Tag Archives: Burma

Ruins of the Living: the Rohingya Refugees: Akshita Nagpal

This is a guest post by Akshita Nagpal

A tree with deep roots, if uprooted and planted in alien soil, might live but often sans its vigour. The same can be said for refugees. A couple of weeks ago, along with a bunch of my classmates, I visited the refugee camp of Burmese Rohingya Muslims at Kalindi Kunj in the vicinity of our university campus. The visit was part of an initiative to help them with old winter clothing after hearing about the unliveable conditions of the camp.


The Rohingyas, an ethnic group hailing from Myanmar (Burma), chiefly from its Rakhine (Arakan) State, happen to be one of the most oppressed people in the Asian sub-continent.

Continue reading Ruins of the Living: the Rohingya Refugees: Akshita Nagpal

Bodhgaya Bomb Blasts : Moving Beyond the ‘Usual Suspects’



Mr Praveen Swamy has ‘discovered’ the ‘usual suspects’ once again.

Narrating .'[t]he same old, depressing story of incompetence and apathy’ behind the Bodh Gaya bombings he has shared  with the readers how “[I]ndia’s police and intelligence services knew there were plots to attack the temple.” and how “.. jihadists quite publicly announced they intended to attack Buddhist targets. ..From January, government sources have told Firstpost, the Intelligence Bureau had issued several warnings pointing to heightened risks to Buddhist religious targets in India, as a consequence of anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar.” [FirstPost]

Of course, after giving enough hints about who the perpetrators could be, he has been careful enough to add – supposedly to maintain objectivity of his profession that: Continue reading Bodhgaya Bomb Blasts : Moving Beyond the ‘Usual Suspects’

Burma – Lest We Don’t See, A Genocide Is In The Making: Bonojit Hussain

“We have to ask ourselves whether we may have over-romanticized its (Burmese pro-democracy movement within and outside of Burma) battles against the junta as a broader quest to bring pure, universal human rights to Burma, when in fact we had little evidence of a wholesale commitment to the principle of tolerance.” – Francis Wade (Thailand based Journalist and a keen observer of developments in Burma)

Since the summer of 2012 Burma has seen pogroms, massacres, riots of unprecedented scale against religious minorities, the latest being on the 30th April. Few hundreds have been killed and few hundred thousands have been rendered homeless.Much has been talked about how it is a ploy by the hardliners in the army and the post-reform government to stall further reforms. It might be true to a large extend, but the silence of the pro-democracy opposition is intriguing. While many from the “pro-democracy” camp have remained either silent or ambivalent; many others have shown that they actually belong to the ranks of fundamentalist who in the pretext of unfounded “sense of self-victimization” are fomenting a near genocidal situation in the country.  Continue reading Burma – Lest We Don’t See, A Genocide Is In The Making: Bonojit Hussain

How Delhi paper ‘Sahafat’ fell for fake images of violence in Burma

Yousuf Saeed wrote in Kafila on 13 August how fake images of violence against Muslim Rohingyas in Burma – images that were in fact, of, say, earthquake victims. In his post he mentioned how even some Urdu papers in India were fooled by the images,which provoked violent protests in Mumbai,and recently, Lucknow.

Now, CM Naim describes in detail how Sahafat, an Urdu newspaper published from Delhi, fell for these fake images. Naim translates large parts of two charged-up articles in Sahafat, one of which calls for the boycott of Buddhists in Delhi. One article was published on 10 August and one on 16 August. As Naim says, it’s time for the Press Council of India to take note. One excerpt: Continue reading How Delhi paper ‘Sahafat’ fell for fake images of violence in Burma

National contestation, not religion, responsible for the plight of Myanmar’s Rohingyas: Ayesha Siddiqa

Guest post by AYESHA SIDDIQA

This photo is a screenshot of a Facebook page that incorrectly shows the self-immolation of a Tibetan activist in Delhi as an image of Rohingya persecution in Myanmar. This is one of countless such images circulated in social media. Image credit: Express Tribune, Pakistan.

These days, the social media is abuzz with discussion on Myanmar. Interestingly, it is not even a constructive discussion but one which is meant for point scoring. The nature of the discourse has complicated the issue even more and thus calls for at least a couple of articles: one on the issue and another one meant to be an analysis of the situation of Burmese Muslims. It is important at this stage to disentangle the two dimensions to make sense of what is actually happening. Continue reading National contestation, not religion, responsible for the plight of Myanmar’s Rohingyas: Ayesha Siddiqa

Xonzoi Barbora interviews Kyaw Zwa Moe on the elections in Burma

Many thanks to XONZOI BARBORA for contributing to Kafila our first podcast. This podcast is an interview of Burmese journalist KYAW ZWA MOE. The interview was originally conducted for Panos Radio South Asia on 6 November 2010. Please allow a moment for the audio player to load on your screen.

Burma’s elections, like its new flag, constitution and capital, is part of an inventory of an elaborate make-over for the military junta that runs the country. This make-over has the tacit support of Burma’s powerful neighbours — China, India and Thailand — who cast covetous eyes on the oil, gas and mineral resources of the country. The elections that took place on November 7, 2010 was one designed to entrench the military in civic life and also provide a reasonable ground for big donor agencies to intervene in administration. Even as the National League for Democracy (NLD) boycotted the elections, other democratic forces were rendered powerless by the junta’s stranglehold over the electoral process. It reserved seats for itself; circumvented the electoral process in places where it thought it would lose and simply made it too expensive for its opponents to contest. Continue reading Xonzoi Barbora interviews Kyaw Zwa Moe on the elections in Burma

64 for Aung San Suu Kyi

Burma’s imprisoned democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will mark her 64th birthday on 19 June 2009, her 14th year in detention. An iconic symbol of Myanmar’s political resistance, she is the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner. She has committed no crime, she is the victim of crime, yet her detention can continue for many more years. The United Nations has ruled that Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention is illegal under international law, and also under Burmese law. The United Nations Security Council has also told the dictatorship that they must release her. Comparable to the personal, moral and democratic power of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, her continued detention is a powerful reminder of the unrelenting repression in Myanmar, and what must be done to make democracy and human rights a reality. Continue reading 64 for Aung San Suu Kyi