Dirty Politics: Ethnic Cleansing and U.S. Policy in Myanmar

This article was featured in GSSR Vol. 1 Issue 3.

By Sloane Speakman

Since its 2010 transition to a nominally civilian government, Myanmar has made significant progress toward real, democratic reform.[1] The government has initiated a series of political and economic reforms leading to a substantial opening of the long-isolated country, including releasing hundreds of political prisoners, reaching preliminary peace agreements with ten of the eleven major armed ethnic groups, and gradually reducing restrictions on freedoms of the press, association and civil society.

Yet while Myanmar’s leaders appear to be moving toward a functioning democracy, there have also been reports that the government and security forces have “actively encouraged – or at least turned a blind eye” – as a widespread ethnic cleansing campaign against the country’s ethnic and religious minorities takes place.[2] Scores of the nation’s 800,000 Rohingya Muslims, as well as ethnic groups in the border regions, have been killed or forced from their homes in coordinated attacks across the nation. The destruction is so widespread that the damage has been captured by satellite imagery showing 27 disparate zones of destruction with nearly 5,000 structures destroyed and 348 acres of Muslim-owned residential property burned.[3]

The widespread and significant human rights violations occurring within Myanmar contrast starkly with the positive steps the country has made toward democracy.  These human rights violations are also clearly in conflict with the United States’ commitment to human rights. Myanmar’s progress in divergent directions and the United States’ complicated relationship with the budding democracy illustrate the conflict between the United States’ steadfast commitment to promoting democracy around the globe and its belief in human rights. This article will discuss the egregious human rights violations taking place in Myanmar. It will then analyze the extent to which the Myanmar government is supporting – or at least ignoring – the violence that many are calling a coordinated ethnic cleansing campaign. The analysis will conclude with a discussion about the key U.S. interests at play and potential policy options.

From Reform to Violence

The peaceful, democratic transition that has taken place in Myanmar has been incredible in many ways. In 2010, the military dictatorship that governed Myanmar since 1962 announced it would hold parliamentary elections and begin a transition to civilian control. This offered the Myanmar people a real chance at democracy for the first time in nearly fifty years. The United States was quick to act on the opportunity, awarding Aung San Suu Kyi – a national hero and democratic champion who had been under house arrest for nearly two decades – the Congressional Medal of Freedom. On 20 May 2013, after President Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the country, President Thein Sein became the first Myanmar leader in fifty years to be received by the President of the United States in Washington, DC.[4]

The 2010 election was far from flawless, but the government has initiated a series of political and economic reforms that have significantly opened the long-isolated country. Some of the reforms include releasing hundreds of political prisoners, reaching preliminary peace agreements with ten of the eleven major armed ethnic groups, and gradually reducing restrictions on freedoms of the press, association and civil society. While the military’s ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party swept more than 75 percent of the seats, today, other parties are beginning to build and strengthen their institutions in preparation for the next round of elections in 2015, including Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy.[5]

The story of democratic success in Myanmar seems almost too good to be true. Not long after the transition began, widespread ethnic violence began to emerge, including attacks against the minority Rohingya Muslim population in Rakhine State. Violence against the nation’s 800,000 Rohingyas ignited in June 2012 after allegations that a Buddhist woman was raped by a group of Muslims, leading to the lynching of ten young Muslim men.[6]Since then, scores of Rohingyas have been killed and an estimated 68,000 are living in appalling conditions after being forced from their homes.[7] There have also been “strong suggestions that Myanmar’s security forces actively encouraged – or at least turned a blind eye – as Rohingyas were burned out of their homes.”[8]

Muslims have always faced persecution and suffered from “outsider” status in Myanmar. The scale of the recent attacks and riots, however, are unprecedented in recent memory. Attacks on Muslim schools, mosques and businesses have been reported in many regions, and a state of emergency has been declared in various cities. In the central town of Meiktila, more than 40 Muslims have been killed, and Human Rights Watch estimates as many as 828 buildings destroyed and 8,000 people displaced.[9] In the nation’s largest city and former capital, Yangon, a mosque was burned to the ground, killing thirteen children. Since the increased violence broke out last year, Human Rights Watch estimates that tens of thousands of people have been displaced, as well as denied access to humanitarian aid.[10] They remain unable to return home. Several hundred have died at sea trying to escape.[11] Human Rights Watch has so far uncovered four mass graves dating as far back as June 2012.[12]

