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December 2019 - Myanmar News

  • Arakan Army Seizes Ferry, Unveils Taxation Agency, in Myanmar's Rakhine State Radio Free Asia 31 Dec 2019 -- The Arakan Army (AA) abducted 16 drivers traveling on a river ferry in western Myanmar's war-ravaged Rakhine state Tuesday, capping a yearlong uptick in hostilities with government forces, local officials said.
  • Few Details as Myanmar Army Holds Court-Martial For Atrocities Against Rohingya Radio Free Asia 30 Dec 2019 -- Myanmar's military on Monday held a fifth hearing during a court-martial for soldiers accused of committing atrocities during the brutal 2017 military-led crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state, an army spokesman said.
  • Myanmar Villagers Protest Over Compensation For Land Lost to China-backed Copper Mine Radio Free Asia 30 Dec 2019 -- Nearly 200 villagers in the copper mining area of northwestern Myanmar's Sagaing region staged a protest on Monday against a Chinese-backed company that they claim has not paid them reasonable compensation after seizing their farmland for a mining project, locals said.
  • Insecurity, Lack of Trust Keep Myanmar's Karen Civilians From Returning Home Radio Free Asia 30 Dec 2019 -- Regional insecurity from clashes between the government military and an ethnic armed group in southeastern Myanmar's Kayin (Karen) state, together with a lack of trust in a current cease-fire agreement, are key barriers preventing the return of civilians driven from their homes by years of conflict, according to a new report on internally displaced persons in the region.
  • Bangladesh Pushes Back Against Criticism of Security Measures at Rohingya Camps Radio Free Asia 27 Dec 2019 -- Bangladeshi officials on Friday defended security measures aimed at "protecting" Rohingya refugees, after an international NGO said in a new study that barbed-wire fencing, watchtowers and restrictions on phone use and movement could drive refugees toward crime or extremism.
  • Arakan Army Detains Two Workers From Myanmar Military-Backed Telecom Company Radio Free Asia 27 Dec 2019 -- The Arakan Army has detained two employees from the Myanmar military-backed MyTel telecom operator after abducting them as they traveled for work in northern Rakhine state, where rebel and national forces have been engaged in intensified fighting over the past year, a company spokesman said Friday.
  • Myanmar Village Administrator Gets Year in Prison For Protest Over Chinese Cement Plant Radio Free Asia 27 Dec 2019 -- A Myanmar village administrator was sentenced Friday to one year in jail with hard labor on charges of defaming the state for getting involved in a rally in May against a Chinese-backed coal-powered cement factory in Mandalay region, the man's lawyer said Friday.
  • Local NLD Leader Killed by Mortar Blast in Myanmar's War-Ravaged Rakhine State Radio Free Asia 26 Dec 2019 -- A political party leader in Myanmar's Rakhine state abducted by the Arakan Army nearly two weeks ago for organizing a public rally in support of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi was killed in a mortar attack Wednesday, a spokesman for the rebel ethnic force said.
  • Japanese Ambassador Voices Support For Myanmar on Genocide Charges Radio Free Asia 26 Dec 2019 -- Japan believes that Myanmar did not commit state-sponsored genocide against Rohingya Muslims during a 2017 military-led crackdown that left thousands dead and drove more than 740,000 out of the country, Japan's ambassador to Myanmar said Monday, despite legal action being taken on such charges in international courts.
  • Myanmar, Though Suspicious of China, Edges Closer to Beijing for Safety VOA 25 Dec 2019 -- Myanmar has crafted a neutral foreign policy since its colonial years to avoid leaning too much on any foreign power, but a spiraling political crisis at home is pushing it toward China as a buffer against international outrage.
  • Food Shortages in Two Rakhine Villages as Myanmar's Military Seizes Only Bridge in or Out Radio Free Asia 23 Dec 2019 -- A blockade by Myanmar's military is causing food shortages for 500 people living in two sealed-off villages as fighting rages on in the country's western Rakhine state.
