speaking out against Aung San Suu Kyi covering up Rohingya genocide, The Guildhall protest against "Freedom of the City Award", London, 8 May 2017

At the London School of Economic "Rule of Law Roundtable", 16 June 2012

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

Drafting the Oslo Communique calling for the end to Myanmar's Rohingya Genocide, Voksanaasen, Oslo, 27 May 2015

Giving the Annual Owen M. Kupferschmid Lecture at the Holocaust and Human Rights Project, Boston College Law School, 13 Apr 2015

The Responsibility of the Oppressed

Whatever happened to the segment of the educated Myanmar or Burmese of all ethnic and religious backgrounds? When do we take responsibility for the failures of a society of which we play shapers and makers of public opinions? 

Except in situation involving inmates in what the renowned American sociologist Ervin Goffman calls 'total institutions', that is, the military, mental 'asylums' and prisons, there is also room for resistance and its ultimate aim, namely liberation.

The fact that Myanmar public, particularly those members with intellectual, cultural, ideological and spiritual influence over the rest of the society, have failed to stand up for the most wretched of Myanmar or Burma, the Rohingya is irrefutable.

This is a categorical societal failure, which cannot be explained adequately, much less defended, by saying that the oppressive military leaderships have systematically undermined the people's ability to think and act progressively. 

Yes, since 1962, Myanmar has been ruled by the anti-intellectual and deeply racist military leaderships, with the support of the Establishment Intellectuals and Professionals (opinion makers and technocrats).

Yes, the military has made serious attempts at propaganda shaping the public opinion on matters of strategic importance, such as the public's attitude and perspectives towards individuals, groups and communities whom the generals deem "threats to national security".

But a society, however oppressed is, not a total institution, like the armed forces, "mental asylums" and prisons. 

In fact, Myanmar's elites have never been intellectually or culturally cut off from the outside world.

Yes, the first 25 or 26 years of the military rule under General Ne Win was effectively isolationist - 'neutralist' as Ne Win put it. That stance was supported by the United States Government that wanted Ne Win to not align itself with either China or USSR.

But following the 8.8.88 uprisings, the isolation of the Burmese society effectively crumbled. Estimated 10,000 Myanmar activists and "average" citizens fled the country into Myanmar's immediate neighbourhoods such as Thailand and India.

Out of these 10,000, hundreds reached Western liberal societies. Scores of them received tremendous educational opportunities to resume their disrupted university and professional education some in world's top universities and colleges.

Educational opportunities completely free from Myanmar's dictatorial regimes since 1962 mean or ought to mean the cultivation of critical intellectual (ability to think for oneself) and a more progressive mindset.

Besides these 8888-incubated or -resultant Myanmar dissidents abroad, there are estimated 4-5 million Burmese. Not all of them are engaged in modern day-slavery such as shrimp farming and rubber plantation, or domestic servitude such as working as maids across the first-tiered ASEAN economies such as Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. Some are employed in educational and professional sectors. 

Additionally, the number of Burmese who have received educational opportunities through the grant programs of the Open Society Institution (OSI) - renamed Open Society Foundations - and Aung San Suu Kyi's Prospect Burma are certainly in the thousands.

Then there are children of the military ruling class who have managed to evade visa ban lists to study and/or obtain foreign citizenships in English speaking liberal societies such as USA, Canada, UK, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, etc. 

And there is another segment of the Burmese public that have also been receiving 'capacity training' since the military began allowing back in Western NGOs engaged in so-called civil society over the last 25 years. From the NGO reports the number of Burma or Myanmar people who have received "capacity training" are in the hundreds of thousands - if not in the millions. 

And what of the Oxford-educated Aung San Suu Kyi, and her decades of life in liberal North Oxford? 

These combined educational and capacity building opportunities should mean something intellectually substantive and transformative in the recipients.

There is a point in the course of oppression, however systematic and ruthless, the oppressed must bear the responsibility for their own internal, spiritual, intellectual and personal failure to break their own silence, and to stand with the most wretched amongst them.

The Burmese military leaderships and the System - some of whom I knew and had even worked with when I was attempting to burst Aung San Suu Kyi's mis-guided isolationalist sanctions - they have put in place have never made me powerless or dejected.

But this massive societal failure to break this silence against mass atrocities against a community of humans, whatever their citizenship status or ethnic history within Myanmar is the most demoralizing to me. 

We have a case wherein both the oppressive regime in power and the oppressed public have crossed the line into committing a genocide against the most vulnerable, peaceful ethnic community. 

We as a society and a people (or peoples) cannot blame it on the oppressor - the Burmese generals and their collaborating technocrats, professional advisers and legitimizers. 

When do we bear the responsibility for our thunderous silence in the face of the country's de-humanizing treatment, attitude, policies and practices against the Rohingya?

As Zarganar said in his Guardian article - which I believed was drafted by the former British Ambassador Vicky Bowman - in 2012, how we treat the Rohingya is a 'litmus test' for the country and our people.

We are failing that test. Even the Germans in the Third Reich showed greater level of conscience and compassion for the main target of Nazism - the Jewish victims. 

The public in Burma or Myanmar - Buddhist, Christians, Muslims, "Taiyinthar", etc. most certainly lack cultivated conscience or actionable compassion - in spite of the opportunities for 'capacity building', educational credentials, other educational opportunities and liberal exposure.

This raises the question - which most outside scholars and experts on Burma or Myanmar would consciously avoid- namely, the character of a people or peoples.

Who are we as a people? Are we human enough? When do take responsibility for our own failures and stop blaming it all on the 'system', the oppressors, the oppression?

Justice for Rohingya Refugees



By Lauren Watson
May 25, 2016 

Myanmar can no longer ignore the persecution of Rohingya Muslims, but peace and accountability will only be achieved through multilateral pressure.

After the Holocaust, the world decried “never again,” yet reports of a persecuted religious minority group endure: the Rohingya Muslims’ loss of citizenship, forced displacement, and denial of basic human rights in Myanmar eerily parallel the notorious events that occurred in mid-twentieth century Germany. 

The National League for Democracy (NLD), an opposition party to the decades-long military rulers of Myanmar, won a landslide victory in the country’s first democratically held elections in November 2015. Yet the party’s leader, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has repeatedly evaded questions addressing the persecution of the Rohingya. The United States needs to rally the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to press the NLD to reform policies of systematic oppression and violence. 

There is a long history of Rohingya repression in Myanmar. The first national constitution drafted after Burma gained independence from Great Britain denied citizenship to non-indigenous ethnic minorities as early as 1947. In 1982, the passing of the Burma Citizenship Law denied Rohingya Muslims the right to citizenship, freedom of movement, and access to education or healthcare. In short, it wiped out any possible path to citizenship for the ethnic minority. Over 500,000 Rohingya are now displaced, half of whom are confined to ghettos and internment camps. Lacking identification documents, they are unable to legally seek refuge and obtain citizenship elsewhere. Neighboring nations have turned away those who attempted to flee to them or placed migrants in camps with similarly deplorable conditions and no opportunity to leave. 

Working with ASEAN and the United Nations, the United States needs a three-pronged approach to achieve and maintain a peaceful resolution of this situation: 

First and foremost, the ceasefire agreement of October 2015 must be revisited, and ongoing peace talks must be more inclusive. Participation of NLD officials, military leaders, and Rohingya representatives is key to addressing persecution of Muslim minorities, but recent attempts to bring warring sides to the table have failed to include all parties. Currently there are more than 135 ethnic groups in Myanmar, and not all of them will be given equal representation at the national-level negotiating table. Civilian participation in community peacebuilding efforts and track II negotiations would instead allow for every group to be represented in the peace process. Without such involvement, ceasefire violations will continue and human rights violations will follow. 

Second, the United Nations must press members of ASEAN, particularly nations with a Muslim majority (Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia), to establish a path to citizenship for stateless Rohingya refugees. Thai and Malaysian authorities claim to lack the financial means to take in the Rohingya. According to the Brookings Institution, however, Myanmar’s refugees can stimulate local economies in their host nations. Further, the Thai and Malaysian governments would receive assistance if they were to accept more refugees. Humanitarian aid would support in the efforts of integration and increased demand of food and shelter in areas with high migrant populations. 

Finally, military leaders who formulated, initiated, and carried out crimes against humanity in Myanmar must be held accountable. According to a study by the International State Crime Initiative at the Queen Mary University of London, “the Rohingya face the final steps of genocide.” The report includes interviews with perpetrators who were systematically encouraged to “participate in an attack on the Muslim population.” The UN Security Council and ASEAN need to take action to bring them before the International Criminal Court. While Myanmar is not a state party to the Rome Statute, it must be pressed to accept the jurisdiction of the ICC, or the Security Council will have to intervene. Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council may refer non-member states to the Court. 

