The Northern Shan Crisis And Its Impact On The Peace Process
Featured, Opinion/Analysis December 17, 2016
Myanmar's northeastern conflict approaches watershed
Nikkei Asian Review
16 December 2016
"... a joint rebel offensive launched against a string of border towns
on Nov. 20 underscored the emergence of a potential military
game-changer: a powerful coalition of northern insurgent groups that
in terms of operational coordination, military clout and geographic
reach is unprecedented in six decades of ethnic conflict."
Myanmar: Security forces target Rohingya during vicious Rakhine
19 December 2016, 10:46 UTC
The Myanmar security forces are responsible for unlawful killings,
multiple rapes and the burning down of houses and entire villages in a
campaign of violence against Rohingya people that may amount to crimes
against humanity, Amnesty International reveals in a new report today.
Rohingya violence by Burmese army true, Suu Kyi has ‘failed’ – report
Asian Correspondent Staff | 19th December 2016 | @ascorrespondent
6 boats carrying over 100 Rohingyas sent back
Teknaf (Cox’s Bazar) Correspondent | Update: 15:20, Dec 18, 2016
Malaysia calls for Asean to coordinate aid for Rohingya at Myanmar crisis talks
South China Morning Post
19 December 2016
The fate of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority took centre stage
Monday as regional ministers held crisis talks over a security
crackdown that has drawn rare criticism from neighbouring nations.
Constant pressure from both the international community as well as
Malaysia has led us to this point
Malaysia’s foreign minister Anifah Aman
More than 27,000 Rohingya have fled northwestern Myanmar for
Bangladesh since the start of November to escape a heavy-handed
counter-insurgency campaign. The army says it is hunting militants
behind deadly raids on police posts in October.
But Rohingya survivors have described rape, murder and arson at the
hands of security forces – accounts that have raised global alarm and
galvanised protests in capitals around Southeast Asia.
The exodus has caused an unusual open spat within the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the regional 10-member block that
usually prides itself on consensus diplomacy and non-interference. On
Monday foreign ministers from the bloc met in Yangon for emergency
talks, a gathering Malaysia said was the result of pressure building
on Myanmar to resolve the crisis.
“Constant pressure from both the international community as well as
Malaysia has led us to this point and to the retreat to be held,”
Malaysia’s foreign minister Anifah Aman said ahead of the talks.
The vast majority of Myanmar’s Rohingya population are denied
citizenship and have lived for years under movement restrictions that
many have likened to apartheid.
Thousands have fled over the years on rickety boats, seeking sanctuary
in Muslim majority countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.
Malaysia's Foreign Minister Anifah Aman arrives to attend the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Foreign Ministers'
meeting in Yangon. Photo: AFP
The latest crackdown in Rakhine generated a fresh wave of public
anger, particularly in Malaysia, where tens of thousands of Rohingya
eke out tough and often dangerous lives as undocumented workers.
Earlier this month Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak accused
Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi of allowing “genocide” on
her watch – an unusually strong rebuke by one Asean state of another.
Myanmar, which has vehemently denied the allegations of abuse,
responded by angrily summoning Malaysia’s ambassador and banning its
workers from going to the country.
Philippines Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay. Photo: AFP
Suu Kyi also held talks with the foreign minister of Indonesia this
month after cancelling a visit to the country following protests and
an attempted attack on the Myanmar embassy.
Ong Keng Yong, a former secretary general of Asean, said neighbouring
nations feared the Rohingya crisis could spiral. “This kind of issue,
if it’s not well managed, will impact on the general picture of our
peace and security in Asean,” he told AFP. He said Monday’s meeting
would likely focus on stopping the violence, smoothing relations
between members and better sharing of information between countries.
Indonesia Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. Photo: Reuters
Myanmar has also seen a cascade of criticism from outside the region
over its handling of the Rohingya crisis, including from the United
States, the European Union and the United Nations.
Last week UN rights commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein criticised the
government’s “callous” handling of the crisis, describing it as “a
lesson in how to make a bad situation worse”.
It is not the first time the plight of the Rohingya has spilled into a
In 2015 thousands of the stateless group were stranded at sea after
authorities closed off a well-worn trafficking route through Thailand.
The overcrowded boats were ping-ponged between countries reluctant to
accept them until global pressure eventually spurred Indonesia and
Malaysia to let them land.