  • NGO Report: Malaysia Now a Destination for Sex-Trafficking of Rohingya Girls Radio Free Asia 20 Dec 2019 -- Malaysia has become a destination for sex trafficking of Rohingya girls, with traffickers luring teens at Bangladesh refugee camps with false promises of a better life in the Southeast Asian nation, a Kuala Lumpur-based NGO said in a report Friday.
  • Rohingya people, kids stand trial for 'illegal travel' while fleeing persecution Press TV 20 Dec 2019 -- Myanmar authorities have taken to court a group of Rohinyga Muslims, including children, on charges of illegally travelling without proper documents after they tried to flee persecution.
  • Rohingyas Face Third Hearing on Illegal Travel Charges in Myanmar's Ayeyarwady Region Radio Free Asia 20 Dec 2019 -- A group of 93 Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled displacement camps in western Myanmar's Rakhine state with the help of human traffickers in mid-November faced their third hearing Friday on charges of traveling without official permission, a lawyer for the refugees said.
  • Myanmar-Rohingya Talks Yield No Progress on Repatriation, Refugees Say VOA 20 Dec 2019 -- Two days of meetings between a team of Myanmar government representatives and Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh camps have not yielded progress on repatriation, several participants say.
  • Myanmar Immigration Officials Nab Growing Number of Illegal Chinese in Shan State Radio Free Asia 19 Dec 2019 -- More than 240 Chinese nationals were arrested for illegally entering Myanmar through Shan state during the first half of the year, mostly to look for work, a state immigration official told RFA on Thursday.
  • Bangladesh: Rohingya Remain 'Hopeless' following Myanmar Meetings Radio Free Asia 19 Dec 2019 -- A week after Myanmar defended itself before an international court over allegations of genocide against Rohingya, a delegation from Naypyidaw tried to persuade refugees in Bangladesh to repatriate, but rejected demands for citizenship and international monitoring, officials and reports said.
  • Myanmar Villagers Call For Compensation For Land Lost to China-Backed Development Project Radio Free Asia 18 Dec 2019 -- Villagers in Myanmar's Kachin state are calling for compensation for farmland lost to a Chinese-backed development project, for which authorities have pledged to pay only for destroyed crops, sources say.
  • Myanmar Navy Picks Up Some 175 Rohingya in Andaman Sea Radio Free Asia 17 Dec 2019 -- Myanmar's navy detained a vessel at the weekend carrying about 174 Rohingya in waters off the country's southern tip, and authorities are trying to determine their origin, a military spokesman told RFA's Myanmar Service on Tuesday.
  • Churches Open Again in Myanmar Areas Controlled by Wa Rebel Army Radio Free Asia 17 Dec 2019 -- Christian churches ordered closed last year by an ethnic separatist army in northern Myanmar's Shan state have begun to reopen, with 52 Baptist churches now again in operation, sources in the region said.
  • Myanmar Rohingya Repatriation Seen Delayed by Genocide Trial, 2020 Elections Radio Free Asia 16 Dec 2019 -- The Myanmar government will not push for the much-delayed repatriation of Rohingya refugees living for more than two years in displacement camps in Bangladesh until the genocide case at the U.N's top court is over and possibly until Myanmar's next elections are held in late 2020, Myanmar observers said Monday.
  • Kachin Anti-War Activist is Freed After Serving Three-Month Term For 'Insulting' Judge Radio Free Asia 16 Dec 2019 -- An anti-war activist jailed for three months in northern Myanmar's Kachin state for insulting a judge already sentencing him on a separate charge was released on Monday after serving his full term, sources in Myanmar said.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi's Hague Performance Impresses Few Beyond Myanmar Loyalists Radio Free Asia 13 Dec 2019 -- Leader Aung San Suu Kyi came up short in defending Myanmar before the U.N.'s top court this week on genocide charges for the army's brutal expulsion of Rohingya Muslims, Myanmar and international legal experts said Friday, while her supporters defended her performance.
