Daily Archives: November 16th, 2013

ျပည္တြင္းရွိဗလီမ်ားကုိ ေဖာက္ခြဲ ရန္ေရာက္ေနသူႏွစ္ဦးကုိ ဖမ္းဆီး

 


14 November 2013
ျမန္မာတိုင္းမ္
တိုးေ၀ေအာင္

 

ျပည္တြင္းရွိ ဗလီမ်ားအား ေဖာက္ခြဲမႈျပဳလုပ္ရန္ေရာက္ရွိေနသူႏွစ္ဦးကုိ လႈိင္သာယာၿမိဳ႕နယ္တြင္ ေဖာက္ခြဲေရးပစၥည္းမ်ားႏွင့္အတူ ႏုိ၀င္ဘာလ ၁၃ ရက္ေန႔က ဖမ္းဆီး ရ မိ ခဲ့ ေၾကာင္းသိရသည္။

 

အဆုိပါေန႔တြင္ လုံၿခဳံေရးတပ္ခြဲ ၁ မွ ဒုရဲမွဴးျမင့္ေမာင္ႏွင့္အဖြဲ႔သည္ တပ္ဖြဲ႔၀င္မ်ားႏွင့္အတူ ျပည္ တြင္းရွိ ဗလီမ်ားကုိ ေဖာက္ခြဲေရးျပဳလုပ္ရန္ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံ နယ္စပ္ တြင္ ေဖာက္ ခြဲေရးသင္တန္း တက္ေရာက္လာခဲ့ၿပီး ျပည္တြင္းသုိ႔ ၀င္ေရာက္လာသည့္ ေျမာက္ဦးၿမိဳ႕နယ္ေန ခိုင္ေနမင္း(ခ) တင္ေမာင္(၃၅ ႏွစ္)ႏွင့္ သိန္းၫြန္႔(ခ) ဂ်ပန္ႀကီး (ခ) တုိ႔ႏွစ္ဦး လႈိင္သာယာ ပဒံေက်းရြာရွိ ဧည့္ရိပ္သာ တစ္ခုတြင္ေရာက္ရွိၿပီး ေဖာက္ခြဲေရးပစၥည္းမ်ား တပ္ဆင္ေနေၾကာင္းသတင္းအရ ၀င္ေရာက္ ရွာေဖြခဲ့သည္။

 

ထုိသုိ႔၀င္ေရာက္ရွာေဖြစဥ္ ေဖာက္ခြဲေရးျပဳလုပ္ရာတြင္ အသုံးျပဳမည့္ ယမ္းမ်ားႏွင့္ စားပြဲတင္နာရီ ၊ဂက္စ္မီးျခစ္၊ ဒီဇယ္၊ဓာတ္ဆီ၊၀ါယာႀကိဳး၊မီးေသြး၊ ဓာတ္ခဲ၊ ခဲေဂါက္၊ ကြိဳင္ႀကိဳး၊   ႏွင့္ေလယာဥ္ လက္မွတ္တုိ႔ကုိ သိမ္းဆည္းရမိခဲ့ေသာေၾကာင့္ အေရးယူေပးရန္ တုိင္ၾကားခဲ့ သည္။

 

ေသာင္ႀကီးနယ္ ေျမရဲစခန္း က(ပ)၇၀၀/၁၃ ေပါက္ကြဲေစတက္ေသာ ၀တၱဳပစၥည္းမ်ား အက္ဥပေဒပုဒ္မ ၅ အရ အမႈဖြင့္အေရးယူခဲ့ၿပီး လႈိင္သာယာၿမိဳ႕နယ္ တရားရုံးသုိ႔ပုိ႔အပ္ခဲ့ရာ တရား သူႀကီးက ခ်ဳပ္ရီမာန္ေပးခဲ့ေၾကာင္းသိရသည္။

 

Link=>http://myanmar.mmtimes.com/index.php/crime/7936-2013-11-15-08-04-55.html

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ႏုိင္ငံေရးအက်ဥ္းသား ၆၉ ဦး လြတ္ေျမာက္

ႏုိင္ငံေတာ္သမၼတ ဦးသိန္းစိန္အမိန္႔နဲ႔ ျပစ္မႈဆုိင္ရာက်င့္ထံုးဥပေဒ ပုဒ္မ ၄၀၁(၁) နဲ႔ အက်ဥ္းေထာင္ ၁၈ ခုက ႏုိင္ငံေရးအက်ဥ္းသား ၆၉ ဦးကို ဒီေန႔ လႊတ္ေပးခဲ့ပါတယ္။

ဒီေန႔ လြတ္ေျမာက္လာသူေတြထဲမွာ လက္ပံေတာင္းေတာင္အေရးေၾကာင့္ အက်ဥ္းက်ေနတဲ့ ေဒၚေနာ္အံုးလွ၊ ကြယ္လြန္သူ အာဏာရွင္ေဟာင္း ဦးေန၀င္းရဲ႕ ေျမး ၂ ဦးျဖစ္တဲ့ ဦးေအးေန၀င္းနဲ႔ ဦးေက်ာ္ေန၀င္းတုိ႔လည္း ပါ၀င္ပါတယ္။

လက္က်န္ႏုိင္ငံေရးအက်ဥ္းသား စိစစ္ေရးေကာ္မတီအေနနဲ႔ ဒီဇင္ဘာလမကုန္ခင္ ႏုိင္ငံေရးအက်ဥ္းသားေတြအားလံုး လြတ္ေျမာက္ႏုိင္ေအာင္ႀကိဳးစားေနတယ္ လို႔ ေကာ္မတီ၀င္ ဦးကိုကိုႀကီးက ေျပာပါတယ္။