Reconciliation is a long way off, but if certain measures are followed, a sustained resolution to Myanmar’s decades-long conflict will be feasible. For reconciliation to work in the future, multilateral cooperation is necessary. ASEAN is not capable of influencing significant change without the support of the United Nations, and the United Nations cannot achieve a resolution without regional participation. The involvement of Southeast Asian nations, particularly those with a majority Muslim population, is crucial as well. 

The international community needs to act with haste. Studies show that repression of religious freedom radicalizes oppressed religious communities and fuels the message of violent militants abroad. In fact, in 2015 the Pakistani Taliban publicly encouraged the Rohingya to fight back against their oppressors. This poses direct security concerns to the United States in counter-terrorism efforts. 

Some say the United States should use sanctions to press the NLD on human rights; however, that time has passed. Since the easing of U.S. sanctions in 2012, private investment has already led to significant economic growth and liberalization. A return to sanctions could fatally disrupt the democratic transition in Myanmar now underway. 

Supporters of the NLD argue that other domestic issues should take precedence over the violation of the Rohingyas’ rights. Yet a conflict that has triggered widespread displacement and violent protests cannot be ignored. Addressing the plight of the Rohingya Muslims would, in fact, directly affect domestic issues. Reducing unemployment of Internally Displaced Persons, for instance, could address the economic stagnation lingering after the rule of Myanmar’s military junta. 

Finally, it is evident that the United States needs to change its tactics given that half-measures taken by the international community to date have not worked. UN resolutions alone have not influenced Burmese leaders, sanctions have isolated a vulnerable state, and ASEAN meetings seeking to address issues of displacement have failed. Only determined U.S. leadership will catalyze the international community and bring meaningful change. 

The time has come for a united international front that provides the NLD with no other option than policy reform. Peace talks, a path to citizenship for all refugees, and prosecution of guilty perpetrators must begin in order for peace to be restored in Myanmar. The United States should encourage Aung San Suu Kyi, a brave new leader, to take the steps necessary to bring over thirty years of violence to rest. She should take responsibility for her country’s grim past and forge a new equitable future for all rightful citizens of Myanmar. 

Lauren Watson is a Research Assistant at the United States Institute of Peace and a graduate student at the Elliott School of International Affairs. 

Photo from flickr and is licensed under CC-BY-2.5.

Watch Research Conference on Burma's Rohingya Genocide at Oxford



Proceedings of the Oxford Conference on the Rohingya Conference Host's Welcome by Professor Barbara Harriss-White




ON BEING A ROHINGYA IN MYANMAR by Daw Khin Hla




Arakan or Rakhine in Myanmar since the 14th Century: From Inclusion to Polarisation and Exclusion by Professor Michael W Charney, SOAS





Matthew Smith on Myanmar's International Crimes in Rakhine State





"Why the world must listen to the Rohingya", keynote address by Gayatri C. Spivak







Q and A between Gayatri Spivak and Tomas Ojea Quintana



The Slow Genocide of the Rohingya by Amartya Sen





Only the world can end the Rohingya genocide by Dr Azeem Ibrahim






Myanmar's Genocide of the Rohingya: Research Findings by Penny Green & Thomas MacManus




What have happened to the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh (since 1978)?

Professor Shapan Adnan, Associate, Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme, Oxford University & Former Associate Professor, National University of Singapore (NUS) & Professor, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh





Myanmar’s Denial of Public Health Services to the Rohingya by Dr Ambia Perveen






Q & A on Myanmar Rohingya Genocide with Prof. Penny Green, Dr Thomas MacManus and Maung Zarni




Why do Myanmar Buddhists kill? by Maung Zarni





Perspective from ASEAN Region and Malaysia by Azril Mohd Amin




Indonesia's Perspective on the Rohingya Genocide by Adnan Armas 






Oxford Rohingya Conference Closing Panel - introduced by Mark Farmaner

   


Professors Penny Green & Daniel Feierstein in dialogue with Tomas Ojea Quintana 






Q & A on the Public Health Situation of the Rohingya in Myanmar


"Public Health Situation of the Rohingya: Findings from a Harvard Study" by Dr S. Saad Mahmood, MD, Lecturer, Harvard University




What needs to be done to end Myanmar's Rohingya genocide by Ro Tun Khin




This Is Not the Time to Ease Up on Burma



By
Matthew Smith, Tom Andrews
Foreign Policy
May 20, 2016

Southeast Asia’s newest democracy has made a lot of progress, but some sanctions should stay.

This week the Obama administration maintained some sanctions against Burma while lifting others, reflecting Washington’s internal conflict about how to effectively promote reforms in the country — by the carrot or by the stick.

“The flickers of progress that we have seen must not be extinguished — they must be strengthened.” President Obama delivered these words to a rapt audience at the University of Yangon in Burma in 2012. At the time, this Southeast Asian nation seemed to be emerging from more than 50 years of iron-fisted military rule.

The “flickers of progress” Obama noted in 2012 are brighter flashes today. But they’re not so bright — at least not yet — as to merit the full embrace of the United States.

Last month, the long-oppressed National League for Democracy (NLD) came to power after handily defeating the military’s ruling party in a historic November election. On her second day in office, NLD party leader and Nobel Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi freed more than 200 political prisoners, followed by 83 others less than two weeks later. Laws long used to imprison human rights activists, journalists, and dissidents may soon be repealed. Poets, bloggers, and activists now hold political office, wielding power once enjoyed only by members of the armed forces.

U.S. business leaders were quick to seize on this progress and pressed President Obama to lift all remaining sanctions on the country, which would have enabled U.S. firms to do business with Burma’s military — a military that is responsible for grave human rights violations and still controls a significant portion of the national economy. Obama didn’t go quite that far.

The United States’ sanctions regime dates back to 1988, when Burma’s ruling dictatorship crushed nationwide pro-democracy protests, killing and imprisoning thousands. Severe human rights abuses continued, prompting a complex patchwork of executive orders and legislation, spanning five U.S. administrations, that prohibited trade, investment, and extension of financial services to the regime. Arms sales were out of the question. Aid was cut. Dialogue was nonexistent.

Not much changed in U.S. policy until 2009, when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the U.S. would combine sanctions with engagement — introducing carrots to go along with the sticks.

This made for a convenient fit with the Burmese military’s own efforts to wiggle out from underneath China, which has enjoyed outsized political and economic influence in the country due to the absence of Western competition. Dependence on China worried the generals.

When former Army Gen. Thein Sein became president of a quasi-civilian government in 2011, he made it his business to get sanctions lifted. He eased media censorship and freed some political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi. A year later, by-elections brought her to parliament — startling progress, considering that just two years prior she had been under house arrest.

Naturally, this was music to American ears. The U.S. responded by lifting the investment ban, easing restrictions on financial services, and reestablishing aid after a 23-year hiatus. Select Burmese officials were granted travel visas and readied themselves for White House visits.

This week, the Obama administration went further, lifting sanctions against ten state-owned banks and companies to promote trade and investment. But it maintained a jade import ban and the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list — a “blacklist” preventing human rights abusers from doing business with the United States. Arms sales and investments with military-owned firms are still prohibited, and U.S. companies are required to report on investments exceeding $500,000.

In light of the new political landscape in Burma, why not lift all remaining sanctions as business lobbyists wanted?

The answer is simple. In Burma, all is not what it seems.

The same military that ruled the country for decades hasn’t really gone anywhere. It appoints 25 percent of parliamentary seats, providing it with the power to block changes to the constitution. Its control of three key ministries — Defense, Home Affairs, and Border Affairs – spreads its influence to every corner of the country.

Moreover, the army, state security forces, and other authorities continue to commit egregious human rights violations with impunity.

In Rakhine State, two waves of horrific arson attacks on ethnic Rohingya and other Muslims destroyed villages in 13 of 17 townships in 2012, prompting a regional refugee and human trafficking crisis.

The authorities still confine more than 140,000 displaced Muslims, mostly Rohingya, to at least 40 internment camps, where they’re deprived of adequate food, shelter, and health care. At least a million other Rohingya are refused citizenship and confined to ill-equipped, prison-like villages. On top of this, the government imposes marriage and childbirth restrictions against Muslims in Rakhine State.

These abuses have rightly been described as “ethnic cleansing,” apartheid, and genocide, and they show no signs of letting up.

In northern Shan and Kachin states — which boast jade mines worth tens of billions of dollars annually — deadly armed conflict with non-state ethnic armies continues. We’ve documented how soldiers have killed, raped,tortured, and indiscriminately attacked ethnic civilians since 2011. To our knowledge, no one has been held accountable.

The war has displaced more than 100,000 men, women, and children and — as in Rakhine State — the authorities continue to impose needless restrictions on U.N. agencies and aid groups.

For these reasons, it’s not enough that President Obama simply maintained existing sanctions on Burma. His administration should make use of the SDN list and target those responsible for atrocities and ongoing abuses, particularly with regard to the festering situations in Rakhine, Kachin, and Shan states. The individuals responsible for these abuses shouldn’t benefit from improved bilateral relations with the U.S.

Moreover, when Secretary of State John Kerry visits Burma on May 22, he should set crystal-clear targets for normalizing relations with the government.

