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Posts Tagged ‘Karen Human Rights Group’ (52 found)

Are You Listening, President Obama?

Photo By The IrrawaddyUS President Barack Obama’s made his much-anticipated second trip to Burma last week during the 25th ASEAN Summit, amid growing awareness that the reforms which he so eagerly celebrated during his 2012 trip are quickly unravelling – or being exposed for the stage-managed charade that they are.
In 2012, it was all too easy to trust the reform process. National elections had been scheduled for 2015, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had been freed from house arrest and elected to Parliament, political prisoners had been released, a nationwide ceasefire process was underway with the majority of armed ethnic groups, and restrictions on media and civil society had been drastically loosened. And so the US and the international community embraced the reforms.

Yet, last month, in her recent address to the UN General Assembly, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma Yanghee Lee warned of the risks of backtracking. Then, earlier this month, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi labelled the process as “stalled” and remarked that “there have been times when the [US] government has seemed over-optimistic about the reform process.

Furthermore, there has been a flurry of recent calls from civil society across Burma, directly raising their various concerns about the reform process with President Obama. The Karen Human Rights Group wrote an open letter drawing President Obama’s attention to human rights violations resulting from the ongoing government military presence throughout south-eastern Burma; […]

November 18, 2014  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Legal Memorandum: War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in Eastern Myanmar

war crimesEXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In January 2011, the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic (“the Clinic”) began to investigate the actions of the Myanmar Army during a military offensive in eastern Myanmar (“the Offensive”) that began in late 2005 and lasted approximately three years. The Clinic sought to determine whether violations of international criminal law occurred during the Offensive, and whether there exist reasonable grounds to assert that individual military officers could be held responsible for those crimes. The Clinic’s investigation focused specifically on the conduct of two military units—Southern Regional Military Command (“Southern Command”) and Light Infantry Division 66 (“LID 66”)—in Thandaung Township, Kayin State. […]

November 10, 2014  •  By International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Protection and Security Concerns in South East Burma/ Myanmar

Protection and Secutiry concernsEXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The peace process in Burma/Myanmar1 is at a critical juncture from which it could evolve into a transformative national dialogue or splinter into a divisive charade. While hopes for substantive and inclusive discussion about structural injustice remain, ongoing militarisation and attacks by the national armed forces2 are undermining the confidence of ethnic stakeholders. This report seeks to highlight the protection and security concerns of conflict-affected communities. […]

November 8, 2014  •  By The Border Consortium  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Par Gyi Killing Highlights Continuing Impunity in Southeast Myanmar

The recent killing by the Myanmar Army of the journalist Aung Kyaw Naing, also known as Par Gyi, highlights the need to end impunity in Southeast Myanmar, according to the Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG), a leading community based organisation in the region. […]

November 6, 2014  •  By Karen Human Rights Group  •  Tags: , , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Open Letter from Karen Human Rights Group to President Obama

The Karen Human Rights Group would like to call your attention to human rights violations that have resulted from the ongoing government military presence throughout Southeast Myanmar […]

November 6, 2014  •  By Karen Human Rights Group  •  Tags: , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

New National Land Use Policy Must Reflect the Concerns of those Affected

31 Oct 2014 Photo By IrrawaddyThe Burma Government released its draft land use policy document and opened it up for consultations with the public. Despite this positive sign, the time for consultations is inadequate with no proper mechanism or space created for the meaningful participation of affected communities in order for their concerns to be reflected in the draft. The draft document itself has been heavily criticized for serving to further empower investors over small scale farmers.

Since the beginning of the reform process in 2011, land grabbing, a practice that the previous military regime engaged in regularly, has hit new heights as a flurry of investors seek opportunities in previously untapped markets and the Burma Government liberalizes the economy. A prime example of this is the Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Project, a joint Thailand–Burma Government initiative that is seeking private investment to create one of the largest industrial zones in Asia. A report released by Dawei Development Association on 21 October 2014 highlights how 20-36 villages will be negatively affected. Concerns iterated by the local communities show that they have “lost farmlands and natural resources that are vital to their livelihoods, without prior information.” Furthermore “there was no meaningful consultation, and a deeply flawed compensation process.”

Land grabbing is often done with protection from the military, or by the military itself, for factories, infrastructure projects, mono-crop plantations, or military bases, and as with the Dawei SEZ case, usually without adequate or indeed, any compensation. It is a nationwide problem, both in ethnic areas, as documented by the Human Rights Foundation of Monland and Karen Human Rights Group, while in central Burma and delta areas, land grabbing is common place. Given that around 70% of the population of Burma is engaged in agriculture, and it is agricultural lands that are most often confiscated, it is one of the most pressing issues for Burma today […]

November 4, 2014  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Replacing Impunity with Accountability

On September 21st, the body of Saw Ta Noh, a private in the Karen National Liberation Army’s (KNLA) 6th Brigade, was found in the Moei River, near Myawaddy, after having been arrested on September 16th by soldiers from Border Guard Force (BGF) Battalion #1022.Captain Hla Min […]

October 9, 2014  •  By Karen Human Rights Group  •  Tags: , , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Another Great year for Burma’s Drug Trade

Nov-22-2013-Jpaing-IrrawaddyIt is of no surprise that the latest report from the UN’s Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on synthetic drugs finds that methamphetamine production in Burma continues to rise. Burma is already the second highest producer of opium in the world after Afghanistan and the fact that production rates of both opium and methamphetamine are increasing year on year points to a more complex picture than simply increase in demand. Poverty, displacement, conflict, and government complicity are all factors in this miserable state of affairs.

According to the UNODC report, “2014 Global Synthetic Drugs Assessment – Amphetamine-type Stimulants and New Psychoactive Substances,” that was released in Tokyo, Japan on 20 May 2014, seizures of methamphetamine in Asia have tripled over the past five years. The report highlights how most of the methamphetamine seized in Thailand, Bangladesh, and Burma itself, originates in Burma, while Jason Eligh, country manager for UNODC Burma states that, “according to expert perception, a large share of methamphetamine pills seized in China in 2012 originated from Myanmar.” This report complements a UNODC report on opium production in Burma released six months ago that showed a 26% increase from the year before, the highest recorded levels since monitoring began in 2002 […]

May 27, 2014  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤

Truce or Transition? Trends in Human Rights Abuse and Local Response in Southeast Myanmar Since the 2012 Ceasefire

English cover imageIntroduction

In January 2012, the Myanmar government and the Karen National Union (KNU) signed a preliminary ceasefire agreement, bringing to a halt what is often referred to as the world’s longest-running civil war. This conflict engendered severe human rights abuse of civilians at the hands of a range of armed actors, primarily at those of the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw). The ceasefire and other recent political developments in Myanmar have altered the ways in which human rights abuse is experienced by Karen people in the Southeast, and transformed the context within which these abuses can be addressed. This report aims to demonstrate how trends in human rights abuse have changed during the post-ceasefire period […]

May 14, 2014  •  By Karen Human Rights Group  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