(Brussels) – The International Court of Justice (ICJ) order on January 23, 2020, directing Myanmar to prevent all genocidal acts against Rohingya Muslims is crucial for protecting the remaining Rohingya in Rakhine State, Human Rights Watch said today. The court unanimously adopted “provisional measures” that require Myanmar to prevent genocide and take steps to preserve evidence.
Myanmar’s military committed extensive atrocities against the Rohingya, including murder, rape, and arson, that peaked during its late 2017 campaign of ethnic cleansing, forcing more than 740,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh. In September 2019, the United Nations-backed International Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar found that the 600,000 Rohingya remaining in Myanmar “may face a greater threat of genocide than ever.”
“The ICJ order to Myanmar to take concrete steps to prevent the genocide of the Rohingya is a landmark step to stop further atrocities against one of the world’s most persecuted people,” said Param-Preet Singh, associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch. “Concerned governments and UN bodies should now weigh in to ensure that the order is enforced as the genocide case moves forward.”
The order follows Gambia’s November 11, 2019 application to the court alleging that abuses by Myanmar’s military in Rakhine State against the Rohingya violate the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and urgently seeking provisional measures. The ICJ held hearings on Gambia’s provisional measures request in December.
The ICJ provisional measures order is legally binding on the parties. In November, Myanmar explicitly recognized the ICJ’s authority and in December, Aung San Suu Kyi, representing Myanmar before the ICJ in her capacity as foreign minister, acknowledged the court’s role as a “vital refuge of international justice.”
The court unanimously ordered Myanmar to prevent all acts under article 2 of the Genocide Convention, ensure that its military does not commit genocide, and take effective measures to preserve evidence related to the underlying genocide case. The court has also ordered Myanmar to report on its implementation of the order in four months, and then every six months afterwards.
The order does not prejudge the question of the court’s jurisdiction to deal with the merits of the case, the case’s admissibility before the court, or the merits of Gambia’s allegation that Myanmar has violated provisions of the Genocide Convention. A case before the ICJ can take years to reach a resolution.
Under article 41(2) of the ICJ Statute, the court’s provisional measures orders are automatically sent to the UN Security Council. Such an order will increase pressure on the council to take concrete action in Myanmar, including through a binding resolution to address some of the indicators of genocidal intent outlined in the comprehensive 2018 report of the international fact-finding mission.
For example, the Security Council could pass a resolution directing Myanmar to lift restrictions on Rohingya’s freedom of movement, eliminate unnecessary restrictions on humanitarian access to Rakhine State, repeal discriminatory laws, and ban practices that limit Rohingya access to education, health care, and livelihoods. Thus far, the Security Council has not taken significant action on Myanmar, in part because of Russia and China’s apparent willingness to use their vetoes to shield Myanmar’s government and military.
“The ICJ order brings increased scrutiny of Myanmar’s horrific brutality against the Rohingya and raises the political cost of the UN Security Council’s weak response to the crisis so far,” Singh said. “China and Russia should stop blocking the Security Council from taking action to protect the Rohingya.”
Even with a deadlocked Security Council, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres could bring the matter of Myanmar before the council under article 99 of the UN Charter. On September 2, 2017, Guterres wrote a letter to the Security Council president urging the council to “press for restraint and calm to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe,’’ and for “full respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, and the continued presence and safety of the United Nations partners to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need without disruption.”
Other UN bodies should take steps to reinforce the order, Human Rights Watch said. The UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly could pass resolutions calling on Myanmar to comply with its terms. This could spur other countries to take concrete action in their bilateral relations with Myanmar.
In filing the genocide case, Gambia has the backing of the 57 members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. On December 9, 2019, the governments of Canada and the Netherlands, both parties to the Genocide Convention, announced that they considered it “their obligation to support the Gambia before the ICJ, as it should concern all of humanity.” On January 9, 2020, the British government welcomed Gambia’s case against Myanmar. Other parties to the convention should press Myanmar to comply with the court’s order, Human Rights Watch said. If Myanmar fails to act, Gambia could raise Myanmar’s non-compliance with the Security Council under article 94 of the UN charter.
“The growing global support for Gambia’s case raises the stakes for Myanmar to engage in the ICJ process in a meaningful way and change its approach to the Rohingya,” Singh said. “The Myanmar government cannot hide behind its powerful friends or the banner of sovereignty to escape its responsibilities under the Genocide Convention.”
PROLOGUE: The hidden hand of British turned Anglo-American clandestine interests in what they still call Burma (today's Myanmar) as crucial part of the opium triangle never ended. Do these circles fear that Aung San Suu Kyi could spill the beans, if indicted and questioned at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the pending case of the genocide targeting the Rohingya people? Do those forces believe it is therefore better she is kept locked away by the Junta, which still receives substantial support and supplies from the military-idustrial complex?
Myanmar Dictatorship Sends Suu Kyi to Another 4 Years in Jail
By teleSUR/MS - 10. January 2022
The 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner has been detained since the 2021 coup in an unknown location.
On Monday, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to four years in prison, in addition to another two years she is already serving, as a result of the judicial processes brought against her after the coup d'état in February of 2021.
Aung San Suu Kyi. | Photo: Twitter/ @dpa_intl
The "Special Court" authorized by the Military Junta found that Suu Kyi violated the export-import law and the telecommunications law for the possession without a license of several walkie-talkies and a jammer of signals.
The military-controlled judges decided to sentence her to 2 and 1 year in prison, respectively, although the sentences will be served simultaneously, so she will only serve two years in prison.
On Monday, Suu Kyi was also sentenced to another 2 years in prison for skipping COVID-19 protocols during an electoral act in November 2020.
These two sentences are in addition to two others issued in December, which also added four years in prison, although they were later lowered to two years. On that occasion, Suu Kyi was accused of violating the COVID-19 protocols and inciting citizens against the military.
The 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner, who has been detained since the coup in an unknown location, has yet to face prosecution for obtaining, storing, and sharing classified information. This accusation, which is related to the Official Secrets Act, could involve up to 14 years in jail.
Suu Kyi also faces six other corruption charges related to fraudulently using funds from a foundation she herself presides, obtaining discounts on land leases, or accepting bribes of US$600,000 and 11.4 kilos of gold. In these cases, she could receive up to 15 years in prison.
Indigenous Karen people shelter during their flight to Thailand across the Myanmar border.
More than 2,000 villagers from Myanmar’s Karen state evacuated to Mae Hong Son, Northern Thailand yesterday, March 28th, after the Myanmar military reportedly launched an air raid in the evening in several areas, including a displacement camp.
The airstrikes in the evening also reportedly killed at least two soldiers from the Karen National Union (KNU) and wounding several others, forcing more than 10,000 people to flee from their home. The KNU is an armed ethnic minority group who have their own territory in the South of Myanmar and have had conflicts with the Myanmar army, also known as the Tatmadaw, for decades.
This is the first air attack since the military coup, led by junta chief Min Aung Hlaing, had overthrown Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government on February 1st. The strike followed an alleged attack on a military outpost by the KNU.
Sithichai Jindaluang, Mae Hong Son governor, revealed to the press that a total of 2,194 refugees have fled to Thailand and are expected to increase as the bloodshed situation in the neighboring country is escalating.
The provincial authority has prepared refugee camps at Khun Yuam district with the primary supervision of the 36th Rangers Regiment. However, the province will have to wait for an order from the Thai government in order to provide more spaces for the refugees. Reports on Monday night claimed some refugees were turned back as authorities were waiting for more space.
The local administration in Mae Sariang district said that there are no exact details on how many refugees have shown up because the area is overseen by the military and other agencies are prohibited access.
Meanwhile, Mae Sai Police confiscated four postal boxes of about 4,000 shots of 5.56mm. ammunition six boxes of 6,000 various other types of ammunition, and 50 K-75 grenades at a postal shop in Chiang Rai province. All of them were from Chonburi and expected to be delivered to Tachileik, Myanmar.