“တရားရင္ဆိုင္ေနဆဲျဖစ္တဲ့ ပုဒ္မ ၁၈ နဲ႔ ရင္ဆိုင္ေနရတဲ့သူေတြနဲ႔ ပတ္သက္လို႔လည္း အမႈေတြ ျမန္ျမန္ျဖတ္ဖို႔အတြက္ က်ေနာ္တို႔က တြန္းအားေပးတယ္၊ ေထာင္ က်ၿပီးသားသူေတြ အားလံုးကိုေတာ့ ႏိုင္ငံေရးအက်ဥ္းသားစာရင္းထဲမွာ ထည့္ၿပီးေတာ့ ဒီႏွစ္ကုန္မွာ ႏိုင္ငံေရးအက်ဥ္းသားအားလံုး လႊတ္ဖို႔ဆိုတဲ့ ႏို္င္ငံေတာ္သမၼတရဲ႕ ကတိကဝတ္ကို ျဖည့္ဆည္းႏိုင္ဖို႔အတြက္ က်ေနာ္တို႔အားလံုး ဝိုင္းႀကိဳးစားေနၾကတာပါ၊ ဒီ ဦးေနဝင္းေျမးေတြ ျပစ္ဒဏ္ေပးခံရတဲ့ ပုဒ္မေတြဟာ ဥပမာအားျဖင့္ ၁၂၂၁ ႏိုင္ငံေတာ္ပုန္ကန္မႈဆိုတာဟာ ဒါဟာ ႏိုင္ငံေရးပုဒ္မထဲမွာ အက်ဳံးဝင္ေနတယ္၊ ေနာက္တစ္ခုက အေရးေပၚစီမံခ်က္အက္ဥပေဒ ၅ ညေပါ့၊ ဒီပုဒ္မေတြ ဟာ ႏိုင္ငံေရးအရ စြပ္စြဲၿပီးေတာ့ အေရးယူခံရတဲ့ပုဒ္မေတြ ျဖစ္ေနတယ္၊ က်ေနာ္တို႔က လူပုဂၢိဳလ္ကို မၾကည့္ဘဲနဲ႔ ပုဒ္မေတြနဲ႔ ျဖစ္စဥ္ေတြအေပၚမွာ ၾကည့္ၿပီးေတာ့ အတတ္ႏိုင္ဆုံး မွန္မွန္ကန္ကန္ျဖစ္ေအာင္ ႀကိဳးစားေပးေနပါတယ္”

ဒီေန႔ လြတ္ေျမာက္လာသူေတြထဲမွာ တရားမ၀င္ စီတန္းလွည့္လည္ျခင္းဆိုင္ရာ ပုဒ္မ ၁၈နဲ႔၊ မတရားအသင္း အက္ဥပေဒ ပုဒ္မ ၁၇(၁)၊ ပုဒ္မ ၁၇ (၂) တုိ႔အျပင္   ႏုိင္ငံေတာ္ ပုန္ကန္မႈ ပုဒ္မ ၁၂၂ (၁) နဲ႔ အက်ဥ္းက်ေနသူေတြ ပါ၀င္ပါတယ္။

အင္းစိန္ေထာင္က ၃ ဦး၊ ျမင္းျခံေထာင္က ၃ ဦး၊ မႏၱေလးေထာင္က ၁၀ ဦး၊ သာယာ၀တီေထာင္က ၂ ဦး၊ ေတာင္ငူေထာင္က ၆ ဦး၊ ေရႊဘုိေထာင္က ၄ ဦး၊ မံုရြာေထာင္က ၂ ဦး၊ ျမစ္ႀကီးနားေထာင္က ၅ ဦး၊ ဗန္းေမာ္ေထာင္က ၂ ဦး၊ ေက်ာက္ျဖဴေထာင္က ၁၀ ဦး၊ သံတဲြေထာင္က ၄ ဦး၊ ဘူးသီးေတာင္ေထာင္က ၂ ဦး၊ စစ္ေတြေထာင္က ၉ ဦး အပါအဝင္ အက်ဥ္းေထာင္အသီးသီးက အက်ဥ္းသား စုစုေပါင္း ၆၉ ဦး လြတ္ေျမာက္ခဲ့တာပါ။

လြင္သႏၱာစုိးCredit To>RFA Burmese<Thanks

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Blair Follows in Clinton’s Footsteps at Myanmar Peace Center

Tony Blair, Myanmar, Burma, Myanmar Peace Center, MPC,

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair speaks at the Myanmar Peace Center in Rangoon on Friday. (Photo: Myanmar Peace Center / Facebook)

RANGOON – They were the late-1990s peacemakers–Third Way buddy-cops whose ready smiles, demonstrative hand gestures and varnished empathy helped broker deals in places as different as Kosovo and Northern Ireland.

And as night follows day, on Friday Tony Blair trailed Bill Clinton to Rangoon’s Myanmar Peace Center, with the former British Prime Minister giving a similar speech to the ex-US President—only 22 hours later and to a slightly smaller crowd.

Echoing the geographic content of Clinton’s Thursday talk, Blair’s Friday foray mentioned the Middle East, Northern Ireland and Nigeria. And as Clinton gave a touching first-person anecdote about reconciliation in post-genocide Rwanda, Blair recounted a meeting held right after the 1998 Omagh bombing, a terrorist act carried out by an Irish Republican Army (IRA) splinter group that ranks as the single deadliest atrocity of the thirty-year conflict in Northern Ireland.

Blair recalled being told by one of the bereaved that “I just lost the two people dearest to me in the world. But I want you to go and work to make sure that no one suffers the way I am now.”

Former US President Bill Clinton spoke at the Myanmar Peace Center in Rangoon on Thursday. (Photo: Simon Roughneen / The Irrawaddy)

Blair and Clinton met for a while last night, and, said Blair, marveled at how it would have been unimaginable to both men, while they were in office,  that they would in future cross paths in the former military-ruled Burma.

It seems, however, that Blair might have slipped a copy of Clinton’s speech into his briefcase before the two men parted ways.

“You don’t make peace with your friends, you make peace with your enemies,” Blair intoned, the versatile truism almost word-for-word a fragment of Clinton’s speech the day before.

Like Clinton, Blair sought to allude to contemporary Burma by describing possible parallels elsewhere, but for the most part did not discuss Burma directly.

Burma’s government has signed 14 ceasefires with the country’s ethnic militias—which the latter hope will lead to political negotiations about granting greater autonomy for Burma’s minority regions. Blair gave his implicit backing to the Burma government’s sequencing to date, saying “it is hard to make peace possible without achieving this [a ceasefire] first.”

But breaking with the tightly-controlled format of the Clinton event on Thursday, Blair fielded 10 questions—albeit queries pre-screened and pre-selected by the Myanmar Peace Centre.

“How can a Burmese Muslim become a British?” the former British prime minister was asked, the question said to have come from a Muslim in strife-ridden Arakan State in Burma’s west, and read aloud by Kyaw Yin Hlaing, an advisor to Burma’s Government.

“You have enough to do to get them into here,” Blair replied, somewhat bemused. “And that’s all I am going to say,” he quickly concluded.

Blair has made three previous visits to Burma in past year, as his international political and business consultancy projects have expanded into countries as far-flung as Albania, Brazil, Kazakhstan and Vietnam. Blair made no mention, nor was he asked, of whether this visit is linked to his lucrative advisory and consultancy work.

