Monday 27th of January 2020

I never planted them...

sunflower seeds

Remember these packets of sunflower seeds that were placed in our letterboxes to make us aware of Aung San Suu Kyi's plight? I never planted them... I was not convinced of the "next"...

The website tells us that it was created in 2009 with an aim at creating awareness of Aung San Suu Kyi, the 2200 political prisoners and human rights issues in Burma by growing sunflowers and spreading their seeds.

It adds that times are changing! "Burma is showing signs of major reforms", with release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, political prisoners and more relaxed laws on Freedom of speech. Burma has a long way to go, but even small change has to be seen as positive.

Like Burma, is changing!

But things went a bit arse up...


The 2017 persecution against the Rohingya people garnered strong criticism from all across the world, and created grave concern about the human rights issues. International communities and human rights officials have described the violence as ethnic cleansing and genocide. Soon after the security forces and Buddhist militia started "clearance operations", the world leaders warned the Myanmar authority to avoid civilian casualties.[33] In late September, a seven-member panel of the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal accused Myanmar of conducting genocide against the Rohingya and the Kachin minority groups.[20][21] The verdict came after a five-day trial, held at the law faculty of the University of Malaya, which examined various documentaries, expert views, and the testimony of the victims of atrocities. The tribunal also made 17 recommendations including demilitarization of the Rakhine state and the end of the discriminatory citizenship law.[20][21] The United Nations' human rights chief Zeid bin Ra'ad described the persecution as "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing". Later, on 5 December 2017, he announced that the Rohingya persecution may constitute genocide under international human rights laws.[61] In November, British prime minister Theresa May and United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described the situation as "ethnic cleansing"[17][18] while the French President Emanuel Macron called it genocide.[19]

After a two-year investigation into the plight of the Rohingya ethnic minority, the human rights group Amnesty International in their report described the restricted situation of the Rohingya people as "an open-air prison" as they are under a "vicious system of institutionalised discrimination and segregation" which is limiting their human rights, their freedom of movement, and their access to foodhealthcare, and education.[62][63] In the report, Amnesty International mentions that the Rohingya minority are confined to their villages, to townships, and to shabby camps which are cut off from the rest of Myanmar, and travel between their own villages is seriously restricted. Travel between townships is subject to a complicated process of obtaining permission, and even then those permitted to travel are routinely harassed, physically tortured or arrested. All these "systematic" discrimination and persecution amount to apartheid, the rights group said. [62][63]

As in the 2016 incident of Rohingya persecution, the Myanmar leader and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi was again criticized her silence over the issue and for supporting the military actions.[22] She has been stripped of her 1997 Freedom of Oxford award over "inaction" in handling the raging violence.[64] Others argue that since the military retains significant autonomy and power in the government, she may be powerless to control them. Her inaction, on behalf of the Rohingya, brought a plea for action from fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai.[22] Numerous people have called for Suu Kyi's Nobel Prize to be revoked. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu also criticized Suu Kyi's stand to defend the military actions.[65] The Economist criticised Suu Kyi's stance, arguing: "the violence in Rakhine has reached such an unconscionable level that there can be no justifying continued passivity."[66]

Direct sanctions against the Myanmar military and penalties for firms that do business with companies linked to it, as were in place by America and other countries in the past, have been suggested as the best response to the violence.[66] According to The Economist, "The Burmese army is not easy to influence, but economic and diplomatic isolation do seem to have played a part in persuading it to surrender power in the first place."[66]


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Where to from here?... Should I plant the seeds for the Rohingya people? Is there some information we are not told properly, including some Rohingya "agents provocateurs", sponsored by the same people who financed the Arab Spring (US and Saudi Arabia), who have inflamed the situation in Myanmar, inciting a military "response" from the Buddhists and a condemnation from the "world community"?

May be I should way a bit longer for the flowers of common sense... It could be an eternity.


thank you matt...

Matthew Charles "MattMullenweg (born January 11, 1984) is an American online social media entrepreneur and web developer living in San Francisco. He is best known for developing the free and open-source web software WordPress, now managed by The WordPress Foundation.

After dropping out of the University of Houston, he worked at CNET Networks from 2004 to 2006 until he quit and founded Automattic, the business behind (which provides free WordPress blogs and other services), AkismetGravatar, VaultPress, IntenseDebate, Polldaddy, and more.


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Internet philanthropy... 

the seeds of wrath...

At first glance, the prospect of reporting on Myanmar's public transport system seems like a pretty innocuous editorial move.

Key points: 
  • Arrest of three journalists this week follows sentencing of two Reuters reporters
  • Journalists facing mounting legal threats under Aung San Suu Kyi's Government
  • Press freedom has declined across several South-East Asian countries


But this week, Eleven Media's pursuit of a story that criticised the funding behind Yangon's bus network led to the arrest of three journalists after one of Aung San Suu Kyi's closest confidants was seemingly portrayed in a bad light.

Executive editors Kyaw Zaw Lin and Nayi Min, along with chief reporter Phyo Wai Win, are now facing up to two years in prison after their newspaper accused Yangon Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein of mismanaging the city's bus finances.

"I didn't write anything wrong," Phyo Wai Win told Reuters as he entered the police station on Wednesday.


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no longer representing a symbol of hope and courage...

Amnesty International is stripping Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest honour, the Ambassador of Conscience Award.

The politician and Nobel peace prize winner received the honour in 2009, when she was living under house arrest.

The rights group said it was profoundly dismayed at her failure to speak out for the Rohingya minority, some 700,000 of whom have fled a military crackdown.

This is the latest honour in a string of awards Ms Suu Kyi, 73, has lost.

"We are profoundly dismayed that you no longer represent a symbol of hope, courage, and the undying defence of human rights," Amnesty's Secretary General Kumi Naidoo wrote in a letter to the Myanmar leader.

"[Her] denial of the gravity and scale of the atrocities [against the Rohingya] means there is little prospect of the situation improving," Mr Naidoo said.

The organisation, which once feted her as a beacon for democracy, announced its decision on the eighth anniversary of Ms Suu Kyi's release from house arrest.


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still the same person — our different perception...

A few short years ago, Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi was an international human rights icon.

During her last trip to Western Europe, she was revered for her peaceful fight for democracy against Myanmar's military. 

This week, she returns to Europe to defend her country against accusations of genocide.

She will face the International Court of Justice (ICJ) alongside the army she spent much of her life fighting against.

It is the latest move by the former global peace leader to catch the international community by surprise. 

She is accused of turning a blind eye to violent atrocities committed against Myanmar's minority Rohingya population.

Last year, Amnesty International was one of seven high-profile organisations to strip her of honours, awards and titles over the Rohingya crisis. 

She has been criticised by the United Nations and by US Vice-President Mike Pence.

Canada has withdrawn its honorary citizenship and Malaysia's Prime Minister has described her as a "changed person" who has lost his support.


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