August 8, 2013 marks the 25th anniversary of the 8/8/88 uprising in Burma, when the Burmese military brutally suppressed pro-democracy protesters. Student leaders initiated the demonstrations in Rangoon to protest corruption, government mismanagement, and the lack of economic reforms.
PHR has joined 75 other organizations in expressing concern about the ongoing human rights violations and humanitarian crisis occurring in Burma. Their joint statement expresses deep concern for the Rohingya, a stateless minority that has long been persecuted and subjected to countless acts of violence, persecution, and discrimination.
A presidential statement by the Human Rights Council for an end to violence against Muslims in Burma is a welcome step but does not go far enough to protect minorities and should call for an international investigation.
This week’s outbreak of violence against Muslims in Lashio marks nearly a year of targeted attacks on Muslims in Burma.
Burmese President Thein Sein is scheduled to meet with President Obama today, marking the first visit to the United States by a Burmese head of state in 47 years. Since that visit in 1966, the people of Burma have endured governmental mismanagement, brutal military rule, and serious human rights violations. Burma became a pariah state, synonymous with its infamous imprisonment of political activists and militarized attacks on civilians.