Burma’s president on Monday nominated 80-year-old Soe Win, a well-known financial professional, as the next finance minister after the previous one resigned, amid reports he was being investigated over graft accusations.
The US government’s aid chief urged Burma on Sunday to take “concrete steps” to guarantee the rights of Rohingya Muslims and to show sincerity in that endeavour in order to encourage hundreds of thousands who have fled the country to return.
The closure of the Islamic schools and subsequent imprisonment of Muslims involved in their operation has been described as “clear religious discrimination, and blatant violation of freedom of religion” by one human rights advocate.
The UN Security Council has urged Burma’s government to carry out transparent investigations into accusations of violence against mainly Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State and to allow immediate aid access to the region.
China does not want the UN Security Council to tell Burma that credible, transparent investigations into accusations of violence against mainly Rohingya Muslims are important, according to proposed amendments to a British-drafted statement.
Journalists in Burma believe their government is failing to defend media freedom despite the transition from harsh military rule to the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, according to a survey published to mark World Press Freedom Day.
Britain’s UN envoy suggests the UN Security Council could consider helping Burma collect evidence of crimes committed during a military crackdown of the Rohingya, denounced by the world body as ethnic cleansing after most recent bout of persecution of the Muslim minority last year.
UN Security Council envoys began a four-day visit to Bangladesh and Burma on Saturday to see firsthand the aftermath of a Burmese military crackdown that Britain, the United States and others have denounced as ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims.
The US government is conducting an intensive examination of alleged atrocities against Rohingya Muslims, documenting alleged atrocities in an investigation that could be used to prosecute Burma’s military for crimes against humanity, said US officials.
Burma’s army chief Min Aung Hlaing has told military personnel in the country that they must obey the law, citing as an example the sentencing of seven soldiers for a massacre of Rohingya Muslim men that was the subject of a Reuters investigation.
A Burmese government minister will visit Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh on Wednesday, officials said, a rare trip that Dhaka hopes will help speed the return home of hundreds of thousands of the neighbouring nation’s Muslim minority.
Burma is not ready for the repatriation of Rohingya refugees, said the most senior United Nations official to visit the country this year, after Burma was accused of instigating ethnic cleansing and driving nearly 700,000 Muslims to Bangladesh.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s government is opening the economy and growth is rebounding in Burma, though the possibility of broader Western sanctions over the Rohingya crisis is nevertheless giving some foreign investors pause, according to a senior IMF official.
A group of former members of the well-known 88 Generation Peace and Open Society activist group is looking to quell criticism of their attempt to enter electoral politics, planning to refile an application to register as an official political party with a name change.
Burma’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi called on Sunday for her people to remain united, saying the Southeast Asian country faces “challenges” at home and abroad, as she marked two years since her party swept to power in a historic vote.
“Burma is being subjected to pressures, criticisms, and misunderstandings in the international arena. The challenges that this nation and its citizens have been facing are not of minor significance,” said the new president.
Lawyers for two Reuters reporters jailed in Burma asked a court on Wednesday to throw out the case, saying there was insufficient evidence to support charges against the pair, who are accused of possessing secret government papers.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed “shock” at comments by Burma’s military chief in which he said the Rohingya minority shared nothing in common with the rest of the population and that their demand for citizenship had stoked recent violence.