Myanmar's Srebenica Moment has arrived. The entire Burmese society has remained indifferent.
Myanmar's "civil society" apparently exists only in grant applications for the 'donors' in the face of a genocide in its midst.
It is spiritually and intellectually dead as far as the unfolding new phase of genocidal acts.
Here is a collection of videos of innocent Rohingya families fleeing attacks by the Tatmadaw THIS MORNING - 13 Nov 2016 (local time in Burma).
For Myanmar Tatmadaw (military) is carrying out genocidal attacks this morning.
Thank you for Jamila Hanan for compiling these links - and thank you, ultimately, to the Rohingya activists who risk their lives recording the genocide for the world to witness.
https://twitter.com/nslwin/status/797614287774683136 https://twitter.com/nslwin/status/797617868812730368 https://twitter.com/Rafiquerhg/status/797623932442578944 https://twitter.com/Rafiquerhg/status/797626040961089536 https://twitter.com/nslwin/status/797633653593571328 https://twitter.com/nslwin/status/797634457389797376 https://twitter.com/Aungaungsittwe/status/797662575680815105 https://twitter.com/j_arkani/status/797675324746113024 https://twitter.com/Aungaungsittwe/status/797686339017654272
Here is sattelite imageries from Human Rights Watch, from the last week's genocidal atatcks:
Click the link to see the images of burned villages and their locations.
November 12, 2016 9:25PM EST
Burma: Massive Destruction in Rohingya Villages
Satellite Images Show 430 Burned Buildings; UN-Aided Inquiry Needed
(New York) – High-definition satellite imagery shows widespread fire-related destruction in ethnic Rohingya villages in Burma's Rakhine State, Human Rights Watch said today. The Burmese government should immediately invite the United Nations to assist in investigating reported destruction of villages in the area. Human Rights Watch identified a total of 430 destroyed buildings in three villages of Maungdaw District from an analysis of very high resolution satellite imagery recorded on the mornings of October 22, November 3, and November 10, 2016. © 2016 Human Rights Watch
“New satellite images not only confirm the widespread destruction of Rohingya villages but show that it was even greater than we first thought,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Burmese authorities should promptly establish a UN-assisted investigation as a first step toward ensuring justice and security for the victims.”
Human Rights Watch identified a total of 430 destroyed buildings in three villages of northern Maungdaw district from an analysis of very high resolution satellite imagery recorded on the mornings of October 22, November 3, and November 10, 2016. Of this total, 85 buildings were destroyed in the village of Pyaung Pyit (Ngar Sar Kyu), 245 in Kyet Yoe Pyin, and 100 in Wa Peik (Kyee Kan Pyin). Damage signatures in each of the assessed villages were consistent with fire, including the presence of large burn scars and destroyed tree cover. Because of dense tree cover it is possible that the actual number of destroyed buildings is higher.
Human Rights Watch identified a total of 430 destroyed buildings in three villages of Maungdaw District from an analysis of very high resolution satellite imagery recorded on the mornings of October 22, November 3, and November 10, 2016. Of this total, 85 buildings were destroyed in the village of Pyaung Pyit (Ngar Sar Kyu); 245 buildings were destroyed in the village of Kyet Yoe Pyin; and 100 buildings were destroyed in the village of Wa Peik (Kyee Kan Pyin). Damage signatures in each of the assessed villages were consistent with fire, including the presence of large burn scars and destroyed tree cover.
2016-11-Asia-Burma-Kyet-Yoe-Pyin-Before 2016-11-Asia-Burma-Kyet-Yoe-Pyin-Before JuxtaposeJS
Before: © 2016 Human Rights Watch After: © 2016 Human Rights Watch
In addition to satellite imagery reviewed by Human Rights Watch, reports by human rights organizations, the media, and members of a delegation of nine foreign ambassadors who visited some impacted areas on November 2-3 confirm that the damage was substantial. The delegation conducted no formal investigation or assessment but confirmed that they saw burned structures in several towns.
