Foreign donors are rushing into Myanmar (formerly Burma), whose government has been pushing the right political buttons as part of its democratic reform process. But development planners and local activists caution that the best approach should still be ‘easy does it’.
Following sectarian violence in the western Myanmar state of Rakhine in June, human rights researchers are now warning that the government appears to be attempting to permanently house parts of the stateless Muslim-minority Rohingya in “temporary” refugee camps, segregating them from the rest of the population.
Speaking on Tuesday at her first public address in the United States, Myanmar’s opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, said that she supported the lifting of the last remaining U.S. economic sanctions on her country, but also warned that all remaining political prisoners need to be released.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, has taken important steps towards democracy and greater respect for human rights during the last months with one exception, activists say – the situation for the Rohingya minority, which has faced an outburst of violent attacks this summer.
After months of speculation and rumours, President Thein Sein of Myanmar (earlier Burma) has created a “super” cabinet to try to salvage his besieged administration – riven with divisions and inertia. Currently he is embroiled in a constitutional crisis – a battle for power between the president and the parliament – that threatens to paralyse the government until it is resolved. This has left the president increasingly isolated, with only the army offering concrete support.
Following on calls by civil society, the World Bank has released a draft summary framework for its re-engagement with Myanmar over the next year and a half. The formal interim strategy is slated to be ready by the end of October.
In a country where talk of a ceasefire brings representatives from 11 different armed ethnic groups to the table, Myanmar’s chief peace negotiator, Railway Minister Aung Min, is experimenting with an unusual solution to decades of separatist struggles.
Following on a May announcement, the U.S. government on Wednesday moved to implement its most significant rollback in longstanding sanctions on Burma, also known as Myanmar.
Reports of sectarian violence in western Myanmar have exposed the plight of 800,000 Muslim Rohingya, a persecuted minority that a regional human rights body described in 2006 as facing a "slow-burning genocide".
The outbreak over the past week of communal violence between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine State seriously threatens the ongoing reform process in Myanmar, according to experts here.
In a highly anticipated confirmation, the United States on Thursday announced that it would be significantly rolling back bilateral economic restrictions that have been in place on Myanmar (Burma) for a decade and a half.
Discussion of economic reforms in Myanmar (Burma) should not overshadow the critical need for a political solution to the longstanding grievances of the country's ethnic minorities, observers in Washington warned on Friday.