For starters, Burma should support the establishment of a U.N.-mandated independent commission to look into the human rights situation facing Muslims and Buddhists in Rakhine State. Such a commission would help establish the facts — which are hotly contested in the country — and would make detailed recommendations for the new government to deal with the very difficult realities there.

The authorities should immediately lift restrictions on movement against Muslims and facilitate the right to return for all of the displaced in Rakhine State — Muslims and Buddhists alike.

They should also ensure Rohingya and other Muslims have equal access to full citizenship, and take a firm stand on the right of the Rohingya to self-identify as Rohingya. Suu Kyi has effectively denied them this basic token of dignity, going so far as to ask the U.S. embassy to avoid using the term. Secretary Kerry should not cave to that demand. He should speak directly about ongoing abuses against the Rohingya, and the government of Burma should do the same.

If the Burmese military wants to avoid U.S. sanctions, it should cease attacks and abuses against ethnic civilians, hold perpetrators accountable, and ensure unfettered humanitarian access to the displaced. The military should also work with parliament to amend the constitution and gracefully bow out of the political process.

Lastly, the NLD should ensure that all remaining political prisoners are released and that Burma’s laws are consistent with international human rights standards. A draft law on peaceful assembly already looks to be a misstep that would impose unnecessary restrictions on the rights to peaceful assembly and expression and bring criminal liability and jail time for violations, making it incompatible with human rights law.

This is a critical time for Burma, and the signals the U.S. sends are watched closely. Now, more than ever, those signals need to be clear.

In the photo, a demonstrator demanding labor rights looks out from a police van after being arrested in Tetkone township on May 18.

Photo credit: AUNG HTET/AFP/Getty Images

Does Nobel Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi Want To Push Her Country’s Muslims Into the Sea?

A Rohingya woman grieves after a fire gutted her family’s shelter in Bawdupa camp near Sittwe, Myanmar’s Rakhine state capital on May 3, 2016. A major fire on May 3 damaged or destroyed the homes of nearly 450 Rohingya Muslim families living in a camp for people displaced by 2012 communal fighting in western Myanmar. Some 140,000 people, mainly Rohingya, have been trapped in the grim displacement camps since they were driven from their homes by waves of violence between Buddhists and minority Muslims four years ago.(Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

By Jon Emont
Tablet Mag
May 17, 2016

The plight of an oppressed people in Myanmar


It was late November—two weeks after the elections—and Nura Din needed to escape the They Key Pyin Internally Displaced Persons Camp. The monsoon season was over—there had been no heavy rain for weeks—and the Bay of Bengal was becoming calm again. The smuggling networks were already rumored to be kicking back into gear: Soon small fishing boats would take members of the escaping Rohingya—a Muslim community in Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma—out along the Kalaman River, where they’d connect with bigger boats in the bay. Anywhere was better than here. “Wherever the boat lands,” he said, was good enough.

His parents agreed that he had to get out. Nura Din is only 13 years old, but he has four younger siblings and the international aid agencies, which are under strain dealing with refugee crises around the globe, are cutting back their food allotments to Rohingya refugees. He had heard about Myanmar’s recent national election, from which the Rohingya had been excluded, but he didn’t know anything about it. “I don’t want to live here anymore,” he said. Recently the Burmese government authorities have entered camps and punished Rohingya who speak with journalists. He was hungry in class, he said. He was hungry now, chatting with a journalist.

In May 2015, the Rohingya refugee crisis grabbed international headlines when tens of thousands of Rohingya fled discrimination in Myanmar on the dangerous smuggler-supervised boat journey to Thailand and Malaysia. Hundreds of Rohingya drowned in the “fleeing season” when their frail vessels collapsed; mass graves of hundreds of trafficked people, many believed to be Rohingya, were found in the forests of Thailand. The human traffickers who work with desperate Rohingya will crowd them into prison camps in the Thai jungle and elsewhere, and, in order to solicit more money, will call their parents and torture them so that their parents can hear their screams of pain over the phone.

Nura Din, like the other Rohingya I spoke with who plan on fleeing, is aware of all of this but is ready to roll the dice. He remembers how he used to go off to school in the morning and that he had the chance to study well, supplementing his public education with private classes. Here he is too hungry and distracted to study, and the school is crowded and poorly equipped. He wants to grow up to become an activist for the community but he worries he’ll become nothing if he stays here. That—and that there isn’t enough food for his family—is why he has to get in a boat.

He is confident he has a strategy if any smugglers try to herd him into a prison camp. Every time the smugglers try to imprison Rohingya he says, “there are some people who are clever and can escape the traffickers.” So his strategy is simple. “I would follow the clever ones,” he says.

***

On Nov. 8, 2015, Myanmar’s military-controlled government conducted a relatively free and fair election for the first time since the military seized power in 1962. Myanmar’s voters rejected the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in favor of the National League of Democracy (NLD), Myanmar’s democratic opposition, led by Nobel Prize Laureate and democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi. In her first speech after the vote she enjoined her red-clad supporters, holding aloft banners of a peacock chasing a star, the emblem of the NLD, to remain humble after her party’s astounding triumph. “This victory should be for the whole country not a particular party or individual,” she announced.

A fundamental question for the Rohingya is whether her vision of “the whole country” includes the Rohingya, who were systematically excluded from voting this election. (They had been able to vote in Myanmar’s previous sham elections.) In the run-up to the vote, Suu Kyi’s NLD purged its candidate roster of all Muslim candidates, including non-Rohingya Muslim Burmese who were legally allowed to participate, in what was widely interpreted as an attempt to neutralize hardline Buddhist and nationalist critics of her party.

Suu Kyi did nothing to dispel the idea that she cared about winning elections more than she did about defending a pluralistic vision of Myanmar. At a press conference held a few days before the vote, she encouraged journalists not to “exaggerate” the plight of the Rohingya and declined to outline concrete steps she would take to improve their situation if her party came to power. Nonetheless some Rohingya leaders and NGO activists are hopeful that a government led by Suu Kyi, who maintains credibility as a democracy activist and who has never used the vile rhetoric toward Muslims often used by other Burmese politicians, will take steps to improve the Rohingya’s status now that her party has begun formally governing in April.

Abu Tahay, a Rohingya former parliamentarian who was barred from contesting this election due to his ethnicity, criticized Suu Kyi and other Burmese politicians for refusing to defend the Rohingya. “Leaders have not taken the obligation to protect the minority from the influence of the majority,” he said. Nonetheless, he was hopeful that a new, nonmilitary government would offer opportunities to improve the Rohingya’s situation.

U Kyaw Hla Aung, a Rohingya lawyer and prominent dissident who has spent years in and out of prison for defending Rohingya rights and currently lives in a humble house in Thet Key Pyin camp, said the situation facing the Rohingya “is a kind of ethnic cleansing,” language that is also used by prominent international NGOs like Human Rights Watch. Although he was not optimistic that an NLD government would improve the Rohingya situation, he thought it represented their best hope. “We have to work for this with the NLD. But it is difficult. We can’t travel to Yangon or to anywhere.”

In March of 2015, eight months before the election, the National Holocaust Museum dispatched a research team to Myanmar. The reason for the trip was simple. “We have an early warning project where we list the warning signs that genocide and other atrocities will occur,” said Andrea Gittleman, program manager for the Simon-Skojt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the National Holocaust Museum. “Myanmar and the Rohingya were at the top of the list.” After meeting with Myanmar’s political leaders, visiting the IDP camps, and speaking with a range of actors, it became clear to Gittleman and the team that the warning signs of genocide were present.

***

There are about 1.1 million Rohingya living in Myanmar, which makes them roughly 2 percent of the country’s population. Myanmar is ethnically heterogeneous but overwhelmingly Buddhist, and the Muslim Rohingya, descendants of traders who have lived in Rakhine state, on the border with Bangladesh, for centuries, are labeled as Bengalis by the state, regardless of how many generations their families have resided in Myanmar. State discrimination against the Rohingya was enshrined in the Burmese citizenship law of 1982, which did not recognize Rohingya as an indigenous race to Myanmar, rendering the majority of Rohingya stateless.

After 2011 when the Burmese military government began implementing a partial transition to civilian rule, state persecution of the Rohingya took on a new ferocity. Rakhine is the second-poorest state in Myanmar, and communal tensions between the Rohingya and the Rakhine people, a local Buddhist ethnicity who give the state its name, are exacerbated by intense competition for jobs and resources. In 2012, the country’s military seized on clashes between the two groups to crack down against the Rohingya. The national government sought to gain popularity among local Rakhine Buddhists, as well as nationally, by presenting itself as a defender against what it portrayed as a Bengali Muslim mass infiltration. In public speeches Myanmar’s President Thein Sein denied that the Rohingya had citizenship rights in Myanmar and asked the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights to take full responsibility for them. He said, “We will take care of our own ethnic nationalities, but Rohingya who came to Burma illegally are not of our nationalities and we cannot accept them here.”

