refused to support the Rohingya for fear of alienating the Buddhist majority.

The leader of the democracy movement, the Nobel Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has been shamefully silent, willing only to condemn violence in general. Members of her National League for Democracy are openly involved in extremist anti-Rohingya organizations. It is not that tenets of the Buddhist faith are responsible for the pogroms, but that those bent on confrontation have donned the garb of religion as a way of gaining a constituency and justifying their actions. What is true of Myanmar applies to many other conflicts involving religious groups — from Pakistan to Nigeria, from Indonesia to the Central African Republic. The spawning of such violence has led many to see religion itself, and Islam in particular, as the root of conflict.

Religion does, of course, play a role in these confrontations, but it would be wrong to see them as purely religious. When groups vying for political power exploit religion, its role is often to establish the chauvinist identities by which other groups are demonized and the actions of one's own are justified.

The anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar may make us doubt our preconceptions about Buddhism. It should certainly make us question the stance of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, generally seen in the West as a fearless warrior for liberty.

While many Western observers acknowledge the political roots of Myanmar's sectarian violence, it is notable that few are willing to be as nuanced about other conflicts involving Islam. Perhaps the plight of the Rohingya will prompt us also to think again about global confrontations where religion plays a role, and will push us to adopt a less black-and-white view.

Kenan Malik is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster, and the author of "From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and Its Aftermath."

Saturday 17 May 2014

A Rohingya Killed In Paik Thay, Minbya By An Unknown Group

Source RB, 16 May

Minbya, Arakan – A Rohingya from Paik Thay hamlet of Kin Seik village tract in Minbya was killed by an unknown group The dead body was found near a stream situated between Paik Thay and Tha Htay Gone hamlets. 

As the Rohingyas in Paik Thay hamlet are under restriction of movement, they are getting help from the Chin ethnic people live nearby hamlet named Tha Htay Gone for their livelihood. Ismail S/o Abdul Gafur (Age 55) left from his house in Paik Thay hamlet on May 15 at 5 pm to order things from Tha Htay Gone hamlet. As the two hamlets are only just two miles away from each other it normally take just a few hours to return home. He didn't come back home that night. The Rohingya villagers started searching for him the following morning. The villagers found his dead body at 12 in the afternoon near a stream situated between Paik Thay and Tha Htay Gone hamlets. They found Ismail's dead body with several wounds.

According to the wounds on dead body, Ismail was brutally tortured to death by a group, not by just one person. As usually Rakhine extremists are only killing Rohingyas, the villagers claim that Ismail was killed by some of those Rakhine extremists. 

The villagers informed the authorities once they found the dead body. The authorities brought the body to the hospital for post-mortem examination. After that the body was handed over to the family. The family and the villagers buried him in the evening.

Tuesday 13 May 2014


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Saturday 10 May 2014

Kuala Perlis UPP Detain 101 Myanmar Illegal Immigrants

Source Bernama, 9 May

KANGAR, May 9 (Bernama) 
-- One hundred and one illegal immigrants, who are believed to be Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, were detained by the Perlis Anti-Smuggling Unit (UPP) as they were landing at the Kurung Tengar beach in Kuala Perlis, near here early Friday morning.

UPP Perlis deputy commander (II), Rosli Issak said the 41 female and 60 male Rohingya refugees, were aged between one and 40 years old.

"They came in a boat and were in a weak condition due to cold and hunger and some of them were not wearing any clothes when they landed on the beach.

"We then provided them with clothings out of humanitarian consideration," he said at a media conference at his office in Kuala Perlis.

Rosli said the arrest was made following a tip-off from the public who saw a suspicious-looking boat approaching the beach at about 12.30 this morning.

Preliminary investigation revealed that all the illegal immigrants did not have valid documents to enter the country and they were believed to have come to look for protection and employment, he said.

He said the boat's skipper, however, managed to escape and an investigation was being carried out.

Meanwhile, one of the illegal immigrants, Hobi Ahmad, 40, said they had come to Malaysia to look for protection and work as life was very hard in their country of origin.


16 Month Old Rohingya Baby Died In Sittwe Hospital; Dead Body And Mother Missing

Source RB, 9 May

Sittwe, Arakan – A 16 month old Rohingya baby died in Sittwe general hospital. According to locals her mother who had accompanied her is missing.

16 month old Nur Aisha had been suffering with high fever for the past three months. She couldn't talk or open her eyes. Dr. Ba Khin, the in-charge of the clinic in Dar Paing refugee camp told the parents of the patient to admit her to Sittwe general hospital on May 8, 2014. Then Nur Aisha's mother, Shaizam (Age 28) admitted her there. 