A 30-year-old Thai national who was spotted entering the shop to receive the packages and his driver was captured by the police. According to their initial statement, they did not know what was inside the box but they were hired to take the packages to the Myanmar border. They were detained that the local police station for further investigation. It was unclear who the package was to be delivered to or who sent the package.
‘Heartless and illegal’: Thailand forces refugees fleeing junta air attacks back into Karen state
They were among around 13,000 villagers who have fled their homes in the last two days amid airstrikes in the state
Residents fleeing their homes after air Myanmar military airstrikes in Karen (Supplied)
Thai authorities forced over 2,000 Karen refugees who fled Myanmar military air strikes back across the border into Myanmar on Monday, activists said.
The “heartless and illegal act” by Myanmar’s neighbour followed reports that at least 10,000 people had taken shelter in the jungle in Karen state and another 3,000 had crossed into Thailand amid bombardments throughout the weekend.
David Eubank of the Free Burma Rangers aid group said 2,009 people had been forced to return to the Ee Thu Hta displacement camp in Karen late on Monday afternoon, Reuters reported.
In southern Karenni State the Burma Army is trying to terrorize the population into submission by attacking those in hiding, capturing and forcing villagers to act as guides and porters, laying landmines between villages and extorting property from villagers at will.
|Burma Army landmines (M14 and their copies of M14 landmines) found in January 2009. These landmines are used to terrify villagers into areas under Burma Army control.|
On 7 January, Burma Army troops laid six landmines between Bu Koh and Gay Loe villages in southern Karenni State. This tactic, an attempt to scare villagers into Burma Army control and cease all support for the Karenni resistance, was part of a coordinated action by LIBs 430, 428, 337 and IB 135 between 31 December, 2008, and 10 January, 2009. Just prior to this action, in early December, Burma Army soldiers from LIB 337 captured the pastor of Pa Hoe village and two boys from Ka Waw Soe village. They forced them to guide the soldiers during an attack and were later released. During these sweeps for displaced communities and resistance soldiers in January, the Burma Army also laid numerous landmines, and forced villagers to provide food for the troops. In one case, on 6 January, every family from Bu Koh village was forced to give 10 cans of rice to the Burma Army soldiers. The Burma Army remains active in this area.
|Map of areas covered in report|
Fears Grow After Airstrikes on Ethnic Army
28. March 2021
In this photo provided by Free Burma Rangers, villagers shelter in the open due to airstrikes, Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Deh Bu Noh, in Karen state, Myanmar. Myanmar military jets hit a village in Karen State, on Saturday night, killing a few people and wounding others, according to relief organizations. (Free Burma Rangers via AP)
Protesters and key allies of detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi have called on Myanmar’s numerous armed ethnic groups to band together to face down a common enemy in the Tatmadaw. On Sunday, the Kachin Independence Army, another armed group that has urged the military to end its crackdown on demonstrators, launched deadly attacks on at least four police battalions in Kachin State, according to Myanmar Now.
The Karen National Union, or KNU, the leading political body for the Karen minority, is one of more than a dozen ethnic organizations that have been fighting for decades to gain more autonomy from Myanmar’s central government.
So far the ethnic armed groups have only committed to providing protection to protesters in the areas they control.
It was the second day in a row that Myanmar forces bombed territory controlled by the KNU.
On Saturday night, two Myanmar military planes twice bombed Deh Bu Noh village in Mutraw district, which houses the district administrative office of the KNU. There are about 10,000 people settled in the area around the village, said Hsa Moo
Initial reports said two villagers were killed in Saturday’s bombings, but Hsa Moo said Sunday that the death toll was at least nine, with additional people wounded, according to residents she contacted by phone.
Since independence from Britain in 1948, Myanmar has struggled to build a national identity inclusive of the numerous minority groups in it, fueling resentment against the military -- dominated by the Bamar, or ethnic Burmese -- and perpetuating some of the longest-running armed conflicts in the world.
Myanmar has hundreds and possibly thousands of armed militias in a country where the state recognizes 135 distinct ethnic groups, according to a report last year by Brussels-based International Crisis Group. Of those, around 20 ethnic armed groups have both political and military wings.
Coup leader Min Aung Hlaing has sought to reach out to various ethnic armies to prevent them from joining together. Earlier this month he removed the Arakan Army from a list of terrorist groups following clashes in which it fought for greater autonomy in western Rakhine State.
In response to the KNU attack on Saturday, state broadcaster MRTV said the KNU assured the junta a rogue brigade was responsible for the strike and gave the green light for the Tatmadaw to retaliate. Efforts to reach Phado Kwe Htoo Win, the vice chair of the KNU, were unsuccessful.
While the Karen National Union last week said it had received an invitation to meet with Min Aung Hlaing, it only plans to do so after the military meets a series of demands that included transferring power to a National Unity Government. In a separate statement Tuesday, three other major ethnic armed groups including the Arakan Army said they would join protesters in what they call a “spring revolution” against the Tatmadaw if it doesn’t stop the killing immediately or meet calls to restore democracy.
“Our Brotherhood Alliance is now reviewing the non-ceasefire agreement following acts of the Tatmadaw after the coup,” the groups said in a statement. “We will continue to cooperate with other organizations for border stability, Covid-19 containment, people’s safety and international anti-terrorism acts.”
At Least 114 People Killed Saturday In Myanmar As Violence Continues To Escalate
By Catherine Whelan - 27. March 2021
Smoke rises from burning tires on Saturday as demonstrators gather in Thakeyta Township, Yangon, to continue their protest against the military coup in Myanmar. Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Local media in Myanmar say security forces killed at least 114 civilians in 40 cities and towns on Saturday, in what appears to be the deadliest day of protests since the coup last month.
The brutal crackdown came as the military marked the annual Armed Forces Day holiday. In a televised speech in the capital, Naypyitaw, coup leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing continued to justify the coup by accusing the government of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi of failing to investigate the military's accusations of voter fraud in the November general election — which saw Suu Kyi's party win in a landslide.
Min Aung Hlaing addressed the ongoing protests against the military indirectly — denouncing demonstrations against the coup as "terrorism" that is "harmful to state tranquility." The general promised fresh elections, but did not provide details on when a new vote would be held.
The deaths of 114 protesters on Saturday comes in addition to the 328 killed by the junta since the coup, according to figures released Friday by the activist group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. AAPR notes that around a quarter of those killed died from shots to the head, which the group says raises concerns that demonstrators are being targeted for killing. In addition to the dead, more than 3,000 demonstrators have been arrested, charged or sentenced since the start of the coup, according to AAPR.
"The Myanmar Armed Forces Day isn't an armed forces day, it's more like the day they killed people," said Gen. Yawd Serk, chair of one of Myanmar's ethnic armies, the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army-South, in an interview with Reuters. "If they continue to shoot at protesters and bully the people, I think all the ethnic groups would not just stand by and do nothing."
In a statement on Twitter, the U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar, Thomas L. Vajda, denounced what he described as "horrifying" bloodshed and called for "an immediate end to the violence and the restoration of the democratically elected government."
"These are not the actions of a professional military or police force," Vajda said. "Myanmar's people have spoken clearly: they do not want to live under military rule."
The European Union, which earlier this week sanctioned 11 people in relation to the coup, called the killing of unarmed civilians — including children — "indefensible" in a post on Twitter. "This 76th Myanmar armed forces day will stay engraved as a day of terror and dishonour," wrote the bloc's delegation to the country.
"A failed state in Myanmar has the potential to draw in all the big powers - including the US, China, India, Russia, and Japan - in a way that could lead to a serious international crisis," he wrote on Twitter.
Michael Sullivan contributed reporting to this story.
‘This uprising will continue until the people’s desire comes true,’ said one protester
Myanmar coup: Mass protests fail to attract global solidarity
EU and US sanctions against Myanmar's army cannot hide the fact that the Southeast Asian country's democracy movement is largely on its own.
