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World Rohingya Activists Are Hoping That the Coup in Myanmar Will Be a Turning Point for Their Struggle

11:00  13 february  2021
11:00  13 february  2021 Source:   time.com

China and Russia blocked the UN from condemning Myanmar's military coup

  China and Russia blocked the UN from condemning Myanmar's military coup Myanmar's military seized power on Monday, detaining politicians, and imposing a state of emergency as it made claims of election fraud.The 15-member UN Security Council met on Tuesday to vote on a joint statement after Myanmar military chief Min Aung Hlaing on Monday seized control of the country, detaining hundreds of lawmakers including President Win Myint and the de facto head of government Aung San Suu Kyi.

Rohingya activists seek support among Burmese. In turn , the Rohingya are hoping that standing in solidarity with the people of Myanmar will help end discrimination against them and bolster their fight for justice. A Myanmar protester holds a placard during a demonstration against military coup in Yangon, Myanmar on February 7, 2021.Myat Thu Kyaw/NurPhoto via Getty Images. How will the coup in Myanmar affect the Rohingya ? The Tatmadaw has shown no hesitation in responding to previous uprisings with heavy-handed crackdowns, and cooperation between pro-democracy organizations and

Myanmar military seizes power in coup , detains Aung San Suu Kyi. Some Palestinians pin hope on Biden to reverse Trump's policies. Here's why the skies in south Europe turned orange. The coup came just hours before the first session of the new parliament was set to open, and follows weeks of worsening political tensions in the country over the disputed election amid rumors that the military could take over. A soldier stands guard on a blockaded road to Myanmar 's parliament in Naypyidaw on February 1, 2021, after the military detained the country's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the

In the week since the military overthrew Myanmar’s democratically elected government, exile Nay San Lwin has been inundated with dozens of messages from his compatriots offering support.

a group of people holding a sign: A group of people shout slogans and hold placards during a Rohingya solidarity rally in front of the ICJ, The Hague, on December 11th, 2019. © Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images A group of people shout slogans and hold placards during a Rohingya solidarity rally in front of the ICJ, The Hague, on December 11th, 2019.

It’s a dramatic change from 2017, when the rights activist, now living in Germany, was disseminating information about the atrocities Myanmar’s military had unleashed against his community—the mostly Muslim Rohingya, who live in the west of the country. Back then, the majority of the messages he received from other Burmese consisted of death threats and abuse.

Aung San Suu Kyi Faces New Charges After the Coup. Can Myanmar's Democracy Survive Without Her?

  Aung San Suu Kyi Faces New Charges After the Coup. Can Myanmar's Democracy Survive Without Her? Myanmar's push for democracy has always centered around Suu Kyi. With her under arrest, it's unclear whether anyone else is capable of uniting resistance to the militaryMyanmar’s elected civilian leader was idolized even before she came to power. During the 15 years that the junta kept her under house arrest, many secretly kept pictures of Suu Kyi in their homes. After her release, her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won control of the government in 2015 elections, ending decades of military rule. She scored an even more resounding victory last Nov. 8, with the NLD claiming more than 80% of the vote.

The military justified their takeover by alleging widespread voter fraud during the November 2020 general election, which gave Suu Kyi's party another overwhelming victory and dashed hopes for some military figures that an opposition party they had backed might take power democratically. But according to analysts a simpler explanation is that the coup , as most usually are , was driven by power and the personal ambition of an army chief who felt he was losing control and respect. "This was a standoff between two people who were not allowed the presidency and both wanted it: Aung San Suu Kyi and

Their struggle took place in the context of decades of internal conflict that pitted the army against ethnic and separatist groups, including the military-led ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya Muslim minority. Political scientists compare democratic transitions to pacts: agreements between the country’s stakeholders that some new system will be better than the old. But if the powers that be come to see change as no longer worthwhile, or see the other parties as no longer trustworthy, the pact breaks.

About two-thirds of the population of the Southeast Asian nation are of the Bamar ethnicity, who are generally Buddhist and dominate the governing class. The other third is made up of over 100 ethnic minorities, many of whom have faced persecution at the hands of the military—especially the Rohingya. U.N. investigators say the armed forces of Myanmar, officially known as the Tatmadaw, have waged war against the Rohingya with “genocidal intent.”

