Former Foreign Minister of Myanmar Sun Myint Wai (C) is sworn in as Ambassador to Finland during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Naypyitaw, Myanmar in this picture taken July 18, 2011. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ASSOCIATED PRESS (Photo credit should read POOL/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images/AFP
“Evacuating a Muslim man from an Islamic State-controlled area in the Philippines to Myanmar, to avoid a ‘public’ punishment of whipping and death, is similar to one of the worst abuses of the state by Buddhist monks and bureaucrats,” the Washington Post reports. The latest cases have surfaced in Myanmar, and the government there says it will treat the persecuted Rohingya as it would other Muslims fleeing from conflict zones—a response that that “pushes the country further away from global expectations about the plight of Rohingya,” and likely fuels yet more outcry about why the Rohingya are being persecuted in the first place.
When Myanmar isn’t dealing with angry protesters in Thailand, which have turned a refugee camp into a mass protest and burned down the prison to which nearly 100 people are being held, Burma has been making plans to open up its tourism industry. The Daily Express of England reports:
The government says it wants to carry out general elections by August, but many disagree that a roadmap for social and political reform is a genuine beginning rather than another stalled plan.
Tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who fled persecution in Burma have been promised their freedom of movement and equality once they have been allowed back into their homes.
The Rohingya, who are not recognised as citizens by Burma’s authorities, say they have been evicted by armed force. They have fled across the border into neighbouring Bangladesh, where many have become homeless.
The UN refugee agency says the government has made promises to refugees including a promise to return to Myanmar.
The plan will be contingent on the return of all Rohingyas from Bangladesh.
“The authorities in Myanmar hope to use the country’s tourism industry to improve the lives of its citizens and to attract investment to boost the country’s economy,” the Daily Express wrote. But will Myanmar attract tourists that are willing to travel through the countryside in which the Rohingya are being tortured, disemboweled, and set upon by mobs? It’s almost impossible to tell if the tourism industry will emerge as the economic engine that the government hopes it will be or whether there will be protests over incidents of violence against the Rohingya.
— Jennifer Griffin