In an attempt to “secure” Buddhist Rakhine, the military forced 138,000 Rohingya from their homes in 2012 and put them in camps near the sea of Bengal. The camps are dirt-poor and desolate, with dusty unpaved roads leading to small wooden shacks huddled against one other, offering dank humid air and shade from the burning sun. Muhammad Hassan, an imam at They Key Pyin camp, wore a long black beard and grimaced with pain as he stood up to greet me. He experiences pain in his testicles from a disease that my translator did not know how to translate, but which Hassan says requires surgery that cannot be accessed in the camps. One of his eyes stares permanently to the left. “It’s difficult to be an imam in this situation,” he said. “The community is not able to support the imam and the imam is not able to manage things for the community.” Hassan says he has his hands full managing fights within the camp, which are largely caused because of disputes over food and because debts are never repaid.

Young people often come to Hassan for counseling before setting off on dangerous sea journeys to escape the camps. He doesn’t to deter them. I ask him if there’s any reason to be hopeful. “No, nothing. No future,” he said, shaking his head. He rejected the idea that Suu Kyi cared about the Rohingya. “She never talks about the Rohingya,” Hassan said.

The U.N. Refugee Agency estimates that around 50,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since January 2014. Hundreds more are estimated to have died from preventable disease and illness, and dozens of Rohingya have been killed by the police and local vigilantes. Small numbers of internally displaced Rohingya—25,000 in 2015—are now being resettled by the national government in areas of Rakhine state that, due to the poor quality of its farmland, is not considered likely to create tension.

On the eve of the 2015 elections, the Burmese national government reversed its longstanding policy of allowing Rohingya holders of white cards, a form of state-identification short of citizenship, to vote. “Now they are denying everything,” about Rohingya’s connection to Myanmar, U Kyaw Hla Aung, the Rohingya lawyer, said of the Burmese government.

Two days before the election, I hiked up to the fourth floor of a decrepit building in central Yangon to meet with Abu Tahay, a leading Rohingya politician who was elected to parliament on the Union Nationals Development Party, a Rohingya political party, in a 2010 national election. This election he had registered to run again, but his application was denied because he is Rohingya. He recounted a Kafkaesque process where the local government office in charge of evaluating candidates refused to accept that his parents were citizens of Myanmar at the time of his birth, even though his documents stated clearly that they were. “There is no because,” Tahay said. “I am not a criminal, I am not a madman, and I am a full citizen of the country. And I also [already] ran for election under the same law, under the ’82 citizenship law.”

According to Maung Zarni, a prominent Burmese dissident academic based in Britain, a primary reason the military regime decided to scapegoat the Rohingya during the transition from military rule is that the military felt it would benefit politically by invoking a Muslim threat. The military, Maung Zarni said, “cannot win the public on the grounds of human rights and democracy as well as the NLD and Suu Kyi. That discourse is completely closed off for them, so they have introduced a much more powerful emotive ideology: racial fear of a religious other.”

Government efforts have been amplified by civil society groups like the Patriotic Association of Myanmar, known as the Ma Ba Tha, a nationalist, monk-led organization that argues that Burma’s Buddhist tradition is under threat from the country’s Muslim minority. Ashin Wirathu, the firebrand monk who leads the organization, denigrates Muslims in speeches as “snakes” and “dogs,” and has suggested that when Buddhists shop in Rohingya stores, “That money will be used to get a Buddhist-Burmese woman and she will very soon be coerced or even forced to convert to Islam.” He has actively criticized Suu Kyi’s NLD for being sympathetic to the Rohingya; his organization functions in loose alliance with the USDP, the party of the military. In August 2015 Myanmar’s President Thein Sein signed into law four laws concerning race and religion drafted by lawyers affiliated with the Ma Ba Tha, the most notorious of which limits Muslims—and Muslims alone—to two babies per family.

***

It was once accepted that Suu Kyi, Nobel Laureate and darling of the human rights community, was simply unwilling to speak out on behalf of the Rohingya because doing so would make it easier for her political opponents to attack her. But given the scale of her party’s victory, and her continued unwillingness to defend Rohingya, observers and critics are looking at previous statements she has made on violence in Rakhine state, and wondering whether she herself shares in conventional Buddhist-Bamar prejudices against Rohingya Muslims.

In a 2013 interview with the BBC, Suu Kyi categorically denied that ethnic cleansing was taking place in Rohingya and attempted to explain the fear that many Burmese Buddhists brought against Muslims. “There is a perception that Muslim power, that global Muslim power, is very great. And certainly that is the perception in many parts of the world and in our country too.” She did not reject this as a flawed perspective or specifically condemn hate speech that Wirathu, the Ma Ba Tha leader directed toward Muslims, when the interviewer gave her the opportunity. Matthew Smith, the Executive Director of Fortify Rights, an organization that works to secure political and civil rights for the Rohingya said, “Her silence could either be explained by political rationale or discrimination. Neither bodes well in my view.” Like others, Smith nonetheless expressed hopefulness that Myanmar’s new government “to at least work to end ongoing abuses.”

A major source of opposition to any attempt by the new national government to improve the humanitarian situation of the Rohingya will likely come locally, from an empowered Rakhine political opposition. With the Rohingya disenfranchised this election, Rakhine Buddhists had the election in the state to themselves, where they largely passed over the two major national parties to give a plurality to their local ethnic Arakan National Party (ANP), which rejects the idea that Rohingya are native to Rakhine province, or have any right to live there. (Arakan and Rakhine are different spellings of the same region and ethnicity.) Though the Rakhine people have full citizenship rights in Myanmar, they live in extraordinary poverty, often working state-owned farmland as sharecroppers for miserable wages. They see themselves as being oppressed by Myanmar’s ethnic Bamar majority. Like the Rohingya they migrate from Myanmar at very high rates, though unlike the Rohingya they can travel unrestricted throughout Myanmar and are thus able to migrate overland and avoid dangerous sea journeys.

ANP politicians and voters I spoke with viewed the Rohingya as collaborators in the centuries-long attempt to erase their people’s proud history. Chai Mo, an English teacher and member of the ANP who lives in Mrauk-U, the last capital of the Arakan people, which is now a poor village filled with hundreds-year-old temples, said, “In Rakhine we have had four dynasties, and Mrauk-U was the last dynasty. In that time it was flourishing, but now we have left only this,” he said, gesturing at the poverty surrounding him. “Now our fifth dynasty is under the heel of the Burmese.”

In Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State, U U Shwe Maung, a central committee member of the Arakan National Party, who shares a name with, but is not related to, a prominent Rohingya former-parliamentarian, said of the Rohingya, “In the end their goal is to Muslimize this land.”

Activists believe that Suu Kyi’s best opportunity for improving the status of Rohingya will come in the next few months, when her party’s mandate is strongest and NLD lawmakers are still years away from having to worry about re-election. Yet as Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch observes, “every indication has been that she is not that interested in this stuff and she has other fish to fry and she is going to fry those other fish first.” Andrea Gittleman, of the Simon-Skojt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the National Holocaust Museum, was also not optimistic that Suu Kyi’s NLD was going to restore Rohingya civil and political rights. Indeed, in May Suu Kyi formally requested the U.S. government cease referring to Rohingya as Rohingya, but refer to them as Bengali—foreigners—instead. Whether the Rohingya begin fleeing and dying at sea again will be an early sign of what kind of democracy Myanman’s Nobel Laureate has in mind for her country.

***
Jon Emont is a journalist based in Southeast Asia. His writing appears in Tablet, The New York Times, New Yorker, Slate, New Republic, and other publications. His Twitter feed is @jonathanemont.

Offensive ‘boat people’ cartoon slammed by Rohingya activist as ‘dangerous’

A cartoon by The Irrawaddy depicting a dark-skinned individual labelled 'boat people' cutting a queue of Burmese people. Image via Twitter
May 12, 2016

A CARTOON published by Burmese magazine The Irrawaddy has been slammed by critics as “disgusting”, “xenophobic” and “dangerous”.

The offending cartoon features a dark-skinned individual with a sign saying “BOAT PEOPLE” hanging on his back cutting in front of a queue of Burmese ethnic minority groups.

Many believe the individual climbing into the queue purportedly depicts an undocumented Rohingya Muslim. The minority Muslim group is a subject of contention in Burma (Myanmar), with many accusing the government of systematically persecuting them.

Rohingya activist Wai Wai Nu has reportedly weighed in on the conversation, calling the cartoon “dangerous” and “insulting”.

According to Coconuts Yangon, Nu said in an interview today: “It’s like boat people are coming into the place of the ethnic people. It’s a bad image and the depiction is wrong. Because boat people are just going out of the country, they are not coming in. It’s insulting and dangerous because it is giving the wrong message to people.”




She called for the government to regulate cartoons which “discriminate against Muslims” in order to avoid conflicts.

Nu also called into question The Irrawaddy’s editorial judgement in publishing the cartoon, a sentiment echoed by several critics on Twitter.

