News / Asia

    Top UN Envoy Visits Burma Conflict Area

    UN envoy Vijay NambiarUN envoy Vijay Nambiar
    x
    UN envoy Vijay Nambiar
    UN envoy Vijay Nambiar
    BANGKOK - Vijay Nambiar, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's special envoy to Burma, traveled Wednesday to Rakhine state, where ethnic and sectarian clashes erupted earlier this month. He was accompanied by Burma's Border Affairs Minister Thein Htay and 10 Muslim leaders from Rangoon.  While in the state capital, Sittwe, Nambiar met with state officials to discuss the volatile situation.

    His visit comes after Bangladesh denied the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' request that it open its borders to Rohingya people fleeing the ethnic and sectarian violence that broke out last week.

    Dhaka-based Professor Amena Mohsin says the Rohingya have existed between Bangladesh and Burma for centuries, but neither country will grant them citizenship.

    "Myanmar [Burmese] government is taking its hands off. Its position is that these are Bengali Muslims who have infiltrated into Myanmar from Bangladesh," Mohsin said.  "And, Bangladesh's position is that these are the citizens from Myanmar.  If you look at the diplomatic ramifications, unfortunately, it has come at a time when Bangladesh was trying to warm up with Myanmar."

    • Muslims women and children from villages gather before being relocated to secure areas in Sittwe, capital of Rakhine state in western Burma, where sectarian violence is ongoing, June 12, 2012.
    • Bangladeshi Border Guard soldiers keep watch at a wharf in Taknaf, Bangladesh, June 12, 2012.
    • Sittwe residents flee blazing homes as security forces struggle to contain deadly ethnic and religious violence, June 12, 2012.
    • A Rohingya protester cries as he holds a placard during a rally to call for an end to the ongoing unrest and violence in Burma's Rakhine State, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, June 12, 2012.
    • Security forces try to restore order in Rakhine state, Burma, after a wave of deadly religious violence, as the United Nations evacuated foreign workers, June 11, 2012.
    • Muslim Rohingya people on a boat cross the river Naf, from Burma into Teknaf, Bangladesh, June 11, 2012.
    • Local residents push a trishaw vehicle carrying their belongings in a village in Sittwe, where sectarian violence is impacting on the local population, June 11, 2012.
    • Rohingya protesters gather in front of a U.N. regional office in Bangkok, Thailand, to call for an end to the ongoing unrest and violence in Burma’s Rakhine State, June 11, 2012.
    • Ethnic Rakhine people get water from a firefighter truck to extinguish fire set to their houses during fighting between Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya communities in Sittwe, June 10, 2012.
    • Policemen move towards burning houses during fighting between Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya communities in Sittwe, June 10, 2012.
    • Rohingya men are seen among houses set on fire during fighting between Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya communities in Sittwe, June 10, 2012.
    • Buddhist monks and ethnic Rakhine people hold placards at Shwedagon pagoda in Rangoon, Burma, June 10, 2012.
    • An ethnic Rakhine man holds homemade weapons as he walks in front of houses that were burnt during fighting between Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya communities in Sittwe, June 10, 2012.

    U.N. refugee officials say boats arriving in Bangladesh's Teknaf with women and children fleeing the violence in Rakhine state have been denied entry.  Human Rights Watch expressed concern that the military and police could use excessive force when trying to bring the violence under control.

    As the unrest continues, some worry it could damage key government-backed development projects, including a joint venture oil and gas pipeline with China.  The Shwe gas and oil pipelines will carry oil and gas to China’s Yunnan province.

    In Beijing Wednesday, foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin, said China supports the Burmese government’s efforts to bring the riots under control. Liu said Beijing is behind Burma's efforts to safeguard national stability and ethnic harmony.

    Wong Aung, a Rakhine activist in northern Thailand, says ethnic unrest surrounds Burma’s resource-rich borderlands, such as pipeline and hydropower projects in the north.  He says, in those places, ethnic minorities suffer at the hands of the government, when it sends in the military to ensure security.

    "Since fighting has been brought out between the ethnic armed groups in northern Shan state and Kachin state they [the conflicts] are directly related to the exploitation of natural resources," said Aung. "The government is trying to secure the pipeline from Arakan [Rakhine] state through central Burma until the China border."

    Human Rights Watch says the fighting in the Rakhine state has led local companies to suspend operations, adding pressure to government efforts to resolve the situation.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: jamal from: chittagong
    June 14, 2012 10:37 AM
    Girls in Nurulla village(Maungdaw,Arakan state) were allegedly gang raped by Burma military police personnel in front of their parents and brothers yesterday.Just a couple of hours ago,an old man(60 years old) from zawmatat (Maungdaw,Arakan) was hanged and beaten to death by Burma security force army while crossing from one house to another to find any foodstuffs.And Abdul Rahman(17 years old) son of Rashid got beaten up by Buddhist Rakhine and riot polices when he went to Maungdaw market and Burma riot polices including armies are still looting,rapping and beating people in Maungdaw dawntown.
    please help out.We want international forces and journalists for the Arakan state.

    by: Leo
    June 14, 2012 12:55 AM
    Starting from BBC, VOA, RFA, DVB, even Reuters and New York Times, whenever I read the news, the headlines about this incident is titled as “Buddhists Vs Muslims” or “Burmese Vs Muslims”. Some medias even stated initially that “ Rohingya’s abuse as Burma’s attack”. People in Burma already stated publicly that this is not the case against religion. Even the Musilm Associations in Burma announced that they agree Rohingya’s actions as violent attacks. We have statements ready to prove.

    But, are our voices not loud enough or just plainly neglected?

    Foreign medias keep spreading propaganda about Burma having religious conflicts within the region and making statements against the truth that can worsen the country’s situation right now. It’s like all the major medias are trying to shift the attention of the Islamic community around the world to Burma and pushing a major religion war to happen inside the country.

    Is it intentional or ignorance?

    I understand the fact that picking up the controversial ideas would make a news piece interesting but what if that idea doesn’t tell the truth and gonna make things worse? Isn’t the medias’ responsibility to investigate the facts properly before announcing a news to the world? Or, being able to grab more attention and increased rating is the modern value of journalism? (Aung Myo Kyaw)

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora