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Posts Tagged ‘Burma Partnership’ (399 found)

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April 25, 2013  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags:  •  Read more ➤

EU Ignores Its Burma Sanction Benchmarks

120314CameronBurma_6055475Today, the EU is likely to lift most of the remaining sanctions on Burma allowing a glut of investment by European companies, despite the benchmarks set out last year not being met. In April last year, the EU suspended sanctions for one year and outlined conditions that must be met if they were to be lifted completely. These benchmarks included the unconditional release of political prisoners, an end to armed conflict, recognition of the status of Rohingya, and improved humanitarian access to conflict-affected zones. These conditions are being ignored.

Firstly, there remain over 200 political prisoners in Burma and those who have been released face restrictions, for example, not being issued passports. While there have been some limited steps towards the release of those remaining with the establishment of a review board to determine who is still a political prisoner and thus release them, this review board has so far lacked any substance. Furthermore, as pointed out by the Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in Burma, Tomás Ojea Quintana, Rohingya prisoners in Arakan State are being tortured and left out of the review board’s list of political prisoners […]

April 22, 2013  •  By Tags: , ,  •  Read more ➤

၂၀၁၃ ခုႏွစ္ ဘရူႏိုင္းႏိုင္ငံ အာဆီယံလူထုေဆြးေႏြးပြဲ တက္ေရာက္ျခင္းအေပၚ ထုတ္ျပန္ေၾကညာခ်က္

အာဆီယံထိပ္သီးညီလာခံႏွင့္အျပိဳင္ ႏွစ္စဥ္က်င္းပေလ့ရွိေသာ အာဆီယံလူထုအစည္းအေဝး (ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forum) ကို အာဆီယံအဖြဲ႕ဝင္ႏိုင္ငံမ်ားမွ ျငိမ္ခ်မ္းေရးႏွင့္လံုျခံဳေရး၊ သဘာဝပတ္ ဝန္းက်င္၊ လယ္ယာေျမ၊ အမ်ဳိးသမီးႏွင့္ကေလး၊ လူငယ္၊ လူ႕အခြင့္အေရး၊ ေရြ႕ေျပာင္းအလုပ္သမား […]

April 9, 2013  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , ,  •  Read more ➤

More Armed Conflict, More Landmines

KNLA Soldier Saw LahKyi © Karen NewsLast Thursday, 4 April, was International Day of Mine Awareness. While over 80% of the world’s countries have signed or agreed to the 1997 Ottawa Convention banning the use of landmines, Burma is among the 20% who have not. Recent statistics place Burma as the country with the third largest amount of land mine causalities in the world. From 1999 to 2011, over 3,000 men, women and children have lost their lives to mines in Burma. A week and a half ago, two porters, forcibly conscripted by the Burma Army, were killed in Northern Shan State by landmines.

Mines are regularly used by both government forces and non-state armed groups. Parts of Northern and Eastern Burma have some of the highest concentration of mines in the world. The Land Mine and Cluster Munitions Monitor identifies over 47 townships in Kachin, Karen, Karenni, Mon, Arakan and Shan States that suffer from mine contamination as well as in Pegu and Tenasserim Regions […]

April 9, 2013  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s Political Reconciliation with Burma’s Armed Forces

Aung San Suu Kyi with Maj Gen Zaw Win 27 March 2013 © Nyein Chan Naing/AFP/Getty ImagesOn 27 March, Burma’s Armed Forces Day was commemorated with its usual military fanfare. But this year, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi sat in the front row of the parade, raising concerns about her closeness to the army.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was similarly criticized for her comment on BBC’s Desert Island Disks radio show about her “fondness” for her father’s army. While Daw Suu appears to be cozying up the Burma Army as an attempt of political reconciliation in her push towards the 2015 elections, the public widely continues to see the country’s security forces as the perpetrators of human rights violations especially in ethnic nationality areas and of brutal crackdowns on civilians in 1988, 2007 and most recently in November 2012 against protesters and monks at the Letpadaung copper mine.

The Burma Army continued this week to launch offensives against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in northeastern Shan State, two weeks after the latest peace talks in Ruili, China. There have also been reports of shelling and looting of villages in Kachin State despite President Thein Sein insisting on his visit to Austria at the beginning of the month, “There’s no more hostilities, no more fighting all over the country, we have been able to end this kind of armed conflict.” General Gun Maw, deputy chief of the KIA said after the 11 March talks, “They wanted us to sign a ceasefire agreement first, but there are many issues to discuss about the peace process before we can reach a ceasefire.”