In addition to the religious-based violence against Muslims in the country, Myanmar is also experiencing a resurgence in ethnic-based violence with the various separatist movements reigniting their campaigns. The military attacked separatist bases in the predominately Christian Kachin State, ending a seventeen-year truce. Additionally, separatist efforts are being waged in the states of Karen, Karenni and Shan, all of which claim the government never lived up to its promise of autonomy and creation of a federal structure and argue for a new, federal constitution. The hopes of achieving this ideal state ended with the military assassination of General Aung San, Aung San Suu Kyi’s father, after independence and the installation of a military dictatorship. In these conflicts, both sides share a history of human rights abuses, especially in the border regions. Reports of retaliatory killings and rapes by the army against civilians are widespread, as well as reports of attacks on refugee camps and forcible relocations. Meanwhile, separatist groups have been accused of employing child soldiers.[13]

One of the struggles in addressing Myanmar’s ethnic tensions is that there are an estimated 135-200+ ethnic groups and 108 ethno-linguistic groups living in the country, making Myanmar one of the world’s most diverse countries.[14] As such, Myanmar’s religious and ethnic identities can be very fluid, and there is extensive overlap among groups.

The widespread human rights violations occurring against the Rohingya Muslims as well as other ethnic-based violence occurring throughout the country conflicts with the positive steps Myanmar has made toward democracy. The United States must balance a desire for democracy with a respect for human rights – and this means cautious support for a government that condones violence on a potentially genocidal scale.

Evidence of State Sponsorship

At the core of the United States’ relationship with, and policies toward, Myanmar is the question of whether the violence is state-sponsored. While this factor may be irrelevant in terms of formulating a humanitarian response, the specifics of exactly who is fomenting violence is critical when it comes to future relations with this budding democracy. Is the violence across Myanmar a state-sponsored, or at least state-ignored, attempt to eliminate the Rohingya Muslims and other minority groups? If the answer is yes, there is a word for that, and it comes with serious consequences: genocide.

Though 89% of the country is Buddhist and only 4% is Muslim, Muslims have been repeatedly targeted since the military government began its reign.[15] According to the United Nations, the Rohingyas are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.[16]The Rohingyas are considered illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, referred to as “’Bengali,’ ‘so-called Rohingya’ or ‘the pejorative, kalar.’”[17] Without citizenship, the Rohingyas are not only denied basic services by the government, such as education and healthcare, but are forced to ask permission to leave their village, marry and, recently, to abide by a two-child policy. One victim, U Shwe Mawng, told a reporter, “We never had this kind of violence during the military dictatorship. I don’t think Myanmar is ready for democracy.”[18]

The group primarily associated with these attacks is known as “969,” a Buddhist nationalist movement that claims to be supported by elements of the military. Their name comes from the cosmological opposite for 786, a number associated with the Islamic phrase “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate and Merciful,” whose numbers add up to 21 – which they argue means that Muslims want to take over Myanmar in the 21st century. 969 believes it is responding to “foreign influence” within Myanmar by attacking the Muslims in the country. Though claiming to be a nonviolent movement, its leader, Ashin Wirathu, proudly claims to be the “Burmese bin Laden” and publishes hate-filled speeches and sermons that mirror language used by Nazi Germany. Wirathu was jailed in 2003 on charges of inciting religious violence, but was released as part of a larger amnesty deal during the democratic transition. Wirathu promulgates the belief that governments of foreign Muslim countries send Myanmar Muslims funds in order to control the economy, with the ultimate goal of taking over. While some Muslims have done well financially in Myanmar, the “notion that they are economically dominant is ‘laughable.’”[19] Still, Wirathu consistently promotes boycotts of Muslim businesses, arguing that their profits “will be used against you and your families…who will force conversions. Once they become overly populous, they will overwhelm us and take over our country and make it an evil Islamic nation.”[20] In their recent 1 July 2013 issue, TIME magazine published Wirathu on their cover with the title, “The Face of Burmese Terror.”[21]

The government of Myanmar has repeatedly denied having any ties to the attacks, as well as dismissing any allegations that it is permitting them to continue. Yet, they have failed to match these words with actions, doing very little directly to bring an end to the violence. Basic arguments about a lack of capacity are insufficient; some of the most brutal attacks have occurred for days on end on the doorstep of some of the nation’s largest military and police installations, including the attacks in Meiktila, home to country’s largest air force base. Muslims in several areas have been forced to set up neighborhood watches because they do not trust the police. This type of vigilant protection often leads to more violence, but many feel the government and police forces are not adequately protecting them. Neighborhood watch volunteers have claimed to catch and turn in some of the culprits, only to watch the police release them hours later.