By Rodion Ebbighausen - 22. March 2021
Since the military took over power in Myanmar on February 1, the country has seen sometimes deadly mass protests demanding the restoration of the civilian government and the release of political prisoners.
Despite the volatile situation, developments in the country have so far not dominated the international diplomatic agenda.
As far as what was made known publicly, the events in Myanmar were not part of the recent US-China meeting in Alaska, the first high-level talks between the two sides since President Joe Biden took office.
Still, according to experts at the United States Institute of Peace, a nonpartisan agency of the US Congress, Myanmar would present an excellent chance for cooperation between the two global powers.
"Myanmar may present a unique opportunity for the two powers — at odds on so much — to address in unison the growing international crisis radiating out of Myanmar," they said.
But at the Alaska meeting, China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi's called for the US to "stop advancing its own (notion of) democracy on the rest of the world."
The statement suggests that joint action by Washington and Beijing to resolve the crisis in Myanmar is rather unlikely.
UNSC sends a signal
The UN Security Council (UNSC) on March 10 managed to pass a resolution condemning the violence against peaceful protesters in Myanmar and pledging "continued support for the democratic transition" in the country.
It also stressed the "need to uphold democratic institutions and processes, refrain from violence, fully respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and uphold the rule of law."
Nevertheless, the UNSC failed to call the events in Myanmar a coup in the face of objections from China and Russia.
Michal Lubina, a political analyst at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, told DW that there is scope for the West and Beijing to agree on the way forward in Myanmar.
"China would have rejected such a (UNSC) statement in the past without much ado. That it has not done so suggests that there are points of agreement with the West," he said.
Even though both sides have common interests in Myanmar, Lubina said, they do not cooperate enough because of the systemic and geopolitical competition between them.
"A common goal of the West and China is stability and an end to bloodshed," the expert pointed out, stressing that China has no interest in there being chaos in Myanmar. Beijing wants to build infrastructure and an economic corridor connecting it to India, all of which have become impossible for the time being.
"But, of course, it also wants to keep the West at arm's length," he underlined.
Myanmar protesters face off against military
'We do not want military government'
The new military junta stationed extra troops and armored vehicles around the country on Monday to deal with the ongoing protests. People continued to take to the streets anyway, as seen above where protests took place outside the central bank in Yangon.
Myanmar public anger directed toward China
China's position on Myanmar, where distrust of Beijing runs high, is by no means uncontroversial. Beijing's hope of scoring points among the Myanmar public by supporting the UNSC's relatively clear statement appears to have fizzled out following arson attacks a week ago on several factories in Yangon belonging to Chinese investors.
It is unclear who was behind the arson attacks and to what extent they were connected to the current anti-coup protests.
But the reaction from the Chinese side was unambiguous.
The Global Times, the ultranationalist mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, published a report and an opinion piece on the events. In the report, the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar demanded protection of Chinese assets and personnel.
The perpetrators, according to the newspaper, may have been anti-China elements "who have been provoked by some Western anti-China forces, NGOs and Hong Kong secessionists."
"For a long time, the West and some anti-China forces have been trying to make use of Myanmar as a strategic pivot to contain China," it added.
In the opinion piece, Global Times said: "It's well known that China doesn't interfere heavily in Myanmar situation, meanwhile it tries its utmost to promote peaceful settlement of the crisis according to law."
China urges businesses to pull staff out of Myanmar
The reports triggered outrage on Myanmar's social media.
As reported by the English-language daily The Irrawaddy, a message in Burmese and Chinese was shared about a million times. It read: "We condemn the purely selfish statement of the Chinese Embassy in every way. China has so far remained silent and has not condemned the military coup, even though hundreds lost their lives during the peaceful protest."
The Chinese Embassy's statement has undoubtedly increased anti-Chinese resentment in Myanmar and complicated any possible moderating influence Beijing might have on the parties to the conflict.
ASEAN demands action to end violence
Meanwhile, some of Myanmar's Southeast Asian neighbors, in a departure from their traditional restraint, have taken a stand for the first time.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, for instance, called for an immediate end to the violence and announced that he would, together with Brunei, call a special meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Brunei is the current chair of the regional bloc.
Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin expressed his "disgust at the continuing deadly violence against unarmed civilians," while Singapore voiced disapproval of the Myanmar army's actions.
How much pressure ASEAN countries will be able to exert on Myanmar army's leadership remains to be seen.
Police have used tear gas, while demonstrators have let off fire extinguishers, as here in Yangon on March 6
International sanctions on Myanmar unlikely
Sanctions have so far been imposed only by Western countries, primarily the United States. They are directed against individual members of the army as well as against certain ministries and companies controlled by the military. The measures include entry bans, asset freezes and the prohibition or restrictions on business relations with the individuals or organizations concerned.
On Monday, EU foreign ministers slapped sanctions on 11 officers of the Myanmar army and security forces, as well as against companies that generate revenue or financial support for the army.
At the moment, UNSC sanctions are considered unrealistic, given the readiness of China and Russia to veto any proposed measures.
Speaking to DW about the alleged crimes against humanity in the country, UN's special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, said that there needs to be a "collective response outside of the Security Council."
"If the Security Council can't impose focused, tough, clear sanctions on the military then a coalition of nations can."
However, this is likely to remain illusory, given the US-China antagonism, which was on open display at the recent Alaska meeting.
This article has been translated from German.
Some groups have foreign funding
Myanmar: 'Stop killing protesters,' UN tells military
The United Nations Human Rights Commission has reported that at least 149 protesters have been killed in the crackdown on anti-coup demonstrations and the media.
By DW - 16. March 2021
According to the UNHCR, 11 protesters were killed on Monday and 57 over the weekend [N.B.: But UNHCR is usualy not well-informed and the real figures are much higher.]
The "unlawful use of lethal force against peaceful protestors" in Myanmar has killed at least 149 people, a spokeswoman for the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHCR) said on Tuesday.
The international community has condemned the ongoing crackdown on anti-coup protests since Myanmar's military ousted Aung Saan Suu Kyi's elected government on February 1.
Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the UNHCR, has called on Myanmar's military to "stop killing and detaining protesters."
Authorities have arbitrarily detained at least 2,084 people, according to the UNHCR.
UN spokesman: 'The Secretary-General strongly condemns this ongoing violence against peaceful protesters'
Myanmar cracks down on journalists
Authorities in Myanmar have arrested at least 37 journalists, including 19 who are still in arbitrary detention, Shamdasani said.
Journalists are reporting that they are receiving threats, while foreign news agencies say they cannot contact their detained reporters.
Myanmar journalists become targets.
The military also suspended the licenses of at least five independent local media outlets, including Democratic Voice of Burma, Mizzima, Myanmar Now, 7 Days and Khit Thit.
The military government, which calls itself the State Administrative Council (SAC), has ordered media outlets not to describe the junta ousting the elected government as a coup, nor refer to the SAC as the military government.
The current situation in Myanmar
Myanmar security forces declare martial law in Yangon
On Sunday, Myanmar's junta imposed martial law in two districts in its largest city, Yangon, granting the military further powers.
Residents of the targeted districts have fled on flatbed trucks and motorbikes, according to media reports on Tuesday.
Yangon has witnessed almost daily crackdowns on anti-coup protesters since mass demonstrations began in the South-East Asian country last month.
Security forces opened fire, used rubber bullets and imposed internet censorship in response to the demonstrations. Yet, anti-coup protesters carry on daily rallies around Myanmar.
Countries including the United States, Canada and Britain have imposed sanctions to pressure Myanmar's military generals amid rising international concern over the situation.
The UN World Food Program (WFP) also warned on Tuesday that the turmoil in Myanmar was largely affecting the economy, which could lead poor families to hunger.
fb/rt (AFP, DPA, Reuters)
SOROS BEHIND RIOTS AND COUP IN MYANMAR
By Jim Stone 16. March 2021
And as a result, the legit government seized the bank accounts being used by George's "Open Societies foundation"
Notice how the linked source states the accounts were seized by the "REGIME". HA HA, that's soros talk. Learn it and apply. If it is a "regime" it is not cooperating with Soros.
