Network Myanmar

                Documents of Interest

Top Ten Contemporary Articles on Myanmar Issues

Myanmar and the Plight of the Rohingya

Elliott Prasse-Freeman: Carnegie Council 16 November 2018

Extract: You go through Chittagong or Dakha and then—you can actually fly into Cox's Bazar. It has the world's longest beach and it's a place that people who live in Dakha go for holiday. Oddly, it's the world's largest refugee camp and a resort area at the same time, which makes for a strange scene on the beaches there, for instance.

When talking to people, a constitutive element of Rohingya identity is the life that they lived in Rakhine state, especially the life they lived maybe 30 or 40 or 50 years ago, that exists in historical memory, before some of this deep structural violence invaded their life ways and prevented them from being able to live in the way that they wanted to.

So they do want to go back, but they want to go back - and I want to be very careful about not characterizing what is a very diverse group of people with different sets of needs. I think people too blithely talk about "the Rohingya, what they want," because they have been distributed across lots of space, they have different leaders, they have different goals. In fact, for people to call them "Rohingya" I think both honors and acknowledges their name but also sometimes even forces them to identify in ways they might not want to.

That's a tricky thing to say, in the sense that you want to support people but you also don't want to put them in a position where they are forced to be something that is actually leading to their destruction.

End of Days for Suu Kyi's iconography

David Scott Mathieson: Asia Times 14 November 2018

Conclusion: Given the volume of Western pressure over atrocity crimes in Myanmar, with calls for independent tribunals to be established, a looming International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation, and the restoration of Myanmar’s reputation as an international pariah, Amnesty’s repealing a 20-year old award may seem trivial.

But it symbolically underscores how Suu Kyi’s imperious governance style, her government’s general arrogance and incompetence, and the malevolence of the Myanmar military and their leadership, have deeply scarred the conscience of the entire country, domestically and internationally.

Heading towards what are expected to be deeply divisive 2020 polls, Myanmar’s political scene will be bereft of any genuine leadership on human rights, while the military will not have lost a sliver of political or economic power. That will be Suu Kyi’s real legacy: jettisoning her once vaunted principles and getting nothing in return.

Facebook's role in the genocide in Myanmar

Evelyn Douek: Warfare 22 October 2018

Introduction: Members of the Myanmar military have systematically used Facebook as a tool in the government’s campaign of ethnic cleansing against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority, according to an incredible piece of reporting by the New York Times on Oct. 15. The Times writes that the military harnessed Facebook over a period of years to disseminate hate propaganda, false news and inflammatory posts. The story adds to the horrors known about the ongoing violence in Myanmar, but it also should complicate the ongoing debate about Facebook’s role and responsibility for spreading hate and exacerbating conflict in Myanmar and other developing countries.

New British Ambassador discusses Myanmar's democratic process

Dan Chugg: Mizzima 19 October 2018

Conclusion: I would just like to say thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to talk today and just to remind you and your viewers that the UK is really committed to helping Myanmar. We're here for the long run. We're going to be continuing to invest here, to do business here, to have aid and development and humanitarian programmes here. We really, really want Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to succeed in all her priority areas of peace and democracy and we very much hope that she will be able to do so.

Jettisoning honorary citizens who disappoint us is not the answer

Andrew Potter: National Post 3 October 2018

Conclusion: Maybe Aung San Suu Kyi would be moved by the prospect of being called out in the pages of the National Post by Malala, maybe not. But it couldn’t be any more useless a gesture than simply washing our hands of the problem.

There is no question that there are serious problems with Aung San Suu Kyi’s complicity in the persecution of the Rohingya and the massacres committed by Burma’s military. But the right thing to do here is not to revoke her citizenship, but rather, to hold her to it.

