Politics Turmoil in Myanmar


Mi Colonel
MI.Net Member
Oct 5, 2016
Rohingya repatriation: Bangladesh asks Myanmar to come up with ‘package’
Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan
  • Published at 08:25 pm June 16th, 2019
WEB_Rohingya_Syed Zakir Hossain

Bangladesh is currently sheltering over 1.2 million Rohingyas in a number of refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

It’s Myanmar’s responsibility to create a conducive environment in Rakhine and to convince Rohingyas in Bangladesh to return to their homes, annoyed Dhaka tells unwilling Naypyitaw
An apparently annoyed Bangladesh has asked Myanmar to come up with a ‘package’ to ensure the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas, who had to cross into Cox’s Bazar to escape persecution in Rakhine.
The ‘package’ sought by Bangladesh mainly includes the creation of a favourable situation in Rakhine, convincing the persecuted people sheltered in Cox’s Bazar to return to their homes, and easing the verification process, senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.
“We have really had enough of Myanmar’s hide and seek game. We’re not going to them until they come up with a package that will ensure the dignified, safe, and sustainable repatriation of the Rohingyas,” said a senior official.
“We have made our feelings known very clearly,” said the official, reminding that in accordance with the bilateral arrangement signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar in Naypyitaw on November 23, 2017, repatriation should have begun by January 22, 2018, and completed within two years.
“But, nothing happened due to the sheer unwillingness of the Myanmar government. We do not think we can take this anymore,” he said.
Elaborating on the package, another senior official said: “We have asked Myanmar to create a conducive environment in Rakhine for the Rohingyas to return and live safely and peacefully. We have also asked them to send a team to engage with Rohingyas in the settlements to convince them to return. The Myanmar side has also been asked to simplify the verification forms that need to be filled up by the Rohingyas who want to return.”
“It is the responsibility of Myanmar to create a conducive environment and convince its own people to return to their homes in Rakhine,” he said.
“Let’s see what Myanmar does. The problem with our second neighbour is that they change their goalposts quickly. It is extremely difficult to deal with such a neighbour. But we have no choice but to keep engaged with them as well as with the international community,” he added.
Expressing his annoyance with Myanmar’s foot-dragging in the repatriation process, another official hinted that from now on Bangladesh would place greater emphasis on persuading the international community, especially China, Russia and India, to exert more pressure on Naypyitaw to take the Rohingyas back.
“Many in the government tend to believe that bilateralism has not been very effective so far, which is evidenced by the slow progress,” he said.
To a question, the officials said that all these issues were discussed at the fourth meeting of the joint working group (JWG) in Naypyitaw on May 3 and the Myanmar side sounded positive about them then.
But they said, as usual, there have been no visible measures taken by the Myanmar government and Naypyitaw did not get back to Dhaka about sending a team to engage with the Rohingyas in the settlements to assure them of safety in Rakhine.

From Dhaka tribune.
Myanmar in US crosshairs after chemical weapons stockpile revealed

The United States might be open to pursuing Myanmar after it was revealed that Myanmar may have a stockpile of banned chemical weapons such as mustard gas left over from the 1980's.

Myanmar joined the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which bans the production, storage and use of chemical weapons in 2015 however it has been accused of using chemical weapons against the Kachin ethnic minority in 2005.

The rogue South East Asian nation used phosphorus against protesters at a copper mine. It also jailed five journalists for 10 years after they published an article accusing military of producing chemical weapons.

Myanmar is the 191st nation in the world to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention which came in to effect in 1997 and has since been monitored by the OPCW for compliance.

Several countries have already filed cases against Myanmar for atrocities against the Rohingya minority. At present over a million Rohingya ethnic minorities were forced to cross the border in to Bangladesh after the Myanmar military waged what it calls a "counter terror operation". International human rights groups and governments have decreed Myanmar for its gross violation of basic human rights.

