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Mon Nov 30, 2015, 01:18 PM

Can democracy and genocide co-exist in Burma?

By Murtaza Shaikh
Source: open democracy
November 30, 2015

We have witnessed a momentous and historic event in Burma (Myanmar); the first real glimpses of democracy with the military dictatorship making way for the landslide victory of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi after over two decades of political exile at an immeasurable personal cost.

However, there is a story behind the headlines and jubilation, to a large extent sidelined and omitted, perhaps because it inconveniently complicates and even undermines the simplistic narrative of democratic triumph over dictatorship, of absolute good overcoming absolute evil. That barely visible story, rather than a minor detail, demands our full attention, especially if the purpose behind the electoral exercise was a future democratic Burma, where human rights and its diverse ethnic and religious plurality is accommodated, respected and reflected politically.

And it is this: the Rohingya Muslim minority numbering around 1 million were denied the right to vote or stand for office, following a recent census, which excluded all Rohingya. Couple this with recent in-depth reports from Queen Mary University and Fortify Rights and the Yale Law School finding that the process of genocide is under way against the Rohingya. The QMU report concludes

“the Rohingya have suffered the first four of the six stages of genocide. They have been, and continue to be, stigmatized, dehumanised and discriminated against. They have been harassed, terrorized and slaughtered. They have been isolated and segregated into detention camps and securitised villages and ghettos. They have been systematically weakened through hunger, illness, denial of civil rights and loss of livelihood.” This puts them at serious risk of stage five which is “mass annihilation”.

The report is endorsed by Tomás Ojea Quintana, former Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar (2008-14). Earlier in 2013, a Human Rights Watch Report titled: ‘All You Can Do is Pray’ had concluded, with the help of detailed satellite imagery, the treatment of Rohingya met the legal definition of ethnic cleansing.

Full article: https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/can-democracy-and-genocide-co-exist-in-burma/

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Reply Can democracy and genocide co-exist in Burma? (Original post)
polly7 Nov 2015 OP
Igel Dec 2015 #1

Response to polly7 (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2015, 01:48 PM

1. "Liberal democracy," no.

Democracy in some form, yes.

Some people like having their own particular definitions that they assume must be universal because they wish it were so.

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