Without domestic consensus, there's no workable Rakhine solution

Ye Htut: Frontier Myanmar 6 September 2018

Extract: If you look at how President Thein Sein solved the problem, the major difference between him and Aung San Suu Kyi is that Thein Sein always welcomed and was ready to listen to different ideas. He tried to build consensus and tried to bring all stakeholders into the process, including the Bengali or Rohingya. He visited the Buthidaung/Maungdaw area many times, he allowed media free access, and even though he sometimes disagreed with international organisations he didn’t stop their operations.....

 Another big difference is that Thein Sein understood the situation, the complexity of the issue. Aung San Suu Kyi has never been to that area – even before 2015, she only visited southern Rakhine State and she only went once. She doesn’t speak to the Rakhine community. The one time she went to northern Rakhine State, when she went to Sittwe she didn’t set foot outside the airport. She held meetings in the airport and flew to Maungdaw and then flew back to Nay Pyi Taw. She didn’t talk to local community leaders.

Debating the definition of genocide will not save the Rohingya

Charles Petrie: The Guardian 4 September 2018

Conclusion: We could possibly reach an answer to the question of whether genocide is being committed. But at what cost? Will naming it so then risk fracturing international commitment to act and undermine a more robust response? War crimes and crimes against humanity are sufficiently grave offences to justify international action. However we refer to them, immense crimes have been and are being committed in Myanmar. It is time for the world to stop debating how to categorise them and focus on finding the necessary resolve to act.

Myanmar's Stalled Transition

International Crisis Group Briefing No. 151/Asia 28 August 2016

Conclusion: In considering what progress may be possible, it is important to be aware that the Rakhine crisis is occurring in a wider context of lack of vision and ineffectiveness of government, something that is unlikely to change in the near future. Public sentiment in Myanmar also remains firmly behind the government. Robust diplomatic engagement, including by the UN special envoy, will be required to translate international scrutiny and pressure into meaningful steps to improve the situation on the ground. On the specific question of accountability for international crimes, an independent mechanism under UN auspices seems to be the most feasible approach, given the improbability of any Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court.

Myanmar's Armed Forces and the Rohingya Crisis

Andrew Selth - US Institute of Peace: 'PeaceWorks' No 140 August 2018

Conclusion: The latest campaign against the Rohingyas has been a disaster for everyone. The Rohingyas have suffered most, but Aung San Suu Kyi, her government, the security forces, and the people of Myanmar have all lost, in different ways. Despite the high hopes that followed the 2015 elections, the country has stepped back into its dark past. This poses real challenges for

the international community.

All Myanmar governments have resisted external pressures to adopt or adapt particular policies.This is unlikely to change. Indeed, with regard to the Rohingyas, a rare consensus between the government, armed forces, and civil population can only strengthen Naypyidaw’s determination to decide its own agenda and timetable for any changes.

Unless attitudes in Myanmar shift significantly, a fair and durable solution to the Rohingya crisis, let alone a full legal accounting for past events, will remain a distant prospect.

Where Myanmar went wrong

Zoltan Barany: Foreign Affairs May-June 2018

As for Suu Kyi, her reduced stature abroad might further reduce her already limited leverage with the generals. She is boxed in to a degree that many critics fail to appreciate. But she has made her own situation worse through poor management and a lack of focus on issues that are under her administration’s control: improving the economy, shoring up infrastructure, and revamping the health-care and educational systems. The government should adopt a personnel policy that emphasizes merit and accomplishment instead of personal loyalty to Suu Kyi. Instead of alienating ethnic minorities and their political parties and ignoring civil society organizations, Suu Kyi ought to open a meaningful dialogue with them with a view to forming a big-tent political and social coalition that might, in time, challenge the military’s political supremacy.



