LA Times: "When will Myanmar stop persecuting the Rohingya?" and other headlines on Myanmar

November 26, 2016

Rohingya Muslims flee Myanmar amid deadly attacks

At least 86 people have been killed and 30,000 displaced as violence
continues unabated in Myanmar's Rakhine state.


Rohingya flee to Bangladesh to escape Myanmar military strikes

Oliver Holmes  and agencies

the Guardian | Thursday 24 November 2016  03.42 EST  Last modified on
Thursday 24 November 2016  09.00 EST


Editorial, Los Angeles Times

When will Myanmar stop persecuting the Rohingya?


Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi is failing to stop military
violence against Rohingya Muslims in Burma

Her insistence not to point fingers without evidence that the military
has been responsible of arson, rape and murder against the Muslim
minority group suggests that she is either unwilling or unable to
confront them directly

Josh Webb

Read the full text - (ZARNI's Remark: I don't agree with the thrust of
Webb's concluding argument repeating the same mantra of 'rule of law'
and 'democratic values' - when in fact both the state and the society
have proven to be, well, Nazi-like).

 Queen Mary University of London (QMUL)
International State Crime Initiative

ISCI Press Release:

Aung San Suu Kyi is legitimising genocide in Myanmar and has
entrenched the persecution of Rohingya Muslims, warn state crime

London 23 November 2016:

Aung San Suu Kyi is legitimising genocide in Myanmar and has
entrenched the persecution of the Rohingya minority, according to
state crime specialists at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

State crime experts from Queen Mary University of London warn that
current crisis echoes brutal period of 1977-8 and 1991-2
Rohingya minority are facing the genocidal stage of systematic weakening
Aung San Suu Kyi has “entrenched the persecution of the Rohingya”

Researchers from the International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) at
QMUL’s School of Law last year published the results of months of
fieldwork in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Their investigation concluded
that the Myanmar state’s policies are genocidal. Their research
exposed evidence of mass killings, forced labour, torture, sexual
violence, arbitrary detention, institutional discrimination, and the
destruction of communities. They were among the first to describe the
plight of the Rohingya as genocide.

Penny Green, Professor of International Law at QMUL and Director of
ISCI said: “The election of Anng Suu Kyi’s National League for
Democracy in 2015 has brought no respite for the Rohingya. In October
this year a new reign of terror by the Myanmar state emerged and
continues to escalate. We continue to see widespread killings,
arbitrary detention, mass rape, collective punishment, arson, and
village clearances.”

The researchers say that on-the-ground reports reveal a consistent
picture of a trapped, terrified, and desperate community. They warn
that reports are consistent with historical practices of state
repression and violence in the region, echoing the brutal and
indiscriminate crackdowns of 1977-8 and 1991-2 when hundreds of
thousands of Rohingya fled to Bangladesh.

Alicia de la Cour Venning, lawyer and ISCI researcher said: “These
events mark a disturbing but entirely predictable pattern in the
genocidal process. Genocide begins by reducing the target group’s
strength and undermining moral empathy for the victims. This stage is
followed by more violent forms of persecution and eventually,
particularly if perpetrators of violence are not held to account, mass

The researchers say that entire communities are now experiencing the
genocidal stage of systematic weakening: state-sponsored denial of
access to health care, livelihood, food, and civic life. They warn
that the government’s objective is to render the population so
physically and psychologically diminished that they are unable to
engage in a purposeful life.

The group is strongly critical of Aung Suu Kyi and the National League
for Democracy (NLD). Earlier this year Suu Kyi demanded foreign
governments refrain from using the term ‘Rohingya’, and the Myanmar
government’s public statements continue to demonise and deny the
group’s existence.

