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Burma has far to go

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Burma has far to go

Post  Panda on Tue 23 Apr - 15:46

Burma has far to go

EU ministers ignored their previous demands when they lifted sanctions on
Burma. It could be a grave mistake

Burma’s regime has made real
progress, notably by releasing Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, but its
reforms may now come to a halt Photo:

By Telegraph View

8:38PM BST 22 Apr 2013


An iron law of effective diplomacy is that if you make public demands, your
credibility depends on sticking to them. European Union foreign ministers saw
fit to ignore that lesson yesterday when they formally lifted all sanctions on
Burma except an arms embargo. Last year, the same ministers said this step would
only be taken if President Thein Sein’s regime met four conditions. He would
have to release all political prisoners, allow the delivery of aid throughout
Burma, resolve the country’s remaining ethnic insurgencies, and improve the
“status” and “welfare” of the Muslim minority, known as the Rohingyas.

In reality, not one of those demands has been met. The most egregious breach
has been the continued persecution of the Rohingya Muslims, who have been the
target of what can only be described as barbaric pogroms, often led by Buddhist
monks. New footage of a particularly horrifying incident shows police officers
standing by as Muslims in the town of Meiktila were beaten and burned to death
last month, with their shops and homes looted.

It was deeply embarrassing that William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, should
have agreed to lift sanctions just as this bloodshed was disclosed. True,
Burma’s regime has made real reforms, notably by releasing Aung San Suu Kyi from
house arrest. Outside powers always find it difficult to strike the right
balance between rewarding an authoritarian regime for genuine progress and
retaining enough sticks to ensure that reform continues. The danger is that Mr
Hague and his EU colleagues have now cast aside all their sticks, leaving
themselves with no option but to rely on the regime’s goodwill. If Burma’s
reforms now come to a halt, history will judge this decision a grave mistake.
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Re: Burma has far to go

Post  Panda on Tue 23 Apr - 15:56

Burma carrying out 'policy of ethnic cleansing' against Muslims, says human
rights agency

Human Rights Watch calls for an international inquiry into the violence in
Burma as they release evidence that Burmese security forces organised and stood
guard over Buddhist attacks on Muslim settlements before burying scores of
bodies in mass graves.


11:23AM BST 22 Apr 2013

Evidence of official involvement in the massacres that left hundreds dead was
gathered by Human Rights Watch researchers at 27 different sites in Arakan
State, including at four mass graves dug between June and October last year.

The report released
today by Human Rights Watch is the most comprehensive evidence yet that the
Burmese government colluded in a
wave of ethnic attacks and was released just hours before the EU was due to drop
sanctions on the Burmese regime as a reward for reformist pledges at a meeting
in Luxembourg on Monday.

"During this period of time, thousands of Arakanese civilians descended on
Muslim villages, burned the villages down to the ground, security forces either
stood by and watched or directly participated in abuses," report author Matthew
Smith told The Telegraph.

In the worse single massacre of the three month outbreak more than 70 people,
including 28 children were hacked to death in a day long massacre at Yan Thei

Muslims are resented in the region as immigrants who have crossed illegally
from Bengal into Burma, even though most of those affected have lived in the
area for several generations.

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"Government authorities and certain non-state actors in the state have
altered the ethnic demographics of Arakan State in Burma and this has all been
part of a policy of ethnic cleansing," Matthew Smith said.

He addedthat an international commission of inquiry into crimes
against humanity and ethnic cleansing should be organised. "This would hopefully
do a lot, not only to stem violence from continuing, but also establish some
accountability," he said.

He also warned about the urgent need for humanitarian aid for those displaced
by the violence.

Burma footage and photographs courtesy of Human Rights Watch

I watched a Documentary last night about this, it was horrifying and obviously the Political Leader incarcerated in her home for many years and now leading the Country has no control . This World has gone crazy , so many Wars, so much hunger, so much hatred., so sad.
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