The relationships and protections many 969 leaders have with government and military officials further the case against the Myanmar government. After TIME Magazine’s “Face of Buddhist Terror” cover, President Sein defended Wirathu, and the magazine was prohibited from being sold in Myanmar.[22] Despite the fact that Wirathu has called Muslims “a scourge threatening Myanmar’s Buddhist character,” President Sein insisted on his website that “the monk’s order was striving for peace and prosperity.” Naturally, Wirathu blamed the TIME cover on Muslims extremists.[23] While hundreds of Muslims have been jailed for inciting violence, very few Buddhists have been prosecuted and authorities have not acted against Wirathu for hate speech.[24]

Even Aung San Suu Kyi has been largely absent on the issue. As the most powerful and respected figure in the nation, Suu Kyi’s statements on the matter would have significant consequence. Yet she consistently avoids directly answering questions regarding the Rohingyas citizenship, even after receiving her Nobel Peace Prize in 2012, which she was awarded while under house arrest in 1991. Though she recently spoke out against the new two-child policy that was adopted for Rohingyas on 7 June, she followed by saying, “I do not want to aggravate the situation by saying that one community is wrong or the other community is wrong.”[25] Such statements indicate that her political ambitions of being elected president and her desire to avoid alienating many of her Buddhist supporters are clouding her judgment.

A 153-page Human Rights Watch report entitled “All You Can Do is Pray” places blame for the violence solidly on the Myanmar government.[26] It states, “[Myanmar] authorities…have committed crimes against humanity in a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims…since June 2012.”[27] The report details the role of national, state and local authorities “in the forcible displacement of more than 125,000 Rohingya and other Muslims and the ongoing humanitarian crisis.”[28] State security forces have not only stood by idly in allowing attacks to happen, but have been active in supporting groups and “destroy[ing] mosques, conduct[ing] violent mass arrests and block[ing] aid to displaced Muslims.”[29] Many times, particularly during the attacks that took place in October of last year, the attacks were publicized beforehand, yet security was not increased in the areas of expected attacks. In one instance, on 23 October 2012, mobs allegedly attacked Muslims in a coordinated effort in nine towns, razing entire villages and killing residents “while security forces stood aside or assisted the assailants.”[30] On the single deadliest day, in which 70 people were allegedly killed in a daylong massacre in Yan Thei village, security forces were said to have assisted in the incident by disarming the Rohingyas while the Buddhist groups carried machetes, guns and Molotov cocktails. Though advance warning was given, little additional security was deployed and 28 children were reportedly hacked to death.[31]

If accurately reported, the attacks have an undeniable level of coordination and planning, and it is becoming increasingly clear that the government has been aware of what is happening. Pamphlets are distributed, public statements are made, even the phrase “ethnic cleansing” is used in “full view of local, state and national authorities.”[32]Moreover, no action to punish those responsible or to assist the Rohingyas in recovering has been taken. In a move consistent with state-sponsored ethnic cleansing, some officials have deliberately attempted to “send a message” to the Rohingyas: According to the Human Rights Watch report, “On June 13, a government truck dumped 18 naked and half-clothed bodies near a Rohingya displaced persons camp…Some of the victims had been ‘hogtied’ with string or plastic strips before being executed.”[33]  While President Sein hosts diplomatic visits with international leaders – including the President of the United States – he has also obstructed the delivery of humanitarian aid to those who need it, reminiscent of the government’s failure to allow international assistance following Cyclone Nargis in 2008.[34] The Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency “was blocked from building 5,000 permanent homes for the Rohingyas” and at least 14 Muslim humanitarian workers have been arrested. One such worker was accused of having a letter of support from al-Qaeda.[35] While President Sein established a twenty-seven member investigative commission to “reveal the truth behind the unrest,” it has not reported any findings to the public since its establishment in August 2012, though it promised to produce its findings within a month.[36]