Nur Aisha and her family live in West Basara (West San Pya) refugee camp in Sittwe. The Rohingyas in Basara refugee camp told RB News that they were informed by Dr. Ba Khin that Nur Aisha died in the hospital two hours after being admitted. Yet, the dead body of Nur Aisha and mother Shaizam has not been returned to the camp. They said the body and Shaizam should be returned by the police escort the following morning. They also do not know where to ask about the dead body and the missing mother.

However, some other Rohingyas in Sittwe said the phone line connection was unavailable for the whole day. So they were unable to contact the hospital. Another source said that today the diplomatic delegations arrived to Sittwe and they have visited Aung Mingalar quarter. All security forces were busy and it is possible that no one was ready to escort the ambulance. It is only possible to investigate more about missing dead body and mother on Saturday morning.

Boatpeople Escape Shelter North of Phuket: Trafficking in Thailand Continues

Source Phuketwan, 9 May

PHUKET: A group of nine Rohingya women and children fled by climbing down sheets from a bedroom within 48 hours of arriving at a family shelter north of Phuket last week.

The nine escapers were simply making their way along the ''human trafficking superhighway'' that runs through Thailand, according to US Congressman Chris Smith.

Stalled on the superhighway at present are more than 1000 Rohingya being held in Thai government family shelters or Immigration detention centres. Hundreds more are thought to still be in secret jungle camps in southern Thailand.

The nine escapers, who most likely fled into the arms of traffickers, were part of a group of 29 transferred from southern Thailand to the province of Phang Nga, north of Phuket, because of overcrowding. 

Escapes have been frequent and traffickers living in the surrounding community at Khao Lak, a popular holiday spot, often bid for customers.

Sources with connections in Bangladesh and northern Burma say the Rohingya boats are leaving Burma with increasing frequency now, despite the onset of the dangerous monsoon season. 

But what happens between the departure and the arrival of the boatpeople in southern Thailand remains a mystery.

Explanations are being sought by journalists, and by Thailand's Immigration Division 6 Commander, Police Major General Thatchai Pitaneelaboot. 

He has ceased deporting Rohingya back to Burma (Myanmar) because he realises that the majority who are trucked from southern Thailand to Ranong, on the Thai-Burma border, are quickly embraced by traffickers and shipped south again. 

Meanwhile, in the secret jungle camps where the Rohingya are hidden until they can raise the money to pay their way across the border to Malaysia, illness and death remain rife.

Phuketwan recently interviewed a young Rohingya who says he fled a jungle camp after burying 13 fellow inmates. 

The women and children who arrived at the shelter north of Phuket last week were all thin and in poor condition. They were taken to alocal hospital for health checks.

Boats are sometimes delayed waiting for passengers, so those who board in northern Burma can have spent more than three weeks in cramped holds before arriving in Thailand.

The conditions in the jungle camps are even worse, which accounts for increasing numbers of deaths.

Yesterday came reports that the detainees at one Immigration centre in southern Thailand had gone without eating for two days because the meals they were served were not halal. 

Lack of a transparent national policy to either halt the human trade through Thailand or to treat the boatpeople humanely leaves the Rohingya open to abuse and Thailand open to criticism.

Thursday 8 May 2014

An Innocent Rohingya Beaten To Death By Myanmar Military In Maungdaw

Source RB, 7 May

Maungdaw, Arakan – An innocent Rohingya man from Maungdaw Township of Arakan State was inhumanely beaten to death by Myanmar military based in Maungdaw Township.

Mohammed Einous S/o Mohammed Hashim (Age 30), from Myoma Kayin Tan village in Maungdaw Township was accused of possessing a pistol that authorities said he brought from Bangladesh. He was arrested by military led by deputy commander, Major Kyaw Zin Tun, of battalion (354) based in Maungdaw Township. He was arrested on May 4, 2014 at 11 pm from his home. He was brought to the high school situated in the same village and was brutally beaten by military men since the time he was in their custody. His head was broken and he was unable to move his hands and legs due to severe torturing by the military men.

As his condition became worse the military handed over him to Maungdaw police station on May 5, 2014 at 2 am. He was again tortured by the police in the lock-up until 5 PM in the evening. As the police noticed that his condition was approaching death they sent him back home by a rickshaw.

Mohammed Einous passed away on May 6, 2014 at 3 am at his house. He earned a living by working as a driver. The military didn't find any pistol at his house when they searched his home, yet they arrested him and tortured him to death. The military didn't inform village administration when they arrested him and arresting military alone is out of the rules and regulations.

