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Entire Rohingya villages have been destroyed. Fleeing the violence in Myanmar, thousands of the Rohingya have taken refuge in neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and Thailand; thousands more have died fleeing, many drowning in overcrowded boats.
This year, among other things, we will need to take stock of Canada's Minister of International Development's proclamation that the government will have a feminist approach to international assistance.
Myanmar is a country in transition. And be forewarned - I may recommend you pack your carry-on and visit before we help it 'develop'. But first, some background.
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"There will be more freedom in our country if the NLD wins. Our country will be better. Our lives will be better.''
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There was optimism and hope in the air four years ago, when Burma's democratic government prised control of the country from the military after 49 years of brutal rule. The Burmese, and indeed the world, looked to the new government to relax the iron grip of the army and initiate a wave of liberal change. But the new leaders are still cracking down on ethnic minorities and students as if it was a force of habit.
What have you heard about Burma, Tibet, Northern Cyprus? Even less than Syria, North Korea, Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. Don't look. Pretend it's not happening-or pretend that efforts at peace will work-if we just give it enough time. Rwanda took more than 100 days. The Jewish people waited five years. Syria has been in conflagration for three years. Talk. Talk. Talk. Well maybe there will be talk. But then who's listening. The media? There is a certain presence of an absence in far too many hot spots.
December 10 has been declared Human Rights Day. This is a day for all of us in the West, in particular, to pray for those who live under autocratic, theocratic, despotic regimes who deny their citizens their humanity.
There is slavery on the 21st century. While we exclaim over the movie "12 Years a Slave," we ignore those who are enslaved today, in Sudan and North Korea.
Many people in Myanmar commemorated the 25th anniversary this September of one of the bloodiest crackdowns in the country's history. Western business should be encouraged to bring more socially responsible practices to Myanmar but should take critical measures to ensure that they not become part of the democracy-hindering problem rather than the solution.
I've been reading about the war in Burma/Myanmar. It's a conflict between the Buddhist Burmese majority and approximately 800,000 Royhingya Muslims in the Arakan (Rakhine) State. They are among the world's least wanted and most persecuted people.
Canadian diplomats seemed caught off-guard late last summer when Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung Sang Suu Kyi turned down an invitation to visit Canada. Newly released documents under access to infor...
TORONTO - After years of imposing tough sanctions, Canada announced a push Wednesday to open up economic relations with Myanmar, saying International Trade Minister Ed Fast and a delegation of busines...
OTTAWA - Canada will open an embassy in Myanmar in recognition of the country's moves to improve human rights and democracy.The move follows the Conservative government's loosening of most of its sanc...
BANGKOK - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is planning a landmark visit to Myanmar, a country that has suffered for nearly half a century under the tyranny of a military junta.Baird, who is expecte...
To say that the Burmese generals who have been meeting with diplomatic A-list visitors such as Clinton and Hague have blood on their hands is almost an understatement. Aside from the 1988 crackdown, which killed thousands of young activists, many shot at point-blank range, their record of repression includes the crackdown on monks and other peaceful protesters.