OIC ၏ အကူအညီကမ္းလွမ္းမႈ လႊတ္ေတာ္ ဒုတိယဥကၠ႒ မတုံ႔ျပန္

စိုးသန္းလင္း| ေသာၾကာေန႔၊ ႏုိဝင္ဘာလ ၁၅ ရက္၊ ၂၀၁၃ ခုႏွစ္
မဇၩိမ

 

အစၥလာမ္မစ္ႏိုင္ငံမ်ား ပူးေပါင္းေဆာင္ရြက္အဖြဲ႕(OIC) မွ လူမႈေရးလုပ္ငန္းမ်ားႏွင့္ လမ္းပန္းဆက္သြယ္ေရးလုပ္ငန္းမ်ားတြင္ အကူအညီေပးရန္ ကမ္းလွမ္းခဲ့ေသာ္လည္း ျပည္သူ႔ လႊတ္ေတာ္ ဒုတိယ ဥကၠ႒သည္ နားေထာင္႐ံုမွအပ တုံ႔ျပန္ေဆြးေႏြးျခင္းမရွိဟု အဆိုပါေဆြးေႏြးပြဲသို႔တက္ေရာက္ခဲ့သူ ရခုိင္တိုင္းရင္းသားမ်ား တိုးတက္ေရးပါတီ ဒုတိယဥကၠ႒   ျပည္သူ႔ လႊတ္ေတာ္ကိုယ္စားလွယ္ ဦးထြန္းေအာင္ေက်ာ္က မဇၩိမ ကို ေျပာသည္။

ႏို၀င္ဘာလ ၁၄ ရက္က ျပည္သူ႔လႊတ္ေတာ္ ဒုတိယဥကၠ႒ ဦးနႏၵေက်ာ္စြာႏွင့္အဖြဲ႕ ျပည္သူ႔လႊတ္ေတာ္၊ အမ်ိဳးသားလႊတ္ေတာ္တို႔မွ အစၥလာမ္ဘာသာ၀င္ လႊတ္ေတာ္ကိုယ္စားလွယ္ သံုးဦး၊ ရခိုင္တိုင္းရင္းသား လႊတ္ေတာ္ကိုယ္စားလွယ္ သံုးဦးတို႔ႏွင့္ ေတြ႕ဆံုေဆြးေႏြးစဥ္ ေျပာၾကား သြားခဲ့ျခင္းျဖစ္သည္။

“OIC အဖြဲ႕က သူတို႔ ဒီကိုလာတဲ့ကိစၥ ရွင္းျပတယ္။ ျမန္မာျပည္မွာျဖစ္ေနတဲ့ ကိစၥေတြကို ၾကားေနရတာ ေတြကို မ်က္ျမင္ကိုယ္ေတြ႕ ေလ့လာခ်င္လို႔ လာတယ္ ဆိုတာ ေျပာ တယ္။ ေနာက္ၿပီး လူ႕အဖြဲ႕အစည္း ႏွစ္ရပ္လံုးကို လူမႈေရးနဲ႔ လမ္းပန္းဆက္သြယ္ေရးနဲ႔ ပတ္သက္ၿပီး ကူညီခ်င္တယ္လို႔ေျပာတယ္။ လႊတ္ေတာ္ ဒု-ဥကၠ႒ဘက္ကေတာ့ အဲဒီကမ္း လွမ္းမႈ ကို ဘာထင္ျမင္ခ်က္မွ မေပးဘူး။ တုံ႔ျပန္ေျပာတာလည္း မရွိဘူး။ သူတုိ႔ဘက္က ကမ္းလွမ္းတာပဲရွိတယ္”ဟု ဦးထြန္းေအာင္ေက်ာ္က ေျပာသည္။

OIC အတြင္းေရးမွဴးခ်ဳပ္ ဦးေဆာင္ေသာအဖြဲ႕ႏွင့္ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံ ဆက္သြယ္ေရးအဖြဲ႕၀င္ ခုနစ္ႏိုင္ငံမွ ကိုယ္စားလွယ္အဖြဲ႕၀င္ ၅၀ ေက်ာ္တို႔ သည္ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံ ခရီးစဥ္ အျဖစ္ ႏို၀င္ဘာ (၁၃)ရက္မွ ၁၇ ရက္အထိ ရခိုင္ပည္နယ္ရွိ ပဋိပကၡျဖစ္ပြားခဲ့သည့္ေနရာမ်ားကို မ်က္ျမင္လက္ေတြ႕ ေလ့လာႏိုင္ရန္ အတြက္ ေရာက္ရွိခဲ့ ျခင္း ျဖစ္သည္။

အစၥလာမ္ဘာသာ၀င္ ျပည္သူ႔လႊတ္ေတာ္ကိုယ္စားလွယ္ ဦးေရႊေမာင္က “OIC က ရခိုင္ျပည္နယ္က လူမ်ိဳးေပါင္းစံု၊ ဘာသာေပါင္းစံုတင္မကပါဘူး။ မည္သည့္ေနရာ၊ ေဒသမဆို အစိုးရနဲ႔    ညိႇႏႈိင္းၿပီး ကူညီေပး မယ္ဆုိတာမ်ိဳးကို လႊတ္ေတာ္ ဒု-ဥကၠ႒နဲ႔ ေဆြးေႏြးသြားတယ္”ဟု ေျပာသည္။

အဆိုပါေတြ႕ဆံုေဆြးေႏြးပြဲသို႔ တက္ေရာက္ခဲ့သူ ျပည္သူ႔လႊတ္ေတာ္ ကိုယ္စားလွယ္ ေဒၚခင္ေစာေ၀က “(OIC) က ရခုိင္ျပည္နယ္အေပၚမွာ လူမ်ဳိး/ဘာသာ မခြဲၿခားဘဲ ကူညီမယ္ ဆုိတာေတာ့ ႀကဳိဆုိပါတယ္။ ကူညီမယ္ဆုိတာကုိ ဘယ္အတုိင္းအတာထိ ကူညီမလဲဆုိတာကုိ ရခုိင္တုိင္းရင္းသားေတြက ဘယ္လို ႀကိဳဆုိၾကမလဲ။ သူတုိ႔ မႀကဳိဆုိဘူးဆုိရင္လဲ မတတ္ႏိုင္ဘူးေပါ့”ဟု ဆိုသည္။

OIC အဖြဲ႕သည္ ႏိုင္ငံေတာ္ ဒုတိယသမၼတ ေဒါက္တာ စိုင္းေမာက္ခမ္းႏွင့္လည္း ႏို၀င္ဘာ ၁၄ ရက္က ႏိုင္ငံေတာ္ သမၼတအိမ္ေတာ္ သံတမန္ေဆာင္တြင္ ေတြ႕ဆံုခဲ့ၿပီး ရခိုင္ျပည္ နယ္ သို႔ ႏို၀င္ဘာ ၁၅ ရက္တြင္ သြားေရာက္ ေလ့လာမည္ ျဖစ္သည္။

Photo-RFA

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OIC Delegation Met By Angry Protesters in Sittwe

Myanmar, Arakan, Rakhine, Burma, Rohingya, OIC, Organization of Islamic Cooperation

RANGOON — A high-level delegation from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was greeted by an estimated 3,000 protestors Friday, when the group that includes foreign ministers from Islamic countries arrived in western Burma’s troubled Arakan State.