The main person responsible for the death of Mohammed Einous is Major Kyaw Zin Tun. Major Kyaw Zin Tun didn't even apology Einous's family, although he knows that Einous had died. Even though the family of Einous and the villagers are extremely upset with the death of Einous they are unable to seek justice as the law in Myanmar does not protect the Rohingya people.
MYARF & Rohingya Eye contributed in reporting.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Is Rohingya Genocide In Burma Being Ignored ?

Source huffingpost,5 May

Last week the London School of Economics hosted a conference on the Rohingya, with academics, legal experts and human rights advocates from all over the world attending. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma also addressed the conference.


What might surprise some is the main subject which dominated the conference, whether genocide was about to happen, or whether it had already started. It is a sign of just how bad things have got since the latest waves of attacks began in 2012 that this is the issue now being discussed.

Legal experts, academics, and NGOs working in Burma identified key elements of genocide which are taking place there. These included denying Rohingya legal existence and right to nationality; access to medicine, food, and other basic necessities to sustain life; policies of extensive structures of discrimination, and allowing and facilitating hatred and popular violence against the Rohingya. Combined, these threaten to lead to the extermination of Rohingya as an ethnic group in Burma.

"The United Nations has taken 20 years to apologise for its failure to recognise and prevent the Rwandan genocide; the international community should not repeat the same mistake in Myanmar," Prudentienne Seward, a survivor of the genocide in Rwanda, told the conference.

Within Burma debate about the Rohingya is very different. Aung San Suu Kyi has dismissed without viewing it evidence complied by Human Rights Watch that ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya has taken place. The Rohingya are characterised as foreigners, and very few people are willing to support our human rights. You might have thought that even if many people in Burma are racist and want us out of the country, they would still be opposed to ethnic cleansing being committed against us, and would condemn our homes being burnt, women raped, and children killed. But there is no public outcry, no domestic pressure for human rights violations against us to end.

If violations against us are to end, it needs intervention from the international community, it won't come from within Burma. But with even the Special Rapporteur on Burma stating that the human rights violations against the Rohingya may be crimes against humanity, and still no response from the international community, it is questionable what will finally prompt action. This is why the discussions on genocide take on a special significance.

The situation for the Rohingya has been bad for decades, but it has got much worse sinceThein Sein became President. There are around a million Rohingya in Burma, and every one of them is living in fear for their lives.

As Rohingya we are used to suffering. I have friends who were jailed just for getting married without government permission. At least 500 Rohingya are in jail today for this reason.

We have long faced restrictions on movement, restrictions on access to healthcare, to education, extortion, beatings, people disappeared, arrest , arbitrary executions and occasionally, mass killings. The list of human rights violations and repressive laws and policies have been well documented. Life for us was already intolerable. Now it is even worse.

We are subject to a systematic campaign to force us out of Burma. It is a campaign that has support from the highest level of the government, the President himself. He has called for help from the UN to expel all Rohingya from Burma. Through his actions, and by inaction, he has supported and encouraged violence against us. And he strongly supports the laws and government policies which discriminate against us, and which the UN Special Rapporteur on Burma has said may constitute crimes against humanity.

The government of Burma uses six main methods against us:
• Laws which discriminate against us.
• Incitement and encouragement of hatred against us.
• To disenfranchise us from any political representation.
• To starve us by stopping economic activity and restricting humanitarian access.
• To use state violence against us.
• To encourage and allow non-state violence against us.

A new form of apartheid is being created to segregate us. To put us into camps or isolated villages where life will be so terrible people will be forced to leave the country.

All this is happening today in a country which the British government, the USA, and other countries describe as making great progress, where human rights are improving, and is making a transition to democracy.

Organisations such as Human Rights Watch and Fortify Rights have already documented human rights abuses which may constitute ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. The Special Rapporteur on Burma has also stated that there may be crimes against humanity against the Rohingya. No government has supported these statements, but they haven't publicly disagreed with them either. Privately the British government, the USA, the EU and others know what is being done to the Rohingya violates international law. But they have chosen not to act. They have even chosen to be silent about international law and the Rohingya.

If legal experts are now discussing whether genocide is happening, or in danger of happening, will this prompt the international community to act? Given that they have ignored ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, I am afraid this is a real possibility. I hope they will prove me wrong. I appeal to the world not to let another Rwanda repeat for Rohingya.

Tun Khin is President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK.

Sunday 4 May 2014

Death stalks Muslim minority group as Myanmar cuts off aid Read more here:

Source bellinghamherald, 3 May

SITTWE, MYANMAR — By the time the baby girl was brought to the makeshift pharmacy, her chest was heaving, her temperature soaring. The supply of oxygen that might have helped was now off limits, in a Doctors Without Borders clinic shut down by the government in February.


