Burma's Muslims: A primer
by Andrew Selth
Andrew Selth is a Research Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute.
Given the spate of articles in the news media which connect the anti-Muslim riots in Burma last week with the sectarian violence in Rakhine (Arakan) State last year, it may be helpful to sketch out the multi-faceted nature of Burma's Muslim communities and some of the underlying issues.Burma is often left off lists of Southeast Asian countries with sizeable Muslim populations. Yet, at least 4% of Burmese are Muslims, or by most counts well over 2 million people. A large number of Muslims in Burma are not recognised as citizens, however, and thus do not figure in the official statistics. Some unlikely claims range as high as 20%, or more than 11 million people. A few websites include up to 1.5 million Muslims currently living overseas.
Burma Approves News Dailies Amid Outcry
While journalists have described the move as a major step toward media freedom in Burma, they have also voiced outrage at the country's draft media law, released earlier this month, which critics say could roll back government promises to loosen its grip on a long tightly controlled industry.That bill bans reporting on several topics, including the Burmese military's battles with ethnic rebels and any coverage critical of the 2008 military-drafted constitution. It also permits six-month jail terms for failing to register news publications with the government.
AND HOW REFORMED IS BURMA (MYANMAR) REALLY?
by Andrew Drummond
Just what is going on in Arakan State?
The abuse of the Rohingya in Burma continues. At the same time foreign companies and tourists are flooding in to the newly reformed country. Well just how reformed is it? Where are the forces in Burma defending this minority, whose very right to existence seems to be denied? This report was issued today by Human Rights Watch.
Burma: Ethnic Cleansing Rears Its Head
Tim Marshall - Foreign Affairs Editor (Sky News HD)
But some do. Some of them even wear saffron robes while they do it.The most recent attempt at cleansing an ethnic group began in Meiktila, 340 miles north of Rangoon. They then spread south as close as 125 miles from the country's biggest city, where Muslim-owned shops are beginning to close in case of violence.
Humanitarian Crisis: Burmese Muslims Under Threat of Long-Term Segregation
By Steven Hsieh
Human Rights Watch says Burma's discriminatory policies against Rohingya Muslims could lead to a permanent, segregated state.
The Burmese government is potentially paving the way for long-term segregation through discriminatory policies against a Muslim minority, Human Rights Watch reports. The New York-based NGO says state officials created a humanitarian crisis by blocking aid from getting to Rohingya and Kaman Muslims displaced in squalid refuges camps.
In June 2012, sectarian violence in the coastal Arakan State forced more than 125,000 Burmese Muslims to take refuge in sordid displacement camps. Since then, the Burmese government has restricted international aid organizations from providing food and medical assistance to the hungry, sick and dying. Additionally, security forces guard the displaced from leaving the camps, further exacerbating the crisis. HRW fears the wet season could turn the already dire situation into a disaster, pointing to heavy rain risks that could “overflow already inadequate and overused latrines, spreading otherwise preventable waterborne diseases throughout the displaced population.”
- Mosques, Homes Destroyed in Latest Burma Violence
- The Dark Side of Burmese Freedom
- U.S. Warns on Myanmar Travel as Deaths Rise
- Myanmar attacks staged with ‘brutal efficiency’: U.N. envoy
- Jonathan Manthorpe: Burma’s religious violence threatens democratic transition
- UN Official Says Muslims Targeted in Burma
- Deadly violence between Myanmar's Buddhists, Muslims spreads to 3 more towns in heartland
- Sectarian violence spreads in Myanmar
- Tensions persist between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar
- Press Release: STOP SYSTEMATIC KILLING OF MUSLIM IN BURMA