Civil Rights Movement

Civil Rights Movement

December, 2017

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Brutality against children ‘cannot be the new normal’ stresses UNICEF

28 December 2017 – The scale of attack on children in conflict zones throughout 2017 is “shocking” said the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), calling on all parties to conflict to abide by their obligations under international law and immediately end violations and attacks against children.

Children are being targeted and exposed to attacks and brutal violence in their homes, schools and playgrounds,” said Manuel Fontaine, the Director of Emergency Programmes at UNICEF, in a news release Thursday.

“As these attacks continue year after year, we cannot become numb. Such brutality cannot be the new normal.”

According to UNICEF, children have become frontline targets, used as human shields, killed, maimed and recruited to fight in conflicts around the world.

Sexual violence, forced marriage, abduction and enslavement have become “standard tactics,” in conflicts from Iraq, Syria and Yemen, to Nigeria, South Sudan and Myanmar, said the UN agency.

In addition to the physical trauma children have had to suffer, far too many children have been subjected to the psychosocial trauma in having to witnesses shocking and widespread violence.

Hundreds of thousands have been displaced and many children have died as a result of lack of health care, medicines or access to food and water, because these services and were damaged or destroyed in fighting.

In some contexts, children abducted by extremist groups experience abuse yet again upon release when they are detained by security forces, added UNICEF.

In the news release, the UN agency underscored the need of all parties to conflict to abide by their obligations under international law to immediately end violations against children and the targeting of civilian infrastructure, including schools and hospitals.

UNICEF also called on all States with influence over parties to conflict “to use that influence to protect children.”

Source :

UN Gathers Horror Stories from Rohingya Women Fleeing Myanmar

Now, living in massive refugee camps and settlements near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, victims must deal with past traumas and face new risks.

Rejina is a grandmother who didn’t want her last name used. She said she has felt empty inside since losing contact with her 15-year-old granddaughter, following the army’s first wave of so-called clearance operations targeting the teenager’s village of Khadi Bil in Myanmar’s Maungdaw township. The military action in October 2016 followed deadly insurgent attacks on border guard posts in Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state.

“I heard that the military came and entered the house and grabbed her and stole her property,” said Rejina, 65, now living in the Kutipalong camp in Bangladesh.

“They checked the house and grabbed whatever they wanted. If they found any young women, they took them away. Lots of women were raped,” Rejina said.

Severe after-effects

While thousands of female refugees might appear to be coping with conditions in the border camps, many survivors of alleged sexual violence by Myanmar security forces suffer from severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Accounts gathered by rights groups support the accusations of widespread rape by the Myanmar army on the Rohingya population.

Pramila Patten, the U.N. special representative on sexual violence in conflict, interviewed survivors in Bangladesh in November and said, “I heard the most heartbreaking and horrific accounts of sexual atrocities, reportedly committed in cold blood out of a lethal hatred for these people, solely on the basis of their ethnicity and religion. The wounds are extremely raw, dozens of women and girls dissolving to tears when recounting acts of unmitigated brutality.”

Access to therapy and treatment is lacking as more pressing issues like food supplies and adequate shelter take precedence in the 10 camps. Lack of communication adds to the dilemma, as efforts to get the word out to women in need prove difficult.

“Many women also lost their husbands, so you have many female-headed households,” said Jessica Olney, regional spokeswoman for the Center for Social Integrity.

“Women are still needing to figure out how services work and how to access them, and they don’t necessarily have experience advocating for them, so they are going without and that puts them in a vulnerable position,” Olney said.

To aid in treatment, NGOs like the International Organization for Migration are building women’s safe areas where they can receive psychosocial support from medical professionals.

Safe place to talk

“In these centers, it’s safe and secure and there are only other women there and they can talk about the things that are important to them,” said Fiona MacGregor, IOM communications officer.

“It’s an opportunity to hear what their needs are and find ways of reacting to that,” MacGregor said.

“These are also people who come from very small villages, and suddenly they are finding themselves in a place where there are more than 800,000 people living in the camps,” she said.

In addition to previous traumas, many of the new arrivals face the added risk of human trafficking as criminal networks prey on those seeking work.

“One thing we identified as a particular risk in the camps here is trafficking,” MacGregor said. “Women and girls are particularly vulnerable, and we’re hearing about traffickers approaching women and tricking them or persuading them to go for what they think are safe jobs somewhere else and they are ending up in situations of real exploitation.” She said some wind up “in the sex industry, or we are hearing about girls and women being promised domestic work and find they’re in different situations.”

More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have left Rakhine state since August 25, after insurgents attacked security forces and prompted a brutal military crackdown that has been described as ethnic cleansing. Since then, the IOM has provided 2,500 people with psychological first aid, but if stories gathered by rights groups are accurate, the refugees face a long road to recovery.

Myanmar’s government has repeatedly rejected claims that atrocities, including rape and extrajudicial killings, are occurring in northern Rakhine, the epicenter of the violence.

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Aung San Suu Kyi ‘avoided’ discussion of Rohingya rape during UN meeting

Myanmar state counsellor refused to engage in substantive talks about alleged violence against the Muslim minority, says envoy

Aung San Suu Kyi avoided discussing reports of Rohingya women and girls being raped by Myanmar troops and police when she met a senior UN official, according to an internal memo seen by the Guardian.

Pramila Patten, the special envoy on sexual violence in conflict, travelled to the country for a four-day visit in mid-December to raise the crisis with government officials.