Zatul holds her newborn grandson as his mother, Arnuwar Bagun, recovers in the Dapaing Emergency Hospital in Sittwe, Myanmar, April 22, 2014. The Rohingya -- a Muslim minority persecuted by Myanmar's Buddhist-led government -- have been segregated into camps where conditions have quickly deteriorated since the government began to severely restrict outside humanitarian aid. ADAM DEAN — The New York Times

A hospital visit was out of the question; admission for Rohingya Muslims, a long-persecuted minority, always requires a lengthy approval process - time that the baby, named Parmin, did not have. In desperation, the pharmacy owner sent the family to the rarely staffed Dapaing clinic, the only government emergency health center for the tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims herded into displaced people's camps. Although it was just 4 p.m., the doors were shuttered.

"We became like crazy people, running everywhere," the child's grandmother, Mu Mu Lwin, said. With no good choices left, the family returned to the pharmacy, where Parmin died, untreated, three and a half hours later, cradled in her grandmother's arms.

The baby's death was part of a rapidly expanding death toll and humanitarian crisis among the Rohingya, a Muslim minority that Myanmar's Buddhist-led government has increasingly deprived of the most basic liberties and aid even as it trumpets its latest democratic reforms.

The crisis began with the government's expulsion of Doctors Without Borders, one of the world's premier humanitarian aid groups and the lifeline to health care for more than 1 million Rohingya increasingly denied those services by their own government. But the situation has grown more dire in recent weeks, as local Buddhist officials began severely restricting other humanitarian aid to the camps and the rest of Rakhine state, where tuberculosis, waterborne illnesses and malnutrition are endemic.

Some aid workers fear they are being kept away so there are fewer witnesses to rampant mistreatment and occasional bloodletting; the doctor's group was expelled from Rakhine state aftercaring for victims of a violent assault on a Rohingya village that the government denies ever happened.

The scope of the government crackdown is serious enough that it has inspired at least some rebukes from world leaders in 2012 after near silence even as Myanmar's government ignored violence by local Buddhists that left hundreds of Muslims dead and drove many others into the displaced people's camps. Loath to criticize the government as it moves the country away from a military dictatorship, international leaders also fear losing out in an international scramble for Myanmar's business, and allegiance.

The Obama administration - which has been eager to keep strategically positioned Myanmar away from China - weighed in when the president admonished Myanmar's leaders during his recent Asian tour, saying: "Myanmar won't succeed if the Muslim population is oppressed."

And Tomas Ojea Quintana, who was the U.N. representative responsible for human rights in Myanmar until March, says the government's obstruction of humanitarian aid "could amount to crimes against humanity."

Even those foreign aid workers who have been able to return to work in recent days, do so amid heightened security fears. State government officials recently allowed a radical Buddhist monk to preach for 10 days in the region, stirring up passions among Buddhists. After the visit by the monk, Ashin Wirahtu, radical Buddhists ransacked the facilities of more than a dozen aid agencies, including the Red Cross, forcing more than 300 foreign aid workers to evacuate.

Two battalions of riot police and a Myanmar army division remained in their barracks.

With most foreign aid workers gone, it is impossible to accurately assess the number of deaths caused by the absence of lifesaving medical services; the government fails to keep or sharehealth records. Aid workers, however, say they see the evidence of a building crisis.

"For sure the deaths are accelerating," said Dr. Liviu Vedrasco, head of the health care cluster for the World Health Organization in Myanmar.

One indicator of the seriousness of the situation: Doctors Without Borders had sent about 400 emergency cases every month to local hospitals. In March, fewer than 20 people got referrals required by the government, according to WHO.

Some of the only aid currently being provided is food rations from the World Food Program, which has been allowed to deliver rice and oil to the camps, a move some aid agencies say they believe is aimed at averting the bad publicity that could come with mass starvation. Even before the slashing of other aid, though, the World Health Organization reported that the food program was not sufficient to prevent malnutrition in the camps in Rakhine state or to stop the chronic acute malnutrition in northern areas of Rakhine state where many other Rohingya live.

At a temporary clinic set up by wealthy out-of-state Muslims after Doctors Without Borders was banned, Maung Maung Hla, a volunteer medical assistant, surveyed the women clustered on the floor in front of him, holding emaciated babies. The children, he said, needed more than the one-time ration of vitamins he was offering.

"These children are only being fed rice," he said. "If these conditions continue, all the babies will die."

The Rohingya, denied citizenship, have long been outcasts in Myanmar, formerly called Burma. Many in the Buddhist-majority country believe the Rohingya should go to Bangladesh, even though many are not from there, or come from families that have been in Myanmar for generations.

