Archive for the ‘Affairs’ Category

Generally, Burmese with functioning brains are very happy, today. Or are they really?

Many of us had wanted to (or still want to) witness the moment of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi being the president of Burma. But it didn’t happen. Rumours say military requested things she couldn’t agree to postpone the infamous section 59 (F) of constitution. And she is believed to skip the chance to be president favouring country’s future with least possible involvement of military in cabinet and parliament.

Look at this photo.

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Found it here. Couldn’t find out who took it. Please message me if the owner like me to remove this.

The caption here says “The president walked her out, the MP waved to, the police saluted to and the public bowed down to, who is this?” Isn’t it exasperating that someone whom the majority of citizen trust and respect couldn’t manage the country “officially”?

And look at this.

Looking at her smiles cherishing the moment of truth and persistence made my heart cringe.

While I am genuinely happy for the newly elected president (who is educated and loyal. Plus, the first lady is also an MP, how awesome this is!), in some corners of my heart, I am still hoping that the lady would be the president of Burma one day – maybe after 1st April or this year or maybe 2 years later if she stays healthy which I believe she will.

And how I wish my late grandparents who loved her like their own daughter could witness this  moment, too.

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My late grandma and young DASSK in Myeik

And call me mean, I wish everyone (you know who I am referring to) who limits the happiness of average Burmese people may suffer from limited-happiness syndrome (i.e. whenever they feel happy about something, they will be held back by something so that their happiness shall never reach to the max.)

 

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Since it was unblocked in 2011, Facebook in Burma has become a platform for sectarian hate speech and propaganda

Since June 2012, when violence broke out between Rohingya and Buddhists in RakhineState, Facebook has become a platform where propagandists mislead social network users in Burma on what seems like a daily basis. There is increasing concern about the number of Burmese Internet users misusing their newfound access to social media. In reality, social networking is not that new to Burmese Internet users, but using it for online propaganda is.

Despite low penetration and strict control of the Internet, active debate on all major religions on Burmese forums did exist for a number of years prior to 2012, with little evidence of animosities spilling into the offline world. Although the country was closed in many ways, people seemed to be more open-minded. Burmese Internet users were allowed access to Facebook in September 2011. However, it is not the only root cause of hate speech and online propaganda since Burmese Facebook users seemed calm until the Rohingya issue emerged in mid-2012.

This falsified image appeared on a Burmese Facebook page alleging killings by Burmese monks. It actually shows Tibetan monks helping out after the 2010 earthquake in China. Pic: Facebook.Since then, fabricated news and falsified images have come from several Facebook accounts with unknown identities. Buddhists portray Muslims as extremists and terrorists while Muslims say Buddhists as racists. Hoaxes are everywhere. Monks from Tibet helping out after a disaster became Buddhist monks killing Rohingya. Infants from orphanages were falsely portrayed as Burmese children displaced by Rohingya rioters.

The situation intensified again recently after the Meikhtila riots. Extremist Facebook pages and accounts with thousands of followers have stoked the tensions with images and stories that cannot be verified. Images from alleged crime scenes – the dead body of a Rakhine girl reportedly raped and killed by three Muslims in June, the burnt body of a Buddhist monk allegedly killed by Muslims in Meikhtila and a video of Buddhist monk threatening to kill Muslims – are all questionable. The “unknown” sources recorded those and uploaded to Facebook, where they spread like wildfire. More interesting is that these are not images and videos likely to be captured by average members of the public, and security forces were included in some videos.

Read more on AsianCorrespondent.

Since the Rohingya riot last year in June, the nation’s tragedy has drawn the world’s attention. The repeated riots leaves the world with doubt on the effectiveness emerging reforms. But recently, more violence – this time in Meikhtila, in the middle of Myanmar’s Mandalay Division – has captured headlines. Human rights watchdogs, Rohingya advocates and reporters have all rushed to condemn Buddhist extremists as the source of the tension.

The background of the latest clash between Muslims and Buddhists, however, is not as clear cut as is reported. Although it is reported to be sectarian in nature, the characteristics of the latest flair of violence are utterly atypical, and at worst, planned. An insecure public, the nature of the extremists and the announcement of a state of emergency are indicative of a regression from the still-ongoing transition towards democracy.

The immediate root cause of the riot was an argument over a broken gold piece at a goldsmith’s shop belonging to a Muslim man. After the owner had reportedly beaten up the Buddhist sellers, who were from a different town, the sellers cried for help. A crowd gathered, and the town erupted.

Propaganda spread both online and offline was swift and atrocious. Not only were false reports and fake images of dead bodies propagating, but also hateful anonymous comments towards Muslims poured in. Fake anti-Muslim (and some anti-Buddhist) accounts dedicated to spreading propaganda sprang up overnight. Several extremists inflamed the situation with racist content by linking the current flare-up back to last year’s riot between the Rohingya and Rakhine. Pro-military accounts worsened the situation by calling Aung San Suu Kyi and the leaders of the 88 Generation Students Group irresponsible.Curiously, riots coincidentally tend to occur in Myanmar during inbound and outbound trips of Myanmar leaders and important foreign guests. The infamous unrest in Rakhine State was sparked right before Aung San Suu Kyi’s trip to Europe on June 13, 2012. The Latpadaung Copper Mine crackdown, on the other hand,

Read More on Aljazeera