But she said Aung San Suu Kyi, a state counsellor in the Myanmar government, refused to engage in “any substantive discussion” of reports that soldiers, border guard police and Rakhine Buddhist militias carried out “widespread and systematic” sexual violence in northern Rakhine state.

“The meeting with the state counsellor was a cordial courtesy call of
approximately 45 minutes that was, unfortunately, not substantive in nature,” she wrote in a letter sent to UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres last week.

More than 655,000 Rohingya, members of a persecuted and stateless Muslim minority, have fled to Bangladeshi refugee camps since violence began in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state in August. Médecins Sans Frontières believes at least 6,700 Rohingya were killed during “clearance operations” ostensibly targeting militants, while many survivors say women and girls were gang-raped.

Instead of discussing the claims directly, Patten said Aung San Suu Kyi informed her she would enjoy “a number of good meetings” with senior Myanmar officials.

During these meetings, she was told by representatives of the military and civilian government that reports of atrocities were “exaggerated and fabricated by the international community”.

“Moreover, a belief was expressed that those who fled did so due to an affiliation with terrorist groups, and did so to evade law enforcement,” she wrote.

Myanmar’s army has cleared itself of any wrongdoing in an internal investigation dubbed a “whitewash” by human rights groups.

While in the country, Patten met the man who headed that investigation, Lt-Gen Aye Win, who explained their methodology.

“The military investigation, which consisted of armed men in uniform ‘interrogating’ civilians in large group settings, often on camera, and then presenting rations to communities following their testimony and cooperation, clearly occurred under coercive circumstances, where the incentive structure was not to lodge complaints,” Patten wrote.

“Accordingly, over 800 interviews yielded zero reports of sexual or other violence against civilians by the armed and security forces,” she said.

Patten also expressed concerns about plans to send Rohingya who have fled back to Myanmar, citing the “prevailing climate of impunity” in the country.

Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to the “speedy” repatriation of Rohingya, scheduled to start by the end of January.

But many Rohingya say they will not return voluntarily until they are given citizenship as well as guarantees that they will be safe and not put into internment camps. Tens of thousands have been living in such camps elsewhere in Rakhine state since violence in 2012.

Skye Wheeler, the researcher for Human Rights Watch who investigated the sexual violence allegations, said Myanmar was denying a “terrible truth”.

“The lack of acknowledgement or care the Myanmar authorities including Aung San Suu Kyi have shown for Rohingya women and girls who have been brutally raped by Myanmar soldiers as part of their ethnic cleansing campaign is almost as shocking as the horrific crimes themselves,” she told the Guardian.

“It’s like a second attack, to endure a vicious gang rape and then to be ignored, as if you don’t matter at all, to have that terrible truth denied.”

The Myanmar government was contacted for comment.

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UN General Assembly calls on Myanmar to stop military campaign against Rohingya Muslims

The United Nations General Assembly has called on Myanmar to halt its military campaign against Rohingya Muslims.

On Sunday, a resolution forwarded by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was adopted by a vote of 122 to 10 with 24 abstentions.

It calls for Myanmar to grant aid workers access and to give Rohingya Muslims full citizenship rights.

The resolution also calls on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to assign a special envoy to the country.

China, Russia, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Belarus, Syria and Zimbabwe voted against the resolution.

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Backed by Myanmar’s government and Buddhist majority, the military launched yet another heavy-handed crackdown against the Muslim minority in Rakhine State on August 25, using a number of armed attacks on military posts as the pretext.

Over that past three months, government troops, apart from raping, have been committing killings, making arbitrary arrests, and carrying out mass arson attacks to destroy houses in predominantly-Rohingya villages in Rakhine.

Only in its first month, the clampdown, called by the UN and prominent rights group an “ethnic cleansing campaign,” killed some 6,700 Rohingya Muslims, including more than 700 children, according to Doctors Without Borders.

More than 655,000 Rohingya Muslims have so far fled the predominantly-Buddhist Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh since then.

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Pressed by lawmakers, US mulls more sanctions on Myanmar

The State Department said Friday the U.S. is considering further actions against those responsible for “ethnic cleansing” of Rohingya Muslims, after a Myanmar general was blacklisted and Democratic lawmakers called for more military officers to face sanctions.

Rep. Eliot Engel, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, contended that Myanmar authorities were committing genocide in Rakhine State. He said it was “stunning” that the Trump administration has only designated one person from Myanmar over the bloody crackdown that caused a refugee exodus to Bangladesh.

The United States imposed sanctions on Maung Maung Soe, who until last month was chief of the Myanmar army’s Western command responsible for security operations in Rakhine. He was among 13 people worldwide punished Thursday under human rights legislation.

Katina Adams, a State Department spokeswoman for East Asia, said Friday the U.S. is continuing to consider options under U.S. and international law “to help ensure that those responsible for ethnic cleansing and other atrocities face appropriate consequences.”

The crackdown has forced 650,000 of the minority Muslims to flee the majority-Buddhist nation, casting a shadow over its transition to democracy after decades of direct military rule. That has soured relations with Washington, which in the past five years had been rolling back economic sanctions to support Myanmar’s political change.

“With 6,000 dead and thousands more raped, beaten and displaced, it is clear Maung Maung Soe has not acted alone,” said Rep. Joe Crowley of New York. “The other military officials involved in the ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya must be sanctioned for their roles in this genocide. The United States has a moral obligation to act.”

Engel has put forward legislation to impose targeted sanctions and visa restrictions on those responsible for the crackdown. He called Friday for sanctions against the Bureau of Special Operations in the capital, Naypyidaw, including the military commander in chief, Min Aung Hlaing; the field commanders of three divisions under Maung Maung Soe’s command in Rakhine State; and military commanders in northern Kachin and Shan states accused of “flagrant abuses of civilians.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon also supports more sanctions. He said by barring a U.N. human rights investigator from the country, the government was trying “to cover up and make invisible a campaign of mass atrocities.”