A US Senator has already suggested the Rakhine state should be merged with Bangladesh, however the Bangladesh Government still believes Myanmar has the option to peacefully resolve the Rohingya issue if it takes back all of its nationals from Bangladesh and other countries. It wants Myanmar to provide its Rohingya minorities with citizenship, rights and freedoms in accordance with international laws. Bangladesh is preparing to ensure Myanmar complies with either option as well as gearing up its military forces accordingly. The Bangladesh government has also tasked the Bangladesh Army to put barb wire fencing around all Rohingya camps to ensure better security. Border roads and fencing along the Myanmar border has also commenced to curb narcotics and foreign nationals entering Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh Army is raising a CBRN brigade to ensure protection against such threats as well as security of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant being built by Russia.

Source: defseca
Amnesty International takes back its highest honor from Aung San Suu Kyi
London-based global human rights organization Amnesty International has stripped Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi of its Ambassador of Conscience Award. The cause is her apparent indifference to atrocities.


Amnesty International stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest honor on Monday over the de facto Myanmar leader's "indifference" to the atrocities committed by the country's military against Rohingya Muslims.

The London-based human rights organization said it was revoking the Ambassador of Conscience Award it gave Suu Kyi in 2009 while she was still under house arrest.

"Today, we are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defense of human rights," Amnesty International chief Kumi Naidoo said in a letter to Suu Kyi which was released by the global group.

"Amnesty International cannot justify your continued status as a recipient of the Ambassador of Conscience award and so with great sadness we are hereby withdrawing it from you."

The group said it had informed Suu Kyi of the decision on Sunday. She has not issued a public response so far.

Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party swept to power in 2015 in a landslide victory that ended decades of military rule in the southeast Asian country.

Silence on Rohingyas

Her tenure has been marred by a failure to speak up for Rohingya Muslims who were driven out of the country by the army in what the United Nations has called an ethnic cleansing campaign.

Myanmar has been accused of ethnic cleansing of Rohingya muslims

Along with the award from Amnesty International, Suu Kyi has also lost numerous smaller awards from individual universities and local and regional governments.

Last month, the 73-year-old was stripped of her honorary Canadian citizenship over her failure to speak up for the Rohingyas.

Read more: Rohingya people in Myanmar: What you need to know

Suu Kyi was hailed globally as a freedom fighter who stood up to her country's feared military dictatorship while spending 15 years under house arrest. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

More than 720,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled the Buddhist majority's western Rakhine state in a military crackdown beginning in August of last year.

Many are believed to have been either murdered or tortured and raped.

av/jm (AFP, Reuters)
Suu Kyi to defend Myanmar in Rohingya genocide case at world court
Reuters | Published: November 21, 2019 12:02:42 | Updated: November 21, 2019 13:10:05

State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi attends the 22nd ASEAN Plus Three Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, November 4, 2019 — Reuters/Files

Aung San Suu Kyi will appear before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to contest a case filed by Gambia accusing Myanmar of genocide against its Rohingya Muslim minority, her government said on Wednesday.

More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since a 2017 crackdown by Myanmar’s military, which UN investigators say was carried out with “genocidal intent”. Buddhist majority Myanmar denies accusations of genocide.

Gambia, a tiny, mainly Muslim West African state, lodged its lawsuit after winning the support of the 57-nation Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Only a state can file a case against another state at the ICJ.

“Myanmar has retained prominent international lawyers to contest the case submitted by Gambia,” the ministry for state counselor Suu Kyi’s office said in a Facebook post.

“The State Counselor, in her capacity as Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, will lead a team to the Hague, Netherlands, to defend the national interest of Myanmar at the ICJ,” it said, giving no further details.

Military spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun told Reuters the decision was made after the army consulted with the government. “We, the military, will fully cooperate with the government and we will follow the instruction of the government,” he said.

A spokesman for Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, said she had decided to take on the case herself.

“They accused () Aung San Suu Kyi of failing to speak out about human rights violations,” spokesman Myo Nyunt said. “She decided to face the lawsuit by herself.”

Both Gambia and Myanmar are signatories to the 1948 Genocide Convention, which not only prohibits states from committing genocide but also compels all signatory states to prevent and punish the crime of genocide.

The ICJ has said it will hold the first public hearings in the case on December 10 to 12. The court has no means to enforce any of its rulings.

