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President Barack Obama Eases Sanctions on Burma Even as Violent Onslaught Against Rohingya Muslims Continues

11 October 2012 18 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

President Barack Obama Eases Sanctions on Burma Even as Violent Onslaught Against Rohingya Muslims Continues

President Barack Obama’s administration has moved to further ease sanctions on the Burmese government, easing a ban on imports,

Washington’s decision to ease a ban on imports from Myanmar won praise Thursday in the emerging Southeast Asian democracy, with a government official giving credit to both the country’s reformist president and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

This comes at a time when the Rohingya Muslims, considered one of the most oppressed peoples in the world are continuing to face daily violence.

Anti-Rohingya protests have been continuous in Western Burma, with the past several weeks seeing a wave of fresh protests and violence. Most significantly there are conflicting reports about which mosque was burnt down in Sittwe on Sunday, some reports say it was the 800 year old “Sawduro Bor Masjid” that was torched and burned to the ground while other sources are reporting that it was the 150 year old main mosque known as Jame-Mosque. The West-Burma-Bangladesh region is becoming increasingly unstable, as we are also now witnessing for the first time reprisal attacks in Bangladesh against Buddhists, fostering a dangerous climate that has the potential to become an unspeakable nightmarish zone of violence,

YANGON: Hundreds of Buddhist women protested on Wednesday in western Myanmar against the presence of stateless Rohingya Muslims in the violence-hit region, an organiser said.

The demonstrators urged the Organisation of the Islamic Conference to stop its assistance to Rohingya in Rakhine state, where tensions have been running high since deadly Buddhist-Muslim clashes broke out in June.

“We protested against the OIC and also Bengalis as we don’t want them on our soil,” organiser Nyo Aye told AFP by telephone from the state capital Sittwe.

Myanmar’s estimated 800,000 Rohingya are viewed as illegal immigrants by the government and by many Burmese, who refer to them as Bengalis.

The rally came a day after hundreds of monks took to the streets of Sittwe to protest against local Muslims and the OIC’s activities.

The tensions in Rakhine have spread to neighbouring Bangladesh, where police said last week they had arrested nearly 300 people in connection with a wave of violence targeting Buddhist homes and temples. afp

The Obama administration’s easing of sanctions on the Burmese government also comes at a time in which Human Rights researchers and activists are warning about the “permanent segregation of Rohingyas,” who are being herded into “temporary” refugee camps,

Following sectarian violence in the western Myanmar state of Rakhine in June, human rights researchers are now warning that the government appears to be attempting to permanently house parts of the stateless Muslim-minority Rohingya in “temporary” refugee camps, segregating them from the rest of the population.

“There has been no acknowledgement that people have to go home eventually – the solution appears to be that the Rohingya can simply live where they have come to be,” John Sifton, with Human Rights Watch (which released a related report in August), said in Washington on Tuesday. “Segregation has become the status quo.”

Aung Aung Oo, a Burmese national who has been reporting on the Rohingya crises since June for Salem-News discusses what it will take to restore communal harmony between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, a harmony that existed for centuries,

To maintain communal harmony between these two ethnic groups, the restoration of the Rohingya’s rights is essential. Without it, the very idea of a peaceful community might be a legend.

The restoration of Rohingyan rights, i.e. citizenship is a fact which US deputy assistant secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration has echoed as well in a speech to the Open Society Foundation and Refugree International, essentially saying that, ‘the lack of citizenship must be addressed for any long-term solution to the distress in the Rohingya community to dissipate.’

Related Articles:

– BBC: Muslims Homes Razed in Burma’s Rakhine State

An Open Letter from the Buddhist Community on Islamophobia

Warrior Monks: The Untold Story of Buddhist Violence (I)

Burmese Buddhists Attack Muslim Pilgrims, Killing 9


  1. But, but, but Obama is palling around with Muslims!

  2. But, but, but Obama is palling around with Muslims!

  3. this is so sad. One reason Obama is disliked by Muslims, but then again so is Romney. Pick the lesser evil, pick Obama.

  4. Nothing surprising or new. This nation was founded on lies, and then blood, bone and flesh of an entire “other”. When the so-called Americans draw blood through their vocal chords barking about freedom and justice, they maintain their own empire(s).

  5. Even some months ago, Burma was a devil state to the West and US. But now it has become a role model for progress and openness. Their leader Su-Kyi has never spoken in favour of Rohingyas; however, she denies their very existence, speaking for them is far far away. The country has nuclear power plants and it can not be said that it won’t build bombs. It is pretty much theocratic; some days ago, when the government was massacring Rohingyas, Buddhist monks came out on the streets and vocally supported these tortures. Yet, that has not given the label of Buddhist intolerance, terrorism, fundamentalism or extremism. When Muslims do any crime, they are always called as the aforementioned, Islam is marked as the instigator of all misdeeds by its adherents and mocked as the religion of peace! So, why silent about Burma or Buddhism?

