An exposure of “human rights” imperialism
By Peter Symonds, 12 June 2019
Aung San Suu Kyi’s meeting with Hungary’s far-right leader Viktor Orbán is an indictment of all those who promoted Suu Kyi as a defender of democratic rights.
By Oscar Grenfell, 30 August 2018
The release of the UN panel report coincides with calls for tougher US sanctions against Burma, aimed at pressuring it to scale back its ties with China.
By John Roberts, 21 March 2018
Last November’s agreement between Burma and Bangladesh was a ploy to deflect attention from the Burmese military’s ongoing pogrom against Muslim Rohingya.
By John Roberts, 19 February 2018
Washington’s attitude to the humanitarian disaster is not determined by concern for the suffering of the Rohingya, but by its efforts to isolate China in the Indo-Pacific region.
By John Roberts, 19 December 2017
Médecins Sans Frontières conservatively estimated that 6,700 Rohingya were killed in Burma’s Rakhine state in the month August 25 to September 24.
By Wimal Perera, 30 November 2017
Violating the basic rights of refugees, the Bangladesh government is desperate to push them back to Burma.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Oscar Grenfell, 25 November 2015
The victims were impoverished workers who fossick for jade in one of the country’s most lucrative industries.
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.
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.
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.
By Oscar Grenfell, 6 August 2015
Monsoonal downpours have created a humanitarian disaster, with the most impoverished and oppressed people among the worst affected.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By John Roberts, 7 October 2013
Investment has slumped as Chinese projects have stalled and funds from Western sources have failed to materialise.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Sarath Kumara, 10 April 2013
Attacks on Muslims in central Burma last month left 43 dead and thousands displaced.
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.
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.
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.
By John Roberts, 4 January 2013
The military has recently begun using airstrikes, along with heavy weapons, in fighting against separatist Kachin Independence Army.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By John Roberts, 4 April 2012
The opposition National League for Democracy won the overwhelming majority of seats in by-elections last weekend.
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.
By John Roberts, 19 January 2012
The US move is part of a broader strategy to undermine Chinese influence throughout Asia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.