An Unholy Alliance: Monks and the Military in Myanmar

Al Jazeera English – 19-3-2019

With almost 90 percent of Myanmar’s population being devoted Buddhists, the religion has been at the heart of the nation’s very identity for centuries.

But while the pillars of Buddhist teachings are love, compassion and peace, there is a very different variation to the philosophy being taught at the Ma Ba Tha monastery in Yangon’s Insein township.

The monks there are connected to one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, the systematic persecution and genocide of the Rohingya in Rakhine state.

Al Jazeera’s unprecedented access to the Ma Ba Tha monastery and its leaders offers a glimpse into how their ultra-nationalist agenda is becoming the blueprint for the political structure of the country. Is the joining of forces between monks and generals threatening Myanmar’s young and fragile democracy?

An Unholy Alliance: Monks and the Military in Myanmar | Featured Documentary

UN chief and rights groups raise concerns over Rohingya deal


First group of refugees to be sent back to Myanmar next week but critics say details are unclear

Rohingya Hindu refugees stand outside their make shift shelters at a refugee camp near Cox’s bazar, Bangladesh.


Concerns are growing among United Nations agencies and humanitarian groups over an agreement between the Bangladesh and Myanmar governments to repatriate several hundred thousand Rohingya refugees within two years.

Bangladesh state media reported on Wednesday that the first batch of Rohingya would be sent back to Myanmar next week. Rights groups said it remained unclear whether refugees would be forced to return against their will. Tiếp tục đọc “UN chief and rights groups raise concerns over Rohingya deal”

Religious extremism poses threat to ASEAN’s growth

Asia – December 13, 2017 3:14 pm JST Cover story

Aided by social media, hardliners gain mainstream support

GWEN ROBINSON, Chief editor, and SIMON ROUGHNEEN, Asia regional correspondent

Buddhist monks protest the visit of a U.N. official in Yangon on Jan. 16, 2015. According to local media reports, they were angry that the international organization had urged the government to give members of the Rohingya minority citizenship. © Reuters

YANGON/JAKARTA — With Mt. Agung billowing volcanic ash into the sky above his home in Bali, Khairy Susanto was unsure if he could fly back after joining tens of thousands of fellow Indonesian Islamists at a rally near the presidential palace in Jakarta.

“Inshallah, we can fly, but it doesn’t matter, we will be OK,” Susanto said. “We are happy to be here today to celebrate our victory.” Tiếp tục đọc “Religious extremism poses threat to ASEAN’s growth”

A War of Words Puts Facebook at the Center of Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis

 Ashin Wirathu in 2013. He has been barred from public preaching in Myanmar since March.CreditAdam Dean for The New York Times

Myanmar’s government has barred Ashin Wirathu, an ultranationalist Buddhist monk, from public preaching for the past year, saying his speeches helped fuel the violence against the country’s Rohingya ethnic group that the United Nations calls ethnic cleansing.

So he has turned to an even more powerful and ubiquitous platform to get his message out — Facebook.

Tiếp tục đọc “A War of Words Puts Facebook at the Center of Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis”

UN chief raises alarm over Rohingya in speech before Suu Kyi

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The United Nations chief expressed alarm over the plight of Rohingya Muslims in remarks before Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders from a Southeast Asian bloc that has refused to criticize her government over the crisis.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said late Monday that the unfolding humanitarian crisis can cause regional instability and radicalization. He met with leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on the sidelines of its summit in Manila.

“I cannot hide my deep concern with the dramatic movement of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Myanmar to Bangladesh,” Guterres told the ASEAN leaders. Suu Kyi sat close to him but looked mostly at a wall screen showing the U.N. leader. Tiếp tục đọc “UN chief raises alarm over Rohingya in speech before Suu Kyi”

ASEAN Chairman’s Statement on The Humanitarian Situation in Rakhine State

ASEAN Chairman’s Statement on The Humanitarian Situation in Rakhine State

The Foreign Ministers of ASEAN expressed concern over the recent developments in Northern Rakhine State of Myanmar and extended their deepest condolences to all the victims and affected communities of the conflict.  They condemned the attacks against Myanmar security forces on 25 August 2017 and all acts of violence which resulted in loss of civilian lives, destruction of homes and displacement of large numbers of people. Tiếp tục đọc “ASEAN Chairman’s Statement on The Humanitarian Situation in Rakhine State”

Despite global criticism, Myanmar’s Rakhine strategy retains strong domestic support


As the global community continues to put pressure on Myanmar to stop the violence in Rakhine State, Channel NewsAsia speaks to ordinary Myanmar citizens about their take on the situation.