In the end, the acts of murder, deportation, forcible transfer and persecution against the Rohingyas qualify as crimes against humanity, defined by the United Nations as “crimes committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack by a government or organization on a civilian population.”[37]  Ethnic cleansing is defined as “a purposeful policy by an ethnic or religious group to remove by violence and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas.”[38] The Human Rights Watch report concludes by arguing that Myanmar’s supporters, including the United States, “need to wake up and realize the seriousness of the Rohingya’s plight and demand that the government urgently stop abuses, promote the safe return of displaced Muslims and ensure accountability to end the deadly cycle of violence.”[39]Genocide Watch has placed Myanmar at an updated level of “Stage 7,” meaning it is a “current genocidal massacre,” citing the ongoing attacks against minorities, including the Rohingya Muslims, Kachin Christians, and minorities in Karen, Shan and Kachin States.[40] Claims such as genocide or ethnic cleansing are not made lightly. Human Rights Watch writes, “Our findings confirm the extensive state involvement and planning in the killings and destruction of property, as well as the forced displacement of populations.”[41]

Policy Recommendations

While Myanmar represents significant opportunity to promote democracy in a strategic region, the United States must not ignore the abuses on the ground in pursuing its interests. It is critical to move forward in a way that appropriately pressures those in power in Myanmar to bring an end to the violence and reignite their democratic progress. It will be essential for the United States to work closely with the Association for South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other regional powers in order to accomplish this.

Despite the recent confirmation of Samantha Power as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and the creation of the Atrocities Prevention Board nearly a year ago, the United States’ policy in Myanmar is not living up to its promise to “make the deterrence of genocide and mass atrocities ‘a core national interest and core moral responsibility.’”[42]While any threat of outside involvement in bringing the conflict to an end is premature, the United States should be more vocal in demanding objective investigations. If crimes are found, the United States should insist on honest attempts to bring the perpetrators to justice. Likewise, the United States must recognize the gap between the government’s words and its actions. Myanmar leaders’ interest in winning favor with the United States offers leverage on this point. Attempting to both build relationships and influence their behavior is a delicate balance that will require skillful diplomatic measures. Though it is worth the time and resources to invest in Myanmar’s success as a democracy, the United States cannot continue to ignore reports of widespread and coordinated violence. The United States has the opportunity to become a long-term strategic partner with this Southeast Asian nation, working hand-in-hand with it as Myanmar becomes a stable democracy. It is worth the United States’ time and resources to invest in Myanmar’s success.

There are many key strategic interests that make Myanmar an attractive partner in the region. Myanmar offers a potentially critical counterweight to China in the region. While its emergence on the world stage is relatively recent, Myanmar is strategically located at the crossroads of South and East Asia. Myanmar’s strategic location offers direct access to the Indian Ocean, a primary interest for China, a nation trying to maintain competition in the region against India’s growth. Additionally, Myanmar is rich with natural resources, including petroleum, natural gas, coal, timber, copper, hydropower and gems. Economic growth in Southeast Asia has reinforced the desire for regional security.[43] There is the possibility of significant spillover effects from the ethnic and religious violence in Myanmar, which has created huge refugee flows in a fragile region that is ill-equipped to handle large-scale humanitarian crises. Spillover may be even more likely than one would think – 969’s Wirathu’s has made several claims that, “once they are done with the Muslims in Burma, they will move onto Muslim targets elsewhere.”[44]

Regional concerns about Myanmar’s stability could also impact U.S. interests, particularly since it lies within the zone of competition between India and China. Myanmar is set to chair ASEAN next year, leading the way toward ASEAN’s goal of economic integration by 2015. Regional concerns about stability and integration abound. China, which views regional stability as tied to stability in Myanmar, would benefit greatly from the access and opportunity that Myanmar’s 1,200-mile coast offers. Likewise, India is in search of a constant and reliable energy supply, which Myanmar possesses. India’s “Look East” policy also calls on the world’s largest democracy to look for greater influence under China’s nose and expand relations in Southeast Asia.