Myanmar denies allegations of human rights violations, saying its security forces have not targeted civilians and were responding to attacks by Rohingya militants in August.

The aid group Doctors Without Borders estimates at least 6,700 Rohingya civilians were killed in the first month of the crackdown.

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ႏိုင္ငံကာကြယ္ေရးလုပ္ေဆာင္ျခင္းျဖစ္လို႔ ကန္အေရးယူမႈ မွတ္ခ်က္မေပးလိုဟု တပ္မေတာ္တုံ႔ျပန္

ရခိုင္ေျမာက္ပိုင္းအေရး လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး ခ်ိဳးေဖာက္မႈေတြရွိေနတယ္ဆိုၿပီး အေမရိကန္က ဒဏ္ခတ္အေရးယူမႈဟာ အေမရိကန္အစိုးရရဲ႕ မူဝါဒသာျဖစ္တဲ့အတြက္ တပ္ဘက္က မွတ္ခ်က္ မေပးလိုဘူးလို႔ တပ္မေတာ္သတင္းမွန္ျပန္ၾကားေရးအဖြဲ႔ကတုံ႔ျပန္ပါတယ္။ အစြန္းေရာက္ေတြရဲ႕ အၾကမ္းဖက္တိုက္ခိုက္မႈေတြအေပၚ နယ္ေျမရွင္းလင္းတာကို ခိုင္လံုတဲ့ အေထာက္အထားမရွိပဲစြပ္စြဲေျပာဆိုမႈ တရပ္သာျဖစ္တယ္လို႔ ရခိုင္ျပည္သူ႔ လႊတ္ေတာ္ အမတ္တဦးကလည္း ေဝဖန္လိုက္ပါတယ္။ ဒါေပမဲ့လို႔ စစ္ဗို္လ္ခ်ဳပ္တဦးတည္း ကိုပဲ ဒီကိစၥေတြ အားလံုးမွာ တာဝန္ရွိတယ္ဆိုၿပီး ဒဏ္ခတ္ အေရးယူလိုက္တာဟာ ျမန္မာ့ႏိုင္ငံေရး အေနအထားအေပၚ သတိေပးတဲ့သေဘာ ခ်င့္ခ်င့္ခ်ိန္ခ်ိန္ ဆံုးျဖတ္ခ်က္ ခ်လိုက္တာျဖစ္တယ္လို႔ ျမန္မာ့ႏိုင္ငံေရး အကဲခတ္ကလည္း သံုးသပ္ပါတယ္။ သံုးသပ္ခ်က္ အျမင္ေတြကို မဆုမြန္ စုစည္းတင္ျပထားပါတယ္။

ကမာၻတဝွမ္းက လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးခ်ိဳးေဖာက္မႈေတြနဲ႔ ဆက္ႏြယ္ၿပီး အေမရိကန္အစိုးရက အေရးယူဒဏ္ခတ္မႈအသစ္ေတြ ခ်မွတ္လိုက္တဲ့ လူပုဂၢိဳလ္ (၁၃) ေယာက္အနက္ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံက ရခုိင္ျပည္နယ္ စစ္ဆင္ေရးေတြမွာ ၾကီးၾကပ္တာဝန္ယူခဲ့တဲ့ အေနာက္ပိုင္း တုိင္း စစ္ဌာနခ်ဳပ္တိုင္းမွဴးေဟာင္း ဗိုလ္ခ်ဳပ္ေမာင္ေမာင္စိုးကို လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးခ်ိဳးေဖာက္ မႈေတြမွာ တာဝန္ရွိသူအျဖစ္ ဒဏ္ခတ္အေရးယူတဲ့စာရင္းထဲ ထည့္သြင္းလိုက္တာပါ။

အခုလို အေမရိကန္ဘက္က စစ္ဗိုလ္ခ်ဳပ္တဦးအေပၚ ဒဏ္ခတ္အေရးယူမႈနဲ႔ပတ္သက္ၿပီး တပ္မေတာ္သတင္းမွန္ျပန္ၾကားေရးအဖြဲ႔က ဗိုလ္ခ်ဳပ္ထြန္းထြန္းညီကေတာ့ အေမရိကန္ အစိုးရဘက္က သူတို႔ရဲ႕ မူဝါဒအတုိင္း ေဆာင္ရြက္လုပ္ေဆာင္မႈျဖစ္တဲ့အတြက္ တစံုတရာ မွတ္ခ်က္ေပးရန္မရွိဘူးလို႔ ဗြီအိုေအျမန္မာပိုင္းကို အခုလိုေျပာပါတယ္။

