An Independent Survey of Events in Myanmar
"Zeid gave a powerful briefing on the dire situation and 'institutional discrimination' faced by the Rohingya in Myanmar," a council diplomat present at the meeting told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Another diplomat confirmed the readout, adding that no immediate council action was expected. Council members responded to Zeid by calling for the problem to be tackled at its root causes and welcoming a crisis meeting in Bangkok aimed at addressing Southeast Asia's migrant crisis.
According to participants, that meeting of 17 countries from across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and elsewhere in Asia is unlikely to produce a binding agreement or plan of action to save thousands of people believed stranded at sea.
A delegate from Russia said the Security Council was not the appropriate forum for discussing human rights, suggesting it should be handled by the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, a diplomat said.
China, Myanmar's traditional ally, said it was an internal matter for the country's authorities but expressed concern about the situation.
- Press Statement: Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean - Thai MFA
- Myanmar says won't take blame at Asia migrant talks - Reuters
- SE Asian migrant crisis calls for global solution: Priscilla Clapp - US Institute of Peace
- Bloomberg video interview with Dr Thitinan Pongsudhirak on the migrant crisis
- Text of Communiqué adopted at the Oslo Conference
- Text of speech by Archbishop Tutu - Legacy Foundation
- Text of speech by George Soros
- Text of speech by Dr Mohamad Mahatir
- Text of speech by OIC Special Envoy to Myanmar Dr. Syed Hamid Albar
by OIC Special Envoy to Myanmar, Dr. Syed Hamid Albar - See more at: http://www.rohingyablogger.com/2015/05/special-address-on-rohingya-issue-for.html#sthash.E5FAnEjU.dpuf
- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to brief Security Council on Myanmar
- Human Rights Watch: Put rights at center of boat people summit
- Action needed in the Buddhist-Muslim zone: Nicholas Farelly - The Myanmar Times
- Suu Kyi not invited to meeting on Persecuted Rohingya Muslims - Associated Press
Derek Tonkin writes: The Conference was a controversial event because, as has so frequently happened in the past with the Rohingya issue, only one side of the story was allowed. There were no voices heard from the Rakhine community to explain their own fears and concerns. Even so, and although there was much self-evident manipulation of the conference to promote other agendas, the stark situation of the Rohingya community was effectively presented and the compassionate support given to the conference by a number of leading personalities attracted attention.
There was not surprisingly all manner of suggestions about what the Myanmar government and the countries of the region should do, as well as mountains of advice to the UN and the international community. No speaker though at any point suggested that there might be action which the Rohingya and their supporters might take, no doubt indicating that in their view it was not for the victims to be proactive.
A main issue though remains the controversy about the designation “Rohingya”, a term which Norwegian State Secretary Morten Høglund declined to use during his address, and for which he drew criticism in the Conference communiqué . The international Rohingya lobby has made use of the term “Rohingya” by governments a top political priority. Indeed, it is apparent to most of us that “Rohingya” has become as much a political as an ethnic label.
To date however, no one from the Rohingya community or from among their supporters has sought to clarify the origins of the designation which has given rise to so much uncertainty and speculation. This obfuscation and ambivalence do not encourage dialogue and reconciliation, but only increase the suspicions of the Rakhine community and most Burmese generally that the “Rohingyas” must have something to hide and are not to be trusted. Their leaders are failing in their duty to the Rohingya community if they are unable or unwilling to be open and transparent on this important issue.
Addressing a rally in Putao in Kachin State on May 23, the National League for Democracy leader accused the government of having no desire to hold another session of the talks, which were last held on April 10 and resulted in a commitment to meet again in the first 10 days of May. "The NLD wants to amend the constitution in parliament and we are trying to do it. Some people don't want to amend certain sections. So we try to negotiate amendments through discussions in the six-way talks. But I don't see any sign of the next six-way talks."
"People worry whether the NLD will contest the election. The 2015 election is very important for the future of Myanmar," she said, receiving a warm welcome from a crowd of about 1000 mostly ethnic Kachin supporters. "I cannot say exactly if the government will hand over power if the NLD wins the elections," she said, speaking just days before the anniversary of the 1990 elections, which resulted in a landslide NLD victory that the military junta refused to recognise.
Derek Tonkin writes: Under the present Constitution, the President elected by an electoral college of both Houses forms the Administration. Unless the Constitution is changed, the outgoing President would not "hand over power" to the election winners or coalition, or indeed to anyone else.
In July 1989, prior to the May 1990 Elections, Suu Kyi told Dominic Faulder of Asia Week (recorded in Suu Kyi's book "Freedom from Fear" Pages 224-225):
"Whoever is elected will first have to draw up a constitution that will have to be adopted before the transfer of power. They haven't said how the constitution will be adopted. It could be through a referendum, but that could be months and months, if not years. That's why provisions for the transfer of power are so important. Unless we know how it will take place, we can't really trust the SLORC to set up a democratically elected government."
Suu Kyi's 1989 analysis of the then military council's electoral intentions was correct. The council had indeed made it clear prior to the elections, as Suu Kyi said, that those elected "will first have to draw up a constitution". In large measure that explains why power was not handed over to the NLD immediately after their landslide victory in the May 1990 elections.