Furthermore, the military has been implicated in the violence in Meikhtila, which has left 43 dead and 12,000 displaced by UN estimates […]

April 1, 2013  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Communal Violence Spreads as Security Forces Stand By

Meikhtila March 2013 © ReutersStarting on Wednesday, 20 March, Burma saw a shocking return to the communal violence that engulfed Arakan State last year. In the central town of Meikhtila, Mandalay Division, attacks on people and property, have left at least 32 dead, religious and residential buildings burned to the ground, and more than 6,000 displaced. They are mainly Muslim people who are now living in a temporary refugee camp in a football stadium, 2 miles out of town.

The spark that lit the fuse in Meikhtila was an argument in a gold shop on Wednesday between the Muslim owner and Buddhist customer. A fight broke out and later that day a mob arrived to destroy the shop and nearby Muslim-owned businesses. Fighting in the street escalated as sections of the two communities fought, and by the end of Friday, an unconfirmed number of people had been killed. President Thein Sein declared a State of Emergency on Friday afternoon and order was restored by Saturday morning. The official death toll from the government is 32, announced on state television on Saturday night, but other sources are claiming over 100. It is difficult to attain reliable figures as journalists, both domestic and foreign, were threatened by mobs and some had to hide in a monastery […]

March 25, 2013  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Letpadaung Report Does Not Address Concerns, Places Security Forces Above the Law

Letpadaung Monywa Mine © JPaing/IrrawaddyThis week the much anticipated report of the Letpadaung investigation commission, appointed by President Thein Sein and chaired by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, was finally released. The report acknowledges that the mine lacks strong environmental protection measures and would not create more jobs for local people. It also recognizes that farmers were forcibly evicted from their land to make way for the project. However the report says the copper mine project “should not be unilaterally stopped.” This recommendation deeply disappointed local farmers and activists who angrily rejected the commission’s report while the Wanbao Company welcomed it.

After the release of the report, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi visited the villages affected by the project to explain the findings of the commission. She called for the communities to stop opposing the project and accept compensation for their lost land. “We have asked the company to first give jobs to our people and second to maintain a healthy environment, according to international standards, and third to provide education and health care for the people,” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said in a speech in Salingyi Township. But she was confronted by protesters who feel that the report does not acknowledge their demands […]

March 18, 2013  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Rampant Land Confiscation Requires Further Attention and Action from Parliamentary Committee

This past week the parliamentary Farmland Investigation Commission submitted its report on land confiscation to the parliament. The report finds that the military have taken almost 250,000 acres of land from villagers. The commission stated that they had spoken to military leaders about the confiscation, “Vice Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing […] confirmed to me that the army will return seized farmlands that are away from its bases, and they are also thinking about providing farmers with compensation.”

The investigation is a step in the right direction but there still exist very large problems the commission has not addressed, the first being that the commission only addressed land confiscated by the military. Although the military has been involved in land confiscations they are not the only perpetrators.

An example of the shortcomings of the commission’s report is the fact that the Letpadaung copper mine is not mentioned by the commission because the land was not confiscated outright by the military, although it is a joint venture with the military owned Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd (UMEH). Additionally the Letpadaung Inquiry Commission headed by Aung San Suu Kyi charged with investigating the abuses that took place has delayed releasing its findings for a third straight time […]

March 12, 2013  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Oral Statement at the Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Burma/Myanmar

Thank you, Mr. President. FORUM-ASIA, in association with its member organisation Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB) and Burma Partnership, welcomes the report of the Special Rapporteur (A/HRC/22/43) which demonstrates the need for sustained attention of this Council on the human rights situation in the country. The Special Rapporteur’s present mandate must be maintained even in the context of the positive developments as serious human rights violations remain unaddressed […]

March 11, 2013  •  By Forum-Asia, Human Rights Education Institute of Burma and Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Burma Still Requires the UN Human Rights Council’s Attention

Farmers Protest in Maubin Township 26 Feb 2013 © JPaing / The IrrawaddyThis week 22 organizations from Burma released a statement calling on the 22nd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council to maintain its resolution on the situation of human rights in Burma under item 4 as “Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention” and to renew the full mandate of the Special Rapporteur Tomás Ojea Quintana. Serious human rights challenges that require the Council’s attention remain as the events of this week illustrate.

Border Security Forces in Arakan State allegedly raped 13 young Rohingya women. This highlights the serious remaining issues of the rampant culture of impunity for security forces and the Burma Army and the decades-long discrimination against the Rohingya organized and perpetuated by the government.

In Kachin State, despite ceasefire talks, fighting continued this week making more and more victims on the civilian side […]

March 4, 2013  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