The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 08 June 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on June 8, 2015

The Rendon Group Snapshot Report

(08JUNE15)

Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.

 The Ongoing Plight of Rohingya Muslims

 

Rohingya Muslims trying to cross the Naf River into Bangladesh to escape persecution in Myanmar.

(AFP)

This week’s snapshot focuses on the ongoing plight of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims. The majority of Myanmar’s 1.3 million Rohingya are denied citizenship, and are considered illegal Bengali migrants by the Myanmar government. Many Rohingya Muslims have lived in displacement camps in Myanmar’s Rakhine State since tensions between the Rohingya and Rakhine’s Buddhist majority erupted in 2012.

News Summary of events during the week of 01JUNE15 – 08JUNE15

  • 01JUNE15: Myanmar’s main opposition party urged the government to quickly resettle refugees in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine. (DPA)
  • 01JUNE15: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Ann Richard called for Myanmar to grant citizenship to Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution, rather than resettling Rohingya refugees in a foreign country. (AP)
  • 01JUNE15: President Obama said Myanmar needs to end discrimination against Rohingya Muslims if it wants to successfully transition to democracy. (Reuters)
  • 02JUNE15: Rohingya refugees staged a protest in a detention camp in southern Thailand. (DPA)
  • 02JUNE15: Rohingya women held at human-trafficking camps in Thailand and Malaysia were raped by camp guards, according to a Malaysian media report. (AFP)
  • 02JUNE15: An arrest warrant was issued for a high-ranking Thai army officer for his involvement in trafficking Rohingya migrants, making him the first military figure in Thailand to be implicated in trafficking migrants from Myanmar. (AFP)
  • 03JUNE15: A boat carrying more than 700 migrants arrived in Rakhine state. (AFP)
  • 03JUNE15: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Ann Richard said it is “unrealistic” for Indonesia to expect the U.S. to resettle migrants within a timeline of 12 months. (WSJ)
  • 04JUNE15: Myanmar Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin said Rohingya migrants fled the country to seek better jobs, not to escape persecution. (AP)
  • 04JUNE15: Indonesia announced plans to provide better shelters and legal protection to its more than 1,800 Rohingya refugees (Channel NewsAsia)
  • 05JUNE15: Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong said human trafficking and refugees are issues that must be dealt in the source countries of the migrants. (Xinhua)
  • 07JUNE15: Buddhist hardliners in Rakhine State said they are planning to protest against local authorities who have helped migrants found adrift in the Bay of Bengal. (AFP)

Sample of Twitter handles regarding the plight of Rohingya Muslims

  • @avdelacour – Alicia de la Cour, academic researcher at the International State Crime Initiative
  • @JonahFisherBBC – Jonah Fisher, Myanmar correspondent for BBC
  • @Journotopia – Andrew R.C. Marshall, Southeast Asia Special Correspondent for Reuters
  • @Francis_Wade – Francis Wade, freelance journalist based in Myanmar
  • @Reaproy – Phil Robertson, Deputy Director of the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch
  • @nslwin – Nay San Lwin, Rohingya activist and blogger

Sample of Third Party Validators regarding the plight of Rohingya Muslims

Eric Paulson, executive director for Lawyers for Liberty

“These boats carrying overcrowded refugees and migrants are typically rickety wooden trawlers and hardly seaworthy…Turning or towing these boats away is as good as signing their death warrant as the occupants are normally starving, dehydrated, sickly and in dire need of immediate assistance.”

–  Asian Nations Turn Away Boats of Rohingya as Crisis Expands, Bloomberg, 14MAY15

Lawrence B. Brennan, professor of admiralty and international law at Fordham University

“Historically, maritime law has the concept of ‘port of refuge’ for ships and people in peril at sea. There is a long-standing tradition of providing aid and comfort to people who are in danger.”

