Myanmar

Covid second wave explodes across Myanmar

YANGON – Myanmar has entered a critical phase in its fight against a powerful second wave of Covid-19 as de facto national leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her administration seeks to control the outbreak by intensifying lockdown measures ahead of November 8 elections. The…

Stateless Rohingya more isolated than ever

Along with being a major health risk, Covid-19 has proved to be a massive economic shock to much of the world. For those communities at the margins, their underlying vulnerabilities have been exposed even further. This especially applies to the Rohingya people, who are in…

Ongoing oppression of Rohingya highlighted again

A new report has highlighted the need for the international community to examine the ongoing oppression against the Rohingya. Myanmar is a nation whose history is marred by the struggle between those in power and those they oppress. In recent years this has been especially…

Commodifying prisoners of war in Myanmar

BANGKOK –  As long-anticipated international accountability measures for Myanmar gather pace, recent developments which at first seem to promise evidence for justice, on closer examination could potentially disrupt such investigations. On September 8, the American nongovernmental organization Fortify Rights released a statement, in conjunction with…

New cases cast a pall over China’s holiday travel

Several Burmese who smuggled themselves across the Chinese border this month have pierced China’s defense against backflow of Covid-19 from abroad.  Almost 250,000 residents and many tourists in the resort city of Ruili, which straddles the border with Myanmar in the southwestern Yunnan province, have…

Calls for Myanmar election delay as cases spike

Opposition parties in Myanmar are calling for November’s election to be postponed as the country scrambles to control a coronavirus surge. New infections are doubling every week – albeit from a relatively low base – and hospitals in the biggest city, Yangon, are overwhelmed in…

China locks down city on Myanmar border

China has locked down a city on the border with Myanmar and will launch a mass coronavirus testing program, officials said Tuesday, after a handful of infections were detected there. The three cases were found in the city of Ruili in western Yunnan province, a…

No new normal for Asia’s virally unwanted migrants

The pandemic-induced economic crisis has hit Southeast Asia especially hard, with most regional economies expected to record negative growth and record recessions in 2020. But while analysts weigh which industries will be harder than others, often overlooked is the impact on the region’s migrants, the…

Virus refugees fleeing Myanmar for Thailand

CHIANG MAI – Thailand’s security forces on the Myanmar border are on high alert to prevent an influx of a new breed of migrants which if some reports are accurate may turn into a flood: health refugees fleeing a surge of Covid-19 infections. Thai authorities…

Election countdown in Myanmar under virus shadow

Myanmar’s election campaign started Tuesday with Aung San Suu Kyi’s party tipped for victory, with the Nobel laureate much loved at home despite her reputation shattered overseas, although she is appealing for a landslide to counter the still mighty military. Her National League for Democracy…

Why China wants Suu Kyi to win Myanmar’s polls

BANGKOK – As Myanmar enters an election season, the economy, Covid-19 and issues of war and peace are expected to dominate the campaign trail discourse. But for the international community, speculation centers on which direction foreign policy will likely take after the poll: toward an…

Enforced disappearances plague Myanmar’s Chin state

The war between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army in Paletwa, one of Myanmar’s westernmost townships, has been raging for five years. Enforced disappearances and abductions have been practiced by both of these adversaries. On March 28, 2015, the first fighting broke out between the…

Selling dog meat while showing a goat head in Myanmar

CHIANG MAI – Myanmar’s recently concluded Fourth Union Peacemaking Conference (UPC) was a surreal performance of insincerity made even stranger with masks and social distancing measures and a sharply reduced attendance that aptly illustrated the still-deep divisions between all key players. After nine years of…

Rohingya refugees becoming Palestinians of Asia

BANGKOK – Three years after images of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees streaming across Myanmar’s western border into Bangladesh shook the world, expectations that they will ever be repatriated are fading fast. With elections in Myanmar scheduled for November, no party that wants to…

Myanmar locks down one million in Rakhine state

Myanmar expanded a lockdown in conflict-wracked Rakhine state to cover four more townships on Wednesday, halting the movement of about 1 million people as the number of coronavirus cases climbs steadily. One hundred new infections were confirmed across Myanmar in the last 24 hours –…

The world is failing the Rohingya

The brutality that began in Myanmar’s Rakhine state on August 25, 2017, marked a crescendo in a decades-long, state-led campaign of physical and structural violence, discriminatory policies and practices, and dehumanizing hate speech targeting the Rohingya. In just a few weeks, the Tatmadaw, as Myanmar’s…

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