Calling on Canada to help end Myanmar Genocide of Rohingya at Toronto City Council on 23 Nov 2017

Saying "Sorry!" to a Rohingya brother who survived Myanmar Genocide, Kutupalong Camp, Bangladesh, 7 Nov 2017.

Speaking on the Slow Burning Genocide of Rohingyas in Burma, with Professor Amartya Sen, Harvard University, Nov 2014

N. Ireland peace activist Mairead Maguire presenting Zarni with the Cultivation of Harmony Award on behalf of the Parliament of the World's Religions, Salt Lake City, USA 18 Oct 2015

Meeting with The Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt. Honourable Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, M.P., State Guest House, Dhaka, 4 Nov 2017

"National Traitor and Enemy of the State" for his opposition to Rohingya Genocide. Sun Rays, 16/9/17

Myanmar has reforms or reformers: only thuggish and smartish rulers


International Burma or Myanmar "experts", as well as political leaders of all stripes and colours, typically rave about Burma's "extraordinary reforms". They laud the reformers led by President and ex-General Thein Sein and Speaker of the Parliament ex-general Shwe Mann. Usually the binary 'hard-liners' and 'reformers or moderates' is often thrown around in policy and other Burma chats. 

But for those who live amongst these generals and ex-generals, none of them is trust-worthy, capable of building a multiethnic country or understands or cares that much about 'development'.

As far as these astute and grounded Burmese observers and civil society activists, there are only two types of military rulers: one type of generals and ex-generals wants to keep power and wealth in their hands permanently, but they want to be smart about it and the other type too shares the same goal of ruling and looting the country to eternity, but they are prepared to resort to crudest, crassest and most thuggish strategies. 

All power holders are drawn from Myanmar's Tatmadaw or Feudal Armed Forces, incidentally. 

Neither group nor their power based - the feudal army - has any potential to succeed as nation-builders, intellectually, developmentally, politically or culturally.

Myanmar‬ government legalize anti-Muslim genocidal racism and campaigns

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)

Patterns of Mass Killing

Patterns of Mass Killing

By Professor Bridget Conley-Zilkic

The Slow Burning Genocide of Myanmar's Rohingya (1978 - )

Zarni, speaking at London Conference on the Genocide of Myanmar's Rohingya

What is Genocide

Professor Daniel Feierstein speaking on the social practices and processes of a genocide as Dr Helen Jarvis, former chief of Public Affairs at the Cambodia Tribunal listens on, the London Conference on Myanmar's Genocide of Rohingya, 28 Apr 2014

What is Genocide 

Daniel Feierstein 

The term genocide was coined by the Polish jurist Raphael Lemkin, who wrote that “By genocide we mean the destruction of a nation or … ethnic group”. Lemkin went on to argue that “Genocide has two phases: one, the destruction of the national identity of the oppressed group, the other, the imposition of the national identity of the oppressor.” 

The distinctive feature of genocide, according to Lemkin, is that it aims to destroy a group rather than the individuals that make up the group. The ultimate purpose of genocide is to destroy the group’s identity and impose the identity of the oppressor on the survivors. This idea gives us a useful insight into the workings of power systems in the modern era. In particular, the nation state has tended to destroy the identities of ethnic and religious minorities within its boundaries and impose a new identity on them: the national identity of the oppressor.

Myanmar: "South East Asia faces renewed unity test as South China Sea tensions spike"

"Myanmar may be more independent than Cambodia.... But it is not independent enough for Naypyitaw to behave in any way that will displease, annoy, irritate or anger Beijing over the South China Sea issue."

Maung Zarni

A Philippine warship BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF 16) is pictured anchored in Ulugan Bay near a naval forces camp in Palawan province, southwest Philippines March 31, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Erik De Castro

By Paul Mooney
May 9, 2014

NAYPYITAW Myanmar -- A surge of tensions in the South China Sea threatens to widen divisions between Southeast Asian nations at a summit this weekend, posing a severe test for host Myanmar as the newly democratic country seeks to manage the region's growing alarm over China.

The routine annual meeting of Southeast Asian leaders has been given a jolt of urgency by a series of collisions this week between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels after China stationed a giant oil rig near the disputed Paracel islands, off Vietnam's coast. Both sides have blamed the other, and dozens of coastguard and patrol vessels are in the area.

Tensions also spiked in another part of the oil- and gas-rich South China Sea, with Beijing demanding that U.S. ally the Philippines release a Chinese fishing boat and its crew seized on Tuesday off Half Moon Shoal in the Spratly Islands.