  • Interview: 'Myanmar Can't Walk Away From it. It's Not Going to go Away' Radio Free Asia 13 Dec 2019 -- A three-day hearing on Gambia's case against Myanmar for allegedly committing genocide against Rohingya Muslims during a military-led crackdown that began in August 2017 wrapped up on Thursday at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. Lawyers for Gambia presented copious evidence of atrocities against the minority group and requested that the U.N. court issue "provisional measures" to prevent further violence against them. Leading the defense team, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi countered that Gambia presented "an incomplete and misleading factual picture" of what occurred during the crackdown. She blamed the violence and the resultant exodus of more than 740,000 Rohingya on an internal armed conflict started by Muslim insurgents whose deadly assaults on police outposts prompted government security forces to conduct a clearance operation to remove the attackers from the area.
  • Myanmar Leader Slammed in Top UN Court For Apologia, Silence on Rohingya Atrocities Radio Free Asia 12 Dec 2019 -- Lawyers for Gambia lambasted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday for her defense of the country against genocide charges at the U.N.'s highest court, despite credible and copious evidence of military-led atrocities against the country's Rohingya Muslims, and repeated their called for "provisional measures" to prevent further atrocities against the minority group.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi's Dramatic Fall From Grace Laid Bare at The Hague VOA 12 Dec 2019 -- As Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi addressed the International Court of Justice in The Hague this week, many former supporters watched in dismay as the Nobel peace laureate denied accusations that Myanmar's military conducted atrocities against the Rohingya Muslim population.
  • Myanmar Accusers Criticize Aung San Suu Kyi's Defense of Genocide Allegations VOA 12 Dec 2019 -- A lawyer presenting Gambia's case accusing Myanmar of committing genocide against Rohingya Muslims said Thursday that Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi ignored allegations of mass killings and rape as she led her country's defense before the U.N.'s top court.
  • Suu Kyi defends Myanmar at Rohingya genocide trial Press TV 11 Dec 2019 -- Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, feted in the West as a heroine of democracy, has defended her country's atrocities against Rohingya Muslims at the UN's top court in the Hague.
  • Radio Free Asia 11 Dec 2019 -- Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday said the genocide case against her country for its treatment of its Muslim Rohingya mAung San Suu Kyi Defends Myanmar Army Rohingya Campaign in Genocide Caseinority is based on an "incomplete and misleading" grasp of the situation and should be rejected by the U.N.'s highest court, drawing derision from rights experts.
  • Bangladesh: Rohingya Mock Aung San Suu Kyi's Rejection of Genocide Claims Radio Free Asia 11 Dec 2019 -- Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh recounted atrocities by Naypyidaw's military as they debunked denials by Myanmar civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday at the U.N.'s top court that her government's security forces had committed genocide against the minority Muslims.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi Defends Myanmar Against Genocide Claims VOA 11 Dec 2019 -- Myanmar's leader and Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has defended her government's actions before the International Court of Justice in The Hague against genocide accusations. Speaking at the court Wednesday, she called the case against her country incomplete and misleading.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi: Accusations of Genocide Against Myanmar 'Misleading' VOA 11 Dec 2019 -- Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi denied her country committed genocide against the country's Rohingya Muslims, telling the United Nations' top court Wednesday the mass exodus of the minority stemmed from "an internal conflict started by coordinated and comprehensive armed attacks."
  • Aung San Suu Kyi appears at ICJ as UN rights expert urges greater protection for Myanmar activists UN News 10 Dec 2019 -- Making the appeal is the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, who reports that online hostility against activists has increased since the announcement last month of international legal proceedings over the atrocities.
  • World Court launches genocide hearings against Myanmar Press TV 10 Dec 2019 -- The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has launched genocide hearings against Myanmar, as the first major legal attempt to bring the country to justice over horrific atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslims.
  • Gambia Presents Genocide Case at ICJ Against Myanmar Over Rohingya Expulsion Radio Free Asia 10 Dec 2019 -- Gambia on Wednesday began arguing its genocide case against Buddhist-majority Myanmar at the United Nations' top court, asking that the court ensure that atrocities against the Rohingya Muslim minority not continue.
  • Hearings Open at UN Court Over Myanmar's Rohingya Crackdown VOA 10 Dec 2019 -- The International Court of Justice opened a historic three-day hearing Tuesday into accusations of genocide brought against Myanmar over the military's brutal 2017 crackdown against the Rohingya Muslims.