“ဒီ Sanction နဲ႔ ပတ္သက္လို႔ေတာ့ ေျပာစရာမရွိဘူးနဲ႔တူပါတယ္။ ဘာလို႔ဆိုေတာ့ သူတို႔ ေပၚလစီက ေပၚလစီအတိုင္းပဲ သူတို႔လည္း ေပၚလစီအတိုင္းပဲ သူတို႔သြားၾကမွာေပါ့ေနာ္ ဒါကေတာ့ သူတို႔ႏိုင္ငံေပၚလစီအတိုင္းပဲ ျဖစ္မွာေပါ့။ သူတို႔ရည္ရြယ္ခ်က္ကို က်ေနာ္တို႔က ဘာမွ မသိရေသးတာေလ။ သူတို႔က ဘာရည္ရြယ္ခ်က္နဲ႔ လုပ္သလဲ ဆိုတာေတာ့ ရွိဦး မွာေပါ့ေနာ္။ က်ေနာ္တို႔ကေတာ့ တပ္မေတာ္သားဆိုေတာ့ တာ၀န္ေပးတဲ့အခ်ိန္မွာ တာဝန္ေပး တာကိုပဲ လုပ္ရတာပဲေလ တာဝန္ေပးတဲ့အေပၚမွာ လုပ္ရကိုင္ရတာပဲေလ။ တာ၀န္ေပးတဲ့အေပၚမွာ လုပ္ရကိုင္ရတာက က်ေနာ္တို႔က အလုပ္လုပ္တဲ့ေနရာမွာ Personal မွ မပါတာေလ ။ က်ေနာ္တို႔ အလုပ္လုပ္ေနတာက ႏိုင္ငံနဲ႔ တပ္မေတာ္အတြက္ အထက္ကေပးတဲ့ အမိန္႔အတိုင္း အလုပ္လုပ္ေနၾကတာေလ။”

ရခိုင္ေျမာက္ပိုင္းအေရး လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး ခ်ိဳးေဖာက္မႈေတြရွိေနတယ္ဆိုၿပီး အေမရိကန္က ဒဏ္ခတ္အေရးယူတာဟာ အစြန္းေရာက္ေတြရဲ႕ အၾကမ္းဖက္တိုက္ခိုက္မႈေတြအတြင္း နယ္ေျမ ရွင္းလင္းေရးလုပ္တာကို ႏို္င္ငံၾကီးတႏုိင္ငံျဖစ္ၿပီး ခိုင္လံုတဲ့အေထာက္အထား မရွိဘဲ စြပ္စြဲေျပာဆိုမႈ တရပ္သာျဖစ္တယ္လို႔ ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္ ေျမပံုၿမိဳ႕နယ္ ျပည္သူ႔ လႊတ္ေတာ္ ကိုယ္စားလွယ္တဦးျဖစ္တဲ့ ဦးေဖသန္းကေတာ့ ေဝဖန္လိုက္ပါတယ္။

“ အေထာက္အထားမဲ႔ စြပ္စြဲၿပီးေတာ့ Sanction လုပ္တယ္ဆိုတာကေတာ့ ႏိုင္ငံတႏိုင္ငံ အေနနဲ႔ ႏိုင္ငံႀကီးတႏိုင္ငံအေနနဲ႔ အဲလိုလုပ္တယ္ဆိုတာကေတာ့ ေတာ္ေတာ္ကို အဓိပၸါယ္ မရွိဘူးလို႔ ျမင္တယ္။ အဲဒါေၾကာင့္ က်ေန႔ာအေနနဲ႔ ေ၀ဖန္လိုတာကေတာ့ ဒီအေပၚမွာ က်ေနာ္တို႔ ဘာမွ မထူးဆန္းဘူး သူတို႔လုပ္ေနၾကအတိုင္းပဲ လုပ္တယ္လို႔ ျမင္တယ္။ ဒါေပမယ့္ အဲဒီအေပၚမွာ သူ႔ကို ဘယ္လိုက်ဴးလြန္မႈနဲ႔ ဘယ္လို တာ၀န္ေပးသလဲ ၊ ႏိုင္ငံေတာ္က တပ္မေတာ္က တာ၀န္ေပးရင္ေတာ့ သူ႔အေနနဲ႔ လုပ္ရမွာပဲ။ ဒါေပမယ့္ သူ႔အေနနဲ႔ ဘယ္ေလာက္အထိ ကိုယ္ထိလက္ေရာက္ အဲဒီအေပၚမွာ က်ဴးက်ဴး လြန္လြန္ လုပ္ခဲ့သလဲ။ အဲဒီ သူတို႔ ရထားတဲ့ သတင္းေတြကေရာ တကယ့္စိတ္ခ်ရတဲ့ မွန္ကန္တဲ့ သတင္းေတြလား။ အဲဒီလို အေထာက္အထား မျပႏိုင္ပဲနဲ႔ တဖက္သတ္ လူ ပုဂၢိဳလ္ တေယာက္ ကို တာ၀န္ရွိတယ္ဆိုၿပီးေတာ့ အေရးယူျခင္း Sanction လုပ္တယ္ဆိုတာကေတာ့ မရွိသင့္ဘူးေပါ့။”

အေမရိကန္အစိုးရဘက္ကေတာ့ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးခ်ိဳးေဖာက္မႈေတြရွိေနတယ္ဆိုတဲ့ ရခုိင္ေျမာက္ပိုင္းအေရး သတိေပးတဲ့သေဘာမ်ိဳးေလာက္ပဲ စတိသေဘာ ဒဏ္ခတ္ အေရးယူလိုက္တာျဖစ္ၿပီး အခုလို ဗိုလ္ခ်ဳပ္ေမာင္ေမာင္စိုးလို အထက္က အမိန္႔ကို နာခံရ တဲ့ စစ္ဗို္လ္ခ်ဳပ္တဦးတည္းကိုပဲ ဒီကိစၥေတြ အားလံုးမွာ တာဝန္ရွိတယ္ဆိုၿပီး ဒဏ္ ခတ္ အေရးယူ လိုက္တာဟာ အာဏာလက္ကိုင္ရရွိႏိုင္မႈ အက်ပ္အတည္းနဲ႔ ရင္ဆုိင္ေနရတဲ့ ျမန္မာ့ႏိုင္ငံေရး အေနအထားအေပၚ ခ်င့္ခ်င့္ခ်ိန္ခ်ိန္ ဆံုးျဖတ္ခ်က္ခ်လိုက္တာျဖစ္တယ္လို႔ ျမန္မာ့ႏိုင္ငံေရး အကဲခတ္ေဒါက္တာရန္မ်ိဳးသိမ္းကလည္းသံုးသပ္ပါတယ္။