In particular, the unprecedented move by China to plant its drilling rig in Vietnam-claimed waters and guard it with dozens of ships appears likely to dominate discussions at the summit, raising questions over Southeast Asia's efforts to agree common maritime rules in ongoing talks with Beijing.

Myanmar, whose chairmanship of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year marks a coming out on the international stage following the restoration of democracy in 2011, must walk a fine line between preserving ASEAN unity and not upsetting China, its biggest trade partner.

Differences within the group are already coming to the surface. Philippine diplomats told Reuters that some states were opposed to issuing a separate statement on the latest South China Sea or mentioning the tensions in the communique.

Vietnam has said it will insist on a discussion of the row. "This issue (China’s oil rig deployment) is dangerous, sensitive, and threatening peace, stability, security and maritime safety in the East Sea (South China Sea)," said Le Hai Binh, a foreign ministry spokesman in Hanoi. "Previous ASEAN summits always discuss the South China Sea issue, so Vietnam will definitely make sure this issue will be discussed at this summit."

Ian Storey, a security analyst at the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, said the summit in Myanmar's capital Naypyitaw would be "another test of ASEAN unity."

"There will be countries like Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia that will want to express serious concern at recent developments in the final communique," he said.

"Other members will be more wary, seeing the Paracels as a bilateral issue between Vietnam and China," he said.

Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Thailand make up the other members of ASEAN, with the first three seen as especially keen to maintain good relations with China.

Singapore issued a statement on May 7 expressing concerns about recent developments and repeating previous calls for ASEAN and China to work for an early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea - a set of rules governing naval actions.

Myanmar will host two broader regional summits later this year, culminating in the East Asia Summit in November that is attended by the U.S. president as well as the Chinese head of state.

It will be keen to avoid a repeat of a disastrous ASEAN summit in 2012 when host Cambodia, a close Chinese ally, attempted to keep the South China Sea row off the agenda, resulting in ASEAN's failure to issue a joint statement for the first time in 45 years.


China says territorial disputes should be discussed on a bilateral basis, but agreed at last year's summits in Brunei to join talks with ASEAN on framing a Code of Conduct that would govern maritime conduct, with the aim of reducing the likelihood of clashes in the South China Sea.

Beijing claims almost the entire sea, and rejects rival claims from Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. The last four are ASEAN members.

The United States, which has forged closer security ties with Vietnam in recent years, has declared a national interest in freedom of navigation through the sea and this week called China's deployment of the oil rig "provocative and unhelpful." China in turn has blamed the United States for stoking tensions.

"China will keep talking about the Code of Conduct, as a short term strategy in damage control," says Maung Zarni, a Burmese political academic who is a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics.

"But it will likely opt out of anything binding or anything that will restrict its ability to do what it feels to be its historical right - to exploit the South China Sea commercially, build its bases anywhere it deems essential, or disrupt other claimants' economic and military activities in the area."

During decades of isolation, Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, relied on China as its closest diplomatic and military ally. But since Myanmar began pursuing dramatic reforms, its relationship with China has cooled.

"I think Myanmar will withstand Chinese pressure more effectively than Cambodia," said Sean Turnell, associate professor in economics at Macquarie University in Sydney.

"There really is a deep-seated loathing of aspects of Chinese commercial activity in Myanmar, and a belief the previous regime had made some bad bargains on energy and other big ticket deals."

An official with Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who declined to be identified, said a repeat of the 2012 breakdown was unlikely as Myanmar had been weaning itself away from Chinese influence in recent years.

"It can be seen, although not very clear, that Myanmar has been trying to reduce the influence of China in its country, economically and politically," the official said.

Still, Maung Zarni said Myanmar would likely avoid antagonizing China by pushing for faster progress in concluding a code of conduct.

"Myanmar may be more independent than Cambodia," he said. "But it is not independent enough for Naypyitaw to behave in any way that will displease, annoy, irritate or anger Beijing over the South China Sea issue."

(Additional reporting by Martin Petty in Bangkok, Nguyen Phuong Linh in Hanoi, Greg Torode in Hong Kong, Aung Hla Tun in Yangon, Ben Blanchard in Beijing and Manuel Mogato in Manila; editing by Stuart Grudgings and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Original Link --

The juridisction of the International Criminal Court and the situation of Myanmar's Rohingya - Some Preliminary Remarks



Cambodia's Khmer Rouge Tribunal: one model for a combined national and international judicial mechanism

Cambodia's Khmer Rouge Tribunal: one model for a combined national and international judicial mechanism

Presentation by Dr Helen Jarvis, Former Chief of Public Affairs and of the Victims Support Section of the ECCC

The final quarter of the 20th century witnessed enormous changes in the international political landscape with the ending of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Alongside this political realignment, a new cloth of international humanitarian and criminal law and justice began to be woven – cloth whose warp and weft are still being changed, and whose colour is by no means permanently fixed.

