Coronavirus Outbreak Will Test Foundations of Arakan Society, Government

25 Aug 2020

With all of this in mind, it is important that authorities avoid over- or underreacting to the current COVID-19 threat level. More importantly, the government will need to show an ability to adapt to changing circumstances and adjust its strategy for combating the virus if the situation in Arakan State becomes significantly worse.

A Fight for Legitimacy Amid Arakan’s Changing Political Landscape

25 Jul 2020

Since Myanmar is a weak State, it is more susceptible to being substituted in reality or in people’s minds by the likes of the Arakan Authority, an interim governance body forged by the AA’s political wing, the United League of Arakan (ULA). On June 19, Arakan News published a story about the AA-affiliated Authority settling a land dispute issue ...

Sittwe Needs a Rule of Law Reckoning

Rammar Kyaw Saw 08 Jul 2020

In recent months and years, there have been far too few major criminal cases (and/or crimes that attracted significant public interest) in which the perpetrators have been brought to justice. No wonder then that the residents of Sittwe feel they are not safe. 

The costs of war make peace priceless

Nay Yaung Min 25 Jun 2020

Fighting between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army that began in late 2018 has displaced more than 150,000 civilians in Arakan State. Although it has been more than a year, there is no sign of the hostilities coming to an end anytime soon.  

Amid fear and suspicion, young Arakanese lives on the brink

Ramma Kyaw Saw 01 Jun 2020

The number of Arakanese youths who have lost their lives after an encounter with the increasing number of Tatmadaw checkpoints along the Sittwe-Yangon road has also increased. According to the military’s statements, most often the ostensible reason that they are shot dead is that they were somehow linked to the AA, regardless of what the families or local residents say.

The NLD’s Broken Promises in Arakan

Aung Kyaw 27 May 2020

Myanmar is gearing up for a general election later this year that will pit the NLD against dozens of other political parties including many “ethnic” alternatives. Mindful of the looming polls, here we evaluate the extent to which the NLD government has delivered on these key commitments — to the rule of law, finding political solutions and federal principles — in the context of Arakan State.

All is not fair in love and war

Zaw Zaw 13 May 2020

Several civilians were killed by artillery shells that landed on Kyauk Seik village in Ponnagyun Township, Arakan State, on April 13. Photos and videos of this tragedy have circulated on social media and the carnage was also covered by the press. 

Seeing war in Arakan for what it is, envisioning its end

Khaing Kyaw Sun 01 May 2020

In Myanmar, the leaders of Kachin and Karen armed groups did not think their armed conflicts with the government would last many decades. But wars like these could not be ended when the demands of the respective ethnic armed groups were not met, and those groups’ resolve remained steadfast,

Elucidating the spirit of peace

Khaing Kyaw Sun 30 Apr 2020

Although those in power can often get away with misdeeds and injustices, it is usually the general populace who feel the weight of shame for the wrongdoing of their leaders. To this day, Germans feel a sense of disgrace due to the horrific era of Hitler and his henchmen. The world experienced the worst atrocities in human history during Hitler’s 12-year reign from 1933 to 1945.

Ceasefire, internet in Arakan will slow spread of COVID-19

Kun San Lwin 22 Apr 2020

The government’s stated reason for the internet shutdown was due to the ongoing conflict in the region, which has shown no signs of abating despite the COVID-19 outbreak. In an April 10 statement, the Myanmar Foreign Affairs Ministry explained that the internet shutdown was “to prevent the misuse of the internet by the Arakan Army (AA) for their political and military agenda.”

Anxious days for journalists in Myanmar

Mya Hnin Thu 15 Apr 2020

In Myanmar, a country that has only been practicing its most recent version of democracy for about a decade, journalists and media outlets are struggling with more than just financial viability. We have been reminded of this in recent weeks, as a handful of journalists became the latest to face undue threats to their lives and livelihoods.

Preventing the spread of coronavirus and greed in Arakan State

Rammar Kyaw Saw 13 Apr 2020

Arakan State is currently facing hardships from all corners. It is very important to get enough food to more than 150,000 internally displaced people (IDPs). The government provides some food supplies, but it is meagre. Local charity groups have to collect donations to provide basic provisions such as rice, cooking oil, salt, chili and onion for them. When food prices increase markedly, as is currently the case, it is difficult for charity groups to provide relief aid for IDPs.

Internet inequity exacerbates Arakan State’s woes 

Nay Myo Lin 08 Apr 2020

Arakan State’s situation is complicated, with ongoing armed conflict and tense intercommunal dynamics between the state’s Buddhist and Muslim populations. The internet — often bemoaned as a vehicle for the spread of “fake news” and false information — under such circumstances can also be a tool to combat deceit.  

Unity without equality is a nonstarter

Rammar Kyaw Saw 17 Mar 2020

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was an initial skeptic, saying during a foreign trip then: “Ethnic armed groups need to consider before signing the NCA immediately because it still has some weaknesses.” However, when she took office, she invited ethnic armed groups to sign the NCA in good faith, with no amendments having been made to the document.

Arakan political parties and 2020 election prospects

Ramma Kyaw Saw 21 Feb 2020

The number of IDPs continues to grow in northern Arakan State. Already commonplace clashes could grow in frequency and intensity, and the war zone could expand, as the weather grows more favorable for military maneuvers in the coming months. The logistical difficulties of arranging a vote under such circumstances is obvious.

Peace cannot be achieved while war profiteers endure

27 Jan 2020

Nation-building and state-building should take into consideration the features of all citizens living within the confines of a country’s borders. This idea ensures stability in a country, and it is an essential element of a democractic federal union, where all are placed on an equal footing: To paraphrase the words of founding father Gen. Aung San, “If the Bamar get one kyat, the Karen will get one kyat.”

Third-party thinking toward a potential path to peace

21 Jan 2020

Myanmar has endured internal conflicts for more than 70 years. It is frequently described as the world’s longest ongoing civil war. The conflicts today are, at their core, about a lack of equality and self-determination in ethnic areas. Although Myanamr is rich in natural resources, its development has lagged globally and among regional counterparts, due in part to the negative effects of civil war.

Amid Development at Kyaukphyu, a Question Persists: For the Benefit of Whom?

01 Jan 2020

Regarding the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone, some residents believe it will bring jobs if businesses come in with their technological expertise brought to bear. But others’ fears are also a big part of the discussion. Among their concerns: The SEZ could harm the environment, lands could be forcefully confiscated, and it may only be large companies that profit from the development, with local residents losing out.

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