Myanmar Regime Seizes Bank Accounts of Soros' Open Society Foundation
Myanmar State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi holds talks with George Soros, founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundation, in New York in September 2016. / Ministry of Information
By THE IRRAWADDY 16 March 2021
The military regime has seized control of the bank accounts of billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundation (OSF) in Myanmar and announced that it will take legal action against the foundation, which is accused of violating restrictions on the activities of such organizations.
On Monday, military-controlled MRTV announced that the military had issued arrest warrants for 11 staff members of OSF Myanmar, including its head and deputy head, on suspicion of giving financial support to the civil disobedience movement against the military junta.
The regime also claimed that the world’s largest private funder for justice, democratic governance and human rights had failed to obtain approval from the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM)’s Foreign Exchange Management Department for a deposit of US$5 million (7.04 billion kyats) with the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank (SMED) in Myanmar in 2018.
The foundation is also accused of illegally withdrawing $1.4 million from its account at SMED a week after the military takeover in Myanmar, as the civil disobedience movement was gaining momentum among civil servants across the country.
The military junta also took control of assets totaling $3.81 million and 375 million kyats in OSF bank accounts at four private banks—Kanbawza Bank (KBZ), Ayeyarwady Bank (AYA), SMED and Co-operative Bank (CB), according to MRTV.
The military said it had begun taking control of all illegal flows of money to OSF Myanmar, saying the foundation had breached the law that lays downs the rules and regulations for organizations in the country.
It said it would take legal action against SMED for allowing OSF to deposit $5 million and withdraw $1.4 million without obtaining approval from the CBM.
On March 12, the CBM notified all international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that they would be required to report all financial transactions involving international organizations or individuals from abroad, with relevant bank account information, since April 1, 2016. The order indicates that the military regime intends to investigate the financial transactions of organizations since the National League for Democracy (NLD) took office in early 2016.
The regime said the opening of the OSF Myanmar office came about after George Soros met ousted Myanmar State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi four times between 2014 and 2017. It said OSF deputy chair Alexander Soros met Daw Aung San Suu Kyi six times from 2017 to 2020.
Military-aligned groups including the Union Solidarity and Development Party have accused Soros of manipulating Myanmar’s politics by supporting civil society organizations in the country. In 2017, lawmaker U Soe Thane, who served as President’s Office minister under U Thein Sein’s administration, objected to a ministerial appointment by the NLD government on grounds that the appointed minister had failed to disclose his previous work for the George Soros Foundation. He said that making the official a national security adviser could hurt Myanmar’s relations with China.
OSF has been supporting Myanmar’s democratic transition and promoting human rights, including those of marginalized groups, since 1994. The foundation said it had awarded more than 100 grants each year, mostly to grassroots civil society organizations including exile, ethnic media and educational organizations.
Following the coup, the military regime launched an investigation into the finances of the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, a charity founded by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The move is believed to be a pretext to file more charges against the country’s de facto leader.
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BREAKING: Myanmar security forces killed at least 38 people Sunday in one of the deadliest days since the military seized power in a coup, and declared martial law in six areas after Chinese-funded factories were set on fire.
RUPTURE: Les forces de sécurité birmanes ont tué au moins 38 personnes dimanche dans l'un des jours les plus meurtriers depuis que l'armée a pris le pouvoir lors d'un coup d'État et a déclaré la loi martiale dans six régions après l'incendie d'usines financées par la Chine.
14. March 2021
Myanmar Police Kills 5 People Peacefully Protesting
Citizens using home-made shields to face police brutal repression, Myanmar, March 14, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @KenRoth
By TS - 14 March 2021
There have been 80 murders and over 2100 people arrested since the coup day on Feb. 1.
In Myanmar, police forces on Sunday killed five people and injured another 15 during anti-coup protests.
“This is the darkest moment of the nation and also the moment when the dawn is close,” said the acting leader of Myanmar’s parallel civilian government Mahn Win Khaing Than, on Saturday via Facebook.
The demonstrators demanding the return to democracy placed barbed wire and sandbags on the streets to block security forces, who violently open fire against the crowd with no warning or dialogue.
Due to these violent actions, the civilian government stated that it would seek to give people the legal right to defend themselves, which might mean a sharp escalation in violence.
By BBC -
Myanmar's military rulers have accused the ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi of illegally accepting $600,000 (£430,000) and 11kg of gold.
The allegation is the strongest yet levelled by the military since it overthrew Ms Suu Kyi and the country's democratic leadership on 1 February.
No evidence was provided. An MP from her party denied the allegation.
Meanwhile a UN human rights investigator accused the military of committing "crimes against humanity."
Thomas Andrews told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that Myanmar was currently being "controlled by a murderous, illegal regime" which was likely perpetrating "widespread" and "systematic" killings, torture and persecution.
His claims were supported by the rights group Amnesty, which accused the military of going on a "killing spree".
Mr Andrew also called for sanctions on junta leaders and on the military-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, which is set to reach $1bn in revenue this year. The US has already announced sanctions on 10 coup leaders, including Myanmar's acting president, and three companies.
What is the latest from the protests?
At least seven more people were killed by security forces on Thursday, taking the total death toll to more than 70. Witnesses said some protesters had been shot in the head.
Six of those deaths took place in the central town of Myaing.
"We protested peacefully," a health worker there told Reuters news agency. "I couldn't believe they did it."
People in Myaing say this is the 1st time police opened fire on them. They say protests have always been peaceful. Today the cops detained 3 at a temple, and people went to protest at the station. They say police opened fire without warning. 6 dead, terrible injuries. For what?
— Jonathan Head (@pakhead) March 11, 2021
A further death took place in the city of Yangon's North Dagon district, where 25-year-old Chit Min Thu died after being shot in the head.
"No-one will be in peace until this situation ends. They were so cruel with my son," his mother Hnin Malar Aung told AFP news agency.
Meanwhile, a senior official said the military had been "exercising utmost restraint" and accused the protesters of violent behaviour.
What are the allegations against Suu Kyi?
The accusation that she accepted $600,000 in cash and 11kg of gold was made by a former chief minister of Yangon, Phyo Mien Thein, who said he had given her the payments, junta spokesman Brig Gen Zaw Min Tun said. The anti-corruption committee was investigating, he added.
But it was denied by an MP from the dissolved parliament representing Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party.
"It is no longer uncommon to see slander against politicians and efforts to crush the party while innocent young people are killed in public," Aye Ma Ma Myo told Reuters.
Gen Zaw Min Tun also accused President Win Myint and several cabinet ministers of corruption.
What's the background?
Ms Suu Kyi's NLD won a landslide victory in the polls last year, but the military now claims the election was fraudulent.
Independent international observers have disputed the military's claim - saying no irregularities were observed.
Ms Suu Kyi has been held for the past five weeks at an undisclosed location and faces several charges including causing "fear and alarm", illegally possessing radio equipment, and breaking Covid-19 restrictions.
The illegal payments charge levelled on Thursday was the most serious so far. The value of the gold the military alleges she illegally accepted is roughly £450,000.
Myanmar has been gripped by street protests since the military seized control and detained Ms Suu Kyi. Her image has been held aloft by the protesters.
The UN, US and a host of other countries have condemned the killing of civilians in the crackdown against anti-coup protesters in Myanmar, and called on the authorities to exercise restraint.
The US has announced sanctions on coup leaders, while steps are also being taken to block access by the military to $1bn of government funds held in the US.