Nobel Laureate
Suu Kyi, a longtime democracy activist who won the Nobel peace prize for her defiance of the military junta, swept to power in Myanmar after a landslide election win in 2015 that ushered in the country’s first fully civilian government in half a century.

But her reputation has been sullied by her response to the plight of the Rohingya, a persecuted Muslim minority living in the western Rakhine state.

While almost a million now live in squalor in Bangladeshi refugee camps, several hundred thousand remain inside Myanmar, confined to camps and villages in apartheid-like conditions.

She has publicly blamed the crisis on Rohingya “terrorists”, referring to militants who attacked security posts in August 2017, prompting the army crackdown, and has branded reports of atrocities, including gang-rapes and mass killings, as fake news.

“Aung San Suu Kyi has continued to deny the atrocities committed by the Myanmar government against the Rohingya,” said John Quinley, human rights specialist at Fortify Rights.

“Rohingya globally, including refugees in Bangladesh, support the case at the ICJ and want justice for their people.”

Wave Of Pressure
The ICJ, established in 1946, settles disputes between states, and individuals cannot sue or be sued there.

But Myanmar is facing a wave of international pressure from courts across the world, and other cases involve individual criminal responsibility.

Days after Gambia filed its case at the ICJ, Rohingya and Latin American human rights groups submitted a lawsuit in Argentina under “universal jurisdiction”, a legal premise that deems some crimes as so horrific that they can be tried anywhere in the world.

Suu Kyi was named in that lawsuit, which demands that top military and civilian leaders be sanctioned over the “existential threat” faced by the Rohingya minority.

Separately, the International Criminal Court has authorised a full investigation into crimes committed against the Rohingya in neighbouring Bangladesh. Myanmar does not recognize the ICC but Bangladesh accepts its jurisdiction.
10:52 AM, December 11, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:57 PM, December 11, 2019
Suu Kyi rules out ongoing genocide in Myanmar’s Rakhine

Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi speaks at the UN's International Court of Justice on December 11, 2019 in the Peace Palace of The Hague, on the second day of her hearing on the Rohingya genocide case. Aung San Suu Kyi appears at the UN's top court on Wednesday, December 11, 2019, a day after the former democracy icon was urged to "stop the genocide" against Rohingya Muslims. Photo: AFP
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Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi speaks at the UN's International Court of Justice on December 11, 2019 in the Peace Palace of The Hague, on the second day of her hearing on the Rohingya genocide case. Aung San Suu Kyi appears at the UN's top court on Wednesday, December 11, 2019, a day after the former democracy icon was urged to "stop the genocide" against Rohingya Muslims. Photo: AFP

Star Online Report

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi today ruled out the allegation of ongoing genocide or genocidal intent at Rohingya villages in Rakhine of Myanmar.

She was speaking in Myanmar's defence at the UN's top court, a day after the Gambia urged her urged to stop the ongoing genocide against Rohingyas.

“How can there be an ongoing genocide or genocidal intent as concrete steps are being taken in Rakhine? Rakhine today suffers an internal arm conflict between the Buddhist Arakan army and Myanmar defence forces. Muslims are not the part of this conflict,” she told the court.

Earlier defending her country, she said Myanmar country has own justice system for trial of any crime if committed in the Rakhine state.

Suu Kyi also criticised the Gambia for taking the issue to the International Court of Justice.

A 17-member panel of judges of ICJ was hearing a case, the first international legal attempt to bring Myanmar to justice over alleged mass killings of the Rohingya minorities in 2017, filed by the Gambia on November 11.

Yesterday, the Gambia accused Myanmar of breaching the 1948 genocide convention and urged the UN top court to order Myanmar to stop genocide against the Rohingya minority.

The African country unfolded the evidence of genocide against Rohingyas before the International Court of Justice and urged the court to prosecute the Myanmar generals responsible for the bloody crackdown.
03:02 PM, December 11, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:15 PM, December 11, 2019
Myanmar genocide hearing may put an end to horrific Rohingya abuse: ASEAN
Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. AFP file photo
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Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. AFP file photo

Star Online Report

It is saddening and still bewildering that Aung San Suu Kyi, a former democracy champion, has sought to stall and subvert any genuine efforts to address accusations of serious human rights violations against the Rohingyas, said ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights.

