Burma

Rohingya refugees face appalling conditions in Bangladesh

By Wimal Perera, 30 November 2017

Violating the basic rights of refugees, the Bangladesh government is desperate to push them back to Burma.

Burmese government continues persecution of Rohingya minority

By Kayla Costa, 31 October 2017

The US is backing the Burmese regime, as it commits “killings, torture, rape and arson” against the Rohingya ethnic minority.

Burma: Pogroms continue against Rohingya Muslims

By John Roberts, 12 October 2017

The real aim of the military, with the full collaboration of Aung San Suu Kyi and her government, is to drive the Rohingya out of Burma.

Burma’s anti-Rohingya pogrom fuels regional tensions

By John Roberts, 6 October 2017

Malaysia publicly dissociated itself from an ASEAN statement on the situation in Rakhine state that failed to mention the violence against Rohingya.

Modi government blocks Rohingya refugees entering India

By K. Ratnayake, 30 September 2017

Modi’s backing for the Burmese repression of the Rohingya is driven by anti-Muslim communalism and his strategic aim of undermining China throughout the region.

Burma’s “democracy icon” Aung San Suu Kyi defends ethnic cleansing of Rohingya

By Kayla Costa, 21 September 2017

Suu Kyi offered a thoroughly duplicitous explanation of the violence in Rakhine state, where the army has forced thousands of Rohingya to flee Burma.

Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi and the fraud of human rights imperialism

By Peter Symonds, 14 September 2017

The desperate plight of Rohingya Muslims demonstrates that the US never had the slightest interest in promoting democratic rights in Burma, but cynically exploited the issue to advance its own economic and strategic aims.

Burmese military steps up ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims

By John Roberts, 7 September 2017

Aung San Suu Kyi, promoted by the US and its allies as a “democracy icon,” has backed the military’s pogrom at every step.

Burmese military steps up brutal crackdown on Rohingya Muslims

By Kayla Costa, 30 August 2017

Nobel laureate Suu Kyi has defended the military from foreign criticism, blocked proposals for limited UN investigations and expanded the army’s powers.

Burmese government rejects international inquiry into anti-Rohingya pogrom

By John Roberts, 15 May 2017

Suu Kyi’s rejection of any scrutiny of the treatment of the Rohingya minority points to the geopolitical interests that govern relations between Burma and the West.

Rohingya killings expose fraud of Burmese “democracy”

By John Roberts, 7 April 2017

The response of Suu Kyi and her government to a limited UN inquiry into the military’s atrocities reveal their complicity and involvement.

Suu Kyi defends military crackdown on Burma's Rohingya Muslims

By John Roberts, 2 December 2016

Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy is mired in anti-Rohingya chauvinism and opposed to the granting of citizenship rights to the Muslim minority.

Myanmar mine landslide leaves 14 dead, 200 missing

By John Braddock, 30 May 2016

Regular mining disasters are one aspect of the exploitation of the Burmese working class, on which the lucrative jade industry is built.

New civilian government installed in Burma

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 12 April 2016

Far from representing the dawning of democracy in Burma, the government is the outcome of a sordid power-sharing deal between Suu Kyi and the military.

New Burmese president installed amid tensions with the military

By John Roberts, 17 March 2016

Despite Suu Kyi’s efforts to appease the generals, no deal was reached to allow her to assume the country’s presidency.

Sordid horse-trading over next Burmese president

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 9 February 2016

“Democracy icon” Suu Kyi is in closed-door talks with the military to secure the presidency in return for handing more political posts to the generals.

Suu Kyi holds transition talks with Burmese military

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 10 December 2015

Having raised popular expectations during the November election, the NLD leader, like the military, is concerned over the potential for social unrest.

US seeks to expand influence in Burma at China’s expense

By John Roberts, 26 November 2015

Washington has long regarded Aung San Suu Kyi as its key political asset in Burma, which is strategically located on China’s border.

Over 100 dead in Burmese landslide

By Oscar Grenfell, 25 November 2015

The victims were impoverished workers who fossick for jade in one of the country’s most lucrative industries.

Burmese opposition collaborates with military on “transition”

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 17 November 2015

Any changes to the constitution are likely to be purely cosmetic as Suu Kyi is not prepared to mount a direct challenge to the military.