The camps outside Sittwe, where more than 100,000 of the 1.3 million Rohingya in Myanmar live, were set up after the 2012 burning of the Rohingya neighborhoods in the town, a dilapidated trading center on the Bay of Bengal. Aid workers say the camps, where tight security prevents people from leaving, even to work, have become little more than sprawling prisons.

Until Doctors Without Borders was chased out of the region, some of the few people who got to leave the camps were the desperately ill, bound for the town's hospital. Now, even few of the sick leave.

In response to the recent international criticism, the Myanmar government spokesman, Ye Htut, this week told a radio network that "there is no state-sanctioned discrimination against Muslims." He also said there was no "outbreak of disease" in the camps because Myanmar's Health Ministry had stepped in to provide health care, sanitation and water.

But Vedrasco of the World Health Organization noted that Myanmar was ranked second to last - just above Sierra Leone - in the organization's list of medical services, and could not fulfill its promises.

Five government mobile medical teams were sent to Sittwe at the end of March, but they were barely seen.

In the camps, the deaths often occur behind closed doors, in the cramped rooms of the bamboo rowhouses built by the United Nations. Other people die in the small mom-and-pop pharmacies where desperate families like Parmin's go as a last resort.

Some of the most desperate cases are women with complicated pregnancies. Prenatal care is scarce, resulting in high numbers of precarious births.

These days, most pregnant women are reluctant to go to Sittwe General Hospital until it is too late, put off by the elaborate series of permissions needed, and by fear. As violence has increased, many Rohingya believe they will never emerge from the 14-bed ward set aside for them that used to be the prison ward.

Zhara Katu, 20, was one of many too frightened to go to the hospital. In pain and pregnant with twins, she instead chose the government-run Dapaing clinic. A Burmese doctor determined the babies had died and recommended she go to the Sittwe hospital for an urgent operation.

She went home instead.

Two days later, she returned to the clinic but was so ill, she was transferred to the hospital. Her father, Abdullah Mi, a scrawny, weather-beaten man, was terrified. "I worry that the Rakhine will kill her there," he said.

His daughter survived the procedure to remove the babies, but died in the hospital a week later of maternal sepsis, a condition that Vedrasco said could have been alleviated with earlier care.

By the last week of April, some aid workers for international agencies were trickling back to the camps, but reported facing conditions far less than the "return to normalcy" declared by the national Ministry of Home Affairs.

A new emergency coordinating committee established to oversee foreign assistance was dominated by two Rakhine Buddhist community leaders who demanded approval rights over their aid operations, a memo from the aid workers to the United Nations said. The memo said the committee "is failing absolutely in its role to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Rakhine."

It also urged the United Nations to take a more aggressive stance with the government, saying "there is a sense among nongovernmental organizations that at times the U.N. advocacy could have been more robust."

Sometimes, wondrously, camp medicine works.

One of the busiest men in the camps is Chit San Win, who once worked as a medical assistant in Sittwe, and is now a popular amateur doctor racing from call to call on his motorcycle.

He arrived at one call recently to find 4-year-old Roshan Bebe, lying unconscious, her head gushing blood after a motorcycle knocked her over. He came equipped with a medical kit he totes in a shopping bag - bandages, a few ointments, needle and thread.

As he cleaned and stitched the gaping wound, Chit San Win said he was concerned about internal bleeding that could prove fatal, but the child's mother refused to try the government hospital.

A few days later the girl was sitting up, eating and talking, and Chit San Win declared "a miracle."

There was no such happy ending for Nur Husain, 27.

On a recent day, he traveled to the same pharmacy where Parmin died. He slumped in a chair in the withering heat, gasping for air and running a temperature of 104 degrees. Maung Maung Tin, one of the pharmacy owners, called a doctor 400 miles away, and on that advice injected Husain with four drugs.

Two hours later, the muscular young man was dead.

It was unclear precisely what killed him, according to a Western doctor who reviewed the four medicines, which are commonly prescribed for asthma. But almost certainly, proper monitoring and the oxygen ordinarily administered by Doctors Without Borders could have saved him, said the doctor, who declined to be named because he did not oversee the case.

Husain's boss at a rudimentary bakery called him a "dynamic" man, who held one of the few steady jobs in the camp, earning $2 a day as manager. His wife, Roshida Begum, says she has no idea how she will now feed her two small children, and a third who is on the way.

The family buried Husain in a sandy plot on the shore of the Bay of Bengal within sight of tall, slender coconut trees etched against the blue sky. His shallow grave site, fenced with fresh badmboo, was surrounded by rows and rows of other graves dug in recent months.