Friday, March 28, 2014

The US Resolution regarding Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya . . . doesn’t seem to be concerning Myanmar all that much

It was heartening to read the March 26 article in the Myanmar Times, if only to be glad that the US House Foreign Affairs Committee “approved a resolution that calls [Myanmar] to ‘end all forms of persecution and discrimination’ against the Rohingya, a mostly Muslim people who are not even recognized as citizens.”

Rep. Edward Royce, Chair of the Committee, said that "the government of Burma cannot claim progress toward meeting its reform goals if it does not improve the treatment of Rohingya Muslims and other minority groups."

What did this prompt Myanmar to immediately do?  Not much. The US has already lifted its sanctions, as “the once pariah nation embraces democratic reforms.”

Kyaw Myo Htut, Myanmar's ambassador to the US, spoke at the release of a report by the National Bureau of Asian Research that called for reforms and warned of risks from anti-Muslim violence. He didn’t seem to directly address the persecution of the Rohingya when asked for a comment, although it was reported that he “welcomed the report but said that some points ‘do not reflect reality.’

Gosh, I feel better already.

He said he hoped Myanmar would keep improving relations with the United States, and that he appreciated international "support, encouragement and understanding" for the reforms.”  Quite the diplomat. "Myanmar is cognizant that more remains to be done. Not all issues may be resolved in a day," he said. 

Plus ca change . . .

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