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.
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.
On April 22, the European Union lifted all sanctions against the Burmese government except for an arms embargo. The international community’s rush to applaud the Burmese government’s nascent reforms will ultimately hamper further improvements.