This post is mainly focused the opinions of
humanitarian news and
IRIN analyzed the following subjects/questions about Myanmar’s ethnic problems.I summarized the whole post and share my thinking.(Date:03.08.12)
Why have they taken up arms?
Before British forces pulled out in 1947, they attempted to unite
Myanmar’s various “nations”. With British officers as witnesses, many
ethnic groups signed the Panglong Agreement, intended to be binding on
the post-colonial administration, which would guarantee ethnic rights
and self-determination, and the inclusion of minorities in the
Aung San, a leader of the Burman ethnic group, who had led the country
to independence (and was the father of current opposition leader Aung
San Suu Kyi), and leaders of the Shan, Kachin and Chin negotiated the
agreement. However, Aung San was assassinated soon after and the Burmese
military began its slow advance into the ethnic states to rule by
Many ethnic groups took up arms to protect their states from Burman
rule, demanding autonomy, ethnic rights and an inclusive democracy.
Their demands have remained unchanged. According to Lama Gum Hpan, a KIO
“Central Committee” member, the Kachin fighters have always stood by
the Panglong Agreement. “To this day we wish for the Burmese government
to honour the agreements made in 1947,” he told IRIN.
In the run-up to the 2010 elections of the nominally civilian government in power,
a proposal for a border guard force was drafted, which aimed to include
ethnic groups in the state army – and called for their disarmament.
Nearly all the ethnic armies refused and several ceasefires faltered.
Why have ceasefires failed?
Burmese dissident media have compiled a list of ceasefires dating back
more than two decades between the government and major rebel groups as
well as splinter movements.
Recent peace deals – still in their early stages – have been inked: the
Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) signed in December 2011, the Karen
National Liberation Army (KNLA) and New Mon State Party (NMSP) in
This has not stopped clashes. The Burmese government has blamed
persisting army incursions on communication problems between the seat of
government in Nay Pyi Daw and frontline troops at least 500km away. The
central government ordered its troops to halt fighting on 12 December
2011 but a number are still firing.
“This is war. They [Karen rebels]
will continue to fight until they can see that the Burmese government
is actually trying to achieve peace,” said David Tackapaw, “foreign
minister" for the KNU.
He maintains that historically there has been “a lack of genuine will by
the Burmese government to listen to the KNU's demands for ethnic rights
and self determination for the Karen people”, and said they are dealing
with a military that sees the ethnic problem as a military issue, not a
Lama Gum Hpan, of the Kachin Independence Organization, said although
the government has recently made overtures, the rulers are not
interested in finding a political solution to the problem. “We are not
interested in ceasefires; we want to find long-lasting and durable
solutions to the ethnic oppression in this country.”
In June 2011, a 17-year ceasefire between the two sides collapsed
following efforts by the government to incorporate numerous armed ethnic
groups into a single border guard force.
Will current talks succeed?
Despite faltering peace on the frontlines, rebel leaders from the
Myanmar’s ethnic armies have noted change in the government's
willingness to engage.
In a recent speech to parliament reported in local media,
Myanmar President Thein Sein said long-time enemies have the same goal:
“The expectation of ethnic groups is to get equal rights for all. Equal
standards are also the wish of our government.”
Discussing the ongoing conflict with the Kachin, Thein Sein said:
“Fighting will not stop by pointing the finger of blame at each other.
Ceasefires are first needed on both sides for political dialogue… We all
have to work so our ethnic youths who held guns stand tall holding
Analysts note most ceasefires are in nascent stages and have a long way
to go, but if the government can control its military, a thus-far
elusive peace with ethnic rebels is within reach.
Tackapaw, of the Karen National Union, said ceasefires have been
negotiated too quickly and with too few conditions to guarantee
What about the region’s refugees?
According to the Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC), due to
conflict more than 400,000 people are believed to be living in internal
displacement in the southeast, while some 150,000 refugees, asylum
seekers and others fleeing violence in Myanmar are in camps in Thailand.
If the ceasefires hold, many may return to Myanmar, Sally Thompson, the
TBBC's executive director, said. “If the current momentum of political
reforms continues, then it is unlikely that the camps will still be open
in five years.”
Many refugees across nine camps along the 1800km-long border
Thai-Burmese border told IRIN it is still too early to tell if recent
respites in the conflict will last long enough for them to return home.
Saw Plu, a Karen elder, said he believed the Myanmar government was
“playing a trick”, and fighting will inevitably erupt again. Yet despite
their concerns, the vast majority of refugees voiced their desire to go
home and are waiting for signs of a “genuine” peace.
“Ceasefires are only the beginning of a process of peace building and
national reconciliation - there must be political dialogue,” said
Thompson. “It is a long road… to build trust after 60 years of conflict.
The government will have to deliver significant improvements in the
daily lives of people in former conflict areas to demonstrate their
If the ceasefires do not last and fighting erupts again, more refugees
will flood into Thailand, she warned. In Kachin State, where conflict
has continued in some regions since June 2010, and peace efforts have
failed, Burmese refugees are flooding to neighbouring China.
UN estimates put the number of people now in Kachin after being
displaced by conflict at more than 50,000, with several thousand more in
Julia Marip, from the Thailand-based Kachin Women’s Organization, said
tens of thousands have been displaced by violence. “The situation is
really bad here. The Burmese government has not allowed INGO [international NGO] access
to the Kachin refugees in our areas. If a ceasefire agreement is not
made soon, the refugee situation will become a major crisis.”
What will happen if the country is more open?
Most foreign investors - with the notable exception of China
- have long been reticent to do business in Myanmar because of internal
conflicts and sanctions imposed by a number of Western countries.
If the government holds free and fair elections in April 2012, and can
achieve lasting ceasefires with rebel armies, donors have held out the
possibility of easing sanctions, which may open resource-rich areas
inhabited by ethnic minorities for investment.
Ethnic leaders have voiced fears such development may rush ahead without taking their wishes into account.
“We know that one of the biggest incentives to find peace with ethnics
is to get more foreign investment in,” said Tackapaw. “We have to make
sure that proper consultation is done with the civilians, and everything
is done in a sustainable manner which benefits the ethnic civilians,
not just the government and foreign investors.” I personally hate types of violence:Whatever the world say I never care.Because humanism is more than emotion.We know that-
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life
that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability
and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that
aspire to the greater good of humanity.If we want to see the resons behind their being Homeless and Stateless as well as their situatin,we can see that the Burmese Junta over time, have discriminated the Rohingya, simply
because they are not similar in looks, speak a different language and
have a different religion. As a means of clamping down on the Rohingya,
the Junta have restricted even the most basic of rights such as
education, marriage and citizenship.
The Burmese government endorse the Burmese culture and the Buddhist
faith for their national citizens; the Rohingyas fall outside of this
ideal criteria because they want to retain their own culture and the
Muslim faith. As a result, the Rohingyas, sidelined and marginalised,
have to live with their derogatory national status of 'non-citizens'
In Bangladesh, the Rohingyas are faced with hardly any protection from
their host country. A burden to the densely populated country, the
Rohingyas are denied humanitarian aid which forces them to turn to other
means of income such as drug trafficking. There is one registered camp
situated meters away from the registered camp where 90,000 refugees
live. Another camp 15 miles away, in Leda Bazaar where approximately
25,000 Rohingya live.
I don't want to lengthen the post.Just want to express my personal view "I hate the violence like that". But countries like us (Bangladesh) can hardly help them because,Bangladesh is already overpopulated. There are already about 300,000
Rohingya living in refugee camps in the country. We are already fighting against poverty and other non-rohingyas can take the opportunity to enter in Bangladesh.