As expected, the Obama administration today suspended the US ban on imports from Burma, just days before President Obama’s historic visit to that country. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is disappointed that the decision was not coupled to a requirement for proper safeguards to protect human rights.
PHR Congratulates President Obama on His Reelection, Urges Administration to Strengthen US Human Rights Policies in Second Term
PHR congratulates President Obama on his reelection. A second term provides an opportunity for the administration to strengthen US policies on a variety of important human rights issues, thereby fulfilling obligations incumbent upon the administration and completing the unfinished work of the first term.
Human Rights Watch called Saturday for an end to the sectarian violence in Myanmar between the Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims. Concern over Myanmar's human rights record has been growing recently, and in August Physicians for Human Rights reported that Myanmar's army is still committing human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in Karen state.
Over the past two years, some people in Burma have experienced some remarkable changes. The government of Burma has released political prisoners made moves toward greater political freedom, and loosened strict media controls. But people in Burma have also witnessed continuing crimes by the military, ongoing conflict in Kachin state, and violent ethnic clashes in Rakhine [Arakan] state.
The Karen National Union's struggle for autonomy from Myanmar's central government, now in its sixth decade of armed resistance, is widely recognized as the world's longest-running insurgency. Now, a split within the KNU's senior ranks threatens to weaken its armed front and undermine its negotiating position at a time when President Thein Sein's push for peace with ethnic armies gains greater international recognition.