Network Myanmar

                Documents of Interest





Top Ten Contemporary Articles on Myanmar Issues


The Insouciance of the Downtown Rangoon Book Scene

David Scott Mathieson: Tea Circle Oxford 17 September 2018

Extract: I surveyed the motley selection at one well-stocked stand. Take for example a snapshot of this phenomenon in the above photograph. There were books with titles such as The Rohingya: Inside Myanmar’s Hidden Genocide by Azeem Ibrahim, a work riddled with errors and reeking of opportunism, yet which resonates with international peripatetic perceptions of the conflict despite its starkly obvious shortcomings. A shockingly racist, xenophobic, conspiracy theory screed entitled Behind the Mask: The Truth Behind the Name “Rohingya, by Khin Maung Saw, with its dehumanizing artwork of an alien-type ghoul creature, proving one can indeed judge a book by its cover. The Spanish journalist Carlos Sardiña Galache, who has produced some of the most insightful, balanced, and principled reportage of the Rakhine conflict over the past several years, penned an excellent essay last year in the pages of the New Left Review of Behind the Mask and Azeem Ibrahim’s Rohingya book, which attempted to comprehend the perspectives of the crisis pulling in opposite directions. It is jarring to see both books displayed in downtown along the same bookshelves after reading Carlos’ carefully drawn critique as they represent the extremes of the debates over Rakhine State.


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.


Storm of Accountability gathers over Myanmar

David Scott Mathieson - Asia Times 17 August 2018

Extract: The one-year anniversary of the state-sponsored mass killings, rape and arson that brutally expelled over 700,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar’s Rakhine state into neighboring Bangladesh is fast approaching, without any clear sign of resolution or accountability. On August 28, the UN Security Council is scheduled to hold a meeting on Myanmar to assess efforts on addressing the conflict. It is unlikely to be a happy event for the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) government, as it is expected to find a lack of progress in investigating the violence, improving conditions for the Rohingya who remain in Rakhine and creating conditions for their safe and dignified return from Bangladesh.


'Illegal Migration' in Arakan: myths and numbers - Carlos Sardina Galache

New Mandala  - 16 August 2018

Extract: Given the available data, we can’t deny forcefully that there was some “illegal immigration” from Chittagong to Arakan after independence, but we can conclude that it would have been of a much smaller order of magnitude than that claimed by government sources and Rakhine and Burmese nationalists. Taking all the mentioned factors that would account for a higher growth among Muslims, I would venture that post-independence immigrants couldn’t have surpassed 5% of the total Muslim population of Arakan in 1983, or 1.4% of the total there (that is, around 30,000 people), and it is possible that the real figure was lower.


Unfolding Scenes behind the Curtain

Daw Htay Htay Win: Tea Circle Oxford - 8 August 2018

The author describes the history behind the distribution of Bogyoke  Aung Gyi’s 41 page letter of 9 May 1988. She notes that it took many people from all walks of life, taking part in all kinds of roles, to break the chains of military oppression and dictatorship in Myanmar and to take us to where we are today. Reflecting on this, the following article will be presented in two parts. The first part will delve into my thoughts on why it is important to recognize the efforts of those who struggle for freedom from dictatorship, even if they are not placed under the lime-light as a result. The second part is the transcription from U Maung Maung Tun Shwe’s original voice-recorded telling of the story of U Aung Gyi’s “41 page letter.”


[The texts of Aung Gyi's letters to General Ne Win in 1988 dated 7 March, 9 May and 8 June may be found at this link.]


The Security Council and Myanmar

Security Council Report - 31 July 2018

Summary: "In August, the Council is expected to hold a public meeting on the situation in Myanmar, one year after the 25 August 2017 attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on security posts and the violent reaction by the Myanmar military forces that led to over 750,000 persons fleeing to Bangladesh. Secretary-General António Guterres, who has recently returned from Bangladesh, is expected to brief. The meeting will likely be chaired by a UK minister; a civil society briefer may also address the Council."


Disinformation and 'Fake News' - Interim Report

UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee - 29 July 2018

Extract - Paragraph 30: "Out of a 50 million population in Burma, there are 30 million monthly active users on Facebook. While Free Basics gives internet access for the majority of people in Burma, at the same time it severely limits the information available to users, making Facebook virtually the only source of information online for the majority of people in Burma. The United Nations accused Facebook of playing a determining role in stirring up hatred against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Rakhine State. In March 2018, the UN Myanmar investigator Yanghee Lee said that the platform had morphed into a ‘beast’

that helped to spread vitriol against Rohingya Muslims."


Publications


2017


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



2018


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


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



Articles


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




Database


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


















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