Myanmar

The victory of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) in the November 2015 national elections in Burma (Myanmar) was hailed by Western leaders as heralding a new era of democracy and respect for human rights in the country.

Once isolated by sanctions imposed on the pretext of the widespread human rights abuses by previous military regimes, Burma is now a profitable destination for Western investment. By September, the US had lifted its last remaining sanctions.

Burma: ‘Stop violence against the Rohingya’

The Rohingya are an ethnic group facing extreme persecution in Burma (Myanmar). Australia has been criticised for failing to accept Rohingya asylum seekers as refugees.

The statement below was released on October 18 by 35 groups in Malaysia and the Asian region, including human rights groups and political parties such as the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM).

 

The entire population of Burma supported Aung San Suu Kyi when she fought to get rid of the military dictatorship of Burma (Myanmar) during the 1990s. She received tremendous support from all communities, including non-Buddhist ethnicities and Muslim communities. No one considered what her policy on other religions and ethnic areas was. People just wanted to get rid of the regime.
Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) has won a crushing and historic victory in the November 8 election in Burma (also known as Myanmar). Results were not final at the time of publication, but the NLD was on target to win more than 270 of the 330 elected seats (82%) in the People's Assembly, and more than 150 of the 168 elected seats (90%) in the House of Nationalities.
With elections due on November 8, a loud call for change in Myanmar (formerly Burma) can be heard in the streets. All commentators predict victory for Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) over the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). Several factors, however, indicate it will not be a landslide. Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, known throughout the country simply as “the lady”, came to political prominence in 1988 when she returned to Myanmar to support her ailing mother and became embroiled in the students' struggle against the military regime.
The toll of Australia's bipartisan anti-refugee policies in death and suffering is rising. In the past fortnight more than 3000 Rohingya refugees from Arakan state in Burma (Myanmar) have turned up on the shores of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, having either swum ashore or been rescued by local fishing boat crews. An estimated 7000 more are trapped on boats that have been described as “floating coffins”.

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