Some say The Irrawaddy’s cartoon, which is strikingly similar to some published by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, accurately portrays how many Burmese locals feel about the Rohingya.

Charlie Hebdo – whose Paris office was attacked in 2015 by Islamist gunmen, killing 12 people – has published cartoons in the past that have been labelled “Islamophobic” in nature.

Among them is a cartoon depicting dead Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi as a woman-groping adult, with the caption: “What would little Aylan have grown up to be? A groper in Germany.”

The cartoon was a response to a series sexual attacks conducted against women on New Year’s Eve last year in Cologne, Germany.

The cartoonist who created the image for The Irrawaddy, Maung Maung Fountain, declined to comment on the issue.

All posts of the cartoon appear to have been removed from The Irrawaddy’s social media and website.

Watch Here Webcast Live: 11 May Conference in Oxford: Myanmar's Democratic Transition and Rohingya Persecution


Myanmar's Democratic Transition and the Rohingya Persecution 



South Asia Research Cluster, University of Oxford


8:30 am - 4:30 pm, 11th May 2016



2:00 pm - 10 pm (Myanmar Time)


Click this link:



ေအာ့စ္ဖုိ႔ တကၠသုိလ္၊ ၀ုဖ္ဆင္ ေကာလိပ္တြင္ ေမလ (၁၁) ရက္၌ က်င္းပမည့္ ကြန္ဖရင့္ အစီအစဥ္မ်ား



ျမန္မာ့ ဒီမုိကေရစီ ကူးေျပာင္းမႈ: "လူမ်ဳိးေရးဖိႏွိပ္ခံ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာမ်ား အတြက္ ဘယ္လုိ အဓိပၸါယ္ သက္ေရာက္သလဲ"


ေအာက္စဖုိ႔ တကၠသုိလ္၊ ဝုဖ္ဆင္ ေကာလိပ္၊ ေတာင္အာရွ သုေတသနအဖြဲ႕မွ စီစဥ္က်င္းပသည္။

မည္သူမဆုိ တက္ေရာက္ ႏုိင္ေသာ တစ္ရက္တာ သုေတသန ကြန္ဖရင့္၊ ေအာက္စဖုိ႔ဒ္ တကၠသုိလ္။

ကြန္ဖရင့္က႑ အမ်ားစုကုိ အင္တာနက္ေပၚတြင္

http://live.oxfordvideostreaming.co.uk/myanmarspersecutedrohingya.html  တုိက္ရုိက္ ထုတ္လႊင့္မည္။

ေန႔စြဲ ။……..။ ေမလ ၁၁ ရက္၊ ၂၀၁၆ ( နံနက္ ၈း၃၀ - ညေန ၄း၃၀)

ေနရာ ။……။ Leonard Auditorium, Wolfson College, Linton Road, Oxford, O2 6UD
https://www.wolfson.ox.ac.uk/
ေအာက္စဖုိ႔ တကၠသုိလ္၊ ဝုဖ္ဆင္ ေကာလိပ္၊ ေတာင္အာရွ သုေတသနအဖြဲ႕မွ စီစဥ္ က်င္းပသည္။

ကြန္ဖရင့္ နံနက္ ၈နာရီ ၃၀ မိနစ္တြင္ စမည္။

တက္ေရာက္မည့္သူမ်ား ႀကဳိတင္ အေၾကာင္းၾကားရန္ လုိအပ္ပါသည္။

အေၾကာင္းၾကားရန္ အတြက္ ေဒါက္တာ ေမာင္ဇာနည္ ကုိ အီးေမးလ္ fanon2005@gmail.com သုိ႔ ဆက္သြယ္ႏုိင္သည္။

ရည္ရြယ္ခ်က္မ်ား -

အျပည္ျပည္ဆုိင္ရာ ဥပေဒ၊ သမုိင္း၊ အမ်ားျပည္သူ က်န္းမာေရး၊ လူမႈေရး၊ ႏုိင္ငံေရးႏွင့္ ႏုိင္ငံေရး နယ္ပယ္မ်ားမွ သုေတသန သမားမ်ားႏွင့္ ကၽြမ္းက်င္သူမ်ား၊ အလားတူ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးကုိ ကာကြယ္ၾကသူမ်ား အားလုံးကုိ အတူတကြ စုေဝးေပးရန္။

၁။ လူမ်ဳိးတစ္စုကုိ အျမစ္ျဖတ္ ေခ်မႈန္းမႈ သတ္ျဖတ္မႈ အေၾကာင္း (genocide)၊ လူမ်ဳိးေရး ဘာသာေရး အရ ရန္ျပဳ ႏွိပ္ကြပ္ျခင္း (Persecution), ဒီမုိကေရစီ စနစ္ကုိ ေဖာ္ေဆာင္ျခင္း (Democratisation) စသည့္ အေခၚအေဝၚ မ်ား၏ အနက္ အဓိပၸါယ္မ်ား၊ ယင္းတုိ႔အၾကား သီအုိရီအရ ဆက္ႏြယ္ပုံႏွင့္ သမုိင္းေၾကာင္းအရ ဆက္ႏြယ္ပုံ တုိ႔ကုိ အႏုလုံ ပဋိလုံ စစ္ေဆးရန္ႏွင့္ အျပန္အလွန္ ျငင္းခုန္ ေဆြးေႏြးၾကရန္။

၂။ အျပည္ျပည္ဆုိင္ရာ လူမ်ဳိးတုန္း သတ္ျဖတ္မႈႏွင့္ ဥပေဒေရးရာ ပညာရွင္မ်ားက သာမကဘဲ ကမၻာ့ထင္ရွားသူမ်ားျဖစ္သည့္ ေဂ်ာ့ဂ်္ဆုိးရုိ႕စ္၊ ဒက္စမြန္တူးတူး၊ မုိင္းရိဒ္ မက္ဂြဲ၊ အမၼာတီယာ ဆင္၊ ဂ်ိဳဒီ ေဝလီယံ၊ ရွီရွင္ အက္ေဘဒီ၊ အေဒါ့လ္ဖုိလ္ ပီရက္ အက္ကီဗယ္၊ ေလးမား ဘုိဝွီး ႏွင့္ တာဝေကာ ကာမန္ {George Soros, Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire, Amartya Sen, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, and Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman} စသူတို႔ကပါ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာမ်ား အေပၚ ျမန္မာျပည္၏ တေျမ႕ေျမ႕ ညွဥ္းသတ္ေသာ လူမ်ဳိးတုန္း သတ္ျဖတ္မႈအျဖစ္ အသိအမွတ္ျပဳ ထားသည့္ အေၾကာင္းအရာေပၚတြင္ တကၠသုိလ္၏ အေရးပါေသာ မီးေမာင္းထုိးျပမႈႏွင့္ လြတ္လပ္ေသာ သုေတသန တုိ႔ကုိ ဆက္လက္ လုပ္ေဆာင္သြား ႏုိင္ရန္။

၃။ နယူးေယာ့ခ္တုိင္းမ္ က ၂၁ ရာစု နာဇီ အက်ဥ္းစခန္းႀကီးမ်ားဟု အမည္ေပးခံရသည့္ ႀကီးမားက်ယ္ေျပာသည့္ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာ အက်ဥ္းေထာင္မ်ား (ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာၿမိဳ႕ရြာ မ်ားဟု အဓိပၸါယ္ရ) ႏွင့္ ျပည္တြင္း ေရႊ႕ေျပာင္း ဒုကၡသည္စခန္း မ်ားတြင္ ေနထုိင္ရေသာ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာ လူမ်ဳိး တစ္သန္းေက်ာ္ ေနထုိင္ေနရေသာ ဆုိးရြားသည့္ ဘဝအေျခအေန မ်ားအေပၚ မၾကာမီက ျပဳလုပ္ခဲ့သည့္ သုေတသနအေပၚ အာရုံစုိက္လာမိ ၾကေစရန္။

၄။ ဆယ္စုႏွစ္ေပါင္း မ်ားစြာ ၾကာေအာင္ ျပည္ေထာင္စု အစုိးရက ဦးေဆာင္ က်ဴးလြန္ခဲ့သည့္ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာ လူနည္းစုအေပၚ ႏွိပ္ကြပ္မႈကုိ အဆုံးသတ္ေရးသည္ ပထမ ဦးစားေပးျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ အစုိးရ သိသာ ထင္ရွားေစေအာင္ သက္ေသ အေထာက္အထား မ်ားကုိ တင္ျပရန္။

