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Impact of Mae Tao Clinic in 2018

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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Federal Asylum Officers: trmp's remain in Mexico policy is endangering refugees' lives


Weekly Highlights: World Refugee Day Marked by Insecurity and Worry


World Refugee Day Marked by Insecurity and Worry

The above animation was released on World Refugee Day - 20 June 2019 - to coincide with the launch of a report on protracted displacement due to armed conflict and related human rights violations.



World Refugee Day passed on 20 June, 2019 with civil society of concerned communities calling for the protection, participation and prioritization of the hundreds of thousands of displaced ethnic people from Myanmar[1], whether they be Kachin, Karen, Rohingya, Pah-Oh, Ta'ang, Shan, Karenni, Mon, or Rakhine. This is in the context of efforts by actors such as ASEAN, the Myanmar government, and international agencies working on the return of displaced people without adequate consultation and with conditions remaining unsafe for return.


The report - "There is No One Who Does Not Miss Home" - launched by 15 civil society organizations on 20 June, 2019 in Yangon, brought attention to the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by armed conflict in ethnic nationalities regions of northern and eastern Myanmar. Together with Progressive Voice, the local organizations, coming from ethnic Kachin, Shan, Karen, Karenni, Mon, Pa-Oh, and Ta'ang areas and who work with displaced communities, highlighted the concerns, needs and perspectives of refugees and IDPs living in protracted displacement due to armed conflict. The report was timely as the peace process is faltering, ceasefires are breaking down, and the ongoing civil war continues to displace more and more people. In the past few months, around 40,000 ethnic Rakhine have been displaced due to conflict between the Arakan Army and the Myanmar military, while just this week, over 200 Ta'ang villagers had to flee as clashes took place between the Myanmar military and the Ta'ang National Liberation Army. In fact the report, which was based primarily on 338 interviews with displaced people, cited security - such as armed clashes, human rights violations by the Myanmar military, militarization and landmines - as the main concern regarding any possible return.


Yet despite this context of insecurity, the Myanmar government has announced a plan to close IDP camps in Karen, Kachin, Shan and Rakhine States. Meanwhile with the government not permitting the delivery of essential humanitarian aid to parts of Kachin and northern Shan State not under Government-control, and with funding cuts from donors in aid to refugee and IDP camps in the southeast of Myanmar, many displaced people feel anxious and under pressure to return to a situation that is clearly not safe. As Naw Blooming Night Zan of the Karen Refugee Committee stated at the launch of the report, "While aid for our country is increasing and there is this supposed increase in economic opportunities, we are instead witnessing some of the worst conditions for displaced ethnic communities we have observed in decades. Refugees are getting starved out of camps, while IDPs are risking their lives to seek livelihoods in areas riddled with landmines, face getting trafficked to feed their families, and ethnic people are dying as a result."


While IDPs and refugees in northern and eastern Myanmar are facing these extremely concerning circumstances, plans are being made for the return of the nearly one million Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh, without consultation or their participation. This is despite the fact that the state-sponsored persecution and violence - of which the UN-mandated International Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar concluded that Myanmar's generals should be tried for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity - has not been addressed. ASEAN in particular, is proving itself a complicit partner in the whitewashing of the mass violence that took place in Rakhine State. On 7 June 2019, a leaked copy of the "ASEAN Preliminary Needs Assessment for Repatriation in Rakhine State" report by the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) and their Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) revealed deep flaws of ASEAN's approach. It has been heavily criticized for failing to address the reasons why around one million Rohingyas became refugees in the first place, while failing to properly consult the refugee communities themselves. Furthermore, the assessment does not even use the word Rohingya and instead describes them as 'Muslim', bowing to pressure from the Myanmar government to deny the Rohingya the right to self-identify. In a joint statement, Progressive Voice, FORUM-ASIA and ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) expressed, "The government of Myanmar must ensure that the human rights of the Rohingya community are protected and respected while safe conditions should be in place in Rakhine State before any refugees are repatriated from Bangladesh."


Displaced people have rights and voice. Governments and intergovernmental bodies such as the UN and ASEAN as duty bearers must fulfil their responsibilities according to international human rights laws and standards by listening to the voice of the displaced people and respond accoridngly. These communities must be consulted and be able to participate in all decisions that affect their future such as deciding whether it is safe or viable to return. Prematurely closing IDP camps or cutting rations and thus pressuring refugees to return could potentially lead to further displacement. This is especially the case as the conditions that caused their displacement in the first place – armed conflict, militarization, human rights abuses, land confiscation and the systematic marginalization of ethnic populations, still exist. Ceasefires, especially the existing precarious agreements currently in place in Myanmar, are simply not enough for people to return. These are political problems and a durable political solution is needed. This includes guarantees of ethnic nationalities' rights, equality, and self-determination under a federal system of governance, as well as accountability and justice for the crimes of the Myanmar military that caused people to flee in the first place to be addressed. Meanwhile, as Khin Ohmar, the Chair of the Progressive Voice's Advisory Board, and Rohingya advocate Wai Wai Nu expressed in an opinion piece on World Refugee Day, "If the international community is committed to supporting Myanmar's transition to democracy and sustainable peace, the voluntary, safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees must be its priority."