The Rohingya found no support from the civilian government. Indeed, in 2019 Aung San Suu Kyi notoriously defended the Tatmadaw in a hearing at the Hague, and just two weeks before the coup, her government filed preliminary objections to the International Court of Justice over the genocide case it faces. The general population had no sympathy either; many Burmese consider the Rohingya to be Bangladeshi migrants, even though the Rohingya have centuries of history in Myanmar.

The Myanmar military blocked Facebook for the sake of 'stability' after activists began mobilizing on the platform

  The Myanmar military blocked Facebook for the sake of 'stability' after activists began mobilizing on the platform Myanmar's state-owned telecom company blocked Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp on Thursday, internet monitor NetBlocks said.Myanmar's military, known as the Tatmadaw, declared a yearlong state of emergency on Monday and detained hundreds of lawmakers, including the de facto ruler Aung San Suu Kyi.

Slideshow: Rohingya flee to Bangladesh after Myanmar attacks >>>. Dan Sullivan, senior advocate for human rights at Refugees International, who visited Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, close to the border, says Bangladeshi patrols described finding land mines at crossing points and verified refugees’ stories that it was Myanmar police setting fire to their homes. “Policy makers the world over who were invested in [ Myanmar ’s] transition are concerned that taking tough actions like sanctions, arms embargos will essentially be an admission that the transition to democracy has failed,” he says.

Protesters once again took to the streets of Myanmar on the country’s Union Day, which marks the birth of the republic, as the ruling military junta released over 23,000 prisoners and arrested pro-democracy activists overnight. Among those released were a nationalist monk nicknamed the “Buddhist Bin Laden” and the individual who, in 2017, killed the adviser to detained Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Aung San Suu Kyi became the country’s first democratically leader after decades of military rule in 2015, having won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 while under house arrest.

But in the wake of the Feb. 1 coup, some Burmese are finally changing their views of their Muslim countrymen. Says Nay San Lwin, who gained 3,000 new Twitter followers in a day last week: “They are now realizing the common enemy is the military.”

Some have even begun apologizing to Yanghee Lee. The former U.N. Special Rapporteur was hailed by the rights community as a “champion of justice for Rohingyas,” while being vilified in Myanmar. When she tweeted a call for the release of Suu Kyi on Feb. 4, the thread filled up with expiations.

“I do want to apologize the way I treated you in recent years regarding Rohingya,” said one user. “[Forgive] me for misunderstanding you. In the recent years, we were narrow-minded,” read another tweet.

Lily (a nickname), who lives in Yangon, tells TIME that the coup made her realize her own double standards. A 39-year-old transgender advocate from the Karen ethnic minority, she says that although she knew what happened to the Rohingya was a “grave violation of human rights” she failed to stand up for them, despite her activism in other areas.

Myanmar's internet shut down as protestors flooded the streets. The military coup leaders sought to shut down Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter earlier this week.

  Myanmar's internet shut down as protestors flooded the streets. The military coup leaders sought to shut down Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter earlier this week. Leaders of the military coup in Myanmar shut down the country's internet, after asking providers to block Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The shutdown would "severely limit coverage of anti-coup protests," said NetBlocks. Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories. As protestors on Saturday flooded Myanmar's streets, calling for an end to the military coup, the country's internet access was almost entirely shut down. "The regime has cut off all internet lines amid ongoing protests against the #militarycoup," wrote Myanmar Now, an independent local news agency, on Twitter.

Rohingya refuse to return to Myanmar . Building shelters, roads and bridges is one thing. But how about addressing the root causes of the violence between the Muslim Rohingyas and their former ethnic Rakhine Buddhist neighbours who'd lived side by side in Myanmar 's poorest state? When we ' re considering the likely reception, I find it hard to forget the cold, calm comment of one Rakhine village administrator I met in northern Rakhine a few months ago. He of course, one of the community leaders who will be responsible for ensuring that "voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable" return.

