Burma Campaign UK has joined other human rights organisations in support of the three Kachin activists jailed for organising peaceful protests, reports RFA.
“It is outrageous that they should have been jailed for organizing candlelight vigils and peaceful protests, calling for humanitarian aid for starving people,” said Anna Roberts, BCUK’s executive director. “Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD have the majority in parliament to repeal all repressive laws, and they should do so. The only reason these three activists are now in prison is that the NLD doesn’t care enough about fundamental human rights to protect them.”
Burma Campaign UK has “named and shamed” 49 international companies it accuses of having links to the Burmese military, reports the UAE-based National.
“Companies which supply equipment to the military, or do business with the military, are complicit in the human rights violations committed by them,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of BCUK. “We are not saying don’t do business in Burma, we are saying don’t do business with the military.”
The Burma Campaign UK, published its “Dirty List of international companies linked to the military in Burma, or companies whose operations are linked to human rights violations or environmental destruction”, reports the journalist Rashmee Roshan Lall.
The 49-strong list included America’s Western Union and Facebook, India’s Tata, and Japan’s Toshiba. Burma Campaign UK said its aim was to put pressure on “companies to stop doing business with the military … To date, the main response of the international community to genocide in Burma has been to impose a ban on a small number of military personnel going on holiday to certain countries.”
Humanitarian organisations have hit back at accusations that they are blocking the repatriation of Rohingya refugees living in crowded camps in Bangladesh.
Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, described as nonsense the Burmese government’s accusation that NGOs are trying to prevent refugees from returning to Myanmar because they are making money. He said refugees are refusing to return because neither the government nor the military respect their human rights: “The government only wants refugees to return as a public relations move to try to avoid more international pressure.”
Lway Poe Kamaekhour from the Ta’ang Women’s Organization (TWO) joins Zoya Phan and Anna Roberts from Burma Campaign UK at the 2018 Film festival on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, at the BFI London.
“There are falls from grace, and then there is Aung San Suu Kyi”, says the Guardian’s Southeast Asia correspondent in an examination of how the Nobel peace prize winner has become a global pariah at the head of a regime that has excused a genocide, jailed journalists and locked up critics.
Mark Farmaner, Burma Campaign UK’s Director, told the Guardian: “We knew the 2015 election was not a transition to democracy, we knew the military’s intent was not genuine, but we thought that at least Aung San Suu Kyi would move in the areas she could with a parliamentary majority: things like releasing political prisoners, repealing repressive laws, creating a free press, trying to improve the economy, environmental issues. She hasn’t done any of those things. Even the limited expectations we had have not been met.”
As Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh refuse to return to dangerous and volatile conditions in Rakhine State, Burma Campaign UK’s director Mark Farmaner called Burma’s pledge to bring back 150 Rohingya a day a charade. He told the Guardian it would mean repatriation of the million refugees in the camps would take almost twenty years.
“Myanmar has no intention of taking them all back or reinstating their citizenship. You can clearly see that they’ve only built camps to house around 30,000 Rohingya, the amount of refugees they consider to be a small price to pay to take back to get the international community off their back – but they certainly don’t want any more than that.”
Our Director Mark Farmaner in his capacity as Director of Justice4Rohingya, in a meeting with Afzal Khan MP, Labour MP for Manchester Gorton and Shadow Home Office Minister for Immigration.
BCUK team with Northern Burma delegation Kachin, Ta’ang and Shan, and Christian Solidarity Worldwide in the UK Parliament where the delegates spoke at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Burma.
With Burma’s general election exactly two years away, the next 12 months may be the last chance to reform the law, give the Rohingya their long overdue citizenship rights, and help create conditions for the safe return of a million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, writes in the London School of Economics’ South Asia blog: “The single most important step the government of Myanmar can take is to reform or replace the 1982 Citizenship Law and give citizenship to all Rohingya.”