Myanmar, is it just too complex for some to understand?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Slime, Sep 13, 2017.

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  1. As one or two contributors have alluded the Rakhine issue has a tortuous history, which Perfidious Albion has played its hand over two centuries. For chronological simplicity this Wall Street Journal article spells it out -
    Timeline: A Short History of Myanmar’s Rohingya Minority

    It's for certain that the British Empire played a key role in shuffling the deck (clearly our pre '42 policies provided for free movement resulting in some of the demographic changes that took place in Rakhine State). The Japanese ensured the Allies allegiances and alliances were sealed, but with standard Churchillian pragmatism (in other words very flexible (one sided) agreements).

    Suu Kyi has got some grit and is certainly her father's daughter, but as mentioned her father Aung San's untimely assassination resulted in an incomplete process, and Suu Kyi is a politician, she is not going to give that up! As key figures around the world like Desmond Tutu have denigrated her response to the crisis, Suu Kyi is likely damned if she opposes the will of the military in Myanmar, whilst doubly damned if she allows the ethnic cleansing to continue uncontested and unaddressed.

    The fault here lays with the ineffectiveness of the UN, which should have learned from the ethnic cleansing during the Balkan conflict and the Rwandan genocide. China had Myanmar well screwed down before, in terms of exploiting its mineral resources, but that leash is slackening. It's also for certain, however, that the militant elements within the Rohingya minority will provide fertile ground for IS or AQ factions to exploit and that this latest mass expulsion will ferment long term harm in the region.

    Much like its neighbour Thailand, the military has always held sway in Myanmar. As to Thailand and the manipulation of (and by) the monarchy, since the last King's death, the son has proved not to be as adept as his father. In fact, a morally weaker character would be harder to find, and he's not gifted with any particular skills beyond threatening his siblings, including a popular princess who has far more ability.

    Meanwhile the military choke collar ensures the Thai Army retains a tighter grasp over the people, any form of opposition politics and critically the power. Hence the South is still a powder keg, and the Siniwatra dynasty is banished (for now). The rest of the world doesn't give a fig, provided the military keeps buying from the Western arms suppliers, and the Thai factories keep rolling out cheap hard disks, whilst China gets its bananas and rice!

    So any support from the South for the Rohingya is out of the question, the Thai government has already given the boat people a shove offshore. China will not intervene and Bangladesh is skint, ill equipped and reticent given the Brits used the area as a dumping ground for refugees in the 1790's. The only organisation that could is the UN, but it won't and Bangladesh is unwilling even to offer space for the UNHCR to set up camps to assist the 300-400K refugees. It's a sh*t sandwich for these people, and always has been.
    Malaysia/Burma: Living In Limbo - Background

    Edit - link added
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  2. Indeed.

    Two other parts of the complexity:

    1. There are thousands of ethnic minority refugees in camps in Thailand. They've been there for decades. Periodically the Thais threaten to forcibly repatriate them. This will mean them being sent back into land that was mined specifically to keep them out. Another reason why Thai politics is so closely connected to the situation in Myanmar.

    2. Many of the UN agencies in Myanmar recognised that the regime there was not particularly cooperative. Under such circumstances it's common for the UN to adopt a 'keep a fleet in being' attitude. Better to keep a presence there, no matter how ineffectual, than speak up and have your presence closed down. The justification being that then, hopefully, you'll still be in place to do something when/if the situation changes. As a result, many UN agencies maintained their presence through a 'second XV'. This second string management team simply wasn't up to reacting to the changes that started to kick in around 2010. Whilst most of these people have been replaced, the UN has never caught up. Many UN agencies had the same over-optimistic attitude to 'The Lady' as the West as a whole. To be fair, they don't want her toppled.

    One other thing: given recent happenings in various sandy places, it's easy to join the dots and see a militant Rohingya theme. I never saw or heard anything to support that. However it was only a matter of time before elements of the Rohingya were militarised/radicalised. It is fertile ground, under the circumstances

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  3. Thread drift alert.
    Looking at your point 1. It angers me that there are countries in the world that sow mines for purposes like you mention and yet there are 'educated' activists and lefties in this country who like to shout and cry about Britain being a fascist state!
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  4. Yes. Indeed. It's also not at all uncommon for those same activists to dislike those of us who are ex-military and engaged in mine clearance and bomb disposal, because we're all 'fascists'...even though we're the ones out there...(sigh)

    And back on all accounts the Tatmadaw are now doing the same thing on their western border now. The problem in Rakhine is escalating significantly in terms of the weapons being used. What started as locals wielding machetes is at risk of becoming a lot more kinetic.

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  5. I blame it on the Sentinelese personally.
  6. I blame it on the big bang.
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  7. The first million years were the worst...

    The second million years were the worst too...

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  8. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

  9. Wrong. It will be a hideously white SJW. Always is.

    I'd love to send Milo Stewart over there. It could get upset about some microaggressions from some angry tribe.

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  10. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

    I'd smash her back doors in. Which actually covers off a series of hetero-homo-don'tknow sexual acts. So, she can't really object.

    I'll get her a half a lager and some nuts.

  11. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

    The missus has just pointed out that she, the bird in the video, might have some nuts already. In which case all bets are off.

    She - the missus - is heading upstairs using words like 'gaymosexual'. Frankly, I'm sleeping with two pairs of underpants on. I already feel violated. Those of you who've met her will see where I'm coming from.
  12. The irony is the very nature of our alleged 'fascist' democracy, which allows them to say whatever it is they wish to say, and thankfully offers a platform for most any injustice around the globe. Even when conflicted parties are loggerheads around the world, they often choose to settle their disputes in our courts.

    Free speech and the opportunity for peaceful protest about any issue from the colour of Pixie dust or Unicorn horns to the position of speed cameras or the latest tweet to the PM from a 'Remainiac'; established rights reinforced by robust defence of the realm and the constitution through the ages.
    Huge protests continue across UK over Myanmar’s Rohingya genocide

    However, as we've experienced in recent days, right wing views exist in the military, some extreme, just as they do within the wider population; it was ever thus!

    Incidentally, back to the thread theme of Myanmar, it's been 20 years since the late Diana Princess of Wales went walkabout in Angola on behalf of the Red Cross to highlight the issue of landmines, and almost 20 years since the delightful Clare Short signed the Ottowa Convention on behalf of the UK government.
    Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor

    Of course a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, whilst many floods in places like Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam have likewise flushed the landscape and relocated the millions of mines sewn over 3 decades of conflict in the region. Despite the last landmines being laid by British troops in GW1, the UK was previously cited as one of the top 10 exporters of landmines in 1991. Of course we also stopped using or selling cluster bombs, but that weaponry still plays a bloody part in present conflict.
    British manufactured cluster bombs have been used in Yemen by Saudi Arabia, Michael Fallon admits

    Over the years, there have of course been claims / counterclaims about the integrity of the UK defence industry. Who is to say what source or age of munitions the Army in Myanmar is using to terrorise ethnic minorities in their own nation today? Just a thought!
    UK firm accused of selling landmines
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  13. Ref your first para, IIRC Hmong refugees have been returned to Laos from Thailand, poor bastards.

    ETA Google confirms forced repatriation in 2009.