The military has dismissed criticism of its actions, instead blaming Ms Suu Kyi for the violence.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, became independent from Britain in 1948. For much of its modern history, it has been under military rule
Restrictions began loosening from 2010 onwards, leading to free elections in 2015 and the installation of a government led by veteran opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi the following year
In 2017, Myanmar's army responded to attacks on police by Rohingya militants with a deadly crackdown, driving more than half a million Rohingya Muslims across the border into Bangladesh in what the UN later called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing"
By AP - 11. March 2021
Anti-coup protesters retreat from the frontlines after riot policemen fire sound-bombs and rubber bullets in Yangon, Myanmar, Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP Photo)
MANDALAY, Myanmar (AP) — Amnesty International accused Myanmar's military government on Thursday of increasingly using battlefield weapons against peaceful protesters and conducting systematic, deliberate killings.
Myanmar has been roiled by protests and other acts of civil disobedience since a Feb. 1 military coup that toppled the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi just as it was to start its second term. The coup reversed years of slow progress toward democracy in the Southeast Asian nation after five decades of military rule.
People carry bricks to help anti-coup protesters to build makeshift barricades in Yangon, Myanmar Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP Photo)
The military “is using increasingly lethal tactics and weapons normally seen on the battlefield against peaceful protesters and bystanders across the country,” Amnesty International said in a report.
“By verifying more than 50 videos from the ongoing crackdown, Amnesty International’s Crisis Evidence Lab can confirm that security forces appear to be implementing planned, systematic strategies including the ramped-up use of lethal force. Many of the killings documented amount to extrajudicial executions,” the report said.
Security forces have used live ammunition against protesters, causing the deaths of about 60 people.
There were new but unconfirmed accounts of additional deaths Wednesday and Thursday as police attempted to break up anti-coup protests in cities and towns across the country using tear gas and other weapons.
Buddhist nuns collect alms or offerings in Mandalay, Myanmar, Thursday, March 11, 2021. The U.N. Security Council unanimously called for a reversal of the military coup in Myanmar on Wednesday, strongly condemning the violence against peaceful protesters and calling for “utmost restraint” by the military. (AP Photo)
As widespread protests against its takeover continue, the junta is facing a new challenge from the country's ethnic guerrilla forces, which until recently had limited themselves to verbal denunciations of last month's coup.
Reports from Kachin, the northernmost state, said guerrilla forces from the Kachin ethnic minority attacked a government base on Thursday and were in turn attacked. The armed wing of the Kachin political movement is the Kachin Independence Army, or KIA.
“This morning in Hpakant township, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO/KIA) attacked a military council battalion based in Sezin village, and the KIO/KIA’s Hpakant-based 9th Brigade and 26 battalions were attacked by helicopter. Both sides are still investigating,” The 74 Media reported on Twitter.
Buddhist nuns walk collecting alms in Mandalay, Myanmar, Thursday, March 11, 2021. The U.N. Security Council unanimously called for a reversal of the military coup in Myanmar on Wednesday, strongly condemning the violence against peaceful protesters and calling for “utmost restraint” by the military. (AP Photo)
A Facebook page for the Kachin Liberation Media said the KIA had overrun the government outpost and seized ammunition. It warned the government against using lethal force to break up anti-coup protests in the Kachin capital, Myitkyina, where two demonstrators were killed this week.
The reports could not be independently confirmed, and ethnic guerrilla armies as well as the government often release exaggerated information. However, even making such an announcement amounts to a sharp warning to the government.
The Kachin actions come a few days after another ethnic guerrilla force belonging to the Karen minority announced it would protect demonstrators in territory it controlled. The Karen National Union deployed armed combatants to guard a protest in Myanmar’s southeastern Tanintharyi Region.
Myanmar has more than a dozen ethnic guerrilla armies, mostly in border areas, a legacy of decades-old struggles for greater autonomy from the central government. Many have formal or informal cease-fire agreements with the government, but armed encounters still occur.
There has been speculation that some ethnic groups could form a de facto alliance with the protest movement to pressure the government.
The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday unanimously called for a reversal of the military coup that ousted Suu Kyi’s government and strongly condemned the violence against peaceful protesters. The council also called for “utmost restraint” by the military.
A presidential statement approved by all 15 council members was formally adopted at a virtual meeting. The British-drafted statement calls for the immediate release of leaders including Suu Kyi and President Win Myint who have been detained since the army's takeover. It supports the country’s democratic transition and “stresses the need to uphold democratic institutions.”
The United States on Wednesday announced sanctions on two adult children of Myanmar’s junta chief, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing. They are the latest in a series of sanctions imposed by the U.S. since the military seized power and began its deadly crackdown on protesters. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Myanmar’s military leaders should not be able “to derive benefits from the regime as it resorts to violence and tightens its stranglehold on democracy.”
By Niharika Mandhana and Feliz Solomon - 03. March 2021
SINGAPORE—At least 14 people were killed as Myanmar’s new military rulers, who overthrew its democratically-elected government Feb. 1, continued to unleash a lethal campaign to suppress protests against the coup that have swept the country for nearly a month.
Security forces, who had only occasionally shot live rounds before a bloody crackdown on Sunday that killed at least 18 people, opened fire at protesters in numerous cities Wednesday, according to demonstrators and medics responding to the violence. A 19-year old woman, wearing a T-shirt that read “Everything will be ok,” was shot in the head, men were struck by bullets in their eyes and chests as they ran, and police assaulted medics.
Protesters have poured into the streets every day for 26 straight days demanding that the coup, which ended a decadelong transition to democracy, be reversed. Demonstrations at times drawing tens of thousands have taken place, with crowds mobilizing in towns and cities across the country. The large-scale participation has underscored the broad rejection of the military, which governed Myanmar for half a century before the democratic shift began.
The killings on Sunday and Wednesday indicate that the generals are turning to the same approach used during decades of army dictatorship to crush dissent: bloodshed, mass arrests and nightly raids to strike terror. The commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing, who is now in control, has shown no willingness to compromise or respond to the widespread international condemnation of the military regime’s actions. He has said authorities are acting with restraint.
These victims have been identified as 37-year-old Myo Naing, who suffered a gunshot wound to the chest, and 19-year-old Kyel Sin, who was shot in the side of the head. (Myanmar Now)
Myanmar: Demonstrators shot dead in anti-coup protests
By DW - 03. March 2021
At least eight people have been killed in rallies against the Myanmar military coup. Multiple reports from across the country said police used live ammunition, as well as tear gas and rubber bullets.
Eight people died after security forces tried to disperse anti-coup protesters in Myanmar on Wednesday, although the death toll could be higher.
Multiple reports from several cities and towns said police used live ammunition, as well as tear gas and rubber bullets.
Fatalities in several cities
At least three people were shot dead in the city of Monywa in the country's Sagaing region, which appeared to have the worst toll for the day. The central city has turned out large anti-coup demonstrations in the past month.
Two demonstrators, reported to have been a 37-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman, were also killed in the second city of Mandalay.
At least one individual was killed and others injured in the central town of Myingyan, with reports of another fatality unconfirmed.
"They opened fire on us with live bullets. One was killed, he's young, a teenage boy, shot in the head," student activist Moe Myint Hein, who was wounded in the leg, told Reuters by telephone from Myingyan.
Pressure mounts on Myanmar military over crisis
At least one person was reported to have been killed in the largest city of Yangon, although this has yet to be verified.
The country has faced chaos since February 1 when the military staged a coup and arrested de facto civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The coup brought to a halt Myanmar's decade-long experiment with more democratic governance and sparked daily mass protests.
The military regime in Myanmar on Tuesday said it had suspended its envoy to the United Nations, the Aung San Suu Kyi-appointed Kyaw Moe Tun. However, Tun has contradicted this, saying he should stay in post.
rc/msh (AFP, AP, Reuters)
Eighteen Killed in Myanmar’s Bloodiest Day of Protests Since Coup
Police fire on demonstrators who took to the streets to oppose military takeover
Protesters shouted slogans as police arrived during a protest in Mandalay, Myanmar, on Sunday against the military coup. ASSOCIATED PRESS
SINGAPORE—At least 18 people were killed in Myanmar, the United Nations said, as security forces began their toughest crackdown yet against protesters who have taken to the streets for more than three weeks to oppose this month’s coup, signaling the military’s growing willingness to use lethal force despite international condemnation.
