It seems completely appropriate to characterize Burma as a fascist state. That means taking a closer look at the generals fronted by Suu Kyi’s carefully cultivated & entirely deceitful image as a human rights champion with girly flowers in her hair. An expos√© is coming up. They’re a gruesome & ruthless lot.

The chilling reality for unaccompanied minor Rohingya refugees.

Unaccompanied Ro children (REUTERS:Mohammad Ponir Hossain) Sept 18 2017

No indication if these wee children are unaccompanied or whether their parents are near as they cross into Bangladesh after a gunshot was heard on the Burma side. Absolutely chilling.

We have to raise child welfare for unaccompanied children as a major concern of refugee rights. We cannot allow them to become trafficking victims like those orphaned in the Indonesia/Sri Lanka tsunami & African children processed by the EU in Italy where over 10,000 are unaccounted for.

(Photo by Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters)

Just an aggressive reminder that gender-based insults (including in regard to Suu Kyi) are not allowed on my wall. Many, & I include myself, take great offense to words like bitch, whore, etc. Expand your vocabulary of abuse. Break out of an anti-social mindset & learn to see genocidaires in terms of their human rights crimes, not in terms of their gender.

Facebook censoring Rohingya activists

Facebook censoring of news about the Palestinian & Kashmiri struggles has long been a problem, especially when they suspend or shut down the accounts of many activists. Now to read that they are censoring news from Rohingya activists–& just as the Mueller investigation is honing in on them for taking money from Russia to post racist, anti-immigration crap. We’ve got ourselves a free speech dilemma here:

The crisis of unaccompanied minor Rohingya refugees

Little Ro boy at Cox's Bazar (Reuters:Danish Siddiqui) Sept 18 2017

Hard to even imagine the terror of small children fleeing military & nationalist death squads after witnessing genocide, especially the terror of those children who have lost their parents & are fleeing on their own. According to media reports, there are thousands of such children crossing the border into Bangladesh. With chaos in the refugee camps, these little kids are sitting ducks for predators posing as charitable organizations or parents.

We need to raise a hue & cry to demand thoroughly vetted child welfare providers be on hand to act as long-term guardians & to make sure no child slips into the hands of traffickers. That is a human right priority.

(Photo of little refugee at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh by Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)

On the nature of solidarity

Ro mother & child in rain (Reuters: Mohammad Ponir Hossain)

“The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives & him that takes.” –Shakespeare

It isn’t just mercy that refugees require because that has a sense of noblesse oblige & solidarity is a very different thing. But if you substitute mercy with solidarity in this beautiful passage from The Merchant of Venice, the message is the same.

Solidarity is not an act of charity nor a passive sentiment but a recognition that our human fates are tied together, that we are bound by economics, politics, colonialism & war–& that social transformation is forged only by active unity as brothers & sisters to end tyranny & make this world suitable for children to live & love in.

Photo is Rohingya mother & child refugees in the rain at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

(Photo by Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters)

{Reposted & slightly edited from September 18, 2015}

Call for arms embargo & targeted sanctions on Burma

Rohingya in river Sept 18 2017

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling on the UN Security Council, a bastion of big power realpolitik, to impose an arms embargo & targeted sanctions on Burma. It’s something of an empty gesture since of the five countries on the UNSC with veto power (China, France, Russia, the UK & US), China & Russia are the biggest sellers of arms to Burma & are not going to impose an embargo or sanctions of any kind. They are steadfast in preventing the UNSC from even shaking the naughty finger at the generals, let alone issuing a condemnation for genocide.

As for those targeted sanctions, they really don’t amount to a hill of beans. It means some Burmese government & military officials will have travel restrictions & asset freezes imposed. Even if they were enforced, they would not bring the generals to their knees. The targeted sanctions thing is justified by saying it would hurt those in power & not affect Burmese working people. Quite frankly, it shouldn’t be an issue to put the squeeze on those who support the generals in carrying out genocide.

The HRW call is worth supporting just to put pressure on China, Russia, India, Israel, & the other countries supplying arms & military equipment to Burma. It also puts pressure on European countries playing military footsie with the generals despite the EU arms embargo. There’s nothing to stop us from demanding our governments impose sanctions against multinationals investing in Burma since billions of dollars are made off the backs of the Rohingya people as well as other oppressed nationalities in that prison house of nations. We can find out which companies based in our countries are invested there & picket the hell out of them. Somebody has to be held accountable for this genocide; no one should earn a dime from the deaths & diaspora of the Rohingya people.

Text of HRW call:

The poor little BRIC nations (that combined make up half the world’s population): Brazil, Russia, India, & China. “Breakout nations,” struggling against all odds to compete in the world economy with the US & Europe. That must be why they’ve turned to sweatshop economics, child labor, arms sales, & supporting dictatorships around the world. Moving ahead off the backs of working people & by arming genocide in Burma.