The remarks come as the state counsellor of Myanmar is set to defend her country at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Peace Palace at The Hague at 3:00pm today.

The Gambia, which filed the case against Myanmar accusing it of genocide against the Rohingya, presented its arguments.

Parliamentarians from across Southeast Asia yesterday welcomed the first hearing in the case against Myanmar at the UN’s highest court as an initial step towards justice and possible recognition of the crime of genocide committed against the Rohingya.

“This marks the start of a monumental effort for justice that could put an end to some of the horrific abuses that the Rohingya are facing,” said Kasit Piromya, former Member of Parliament (MP) of Thailand and ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) Board Member.

“It is saddening and still a little bewildering for many of us across this region that a former democracy champion, and someone we spent years defending the rights of, has sought to stall and subvert any genuine efforts to address accusations of serious human rights violations under her government and is now herself defending allegations of genocide at the ICJ,” said Mu Sochua, former Cambodian MP and APHR Board Member.

“Without accountability for the systematic killings, rape, sexual violence and other atrocities committed against the Rohingya, the cycle of violence against ethnic and religious groups in Myanmar will never end,” said Kasit Piromya.

Backed by 57-member states of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Gambia filed a case last month at the ICJ against Myanmar for violating provisions of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to which Myanmar has been a party to since 1956.

The Gambia case follows findings from the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar which recommended Myanmar be brought before the ICJ after it found that Myanmar had committed “genocidal acts” during the 2017 “clearance operations” that killed thousands and caused more than 740,000 Rohingya to flee for their lives to Bangladesh. Approximately one million Rohingya refugees are currently living in the Cox’s Bazar camps in Bangladesh.

“…we emphasize that ensuring accountability is a critical move, but not the only one that Myanmar must take.

“We have consistently supported the calls from the Rohingya themselves for the Myanmar authorities to lift all restrictions against them, restore their basic rights, including citizenship rights, and ensure their safety and security so that they can return to their homes and live normal lives,” said Charles Santiago, a Member of Parliament of Malaysia, and APHR Board Chair.

Numerous restrictions, including those on citizenship rights, freedom of movement, and access to education and healthcare, continue to be placed upon the Rohingya in Myanmar.

APHR urges Myanmar to take immediate action to guarantee these rights for the Rohingya and again called on the international community to do all in its power to ensure the Rohingya living in Myanmar have their rights restored and that those in Bangladesh are able to return to their homes free from persecution or threats, and with their rights fully restored
Can Suu Kyi stand up to the lawsuit avalanche?
Bangkok Post
  • Published at 12:02 am December 2nd, 2019

Photo: AFP

International pressure to rehabilitate the Rohingya and reform Rakhine is unlikely to dissipate

Myanmar’s top leaders -- both military and civilian -- have been shell-shocked by the avalanche of international legal cases they are now facing. In the space of days, three cases have been lodged in separate courts, all intended to make the Myanmar government and the country’s military leaders accountable for the horrendous events that unfolded in strife-torn western Rakhine state during military operations over the last three years.

But the key case -- at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) brought by Gambia on behalf of the 57-nation member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) -- has finally propelled the Myanmar government to take decisive action. The State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, announced late last week that she will lead the country’s defense team, supported by a panel of prominent international lawyers to contest the case submitted by Gambia.

“The Myanmar government is taking this case very seriously,” the minister for international cooperation and deputy foreign minister, Kyaw Tin told the Bangkok Post in the sidelines of a major economic conference in the capital Naypitaw on Friday. In fact, as Myanmar is a signatory to this convention -- which the democratic government of U Nu’s signed in 1956 -- it cannot ignore the process.