–  Why No One Wants the Rohingyas, NPR, 15MAY15

Penny Green, professor of law and globalization at Queen Mary, University of London and director of the International State Crime Initiative

“The Rohingya are faced with two options: stay and face annihilation, or flee…If we understand genocide to be a process, that is what this is. Those who remain suffer destitution, malnutrition and starvation; severe physical and mental illness; restrictions on movement, education, marriage, childbirth, livelihood, land ownership; and the ever-present threat of violence and corruption.”

– Burma’s boatpeople ‘faced choice of annihilation or risking their lives at sea,’ The Guardian, 16MAY15

Gerhard Hoffstaedter, anthropologist at the University of Queensland

“Decades of policies in Myanmar have left many Rohingya illiterate and impoverished, and that’s hard to shake off as refugees…[the Rohingya] lack the organization and rich networks that other, more successful refugee groups can tap…The Rohingya have an amazing capacity for suffering, but they’ve been given so few stories of success.”

– Even in Safety of Malaysia, Rohingya Migrants Face Bleak Prospects, New York Times 03JUNE15

Desmond Tutu, Retired South African Archbishop

“The government of Myanmar has sought to absolve itself of responsibility for the conflict between the Rakhine and the Rohingya, projecting it as communal violence…But I would be more inclined to heed the warnings of eminent scholars who say this is a deliberately false narrative to camouflage the slow genocide against the Rohingya people.”

–  Myanmar opposition: Aung San Suu Kyi’s Rohingya problem, Nikkei English News, 05JUNE15

Samples of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to the plight of Rohingya Muslims

1. Myanmar opposition demands resettlement of refugees in Rakhine state

Media: Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)

Byline: N/A

Date: 01 June 2015

Yangon (dpa) – Myanmar’s main opposition party on Monday urged the government to quickly resettle people living in temporary camps – mostly Bengali Muslims who became homeless after sectarian conflicts with Buddhists since mid-2012.

The National League for Democracy said officials should resettle the refugees and guarantee transparency in the citizenship verification process and flow of humanitarian assistance in Rakhine state.

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2. US official calls for Myanmar citizenship for Rohingya

Media: Associated Press

Byline: N/A

Date: 01 June 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A senior U.S. official says resettlement in a third country is not the answer to the swelling tide of boat people in Southeast Asia and called for Myanmar citizenship to be given to Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution there.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Anne Richard says resettling all Rohingya refugees in the United States will entice others to leave their homeland.

She said at the end of a three-day visit to Malaysia that the solution to the crisis is “peace and stability and citizenship for the Rohingyas in Rakhine state.”

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3. Rohingya refugees stage protest in Thai detention camp

Media: Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)

Byline: N/A

Date: 02 June 2015

Bangkok (dpa) – Rohingya refugees staged a protest in a detention camp in southern Thailand, officials confirmed Tuesday.

The stateless Muslims who migrated from Myanmar, were protesting against officials who had refused to let them bring food into their dormitory to celebrate the Laylat al Baraat holiday.

The refugees cut the power supply and tried to break open doors before police were called in, according to Surat Thani police spokesman.

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4. Rohingya migrants raped at Thai-Malaysia border camps: report

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 02 June 2015

Kuala Lumpur, June 2, 2015 (AFP) – Muslim Rohingya women who were held at human-trafficking camps in Thailand and Malaysia were subjected to gang rapes by their captors, assaults that left at least two of them pregnant, a Malaysian media report said.

Malaysia’s state-run Bernama news agency quoted a Rohingya survivor of the camps, Nur Khaidha Abdul Shukur, as saying young women would be taken away nightly from the jungle post where she was held near Padang Besar in Thailand.

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5. Anti-migrant protests planned in Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 07 June 2015

Yangon, June 7, 2015 (AFP) – Buddhist hardliners in Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state are planning a day of protest against local authorities helping desperate boat migrants found adrift in the Bay of Bengal, organisers said Sunday.

Rakhine, one of Myanmar’s poorest states, is a tinderbox of communal tension between its Buddhist majority and a heavily persecuted Rohinghya Muslim minority, many of whom live in displacement camps after deadly unrest erupted there in 2012.

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