The crisis follows violence on October 9 in which gunmen attacked three police outposts in Maungdaw township in northern Rakhine State near the Bangladesh border, leaving nine police officers dead. The government said that the attackers made off with dozens of weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition. The Burmese government asserts the attack was carried out by a Rohingya group, but actual responsibility remains unclear.
HRW Burma Destruction Assessment
Immediately after the attacks, government forces declared Maungdaw an “operation zone” and began sweeps of the area to find the attackers and lost weapons. They severely restricted the freedom of movement of local populations and imposed extended curfews, which remain in place. A UN-assisted investigation needs to examine the deadly attacks on border guard posts on October 9, and allegations by the media and local groups that government security forces subsequently committed summary killings, sexual violence, torture, arbitrary arrests, arson, and other abuses against Rohingya villagers in Maungdaw district, Human Rights Watch said.
On October 28, Reuters published interviews with Rohingya women who allege that Burmese soldiers raped them. The government also allegedly pressured the Myanmar Times to fire one of its editors who reported allegations of rape by Burmese army soldiers. Government-imposed restrictions on access to the area by journalists and human rights monitors continue to hinder impartial information gathering.
A second attack on a border guard post in Maungdaw was reported to have occurred on November 3. The attack reportedly resulted in the death of one police officer.
Burma is obligated under international law to conduct thorough, prompt, and impartial investigations of alleged human rights violations, prosecute those responsible, and provide adequate redress for victims of violations. Standards for such investigations can be found, for example, in the UN Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, and the UN Guidance on Commissions of Inquiry and Fact-Finding Missions. Burma’s failure to conduct such investigations in the past underscores the need for UN assistance, Human Rights Watch said.
Reuters has reported that the military has ignored the civilian government’s request for more information about the situation.
“The Burmese armed forces are not only keeping independent observers out of affected Rohingya areas, they apparently aren’t even telling their own government what happened,” Adams said. “The authorities need to allow the UN, the media, and rights monitors unfettered access into the area to determine what happened and what needs to be done.”
The government recently granted the World Food Programme (WFP) access to four villages for a one-time food delivery. However, humanitarian aid groups continue to be denied full access, placing tens of thousands of already vulnerable people at greater risk. The vast majority of villages are not receiving any assistance, and the area remains sealed to humanitarian assessment teams and human rights groups. A statement by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on November 8 noted that the children in northern Rakhine State already suffer from high levels of deprivation and malnutrition. “Their futures depend on help from doctors, nurses, teachers and others who can provide them with nutrition, health and education services,” the statement said.
The Burmese government should immediately deliver on its assurances to resume humanitarian aid to all impacted areas, Human Rights Watch said.
“The Burmese government and military should immediately allow humanitarian access to vulnerable populations,” Adams said. “The UN and concerned governments need to dial up the pressure on the authorities to ensure aid reaches all affected areas as this crisis enters its second month.”
Statement on Myanmar Leaders' Plot to Bomb Shwedagon to create anti-Muslim violence on Eid Mubarak Day in 2013.
The Burmese military intelligence used the Karen National Liberation Army captain to hatch this bombing plot and the crony named Soe Myint Aung (aka Kyaw Lwin) was involved.
Here is a 4-page letter released by jailed dissident Ko Htin Kyaw, detailing the incitement by Myanmar Generals and Cronies, including the then President Thein Sein, the then home Minister Lt-General Ko Ko, General Mya Tun Oo (head of Military Intelligence and Min Aung Hlaing's right hand).
It was Nov 2016.
Ko Htin Kyaw also spoke to the media on 9 Nov 2016 when he and his fellow jailed activists were brought before the Kyauk Ta Tar Township Court for hearing.
Watch Ko Htin Kyaw's press conference at the Kyauk Ta Tar Township Court on 9 Nov 2016.
The detailed activists want the ICC to haul the Burmese leaders to the Hague and try them for the crimes against humanity.
I have long pointed out that the immediate triggers for the anti-Rohingya mass violence in 2012 were manufactured straight out of Thein Sein's office: the tale of Buddhist Rakhine woman raped by 3 Rohingya or the premediated attacks on 10 Mulim pilgrims.