“အေမရိကန္ရဲ႕ Targeted Sanction က တကယ္တမ္းေျပာမယ္ဆိုရင္ သူက စတိ ေလာက္ ခ်မွတ္လိုက္တဲ့ အေနအထားလို႔ က်ေနာ္ျမင္ပါတယ္။ အဲဒီေတာ့ တကယ္တမ္း ကေတာ့ အေမရိကန္အစိုးရအေနနဲ႔ ဒီျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံရဲ႕ လက္ရွိဒီမိုကေရစီ အေျပာင္းအလဲ အေပၚမွာ တကယ့္ကို ႏႈိင္းႏိႈင္းခ်ိန္ခ်ိန္နဲ႔ ဒဏ္ခတ္ပိတ္ဆို႔ အေရးယူမႈကို လုပ္လိုက္တယ္လို႔ ျမင္ပါတယ္။ ေနာက္တဖက္ကလည္း ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံနဲ႔ တရုတ္ျပည္သူ႔ သမၼတႏိုင္ငံရဲ႕ ဆက္ ဆံေရး ပိုၿပီးေတာ့ နီးကပ္သြားႏိုင္တဲ့ အေျခအေနေပၚမွာ ခ်င့္ခ်င့္ခ်ိန္ခ်ိန္စဥ္းစားၿပီးေတာ့ Targeted Sanction ကို လုပ္လိုက္တာလို႔ ျမင္ပါတယ္။”

ရခုိင္ျပည္နယ္တြင္းက ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာေတြအေပၚ ဥပေဒမဲ့သတ္ျဖတ္မႈ လိင္ပိုင္းဆိုင္ရာ အႏုိင္ က်င့္ ေစာ္ကားမႈ ဖမ္းဆီးမႈေတြအပါအဝင္ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးခ်ိဳးေဖာက္မႈေတြမွာ တာဝန္ရွိ ေၾကာင္း ခိုင္လံုတဲ့အေထာက္အထားေတြ ေတြ႔ရွိခဲ့တာေၾကာင့္ ဆိုၿပီး ဒီကေန႔ အိမ္ျဖဴေတာ္ က ထုတ္ျပန္တဲ့ေၾကညာခ်က္မွာ ေဖာ္ျပထားပါတယ္။ အထူးသျဖင့္ကေတာ့ ၾသဂုတ္လ အတြင္း ARSA အစြမ္းေရာက္အဖြဲ႔ေတြကို လိုက္လံရွင္းလင္းတဲ့ ျမန္မာစစ္တပ္ရဲ႕ စစ္ဆင္ ေရးေတြမွာ အေနာက္ပိုင္းတုိင္းစစ္ဌာနခ်ဳပ္က စစ္သားေတြဟာ ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာေက်းရြာေတြကို ဝင္ေရာက္ၿပီး ပစ္ခတ္သတ္ျဖတ္တာ အဓမၼျပဳက်င့္တာေတြ ရွိခဲ့ေၾကာင္း မ်က္ျမင္ ကိုယ္ေတြ႔ ႀကံဳေတြ႔ခဲ့ရသူေတြဆီက သက္ေသအေထာက္အထားေတြရတယ္လို႔ ထုတ္ျပန္ခ်က္ထဲ ေျပာဆိုထားပါတယ္။

ရခုိင္အမတ္ေတြနဲ႔ ရခိုင္ေဒသခံေတြဘက္ကေတာ့ၿပီးခဲ့တဲ့ ၾသဂုတ္လမွာျဖစ္ခဲ့တဲ့ ရခုိင္ေျမာက္ ပိုင္း ဘူးသီးေတာင္ ေမာင္ေတာေဒသတြင္း ARSA အၾကမ္းဖက္သမားေတြရဲ႕ အၾကမ္းဖက္တုိက္ခိုက္မႈေတြကို ျပန္ကာကြယ္တဲ့ စစ္တပ္ဘက္က နယ္ေျမလံုျခံဳေရးအရ အခ်ဳပ္အျခာကို ေစာင့္ေရွာက္ကာကြယ္မႈအျဖစ္ပဲ ျမင္တယ္လို႔ ရခုိင္အမတ္ ဦးေဖသန္းက ေျပာပါတယ္။

“အခုက်ေနာ္တို႔ ရခိုင္ေဒသခံေတြအေနနဲ႕ကေတာ့ ဒီစစ္ဆင္ေရးမွာ တဖက္က က်ဴးလြန္ လာလို႔ ျပန္ၿပီးေတာ့ တိုက္ထုတ္ရတဲ့ စစ္ဆင္ေရးျဖစ္တဲ့အတြက္ က်ေနာ္တို႔လည္း တပ္မေတာ္အေပၚမွာ အဲဒီလို မေတာ္မတရားလုပ္တယ္၊ အၾကမ္းဖက္ၿဖိဳခြဲတယ္ ဆိုတဲ့ အျမင္မ်ိဳးမျမင္ပါဘူး။”