The deaths occurred Sunday in different cities across the country. In Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, at least three people died from bullet wounds and 16 others were injured, including a 31-year-old man who was in critical condition, according to a senior doctor at Yangon General Hospital who is involved in treating the injured. Four people were also killed in the southern city of Dawei, according to an announcement on military-run TV, which said protesters there hadn’t complied with orders to disperse.
Images of bloodshed, chaos and, in some places, continuing protests flooded social media, capturing scenes that were corroborated by witnesses. Myanmar news organizations posted pictures and videos showing bloodied protesters surrounded by medics, Yangon’s streets filled with tear gas and crowds of men and women, many in hard hats and goggles, scrambling for safety.
The police action on Sunday wasn’t limited to one area or city, beginning early in the morning in many parts of the country and signaling a deliberate effort to use greater force. Myanmar’s military has a history of deadly crackdowns against pro-democracy protesters, including during mass demonstrations in 2007 and 1988.
FEBRUARY 22, 2021
FEBRUARY 22, 2021
United States Targets Members of Burma’s State Administrative Council following Violence against Protestors
Hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Myanmar in one of the largest demonstrations yet against the country's military coup.
Businesses closed as employees joined a general strike, despite a military statement that said protesters were risking their lives by turning out.
Police dispersed crowds in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, and a water cannon truck was seen moving into position.
Myanmar has seen weeks of protest following the coup on 1 February.
Military leaders overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government and have placed her under house arrest, charging her with possessing illegal walkie-talkies and violating the country's Natural Disaster Law.
"We don't want the junta, we want democracy. We want to create our own future," one protester, Htet Htet Hlaing, told the Reuters news agency in Yangon.
A statement from the military carried on state-run broadcaster MRTV said that protesters were "now inciting the people, especially emotional teenagers and youths, to a confrontation path where they will suffer the loss of life".
It cautioned people against "riot and anarchy". The warning prompted Facebook to remove the broadcaster's pages for violating its "violence and incitement" policies.
It comes after at least two people were killed in protests on Sunday - the worst violence yet in more than two weeks of demonstrations.
Protesters are demanding an end to military rule and want Ms San Suu Kyi released, along with senior members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party.
Foreign pressure on military leaders has also been high. In a speech later on Monday, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will demand Ms Suu Kyi's release.
What's the latest?
Demonstrations are taking place in all of Myanmar's main cities, with people waving flags and chanting.
Local media have been tweeting out images of the massive crowds.
Monday's protest has been nicknamed the "22222 Revolution" because it is taking place on 22 February. It is being compared by protesters to demonstrations on 8 Aug 1988 - known as the 8888 uprising - when Myanmar saw one of its most violent protests.
The military cracked down on anti-government demonstrations, killing hundreds of protesters. For many, the date is seen as a watershed moment in Myanmar.
"Everyone is joining this," protester San San Maw told Reuters. "We need to come out."
"We came out today to join in the protest, to fight until we win," another told AFP. "We are worried about the crackdown, but we will move forward. We are so angry."
Thompson Chau, editor of local media outlet Frontier, told the BBC's World Service that the protests seemed "a lot bigger than before, with more roads blocked, highways blocked and shops closed everywhere we go".
"Today is more of a huge strike in a sense that everyone is not going to work. All the shops are closed."
Mr Chau added that even those working for "official state companies" as well as "government doctors [and] engineers" were going on strike.
There have not been reports of widespread violence, despite the stern warnings delivered by the military on state media.
Images on social media appeared to show some protesters forming the shape of 22222, while others waved signs and banners bearing the number.
What has the reaction been?
As the protests grew on Monday, international pressure mounted on Myanmar's generals to hand back power to the ousted government.
"I call on the Myanmar military to stop the repression immediately," United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said in his annual address to the UN Human Rights Council.
"Release the prisoners. End the violence. Respect human rights, and the will of the people expressed in recent elections," he said, before insisting that "coups have no place in our modern world".
From blind-folded protests to dressing like Aung San Suu Kyi, creatives protest against Myanmar's army.
Myanmar's foreign ministry accused the UN and foreign governments of "flagrant interference" in its internal affairs.
The US, Canada and the UK have all imposed sanctions on the leaders of the coup.
And on Monday, the European Union said it was ready to impose its own sanctions on Myanmar's top generals.
"The EU stands ready to adopt restrictive measures targeting those directly responsible for the military coup and their economic interests," the bloc's foreign ministers said in a joint statement.
They also called for "a de-escalation of the current crisis through... the restoration of the legitimate civilian government and the opening of the newly elected parliament".
Myanmar in profile
- Myanmar, also known as Burma, became independent from Britain in 1948. For much of its modern history it has been under military rule
- Restrictions began loosening from 2010 onwards, leading to free elections in 2015 and the installation of a government led by veteran opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi the following year
- In 2017, militants from the Rohingya ethnic group attacked police posts, and Myanmar's army and local Buddhist mobs responded with a deadly crackdown, reportedly killing thousands of Rohingya. More than half a million Rohingya fled across the border into Bangladesh, and the UN later called it a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing"
Myanmar coup: UN chief Guterres slams 'deadly violence'
By DW - 21. February 2021
Security forces have opened fire on protesters in Mandalay, as anti-coup rallies honored a young woman who was killed by police at an earlier demonstration. UN Secretary-General Guterres spoke out.
Two people killed in anti-coup protests in Myanmar
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke out against the "use of deadly violence in Myanmar," in a tweet early on Sunday.
He commented after security forces in Myanmar fired live rounds, tear gas and rubber bullets at anti-coup protesters in the country's second-largest city, Mandalay.
At least two people were killed, emergency workers said.
The country has seen over two weeks of protests after the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1.
"The use of lethal force, intimidation and harassment against peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable. Everyone has a right to peaceful assembly," the UN chief said.
"I call on all parties to respect election results and return to civilian rule," Guterres added.
What happened in Myanmar on Saturday
More than 1,000 people joined Saturday's protest in Mandalay.
They marched to commemorate a 20-year-old woman who died after being shot by police at a demonstration on February 9 in Myanmar's capital, Naypyidaw.
About 30 others were injured in the violence near a shipyard, Hlaing Min Oo, the head of a Mandalay-based volunteer emergency rescue team said. Around half of them were shot with live rounds.
The protesters in Mandalay and Myanmar's largest city, Yangon, carried flowers and banners with photos of Mya Thwet Thwet Khine, who was confirmed dead on Friday after spending a week on life support in a hospital.
Some other protesters on Saturday held signs that read "CDM," in reference to the civil disobedience movement which workers in several industries have recently joined.
Myanmar protester dies after being shot by police
Police crack down on protests
Security forces around Myanmar have used tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets to disperse protesters since the anti-coup rallies began earlier this month.
According to The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an independent monitoring group, authorities have arrested at least 546 people since the coup.
More countries condemn violence
The European Union's foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, condemned the latest violence against protesters, adding that Brussels will address the events "to take appropriate decisions."
The US is said it is "deeply concerned" by reports that Myanmar security forces have fired on protesters, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in tweet on Saturday.
"We stand with the people of Burma," Price added. Myanmar is also known as Burma.
"The violence committed in Mandalay today is unacceptable," the French government said in a statement.
UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab also condemned the shooting of peaceful protesters and said the UK is considering further action.
"The shooting of peaceful protesters is beyond the pale," Raab tweeted, adding "we will consider further action, with our international partners, against those crushing democracy and choking dissent."
The United States, Canada and Britain have recently announced sanctions on military generals.
The opposition in Myanmar called on international institutions to impose sanctions on the junta leaders. The bloc is set to discuss the situation on February 22.
fb,wd,kmm/sri (AFP, Reuters)
Mya Thwe Thwe Khaing was taken to hospital last week, after police used water cannon, rubber bullets and live ammunition to try to disperse protesters.