A file photo of Aung Sann Suu Kyi as she arrived at the National League for Democracy Party’s headquarters after the 2015 general election in Myanmar. (Photo: Pichayada Promchertchoo)

YANGON: While there has been widespread global condemnation of the violence taking place in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, many ordinary people in the country are standing solidly behind the government and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. Tiếp tục đọc “Despite global criticism, Myanmar’s Rakhine strategy retains strong domestic support”

Giọt nước từ bi: Thư của Sư Cô Chân Không gửi Chính phủ Myanmar và Aung San Suu Kyi

English: Drops of Compassion: a letter from Sister Chan Khong to the Myanmar government and Aung San Suu Kyi

Làng Mai

Trước thảm cảnh của người Rohingya theo đạo Hồi bị đàn áp bởi quân đội Myanmar, Sư Cô Chân Không – người chị cả của Dòng tu Tiếp Hiện – đã viết lá thư dưới đây gửi những người đứng đầu Nhà nước Myanmar, kêu gọi chấm dứt bạo lực đối với người Rohingya theo đạo Hồi tại đất nước này.

Đạo tràng Mai thôn, ngày 16 tháng 2 năm 2017

Kính gửi:      Ngài Tổng thống U Htin Kyaw
Nước Cộng hòa Liên bang Myanmar
Văn phòng phủ Tổng thống
Văn phòng số 18, Nay Pyi Taw

Đồng kính gửi:        Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
Cố vấn Nhà nước của Cộng hòa Liên bang Myanmar
Văn phòng Cố vấn Nhà nước
Văn phòng số 20, Nay Pyi Taw

Kính thưa Ngài Tổng thống U Htin Kyaw,

Kính thưa Bà Cố vấn Nhà nước Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,

Chúng tôi xin gửi đến Ngài Tổng thống và Bà Cố vấn lời chào trân kính nhất.

Trong nhiều năm qua chúng tôi luôn khâm phục những cố gắng hết lòng của quý vị trong việc sử dụng những biện pháp hòa bình để đem lại dân chủ, nhân quyền và tái hòa giải cho đất nước Myanmar. Con đường tranh đấu bất bạo động của quý vị đã truyền cảm hứng cho rất nhiều người ở mọi lứa tuổi, quốc tịch, tôn giáo và sắc tộc trên toàn thế giới.

Trong giờ phút này đây, người dân Rohingya tại đất nước quý vị đang phải chịu những đau khổ lớn lao và sự áp bức nặng nề. Chúng tôi biết quý vị chắc hẳn cũng đang bức xúc trước cách cư xử  tàn nhẫn đang giáng xuống những người dân vô tội này, bởi quý vị cũng như là cha mẹ, như là người anh, người chị của họ.
Tiếp tục đọc “Giọt nước từ bi: Thư của Sư Cô Chân Không gửi Chính phủ Myanmar và Aung San Suu Kyi”

Aung San Suu Kyi does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize

Al Jazeera

A person so blatantly affiliated with genocide should not carry the title “Nobel Peace Prize laureate”.

Police officers watch as protesters hold signs against Aung San Suu Kyi, during a rally in support of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority, outside of the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta [Reuters]
Police officers watch as protesters hold signs against Aung San Suu Kyi, during a rally in support of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority, outside of the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta [Reuters]

By  @HamidDabashi

Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

“There are no more villages left, none at all.” The accounts of the systematic ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Myanmar, now effectively ruled by the world renowned Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, are finally making it to the mainline news these days. “There are no more people left, either. It is all gone.” Tiếp tục đọc “Aung San Suu Kyi does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize”

Myanmar: The perilous journey of Rohingya refugees [in pictures]

Al Jazeera

Recent upsurge in violence has forced about 146,000 Rohingya to cross into Bangladesh, according to UN estimates.

