UN: 53,000 fled Bangladesh, Myanmar by sea

More Rohingya Target Thailand, Australia as Smugglers Earn $250 Million

Rohingya risk lives to escape from Myanmar

Rohingya risk lives to escape from Myanmar

Stuck in a country that does recognise their citizenship, minority Muslim group forced to find a better life elsewhere.

Last updated: 06 Dec 2014 20:51
Close to 1.3 million Rohingya Muslims live an isolated existence in Myanmar. At the receiving end of government policies described by human-rights groups as ethnic cleansing, those who survive often live in absolute poverty. Thousands have fled the country, trying to find a better life.

Al Jazeera’s Florence Looi reports from Sittwe in Rakhine state.

Source By: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2014/12/rohingya-risk-lives-escape-myanmar-2014126114218460545.html

Myanmar President Gives Go-Ahead on Religion and Family Planning Draft Law

Myanmar President Gives Go-Ahead on Religion and Family Planning Draft Law

Buddhist devotees pour water on a sacred tree as they take part in a ceremony at the Shwedagon pagoda to mark Buddha’s birthday in Yangon, May 13, 2014. (Photo: AFP)
December 4, 2014
Myanmar’s President Thein Sein approved a controversial religion and family planning draft law on Wednesday and submitted it to parliament amid renewed criticism from rights advocates who say it discriminates against Muslims and women in the conservative, predominantly Buddhist country.
Lawmakers will debate the legislation, which imposes restrictions on interfaith marriages, religious conversions and family size, in the next parliamentary session, according to reports.
It is part of a series of four laws on marriage, religion, polygamy and family planning proposed by a Buddhist organization called the Association for the Protection of Race and Religion, which is connected to a nationalist Buddhist monk group.
The law, in part, would require Myanmar citizens who want to change their religion to seek various bureaucratic permissions, although penalties for violators are not stated, according to a report by Agence France-Presse.
It also set out rules governing marriages between Buddhist women and men of other faiths, requiring couples to apply to local authorities, who then would display a public notice of the engagements, reports said.
Couples can marry only if there are no objections, but if they violate the law, they could face two years of imprisonment.
“We assume that this draft law was released because the government wants to discriminate against a particular nationality and religion,” Khun Jar from the Kachin Peace Network, a Yangon-based humanitarian organization that assists civilians displaced by conflict in northern Myanmar, told RFA.
“This law is one that the government should reject if it wants people to live in peace as many ethnicities and religions live together in this country. It is a shame for all Myanmar citizens that this kind of issue is being discussed by parliament.”
Calls for laws aimed at protecting race and religion in Myanmar have gained momentum since violence broke out between Buddhists and Muslims in the Buddhist-majority nation in 2012 following decades under tightly controlled military rule.
The violence has left more than 200 people dead and about 140,000 displaced, mostly Muslims.
Although the draft law published does not mention any specific religion, it has prompted speculation that it could be aimed at preventing Muslims from trying to coerce Buddhist women into abandoning their faith for marriage or otherwise.
Targets certain regions
Ko Ni, a legal advisor for the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party, told RFA that the bill was discriminatory.
“This kind of law should be for the entire country, but it is [targeting] certain regions of the country,” he said, implying that the policy was designed for ethnic Muslim Rohingya families who live in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state and are banned from having more than two children.
“According to this draft law, people from some regions can have as many children as they want, but it’s controlled for people from other regions.”
Representatives from civil society groups also said the bill discriminated against women.
“In this draft law, women in Myanmar can’t get divorced because of the rules on sharing property,” said Khun Jar. “But they can be abused by men if they want to divorce the women. I think this law doesn’t protect women, and it’s like women are being asked to enter into a marriage trap.”
Aung Myo Min, executive director of rights group Equality Myanmar, said of the legislation, “Controlling births should be a family decision, but this is like human beings be regarded as machines.”
A November 2014 report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom condemned the four race and religion bills, arguing that, if enacted, they would discriminate against non-Buddhists—especially Muslims—when it comes to religious conversions, marriages and births.
In May, New York-based Human Rights Watch urged Myanmar to ditch the proposed religion law, saying it would encourage further repression and violence against Muslims and other religious minorities.
But not everyone believes the legislation is totally negative.
“Generally, it is a good law, but it is important to know if it is needed in this country,” said Tha Nyan, general secretary of the Interfaith Friendship Organization. “People convert to other religions for many reasons, but it should be based upon belief, and in this law we saw wording to prevent conversions for other reasons.”
However, he said, if such a law unfairly favored men over women in such matters, it would constitute a violation of human rights.
Reported by Myo Zaw Ko and Khin Khin Ei for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khet Mar. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.
Source by://www.rohingyablogger.com/2014/12/myanmar-president-gives-go-ahead-on.html#sthash.J5Y8ydxw.dpuf

