Nearly a year after Myanmar’s military launched a bloody crackdown on minority Rohingya Muslims, Trump administration policy toward the nation is paralyzed by an internal battle over how to punish those responsible for what some observers call a genocide. The fight, pitting the State Department against the Treasury Department, has dismayed lawmakers and activists who fear U.S. inaction will further erode America's reputation as a human rights champion and embolden Myanmar’s military to mount new attacks on ethnic minorities. Story Continued Below The internal strife also comes as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mulls whether to release the results of a U.S. investigation into what happened to the Rohingya. Myanmar soldiers are accused of killing, raping and even burning alive Rohingya civilians, forcing some 700,000 to flee to nearby Bangladesh, where they are stuck in squalid refugee camps. The campaign is generally considered to have begun in August 2017. "Here we are a … [Read more...] about Trump officials split over punishing Myanmar for atrocities
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration moved toward a condemnation of "ethnic cleansing" against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, as officials were preparing a recommendation for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to unequivocally use the term for the first time. Angry lawmakers on Tuesday demanded an immediate denunciation as they explored a new, tougher U.S. policy. "My bosses have said it appears to be ethnic cleansing. I'm of that view as well," said Patrick Murphy, a senior U.S. diplomat for Southeast Asia, while adding that the final call wasn't his to make. Tillerson could receive the recommendation to adopt such terminology as a matter of policy as early as this week, officials familiar with the process told The Associated Press. He would then decide whether to follow the advice of his agency's policy experts and lawyers, which would raise pressure on the U.S. government to consider new sanctions on a country that had been lauded for its democratic transition. At a … [Read more...] about US declaration of “ethnic cleansing” in Myanmar on way
Weeks after Myanmar’s armed forces began raping, killing and displacing minority Rohingya Muslims, President Donald Trump’s administration promised to hold the Asian nation accountable for what some researchers say is a genocide. Almost a year later, the United States has imposed economic sanctions on just one Myanmar military leader; Congress has failed to pass legislation penalizing the country; and efforts to further restrict minimal U.S.-Myanmar military ties have stalled. Story Continued Below Now, ahead of the expected release of a State Department investigation into the Rohingya crisis, new documents obtained by POLITICO show how the Trump administration isn’t even fully enforcing tough Myanmar-related U.S. laws already on the books. According to material, the administration, invoking questionable grounds of “national interest,” has been permitting the children of some past and present Myanmar military leaders to travel to the U.S. — despite … [Read more...] about U.S. not fully enforcing Myanmar sanctions, documents show
The United States on Friday slapped sanctions on four Myanmar security officials and two of the country’s military units for human rights abuses, including ethnic cleansing against the country's minority Muslim Rohingya population. The announcement from the Treasury Department comes as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo deliberates on whether to declare what happened to the Rohingya a genocide. It also follows months of administration debate over how much to punish Myanmar, also known as Burma, where the U.S. has tried to nurture democratic reforms. Story Continued Below The sanctions were levied in part under the Global Magnitsky Act, which gives U.S. officials broad authority to target people for human rights abuses. U.S. officials noted the case of the Rohingya, but they also pointed out that Myanmar’s military leaders have waged violence against other minority groups, including those in Kachin and Shan states. “Burmese security forces have engaged in violent … [Read more...] about U.S. slaps sanctions on Myanmar for ‘atrocities’
Opinion Monday September 3 was a black day for freedom of the press and the rule of law in Myanmar. A court in Yangon sentenced Reuters journalists Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, to seven years in prison for allegedly violating the colonial-era Official Secrets Act as they investigated a massacre of Rohingya Muslims. Trial evidence indicates that police purposefully handed them documents to “trap” them. The burning question facing Myanmar is whether President Win Myint will undo this injustice by pardoning Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and ordering them to be released from prison. The signs are not promising. Domestically he faces little pressure to act, as popular opinion strongly backs the military’s actions against the Rohingya, and neither Win Myint nor de facto civilian leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has spoken up in support of the journalists or press freedom. The conviction has been condemned by the European Union, the U.K. Foreign … [Read more...] about Who Should Be Punished—Those Behind A Massacre Or The People Who Expose It?