A historic general election is about to take place in Myanmar, and hopes for transition to full democracy remain high. But there are already worrying signs.
In Rakhine state, the hardline Arakan National Party looks set to win a landslide in the country formerly known as Burma. That could mean a drastic escalation in a pattern of discrimination and violence against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims – a crisis that many observers have decried as genocidal.
On the eve of the elections, human rights groups are imploring the UN to investigate possible acts of genocide against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, on which we at the International State Crime Initiative have just issued a report.
Refugee Camp in Burma Credit: Andrew Day Photography
Aberdeen, Scotland: The Global Minorities Alliance University of Aberdeen student society is organising a photo exhibition during student festival, held from the 26th – 30th October on campus to highlight events beyond the usual focus of the media and our TV screens. The daily lives of refugees fleeing persecution, wars and conflicts from Burmese state oppression to the refugee crisis at the heart of Europe will be exhibited through art and photography.
The event will engage the wider student community in Aberdeen, and is also open to the public. The society is promoting the event and encouraging people to share the invitation with their friends and family.
‘It is just a small gesture of our contribution towards this huge crisis that we as students at Aberdeen University care about, and we are thankful for the contributions of the artists for a good cause’ said the secretary of the society, Salla Hänninen, who studies sociology with politics and International relations at the university.
This is an excerpt of a longer analysis article originally published on Asia Times Online.
Washington needs to be clear-eyed about the fact that Myanmar’s government is still committing widespread crimes against humanity and other mass atrocities, particularly against both Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic minorities such as the Shans and Kachins.
Last week, Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic released the findings of its three-year study of “war crimes” committed by three serving generals in eastern Myanmar, including a powerful minister in President Thein Sein’s government.
In the last two-and-a-half years, there has been an alarming and sustained rise in violence, death and destruction against Rohingyas in western Myanmar – so much so that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, one of the foremost leading institutions dealing with cases of global mass atrocities, recently issued a clarion call to stop the unfolding genocide in Myanmar.