Burma’s “democracy icon” seeks talks with military

By Peter Symonds, 12 November 2015

Suu Kyi will collaborate closely with the army to implement their joint agenda—further pro-market restructuring and a closer alignment with Washington and its allies.

Suu Kyi’s party predicted to win Burmese election

By John Roberts, 7 November 2015

Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy represent a section of the ruling elite that were excluded from political and economic dominance by the military junta.

Flooding across South Asia affects millions of people

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 August 2015

Monsoonal downpours have created a humanitarian disaster, with the most impoverished and oppressed people among the worst affected.

Conditions worsen for refugees trapped on boats in South East Asia

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 19 May 2015

Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia have closed their borders to thousands of asylum seekers adrift at sea in atrocious conditions.

Burmese regime signs draft ceasefire with ethnic separatists

By John Roberts, 16 April 2015

The peace accord is part of the government’s bid to meet the demands of the US and its allies in return for a further relaxation of sanctions.

China-Burma tensions rise after bomb kills Chinese citizens

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 17 March 2015

Closer ties with Washington have encouraged the Burmese military to take a more pronounced anti-China stance.

Burmese army clashes with separatist militia near Chinese border

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 24 February 2015

While not directly accusing China of backing the MNDAA, the Burmese president clearly implied that his country faced an external threat.

Burma struggles to attract foreign investment

By John Roberts, 7 October 2013

Investment has slumped as Chinese projects have stalled and funds from Western sources have failed to materialise.

Communal tensions in Burma continue

By John Roberts, 18 July 2013

Sections of the Buddhist clergy, colluding with layers of the military, are directly responsible for whipping up anti-Muslim communalism.

Burma hosts the World Economic Forum on East Asia

By John Roberts, 12 June 2013

Global corporations are scrambling to secure a share of Burma’s lucrative energy reserves and markets previously cut off by US-led economic sanctions.

Sectarian violence spreads in Burma

By John Roberts, 5 June 2013

Gangs on motorbikes armed with clubs and machetes attacked Muslim areas in Lashio, torching a mosque, two boarding schools and dozens of homes and shops.

White House welcomes Burmese president as new ally in “pivot to Asia”

By John Roberts, 24 May 2013

Thein Sein is the first Burmese leader to be hosted in the White House since former junta leader General Ne Win’s visit in 1966.

Anti-Muslim violence erupts in Burma

By Sarath Kumara, 10 April 2013

Attacks on Muslims in central Burma last month left 43 dead and thousands displaced.

Burmese opposition party congress adopts pro-market agenda

By John Roberts, 1 April 2013

The congress was a bureaucratically managed affair, entrenching Suu Kyi’s leadership and her increasingly close relations with the military.

Police and villagers clash in Burma over land dispute

By John Roberts, 13 March 2013

Last month’s protest is just one of many land disputes that have erupted since Burma’s nominally civilian government took over in 2011.

China presses Burma for Kachin peace deal

By John Roberts, 19 February 2013

Beijing has intervened to shore up its relations with Burma and to prevent the ethnic conflict from spilling into southern China.

Burmese military escalates war in Kachin state

By John Roberts, 4 January 2013

The military has recently begun using airstrikes, along with heavy weapons, in fighting against separatist Kachin Independence Army.

Burmese military cracks down on copper mine protest

By John Roberts, 3 December 2012

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has played a key role in supporting the government by defusing anger over the project.

Obama’s trip intensifies US push into South East Asia

By Peter Symonds, 20 November 2012

The US focus on the region is part of a broader diplomatic offensive aimed at undermining China’s position throughout Asia.

New ethnic violence in Burma’s Rakhine state

By John Roberts, 3 November 2012

At least 88 people have been killed, 4,600 homes burnt down and 22,000 people left homeless, the vast majority being Muslims.

The US re-engages with Burmese military

By John Roberts, 23 October 2012

Under the guise of discussing “human rights”, a large US delegation set the stage last week for the resumption of military ties with Burma.

US leaders fete Burma’s “democracy icon”

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 9 October 2012

Suu Kyi toured the US not as a critic of, but rather as an ambassador for, the military regime.

HRW report details persecution of Burma’s Rohingya Muslims

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 30 August 2012

The Human Rights Watch report found that the Burmese security forces stood aside when communal violence erupted, then went on a rampage against the Rohingya.