One thread among many in this new cloth was the establishment of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in February 2006, following many years of failed attempts to achieve justice, geopolitical manoeuvring and tortuous and difficult international negotiations.[1]

Against this background of emerging possibilities for international justice and domestically amid the final stages of the disintegration of the Khmer Rouge in June 1997, the Cambodian government requested the United Nations to provide assistance in finally holding accountable the top Khmer Rouge leaders who had masterminded massive human rights violations some twenty years before.


Myanmar's Transition to a Twilight Zone - analysis presented in KL in 2010

Myanmar's Transition to a Twilight Zone - analysis presented in KL in 2010

Understanding Myanmar's Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis

(Photo: Reuters/Minzayar)
Understanding Humanitarian Crisis of Myanmar's Rohingya

Rohingya are in effect crying out for help in ending Myanmar's official genocide, that is, deliberate policies of making conditions of life so unbearable that they would prefer to be dead than alive in their ancestral region within Myanmar.

Hence, the cries of Rohingy must be seen as the cries for ending the genocide which was originally initiated, long maintained and since 2012 outsourced to Nazi-inspired Rakhine extremists, by Myanmar's military leaderships.

Even the professionally measured UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar Tomas Ojea Quintana has finally pronounced the word 'genocide' in specific reference to Myanmar's racist persecution and destruction of Rohingya.

Genocidal acts are being committed by Myanmar government and its local proxy, namely ultra-racist Rakhine who publicly draw inspiration from the Nazis of the past and contemporary Israel.

As UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar Tomas Ojea Quintana put it honestly and publicly at the London Conference on the Rohingya persecution on 28 Apr: "there are elements of a genocide (in the case of Myanmar's Rohingya)".

Let me be on the record:

Anyone, any organization, any government that refuses to call the Rohingya genocide by its proper name is adding insult to the injury.

Be reminded how the entire Western world refused to accept that Hitler was pursuing a policy of extermination of Jews in the 1930's.

In the early days of the Third Reich, the British, the Swiss, the Swedes, the Norwegians, the Finns, the French, the Americans, etc. were all busy trying to do business with Hitler. Wall Street's financiers were busy dining and wining with Nazi borrowers. General Electric had no qualm selling its equipment to the Nazi customers. Chamberlain was for appeasement with Hitler, while the Bank of England happily carried out transactions for the Nazi account holders. The Swedes had an early pact with Hitler and SAAB was supplying its powerful engines for fighter bombers in Hitler's Air Force. The now peace-exporting Norway and Finland were fully collaborative with the Nazis. The good ol' Swiss Banks busied themselves helping gold teeth from the gassed victims of Final Solution, or depositing Nazi loots of all types.

An Overview of Myanmar's Reforms

Do you know the latest delusion in the world of Myanmar analysts and the country's rather racist political class led by Aung San Suu Kyi and formerly jailed student activists?

That 2015 elections will be the most important process, potentially a tipping point, for those who wish to see change or who are working to bring about change in Myanmar.

Why do I say this?

Nothing that is fundamental in the nature of political power, control of power, the exercises in power, the institutional holder of power, or the plan and worldview of those in power has changed.

This whole post-2015 discourse is Made-in-Naypyidaw political cool-aid that is designed for those who think the military will ever allow any process that will curtail its domains of influence and control.

Who is the biggest stakeholder in the country's economy?

The military and its conglomerates.

Who is the Final Decider?

The military and those who control it.

What do they think about the masses/electorates?

Cannon fodders and worthless idiots who cannot be trusted to make decisions for the country.

What do they think of Buddhism?

Nothing but a convenient ideology that can be mobilized for strategic purposes.

What do they think of western-educated Burmese,as well as foreign technocrats? Stalin's idiots.

What do they think of Aung San Suu Kyi?

A useful cover whose vanity and illusions of grandeur needs to be carefully manipulated and whose presidential ambitions can be exploited - for the perpetuation of military's power.

What do they think of ethnic minorities?

Backward, dishonest tribal men (and women) who push for this anti-Union idea called 'Federalism" and who can never be treated as equals.

What do they think of Western governments and entities?