A group from the 57-member OIC arrived in Burma on Wednesday to meet with officials and investigate the situation of Rohingya Muslims, who make up the majority of the estimated 140,000 people displaced by two waves of violence in Arakan State last year. At least 192 people were killed in inter-communal violence between Arakanese Buddhists and Rohingya, who the government of Burma does not recognize as citizens.

Buddhists have staged demonstrations across the country this week accusing the OIC of trying to interfere in Burmese affairs.

On Friday, the delegation landed at about noon at Sittwe Airport, where angry demonstrators held aloft banners saying “Get Out OIC,” and “We Don’t Want OIC.”

 

 

“Our people arrived here at 7 am. We have over 3,000 people,” Tun Hlaing, an organizer of the protest, told The Irrawaddy. “We all shouted to them that we do not want them to come here.”

The Burmese government has approved the visit and reportedly guaranteed the security of delegates, who include OIC Secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Malaysian, Saudi Arabian, Egyptian, Djiboutian and Bangladeshi officials.

 

Tun Hlaing said the group did not leave the airport, but was taken by Burmese military helicopters to parts of Arakan State where the population is majority Rohingya.

“They stayed about 15 minutes and then flew to Maungdaw and Buthitaung,” he said. “We did not get permission to meet them, but we could see them from the distance, and they could even see us shouting at them.”

Arakanese Buddhists also held smaller protests Maungdaw and Buthitaung, as well as other townships in Arakan State like Toungup and Mrauk-U.

About 1,000 people in Rangoon, mostly Buddhist monks, also marched from Shwedagon Pagoda to Sule Pagoda to demonstrate once again against the OIC visit on Friday. An additional protest was planned at Rangoon International Airport on Saturday to see off the OIC delegation.

Tun Kyi, a protester in Toungup Township, said it was his duty to oppose the OIC visit. “We are worried that they [the Rohingya] will get more support from the OIC and they will create more problems for our people,” he said.

Tun Kyi claimed the conflict between Buddhists and Muslims in Arakan State is stirred up by international involvement.

Arakanese Buddhists in Maungdaw protested when the delegation landed in the town at about 1 pm, one protester said. “It is very simple: If we have to say why we protest, it’s because we do not want them to come,” said the female protester.

Protests against the visit of an OIC delegation were also held in Meiktila, Mandalay Division, and Lashio, northern Shan State, on Thursday. Both towns have seen violence targeting Muslim communities since last year.

Rights groups have accused Burma’s authorities of allowing, or even facilitating, violence against Muslims. Authorities have granted permission or allowed all of the anti-OIC protests to take place, in contrast to protest for land rights in Burma, for instance, for which permission is notoriously difficult to obtain.

Tun Hlaing, the protest organizer in Sittwe, said he had no trouble getting the demonstration approved after applying on Monday. Regulations, which are usually strictly applied when it comes to most protests, demand that permission is sought a week ahead of a demonstration.

Many activists fighting for other causes have found themselves sentenced to three months in prison after going ahead with a protest when permission was not forthcoming in time.

Although an attempt to visit Burma earlier this year by the OIC was rebuffed, the central government has openly supported the current trip.

According to the state-owned New Light of Myanmar, the delegation met with Burma’s Vice President Sai Mauk Kham on Thursday evening in Naypyidaw. The newspaper reported they discussed peace and stability in Arakan State, and rehabilitation efforts in the region.

Buddhist Protests Continue as OIC Prepares for Arakan Visit

Muslim, Buddhist, Myanmar, Arakan, Rakhine, inter-communal violence, sectarian violence, OIC

RANGOON — Protests against the visit of an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) delegation continued on Thursday as about 200 Buddhists took to the streets in Meikthila, Mandalay Division, while Buddhists in Sittwe and Rangoon said they were planning further demonstrations.

On the second day of the visit, the OIC travelled to the capital Naypyidaw and on Friday the delegation will pay what is expected to be a tense visit to Sittwe, the capital of strife-torn Arakan State.

The delegation of the OIC, a grouping of 57 Islamic countries, comprises OIC Secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and senior officials from Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Djibouti and Bangladesh.

The delegation reportedly met with top Burmese officials on Thursday, but President Office spokesman Ye Htut told VOA that the delegation would not meet with President Thein Sein. National League for Democracy officials reportedly said the OIC would neither meet with Aung San Suu Kyi.

Minutes from an OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission meeting on Oct. 31 indicate that the organization wanted to conduct “a fact-finding mission to Myanmar to assess the situation of Rohingya Muslims,” a stateless minority living in northern Arakan State.

The government has released few details about the OIC visit, but officials have said the trip would help the organization gain an understanding of the real situation on the ground in Burma.

An UN employee based in Sittwe said the OIC delegation was expected to arrive in the Arakan capital on Friday afternoon. The aid worker, who declined to be named, said the delegation would be accompanied by central government officials and US Ambassador Derrick Mitchell, adding that the delegation was expected to stay one night in Sittwe.

“They will visit the IDP camps, but I don’t know which camps they will go to,” the UN staffer said, adding that only senior UN officials had been informed about the details of the OIC visit. “This is all being arranged by the central government—they arranged the helicopters already,” the aid worker added.

During two waves of violence between Arakanese Buddhists and the Rohingya Muslim minority last year 192 people were killed and 140,000 people were displaced, mostly Muslims. The displaced Rohingyas continue to languish in dirty, crowded camps, where they receive little support from the government, which refuses to recognize the persecuted group as Burmese citizens.

The international community has repeatedly criticized the government’s response to the Arakan crisis. Human rights groups have alleged that the Burmese government—which is dominated by Buddhist officials—gave tacit support to Buddhist mob attacks on Rohingya villages.

Indonesian delegation member Ark Hananto told the Associated Press on Wednesday that the OIC had received security guarantees of the government for their Arakan State visit. International aid workers and journalists have reportedly been temporarily barred from travelling to Sittwe during the visit.

In Meikthila, on Thursday, some 200 people protested against the OIC visit, after they heard rumors that the delegation would inspect the situation in the city, which was hit by deadly anti-Muslim violence in late March.

“We held a protest of about 200 people, half of them Buddhist monks. Because we heard that they [the OIC] were going to visit today, but we didn’t see them yet,” said a protest organizer, who declined to be named.

“We got government permission to protest this morning,” she added.

Arakanese Buddhists in Sittwe told The Irrawaddy that they would hold large protests against the OIC visit on Friday.

“We have government permit to protest already, so we’ll be at the airport to protest tomorrow morning,” said Tun Hlaing, an organizer of the protest. “We will all meet at airport at 9 am. We will protest at the airport. They [the OIC] will come with a Myanmar Airline flight, that’s what we heard,” he added.