Lastly, Myanmar should be a global concern because of the significant amount of opium produced and consumed there. Sitting within the “Golden Triangle” — the lawless border region between Myanmar, Thailand and Laos that feeds into China’s permeable southwest borders — Myanmar produces 25 percent of the world’s opium, making it the second largest global producer after Afghanistan.[45] Gary Lewis of the United Nations Office of Drug and Crime (UNODC) reports that there “is no question that there is a strong connection between the conflicts in the country and the most immediate sources of revenue to purchase weapons,” noting that areas of highest cultivation intensity is correlated to the areas of ongoing conflict.[46] Long-term peace and security in the region depends on an effort to address the poppy problem.

Most importantly, Myanmar offers the United States an opportunity to demonstrate the sincerity of its commitment to its values. The United States should not cut off all relations with Myanmar, but instead work with its leaders to address the conflict. The following are several policy recommendations for moving forward in a way that balances the U.S.’s desire for a strong, independent and democratic partner with pragmatism and respect for minority and human rights.

First, pragmatic engagement with the leadership in Myanmar must be maintained. U.S. diplomatic efforts should be focused on pressing President Sein’s government to handle governance issues beyond the capital and encourage it to work alongside its peripheral populations. The United States should encourage the creation of a governing system based on graduated federalism and provide assistance to border ethnic regions that will require local-level assistance. Political leaders in Myanmar face a significant challenge. Despite the liberal-leaning positions of some leaders and their desire to please the international community, the anti-Muslims sentiment is quite popular throughout the country’s Buddhist majority.[47] The government often dismisses policies like the recent two-child law for Rohingyas in Rakhine State as “local” initiatives and promises that they “will look into it.”[48] They continue to make national security arguments about the Rohingyas, claiming they are facing threats from “illegal immigration.” In reality, Myanmar is a diverse, multi-ethnic state that can only survive as a democracy if it offers equal rights to all citizens. Above all, U.S. diplomatic efforts must emphasize the protection of vulnerable minority rights as the cornerstone of a functioning democracy.

Second, the current sanctions regime against Myanmar, one of the most prominent elements of U.S. policy toward the country, must be addressed in a way that allows for economic growth, but maintains U.S. leverage. Both upholding and relieving sanctions come with tradeoffs. In April 2013, the European Union prematurely lifted all economic sanctions on Myanmar except the arms embargo, with British Foreign Secretary William Hague congratulating the Myanmar government for its “remarkable changes.”[49]Guardian reporter David Mepham said that European leaders have been “seduced by a romantic narrative of swift democratic transformation.”[50] Simply put, the EU has been too quick to reward positive achievements and has surrendered its leverage in pressing the Myanmar government for accountability. While the desire to court Myanmar and solidify economic partnerships is understandable, it is unlikely that the wholesale lifting of these sanctions will encourage better behavior or accountability and may even allow crimes to be committed at an irreversible level.

Sanctions relief should be gradual and in direct response to positive economic and political reforms. The United States must maintain an action-for-action approach, rather than “action-for-hope for the best” approach, in order to retain its leverage in pushing President Sein and others to continue positive reforms[51] Tom Andrews, president of United to End Genocide, made it clear in his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs that alleviating these symptoms could be “a matter of life and death for tens of thousands” of Myanmar citizens.[52] Moreover, to solidify long-term positive relations, sanctions relief should be viewed with a certain level of permanence. Washington should work with civil society and ethnic leaders to develop binding standards for U.S. companies doing business in Myanmar before lifting sanctions.

Lastly, while sanctions should not be universally lifted, the Myanmar economy needs stimulation, and U.S. development initiatives should reinforce President Sein’s governance efforts in order to reach the most troubled areas. Licit economy options to counter the significant opium trade should be introduced. Current UNODC projects include substituting paddy, rice, maize, beans, tea and other crops for poppy, as well as alternative development initiatives, such as building roads and other agricultural infrastructure projects.[53] It is critical that USAID and other agencies work with local-level governments to encourage sustainable development devoid of political corruption.

Democracy in Myanmar is extremely delicate. The social, political, religious and ethnic tensions are complex with multiple, overlapping layers that make addressing them extremely difficult. In the end, one of the most important things is to recognize thateveryone’s hands are dirty in Myanmar. Moving forward, tradeoffs will need to be made between justice and reconciliation.