The well-known comedian and dissident Zarganar interviewed the medical examiner who performed the post mortem on the alleged rape victim in May 2012, and the doctor , on camera, emphatically told Zarganar (himself a medical/dental professional), that there was absolutely no evidence that the victim was raped before she was murdered. But the doctor said he was forced by the military authorities in Rakhine to assign the prefabricated medical report which claimed otherwise. I interviewed Zarganar on the phone at least 4 times in 2012 and saw him face to face in London in 2013. Zarganar was one of the most prominent members of the Thein Sein's Presidential Rakhine Inquiry Commission.
And yet ex-Major Zaw Htay, the then spokesperson for President Thein Sein and the current spokesperson for Aung San Suu Kyi, circulated the rape story and the picture of the murder victim Rakhine woman named Ma Thida Htwe (aged 28) on 28 May 2012. The official Burmese government newspapers - then run by ex-Colonel Ye Htut (a son of an ex-police chief and a brigadier) - repeated the same rape story and blamed the 3 Muslims for the sexual violence.
There is a pattern of Myanmar military intelligence and leaders - including ex-general Khin Nyunt, ex-general Shwe Mann (a close Suu Kyi ally) centrally involved in framing the Muslims in general and Rohingya in particular as a 'threat to Myanmar's national security and existence'.
From the Burmese government, the military leaders, the Rakhine citizens, ultra-nationalist "monks" and Rakhine parties are today celebrating Donald Trump's victory in Sittwe, Mandalay, Rangoon, etc.
The Medsin Barts Global Health Short Course is back, with Module 1: Global Health in the Media!
Come along to the first talk of the series, Global Health on Your Newsfeed: War & Conflict, on 8th November at 6pm in the Clark-Kennedy Lecture Theatre.
The incredible speakers at this event will be:
Dr Maung Zarni
Internationally acclaimed Burmese human rights campaigner and democracy advocate; previous lecturer at Harvard and founder of the Free Burma Coalition - one of the largest and most effective human rights campaigns in the world.
Teaching fellow at the King's Centre for Global Health and part of the King’s Conflict & Health Research Group, specialising in the relationship between global health, politics and security in conflict-affected areas.
Dr Jonathan Kennedy
Lecturer in Global Health at QMUL and previous research associate at the University of Cambridge, studying violent political conflict and its effect on public health in countries such as Nigeria, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
It's sure to be a brilliant and enlightening evening, looking at war and conflict in the media, so don't miss out!
As always FREE FOOD & DRINK will be provided.
Hope to see you there!
|Clark-Kennedy Lecture Theatre, Innovation Centre, Blizard Institute, 4 Newark St, London E1 2AT|
|Tuesday, November 8 at 6 PM - 8 PM UTC|
Get Bronze, Silver and Gold Certificates for attending 3, 5 or 7 events this year!
The other lectures in this module series will be:
22nd Nov: Global Health On Film
6th Dec: Global Health in Print
[Our events are open to everyone, you don't have to be a medical student to attend!]
Beware of Dogs, and Aung San Suu Kyi's "rule of law". “The problem in Rakhine state is extremely delicate and care is needed in responding. The Myanmar government is responding to the issue of Rakhine state based on the principles of the rule of law”, Aung San Suu Kyi was quoted in this 3 Nov 2016 Reuters article.
I was with her on the Rule of Law Roundtable at the London School of Economics in June 2012. There she refused to address the issue of our country’s genocidal persecution of Rohingya minority people in Western Burma. And I was preassigned by the chair of the roundtable Professor Mary Kaldor to address the unwelcome Rohingya question from the floor. So, when Aung San Suu Kyi barks "rule of law" in connection with the genocide of the Rohingya it got me worried – very worried. For she is “not a human rights defender, but a politician” through and through. She has made this abundantly clear in many an international fora and media interviews.
But her "rule of law" in Burma is deeply criminalistic, not different from the laws of the Third Reich (Hitler's Germany). No genocide can be addressed “through the principles of the rule of law”. I am not sure if Aung San Suu Kyi is intellectual dishonest or simply naïve when she said the “delicate” matter is handled through the rule of law principles.