[1] One year following the 1988 pro-democracy uprising, the former military junta changed the country's name from Burma to Myanmar overnight. Progressive Voice uses the term 'Myanmar' in acknowledgment that most people of the country use this term. However, the deception of inclusiveness and the historical process of coercion by the former State Peace and Development Council military regime into usage of 'Myanmar' rather than 'Burma' without the consent of the people is recognized and not forgotten.






Eight Years of War in Kachin State and No End to Military Impunity

By Progressive Voice



Job Vacancy: Acting Research Director

By Progressive Voice




ASEAN: Prioritize Rohingya rights and safety

By ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development and Progressive Voice


ASEAN Civil Societies and Rohingya Organisations Issue A Joint Statement on ASEAN – ERAT Preliminary Needs Assessment for Repatriation in Rakhine State, Myanmar

By ASEAN Civil Societies and Rohingya Organisations


Statement on World Refugee Day 2019

By Coalition of Rohingya Organizations in Malaysia


World Refugee Day – EU and Other Donors Must Resume Support to Refugees From Burma

By Karen Peace Support Network


ကရင္ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးအေထာက္အကူျပဳကြန္ရက္၏ ထုတ္ျပန္ေၾကညာခ်က္ ဥေရာပသမဂၢႏွင့္ အျခားအလွဴရွင္မ်ား ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံမွ ဒုကၡသည္မ်ားအား

By Karen Peace Support Network


Burma/Myanmar: End Marginalization of Displaced Ethnic Communities

By Progressive and 14 Civil Soceity Organizations


ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံ – ထြက္ေျပးတိမ္းေရွာင္ရသူ တိုင္းရင္းသားလူထုမ်ားကို ပစ္ပယ္ထားျခင္းအားရပ္တန္႔ပါ

By Progressive and 14 Civil Soceity Organizations

About Progressive Voice


Progressive Voice is a participatory rights-based policy research and advocacy organization that was born out of Burma Partnership. Burma Partnership officially ended its work on October 10, 2016 the same day that Progressive Voice was formally established. For further information, please see our press release "Burma Partnership Celebrates Continuing Regional Solidarity for Burma and Embraces the Work Ahead for Progressive Voice."


Monday, June 24, 2019

I don't know if this live stream is still on, as it just ended.

A beautiful live stream--dramatization of the Mueller Report.


If this does not drive the final nail in T's coffin, then nothing will.


Sorry, but I could not miss a moment to post on blog.

Asylum-seeker from Guatemala


Sound familiar?  Land grabs, mining companies, demonstrators shot etc.

Reminds me of copper mines in Burma around time I was on Facebook, 2014-2016.

Remember the movie El Norte.

Remember the Burmese monk from the 2007 Saffron Revolution, working in a chicken factory in upstate NY.

Remember the Burmese working in shrimp shelling and tuna processing in Maha Chai, opposite Bangkok.

It breaks my heart.



Sunday, June 23, 2019

Nicholas Kristoff in NYT

(dangers of) trmp playing chicken with Ayatollah


in fact ALL orange turd's behavior is RISKY, from his grandstanding, to his strutting and boasting, to his sex (according to Stormy though, "boring") and his loose lips and his so-called "policies."


#Impeach DonaldTrump Now.



Saturday, June 22, 2019

Post apocalyptic fiction to read before the world ends.


What to do if ICE knocks on your door.

What to do if ICE knocks on your door.

You will need a Twitter acct to see this.

They may say they are police or looking for someone.

Don't open the door, don't say anything, don't sign anything, let them pass it under the door.

Contact your lawyer or ACLU.  Take photos of whatever document they shove under door.  It's supposed to be for illegal aliens only, but legal aliens and even citizens may get harassed, even though T said he won't go ahead with mass arrests as he planned tomorrow (Sunday).

Above all don't panic.
"Time cover" by actor/cartoonist Jim Carrey

6-22-2019  Saturday.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Burma Translation Society 1954

Lost Footsteps
Burma Translation Society
Burma Translation Society
The Burma Translation Society governing council in 1954 including many of the leading writers of the time. Standing (from l to r): U San Htwa, U Ba, U Khin Zaw, U Myo Min, U Thein Han, U Kaung, U Wun, U Thant Sitting (from l to r): Dr Htin Aung, Education Minister U Than Aung, retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Sir Mya Bu, Prime Minister U Nu, Finanace Minister U Tin, Supreme Court Justice U E Maung, U Cho. The semi-official Society's main mission was to make outside knowledge available to the Burmese people. In 1954 they had just published the first volume of the "Encyclopedia Burmanica"; when the book first arrived by ship at the Brooking Street wharf, U Nu and most of the cabinet were there to greet the ship. U Nu believed that the country was suffering from an "ever increasing number of ignoramuses and Mr Zeros" and that only the spread of knowledge and education could make possible genuine development.
© LostFootSteps 2019. All rights reserved.

International Campaign for Freedom of Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma

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