Refusing To Participate BGP Census

Eight Rohingyas Sentenced To Two Years For Refusing To Participate BGP Census

RB News
December 4, 2014
Maungdaw, Arakan – Eight Rohingyas from Kyauk Hlay Ghar village of Northern Maungdaw Township in Arakan State were sentenced to two years for refusing to participate in census conducted by Border Guard Police (BGP).
On August 1st, 2014 the Border Guard Police conducted a census in the name to register Rohingya as illegal Bengali immigrants at Kyauk Hlay Ghar village in Northern Maungdaw Township. As the census referred to Rohingya as illegal Bengali immigrants the Rohingya villagers refused to participate. Although the whole village refused, nine Rohingyas were targeted and arrested. One of them was released on that day and eight were tried and sentenced to two years prison with hard labor.
The court decision was made on December 2, 2014 at Maungdaw Township court, according to locals. They were tried under Burma panel code 353 which is assaulting a public servant during the time they are on duty. The arrestees didn’t convince anyone in the village to refuse participation in the census nor organized any event to deny the unofficial census conducted by BGP. They simply stayed at home not willing to participate if the term ‘Rohingya’ is forbidden. The authorities targeted against them for the term “Rohingya” and they were punished unjustly.
During the hearing at the court, the families were not allowed to attend and the arrestees were not allowed to hire a lawyer.
The eight innocent Rohingyas who were imprisonment for two years with hard labour are:
(1) Zahir Ahmed s/o Abdu Subhan (Age 50)
(2) Noor Alam s/o Sayedul Rawn (Age 42)
(3) Mahmed Noor s/o Noor Alam (Age 25)
(4) Idris s/o Zahir Ahmed (Age 18)
(5) Mawzid s/o Mamed Alam (Age 17)
(6) Zafar s/o Noor Alam (Age 25)
(7) Hafiz Shawbu Alam s/o Mohammed Iqbal (Age 28)
(8) Ameen s/o Ahmed Kabir (Age 18)

Myanmar’s BGP Police In Maungdaw Kick A Pregnant Rohingya Woman’s Dead Body Like Football

Myanmar’s BGP Police In Maungdaw Kick A Pregnant Rohingya Woman’s Dead Body Like Football

RB News
December 5, 2014
Maungdaw, Arakan – A pregnant Rohingya woman died at Maungdaw hospital and her dead body was abused by Myanmar’s Border Guard Police (BGP) while on the way to her village for burial. The men accompanying her body were extorted and tortured.
On December 3rd, a pregnant Rohingya woman named Hasina d/o Fazal Ahmed, age 35, from Kyauk Pando village of Maungdaw Township had difficulty delivering her baby at home. Her family sent her to Maungdaw Township hospital to assist with delivery and complications. But as the discrimination against Rohingyas is pervasive, she did not get proper treatment. She died at the hospital.
On the next day, Abdur Raukeem s/o Fazal (Age 45) and Abu Halam s/o Sirazu (Age 38) took her dead body from the hospital to Kyauk Pando village which is in southern part of Maungdaw Township. Their car was stopped by BGP police at Oo-Daung village and the men who are accompanying her body were tortured without questioning. Later they were extorted Kyat 150,000.
In an especially inhumane and cruel act the BGP police kicked the dead body of Hasina like a football three times, according to locals.
Myanmar’s BGP police in Maungdaw district have been behaving as licensed robbers and thugs since the time it formed. Although the union government led by Thein Sein is well informed, recently Thein Sein said accusations against the BGP are media fabrication. As tortures and extortion are increasing day by day, it is clear that persecution against Rohingyas is state policy and the police and military in Maungdaw district were instructed to persecute the Rohingyas.

Why Won’t Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi Say The Word ‘Rohingya’?

Why Won’t Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi Say The Word ‘Rohingya’?