  • Bangladesh: Rohingya Rally, Pray for Justice in ICJ Case against Myanmar Radio Free Asia 10 Dec 2019 -- As a landmark genocide case against Myanmar opened in The Hague on Tuesday, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh watched the proceedings on TV while thousands staged a mass rally and prayed in defiance of government restrictions on such demonstrations.
  • Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi Trip to The Hague Draws Mixed Reviews Radio Free Asia 09 Dec 2019 -- Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi left for the Netherlands at the weekend to defend her country against charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) with loyalists rallying for big sendoffs, while rights activists and ethnic groups question her decision to back an army infamous for atrocities.
  • Bangladesh Ready to Give 'Technical Support' in ICJ Rohingya Case Radio Free Asia 09 Dec 2019 -- Bangladesh is sending a delegation to The Hague, where Dhaka is prepared to give Gambia "technical support" in its case before the International Court of Justice alleging that Myanmar committed genocide against Rohingya Muslims, the Bangladeshi foreign minister said Monday.
  • Refugees in Myanmar's Shan State Fear Losing Untended Land to China Projects Radio Free Asia 06 Dec 2019 -- Refugees from conflict in the northern part of Myanmar's Shan state say they are worried that their land could be confiscated for Chinese-backed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)-related infrastructure projects while they are unable to return because of fighting.
  • Bangladesh: Rohingya Rights Group's Office Padlocked, Power Lines Snapped Radio Free Asia 06 Dec 2019 -- A Rohingya rights group involved in documenting alleged atrocities suffered by refugees who fled violence in Myanmar closed its headquarters in Bangladesh after authorities shut down electric service for undisclosed reasons, a senior leader of the group said Friday.
  • Bangladesh orders closure of Rohingya advocacy office Press TV 06 Dec 2019 -- Bangladesh has ordered the closure of the headquarters of a leading Rohingya advocacy group, which has become a key voice for the Muslim minority stuck in squalid camps, amid a clampdown by the country's authorities on the refugees.
  • Tensions Between National Army And Mon Rebels Flare on Myanmar-Thai Border Radio Free Asia 05 Dec 2019 -- Myanmar military officer held talks on Thursday with ethnic Mon rebels in a bid to ease tensions at a village on the country's border with Thailand, where more than 1,000 residents have sought shelter in monasteries and rubber plantations amid recent hostilities between the two sides, people with knowledge of the situation said.
  • HRW: Bangladesh denying education to 400,000 Rohingya children Press TV 03 Dec 2019 -- Human Rights Watch (HRW) says the Bangladeshi government has been depriving nearly 400,000 Rohingya Muslim refugee children in the South Asian country of the right to education.
  • Bangladesh Bars Rohingya Children from Education, Human Rights Watch Says Radio Free Asia 03 Dec 2019 -- Bangladesh has prohibited humanitarian aid groups from teaching Rohingya children a formal curriculum and barred school-age refugees from accessing education outside their camps to block them from integrating with local communities, Human Rights Watch said in a report Tuesday.
  • Rights Group: Bangladesh Blocking Rohingya Refugee Education VOA 03 Dec 2019 -- Bangladesh is risking a "lost generation" by blocking international efforts to improve on the meager education available to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says in a new report.
  • Myanmar Rights Commission Declines to Conduct Rakhine Abuse Investigation Radio Free Asia 02 Dec 2019 -- Myanmar's human rights commission will not investigate alleged abuses committed against civilian detainees in war-ravaged northern Rakhine state, including deaths in custody of the government military, unless the army first finds soldiers guilty of such abuse, two lawmakers who requested probes told RFA's Myanmar Service on Monday.
  • Mixed Reviews For Aung San Suu Kyi's Plan to Defend Myanmar in Rohingya Genocide Case Radio Free Asia 02 Dec 2019 -- The looming Rohingya genocide case against Myanmar at the U.N.'s top court has brought shows of support for state counselor and defense team leader Aung San Suu Kyi from her ruling party and some ethnic groups, but many say Myanmar's army deserves to be held to account for its decades of brutal campaigns against its own citizens.



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