အခုလို စစ္ဗိုလ္ခ်ဳပ္အေပၚ ဒဏ္ခတ္အေရးယူမႈေတြ ကို အေမရိကန္ဘက္က ေဆာင္ရြက္ ေပမဲ့လို႔ ျမန္မာအစိုးရ၊ တပ္မေတာ္နဲ႔ လႊတ္ေတာ္တာဝန္ရွိသူေတြဘက္ကေတာ့ အေမရိ ကန္လို အေနာက္ႏုိင္ငံေတြက ျမန္မာျပည္လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးအေပၚစိုးရိမ္မႈေတြအေပၚ ရွင္း လင္းႏိုင္ဖို႔ ေျမျပင္ ပကတိ အေျခအေနခိုင္လံုတဲ့ သတင္းအခ်က္အလက္ေတြ မွ်ေဝေပးႏုိင္ ဖို႔ ဒီ့ထက္က်ယ္က်ယ္ျပန္႔ျပန္႔ သံတမန္ေရးအရ ေဆာင္ရြက္သင့္တယ္လို႔လည္း ေဒါက္တာ ရန္မ်ိဳးသိမ္းက အၾကံျပဳပါတယ္။

အေမရိကန္သမၼတ Donald Trump ၾကာသပေတးေန႔က လက္မွတ္ေရးထိုးၿပီး အေမရိ ကန္ ဘ႑ာေရးဝန္ႀကီးဌာနက ထုတ္ျပန္လိုက္တဲ့ အမိန္႔အရ ဒီလို အေရးယူ ဒဏ္ခတ္မႈ ခ်မွတ္ခံလိုက္ရသူေတြအေနနဲ႔ အေမရိကန္မွာ ပိုင္ဆိုင္မႈေတြရွိရင္ ခ်ိတ္ပိတ္ ထိန္းခ်ဳပ္ခံရမွာ ျဖစ္တဲ့အျပင္ အေမရိကန္နဲ႔ ႏုိင္ငံတကာ ေငြေၾကးစနစ္ ဘ႑ာေရးအသုံးျပဳမႈ မွာလည္း ကန္႔သတ္ခံရမွာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။

Source :

Accounts of violence against Rohingya Muslims must be documented: Bob Rae

“Chilling and graphic” eyewitness accounts of violence against hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees must be documented so those responsible can be brought to justice, says Bob Rae, Canadian special envoy to Myanmar.

Mr. Rae’s interim report on the Rohingya crisis calls on Canada to maintain its support for international non-governmental organizations that are making “compelling” legal arguments about the treatment of the Rohingya. Mr. Rae released the report on Thursday, just over a month after his first trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh, where he witnessed first-hand the humanitarian crisis that has displaced more than 655,000 Rohingya refugees since August.

“Eyewitness accounts that I have heard have been both chilling and graphic. The gathering of evidence about particular events has to be thorough and systematic and relate to specific events, in particular places, at particular times,” Mr. Rae wrote.

“This work needs to look at events over the last several years, and efforts must be made to link them to those responsible for such violence and abuses of human rights and security.”

Canada and the United Nations have said “ethnic cleansing” is taking place against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar’s remote Rakhine State. Although Mr. Rae’s report did not use the term “ethnic cleansing,” he described the violence faced by Rohingya refugees.

“In addition to accounts of shooting and military violence, I also heard directly from women of sexual violence and abuse at the hands of the Myanmar military, and the death of children and the elderly on the way to the camps,” the report read.

Mr. Rae said there are well-founded concerns in Rohingya refugee camps about the potential for “catastrophe” due to heavy rain and wind, and the potential for the outbreak of disease. Bangladesh is in one of its cyclone seasons, which run from September through December and March through July. Mr. Rae said the international community, including Canada, must step up to prevent “serious loss of life.”

The violence in Rakhine began on Aug. 25 after Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts and an army base in the state. Myanmar’s military responded by killing hundreds of people, triggering an exodus of Rohingya to neighbouring Bangladesh. Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the country’s military have come under international pressure to end the violence, but Ms. Suu Kyi does not have any control over the military under the 2008 constitution.

Although Mr. Rae was unable to access remote Rakhine during his visit to Myanmar, he had an hour-long meeting with Ms. Suu Kyi’s officials in Yangon. He did not meet with any of Myanmar’s military officials. He plans to return to Myanmar in January, in hopes of visiting Rakhine, and will issue a final report with recommendations after his return.

Canada has pledged more than $37.5-million in humanitarian assistance for Bangladesh and Myanmar this year, contributing to the UN’s appeal for $434-million (U.S.) before February. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Mr. Rae as special envoy in October.

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Turkish PM calls Rohingya killings in Myanmar ‘genocide’

COX‘S BAZAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) – Turkey’s prime minister on Wednesday dubbed the killing of minority Muslim Rohingyas in Myanmar by its security forces “genocide” and urged the international community to ensure their safety back home.

Binali Yildirim met several Rohingyas in two refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar in neighboring Bangladesh.

Almost 870,000 Rohingya fled there, about 660,000 of whom arrived after Aug. 25, when Rohingya militants attacked security posts and the Myanmar army launched a counter-offensive.

“The Myanmar military has been trying to uproot Rohingya Muslim community from their homeland and for that they persecuted them, set fire to their homes, villages, raped and abused women and killed them,” Yildirim told reporters from Cox’s Bazar, before flying back to Turkey.

 “It’s one kind of a genocide,” he said.

“The international community should also work together to ensure their safe and dignified return to their homeland,” Yildirim, who was accompanied by Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, said.