This move on the part of the government came as a complete surprise to most diplomats and international observers, as most had expected Suu Kyi and her government to ignore this move at the ICJ, much in the same way as they have ignored the plethora of UN reports alleging forced evictions, the razing of Muslim villagers’ homes, rape and summary executions. But mounting a vigorous defense at the court in the Hague will not be enough to win the case nor sway international public opinion, according to many diplomats and legal experts.

“The State Counsellor, as foreign minister, will defend Myanmar’s interests,” he said. “Myanmar is looking forward to appearing in the court and using the opportunity to fully explain the country’s position.”

The minister, Kyaw Tin, went on to say that it is crucial for the international community to understand that Myanmar was only defending itself against terrorist attacks. This was not a premeditated campaign to expel the Muslims from Rakhine. “It was a matter of self-defense,” he stressed.

The major exodus of refugees started in October 2016, after an unexpected attack by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa) on several border checkpoints left several security personnel dead. Some 700,000 Muslims fled across the border into Bangladesh in the wake of a draconian military “clean up”, in which thousands of houses were razed and civilian villagers forced to flee. In August 2017, another Arsa attack -- which left a score of policemen and border guards dead -- saw a similar pattern of military operations and even more refugees fleeing and accusing the military of intimidation, rape, and summary executions.

Successive UN reports accused the military of conducting a campaign of ethnic cleansing with genocidal intent. The Myanmar government and the military have persistently denied these accusations.

Earlier this month the ICJ accepted a case filed by Gambia -- a largely Muslim country in West Africa and a member of the OIC -- intended to bring the Myanmar government to book for the army’s atrocities against the Muslim population in Rakhine. It asks the ICJ to investigate whether Myanmar’s government has violated the Geneva Convention, which prohibits genocide. In particular, it charges that Myanmar is responsible for “killing, causing serious bodily and mental harm, inflicting conditions that are calculated to bring about physical destruction, imposing measures to prevent births, and forcible transfers, [which] are genocidal in character because they are intended to destroy the Rohingya group in whole or in part”.

Gambia has also called for the court to impose precautionary measures to prevent further genocide. It requested that the ICJ issue an urgent temporary injunction ordering Myanmar to halt all actions that could aggravate or expand the existing situation. That could involve demands to stop further extrajudicial killings, rape, and levelling of the homes where the Rohingya once lived in Rakhine state.

“It is clear that Myanmar has no intention of ending these genocidal acts and continues to pursue the destruction of the group within its territory,” the lawsuit said. The government “is deliberately destroying evidence of its wrongdoings to cover up the crimes,” it added.

The first public hearing is set to open in the Hague on December 10, at which Suu Kyi will appear, leading a legal team under Attorney General Htun Htun Oo. Three international barristers are included as part of the panel. At the moment, the state counsellor’s office is working overtime to gather evidence, testimonies, and arguments to bring to the court, according to a government insider.

“This is the highest sanction the government can level against Myanmar, with both the civilian government and the army implicated,” a diplomat told the Bangkok Post, on condition of anonymity. As the case is likely to drag on for 10-15 years, it gives Myanmar time to get things right, they suggested. “They can soften the blow with mitigating circumstances, but they need to act now,” said a legal expert, who declined to be identified. “The government needs to tackle the root causes of the conflict in Rakhine, and initiate a number of administrative reforms.”

Pressure will mount on the army to straighten their act, and there is increasing pressure on the civilian authority to ensure the army acts professionally. In due course, the army will have to carry out internal reforms, giving a greater impetus to bring the military under direct civilian rule.

“Myanmar is in the dock, so it’s time to put ‘substance to the rhetoric’” said an Asian diplomat. “Start with giving unfettered access to Rakhine, especially for the UN and NGOs -- both local and international.”

What is needed is an agreed, credible, consistent, and coordinated strategy to improve the situation on the ground. Creating conditions which are conducive for the refugees to return from Bangladesh in the future must also be prioritized.

While this is an essential starting point for any long-term development and reconciliation in Rakhine, some form of credible accountability and justice for the Rohingya’s suffering is also needed, whether through an international mechanism or a local process.