၅။ စစ္မွန္ေသာ ဒီမုိကေရစီ စနစ္ ထူေထာင္ရာတြင္ အႀကီးမားဆုံး အတားအဆီးႀကီး ျဖစ္သည့္ "လူမ်ဳိးစုကုိယ္ပုိင္ အမွတ္အသားေၾကာင့္ ႀကီးမားေသာ လူ႔အဖြဲ႔အစည္း တစ္ခုကုိ ဆက္လက္ ဖ်က္ဆီးေနျခင္း" ကုိ ဖယ္ရွားႏုိင္ရန္ အတြက္ ျမန္မာဒီမုိကရက္ မ်ားကုိ စြမ္းေဆာင္ရည္ ေပးႏုိင္မည့္ အေရးပါ၊ အျပဳသေဘာေဆာင္ေသာ အႀကံဉာဏ္ မ်ားကုိ ဝုိင္းဝန္း စဥ္းစား အေျဖရွာေပးၾကရန္။

ကြန္ဖရင့္ အစီအစဥ္

ကြန္ဖရင့္ လက္ခံက်င္းပသူ၏ ႀကဳိဆုိျခင္း (နံနက္ ၈.၃၀ နာရီ - ၈.၃၅ နာရီ)

ပါေမာကၡ Barbara Harriss – White (ပူးတြဲ စီစဥ္သူ၊ SARC, ဝုဖ္ဆင္ေကာလိပ္)

အဖြင့္အမွာစကား (နံနက္ ၈.၃၅ နာရီ - ၈ ၄၀ နာရီ)

ေဒါက္တာ ေမာင္ဇာနည္ (သုေတသန ဆရာ၊ The Sleuk Rith Institute, Cambodia ႏွင့္ "ဗမာ စစ္ဗုိလ္ခ်ဳပ္ႀကီးမ်ား ဘာေၾကာင့္ ျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲ သနည္း၊ သုိ႔မဟုတ္ ေျပာင္းလဲ တာေရာ ဟုတ္ပါ႔မလား" အမည္ရ စာအုပ္ကုိ ေရးသား ေနသူ, Forthcoming, Yale University Press)

ပထမ နံနက္ပုိင္း အစီအစဥ္ (နံနက္ ၈:၄၀ နာရီ - ၉:၂၅ နာရီ ။ ေဟာေျပာသူ တစ္ဦးလွ်င္ ဆယ္မိနစ္။ အေမးအေျဖ အတြက္ ၁၅ မိနစ္)

"သမုိင္း ႏွင့္ လူမ်ိဳး အမွတ္အသား ဆုိင္ရာ ႏုိင္ငံေရး"

သဘာပတိ: ပါေမာကၡ Barbara Harrell-Bond (တည္ေထာင္သူ၊ ဒုကၡသည္ေရးရာ ေလ့လာေရး ဗဟုိဌာန၊ ေအာက္စဖုိ႔ဒ္ တကၠသုိလ္ ႏွင့္ ဒါရုိက္တာ၊ ဖာဟာမူ ဒုကၡသည္ အစီအစဥ္၊ ေအာက္စဖုိ႔ဒ္။)

ေဒၚခင္လွ (ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာ ဒုကၡသည္ႏွင့္ အလယ္တန္းေက်ာင္းဆရာမေဟာင္း၊ ရခုိင္ျပည္နယ္)
"ျမန္မာျပည္ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာဘဝအေၾကာင္း"

ပါေမာကၡ Michael W. Charney (ပါေမာကၡ၊ အာရွ ႏွင့္ စစ္တပ္ သမုိင္း၊ သမုိင္းဌာန၊ အေရွ႕တုိင္းနွင့္ အာဖရိက ေလ့လာေရးွ (SOAS)၊ လန္ဒန္တကၠသုိလ္)
"၁၄ ရာစုမွ စတင္ခဲ့ေသာ ရခုိင္ျပည္နယ္အတြင္း ႏုိင္ငံႏွင့္ လူမႈအဖြဲ႔အစည္း : ပါဝင္မႈမွာသည္ အစြန္းေပၚျခင္း ႏွင့္ ပထုတ္ခံရမႈ"

ေမာင္ဘုိဘုိ (ျမန္မာ Ph.D. ေက်ာင္းသား၊ သမုိင္းဌာန၊ SOAS)
"ဗမာျပည္ အစုိးရ တရားဝင္ မွတ္တမ္းမွတ္ရာမ်ား အေပၚ အေျခခံေသာ ရခုိင္ျပည္တြင္း ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာလူမ်ဳိးစု အမွတ္အသားႏွင့္ တည္ရွိမႈ"

ဒုတိယ နံနက္ပုိင္း အစီအစဥ္ (နံနက္ ၉ : ၃၀ နာရီ - ၁၀ : ၁၅ နာရီ။ ေဟာေျပာသူ တစ္ဦးလွ်င္ ၁၀ မိနစ္စီ ႏွင့္ အေမးအေျဖ ၁၅ မိနစ္)

အမ်ားျပည္သူ က်န္းမာေရး၊ ေခါင္းပုံျဖတ္ခံရမႈ ႏွင့္ လူကုန္ကူးျခင္း


သဘာပတိ - ပါေမာကၡ Shapan Adnan (တြဲဖက္၊ ေခတ္ျပိဳင္ ေတာင္အာရွ ေလ့လာေရး အစီအစဥ္၊ ေအာက္စဖုိ႔ဒ္တကၠသုိလ္ (ႏွင့္) တြဲဖက္ ပါေမာကၡေဟာင္း၊ စကၤာပူ တကၠသုိလ္ လူမႈေဗဒ ဘာသာရပ္ႏွင့္ ပါေမာကၡ၊ စစ္တေကာင္း တကၠသုိလ္၊ ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္။)

Dr. S. Saad Mahmood, (MD၊ ကထိက၊ ဟားဗတ္တကၠသိုလ္ ေဆးေက်ာင္း၊ ေဘာ့စတြန္၊ ယူအက္စ္ေအ၊)
"ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာမ်ား ျပည္သူ႔ က်န္းမာေရး အေျခအေန: ဟားဗတ္ ေလ့လာခ်က္တစ္ခုမွ ေတြ႕ရွိခ်က္မ်ား"

Dr Ambia Perveen (MD, ကေလး ေရာဂါကု ဆရာဝန္၊ ဆန္႔ခ္ ေမရီယိန္း ေဆးရုံ၊ ဒူအာရင္ၿမဳိ႕၊ ဂ်ာမဏီ။ ဥေရာပ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာေကာင္စီမွ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာ အေရး တက္ႂကြ လႈပ္ရွားသူ)
"ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာမ်ား အတြက္ က်န္းမာေရး ေစာင့္ေရွာက္မႈကုိ ျမန္မာျပည္၏ ျငင္းပယ္မႈ"

Matthew Smith (အမႈေဆာင္ ဒါရုိက္တာ၊ အခြင့္အေရး အားျဖည့္ ကာကြယ္မႈ or Fortify Rights)
"ရခုိင္ျပည္တြင္း အျပည္ျပည္ဆုိင္ရာ မႈခင္းမ်ား၊ ႀကိဳတင္ ကာကြယ္ျခင္းႏွင့္ တာဝန္ယူမႈမ်ား " (ကြန္ဖရင့္အတြက္ ႀကိဳတင္ မွတ္တမ္းတင္ ရုိက္ကူးထားေသာ တင္ျပမႈ ျဖစ္ပါသည္။)

လက္ဖက္ရည္၊ ေကာ္ဖီ ေသာက္ခ်ိန္ (နံနက္ ၁၀:၁၅ နာရီ - ၁၀:၄၅ နာရီ)

တတိယ နံနက္ပုိင္း အစီအစဥ္ (နံနက္ ၁၀:၄၅ နာရီ - ၁၁:၃၀ နာရီ။ ေဟာေျပာသူ တစ္ဦးလွ်င္ ၁၀ မိနစ္။ အေမးအေျဖ ၁၅ မိနစ္)

ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာမ်ား အေပၚ ဖိႏွိပ္မႈႏွင့္ ပတ္သက္ေသာ ျမန္မာျပည္၏ မူဝါဒႏွင့္ လုပ္ေဆာင္မႈမ်ား
သဘာပတိ - ပါေမာကၡ Daniel Feierstein (လူမ်ဳိးတုန္း သတ္ျဖတ္မႈ ဆုိင္ရာ နုိင္ငံတကာ ပညာရ်င္မ်ားအဖြဲ႕, ဥကၠဌေဟာင္း၊ (၂၀၁၃ -၂၀၁၅)။ ဒါရုိက္တာ၊ စင္ထရုိ ဒီ အက္စတူဒီယုိစ္ ဆုိဘာ၊ အာဂ်င္တီနား အမ်ဳိးသား တကၠသုိလ္။ Genocide AS Social Practice: Reorganizing Society Under the Nazis and Argentina's Military Tuntas (Rutgers University Press, 2014) စာအုပ္ကုိ ေရးသားသူ။)

ေဒါက္တာ Nancy Hudson-Rodd (ဂုဏ္ထူးေဆာင္ဆရာ၊ တက္စေမးနီးယား အာရွ အင္စတီက်ဳ၊ ၾသစေတးလ်။
"ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာ မ်ဳိးတုန္း သတ္ျဖတ္မႈ: ဗမာျပည္၏ ျပည္တြင္း အၾကမ္းဖက္မႈတြင္ ႏုိင္ငံတကာ၏ ပါဝင္ပတ္သက္မႈ"