Surveys of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh by aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres have shown at least 6,700 Rohingya were killed in Rakhine state in the month after violence flared up on Aug. 25, MSF said last week.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein has called the violence “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and said he would not be surprised if a court eventually ruled that genocide had taken place.

Yildirim inaugurated a medical camp at Balukhali, sponsored by Turkey, and handed over two ambulances to Cox’s Bazar district administration. He also distributed food to Rohingya refugees at Kutupalong makeshift camp.

He urged the international community to enhance support for Rohingyas in Bangladesh and help find a political solution to this humanitarian crisis.

U.N. investigators have heard Rohingya testimony of a “consistent, methodical pattern of killings, torture, rape and arson”.

The United Nations defines genocide as acts meant to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group in whole or in part. Such a designation is rare under international law, but has been used in contexts including Bosnia, Sudan and an Islamic State campaign against the Yazidi communities in Iraq and Syria.

Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s less than two-year old civilian government has faced heavy international criticism for its response to the crisis, though it has no control over the generals it has to share power with under Myanmar’s transition after decades of military rule.

Yildirim’s trip follows Turkish first lady Emine Erdogan’s visit in September to the Rohingya camp, when she said the crack down in Myanmar’s Rakhine state was “tantamount to genocide” and a solution to the Rohingya crisis lies in Myanmar alone.

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ျမန္မာ့တပ္မေတာ္ရဲ႕ ရာဇဝတ္မႈအစီရင္ခံစာ HRW အဖြဲ႔ထုတ္ျပန္

တူလာတိုလီရြာက ျမန္မာ့တပ္မေတာ္ရဲ႕ရာဇဝတ္မႈ ဆိုတဲ့ေခါင္းစဥ္နဲ႔အစီရင္ခံစာတေစာင္ကို HRW လူ႔အခြင့္ အေရးေစာင့္ၾကည့္အဖြဲ႔က ထုတ္ျပန္လိုက္ပါတယ္။

ေမာင္ေတာခရိုင္ တူလာတိုလီ ေခၚ မင္းႀကီးရြာမွာ ၾသဂုတ္လ ၃၀ ရက္ေန႔က နယ္ေျမရွင္းလင္းေရးဆိုၿပီး၊ ျမန္မာ့ တပ္မေတာ္က အၾကမ္းဖက္ႏွိမ္နင္းတဲ့အခါမွာ ျမစ္ကမ္းေဘးမွာ ရြာသားေတြကို စနစ္တက် သုတ္သင္ရွင္းလင္း သတ္ျဖတ္သလို၊ အမ်ိဳးသမီးေတြ ရာနဲ႔ခ်ီၿပီး မုဒိန္းက်င့္ခဲ့တယ္လို႔ စာမ်က္ႏွာ ၃၀ ပါတဲ့ အဲဒီအစီရင္ခံစာမွာ ေရးထား ပါတယ္။ အဲဒီထဲမွာ အမ်ိဳးသမီး ၁၈ ေယာက္ကို ေတြ႔ဆံုေမးျမန္းထားတဲ့ ကိုယ့္ေတြ႕ျဖစ္ရပ္ေတြပါဝင္ၿပီး၊ တျခား ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာဒုကၡသည္ ၂၀၀ ေက်ာ္ရဲ႕ အေတြ႔အႀကံဳေတြလည္း ပါဝင္တယ္လို႔သိရပါတယ္။

အဲဒီ တူလာတိုလီက ျမန္မာ့တပ္မေတာ္ရဲ႕လုပ္ရပ္ဟာရက္စက္ၾကမ္းၾကဳတ္တယ္လို႔ေျပာယံုတင္မကဘဲ စနစ္တက်လုပ္တာလို႔ကိုေျပာနိုင္တယ္လို႔ HRW ရဲ႕အာရွေဒသဆိုင္ရာ ညႊန္ၾကားေရးမွဴး Brad Adam ကေျပာပါတယ္။

ARSA ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာအၾကမ္းဖက္အဖြဲ႔က ၾသဂုတ္လ ၂၅ ရက္ေန႔မွာဝင္တုိက္လို႔ ၾသဂုတ္လ ၃၀ ရက္ေန႔ မွာေတာ့ ျမန္မာစစ္သားေတြနဲ႔ လက္နက္ကိုင္ ရခိုင္ရြာသားေတြက တူလာတိုလီကိုေရာက္ခဲ့ၾကတယ္လို႔ ဆိုပါတယ္။ အဲဒီမွာထြက္ေျပးၾကတဲ့ ရြာသားေတြကို ေက်းရြာဥကၠဌက ျမစ္ေဘးမွာလူစုခိုင္းထားၿပီးတဲ့ေနာက္ စစ္သားေတြက သူတို႔ကို ဝုိင္းထားလိုက္ၿပီး၊ အမ်ိဳးသား အမ်ိဳးသမီး သီးျခားစီခြဲလိုက္တဲ့အေၾကာင္း၊ ေနာက္ေတာ့ အမ်ိဳးသားေတြကို ဒူးေထာက္ခိုင္းၿပီး ေသနတ္နဲ႔ပစ္သတ္သလို၊ ဓါးေတြနဲ႔ပါထိုးသတ္တယ္ဆိုတဲ့အေၾကာင္း၊ ၿပီးတဲ့အခါ အေလာင္းေတြ ကို မီးရိႈ႕ေျမျမွဳပ္ၿပီး ေဖ်ာက္ဖ်က္ၾကတဲ့အေၾကာင္း၊ အမ်ိဳးသမီးေတြကိုေတာ့ မုဒိန္းက်င့္ၾကတယ္ဆိုတဲ့အေၾကာင္း HRW ရဲ့ အစီရင္ခံစာမွာေရးထားပါတယ္။

ဒါေၾကာင့္ အဲဒီလုပ္ရပ္အတြက္ ကုလသမဂၢနဲ႔ ႏိုင္ငံတကာအစိုးရေတြက ျပစ္တင္ရႈတ္ခ်ေနရံုနဲ႔ မလုံေလာက္ဘဲ အေရးယူဖို႔ပါ လိုအပ္တယ္လို႔ HRW က ေျပာပါတယ္။

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Could Aung San Suu Kyi face Rohingya genocide charges?