Conclusion

Myanmar’s evolution in divergent directions and the United States’ complicated relationship with the budding democracy illustrate the conflict between the United States’ steadfast commitment to promoting democracy around the globe and its belief in human rights for all, including minorities. The transition to a nominally civilian, democratic government has seen many reforms and improvements that should be applauded and encouraged. However, the government’s role in the large-scale violence and ethnic cleansing of religious and ethnic minorities is unacceptable. Tradeoffs are always difficult to make; the situation in Myanmar has revealed the ways in which democracy for all does not always mean justice for all when it comes to civil conflicts. There is a delicate balance between being fair and achieving justice for every wrongdoing and working to start clean and establish a functioning state structure that does not institutionalize the current state of affairs. The United States must balance its desire for a strong democracy in China’s backyard with a respect for the values that make democracy work. 

Ms. Speakman is a second-year M.A. candidate in Security Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Currently studying in Amman, Jordan, she focuses on the effects of civil conflicts on neighboring countries.


[1] I use the name Myanmar in this article instead of Burma, per recent White House policy change. In 1989, the ruling military government changed the country’s British name of Burma to their ancient name of Myanmar, a move that was strongly opposed by pro-democracy forces within the country since they considered the government to be illegitimate and thus lacking the power to do so. Myanmar is also the recognized name at the United Nations. While the United States originally referred to the nation as Burma, President Obama began introducing the use of Myanmar in May 2013. (For more information, see: Ben Schreckinger and Tin Aung Kyaw. “A nation-state by any other name: Burma or Myanmar?” Global Post. 2 July 2013. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/groundtruth-Myanmar/nation-state-any-other-name-burma-or-myanmar.)

[2] Jerome Taylor and Oliver Wright, “Burma’s Rohingya Muslims: Aung San Suu Kyi’s blind spot,” The Independent, 20 August 2012.http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/burma-rohingya-muslims-aung-san-suu-kyis-blind-spot-8061619.html.

[3] Human Rights Watch, “Burma: End ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Against Rohingya Muslims,” 22 April 2013. http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/04/22/burma-end-ethnic-cleansing-rohingya-Muslims.

[4] Megan Slack, “President Obama Meets with President Thein Sein of Myanmar,” 20 May 2013. http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/05/20/president-obama-meets-president-thein-sein-myanmar.

[5] Humanitarian Information Unit, Department of State, “Burma 2010 Election Results,” 26 March 2012.https://hiu.state.gov/Products/Burma_Elections2010and2012_2012Mar22_HIU_U553.pdf.

[6] Alex Bookbinder, “969: The strange numerological basis for Burma’s religious violence,” The Atlantic, 9 April 2013.http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/04/969-the-strange-numerological-basis-for-burmas-religious-violence/274816/.

[7] Currently, exact death toll estimates are unavailable due to the ongoing nature of the conflict. Reliable estimates from organizations, such as the Human Rights Watch, indicate that scores have been killed.

[8] Taylor, “Burma’s Rohingya Muslims: Aung San Suu Kyi’s blind spot”.

[9] Human Rights Watch, “Burma: End ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Against Rohingya Muslims,” 22 April 2013. http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/04/22/burma-end-ethnic-cleansing-rohingya-Muslims.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Jayshree Bajoria, “Understanding Myanmar,” Council on Foreign Relations, 21 June 2013. http://www.cfr.org/human-rights/understanding-myanmar/p14385.

[14] Oxford Burma Alliance, http://www.oxfordburmaalliance.org/ethnic-groups.html, (Accessed 13 July 2013)

[15] CIA World Factbook, 13 August 2013. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bm.html.

[16] BBC, “Q&A: Communal Violence in Myanmar,” 22 April 2013.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18395788.

[17] Human Rights Watch. “All You Can Do is Pray: Crimes Against Humanity and Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Burma’s Arakan State,” April 2013.http://www.hrw.org/node/114882

[18] Daniel Otis, “Burma’s ‘hidden genocide’: A rare visit to Rohingya refugee camps,” The Star, 18 May 2013. http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/05/18/Burma_cyclone_and_monsoon_could_unleash_a_flood_of_hate_between_buddhists_and_muslims.html.

[19] Bookbinder, “969: The strange numerological basis for Burma’s religious violence”.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Daniel Shearf, “Burma Objects to Time Criticism,” Voice of Asia, 24 June 2013. http://www.voanews.com/content/Burma-objects-to-time-magazine-criticism/1687888.html.