Larry Jagan is a specialist on Myanmar and a former BBC World Service News editor for the region. A version of this article was previously printed in the Bangkok Post. This is being reprinted under special arrangement.
Hopefully this would bring an end to the Myanmar's genocide on its own people
US blacklists head of Myanmar military, 3 generals
Reuters, Washington
  • Published at 12:37 am December 11th, 2019

File photo of Myanmar’s Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the Myanmar armed forces AFP

The sanctions come the same day Aung San Suu Kyi attended the first day of hearings in a genocide case against Myanmar at the UN’s highest court

The United States on Tuesday blacklisted four Myanmar military leaders, including the commander-in-chief, in the toughest action taken yet by Washington for alleged human rights abuses against the Rohingya and other minorities.

The sanctions targeted the commander-in-chief of the Burmese military, Min Aung Hlaing, on the same day that Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi attended the first day of hearings in a genocide case against Myanmar at the UN’s highest court.

A 2017 military crackdown in Myanmar drove more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh. United Nations investigators have said Myanmar’s operation included mass killings, gang rapes and widespread arson and was executed with “genocidal intent.”

The military in Myanmar has denied accusations of widespread abuses and said its actions were part of a fight against terrorism.

The US Treasury Department said in a statement on Tuesday Burmese military forces had committed “serious human rights abuse” against ethnic minority groups in Myanmar and that Min Aung Hlaing’s forces were responsible for the 2017 military crackdown.

“During this time, members of ethnic minority groups were killed or injured by gunshot, often while fleeing, or by soldiers using large-bladed weapons; others were burned to death in their own houses,” the statement said.

Washington’s sanctions also targeted Min Aung Hlaing’s deputy, Soe Win, and two brigadier generals, Than Oo and Aung Aung, freezing any US assets they have and prohibiting Americans from doing business with them.

The four generals, who were previously barred from entering the US in July, are not known to have assets in the United States.

The US action falls short of re-imposing economic sanctions on Myanmar lifted after a transition from full military rule that began in 2011. It does not target military-owned companies that dominate some sectors of Myanmar’s economy.

Some analysts and diplomats have tipped Min Aung Hlaing as a potential presidential candidate in the next election in 2020, when Nobel laureate Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy is likely to face opposition from nationalists aligned with the military.

His political ambitions could be damaged by the sanctions, as well as an earlier US travel ban and Facebook’s decision in August 2018 to remove the army chief’s page that had been his main channel of communication with the public.

The sanctions Tuesday were among a round of targets announced on International Human Rights Day.
US blacklists head of Myanmar military
Published: December 10, 2019 22:48:45 | Updated: December 11, 2019 13:03:27


The United States (US) on Tuesday blacklisted four Myanmar military leaders, including the commander-in-chief, in the toughest action taken yet by Washington for alleged human rights abuses against the Rohingya and other minorities, said the US Treasury Department.

The sanctions targeted Commander-in-Chief of the Burmese military forces Min Aung Hlaing, Deputy Commander-in-Chief Soe Win, Than Oo, a leader of the 99th Light Infantry Division, and Aung Aung, a leader of the 33rd Light Infantry Division, the Treasury said in a statement.

The military in Myanmar has denied accusations of widespread abuses and says its actions were part of a fight against terrorism, reports Reuters.

Some analysts and diplomats have tipped Min Aung Hlaing as a potential presidential candidate at the next election in 2020, when Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy is likely to face opposition from nationalists aligned with the military.

His political ambitions could be damaged by the sanctions, as well as an earlier US travel ban and Facebook's decision in August 2018 to remove the army chief's page that had been his main channel of communication with the public.

The latest sanctions freeze the US assets of the military leaders and prohibit Americans from doing business with them. They were previously barred in July from entering the United States.
What's with all these smack talks? Do you have an axe to grind?
What's with all these smack talks? Do you have an axe to grind?

Yes. The Myanmarnese armed forces have been committing genocide on its own people, forcing over a million refugees to flee to Bangladesh, which is causing severe economic and security problems for us.

Myanmar Air force aircrafts have illegally entered bangladeshi airspace for over a dozen times in the last two decades and BAF jets had to be scrambled multiple times.