Meanwhile the researchers say that the state run Global New Light of
Myanmar implicitly referred to the Rohingya as a ‘terrorist’ ‘foreign’
threat in Northern Rakhine state and a ‘thorn which must be removed’.
Myanmar’s own Human Rights Commission has refused to acknowledge the
existence of the Rohingya and the domestic criminal justice system is
being used as an instrument of persecution, according to the

Professor Green says: “Despite the fact that this is the most
significant test of Suu Kyi’s leadership, the country’s de-facto
leader has remained remarkably indifferent. Neither Suu Kyi nor her
President Htin Kyaw have visited Rakhine state during the current
crisis.  Suu Kyi says very little, other than to repeat the line that
investigations will be conducted fairly and according to the rule of
law. Her claim that ‘we have not tried to hide anything on Rakhine’ is
utterly disingenuous. Her statements run counter to reports that we,
and our colleagues in the human rights community, are receiving from
the Rakhine state and can only be interpreted as denial – a familiar
and integral strategy deployed by criminal states to deflect blame.”

Thomas MacManus, lawyer and ISCI researcher says that Suu Kyi’s
government has adopted “the military dictatorship-era tactics of
blanket denial, an absolute ban on international observation, severe
limitations on humanitarian access within the region, the muzzling of
the press, and the ‘blacklisting’ and deportation of human rights

He added: “Aung San Suu Kyi must be held to account. The Rohingya need
strong advocates and they need the world to understand that the
persecution they face is genocidal. Only enormous pressure on the
Myanmar government will succeed in halting the devastation. The
Rohingya are staring death in the face.”

Media enquiries

Researchers are available for comment and interview. Please contact:

Mark Byrne

Public Relations Manager (Humanities and Social Sciences)

Queen Mary University of London


T: 0044 (0) 20 7882 5378

M: 0044 (0) 78 1590 2560

ISCI’s research


Emerging from decades of oppression and poverty, Rakhine state is ripe
for economic exploitation, particularly in relation to natural
resources. Demonising the Rohingya as ‘illegal Bengali immigrants’,
the Myanmar state has manipulated genuine Rakhine grievances and
Buddhist monks’ insecurities to foster conditions for ongoing
persecution and violence for social, political and economic gain. The
Myanmar government has been central in stigmatising the Rohingya,
allowing hate speech, Islamophobia, the publication of inflammatory
newspaper reports, and nationalism to flourish. The entire Rohingya
population has recently been further disenfranchised, ahead of
elections scheduled for November this year. However, the granting of
citizenship cards with voting rights will not be enough to end the
genocidal process. Citizenship has, for example, afforded little
protection for the Kaman Muslim ethnic minority in Rakhine state.


Physical violence resulted in some 200 deaths in Sittwe in 2012, and
the threat of violence remains ever present for the Rohingya. Those
responsible have enjoyed complete impunity for the violence. Our
research reveals that the violence was planned and organised by local
authorities supported by local civil society organisations, and
political and Buddhist leaders. Continued harassment has contributed
to the flight of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya.


More than 100,000 Muslims, formerly living in mixed Rakhine and
Rohingya communities, have been forced into squalid camps in an
overcrowded and isolated detention complex on the outskirts of Sittwe.
A further 4,250 Rohingyalive a precarious existence in downtown
Sittwe’s militarised ghetto, Aung Mingalar. Dehumanised and destitute,
Sittwe’s Rohingya live what can only be described as a ‘bare life’.
The parallels with 1930s Germany are undeniable.

Systematic weakening

Systematic weakening is the genocidal stage prior to mass
annihilation. Physically and mentally weakened, and living in broken
communities devoid of social cohesion, the Rohingya have been stripped
of agency and human dignity. The expulsion of Médecins Sans Frontières
and the regulation of humanitarian aid are state actions designed to
systematically weaken the Rohingya community. As the Rakhine National
Party spokesperson declared in his interview with us (January 2015),
“When the international community give them [Rohingya] a lot of food
and a lot of donations, they will grow fat and become stronger, and
they will become more violent.”

Background and biographies

      More information about the International State Crime Initiative
      Biography, Professor Penny Green
      Biography, Dr Thomas MacManus
      Biography, Alicia de la Cour Venning


Please reload

Follow Genocide Watch for more updates:

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey YouTube Icon

Share this post: