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Upstream Journal

magazine on human rights & social justice

Posts Tagged / burma

  • May 01 / 2012
  • 0
Journal

Without a country Burma’s Rohingya people

Under Myanmar’s 1982 citizenship law, Rohingya children - both registered and unregistered - are stateless and face limited access to food and health care. Many are prevented from attending school and used for forced labour, contributing to a Rohingya illiteracy rate of 80 percent. More than 60 percent of children aged between five and 17 have never enrolled in school.  Photo: Digital Media

Under Myanmar’s 1982 citizenship law, Rohingya children – both registered and unregistered – are stateless and face limited access to food and health care. Many are prevented from attending school and used for forced labour, contributing to a Rohingya illiteracy rate of 80 percent. More than 60 percent of children aged between five and 17 have never enrolled in school. Photo: Digital Media

On August 8th, 1988 thousands of Burmese poured into the streets calling for democracy. Soldiers opened fire at the unarmed golden-robed Buddhist monks, students, professionals, women, and children. The shooting didn’t stop for ten days, but the people kept flooding the streets in protest. As many as 10,000 people were killed, thousands more were arrested, and many were tortured.

Nur Hashim Salim, co-founder of the Canadian Burmese Rohingya Organization (CBRO), was one of the protestors. A high school student at the time, he feared for his life especially because he belongs to the Rohingya ethnic minority, a marginalized Muslim community in the north-western part of the country. Denied citizenship rights and persecuted by the military, he went into hiding. His parents were detained and tortured for weeks to reveal his location, and so he fled to Bangladesh to save his life. Continue Reading

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  • May 10 / 2010
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Journal

Burma: The ethics of travel to an exotic tourist destination ruled by tyrants

The ancient city of Bagan, with more than 2000 pagodas and temples.. Photo: Jose Javier Martin Espartosa

The ancient city of Bagan, with more than 2000 pagodas and temples.. Photo: Jose Javier Martin Espartosa

For the tourist, Burma is a country of contradictions. The southeast Asian country boasts cultural sites and sandy beaches that rival any tourist paradise in the region. But according to some democracy activists, the very functioning of the tourism industry is bound up with gross human rights abuses committed by the military regime that has ruled the country since 1988.

The untouched scenery and friendly locals have made Burma an attractive tourist destination, and so commercial tourism has been promoted despite calls for a boycott. Asian travel agents have long promoted cheap tours to Burma, and now European and American travel agents are also establishing tourist operations in the country. Continue Reading

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