06 Sep 2017 10:23 GMT | Rohingya, Myanmar, Humanitarian crises, Human Rights, Myanmar-Bangladesh

About 146,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled from violence in Myanmar since August 25, according to United Nations estimates.

The latest surge brings the total number to 233,000 Rohingya who have sought refuge in Bangladesh since October last year.

The mass exodus came after suspected Rohingya fighters attacked police posts and an army base in the western Rakhine State.

The Myanmar government has blamed the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) for the violence, but fleeing Rohingya civilians accused the Myanmar army of carrying out a campaign of arson and killings – aimed at forcing them out of the country.

Tiếp tục đọc “Myanmar: The perilous journey of Rohingya refugees [in pictures]”

Who are the Rohingya Muslims?

Al Jazeera

Why are the more than one million Rohingya in Myanmar considered the ‘world’s most persecuted minority’?

Newly arrived Rohingya refugees sit inside a shelter at the Kutupalang refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh [Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters]


Who are the Rohingya?

The Rohingya are often described as “the world’s most persecuted minority”.

They are an ethnic Muslim group who have lived for centuries in the majority Buddhist Myanmar. Currently, there are about 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims who live in the Southeast Asian country.

The Rohingya speak Rohingya or Ruaingga, a dialect that is distinct to others spoken in Rakhine State and throughout Myanmar. They are not considered one of the country’s 135 official ethnic groups and have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982, which has effectively rendered them stateless. Tiếp tục đọc “Who are the Rohingya Muslims?”

Christianity and Violence: The Crusades

Knight of the Crusades
Knight of the Crusades. donald_gruener/E+/Getty

TC – by Austin Cline – Updated March 17, 2016

One of the most famous examples of religious violence in the Middle Ages is of course the Crusades – attempts by European Christians to impose their vision of religion upon Jews, Orthodox Christians, heretics, Muslims, and just about anyone else who happened to get in the way. Traditionally the term “Crusades” are limited to describing massive military expeditions by Christians to the Middle East, but it is more accurate to acknowledge that there also existed “crusades” internal to Europe and directed at local minority groups. Tiếp tục đọc “Christianity and Violence: The Crusades”

Bangladesh sends back 90 Rohingya despite violence


A woman holds a child in her arms as she arrives at Yathae Taung township in Rakhine state after fleeing violence in their home village. (Photo: AFP/Wai Moe)

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh: Bangladesh has detained and forcibly returned 90 Rohingya migrants to Myanmar, police said Sunday (Aug 27), just hours after Myanmar troops on the other side of the border had opened fire on people fleeing the country.

Police intercepted a group of 70 Rohingya late Saturday after they crossed the “zero line” border zone, where Myanmar soldiers earlier fired mortars and machine guns at villagers making the dangerous dash from the northern state of Rakhine into Bangladesh. Tiếp tục đọc “Bangladesh sends back 90 Rohingya despite violence”

Myanmar troops open fire on civilians fleeing attacks

Al Jazeera

Bangladeshi border guards say troops fired mortars and machine guns at Rohingya civilians trying to escape bloodshed.

Myanmar soldiers opened fire on fleeing Rohingya civilians – mostly women and children – as they attempted to cross the border into Bangladesh and escape surging violence.

On Saturday, an AFP news agency reporter at Bangladesh’s Ghumdhum border post counted more than a dozen mortar shells and countless machine-gun rounds fired by Myanmar security forces in nearby hills onto a large group of Rohingya desperately trying to cross.

It was not immediately clear if any were hit, but the civilians scattered to evade the barrage.

“They have fired on civilians, mostly women and children, hiding in the hills near the zero line,” Border Guard Bangladesh’s (BGB) station chief Manzurul Hassan Khan confirmed. Tiếp tục đọc “Myanmar troops open fire on civilians fleeing attacks”

Rohingya flee for Bangladesh as fresh violence erupts in Myanmar


Displaced Rohingya people from Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state are gathered at the border town of Ukhiya after Bangladeshi border guards stopped them from entering Bangladesh on Aug 26. efugees towards Bangladesh. (Photo: AFP/STR)