  6. Well Dongo, injustice to any person or group is wrong. I would like to see Muslim newspapers shouting to the world about the injustices being done to Christians and other religious groups within Muslim countries. Demanding reform and change. I would like to see them being critical of demanding the death of children, being outraged at the forced removal of Christians from their homes. I would like to see them being incensed over the restrictions involved in the building of churches. Appalled at the fact that Christians in Muslims countries mostly work at lower paying jobs due to discrimination. Shocked and dismayed at the kidnappings of young Christian girls in Egypt, forcing them to convert to Islam while being held captive. I would like to see moral outrage when one Muslim group decided that another Muslim group does not even have the right to breath because they hold the wrong Islamic beliefs.

    But it is not happening. Instead these atrocities occur on a daily basis and we are given stories about thrown bacon being a hate crime that needs to be punished. The moral injustice of a mosque being defaced by writing while ignoring in the same paper the churches that are being burned down. I do not like what is being done to these Muslims in Burma but are they more important than the millions of non Muslims being oppressed in Muslim Countries? Is it so wrong to approach the “problem of Islamophobia” not only by attempting to show Islam in a positive light but to also highlight what is happening in the Muslim world and protest the deeds of these Islamic followers and protest how they are dragging your religion into the gutter of intolerance and immorality? Fanatics in your religion are being tied to Kidnapping and cutting the lips and nose off of a eleven year old boy then eviscerate him alive in the name of Allah and Islam. Yet the event is not even brought up for discussion by the staff of an Islamic blog whose goals is to push Islamic values and educate the public about Islamic thought. Mike constantly brings out Koranic verses that call for violence and he is told that he is abusing the Koran and citing verses out of context. Yet die hard Muslims use those same verses to kill and oppress other people. How is this to be addressed. Are fundamentalist Muslims just as ignorant of the Koran as Mike? Is that why they kill in the name of God. Hell, were lucky that Mike is an Atheist, if he is ever turned to Islam by his readings he could turn into the biggest mass murderer in U.S. History. I realize that fundamentalist Muslims make up a small percentage of the Islamic population but daily I wonder if this is true. They get the majority of the press. It is their views that I read about daily. It is their views espoused by Islamic countries. It pretty much seems that the Minority is the Majority and the Majority is the Minority.

    Why be silent about Burma? why not be silent about Burma? Why should we not echo the Muslim outrage over Muslim atrocities against those with different beliefs?

  7. “But it is not happening”

    Websites which do publicise the ongoing abuses in muslim countries are labelled islamophobic

    At least one guy knows where the blame lies

  8. Your words about Christians also apply to Hindus, amadis, eyc. any group on the muslim hit list. Not a new thing. Muslims have been nasty to their minorities for years. Nasty to themselves as well.

  9. Jane, I thought that your link was a very good article. I have read that those who have stayed with the Taliban report not much praying, fasting or Koran reading going on there, mostly cleaning their weapons, looking for food, sex, etc. like most soldiers. Their religion if any, is in the raw form untempered by philosophy.

    Christianity was once lethal. The raw form of Christianity is still quite unpleasant to others. Eg: showing up with signs and bullhorns at Mormon Palmyra gathering yelling “leave your false religion”. Westboro Baptist.

    I don’t think killing the other is peculiar to Islam. WW2 was what, 60+ yrs ago. One author has suggested that the behavior of the Nazis and Japan was simply about grabbing food and resources of the other in order to make the tribe prevail. I think tribes mostly act on their urges and emotions. An individual may be thoughtful but not a mob.

    My relatives told me they watched in disbelief as the war began to build in Europe. What’s wrong with those people? They already did one huge war and now they want another? What ails them? Look at them screaming adoration for that little tramp. They want our help again? You kiddin?

  10. Have you read their quran? Fuk’em, it will be their muslim to kill or. Covert you as soon as a peace treaty ends anyways, like kuwait

  11. One of the landlords in the Rimsha Masih case said he was sorry to feel the Christians flee, they were very good tranquil tenants and he preferred them to the muslim ones. The Christian message of love the other does have some effect, on individuals at least.

  12. sorry to see the Christians flee.

  13. I kind of got the gist of your sentence but please before you decide to make an argument, learn some damn grammar! It’s not covert you moron it’s convert! Damn that was painful.

  14. If muslims weren’t ethnic cleansers themselves, the Rohingya might get more sympathy. Their defenders are faking photos from elsewhere which hurts their case, they begin to look like liars, similar to the Pals.

  15. And here is the news from Iran, a modern country with a modern school system. An Islamic country touting Islamic values.

  16. Sometimes people don’t type so good, James.

  17. In reply to criley about injustice to any person is wrong is not so .the muslims are tearing Africa apart and no one is saying anything.Is it because they are black,they are raping,murdering and bombing?injustice is only committed against muslims.In muslims countries all non muslims are considered as cows, so they have the authority to slaughter the cow or take it to market.In saudi arabia they are no other religion because of zero tolerence.If Allah says so it is so.the bible said if you live by the sword you will die by the sword.

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