The country has seen mass demonstrations after the armed forces arrested the country's elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and members of her party.
Meanwhile two other protesters were shot and killed by the armed forces, who use now live ammunition against unarmed civilians..
Watch: Myanmar's digital coup — what can we do to resist?
It's easier to topple a democracy when no one can see what is really going on. But as Myanmar's military junta imposes routine internet blackouts and pushes a "cybersecurity" bill to extend its control of the internet, the resistance is growing. Tune in to this recording of a webinar hosted by the Manushya Foundation to hear from anti-coup activists, journalists, and digital rights experts from South East Asia, including Raman Jit Singh Chima, Asia Policy Director at Access Now.
Watch now via Manushya Foundation (FascitBook)
Myanmar civil society appeals to ISPs for connectivity, protection of rights
Every company has a duty to respect human rights — including Telenor, an internet service provider in Myanmar that claims the junta's internet shutdowns have a legal basis. Access Now strongly supports the civil society groups challenging these claims. Read their open letter. Read more via Access Now
Myanmar's internet shutdown: A global problem which needs global solutions
Myanmar is no stranger to state violence taking place in the dark. The government perpetrated one of the world's longest shutdowns in Rakhine and Chin states, the site of genocidal attacks against Rohingya Muslims. The military's use of shutdowns during the coup shows how "precariously vulnerable the fundamental architecture of the internet is to abusive interference," says ARTICLE 19's Michael Caster. He argues for "greater global coordination between the human rights community, policy makers, and technologists" to strengthen our defense against shutdowns and other forms of digital repression. Read more via Thompson Reuters Foundation
FEBRUARY 11, 2021
FEBRUARY 11, 2021
Protests rock Myanmar for fifth day, West condemns security response
By Reuters - 10. February 2021
Protesters took to the streets of Myanmar for a fifth day on Wednesday, vowing to keep up demonstrations against last week’s military coup even after a woman was shot and critically wounded during clashes the previous day.
The United States and United Nations condemned Tuesday’s use of force against the protesters who are demanding the reversal of the Feb. 1 coup and the release of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and other leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD).
“We cannot stay quiet,” youth leader Esther Ze Naw told Reuters. “If there is blood shed during our peaceful protests, then there will be more if we let them take over the country.”
Thousands of people joined demonstrations in the main city of Yangon. In the capital, Naypyitaw, hundreds of government workers marched in support of a growing civil disobedience campaign.
A group of police in Kayah state in the east joined the protesters and marched in uniform with a sign that said “We don’t want dictatorship”, according to pictures published in media.
There were no reports of violence on Wednesday but soldiers took over a clinic that had been treating wounded protesters in Naypyitaw on Tuesday, a doctor there said.
Another doctor said a woman protester was expected to die from a gunshot wound to the head sustained during a Tuesday confrontation with police in Naypyitaw.
She was wounded when police fired, mostly into the air, to clear the protesters. Three other people were being treated for wounds from suspected rubber bullets, doctors said.
Protesters were also hurt in Mandalay and other cities, where security forces used water cannon and arrested dozens.
Four policemen were injured on Tuesday as they tried to disperse protesters, some of whom threw stones and bricks, the military said.
The military has imposed restrictions on gatherings and a night curfew in the biggest cities.
The protests are the largest in Myanmar in more than a decade, reviving memories of almost half a century of direct army rule and spasms of bloody uprisings until the military began relinquishing some power in 2011.
The military justified its takeover on the grounds of fraud in a Nov. 8 election that Suu Kyi’s NLD party won by a landslide, as expected. The electoral commission dismissed the army’s complaints.
Western countries have condemned the coup but taken little concrete action to press for the restoration of democracy.
The U.S. State Department said it was reviewing assistance to Myanmar to ensure those responsible for the coup faced “significant consequences”.
“We repeat our calls for the military to relinquish power, restore democratically elected government, release those detained and lift all telecommunication restrictions and to refrain from violence,” spokesman Ned Price said in Washington.
The United Nations called on Myanmar’s security forces to respect people’s right to protest peacefully.
“The use of disproportionate force against demonstrators is unacceptable,” Ola Almgren, the U.N. representative in Myanmar, said.
Avinash Paliwal, a senior lecturer in international relations at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies, said Myanmar will not be as isolated now as it was in the past, with China, India, Southeast Asian neighbours and Japan unlikely to cut ties.
“The country is too important geo-strategically for that to happen. The U.S. and other Western countries will put sanctions - but this coup and its ramifications will be an Asian story, not a Western one,” Paliwal said.
A doctor in Naypyitaw said the woman who was shot in the head was in a critical condition and not expected to survive. Social media video verified by Reuters showed her with other protesters some distance from a row of riot police as a water cannon sprayed and several shots could be heard.
The woman, wearing a motorcycle helmet, suddenly collapsed. Pictures of her helmet showed what appeared to be a bullet hole.
“Now we see the military takes brutal action against us,” said Htet Shar Ko, an interpreter. “But we young people will keep fighting against the regime under our motto - military dictatorship must fail.”
Alongside the protests, a civil disobedience movement has affected hospitals, schools and government offices.
Veteran activist Min Ko Naing called in a Facebook post on all government workers to join the disobedience campaign and for people to take note of those who didn’t.
Protesters are also seeking the abolition of a 2008 constitution drawn up under military supervision that gave the generals a veto in parliament and control of several ministries, and for a federal system in ethnically diverse Myanmar.
Suu Kyi, 75, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for campaigning for democracy and spent nearly 15 years under house arrest. She faces charges of illegally importing six walkie-talkies and her lawyer said he has not been allowed to see her.
Suu Kyi remains hugely popular at home despite damage to her international reputation over the plight of the Muslim Rohingya minority.
A color revolution coup in Myanmar is in progress as globalists line up hapless useful idiots on the streets to defend a recent vote steal that recently took place in the country.
Students and teachers lined up at the behest of the globalists to defend the vote steal and demand the military allow the election to be rigged. The military has taken control after finding a colossal amount of evidence indicating election fraud.
The duped students and teachers used symbols from The Hunger Games, echoing propaganda from Hollywood media content to do their masters’ bidding. The useful idiots chanted “Long live Mother Suu,” referring to deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is a product of the George Soros network.
[Editorial Note: THE THREE FINGER SALUTE "It is an old and previously rarely used gesture, occasionally seen at funerals. It means thanks, it means admiration, it means goodbye to someone you love."
The original sign is made by pressing your three middle fingers of your left hand to your lips and then hold them out to the person, or people, that you want to show respect to. In the books, the left hand is used, but in the first film it is the right hand, and the fingers are simply held up by their side. Later on, in the second film, the left hand is used like in the book.
- The three finger salute (of the right hand) has been used by Scouting and Girl Guides since 1908.
- Inspired by its use in The Hunger Games, the three finger salute is now used in Thailand as a way to protest the military coup in control of the Thai government. The protest usage began in 2014 during the release of Mockingjay: Part 1 and is now illegal in Thailand. It has also been used to protest against another military coup in 2021 in Myanmar.
It is distinct from the Serbian Three Finger Salute as well as the diver's 'all ok' three finger sign with thumb and digit forming an 'O'.]
Suu has met with Soros personally, and she is a linchpin of the Open Society Foundations’ “Burmese Project” to impose globalist influence on the nation. There are over 100 organizations in Myanmar constantly agitating to inflict Soros’ far-left agenda on the nation regardless of whether the people want it or not.
“I have been and remain very much guided by her vision in my involvement in Burma,” Soros said after meeting Suu in 2012.
Former Secretary of State and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton even talked up Suu in her book, Hard Choices.
“After so many years of reading and thinking about this celebrated Burmese dissident, we were finally face to face,” Clinton wrote of her first meeting with Suu. “I felt we had known each other for a lifetime, even though we had just met…Soon we were chatting, strategizing and laughing like old friends.”