Aung Win, a Rohingya activist from Sittwe Township, said the local Muslim community hoped they would have an opportunity to meet with OIC delegation to express their concerns about their dire situation in Arakan State.

“If I have a chance to talk to them [the OIC], I will speak about our problems because there are still problems, even though one year has passed” since violence broke out, he added.

Aung Win said, however, that Rohingya leaders had received no information from the Arakan State authorities about the delegation’s plan to meet with their community. “I am worried that the state government will not give them much freedom … and just give them little time to meet with the displaced,” he added.

Some 1,000 people took the streets in Burma’s biggest city Rangoon on Tuesday to protest against the visit, after they obtained a government permit for the demonstration.

Protests against the OIC are also being planned in Rangoon on Friday and Saturday, Wai Lin Aung, a Buddhist organizer, said. “We will have protest at Shwedagon Pagoda tomorrow. Then, we will have another one at the [Rangoon] airport the next day,” he said.

Local Muslim leaders in Rangoon said they did not yet have an opportunity to meet with the OIC. Asked about the anti-OIC protests, Haji Aye Lwin, a leader of the Yangon Islamic Center, said, “They have the right to protest, but it is important to understand the reasons of the OIC visit to the country.”

Last year, a plan to open an OIC office in Burma led to nationwide protests. The plan was cancelled and earlier this year, the Burmese government rebuffed calls from the OIC to allow a delegation to visit and discuss the Rohingya issue.

အစၥလာမ္ဘာသာ၀င္မ်ားအၿခားဘသာ၀င္မ်ားကုိ လုံ႔၀ (လုံ႔၀) လက္ ထပ္ ခြင္႔ မ ၿပဳ ။

 

 

(အို-အီမာန္သက္ဝင္ ယံုႀကည္သူအေပါင္းတို႔ ) အလႅာဟ္အရွင္ျမတ္ႏွင့္ယွဥ္တြဲ၍ အျခားအရာမ်ားကိုကိုးကြယ္ေသာ မိန္းမမ်ားသည္ အီမာန္ယံုႀကည္ျခင္းသဒါၶတရား မ ထား ရွိႀကေသာကာလပတ္လံုး ထိုမိန္းမမ်ားႏွင့္ အသင္တို႔သည္ ထိမ္းျမားမဂၤလာမျပဳႀကကုန္လင့္။ အမွန္ေသာ္ကား အလႅာဟ္အရွင္ျမတ္ႏွင့္ ယွဥ္တြဲ၍အျခား အရာမ်ား ကိုကိုးကြယ္ေသာ မိန္းမတစ္ဦးသည္ အကယ္၍သင္တို႔အဖို႔နွစ္ သက္စရာျဖစ္ေသာ္ျငားလည္း အီမာန္ယံုႀကည္ျခင္း သဒါၶတရားရွိေသာ က်ြန္မိန္းမ တစ္ဦးသည္ (အလႅာဟ္အရွင္ျမတ္ႏွင့္ ယွဥ္တြဲ၍ကိုးကြယ္ေသာ) ထိုမိန္းမထက္ မုခ်သာ၍ေကာင္း၏ယင္းအာယသ္ေတာ္ျမတ္သည္ ထူးျခားေသာျဖစ္ရပ္တစ္ခုကို အေႀကာင္းျပဳ၍ က်ေရာက္ခဲ့ေပသည္။”မရ္စဒ္သခင္” သည္ “အနားက္” အမည္ရွိအမ်ိဳး သမီးႏွင့္   ေနကာဟ္ ထိမ္းျမားရန္ခြင့္ျပဳမိန္႔ကို ေတာင္းခံ၍ ၎အမ်ိဳးသမီးအားသူ႕အေနျဖင့္ ႏွစ္ သက္ေႀကာင္း ကိုယ္ေတာ္ျမတ္ (ဆြ) ထံေလ်ွက္ထားေလ သည္။၎ကိစၥ ကို အေႀကာင္း ခံ၍ ဤအာယသ္ေတာ္ က်ေရာက္ခဲ့သည္။ယင္းအာယသ္ေတာ္ကားမြတ္ (ရွ္)ရစ္ (က္) တုပႏိႈင္းယွဥ္ကိုးကြယ္ေသာ အမ်ိုဳးသမီး မ်ားႏွင့္ေန ကာဟ္ ထိမ္းျမားျခင္း မျပဳရန္တားျမစ္ပိတ္ပင္လိုက္ေလသည္။(ဝါေဟဒီ သခင္၏ အတ္စ္ဘာဘြန္ႏိုဇူလ္က်မ္း)

အေျခခံဥပေဒ၊ ဒီမိုကေရစီ၊လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး လို အပ္ ခ်က္ နွင့္ လို အင္

16.11.2013

မေန႔ညက ပူခဲ့အိုက္ခဲ့ေသာ အပူအေၾကာင္းကို ျဖစ္ေစ၊ ႀကံဳခဲ့ရသည့္ အဆင္မေျပမႈ တစ္ခုခုကိုျဖစ္ေစ၊ ထို တစ္စံုတစ္ရာကို ျပန္ေျပာလွ်င္ အပူသက္သာ သြားေလ မလား။ ပိုမိုပူအိုက္လာေလ မလား။ အဆင္ေျပ သြားမည္လား၊ အေနပိုခက္ခဲလာေလမလား။ တကယ္ေတာ့ ကိုယ့္စိတ္ႏွင့္ ကိုယ့္ကိုယ္သက္သာသလို ေျပာပါ ေလ။ စိတ္ ဆႏၵမ်ား လြတ္ေျမာက္ဖို႔ရာ လြတ္လပ္စြာ ထုတ္ေဖာ္ ခြင့္ရွိပါ၏။ သို႔ေသာ္ကိုယ့္တစ္ကိုယ္ရည္ လြတ္လပ္မႈ မွသည္ တစ္ပါး သူမ်ားကို ထိပါးခြင့္ေတာ့ လူ႔အဖြဲ႕ အစည္းက ခြင့္မျပဳ။ လူ႔အခြင့္ အေရးဆိုသည္၌ လူတစ္ဦးတစ္ေယာက္ခ်င္းလိုအင္ထက္ လူ အမ်ားလိုအပ္ႏိုင္မည့္ အေျခခံလိုအပ္ခ်က္မ်ား၊ အေျခခံရပိုင္ခြင့္မ်ား ကိုသာ ေရွး႐ူသည္ျဖစ္၍ ကိုယ့္အပူကိုသာၾကည့္ၿပီး အမ်ားသို႔ အပူကူး စက္မည္မသိေသာသူ၏ လြတ္လပ္စြာထုတ္ေဖာ္ခြင့္သည္ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးကို ခ်ဳိးေဖာက္ ရာက်ေၾကာင္း သိရွိနိုင္ၾကပါမည္။

