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.


Monday 5 October 2015

Myanmar: Religious tensions grow as thousands of nationalist monks stage rally

Source Christiantoday, 4 Oct


Reuters : Hardline Buddhist monks and supporters celebrate the recent establishment of four controversial bills decried by rights groups as aimed at discriminating against the country's Muslim minority.

Thousands of Myanmar's nationalist monks and their supporters prayed, clapped and held speeches at a large rally in the country's biggest city on Sunday, in a show of growing clout of radical Buddhists ahead of a Nov. 8 election.

Religious tensions are running high in Myanmar ahead of the parliamentary poll billed as the country's first free and fair election in 25 years, largely stoked by the Ma Ba Tha, an organization led by the hardline monks who called the rally.


It was a climax of their campaign to celebrate their successful push to establish four so-called Protection of Race and Religion Laws seen as targeting women and the country's Muslim minority.

The monks have emerged as a powerful force in the run up to the poll, sharply criticizing Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition National League for Democracy for opposing the laws.

"Today is the victory. Ma Ba Tha tried for many years to enact the laws to protect the country, people, nationalism and religion," said Nyanissara, a senior monk at the organization.

Thousands of devotees in white t-shirts with the Ma Ba Tha logo, monks in burgundy and nuns in pink robes crowded in front of the stage at a sports hall in Myanmar's commercial capital of Yangon. Hundreds of buses and trucks lined the streets leading to the site.

One of the bills sets punishments for people who have more than one spouse or live with an unmarried partner other than the spouse. Others require Buddhist women to register their marriages in advance if marrying a man who is not Buddhist.


The laws are dangerous for the country, set out the potential for discrimination on religious grounds and create the environment for serious communal tension, New York-based Human Rights Watch said in August.

The government denies the laws are anti-Muslim.

"We realized that laws are needed to protect the religion and nationalism. The other three religions of the country already have laws that protect them," said Ashin Tilawkar Biwonsa, chairman of Ma Ba Tha, referring to Islam, Hinduism and Christianity.

An overwhelming majority of Myanmar citizens are Buddhist.

The Ma Ba Tha said it invited representatives of the United States and western countries to the rally, but their chairs remained empty throughout the ceremony.

Aung Thein Lin, a former minister who is running in elections for the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party attended the rally.

One of the most outspoken leaders of the group, Wirathu, on Sunday endorsed president Thein Sein, whose USDP is facing a stiff battle against the widely popular NLD.

Charles Bo asked not use ‘Rohingya’ in front of Pope

Source Mizzima, 1 Oct
Charles Bo was requested not to use the term 'Rohingya' during his visit to the Vatican for the 'Month of the Holy Rosary,' Photo by Mizzima

Charles Bo was requested not to use the term 'Rohingya' during his visit to the Vatican for the 'Month of the Holy Rosary,' Photo by Mizzima.dpuf-

Officials from the Ministry of Religious Affairs have approached Cardinal Charles Bo to request that he not use the word Rohingya in the presence of Pope Francis.

Myanmar's first Cardinal is flying to Rome on 1 October for the month of the Holy Rosary held in Vatican City.

"The Religious Minister wanted to meet me but so far I haven't met him, only a few members who recently came to meet me regarding the term of 'Rohingya' persons. They requested me not to use the term Rohingya in front of Pope Francis," Cardinal Charles Bo told Mizzima News.

"If the word Rohingya is used it means the people understand that they are citizens of Rahkine State, that is the interpretation they would not like. Just [to use] the [term] Bengali or the Muslim from Rahkine State,"

"So, the situation there is very crucial, I think we have to solve this problem before it becomes too prolonged, before there is more violence and also the worry of international terrorism and other things."

When asked if he would use the term in front of Pope Francis he said he would use "Rohingya to indicate [the issue]" but would address the people as Muslim's from Rahkine state because of the sensitivity of the subject.

He said he will refuse to use the term "Bengali" as some of those who identify as Rohingya, their families have been in the region for over a century.

Myanmar's government in the past has worked hard to prevent the use of the word, with government officials scolding UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon for using the word in December 2014 after usingit at the ASEAN summit held in Naypyitaw.

Read the whole interview in next week's Mizzima Weekly Magazine