It is imperative that activists and human rights defenders understand the criminal nature of Aung San Suu Kyi’s 'rule of law' mantra, when pushed in the context of a state that is, in both its nature and modes of operations, CRIMINAL.
What type of government or state is a criminal?
When the State breaks its own laws
When the State fails to ensure human rights or breaks international law
When the State behaves in a way that the people think is wrong and the people resist, protest or sabotage and by doing so define what types of state behaviour are criminal
RULE OF LAW FOR ACTIVISTS vs 'Rule of law' by Repressive Rulers
Two insightful quotes may be in order: one by the late Thomas Bingham, an eminent British judge who held the position of Britain's Chief Justice, and a white South African anti-apartheid activist and world renowned novelist the late Nadine Godimer.
“The hall marks of a regime which flouts the rule of law are, alas, all too familiar: the midnight knock at the door, the sudden disappearance, the show trial, the confession extracted by torture, the gulag and the concentration camp, the gas chamber, the practice of genocide or ethnic cleansing, the waging of aggressive war.”
- Lord Bingham 2010.
“The greatest veneration one can show the rule of law is to keep watch on it, and to reserve the right to judge unjust laws and the subversion of the function of the law by the power of the state. That vigilance is the most important proof of respect for the rule of law.”
- Nadine Gordimer.
Aung San Suu Kyi's mantra "rule of law" is extremely dangerous in the Burmese context where the State is the biggest criminal.
Empirically, Burma is ruled by the same old repressive Tatmadaw (army) military regime, with the pretty facade of Aung San Suu Kyi, backed by outside investors and institutions including the United Nations and ‘liberal’ regimes such as USA and UK, or EU.
Here are the 3 ways to understand 'rule of law':
Who uses the term “Rule of Law”?
What do they mean by “Rule of Law”?
Doctrinal. Law is understood as a set of rules that is fundamentally unchangeable and unchallengeable. It exists outside of those us and outside of those in power. Activists use existing national or human rights law to challenge those in power or tweak existing laws. (From inside the existing legal framework).
Oppressive. Law is understood as a method by which the state oppresses the masses. The only way to stop it being used against us is for activists to overthrow those in power.
Changeable The way law is produced, understood and practiced can be challenged and changed by activists from outside of the legal system as well as inside. People can make, legitimise, challenge and change laws based on their own collective morals.
“Rule of Law” is sometimes understood as making sure that existing national laws are implemented correctly according to the law and that those in power should follow the existing laws as well as others. (Doctrinal)
“Rule of Law” is a concept used by the state to legitimise its laws so people in authority can maintain their power. (Oppressive)
“Rule of Law” is a idea which can be redefined by the people. Rule of Law is used to make sure that people in authority are put in check and that law is fair and equitable – this includes the laws themselves, the legal systems and the way law is practiced. (Changeable)
Principles for the Rule of Law
a) Equality – Everyone should be equally subject to the law, including those in power, who should be tried in the same courts as anyone else. Everyone should receive equal benefit from the law including, for example, those who are not citizens should still be able to seek justice if they are victims of crime.
b) Clarity and Predictability- The law should be clear and predictable so it cannot be used for the wrong reasons, such as extorting money from people or silencing protest. People in power should not be able to use too much discretion when applying the law because discretion can be used for benefit of individual officials or government.
c) Exercise of Power – the law should not be used to oppress. The powers of those implementing laws should be kept in check to prevent them from using their powers unfairly for benefit of themselves or state organisations.
d) Access to justice and fair trial – everyone should have access to a fair and impartial trial and to good legal advice. This applies even if you are poor, or from a minority group, or if you are not a citizen, or if you are an activist.
e) Law should protect human rights and comply with international law to make sure that laws are not created for the sole benefit of state organisations. For the sake of the Rohingya victims of Myanmar genocide, Aung San Suu Kyi urgently needs to be reminded of what the late Martin Luther King Jr pointedly said, “remember that everything Hitler did was legal” (in accord with the Nazi Laws).
Author: Zarni. Credit for the background research on the rule of law goes to Ms Natalie Brinham, Economic and Social Research Council PhD scholar in Law, with the International State Crime Initiative, Queen Mary University.