Clinton was influential in the launch of Suu’s career, and she was awarded the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal in 2012 by former president Barack Hussein Obama, who also slapped crippling economic sanctions on Myanmar to coerce the nation into giving Suu more authority.
What is happening in Myanmar follows the globalist color revolution playbook to overthrow established governments, which Big League Politics has reported about extensively:
A Soros-backed “election integrity” group is setting the stage for a revolution against President Donald Trump after November’s election…
Revolver believes that this TIP group may be the organization tasked with fomenting a color revolution to get President Trump out of office regardless of the results of November’s election. They compared Brooks’ recent Washington Post op/ed with The Democracy Playbook, a guide to color revolutions published by the globalist Brookings Institution. They concluded that TIP is about creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that keeps Trump from a second presidential term regardless of what the American people decide.
Do not be surprised if U.S. troops are occupying Myanmar before long. President-imposed Biden will enforce voter fraud not just in the homeland, but throughout the entire world, as part of the Great Reset plan.
The IMF (International Monetary Fund) sent $350 million in cash to the Myanmar government just days before the military coup as part of an emergency aid package to help the country tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money was sent days before Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior figures from the governing National League for Democracy were arrested in an early morning raid on Monday in the capital Naypyitaw.
Reuters cited unnamed sources as saying that “there appears to be little the IMF can do to claw back” the emergency aid funds.
The IMF earlier expressed hope that the money would help Myanmar meet “urgent balance-of-payments needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the government’s recovery measures to ensure macroeconomic and financial stability while supporting affected sectors and vulnerable groups”.
An IMF spokesperson pointed out that they are closely “following the unfolding developments” in Myanmar and that they are “deeply concerned about the impact of events” on the country’s economy and “on the people” of this nation.
The remarks came as the country’s military announced the formation of a State Administrative Council chaired by senior general Min Aung Hlaing, according to the newspaper The Myanmar Times.
The news outlet reported the council was created in line with Section 419 of the nation’s 2008 Constitution, which stipulates that a commander-in-chief of the Defence Services, to whom sovereign power has been transferred shall have the right to exercise the powers of the legislature, executive, and judiciary”.
WIN³ for the Opium Regime of Myanmar
|Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other NLD leaders were "taken" in the early hours of the morning as the police and military carried out dawn raids across Myanmar, according to NLD spokesman Myo Nyunt. (Image: GETTY)|
By VF and agencies - 02. February 2021
The military junta of Burma has declared a one-year state of emergency in Myanmar, and the coup ends a decade of pseudo-civilian rule in the country dubbed Myanmar.
The military ruled the country for nearly five decades. The country’s generals, led by Min Aung Hlaing, had disputed the results of the November 8 elections, allegedly won by Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party and seized power over its claims of voter fraud.
Myo Nyunt, the spokesman for the NLD, said Suu Kyi, along with President Win Myint, had been "detained" in the capital Naypyidaw.
While the celebrity media decry the military "coup" staged by the rulers of Burma and that "Myanmar's military has detained the country's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi", the Covid-embattled mainstream buys into their tales, which have three goals:
- Get Aung San Suu Kyi off the hook of the ICC. [ The International Criminal Court has already authorised a criminal prosecution of Myanmar under the Rome Statute.]
- Increase the opium price
- Make it impossible for the almost one million Rohingya people to claim their rights and return to their homeland in Rakhine State under UN protecion.
Suu Kyi is the daughter of General Aung San, who fought for independence from British colonial rule and she played a key role in the 1988 protests against the military junta, reportedly then spending nearly 15 years under house arrest in the period from 1989 to 2010.
The Nobel laureate was once seen as a human rights champion on the international stage. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, with the jury hailing her as "an outstanding example of the power of powerless."
But in recent years, her reputation has been overshadowed by the country's treatment of its mostly Muslim Rohingya minority.
Aung San Suu Kyi leaves the International Court of Justice in 2019
In 2017, more than 750,000 Rohingya were forced to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh due to a military crackdown after a series of deadly attacks on police stations in the state of Rakhine, United Nations investigators said.
Her former supporters say she turned a blind eye to rape, murder and genocide by refusing to condemn the military or acknowledge accounts of atrocities.
Meanwhile the Swiss-based Khazar core of the international opium trafficking Mafia is frolicking together with China, who will have Myanmar even more closely tied up to its plans as soon e.g. the USA would impose sanctions.
Myanmar is a vital piece of China's Belt and Road Initiative -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's $1 trillion vision for maritime, rail and road projects across Asia, Africa and Europe -- including a proposed $8.9 billion high-speed rail link from southern Yunnan province to Myanmar's west coast.
China has veto powers at the UN security council, which is why the Burmese Junta will have nothing to fear from the UN, espite the bitter words uttered by it General Secretary Antonio Guterres on the arrest of the LDP leaders.
Earlier and ncommented by Guterres, a WHO driver carrying Coronavirus samples was shot dead in Myanmar, in May 2020. The World Health Organization (WHO) vehicle carrying coronavirus test samples came under attack, leaving the driver dead and a government official seriously injured. Pyae Sone Win Maung was driving a well-marked United Nations vehicle when it was hit by gunfire in Rakhine State. Meanwhile there were several attempts to mislead the search for the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 contagion into the direction of Myanmar and even Vietnam.
New President: Myint Swe
Myint Swe was elevated from vice-president to president in the coup. Photograph: Aung Shine Oo/AP
Myint Swe was the army-appointed vice-president when he was named on Monday to take over after the military arrested the civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other leaders of her party.
Immediately after he was named president, Myint Swe, 69, handed power to the country’s top military commander, Min Aung Hlaing. Under Myanmar’s 2008 constitution, the president can hand power to the military commander in cases of emergency.
Gen Min Aung Hlaing, 64, who acually had initiated the coup on Monday, has now been appointed Myanmar’s leader for the next year. He has been a prominent figure in the armed forces for almost a decade.
In 2019, the US imposed sanctions on him and three other military officers due o Myanmar’s 2017 operation against the Rohingya people that included mass killings, gang rapes and widespread arson and was executed with “genocidal intent”. The US Treasury also froze his US-based assets and banned doing business with him and three other Myanmar military leaders.
In July 2020, Britain also imposed sanctions on Min Aung Hlaing, accusing him and his deputy army commander, Soe Win, of orchestrating systematic violence against the Rohingya.
Today television signals were cut across the country, as was phone and internet access in Naypyitaw, the capital, while passenger flights were grounded. Phone services in other parts of the country were also reported down, though people were still able to use the internet in many areas.
As word of the military’s actions spread in Yangon, the country’s biggest city, there was a growing sense of unease among residents who earlier in the day had packed into tea shops for breakfast and went about their morning shopping.
By midday, people were removing the bright red flags of Suu Kyi’s party that once adorned their homes and businesses. Lines formed at ATMs as people waited to take out cash, efforts that were being complicated by internet disruptions. Workers at some businesses decided to go home.
Youth wingers from the NLD called fo civil disobedience.
Myanmar police officer poses for a photograph in Maungdaw, Rakhine © Reuters/ANN WANG FILE PHOTO:
GENEVA (Reuters) - The U.N. human rights chief said on Monday that three years after a Rohingya exodus "no concrete measures" on accountability had been taken by authorities and said some cases of recent civilian casualties in Myanmar may represent war crimes.
Myanmar police officer stands guard in Maungdaw, Rakhine © Reuters/ANN WANG FILE PHOTO
"In some cases, they appear to have been targeted or attacked indiscriminately, which may constitute further war crimes or even crimes against humanity," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet told the Human Rights Council in Geneva, speaking of casualties in Rakhine and Chin States.
Michelle Bachelet at UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva © Reuters/DENIS BALIBOUSE FILE PHOTO
She also noted satellite images and eyewitness accounts indicating that areas of northern Rakhine had been burnt in recent months, describing this as "troubling" and calling for an independent investigation.
(Reporting by Emma Farge and Poppy McPherson)