ပါေမာကၡ Penny Green ႏွင့္ Dr Thomas MacManus ( ျမန္မာျပည္မွ လူမ်ဳိးတုန္းသတ္ျဖတ္မႈ၊ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာမ်ားကုိ အျမစ္ျဖတ္ ေခ်မႈန္းမႈ ဟူသည့္ ၂၀၁၅ ခုႏွစ္ အစီရင္ခံစာကုိ ပူးတြဲ ေရးသားခဲ့သူမ်ား။ အျပည္ျပည္ဆုိင္ရာ ႏုိင္ငံေတာ္က က်ဴးလြန္ေသာ ရာဇဝတ္မႈ မ်ားကုိ ေလ့လာ ေဖာ္ထုတ္ေရး၊ လန္ဒန္ ကြင္းေမရီ တကၠသုိလ္)
"ျမန္မာျပည္မွ အျမစ္ျဖတ္ေျခမႈန္းမႈ ရာဇဝတ္မႈမ်ားကုိ ေလ့လာေဖာ္ထုတ္မႈ" 

ေဒါက္တာ ေမာင္ဇာနည္ (ပစိဖိတ္ ဥပေဒႏွင့္ ေပၚလစီ ဂ်ာနယ္တြင္ ၂၀၁၄ ခုနွစ္က ေဖာ္ျပေသာ ျမန္မာျပည္တြင္း တေျမ႕ေျမ႕ေလာင္ကၽြမ္းေနေသာ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာလူမ်ဳိးစုအား အျမစ္ျဖတ္ ေခ်မႈန္းမႈ စာတမ္းအား အဲလစ္ေကာင္လီ ႏွင့္အတူ ပူးတြဲေရးသားသူ)
"တေျမ႕ေျမ႕ေလာင္ကၽြမ္းေနေသာ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာလူမ်ဳိးစုအား အျမစ္ျဖတ္ေခ်မႈန္းမႈ"

အဓိက မိန္႔ခြန္း (နံနက္ ၁၁:၃၀ နာရီ - ၁၂:၃၀ နာရီ) -- (မိနစ္ ၃၀ ၾကာ မိန္႔ခြန္း ႏွင့္ အေမးအေျဖ ၁၅ မိနစ္)

သဘာပတိ - ပါေမာကၡ Barbara Harriss-White

"ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာေတြရဲ႕ အသံကုိ ကမၻာက ဘာေၾကာင့္ မျဖစ္မေန နားေထာင္ရမယ္ ဆုိတဲ့ အေၾကာင္း"
ေဟာေျပာသူ - ပါေမာကၡ Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
(တကၠသုိလ္ ပါေမာကၡ၊ ႏႈိင္းရ စာေပႏွင့္ လူမႈ အဖြဲ႕အစည္းဆုိင္ရာ တကၠသုိလ္၊ ကုိလံဘီယာ တကၠသိုလ္၊ ကုိလုိနီေခတ္ေနာက္ပုိင္း aလ့လာမႈမ်ားကုိ တည္ေထာင္သူ အဖြဲ႕ဝင္တဦး)

ေန႔လည္စာ၊ Haldane ခန္းမ၊ ဝုဖ္ဆင္ေကာလိပ္ (ေန႔လည္ ၁၂:၁၅ နာရီ - ၁:၁၅ နာရီ)

ပထမ ေန႔လည္ပုိင္း အစီအစဥ္ (ေန႔လည္ ၁:၁၅ နာရီ - ၁:၂၅ နာရီ)

"ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာမ်ားကုိ တျဖည္းျဖည္းမွ်ဥ္းၿပီး လူမ်ဳိးတုန္း သတ္ျဖတ္မႈ"
၁၉၉၈ ခုႏွစ္အတြက္ ေဘာဂေဗဒဆုိင္ရာ ႏုိဘဲလ္ဆုရွင္ Amartya Sen -- ၂၀၁၄ ခုႏွစ္ ႏုိဝင္ဘာလက ဟားဗတ္တြင္ ရုိက္ကူးထားေသာ ဗီဒီယို

(ေသာမတ္စ္ ဒဗလ်ဴ လာမြန္႔ တကၠသုိလ္ ပါေမာကၡ ႏွင့္ ဟားဗတ္ တကၠသိုလ္ ဒႆနိကႏွင့္ ေဘာဂေဗဒ ပါေမာကၡ)

ဒုတိယ ေန႔လည္ပုိင္း အထူး အစီအစဥ္ (ေန႔လည္ ၁:၂၅ နာရီ - ၂:၁၀ နာရီ။ ၂၀ မိနစ္ စားပြဲဝုိင္း ေဆြးေႏြးမႈ။ အေမးအေျဖ- ၂၅ မိနစ္)

"အျမစ္ျဖတ္ေခ်မႈန္းမႈ လူမ်ဳိးတုန္းသတ္ျဖတ္မႈ အေၾကာင္း ေဆြးေႏြးမႈ: ကုလသမဂၢ၏ ႏုိင္ငံေရး၊ ႏုိင္ငံတကာ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး မ်ားႏွင့္ လူမ်ဳိးတုန္း သတ္ျဖတ္မႈ၏ လူမႈေဗဒ"

သဘာပတိ - ပါေမာကၡ Penny Green ( ဥပေဒ ႏွင့္ ကလုိဘယ္လုိက္ေဇးရွင္းဆုိင္ရာ ပါေမာကၡ။ ဒါရုိက္တာ၊ အျပည္ျပည္ဆုိင္ရာ ႏုိင္ငံေတာ္က က်ဴးလြန္ေသာ ရာဇဝတ္မႈခင္း သုေတသန အဖြဲ႕၊ ကြင္းေမရီ တကၠသုိလ္၊ လန္ဒန္)

ပါေမာကၡ Daniel Feierstein (လူမ်ဳိးတုန္းသတ္ျဖတ္မႈဆုိင္ရာ နုိင္ငံတကာ ပညာရ်င္မ်ားအဖြဲ႕ ဥကၠဌေဟာင္း၊ (၂၀၁၃ -၂၀၁၅)။ ဒါရုိက္တာ၊ စင္ထရုိ ဒီ အက္စတူဒီယုိစ္ ဆုိဘာ၊ အာဂ်င္တီနား အမ်ဳိးသားတကၠသုိလ္။ Genocide AS Social Practice: Reorganizing Society Under the Nazis and Argentina's Military Tuntas (Rutgers University Press, 2014)စာအုပ္ကုိ ေရးသားသူ။)

Tomas Ojea Quintana or Mr ကင္တာနား (လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး ေရွ႕ေန ႏွင့္ ျမန္မာျပည္တြင္း လူ႕အခြင့္အေရးအေျခအေန ဆုိင္ရာ အထူး တာဝန္ ေပးအပ္ခံရေသာ ကုလ ကုိယ္စားလွယ္ (၂၀၀၈-၂၀၁၄))

တတိယ ေန႔လည္ပုိင္း အစီအစဥ္ (ေန႔လည္ ၂:၁၅ နာရီ - ၃:၀၀ နာရီ ။ ၁၅ မိနစ္တာ ေဆြးေႏြးခ်က္မ်ား ပါဝင္သည္။)

"ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာမ်ားအေပၚ ႏွိပ္ကြပ္ အေရးယူမႈ၊ ျပင္ပ လႈပ္ရွားသူမ်ားႏွင့္ ရႈေထာင့္အျမင္မ်ား"

သဘာပတိ - ေဒါက္တာ ေမာင္ဇာနည္ (Sleuk Rith Institute, ကေမၻာဒီးယား)

ပါေမာကၡ Shapan Adnan (တြဲဖက္၊ ေခတ္ျပိဳင္ ေတာင္အာရွ ေလ့လာေရး အစီအစဥ္၊ ေအာက္စဖုိ႔ဒ္တကၠသုိလ္ (ႏွင့္) တြဲဖက္ပါေမာကၡေဟာင္း၊ စကၤာပူတကၠသုိလ္ လူမႈေဗဒဘာသာရပ္ႏွင့္ ပါေမာကၡ၊ စစ္တေကာင္းတကၠသုိလ္၊ ဘဂၤလားေဒ့ရွ္။)

အဇေရး မုိဟာမက္ အာမင္ (ေရွ႕ေနႏွင့္ အမႈေဆာင္ခ်ဳပ္၊ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး သုေတသန ဗဟုိႏွင့္ ျမွင့္တင္မႈ (CENTHRA)၊ မေလးရွား)

Dr Azeem Ibrahim (ရုိသာမီယာ အေမရိကန္ အင္စတီက်ဳ ဖဲလုိး၊ ေအာက္စဖုိ႔ တကၠသုိလ္။ The rohingyas: Inside Myanmar's Hidden Genocide (Hurst, 2016) ကုိစာအုပ္ ေရးသားသူ)