By Brian Pellot
December 7, 2014
In an article originally published in early 2012 and titled “Word power,” renowned Myanmar human rights advocate, politician and Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi wrote:
“Words allow us to express our feelings, to record our experiences, to concretize our ideas, to push outwards the frontiers of intellectual exploration. Words can move hearts, words can change perceptions, words can set nations and peoples in powerful motion. Words are an essential part of the expression of our humanness. To curb and shackle freedom of speech and expression is to cripple the basic right to realize our full potential as human beings.”
Yet in Myanmar, one word remains largely off-limits, even to Daw Suu (as she’s known here): “Rohingya.”
“Rohingya” is the self-identity of a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority group in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State. More than 140,000 of the estimated 800,000 to 1.1 million Rohingya there were pushed to dire displacement camps in 2012 during regional conflicts. An estimated 100,000 Rohingya have since fled the country to escape violence and persecution.
Myanmar’s government systematically denies Rohingya access to basic public services, education and health care. The term “Rohingya” was absent from this year’s landmark census, and most Rohingya have been denied citizenship.
Myanmar officials chastised United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President Obama for using “Rohingya” last month when the ASEAN Summit came to town. Officials prefer the term “Bengali,” used to legitimize denial of citizenship and rights to the group.
This word, “Rohingya,” clearly has power. So why won’t Daw Suu use it?
A political analyst with access to the Nobel Peace Prize laureate relayed one of their recent conversations to me:
“I am not silent because of political calculation,” she reportedly told him. “I am silent because, whoever’s side I stand on, there will be more blood. If I speak up for human rights, they (the Rohingya) will only suffer. There will be more blood.”
The situation in Rakhine State and across much of Myanmar is indeed volatile, tense and uncertain. More blood will be spilled, whether she speaks out or remains silent. But silence is not the answer.
In March, Daw Suu told a roomful of journalists that “a politician thinks of the next elections. A statesman thinks of the next generation.”
Daw Suu’s political ambitions remain limited by parliament’s unwillingness to amend a flawed constitution that bars her from running for the presidency. It’s reasonable to assume that as a politician, Daw Suu will still prioritize her party (the National League for Democracy) ahead of next year’s elections. But then what?
Daw Suu has done incredible things for her country and inspired generations of global thinkers. To remain silent on one of today’s gravest humanitarian crises — one that is within Myanmar’s borders and control — risks fully compromising her credibility and status as an internationally respected stateswoman.
Daw Suu’s global stature offers her the unique potential to transcend, or rather circumvent, national politics. If the military won’t let her change policy from within to improve the Rohingya’s plight and the status of other ethnic and religious minorities, she has a moral duty to attempt to do so from the sidelines. She must capitalize on her Nobel Peace Prize in order to bring lasting peace to disenfranchised minorities and a diverse, divided, yet still fledgling democracy.
If Daw Suu cares about her country (and her legacy), she must speak out against the atrocities unfolding within it, atrocities that the government flat-out denies. In short, she must embrace her role as a global stateswoman.
No global statesman shone brighter in recent years than Nelson Mandela. His leadership helped South Africa and the world confront difficult challenges and unpopular truths, including post-apartheid racial reconciliation and HIV/AIDS. Mandela’s legacy is not flawless, even on these issues. He was a human plagued by misjudgments, mistakes and regrets. Yet he died last year with a noble legacy intact.
The Economist’s obituary of Mandela concludes: “Hard though much of his life had been, Mr. Mandela lived long enough to see his work through. That gave him his great achievement, and his story a happy ending. And the modern world loves a happy hero even more than a tragic one.”
Mandela’s legacy as a politician was forged in his 70s, but his legacy as a statesman was secured in his 80s and 90s. Daw Suu is 69 and seemingly in excellent health, but her political aspirations remain blocked by an uncompromising military. Her continued silence on the Rohingya crisis now puts her legacy as a global stateswoman at stake.
More seriously, it leaves the lives and destinies of unprotected minorities in jeopardy.
Mandela once said that “there are times when a leader must move ahead of his flock.” For Aung San Suu Kyi’s legacy, for Myanmar’s future, for the fate of the Rohingya, this is certainly one of those times. If she fails to do so by the end of next year, after the elections, her disappointing place among her flock will be secured.

Source by : http://www.rohingyablogger.com/2014/12/why-wont-nobel-peace-laureate-aung-san.html#sthash.rW18GZlE.dpuf

Two Year Old Rohingya Boy Died At Sittwe Hospital After Doctor’s Injection

Two Year Old Rohingya Boy Died At Sittwe Hospital After Doctor’s Injection

A woman carries her baby inside a hospital near the Dar Paing camp for internally displaced people in Sittwe, Rakhine state, April 24, 2014. (Photo: Reuters/Min Zayar Oo)
RB News
December 8, 2014
Sittwe, Arakan – A two year old Rohingya boy died at Sittwe General Hospital in Arakan State’s capital, Sittwe on December 6, 2014 after he was given an injection by the doctor.
Two year old Twariq Zia, son of Zia Ul Rahman from Dar Paing IDP camp in Sittwe, was seriously suffering from diarrhea. The parents of the boy took him to Dar Paing clinic but the doctor at Dar Paing clinic advised them to take their son to Sittwe General Hospital.
Alqama, mother of Twariq Zia took her son to Sittwe General Hospital on December 5th at 2:30 pm. On the day of admission to the hospital, the doctors and nurses treated the boy very well and he almost recovered. Alqama thought her son could be discharged from the hospital on the following day.
However, on the second day, December 6th at 8:00 am, a doctor came and gave an injection. Immediately after the injection the boy lost breathing and died, according to Alqama, the mother of Twariq Zia. Two hour after the death of Twariq Zia, the body of the child and Alqama were sent back to Dar Paing IDP camp from Sittwe General Hospital escorted by security forces.
This most recent summer a string of similar incidents were reported at Sittwe General Hospital, where doctors administered injections to young mothers giving birth who died shortly after. Similarly there were reports of patients, including young mothers being beaten and killed while in the hospitals care. Discrimination and further victimization of Rohingya attempting to seek treatment at Rakhine run hospitals has been rampant in Arakan State, Myanmar, and several cases have been documented by Rohingya living in the state and independent agencies.
Saed Arkani contributed in reporting.

Source by: http://www.rohingyablogger.com/2014/12/two-year-old-rohingya-boy-died-at.html#sthash.YZqStbNi.dpuf

Burma’s Soldiers Beware

sources by : http://burmatimes.net/

Burma News

Myanmar’s marriage plans to ‘fuel religious tensions’