Saturday, August 9, 2014

What message must John Kerry bring to Myanmar leaders?

Nehginpao Kipgen *

A file Photo of US Secretary of State John Kerry :: Pix Courtesy- AP Photo/Lucas Jackson, Pool
A file Photo of US Secretary of State John Kerry :: Pix Courtesy- AP Photo/Lucas Jackson, Pool

The US Secretary of State John Kerry is arriving in Myanmar's capital Nay Pyi Taw on August 9 for a three-day visit. The chief diplomat will meet government leaders and attend a series of meetings, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum and East Asia Summit.

In a statement released on August 2, the US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that Kerry's trip to the region is one key aspect of US commitment in Asia to promote peace, stability, and prosperity.

Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims living in dire conditions

Rohingya Muslims account for about five percent of Myanmar’s population of nearly 60 million.
Source : Presstv / 08 Aug 2014

Rohingya Muslims continue to live under extremely harsh conditions in Myanmar, with tens of thousands now facing severe shortages of food, water and medical care in refugee camps, Press TV reports.

As part of its long history of discrimination against the community, the central government in Naypyidaw is restricting access to international aid organizations desperate to help Rohingya Muslims.
“We are refugees. We lost everything. Why is our government doing this to us? They must really hate us,” an unnamed Rohingya Muslim man at a refugee camp told Press TV.

Young Rohingya facing bleak future in Myanmar

Child labor rampant throughout country, with Muslim children forced to abandon formal education and work from an early age.

World Bulletin / News Desk
Young Rohingya facing bleak future in MyanmarFifteen-year-old Ko San has been working full-time for four years, arriving every day at the crack of dawn at a ramshackle teashop in western Myanmar. There, he doesn’t stop cleaning and waiting tables until the sun goes down over the nearby Bay of Bengal.

Ko San earns the equivalent of just ten U.S. dollars a month - a pittance even by the standards of this desperately impoverished country.

“I also give him breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said the teashop owner, as the Anadolu Agency talked to Ko San recently.

Myanmar: 1,000 Muslim Rohingya Children 'Severely Malnourished' in Rakhine State Camps

Rohingya children in Myanmar camps are going hungry

Violence traps minority group

By Esther Htusan | Associated Press

Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP
A woman comforted her child while waiting in a village pharmacy.
A woman comforted her child while waiting in a village pharmacy.OHN TAW GYI CAMP, Myanmar — Born just over a year ago, Dosmeda Bibi has spent her entire short life confined to a camp for one of the world’s most persecuted religious minorities. And like a growing number of other Muslim Rohingya children who are going hungry, she’s showing the first signs of severe malnutrition.

Her stomach is bloated and her skin clings tightly to the bones of her tiny arms and legs. While others her age are sitting or standing, the baby girl cannot flip from her back to her stomach without a gentle nudge from her mom.