Burmese regime opens up to Western investment

By John Roberts, 4 August 2012

After decades of US-led sanctions, the military government is seeking to reduce its dependence on China, and attract foreign capital.

Communal clashes in Burma

By John Roberts, 18 June 2012

Violent conflicts in the western state of Rakhine are threatening the accommodation between Burma’s military-backed government and the opposition.

Singh promotes Indian interests in Burma

By Sarath Kumara, 4 June 2012

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s recent visit to Burma highlighted India’s intensifying pursuit of its economic and strategic interests.

Washington eases economic sanctions on Burma

By John Roberts, 23 May 2012

US efforts to forge stronger ties with Burma are not aimed at promoting democratic rights, but are part of its aggressive campaign to undermine Chinese influence in Asia.

US welcomes outcome of sham elections in Burma

By John Roberts, 4 April 2012

The opposition National League for Democracy won the overwhelming majority of seats in by-elections last weekend.

US encourages Burma to distance itself from China

By John Roberts, 23 February 2012

The US has signed a waiver ending formal US opposition to the World Bank conducting economic assessments of Burma, potentially paving the way for international economic aid.

US upgrades diplomatic relations with Burma

By John Roberts, 19 January 2012

The US move is part of a broader strategy to undermine Chinese influence throughout Asia.

Clinton in Burma: Another US move against China

By Peter Symonds, 3 December 2011

Clinton’s visit was not about advancing democratic rights in Burma but to further the US campaign to undermine Chinese influence throughout Asia.

Obama’s move on Burma

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 24 November 2011

Clinton’s upcoming visit to Burma is a further step in US efforts to draw the country out of China’s orbit and into closer alignment with Washington.

Burma suspends Chinese dam construction

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 12 October 2011

The decision was a slap in the face to Beijing—Burma’s longstanding backer—and a sign of a possible rapprochement with the West.

Death toll rises from Burma earthquake

By Mike Head, 29 March 2011

Despite difficulties in gauging the true extent of the disaster, there seems to have been widespread death and destruction in isolated villages.

Aung San Suu Kyi and democracy in Burma

By K. Ratnayake, 26 November 2010

Suu Kyi has already made clear that she has no intention of challenging the Burmese junta, but rather, with the backing of the US, is seeking a deal with the country’s generals.

US seeks “engagement” with Burmese junta after Suu Kyi's release

By Sarath Kumara, 18 November 2010

For all its claims to be promoting democracy and human rights, the Obama administration’s mooted talks with the Burmese generals are to counter China’s influence in the country.

Released opposition leader Suu Kyi calls for talks with Burmese junta

By K. Ratnayake, 15 November 2010

After being released from house arrest, Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has indicated that she will hold talks with the military junta.

US steps up pressure on Burmese junta following rigged elections

By Sarath Kumara, 13 November 2010

Burma’s ruling military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party has proclaimed a predictable “victory” after elections held last Sunday.

US ramps up pressure on Burmese junta over war crimes

By John Roberts, 30 August 2010

Washington’s move has nothing to do with bringing the Burmese generals to justice for their oppressive rule, but is to pressure the junta for concessions, and undercut Chinese influence in Burma.

More threats of international intervention amid continuing Burmese cyclone disaster

By our correspondent, 22 August 2008

UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon is due to meet with Burmese leaders today in an effort to pressure them to accept more international aid for the hundreds of thousands of cyclone survivors who are still without adequate shelter, food, clean water and medicine nearly three weeks after the disaster struck.

A reply to supporters of “humanitarian” intervention into Burma

By Peter Symonds, 7 June 2008

The World Socialist Web Site has received a number of emails critical of our article “Why the propaganda campaign for international intervention in Burma?”. In one way or another, they all object to our refusal to support the campaign in the international media demanding that the Burmese junta open up the country to foreign aid officials and humanitarian assistance from foreign militaries. (The letters, for and against, can be found here.)

7 June 2008

The WSWS received the following emails for and against the article “Why the propaganda campaign for international intervention in Burma?” See: “A reply to supporters of "humanitarian" intervention into Burma”.

Burma aid conference: Demands and ultimatums, but little money for the cyclone victims

By Peter Symonds, 27 May 2008

The only commodities in plentiful supply at the UN-sponsored donors conference in Rangoon last Sunday were self-interest, cynicism and hypocrisy. While the gathering had been called to elicit aid for the estimated 2.4 million cyclone victims in Burma, the US and European powers exploited the opportunity to repeat their demands for the Burmese junta to open its doors to foreign aid efforts. Very little money was forthcoming.