Bangladesh and Myanmar nearly went to war more than once because of the latter's aggressiveness and it was only after the 2008 naval standoff between Bangladesh and Myanmar that we had to put up the "Forces Goal 2030" plan.

Here is an article from 2015:
Myanmar Air Force conquers Bangladesh in FB post!
Tribune Online Report
Published at 08:59 am February 25th, 2015


The national Facebook page of Myanmar Air Force has stirred controversy by posting a photo that shows that Bangladesh should be part of a future “Myanmar empire.”
The photo was posted on the Facebook page on February 20.

Myanmar national daily Burma Times acknowledged the facebook page as the national Facebook page of the Myanmar Air Force.

According to a report, the page also claimed that Bangladesh has been helping terrorists to secure independence in Arakan.

The Myanmar Air Force also urged the people of the country to strike at Bangladesh before it is too late, said the report.

The photo has sparked anger among Bangladeshis.

Latiful Hassan Badhon wrote: “Stop dreaming myanmar. Today first I came to know that Mayanmar has an Air force.”

Mohiuddin Ahmed: “Heard that Afghanistan has a Shipping Ministry (without a port). Now hear myanmar has an Air Force too.”

However, the post got 500 likes and 1,221 people shared it.

Here is another article from last year

Myanmar claims St Martin’s Island is theirs
Tribune Desk
Published at 05:56 pm October 6th, 2018


Saint Martin's Island, internationally recognized territory of Bangladesh Syed Zakir Hossain/ Dhaka Tribune

The Bangladesh government has summoned the Myanmar ambassador and strongly protested the matter

Dhaka has reacted strongly and lodged an official protest against maps reportedly displayed on Myanmar government websites that show the St Martin’s Island as part of the country’s territory.

The government yesterday summoned Myanmar Ambassador in Dhaka U Lwin Oo and strongly protested the matter, reports UNB.

Maritime Affairs Unit Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rear Admiral (retd) M Khurshed Alam summoned the Myanmar envoy to his office in the afternoon and handed over a strongly-worded protest note.

However, Myanmar Ambassador Lwin acknowledged the matter saying that it was a "mistake" to show the St Martin's Island as part of their territory, according to a diplomat.

The island was never a part of Myanmar if anyone looks back at the history since 1937 and Dhaka says there is an 'ulterior motive' behind drawing and sharing the map of Myanmar on websites.

It was part of British-India when Myanmar got separated back in 1937, said an official adding that this means it was part of India. "A clear line was drawn in between."

In 1974, it was clearly stated through a signed agreement that the island is part of Bangladesh, said the official.
"Even when Bangladesh won the maritime boundary dispute against Myanmar through the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in March 2012, it was clearly mentioned that the island is part of Bangladesh," the official said.
This screenshot taken from the website of Myanmar's Department of Population clearly shows St Marin's Island (circled in red) included in the the country's territory
He went on saying: "There's no doubt. How could they (Myanmar) claim St Martin's Island as part of their territory? It's a deliberate attempt."

He reportedly asked the Myanmar envoy why the Myanmar side carried out survey in St Martin's Island. "You can't do it. On what basis you did it?" Khurshed Alam was quoted as telling the Myanmar envoy.

The Myanmar envoy was tight-lipped with a gloomy face when the UNB correspondent approached to know why he was summoned.

The maps were reportedly uploaded to two Myanmar government websites showing St Martin's Island as a part of Myanmar's territory.

The Myanmar envoy pledged to discuss the matter with his government and convey Dhaka's concerns.

The 2014 Population and Housing Census - Myanmar's first national census in 30 years - was undertaken by the Ministry of Immigration and Population with technical support from UNFPA between 30th March and 10th April 2014, according to the Myanmar Information Management Unit.
Earlier, Myanmar circulated a picture that claims to show insurgents training, which is actually a photograph of freedom fighters during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.