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, is determined that the perpetrators of the horrors committed against the Rohingya face justice.

He’s the head of the UN’s watchdog for human rights across the world, so his opinions carry weight.

It could go right to the top – he doesn’t rule out the possibility that civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the head of the armed forces Gen Aung Min Hlaing, could find themselves in the dock on genocide charges some time in the future.

Earlier this month, Mr Zeid told the UN Human Rights Council that the widespread and systematic nature of the persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar (also called Burma) meant that genocide could not be ruled out.

“Given the scale of the military operation, clearly these would have to be decisions taken at a high level,” said the high commissioner, when we met at the UN headquarters in Geneva for BBC Panorama.

That said, genocide is one of those words that gets bandied about a lot. It sounds terrible – the so-called “crime of crimes”. Very few people have ever been convicted of it.

The crime was defined after the Holocaust. Member countries of the newly founded United Nations signed a convention, defining genocide as acts committed with intent to destroy a particular group.

It is not Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s job to prove acts of genocide have been committed – only a court can do that. But he has called for an international criminal investigation into the perpetrators of what he has called the “shockingly brutal attacks” against the Muslim ethnic group who are mainly from northern Rakhine in Myanmar.

But the high commissioner recognised it would be a tough case to make: “For obvious reasons, if you’re planning to commit genocide you don’t commit it to paper and you don’t provide instructions.”

“The thresholds for proof are high,” he said. “But it wouldn’t surprise me in the future if a court were to make such a finding on the basis of what we see.”

By the beginning of December, nearly 650,000 Rohingya – around two thirds of the entire population – had fled Myanmar after a wave of attacks led by the army that began in late August.

Hundreds of villages were burned and thousands are reported to have been killed.

There is evidence of terrible atrocities being committed: massacres, murders and mass rapes – as I heard myself when I was in the refugee camps as this crisis began.

What clearly rankles the UN human rights chief is that he had urged Ms Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar, to take action to protect the Rohingya six months before the explosion of violence in August.

He said he spoke to her on the telephone when his office published a report in February documenting appalling atrocities committed during an episode of violence that began in October 2016.

“I appealed to her to bring these military operations to an end,” he told me. “I appealed to her emotional standing… to do whatever she could to bring this to a close, and to my great regret it did not seem to happen.”

Ms Suu Kyi’s power over the army is limited, but Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein believes she should have done more to try and stop the military campaign.

He criticised her for failing to use the term “Rohingya”. “To strip their name from them is dehumanising to the point where you begin to believe that anything is possible,” he said – powerful language for a top UN official.

He thought Myanmar’s military was emboldened when the international community took no action against them after the violence in 2016. “I suppose that they then drew a conclusion that they could continue without fear,” he said.

“What we began to sense was that this was really well thought out and planned,” he told me.

The Myanmar government has said the military action was a response to terrorist attacks in August which killed 12 members of the security forces.

But BBC Panorama has gathered evidence that shows that preparations for the continued assault on the Rohingya began well before that.

We show that Myanmar had been training and arming local Buddhists. Within weeks of last year’s violence the government made an offer: “Every Rakhine national wishing to protect their state will have the chance to become part of the local armed police.”

“This was a decision made to effectively perpetrate atrocity crimes against the civilian population,” said Matthew Smith, chief executive of the human rights organisation Fortify Rights which has been investigating the build-up to this year’s violence.

That view is borne out by refugees in the vast camps in Myanmar who saw these volunteers in action, attacking their Rohingya neighbours and burning down their homes.

“They were just like the army, they had the same kind of weapons”, said Mohammed Rafique, who ran a successful business in Myanmar. “They were local boys, we knew them. When the army was burning our houses, torturing us, they were there.”

Meanwhile the Rohingya were getting more vulnerable in other ways.

By the summer food shortages were widespread in north Rakhine – and the government tightened the screws. The programme has learnt that from mid-August the authorities had cut off virtually all food and other aid to north Rakhine.

And the army brought in reinforcements. On 10 August, two weeks before the militant attacks, it was reported that a battalion had been flown in.

The UN human rights representative for Myanmar was so concerned she issued a public warning, urging restraint from the Myanmar authorities.

But when Rohingya militants launched attacks on 30 police posts and an army base, the military response was huge, systematic and devastating.

The BBC asked Aung San Suu Kyi and the head of the Myanmar armed forces for a response. But neither of them has replied.

Almost four months on from those attacks and Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein is concerned the repercussions of the violence are not yet over. He fears this “could just be the opening phases of something much worse”.

He worries jihadi groups could form in the huge refugee camps in Bangladesh and launch attacks in Myanmar, perhaps even targeting Buddhist temples. The result could be what he called a “confessional confrontation” – between Buddhists and Muslims.

It is a frightening thought, as the high commissioner acknowledged, but one he believes Myanmar isn’t taking seriously enough.

“I mean the stakes are so enormous,” he said. “This sort of flippant manner by which they respond to the serious concerns of the international community is really alarming.”

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