Rakhine Crisis, Burma (Myanmar) – Resources

What are the papers saying?

Coverage tends to be patchy. The national papers cover the crisis pretty comprehensively, though with some considerable divergence in quality depending on their editorial line. Some reliable sources:

The Irrawaddy report on Sittwe attacks on INGOs

The Myanmar Times on the impact of INGO pullouts

DVB ask whether authorities are actively undermining efforts to resume aid

Spikes of violence have captured international attention – but interest has waned just as rapidly, as the humanitarian crisis rumbles on with no immediate solution. The international press only picked up the story of NGO expulsion a number of days after it occurred.

Reuters have had consistent coverage of the situation as a whole, and the recent evacuations covered here, and here.

Reuters have also been conducting some excellent research into the trafficking of Rohingya refugees.

CNN ran a story on protests against aid workers and have covered a handful of stories on violence in Rakhine, including this one.

This BBC magazine piece gives a good insight into the harsh realities of everyday life for those Rohingya living in Sittwe town.

Radio Free Asia have had some coverage of recent events.

Time covered the census, and got their magazine banned in October for running this frontpage article on extremist monk Wirathu.

The Guardian covered the census, but not the evacuation of aid agencies.

The Washington Post published a short opinion piece.

Recent Al Jazeera reports have focussed on the Muslim/Buddhist divide and the Du Char Yar Tan massacre. They ruffled feathers some time ago with this documentary suggesting that the crisis is a ‘hidden genocide’- with material later called into question.

What are others saying?

Human rights organisation Fortify Rights have been outspoken in their criticism of discriminatory state policies, and published a comprehensive report documenting state support for abuses committed against the Rohingya population.

Human Rights Watch have published a number of reports, including this statement on the consequences of intercommunal violence, and this report, ‘All you can do is pray’.

Physicians for Human Rights produced a meticulous narrative investigation into the massacre of a group of students and teachers in Meiktila, which gives insight into the systematised levels of brutality being perpetrated against Muslim communities.

Campaigning organisations such as Burma Campaign and End Genocide have also produced various reports and labelled the situation a forgotten genocide and calling for international intervention.

What about some basic background info?

This ICG report is a good overview.

The BBC have a basic Q&A that is useful for getting a few key facts but not much else.

The UN Myanmar Information Unit is a good place to go for humanitarian data – maps, 3W, UN sitreps and other info.

Here is the latest UNOCHA Humanitarian Bulletin 1-28 February 2014.

More broadly, The Global Post recently did a very interesting joint venture between Burmese and American journalists, exploring various aspects of the reforms.


Some Twitter handles…

@Reaproy – Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch Asia Director

@AungMoeWin – prolific Burma-related tweets

@FortifyRights – Human rights organisation with a strong Burma focus (also @MatthewFSmith)

@DemocVoiceBurma – Democratic Voice of Burma

@david_m_stout – Journalist covering Burma

@IrrawaddyNews – The Irrawaddy

@TheMyanmarTimes – The Myanmar Times

@Atomicalandy – Tweets on Burma and SE Asia

@AmyAlexSmith – Human rights researcher with focus on Burma and SE Asia

@MatEick – ECHO SE Asia regional information officer

@burmapartners – Human rights, democracy and peace network

@Journotopia – Reuters journalist covering Burma

@htwenge – Burmese journalist for Myanmar Times

@JessicaMudditt – Freelance journalist based in Yangon

@JonahFisher – BBC Burma correspondent

@tayzar44 – Freelance photojournalist

@Hanna_Hindstrom – Freelance journalist and researcher on Burma


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