Interim Report of the Investigation Commission on Maungtaw - 3 January 2017

Flash Report of OHCHR Mission to Bangladesh - 3 February 2017

Advance Unedited Report of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights - 1 March 2017

Annan Advisory Commission Interim Report and Recommendations - March 2017

Myanmar Government welcomes Annan Advisory Commission Interim Report - 16 March 2017

HRC Resolution on the Situation in Myanmar adopted on 24 March 2017 without a vote

Report of the Special Rapporteur to the UN General Assembly - 8 September 2017

Mission Report of OHCHR Mission to Cox's Bazaar 13-24 September 2017

UN Security Council: Record of the 8060th Meeting on 28 September 2017

House of Commons: Debate Pack for use of MPs in the debate on 17 October 2017

UN Security Council: Text of Presidential Statement on Myanmar 6 November 2017

UN Security Council: Record of the 8085th Meeting 6 November 2017

Report of the UK Foreign Affairs Committee on Violence in Rakhine State 11 December 2017

UN Security Council: Record of the 8133rd Meeting 12 December 2017


Report of the UK International Development Committee on the Rohingya Crisis 9 January 2018

UN Security Council: Record of the 8179th Meeting on 13 February 2018

European Council Conclusions on Myanmar/Burma - 26 February 2018

Report by Bob Rae, Canadian PM's Special Envoy, on the Rohingya Crisis - April 2018

UN Security Council: Press Statement on UNSC Visit to Bangladesh and Myanmar - 9 May 2018

UN Security Council: Record of the 8255th Meeting on 14 May 2018

(Final Draft) Memorandum of Understanding between Myanmar, UNDP and UNHCR - May 2018

Report of the Special Rapporteur to the UN General Assembly - 20 August 2018

UN Security Council Record of the 8333rd Meeting on 28 August 2018

US Documentation of Atrocities in  Northern Rakhine State - 24 September 2018

UK and France host high-level event on the Rohingya crisis - 24 September 2018

Myanmar 'resolutely rejects' ICC ruling on Rakhine: Kyaw Tint Swe at UN -  28 September 2018


Statement By Cardinal Charles Bo, Archbishop of Yangon - 26 June 2017

An evolution of Rohingya Persecution: Middle East Institute - Zarni and Cowley 20 April 2017

A critique of  eight articles by U Ba Tha written between 1959 and 1966 - 7 March 2017

Interview with Vijay Nambiar: "No Country for the Rohingyas" - Rediff News 2 March 2017

An Innocent in La La Land? Misinformation in Dr Ibrahim's Book - 1 March 2017

Review of revised edition of Dr Ibrahim's book - 1 February 2018

ASEAN Foreign Ministers Retreat Yangon: Speech by Malaysian FM - 19 December 2016


1940: Report on Indian Immigration - Financial Secretary James Baxter 

Command Paper 7029 - Record of Conversations between HMG and Aung San

Extracts 1947 Panglong Hugh Tinker Volume II

Report of the Frontier Areas Committee of Enquiry 24 April 1947

1948: Death of Aung San - Allegations of British involvement

1972-1973: List of 144 [143] national ethnic races for use in the 1973 Census

Suu Kyi - Sao Shwe Thaik family relations: UK FCO correspondence 1973

Suu Kyi at Oxford 1979: Comments on Indians, British, Chinese and Japanese

1982 Citizenship Law     

1983 Citizenship Rules

Rohingya/Muslim Issues - Database

Thein Sein assures Guterres of legality of Bengali Immigration during British Rule

Burmese Text of Report by President's Office on 12 July 2012

RFA report of Thein-Sein Guterres Conversation on 11 July 2012

IMF - Myanmar 2016: Article IV Staff Report - 2 February 2017

Text of Bangladesh-Myanmar Agreement on Refugee Repatriation dated 23 November 2017

Background Notes

1. The Rewriting of History: Rohingya Anachronism - 7 May 2018

2. A comment on "Fact Sheet on the Rohingya" by Maung Zarni - 26 May 2018

Indonesia and Cambodia

The UK's supposed complicity in the mass killings in Indonesia in 1965: Derek Tonkin

British Policy towards Indonesia 1963-66: Derek Tonkin

Statement in Open Court Geidt and de Normann v. Pilger and CIT plc 5 July 1991