They bark human rights, reforms and democracy, but they don't mean it. They are in Myanmar for their own greed, interests and strategic calculations. The military's interests are best alligned with these 'civilizers' and 'liberalizers', and we the generals will get away with genocide and civil wars.

What do they think of 'donors'?

Fools with deep pockets. We will let them pay for public services, which will enable us to pocket billions of gas and resource revenues and allocate the lion's share of budget for the military.

What do Myanmar's 'reformist' generals and ex-generals think of democratization and transition theories?

Democracy? What's that?

A load of rubbish that may apply in other countries. But not in Myanmar, not in a million year. Only on our dead bodies.

Nirvanaless: Asian Buddhism’s growing fundamentalist streak

Maung Zarni, Burmese scholar and activist, Speaking at London Conference on the Genocide of Myanmar's Rohingya 

By Anuradha Sharma & Vishal Arora 
May 2, 2014

BANGKOK — To many Americans, Buddhism is about attaining enlightenment, maybe even nirvana, through such peaceful methods as meditation and yoga.

But in some parts of Asia, a more assertive, strident and militant Buddhism is emerging. In three countries where Buddhism is the majority faith, a form of religious nationalism has taken hold:

* In Sri Lanka, where about 70 percent of the population is Theravada Buddhist, a group of monks formed the Bodu Bala Sena or the Buddhist Power Force in 2012 to “protect” the country’s Buddhist culture. The force, nicknamed BBS, carried out at least 241 attacks against Muslims and 61 attacks against Christians in 2013, according to the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.

* In Myanmar, at least 300 Rohingya Muslims, whose ancestors were migrants from Bangladesh, have been killed and up to 300,000 displaced, according to Genocide Watch. Ashin Wirathu, a monk who describes himself as the Burmese “bin Laden,” is encouraging the violence by viewing the Rohingya presence as a Muslim “invasion.”

* And in Buddhist-majority Thailand, at least 5,000 people have died in Muslim-Buddhist violence in the country’s South. The country’s Knowing Buddha Foundation is not a violent group, but it advocates for a blashemy law to punish anyone who offends the faith. It wants Buddhism declared the state religion and portrays popular culture as a threat to believers.

Though fundamentalism is a term that has thus far been used mostly in relation to Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, some are beginning to use it to describe Buddhists as well.

Maung Zarni, an exiled Burmese who has written extensively on the ongoing violence in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, argues that there is no room for fundamentalism in Buddhism.

“No Buddhist can be nationalistic,” said Zarni, a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics. “There is no country for Buddhists. I mean, no such thing as ‘me,’ ‘my’ community, ‘my’ country, ‘my’ race or even ‘my’ faith.”

He views the demand for an anti-blasphemy law in Thailand also as a distortion of Buddhism, which doesn’t allow any “organization that polices or regulates the faithful’s behavior or inner thoughts.”

But Acharawadee Wongsakon, the Buddhist teacher who founded the Knowing Buddha Foundation, insists Buddhism needs legal protections and society must follow certain prescribed do’s and don’ts.

She and others see the new movements as providing “true knowledge on Buddhism.”

Thailand’s conflict between Muslim insurgents and local Buddhists, which reignited along the Malaysian border in 2004, is part of a long-standing feud pitting Buddhist monks and Muslim insurgents.

“For sure, Thailand has its own brand of ‘Buddhist’ racism towards non-Buddhists,” said Zarni. “But, I am not sure the Thai society will go the way of those two genocidal Theravada Buddhist societies (Sri Lanka and Myanmar) — where racism of genocidal nature has enveloped the mainstream ‘Buddhist’ society.”

Buddhist monk Phramaha Boonchuay Doojai, a senior lecturer at Chiang Mai Buddhist College in Thailand, said there are reasons why Theravada Buddhists see Islam as a threat. Among them, he cited the destruction of Nalanda University in India by Turkic military general Bakhtiyar Khilji in the early 13th century and attacks on Buddha statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, around the seventh century and more recently by the Taliban in 2001.

“Thousands of monks were burned alive and thousands beheaded as Khilji tried his best to uproot Buddhism,” he said.

Zarni agrees there are links “among what I really call anti-Dharma ‘Buddhist’ networks” in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand, which are “toxic, cancerous and deeply harmful to all humans anywhere.”

Wirathu was recently labeled on the cover of Time magazine as “The Face of Buddhist Terror.” The Myanmar government banned the edition. But Wirathu was quoted telling a reporter, “I am proud to be called a radical Buddhist.”

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