June 26 - July 2, 2015
Compiled by Kate McFarland
1 Buddhist monks plan to set up Buddhist radio station
2 Myanmar Rohingya treatment, China NGO crackdown among top US rights concerns: report
3 Amnesty warns of new boat ‘disaster’ in region
4 Indonesia: Aceh wants Myanmar punished for Rohingya abuse
1. Buddhist monks plan to set up Buddhist radio station
Radio Free Asia, June 26: “Buddhist monks plan to set up Buddhist radio station”
- A group of nationalist Buddhist monks in Myanmar plan to set up a radio station to protect and disseminate their religion, despite fears that they will use it as a platform to foment anti-Muslim sentiment.
- Members of the Committee for the Protection of Nationality and Religion, better known as Ma Ba Tha, want to use the station to spread the Buddha’s teachings in the predominantly Buddhist country, said the group’s senior monk Parmaukka.
- Buddhists monks from Thailand have thrown their support behind the project, offering to set up the station for them because they like what Ma Ba Tha has done for Buddhism in Myanmar, Parmaukka said.
- Ma Ba Tha has pushed for controversial "protection of religion" laws in Myanmar and protested against ethnic minority Rohingya Muslims.
2. Myanmar Rohingya treatment, China NGO crackdown among top US rights concerns: report
Radio Free Asia, June 25: “Myanmar Rohingya treatment, China NGO crackdown among top US rights concerns: report”
- Human rights abuses against a Muslim minority group in Myanmar offset progress in other areas of reform during the last year, while China and other one-party authoritarian Asian states kept up a high degree of pressure on dissidents seeking change, the U.S. State Department said in an annual report on Thursday.
- In Myanmar, authorities in Rakhine state made no meaningful efforts during the year “to help Rohingya and other Muslim minority persons displaced by violence to return to their homes,” the State Department’s “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014” said.
- The government of the formerly military-led country also failed to establish a “fair and nondiscriminatory” process for granting full citizenship rights to the often-persecuted Rohingya, more than 16,000 of whom fled Myanmar by boat in November to seek refuge in other countries, the report said.
- Restrictions on press freedoms and widespread land confiscation also remained problems during the year, the report said, adding that “government security forces allegedly were responsible for cases of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions, torture and mistreatment in detention and [for] systematic denial of due process and fair trial rights.
3. Amnesty warns of new boat ‘disaster’ in region
Myanmar Times, July 2: “Amnesty warns of new boat ‘disaster’ in region”
- Amnesty international has condemned Southeast Asian governments for failing to sufficiently protect refugees and migrants, one month after a key regional summit on the crisis that saw thousands of people stuck adrift at sea in dire conditions.
- In an open letter published yesterday, the rights group warned that further inaction could lead to “disaster” in the future, particularly when the sailing season resumes after the monsoon.
- It remains unclear whether all the boats stranded at sea in May have made it to land, with hundreds of people still thought to be unaccounted for.
- At the height of the crisis in May, the International Organization for Migration estimated that there were as many as 8000 people – mainly Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar and Bangladeshis – stuck at sea, as regional governments had refused to allow them to land.
4. Indonesia: Aceh wants Myanmar punished for Rohingya abuse
VideoNews.us, June 29: “Indonesia: Aceh wants Myanmar punished for Rohingya abuse”
- An Indonesian community deeply affected by the Southeast Asian boat people crisis has petitioned the government to take more action in solving the problems faced by Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya community.
- At a press conference to launch its plea, the Coalition for Caring for Rohingya urged the government to act decisively against Myanmar’s government, which it said had played a key role in the humanitarian crisis faced by Muslim ethnic group .
- The group is a made up from several Aceh communities, where 1062 Rohingya have been living in four temporary shelters since the boat people crisis erupted almost two months ago.