ကြၽႏ္ုပ္တို႔နိုင္ငံသည္္ ဒီမိုကေရစီႏွင့္ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရးကို အာသာျပင္းျပင္း လိုခ်င္ခဲ့ေသာျပည္သူမ်ားကို အေၾကာင္းျပဳကာ ဒီမိုကေရ စီႏိုင္ငံေတာ္သစ္တည္းဟူေသာ၊ ပါတီစံုဒီမိုကေရစီေခတ္ တည္း ဟူေသာႏိုင္ငံသစ္ ေခတ္စနစ္သစ္ကို ဦးတည္ေလွ်ာက္ လွမ္းခြင့္ရရွိ ခဲ့ေလၿပီ။ ေရွးက တင္ႀကိဳျပဳခဲ့ဖူးေသာေကာင္းမႈအထူးသာ မရွိပါက ယေန႔အခ်ိန္ကို ေရာက္ရွိလာဖြယ္ မရွိေၾကာင္းလည္း သိရွိႏိုင္ၾကပါ လိမ့္ဦး မည္။We Want Democracy ဟု တစာစာဆိုခဲ့သူ ျပည္သူတို႔ဆႏၵမွာ အလိုလိုျပည့္ဝခဲ့ျခင္း မဟုတ္ သလို ‘ျပည္သူ အသံ’ ‘ျပည္သူ႔ဆႏၵ’ ‘ျပည္သူ႔လိုအပ္ခ်က္’ မ်ားကို အျပည့္အဝေဖာ္ေဆာင္ႏိုင္စြမ္းမည့္ ဒီမိုကေရစီလူ႔အခြင့္အေရး သည္လည္း အလိုလို ရလိမ့္ မည္ မဟုတ္ပါ။ ဒီမိုကေရစီထက္ အရင္ ဦးစြာ အေျခခံဥပေဒလာရသည့္နည္းတူ အေျခခံဥပေဒထက္အရင္ ႏိုင္ငံတြင္းမီွတင္းေနထိုင္ေသာ ျပည္သူ လူထုအေရး ကို  ေရွး ႐ႈသည့္ လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး လိုအပ္ခ်က္မ်ားက အရင္လာရပါသည္။

ျပည္သူလူထုအက်ဳိးကိုသိမွ အက်ဳိးကိုၾကည့္ႏိုင္မည္။ ျပည္သူ လူထု၏ အေျခခံလိုအပ္ခ်က္၊ ရပိုင္ခြင့္ေတြကို ေပးအပ္လိုစိတ္ျဖင့္ မျဖစ္မေနထည့္ သြင္းေရးဆြဲေသာ အေျခခံဥပေဒရရွိၿပီးမွ ဥပေဒပါ ခံစားခြင့္ဒီမုိကေရစီကို ရေပမည္။ လိုအပ္ခ်က္ႏွင့္ လိုအင္တို႔အၾကား ဆႏၵမျပည့္ဝမႈအေပၚမူတည္ ကာ ေပၚေပါက္လာတတ္ေသာ   ျပႆနာ သေဘာကို ေစာေၾကာစာနာနား လည္ေပးႏိုင္မႈသည္လည္း ဒီမို ကေရစီ၏ အဖိုးထိုက္အဖိုးတန္ စံႏႈန္းျဖစ္ ပါသည္။ စံမီေသာႏိုင္ငံ၊ စံမီေသာျပည္သူ၊ စံမီေသာ မီဒီယာ၊ စံမီေသာ အတိုက္အခံ၊ စံမီ ေသာလႊတ္ေတာ္၊ စံမီေသာအစိုးရတို႔အတြက္ စံမီေသာ အေျခခံ ဥပေဒႀကီး အမွန္တကယ္ရွိေနဖို႔၊ ရွိေစဖို႔ ကြၽႏ္ုပ္တို႔ အား လံုး မွာ တာဝန္ရွိေနသည္။

သို႔ရာတြင္ တာဝန္ရွိသူဟူေသာေဝါဟာရျဖင့္အျခားသူ ပါဝင္ ခြင့္ မရေအာင္ တစ္သီးတျခား စည္းတားျခားနားေစမႈမ်ားႏွင့္ အတူကပ္ ပါေနေသာ တစ္ဦး တစ္ေယာက္၊ တစ္ဖြဲ ့တည္းခ်ဳပ္ကိုင္မႈ ေလွ်ာ့ခ်နိုင္ရန္ေတာ့ အေရးတႀကီးလိုအပ္လွပါသည္။ သို႔မွသာ နိုင္ငံ့အက်ိဳး ႏိုင္ငံသား အက်ိဳးေဆာင္ရြက္ရာတြင္ နိုင္ငံသားမ်ား ပါဝင္တာဝန္ ယူႏိုင္ မည္၊ ႏိုင္ငံသား တိုင္း တာဝန္သိသူျဖစ္ပါမွ နိုင္ငံသည္ဖြံ ့ၿဖိဳးတိုးတက္မႈ လ်င္ျမန္လာပါမည္။

လိုအပ္ခ်က္ထက္ပိုယူထားမိေသာအရာမ်ားက ဝန္ထုပ္ဝန္ပိုး သာျဖစ္ေစသလို တာဝန္မွ်မေပးလိုျခင္း၊ တစ္ပါးသူ၏အရည္အေသြး ကိုမယံုၾကည္ျခင္းတို႔မွ တစ္ဦး တည္း လက္ဝါးႀကီးအုပ္လိုမူ ခံုမင္တပ္ မက္မႈဆီမွ ေလာဘ၊ ေဒါသ၊ ေမာဟ အစရွိေသာ ပေယာဂအေႏွာက္ အယွက္မ်ား ရွိလာရလာႏိုင္သည္လည္းျဖစ္ရာ လိုအပ္ ခ်က္ႏွင့္ လိုအင္ကို ပီပီျပင္ျပင္ကြဲကြဲျပားျပား သတိျပဳသိျမင္ႏိုင္ၾကဖို႔ လိုအပ္ လွပါေၾကာင္း အေလးအနက္ တိုက္တြန္းဆႏၵျပဳလိုက္ရပါသည္။

အယ္ဒီတာ့အာေဘာ္
Popular Myanmar News Journal

Myanmar

Myanmar

Union of Myanmar

President: Lt. Gen. Thein Sein (2011)

Vice President: Vice President Sai Mouk Kham (2011)

Land area: 253,954 sq mi (657,741 sq km); total area: 261,969 q mi (678,500 sq km)

Population (2012 est.): 54,584,650 (growth rate: 1.07%); birth rate: 19.11/1000; infant mortality rate: 47.74/1000; life expectancy: 65.24; density per sq km: 72

Capital and largest city (2009 est.): Rangoon (Yangon), 4,259,000

Naypyidaw (administrative capital)

