See More on Facebook

Current affairs, Diplomacy

Myanmar Army accused of new war crimes

The accusations comes from several investigations done by Amnesty International.


Written by

Updated: May 30, 2019

Human rights group Amnesty International on Wednesday accused the Myanmar military of committing new war crimes in its fight against a rebel group.

According to the investigation by Amnesty, Myanmar’s armed forces were ordered by the government to crush a separatist rebel group in the country’s Rakhine State.

Rakhine is the site of previous rights abuses perpetrated by Myanmar’s army, most notably a program of extra-judicial killing, rape and forced eviction against the country’s Muslim minority Rohingya population.

As a result of the army program, the Rohingya began a mass exodus out of the area in 2016 and 2017 leading to a humanitarian crisis and a diplomatic spat with neighbouring Bangladesh where the Rohingya eventually settled.

As of writing, the diplomatic wrangling between Dhaka and Naypyidaw over the repatriation of the Rohingya has not been resolved and is compounded by the fact that the refugees have refused to return.

Fresh Accusations

The new accusations on Wednesday will undoubtedly complicate an already muddled picture in Rakhine state. In addition to the army pogrom against the Rohingya, Rakhine is also host to a separatist rebel group led by native Buddhist Arakanese.

The group accuses the central government of ignoring their concerns and have stepped up attacks in recent months against government personnel and installations.

The army reprisal against the rebels is the subject of the Amnesty accusations.

According to Amnesty, “the new operations in Rakhine State show an unrepentant, unreformed and unaccountable military terrorizing civilians and committing widespread violations as a deliberate tactic.”

“Less than two years since the world outrage over the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingya population, the Myanmar military is again committing horrific abuses against ethnic groups in Rakhine State” said Nicholas Bequelin, Regional Director for East and Southeast Asia at Amnesty International.

Government Under Pressure

The new accusations by Amnesty will undoubtedly put pressure on Aung San Suu Kyi’s government, already dealing with the continued fallout from its Rohingya policy.

The government only recently released two Reuters journalists who were jailed for uncovering previous army atrocities in Rakhine state.

International pressure have also led to sanctions on several high ranking Myanmar Generals and leaders of the armed forces.

But instead of dealing with issues within the armed forces and its heavy handedness and its perceived independence from government orders, it seems Suu Kyi’s government is happy to be complicit in covering up and ignoring these problems.

The government and the army have already restricted access for journalist to Rakhine state and will undoubtedly find ways to restrict access to human rights workers and NGOs if the problem persists.

With a stagnating economy and increasing international pressure, the latest Amnesty report could not have come at a worst time for Naypyidaw.

 



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Cod Satrusayang
About the Author: Cod Satrusayang is the Managing Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Current affairs, Diplomacy

Report: US officials lied about Afghanistan

Civilian, military officials misled public for nearly two decades about status of war, Washington Post review of documents finds. For nearly two decades, senior US civilian and military officials didn’t tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan, The Washington Post reported on Monday after reviewing more than 2,000 pages of government documents. The officials made pronouncements they knew to be false and hid evidence that the war had become unwinnable, the newspaper said interviews with those officials show. John Sopko, the head of the federal agency that conducted the interviews, acknowledged to the Post that the documents show “the American people have constantly been lied to”. The newspaper said that two major claims in the documents are that US officials manipulated statistics to suggest to the American public that the war was being won and that successive


By China Daily
December 11, 2019

Current affairs, Diplomacy

Pompeo says US is hopeful N. Korea will refrain from nuclear, long-range missile tests

Both sides are hopeful of continued talks. The United States is hopeful North Korea will continue to refrain from nuclear tests and long-range missile tests, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday, after Pyongyang said it had conducted a “very important” test over the weekend. North Korea said the test occurred at its Dongchang-ri satellite launch site on Saturday, raising tensions ahead of a year-end deadline North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has imposed for the US to show flexibility in their negotiations on dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. “Chairman Kim personally made the commitment to denuclearize, said there wouldn’t be long-range missile tests, nuclear tests,” Pompeo said at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the State Department.


By The Korea Herald
December 11, 2019

Current affairs, Diplomacy

Arguments strong enough to convince judges: expert

Myanmar at The Hague for genocide. The arguments presented by the Gambia’s lawyers at the top UN court yesterday were extremely strong and should convince the judges to issue “provisional measures” against Myanmar to stop genocide against the Rohingyas, said a legal expert. If the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issues such an order, Myanmar will be under real pressure as it is a binding one, said the expert. “It was truly convincing the way the lawyers, who are very reputed in their fields, presented their arguments at the top UN court in the Hague,” Ahmed Ziauddin, a genocide researcher based in Brussels, told this correspondent yesterday. “They made it very clear that provisional measures were urgent to protect the Rohingyas, and such measures won’t affect Myanmar as a state.” The ICJ is not a criminal court that can issue an arrest order against any individual. But


By Daily Star
December 11, 2019

Current affairs, Diplomacy

SAARC turns 35 but has very little to show for its age

The regional bloc of seven South Asian countries and Afghanistan has largely been held hostage to the rivalry between India and Pakistan, say analysts. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation might have turned 35 but its three-and-a-half decades of existence has largely failed to advance its own central tenet—regional cooperation. As SAARC marked its 35th anniversary with a flurry of congratulatory messages from heads of government, expressing their commitment to regional cooperation, many analysts and diplomats wonder if these promises will ever translate into action. The regional association has failed to hold its 19th summit, ever since 2016 when India sud


By The Kathmandu Post
December 9, 2019

Current affairs, Diplomacy

Hundreds of thousands take part in massive Hong Kong march

Police seized a gun and bullets which they believed were intended to be used during the demonstration. HONG KONG – Hundreds of thousands braved the chilly weather in Hong Kong to join a massive and largely peaceful march on Sunday afternoon (Dec 8) hours after police, in a crackdown on the main island, seized a gun and bullets which they believed were intended to be used during the demonstration. Sunday’s march to mark Human Rights Day drew a crowd of 800,000, said the Civil Human Rights Front, the organiser behind the biggest protests in the city. The event was a sign of the level of support for the anti-government movement that has stretched for more than six months. The march, which began around 3pm, went on smoothly but tensions notched up at night when hundreds of protesters in face masks and helmets started building barricades in areas such as Central and Causeway Bay to slow down


By The Straits Times
December 9, 2019

Current affairs, Diplomacy

7 of 10 Filipinos worried by presence of Chinese workers

China has increased its presence in the archipelago. The rising presence of Chinese workers in the country worry seven out of 10 adult Filipinos, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, as the government recently launched a crackdown against Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) which mostly employ Chinese nationals. The noncommissioned survey, conducted from Sept. 27 to 30, found that 31 percent “worried a great deal,” while 39 percent are “somewhat worried.” Highest in Metro Manila The proportion of those who were worried about the increasing number of Chinese workers in the country was highest in Metro Manila at 75 percent, followed by the Visayas at 71 percent, Luzon outside Metro Manila (69 percent) and Mindanao (67 percent.) About half of the respondents agree that the rising number of Chinese workers is a threat to national secur


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 6, 2019