Death toll hits 78,000 in Burma as pressure mounts for international intervention

By Deepal Jayasekera, 17 May 2008

Two weeks have passed since Cyclone Nargis struck the Irrawaddy delta region of Burma. Yesterday, the state media sharply revised the official death toll upward to 78,000 dead and 55,917 missing. The number of injured has risen from 1,403 to 19,359. Previous estimates from the UN and International Red Cross put the number of dead at 100,000 or more.

Cyclone disaster worsens in Burma

By our correspondent, 12 May 2008

The cyclone disaster in Burma is continuing to worsen. The official death toll announced yesterday stands at 28,458 dead and 33,416 missing, but unofficial estimates put the figure much higher. Up to 2 million people have been left homeless and struggling to survive without access to food, clean water, shelter and medicine.

Why the propaganda campaign for international intervention in Burma?

By Peter Symonds, 10 May 2008

The catastrophe wrought by Cyclone Nargis on the Burmese people has provoked an extraordinary campaign by the US and allied powers, and in the international media, demanding that the military junta open its borders to aid and aid officials as well as to American military aircraft, troops and warships. Once again an attempt is being made to stampede public opinion with heartrending images of desperate survivors and devastated towns, accompanied by an incessant drumbeat condemning the Burmese regime for its inadequate aid efforts, its insularity, and its failure to accept international, especially American, aid.

Death toll in Burma rises, as major powers press to intervene

By Peter Symonds, 8 May 2008

The full scale of the disaster caused by Cyclone Nargis in Burma is emerging as assessment and aid teams, local and international, move into devastated villages and towns of the Irrawaddy delta. While the official death toll still stands at nearly 23,000 and another 41,000 missing, far higher estimates are being issued by aid officials and organisations.

Bush administration moves to exploit Burma cyclone disaster

By Joe Kay, 7 May 2008

The Bush administration lost no time in seeking to exploit the devastating tragedy in Burma (Myanmar). It has seized upon the cyclone that struck the country over the weekend, killed at least 20,000 and likely many more, to aggressively push its foreign policy agenda in Asia.

A new Asian disaster: Cyclone kills tens of thousands in Burma

By K. Ratnayake, 7 May 2008

Another huge tragedy has engulfed an impoverished Asian country. Tens of thousands are dead, many more are missing and hundreds of thousands are homeless after tropical cyclone Nargis lashed the western coastal areas of Burma on Saturday. Winds of up to 190 kilometres an hour and a storm surge of water up to 4 metres levelled houses and other buildings, severed transport links and communication, and left millions without clean water, food, shelter and medicine.

UN special envoy leaves Burma empty-handed

By Sujeewa Amaranath and Sarath Kumara, 4 October 2007

UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari left Burma (also known as Myanmar) on Tuesday without any indication of concessions from the country’s military junta. The cities of Rangoon and Mandalay are still effectively under martial law, with large numbers of troops on the streets. Heavy media censorship is in force, and night-time arrests of opposition activists appear to be continuing.

Burmese troops gun down protestors

By Sujeewa Amaranath and Peter Symonds, 29 September 2007

Over the past two days, the Burmese military regime has brutally suppressed large anti-junta protests in the major cities of Rangoon and Mandalay, breaking up crowds with tear gas, batons, rubber bullets and live rounds. The state media reported that nine people died in clashes on Thursday, but reports from activists, diplomats and a handful of foreign journalists suggest the figure could be considerably higher.

Burmese military cracks down on escalating protests

By Sujeewa Amaranath, 27 September 2007

The military in Burma (Myanmar) unleashed its troops yesterday on unarmed demonstrators in a bid to stamp out mounting protests against the junta’s stifling rule, and price rises that have made life for broad layers of working people unbearable.

Sanctions provoke deepening economic crisis in Burma

By Sarath Kumara, 14 January 2004

In a bid to ease crippling economic sanctions, the Burmese military regime presented its “road map” for political reform to an international conference in Bangkok on December 15. While a number of countries, including France, Germany, Australia and Japan, attended the Bangkok Process Forum, the US and Britain flatly rejected the Burmese plan, refusing to attend.