Bangladesh has offered Rohingya refugees shelter, says an AidEx writer for the Diplomatic Courier, but aid organizations face challenges such as restrictions by the Bangladeshi government and difficult logistics.
Burma Campaign UK’s Director Mark Farmaner said: “While Bangladesh has understandably been praised for allowing refugees in, they have not given official refugee status to them. The government of Bangladesh has traditionally placed severe restrictions on aid to Rohingya in Bangladesh, causing great suffering.”
The Foreign Office has confirmed that Prince Charles will not visit Burma on his tour of southeast Asia and India later this month, reports the Democratic Voice of Burma.
“To have someone of Prince Charles’s stature go to visit the country would be seen as a reward, and giving legitimacy to the government and the military that are currently violating international law,” said Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK.
Pakistan’s Daily Times reports that Mark Farmaner, Burma Campaign UK’s director, has urged St. Hugh’s College to confirm that the removal of Aung San Suu Kyi’s portrait is connected to her refusal to acknowledge the ongoing genocide against Rohingya Muslims. He has also urged the college to write to Suu Kyi and urge her to respect human rights.
An impromptu recital of a Kipling poem by Boris Johnson on a visit to the Shwedagon pagoda was so embarrassing the UK ambassador was forced to stop him, reports the Guardian.
“It is stunning he would do this there,” said Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK. “There is a sensitivity about British colonialism and it is something that people in Burma are still resentful about. British colonial times were seen as a humiliation and an insult. It shows an incredible lack of understanding especially now we are seeing the impact of Buddhist nationalism, especially in Rakine state.”
The Guardian reports that St Hugh’s College Oxford, where Aung San Suu Kyi studied as an undergraduate, has removed her portrait from public display and placed it in storage, following international criticism over her role in the Rohingya crisis.
Burma Campaign UK’s director Mark Farmaner said “This seems a rather cowardly action by St Hugh’s. If they have taken down the portrait because of Aung San Suu Kyi defending the Burmese military as they commit ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya they should say so and write to her urging her to respect human rights.”
Frontier Myanmar reports on Britain’s suspension of its educational training courses for the Myanmar military due to the violence in Rakhine State.
Burma Campaign UK’s director Mark Farmaner told Frontier Myanmar “Ending this training should have been a no-brainer, not something to dither over for three weeks while ethnic cleansing happens … A major rethink on policy is now needed and a return to putting human rights first.”
Interviewed by Al Jazeera, Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, raised concerns about media coverage ignoring Min Aung Hlaing’s role in the Rohingya crisis, the government whipping up tensions using social media and the lack of press freedom inside Burma.
Asked if tourists should boycott Burma, Mark Farmaner of Burma Campaign UK said there is no current call for a tourism boycott. “Anyone choosing to avoid holidaying in Myanmar is making a personal moral choice, but it won’t do anything to help the Rohingya”, he told Coconuts. “A danger of people staying away from Myanmar is that if people start losing their jobs, the general population will become even more antagonistic towards the Rohingya.”
An early day Parliamentary motion on Rohingya refugees, calling for independent observers to visit the region, an end to the violence, and humanitarian action, has so far attracted the support of 71 MPs.
Min Aung Hlaing, head of the Burmese military, is committing ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya in Burma. He is responsible for the biggest human rights and humanitarian crisis in Burma for decades. But his brutal army is still allowed to buy foreign weapons to commit horrific human rights abuses.
We need to stop countries selling him weapons.