Other large cities: Mandalay, 1,009,000; Nay Pyi Taw 992,000

Monetary unit: Kyat

National name: Pyidaungsu Myanmar Naingngandau

Current government officials

Languages: Burmese, minority languages

Ethnicity/race: Burman 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Mon 2%, Indian 2%, other 5%

Religions: Buddhist 89%, Christian 4% (Baptist 3%, Roman Catholic 1%), Islam 4%, Animist 1%, other 2%

Literacy rate: 89.9% (2011 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2011 est.): $82.72 billion; per capita $1,300. Real growth rate: 5.5%. Inflation: 8.9%. Unemployment: 5.5%. Arable land: 15%. Agriculture: rice, pulses, beans, sesame, groundnuts, sugarcane; hardwood; fish and fish products. Labor force: 32.53 million; agriculture 70%, industry 7%, services 23% (2012). Industries: agricultural processing; knit and woven apparel; wood and wood products; copper, tin, tungsten, iron; construction materials; pharmaceuticals; fertilizer; cement; natural gas. Natural resources: petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, some marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower. Exports: $9.543 billion (2011); note: official export figures are grossly underestimated due to the value of timber, gems, narcotics, rice, and other products smuggled to Thailand, China, and Bangladesh: clothing, gas, wood products, pulses, beans, fish, rice. Imports: $5.498 billion (2011 est.); note: import figures are grossly underestimated due to the value of consumer goods, diesel fuel, and other products smuggled in from Thailand, China, Malaysia, and India: fabric, petroleum products, plastics, machinery, transport equipment, construction materials, crude oil; food products. Major trading partners: Thailand, India, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia (2004).

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 604,700 (2011); mobile cellular: 594,000 (2011). Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 3 (1998). Radios: 4.2 million (1997). Television broadcast stations: 2 (1998). Televisions: 320,000 (2000). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1,033; note: as of Sept. 2000, Internet connections were legal only for the government, tourist offices, and a few large businesses (2012). Internet users: 110,000 (2011).

Transportation: Railways: total: 5,031 km (2011). Highways: total: 27,000 km; (2011 est.). Waterways: 12,800 km; 3,200 km navigable by large commercial vessels. Ports and harbors: Bassein, Bhamo, Chauk, Mandalay, Moulmein, Myitkyina, Rangoon, Akyab (Sittwe), Tavoy. Airports: 76 (2011).

International disputes: despite continuing border committee talks, significant differences remain with Thailand over boundary alignment and the handling of ethnic rebels, refugees, and illegal cross-border activities.

Major sources and definitions

Flag of Myanmar

Geography | Government | History

Geography

Slightly smaller than Texas, Myanmar occupies the Thailand/Cambodia portion of the Indochinese peninsula. India lies to the northwest and China to the northeast. Bangladesh, Laos, and Thailand are also neighbors. The Bay of Bengal touches the southwest coast. The fertile delta of the Irrawaddy River in the south contains a network of interconnecting canals and nine principal river mouths.

Government

Military regime.

History

The ethnic origins of modern Myanmar (known historically as Burma) are a mixture of Indo-Aryans, who began pushing into the area around 700 B.C., and the Mongolian invaders under Kublai Khan who penetrated the region in the 13th century. Anawrahta (1044–1077) was the first great unifier of Myanmar.

In 1612, the British East India Company sent agents to Burma, but the Burmese doggedly resisted efforts of British, Dutch, and Portuguese traders to establish posts along the Bay of Bengal. Through the Anglo-Burmese War in 1824–1826 and two subsequent wars, the British East India Company expanded to the whole of Burma. By 1886, Burma was annexed to India, then became a separate colony in 1937.

WWII Leads to Independence

During World War II, Burma was a key battleground; the 800-mile Burma Road was the Allies’ vital supply line to China. The Japanese invaded the country in Dec. 1941, and by May 1942, had occupied most of it, cutting off the Burma Road. After one of the most difficult campaigns of the war, Allied forces liberated most of Burma prior to the Japanese surrender in Aug. 1945.

Burma became independent on Jan. 4, 1948. In 1962, left-wing general Ne Win staged a coup, banned political opposition, suspended the constitution, and introduced the “Burmese way of socialism.” After 25 years of economic hardship and repression, the Burmese people held massive demonstrations in 1987 and 1988. These were brutally quashed by the State Law and Order Council (SLORC). In 1989, the military government officially changed the name of the country to Myanmar. (The U.S. State Department does not recognize the name Myanmar or the military regime that represents it.)

The Military Maintains a Tight Grip on Myanmar

In May 1990 elections, the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) won in a landslide. But the military, or SLORC, refused to recognize the election results. The leader of the opposition, Aung San Suu Kyi, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, which focused world attention on SLORC’s repressive policies. Daughter of the assassinated general Aung San, who was revered as the father of Burmese independence, Suu Kyi remained under house arrest from 1989 until 1995. Suu Kyi continued to protest against the government, but almost every move she made was answered with a counterblow from SLORC.

Although the ruling junta has maintained a tight grip on Myanmar since 1988, it has not been able to subdue an insurgency in the country’s south that has gone on for decades. The ethnic Karen movement has sought an independent homeland along Myanmar’s southern border with Thailand. In Jan. 2004, the military government and the insurgents from the Karen National Union agreed to end the fighting, but they stopped short of signing a cease-fire.

The economy has been in a state of collapse except for the junta-controlled heroin trade, the universities have remained closed, and the AIDS epidemic, unrecognized by the junta, has gripped the country.

The Junta Crack Down on Democracy

From 2000 to 2002, Suu Kyi was again placed under house arrest. In spring 2003, the government cracked down once again on the democracy movement, detaining Suu Kyi and shuttering NLD headquarters. The regime opened a constitutional convention in May 2004, but many observers doubted its legitimacy.

In Oct. 2004, the government arrested Prime Minister Gen. Khin Nyunt and charged him with corruption. He had angered the leadership of the junta with his recent experiments on reform, first by freeing Suu Kyi from house arrest and later for proposing a seven-step “road map to democracy.”

A series of coordinated bomb attacks in May 2005 killed about a dozen people and wounded more than 100 in Rangoon. The military junta blamed the Karen National Union and the Shan State Army. The ethnic rebel groups, however, denied any involvement.

Moving Toward a Modern Nation

On Nov. 13, 2005, the military junta—in a massive and secretive move—relocated the seat of government from the capital Rangoon to a mountain compound called Pyinmanaa in Naypyidaw. The move perplexed many, and the junta was vague in its explanation, saying, “Due to changed circumstances, where Myanmar is trying to develop a modern nation, a more centrally located government seat has become a necessity.”