ကာ္ဖီ၊လက္ဘက္ရည္ သုံးေဆာင္ခ်ိန္ (ေန႔လည္ ၃:၀၀ နာရီ - ၃:၃၀ နာရီ)

ပါေမာကၡ Maya Tudor မွ အထူးတင္ဆက္ျခင္း (ေန႔လည္ ၃:၀၀ နာရီ - ၃:၄၅ နာရီ)

"ႏႈိင္းရ တုိင္းရင္းသား အမ်ဳိးသားဝါဒမ်ားအေပၚ ျပန္လွန္သုံးသပ္ျခင္း"

(တြဲဖက္ပါေမာကၡ၊ ႏုိင္ငံေရးႏွင့္အမ်ားျပည္သူေပၚလစီ ဌာန၊ ဘလဗက္နစ္ အုပ္ခ်ဳပ္မႈေက်ာင္း၊ ေအာက္စဖုိ႔တကၠသုိလ္၊ ျမန္မာျပည္တြင္ ၂၀၁၅ ခုႏွစ္ ႏုိဝင္ဘာ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲအတြင္း ကာတာစင္တာတြင္ ႏို္င္ငံတကာေလ့လာသူ)



ေနာက္ဆုံး ေန႔လည္ပုိင္း နိဂုံးအစီအစဥ္ ( ေန႔လည္ ၃:၄၅ နာရီ - ၄:၃၀ နာရီ)

"ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာမ်ား အေပၚ ဖိႏွိပ္မႈ အဆုံးသတ္ေစရန္ ႏုိင္ငံတကာ လူ႔အဖြဲ႔အစည္းမွ ဘာေတြ လုပ္ေပးႏုိင္သလဲ"
သဘာပတိ - Mark Farmaner (ဒါရုိက္တာ၊ ဘာမားကမ္ပိန္း - ယူေက Burma Campaign UK)

႐ို ေရႊေမာင္ Former MP (USDP) via Skype from USA

ရုိ ထြန္းခင္ (ဥကၠဌ၊ ဗမာရုိဟင္ဂ်ာအစည္းအရုံး၊ ယူေက)

ႏူရူးအစၥလာမ္ (ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာေရွ႕ေနႏွင့္ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး တက္ႂကြ လႈပ္ရွားသူ၊ ယူေက)

ေဒါက္တာလွေက်ာ္ (ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာ ေဆးဘက္ဆုိင္ရာ ဆရာ၀န္ႏွင့္ တက္ႂကြ လႈပ္ရွားသူ၊ ဥေရာပ ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာေကာင္စီ)

Aung San Suu Kyi's government rejects term 'Rohingya'

Myanmar Foreign Minister and State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi looks on during a meeting with Laos President Bounnhang Vorachit in Vientiane, Laos. CREDIT: EPA/STR

By Andrew Marszal
The Telegraph
May 8, 2016

New Delhi -- The Burmese foreign ministry led by Aung San Suu Kyi has told foreign diplomats to stop using the word “Rohingya”, prompting accusations that it has abandoned the minority Muslim community.

The foreign ministry sent an advisory to embassies in Rangoon this week warning them against the term, which is used by the stateless Muslim group to self-identify, but is rejected by the country’s nationalist Buddhist wing who view the Rohingya as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

“We have never accepted this term,” Kyaw Zay Ya, a retired lieutenant-colonel who was elected as an MP for Ms Suu Kyi’s party last year and now serves in the foreign ministry, told the Wall Street Journal.

He added that “it is not possible to enforce” the directive, and would be up to foreign governments to decide.

The memo indicates that the position of the ministry on the term “Rohingya” is the same under the leadership of 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner Ms Suu Kyi as it was under the previous military junta.

Burma Task Force, a coalition of 19 Muslim groups, on Thursday accused Ms Suu Kyi of having “caved to the hate message of extremist Buddhist protesters”.

Last month, Buddhist monks joined several hundred protesters outside the US embassy in Rangoon on Thursday to demand it stop using the term “Rohingya”.

Ms Suu Kyi has been widely criticised for failing to stand up for the Rohingya’s rights since coming to power, and has herself never used the term publicly. Fellow Nobel laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama have both signalled their concern about her silence on the fate of the Rohingya.

For the more than one million Rohingya who live in Burma, mainly along its western border with Bangladesh and India, the term is extremely politically loaded.

It represents that fact that the group are not considered Burmese citizens. Instead, they are referred to in the rest of the country as “Bengalis”, implying that they are largely illegal interlopers from neighbouring Bangladesh.

It comes as a Burmese activist was arrested for claiming on Facebook that Min Aung Hliang, the country's army chief, did not seize power because he wants to marry Ms Suu Kyi.

PROFILE

Aung San Suu Kyi

Ms Suu Kyi Pic: Getty Images

Position: Leader of the National League for Democracy, Burma’s main opposition party
Born:June 19, 1945
Education: University of Delhi and St Hugh’s College, Oxford

Who is she?

The daughter of Burma’s assassinated independence hero Ms Suu Kyi was living quietly in Oxford with her husband, a British academic, and their two sons when she returned to her homeland in 1988 to care for her sick mother.

Early political career?

She quickly emerged as the leader of a popular democracy uprising against the military junta and spent 15 years under house arrest by Burma’s general in three stints between 1989 and 2011. She was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in absentia and became the world's most famous political prisoner.

Now?

Her party has won a majority in Burma's parliament after a historic election. But she will still be barred by the constitution from becoming president because of her foreign family ties.

Suu Kyi’s Ministry Sides With Hard-Line Buddhists

Buddhist monks outside the U.S. Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar, on April 28, protesting its use of “Rohingya” to describe Myanmar's stateless Muslims. Photo: Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters


By Shibani Mahtani and Myo Myo

Myanmar advises embassies not to call country’s stateless Muslim minority ‘Rohingya’

YANGON, Myanmar — The foreign ministry here, headed by Aung San Suu Kyi, has advised embassies to stop using the term “Rohingya” to describe the country’s stateless Muslim minority, acceding to a demand by hard-line Buddhists. 

Nationalist groups, who view Rohingya as an Islamist threat to Myanmar’s Buddhist majority, insist they be called “Bengalis,” implying they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Many Rohingya say they have lived in Myanmar for generations and are a distinct ethnic group. 

Kyaw Zay Ya, a deputy director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirmed that the advisory was sent to diplomats this week. “We have never accepted this term,” he said.

Boys stand among debris after fire at a camp for Rohingya destroyed many shelters. Photo: soe zeya tun/Reuters

The previous, military-linked government similarly rejected the use of Rohingya in favor of Bengali. 

In an interview, Mr. Kyaw Zay Ya noted that “it is not possible to enforce” the directive, but said it would be up to foreign governments whether to comply. 

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Gabrielle Price wouldn’t confirm whether the U.S. Embassy in Yangon had received the directive. She said the U.S. believes groups should call themselves what they wish. 

“If members of a population identify as ‘Rohingya,’ we respect their ability to self-identify by using this term. This is not a political decision,” she said. 

Myanmar excludes the Rohingya from a list of more than 100 official ethnic groups in the country, and the use of Bengali distances the government from their claim to citizenship. The previous government also issued directives and pamphlets to the media and the United Nations during international summits held in the country. 

Ms. Suu Kyi herself has never used the word Rohingya publicly, and has been widely criticized for not speaking out clearly in defense of the group. 

Many human rights groups and Rohingya themselves want the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner and her new democratically elected government to improve their plight, including extending basic rights like the freedom of movement and allowing them to return to their homes, rather than living in camps. 

Human Rights Watch, in an open letter Thursday to President Htin Kyaw, said improving human rights and humanitarian conditions for Rohingya Muslims was a “major challenge” and that “long-standing restrictions on the basic rights of the Rohingya…should be speedily removed.” 

Some 120,000 Rohingya are living in squalid camps following sectarian riots between Buddhists and Muslims in 2012 in Rakhine state, which forced them from their villages and left more than 100 dead. They reside in western Myanmar near the Bangladesh border, unable to return to their villages for fear of further violence, and relying on foreign aid for support. 

Underlining their situation, a fire in a camp for displaced Rohingya on Tuesday destroyed 44 longhouses where at least 2,000 people lived, the United Nations reported.

The ministry’s advisory follows protests at the U.S. Embassy over a statement of condolence issued for an accidental boat sinking on April 19 in which at least 22 people died. The embassy referred to the victims as Rohingyas, and hard-line Buddhist groups responded angrily. 

Hundreds of protesters gathered at the embassy last week to call on the U.S. and other countries to drop the term or be labeled as enemies of Myanmar. 

By reaffirming the previous government’s directive, the ruling National League for Democracy party, which is headed by Ms. Suu Kyi, has now weighed in on the Buddhists’ side. Ms. Suu Kyi also holds a de facto prime ministerial role of state counselor. 

Write to Shibani Mahtani at shibani.mahtani@wsj.com