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4-10 September 2015

Weekly Media Monitoring report for Burma
Posted on September 11, 2015


Contents

Compiled by Kate McFarland

  1. Muslim candidates fear no shot at the polls
  2. More Trafficking Victims Run Away in Rakhine

 


State-Owned Media:

Myanmar Times, September 7: “Muslim candidates fear no shot at the polls

  • With the finalised candidate list expected to be released today, barred Muslim election hopefuls fear not a single one of them will be left to contend the looming polls, leaving no one to represent what many estimate is Myanmar’s largest religious minority.
  • The Union Election Commission’s scrutiny process has removed 88 candidates from the list, with citizenship complaints the most frequently cited cause for disqualification. Around 1/3 of the rejected candidates – at least 30 – are Muslim, mainly hailing from Rakhine State.
  • Leaders of Muslim parties said they have tried every avenue for appealing the disqualifications, including heaps of paperwork proving their eligibility. But none of it has prevailed so far.
International Media

The Telegraph, September 8: “Burma launches electoral adventure with Muslim politicians excluded

  • A landmark election campaign has begun in Burma, but there are no Muslim candidates on the ballot paper and Rohingya Muslims have been struck from voting lists
  • For among some 6,200 candidates running for office for 92 parties, it seems certain that there will be not a single candidate from the Muslim population, the second largest religious grouping in the predominantly Buddhist country.
  • That exclusion is most striking in the National League of Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace laureate who spent 15 years under house arrest for her advocacy for free speech.
  • Her party, which is the overwhelming favourite to win the elections, is fielding some 1,150 candidates at national and local level. But it has found no place for long-time Muslim members, including former political prisoners, who put themselves forwards as parliamentary hopefuls.

 

BBC, September 8: “Aung San Suu Kyi’s party excludes Muslim candidates

Long-form piece detailing Suu Kyi’s shift in attitude.

  • There was a time when Aung San Suu Kyi was seen as Asia's Nelson Mandela. To her more ardent fans, she was more than that. An icon, almost a saint. So why is the Nobel Peace Prize winner's political party excluding Muslims from its list of candidates for 

2. More Trafficking Victims Run Away in Rakhine
Stated-Owned Media

Myanmar Times, September 8: “More trafficking victims run away in Rakhine

  • Seven people rescued from a human smuggling boat ran away from a temporary shelter ahead of their repatriation to Bangladesh, according to immigration officials.
  • The seven were among a group of more than 940 people rescued in May from human smuggling boats abandoned off the coast of Rakhine State. The government has been repatriating those rescued in batches. Most recently, 125 Bangladeshis were sent back over the border on August 26 with the cooperation of the Bangladesh government.
  • Under increased pressure from restive nationalist groups in Rakhine that have expressed regret that the government even offered temporary shelter to the “boat people”, Myanmar officials have announced repatriation dates even before agreements with their counterparts have been fixed.
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