The Myanmar military later issued a rare apology acknowledging that the photographs it published in a book on the crisis over the Rohingya community were “published incorrectly."
World Court orders Myanmar to protect Rohingya from acts of genocide
Stephanie van den Berg, Ruma Paul
THE HAGUE/COX’S BAZAAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) -

The International Court of Justice on Thursday ordered Myanmar to take urgent measures to protect its Rohingya population from genocide, a ruling cheered by refugees as their first major legal victory since being forced from their homes.

A lawsuit launched by Gambia in November at the United Nations’ highest body for disputes between states accuses Myanmar of genocide against Rohingya in violation of a 1948 convention.

The court’s final decision could take years, and Thursday’s ruling dealt only with Gambia’s request for preliminary measures. But in a unanimous ruling by the 17-judge panel, the court said the Rohingya face an ongoing threat and Myanmar must act to protect them.

Myanmar must “take all measures within its power to prevent all acts” prohibited under the 1948 Genocide Convention, and report back within four months, presiding Judge Abdulqawi Yusuf said, reading out a summary of the judgment.

Myanmar must use its influence over its military and other armed groups to prevent violence against the Rohingya “intended to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”.

Rohingya activists, who had come from all over the world to the Hague, reacted with joy to the unanimous ruling which also explicitly recognized their ethnic minority as a protected group under the Genocide Convention.

“That is something we have been fighting for a long time: to be recognized as humans the same as everyone else,” Yasmin Ullah, a Canada-based Rohingya activist said. Majority Buddhist Myanmar generally refuses to describe the Muslim Rohingya as an ethnic group and refers to them as Bangladeshi migrants.

Myanmar’s ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement late on Thursday it “takes note” of the decision.

“The unsubstantiated condemnation of Myanmar by some human rights actors has presented a distorted picture of the situation in Rakhine and affected Myanmar’s bilateral relations with several countries”, it added.

More than 730,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar after a military-led crackdown in 2017, and were forced into squalid camps across the border in Bangladesh. U.N. investigators concluded that the military campaign had been executed with “genocidal intent”.

In camps in Bangladesh where they have fled, Rohingya refugees hovered over mobile phones to watch the judgment.

“For the first time, we have got some justice,” said Mohammed Nur, 34. “This is a big achievement for the entire Rohingya community.”

Rohingya still living inside Myanmar contacted by phone said they hoped the ruling would force the country to improve their situation. “We need protection,” said Tin Aung, a Rohingya leader living in Myebon township in central Rakhine state, where Muslims have been confined to camps since violence in 2012.

A Myanmar government spokesman and two military spokesmen did not answer calls from Reuters seeking comment.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the court order and “recalls that, pursuant to the Charter and to the Statute of the Court, decisions of the Court are binding and trusts that Myanmar will duly comply,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

Gambia’s justice minister, Abubacarr Tambadou, hailed the ruling as “a triumph for international justice”.

Mainly Muslim Gambia brought the case despite being located halfway around the world, on the argument that all nations have a universal legal duty to prevent genocide. Tambadou, a former prosecutor at a U.N. tribunal over the Rwanda genocide, took up the issue on behalf of the 57-member OIC group of Muslim states.

The case was argued last month by some of the world’s top human rights lawyers, with Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi personally attending hearings at The Hague to ask judges to dismiss it.

Moments before the court began reading its ruling, the Financial Times published an article by Suu Kyi, in which she said war crimes may have been committed against Rohingya Muslims but refugees had exaggerated abuses.

Although ICJ rulings are final and binding, countries have occasionally flouted them, and the court has no formal mechanism to enforce them.

“The ICJ order to Myanmar to take concrete steps to prevent the genocide of the Rohingya is a landmark step to stop further atrocities against one of the world’s most persecuted people,” said Param-Preet Singh, associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch. “Concerned governments and UN bodies should now weigh in to ensure that the order is enforced. ...”

Yusuf, the presiding judge, said the court was not satisfied with Myanmar’s own efforts “to facilitate the return of Rohingya refugees present in Bangladesh, to promote ethnic reconciliation, peace and stability in Rakhine State, and to make its military accountable for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law”.

Myanmar will now have to regularly report on its efforts to protect the Rohingya from acts of genocide every six months until a final ruling in the case.