[22] Shibani Mahtani, “Myanmar Bans TIME Magazine Issue Over ‘Buddhist Terror’ Cover,” Wall Street Journal, 26 June 2013.http://blogs.wsj.com/searealtime/2013/06/26/myanmar-bans-time-magazine-over-buddhist-terror-cover/.

[23] BBC, “Burmese leader defends ‘anti-Muslim’ monk Ashin Wirathu,” 24 June 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23027492.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Taylor, “Burma’s Rohingya Muslims: Aung San Suu Kyi’s blind spot”.

[26] Human Rights Watch, “All You Can Do is Pray: Crimes Against Humanity and Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Burma’s Arakan State”.

[27] Human Rights Watch. “Burma: End ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Against Rohingya Muslims.”

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Human Rights Watch. “All You Can Do Is Pray,” p. 5.

[31] Ibid. 10.

[32] Ibid, 12.

[33] Ibid, 15.

[34] Human Rights Watch. “Burma: End ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Against Rohingya Muslims.”

[35] Otis, “Burma’s ‘hidden genocide’: A rare visit to Rohingya refugee camps,”

[36] David Mepham, “Burma: the EU has been too quick to lift sanctions,” The Guardian, 23 April 2013. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/23/burma-eu-too-quick-lift-sanctions. For information on the commission, see: “Myanmar to investigate Rakhine clashes.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19303869.

[37] Human Rights Watch, “All You Can Do Is Pray.” Definition according to the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 780. http://www.hrw.org/node/114882. (Accessed 12 July 2013)

[38] Ibid, 11.

[39] Human Rights Watch. “Burma: End ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Against Rohingya Muslims”.

[40] Genocide Watch. “Myanmar/Burma.” http://www.genocidewatch.org/myanmar.html.

[41] Mepham, “Burma: the EU has been too quick to lift sanctions”.

[42] John Norris, “APB for the APB.” Foreign Policy. 16 July 2013. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/07/16/apb_for_the_apb_syria_atrocities_prevention_board_samantha_power?page=full.

[43] Stephen B. Groff, Speech at Economic Growth in Southeast Asia: Integration, Sustainability, Capacity Development. 28 June 2013.http://www.adb.org/news/speeches/economic-growth-southeast-asia-integration-sustainability-capacity-development.

[44] Bookbinder, “969: The strange numerological basis for Burma’s religious violence”.

[45] United Nations Office of Drug and Crime, “South-East Asia Opium Survey 2012: Lao PDR, Myanmar,” http://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/sea/SouthEastAsia_Report_2012_low.pdf.

[46] Andrew R.C. Marshall, “Special Report: Myanmar gives official blessing to anti-Muslim monks,” Reuters. 27 June 2013.http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE89U08K20121031?irpc=932.

[47] Max Fisher, “’I am proud to be called a radical Buddhist’: More Burmese embracing anti-Muslim violence,” Washington Post, 21 June 2013.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/06/21/i-am-proud-to-be-called-a-radical-buddhist-more-burmese-buddhists-embracing-anti-muslim-violence/.

[48] Min Zin, “National Security is no excuse for bad behavior (in Burma),” Foreign Policy, 07 June 2013. http://transitions.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/06/07/national_security_is_no_excuse_for_bad_behavior_in_Myanmar.

[49] Mepham, “Burma: the EU has been too quick to lift sanctions”.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Walter Lohman, “Burma: Lift Sanctions Now, Ask Questions Later,” Real Clear Politics, 21 May 2013. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/05/21/Burma_policy_lift_sanctions_ask_questions_later_118477.html.

[52] Joshua Lipes, “NGOs Warn Against Lifting of Sanctions,” Radio Free Asia, 25 April 2013. http://www.rfa.org/english/news/myanmar/sanctions-04252012155110.html.

[53] UNODC, “Sustaining Opium Reduction in Southeast Asia: Sharing Experiences on Alternative Development and Beyond.” Presented at the Regional Seminar: Global Partnership on Alternative Development (GLOI44),” 15-17 December 2008 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. p. 95. (Accessed 20 August 2013). See also: UNODC. “Opium Poppy Cultivation in South East Asia: Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand.” December 2008. (Accessed 20 August 2013). See pp. 45-89. http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/crop-monitoring/index.html.

 

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