Pope meets Myanmar military

November 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Myanmar, News

YANGON, 28 November 2017: Pope Francis met Myanmar’s powerful army chief on Monday at the start of a highly sensitive trip, with the military man saying he told the pontiff there was “no religious discrimination” in his country despite allegations of ethnic cleansing.

The 80-year-old pope, the first to travel to Myanmar, received Senior General Min Aung Hlaing for a 15-minute meeting at the archbishop’s residence in Yangon, where the pontiff is staying during his visit.

At least 620,000 Rohingya have fled western Rakhine state to Bangladesh, describing rape, murder and arson at the hands of Min Aung Hlaing’s army and ethnic Rakhine Buddhist mobs. Read more

Myanmar rebuffs UN statement

November 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Myanmar, News

MYANMAR, 9 November 2017: Myanmar on Wednesday hit back at a UN Security Council statement critical of its handling of the Rohingya refugee crisis, saying it could “seriously harm” efforts to repatriate the Muslim minority from Bangladesh.

On Monday the top UN body called on Myanmar to rein in military operations that have pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh since late August, sparking a dire humanitarian crisis.

The statement expressed “grave concern” over rights violations such as killing, sexual violence and torching of homes and property, “including by the Myanmar security forces”. Read more

Myanmar: Is there a moral dilemma for tourism?

October 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 19 October 2017: Does tourism promotion have any role in resolving complex religious, political, socio-economic challenges such as currently being experienced by the Rohingya people and the Myanmar authorities?

Can tourism provide solutions for the long-term settlement of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees crossing over the border from Myanmar to Bangladesh?

I believe not. Also with reference to the travel media (as opposed to mass media) they promote tourism, which provides a sustainable, trickle-down stream of revenue to the people, particularly the poor. Read more

Tourism sidesteps Rohingya crisis

September 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Travel Logs

YANGON, 21 September 2017: Myanmar Tourism Marketing has made repeated impassioned pleas for tourists to continue visiting the country.

Nothing wrong with that, MTM is the official body that promotes the country’s tourism on behalf of its stakeholders.

Membership is made up of a multitude of travel firms, hotels and airlines and the government’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has a strong say in MTM directives. Read more

Pressure mounts on Myanmar

September 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Myanmar, News

DHAKA, 18 September 2017: Bangladesh restricted the movement of Rohingya refugees, Saturday, banning them from leaving overcrowded border areas where over 400,000 who have fled violence in neighbouring Myanmar are living in squalid conditions.

The tough new measures came as Dhaka struggled to cope with the scale of the “unprecedented crisis”, with Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina heading for the UN General Assembly to plead for global help.

Conditions are already worsening in Bangladesh’s southeast border district of Cox’s Bazar, where the majority of refugees are living in desperate circumstances after fleeing Myanmar’s violence-wracked Rakhine state. Read more