Biden said the order enabled his administration "to immediately sanction the military leaders who directed the coup , their business interests as well as close family members." Washington would identify the first round of targets this week and was taking steps to prevent the generals in Myanmar President Joe Biden on Wednesday ordered new sanctions against the military regime in Myanmar , taking action after the military this month staged a coup in the Southeast Asian country and arrested de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior politicians. Biden said he was issuing an executive

“Without international community strong condemnation and support, I think we will all end up like Rohingya people,” she says.

a group of people standing in front of a large crowd of people: Rohingya Muslims wait on a hill on Aug. 25, 2019 in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, to commemorate the second anniversary of the 2017 crisis when they were forced to flee from their homes in Myanmar K M Asad/LightRocket via Getty Images © K M Asad/LightRocket via Getty Images Rohingya Muslims wait on a hill on Aug. 25, 2019 in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, to commemorate the second anniversary of the 2017 crisis when they were forced to flee from their homes in Myanmar K M Asad/LightRocket via Getty Images

Rohingya activists seek support among Burmese

In turn, the Rohingya are hoping that standing in solidarity with the people of Myanmar will help end discrimination against them and bolster their fight for justice.

“We are trying to build solidarity with the Burmese people,” says Nay San Lwin. “Most of the Rohingya activists are supporting the movement in Myanmar.”


Video: Thousands protest in Myanmar's largest city (Reuters)

Not just activists. Muhammad Dullah fled the country in Aug. 2017 and now lives in the world’s largest refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The 24-year-old Rohingya has started posting anti-coup messages on his Twitter account.

U.K. Sees Myanmar Coup as Irreversible, Risk of Violence Rising

  U.K. Sees Myanmar Coup as Irreversible, Risk of Violence Rising The military coup in Myanmar has gone past the point of no return, according to a confidential U.K. foreign office assessment, in a sign that major democracies expect to have limited ability to influence the events unfolding inside the country. The bleak view last week from a senior British diplomat concludes the coup is irreversible, and that army chief Min Aung Hlaing will seek to crush ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy party in order to install himself as president.

“Rohingya stand with the people of Myanmar,” said one tweet, accompanied by photos of a makeshift signs reading “Protesting against military coup from the Bangladesh Rohingya Refugee camp” and “Military coup” with a large X drawn through it.

“I think [Burmese] may support and stand by us after seeing our solidarity with them,” Dullah tells TIME.

Read More: Aung San Suu Kyi Faces New Charges After the Coup. Can Myanmar’s Democracy Survive Without Her?

Pictures of Rohingya giving a three-finger salute, a gesture popular adopted by young Burmese in the wake of the coup, have also popped up across social media in recent days.

a close up of a person holding a sign: A Myanmar protester holds a placard during a demonstration against military coup in Yangon, Myanmar on February 7, 2021. Myat Thu Kyaw/NurPhoto via Getty Images © Myat Thu Kyaw/NurPhoto via Getty Images A Myanmar protester holds a placard during a demonstration against military coup in Yangon, Myanmar on February 7, 2021. Myat Thu Kyaw/NurPhoto via Getty Images

How will the coup in Myanmar affect the Rohingya?

The Tatmadaw has shown no hesitation in responding to previous uprisings with heavy-handed crackdowns, and cooperation between pro-democracy organizations and the country’s various ethnic groups is unlikely to convince it to reverse course.

It could help to reinforce the regime’s isolation. Nay San Lwin, for example, is calling on Burmese to lobby the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute junta leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing for atrocities committed against the Rohingya. This, he argues, is the best way to put the Tatmadaw’s commander-in-chief under pressure.

But having a common enemy can only go so far. Cooperation “doesn’t necessarily mean [the Rohingya] are supporting Aung San Suu Kyi personally,” says Washington-based Rohingya activist Wai Wai Nu. “We are standing up for what is right for the country.”

Some experts also doubt the the coup will have a long-lasting impact on the discriminatory views that many in Myanmar have against the Rohingya.

“The divisions between Myanmar people and the Rohingya in particular go really, really deep,” says Prof. Ian Holliday of the University of Hong Kong, an expert on Myanmar. “The Rohingya are not seen as being part of the nation.”

But activists are holding out hope that this will be a turning point.

“It will be very difficult to build a solidarity movement, but I’m not going to give up,” says Nay San Lwin. “We are trying to educate the people that human rights should be for everyone.”

—With reporting by Suyin Haynes/London

Facebook removed the main page of Myanmar military as protests continue following a military coup .
The military, known as the Tatmadaw, staged a coup on February 1, detaining officials over debunked claims of voter fraud during their election.Insider has reached out to Facebook for comment, but a spokesperson told Reuters: "In line with our global policies, we've removed the Tatmadaw True News Information Team Page from Facebook for repeated violations of our Community Standards prohibiting incitement of violence and coordinating harm.

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