More than 1,000 delegates gathered in December to begin drafting a constitution, which the junta said was a step toward democracy. The convention adjourned in late Jan. 2006 with little progress. In Sept. 2007, representatives to the convention, which has met on and off since 1993, released a draft constitution that ensures that the military will continue to control the ministries and legislature and have the right to declare a state of emergency. The document also limits the rights of political parties. Opposition parties were excluded from the convention.

Military Crackdowns Receive World Criticism

In a stunning show of defiance, widespread pro-democracy protests, prompted by a sharp increase in fuel prices, erupted throughout the country in Aug. 2007. Participation in the peaceful protests ballooned over several weeks, and Buddhist monks joined the throngs of protesters when government troops used force against demonstrators in early September. The monks emerged as the leaders of the protest movement and gained international sympathy and support. On Sept. 26, the military cracked down on the protesters, firing into crowds, raiding pagodas, and arresting monks. At least nine people were killed. The protests were by far the largest in the country in 20 years, with as many as 100,000 people marching. In a statement, the United Nations Security Council condemned the crackdown, saying it “strongly deplores” the violence unleashed on the protesters.

On May 3, 2008, Cyclone Nargis ravaged the Irrawaddy Delta and Yangon, killing 22,500 people and leaving up to a million homeless. Another 41,000 people were reported missing and feared dead. Most of the death and destruction were caused by a 12-foot high tidal wave that formed during the storm. The isolated military junta accepted international aid, a tacit acknowledgement that it is ill-equipped to handle a disaster of such enormous scope. But once the aid began to arrive, the government limited distribution of the supplies, accepting only about 10% of what was needed. In addition, it denied entry visas to relief workers, leaving the country crippled and vulnerable to widespread disease. The junta faced further criticism when it went ahead with a constitutional referendum on May 10 intended to cement its grip on power.

In September, the military government released just over 9,000 prisoners, including the longest-serving political prisoner, Win Tin. Most of those released, however, were not political prisoners. By most estimates, as many as 2,000 political prisoners remain in detention. These releases were followed in November by the sentencing of 30 activists to up to 65 years in jail. The activists include veterans of the 1988 students’ movement and other democracy advocates who participated in the thwarted monk-led protests in Aug. and Sept. 2007.

Suu Kyi Freed Shortly After Elections

Days after elections in Oct. 2010–the country’s first elections in 20 years–opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was freed after nearly 20 years in detention. Thousands of supporters gathered outside her home, where she gave a speech calling for a “peaceful revolution.” The elections, which the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party won in a landslide, were widely criticized as rigged and an attempt to further empower the military government. Nevertheless, the junta presented the elections as evidence that the country had completed the transition from military government to a democracy. Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, boycotted the elections, thus further diminishing the legitimacy of the results.

Dramatic Shift Away from Authoritarian Rule Brings Diplomatic Opportunities

The country’s first Parliament in 20 years convened in Jan. 2011 and elected Prime Minister Thein Sein as president. The military junta officially disbanded in March 2011. However, Parliament is civilian largely in name only. The military won about 60% of the seats in October 2010 elections, and another 25% are reserved for members of the military. In addition, the cabinet is largely comprised of former members of the junta. The National League for Democracy dismissed the transition to a civilian government, calling it a futile gesture that will introduce no real change in power.

The NLD’s predictions proved false, however. In his first year as president, Thein Sein initiated stunning changes in political and economic philosophy that saw a loosening of the tight grip the authoritarian junta held on the country. He initiated talks with opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; allowed her and her party, the NLD, to run in upcoming parliamentary elections; freed about more than 800 political prisoners; signed a cease-fire with ethnic Karen rebels, who for 60 years have sought an independent homeland along Myanmar’s southern border with Thailand; and suspended work on the controversial $3.6 billion Myitsone Dam on the Irrawaddy River. In response, the U.S. took dramatic steps to normalize relations with the formerly isolated and repressive regime. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the country in December 2011—it was the first visit of a senior U.S. official in about 50 years. In Jan. 2012 the U.S. restored full diplomatic relations with Myanmar. That was followed by an easing of sanctions that allowed U.S. companies to “responsibly do business” in Myanmar.

Opposition Dominates 2012 Elections

In April 2012 parliamentary elections, the National League of Democracy prevailed in 43 out of 45 districts that held races, including the capital, Naypyidaw. Suu Kyi, who in October 2010 was released after spending nearly 20 years under house arrest, won a seat in parliament and took office in May. It was a stunning victory for the opposition—and an equally symbolic defeat for the military. Observers speculated that the opposition’s victory would either prompt military rulers to respond to the will of the people and enact change or view the victory as a threat to its power. The U.S. rewarded Myanmar for its progress with a thaw in relations, easing a number of sanctions and allowing nongovernmental organizations to resume operations in the country. “The results of the April 1 parliamentary by-elections represent a dramatic demonstration of popular will that brings a new generation of reformers into government,” U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton said.

Ethnic violence broke out between Buddhists and Muslims in the western state of Rakhine after the rape and murder of a Buddhist woman by a Muslim man. Revenge attacks followed, prompting Prime Minister Thein Sein to declare a state of emergency in June. Dozens were killed, hundreds of homes were burned, and about 100,000 people were displaced. Tension between the Buddhist majority and Muslim minority, called Rohingyas, in Rakhine has been high for years. The government considers the Rohingyas illegal immigrants, discrimination against them is rampant, and they live in horrible conditions. On Aug. 1, 2012, the international organization Human Rights Watch published a 56-page report “The Government Could Have Stopped This” based on eyewitness reports of the acts of violence committed in Myanmar.

Small Steps Toward Democratization

In Aug. 2012 Myanmar’s government did away with the country’s censorship of private publications. While laws enabling the imprisonment of journalists for printing items that the government deems harmful are still in effect, the final two topics (religion and politics) were removed from the pre-publication censorship list on Aug. 20. Prime Minister Thein Sein continued his shift in political philosophy in September, announcing in a speech to the UN that the changes in Myanmar are “irreversible.” In response to the progress, President Barack Obama visited Myanmar in November—the first U.S. president to enter the country. He praised the drift from isolation as a “remarkable journey.”

In answer to two years’ worth of social, political, and economic reform, the European Union lifted the last of its trade, economic and individual sanctions against Myanmar. President Obama lifted the 1996 ban on entry visas to the former Burma’s military rulers, their business partners, and immediate families on May 2, 2013. At the same time, however, the Obama administration approved another year of the National Emergencies Act, which prohibits business transactions with anyone in Myanmar involved in repression of the democracy movement. This give-one, take-one approach was meant to encourage the democratization of Myanmar while simultaneously registering censure of the sectarian violence that erupted in March and has caused more than 40 deaths and has displaced an estimated 13,000. Radical Buddhist monks have been indicted in these attacks between Buddhists and minority (5% of population) Muslims.

See also Encyclopedia: Myanmar.
U.S. State Dept. Country Notes: Myanmar (Burma)