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    Burma: ASEAN Can’t Ignore Persecution of Religious Minorities

    As Burma assumes its role as chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), its ability to credibly deal with serious human rights issues is in serious question. Burma has come out with a statement that, under its chairmanship, ASEAN will not address concerns about the persecution of the … More

    Burma’s Release of Child Soldiers: Promising, but Not Enough

    This past week, Burma announced the release of 68 child soldiers from its ranks. This latest action is promising, but progress toward ridding the army of its estimated 5,000 child soldiers is likely to be a long and arduous process. The U.S. should maintain pressure on Burma to ensure that … More

    Burma: Neighbors Call Out Regime on Rohingya Ethnic Cleansing

    Burma’s neighbors are finally speaking out about the ethnic cleansing occurring at their doorsteps. Both Indonesia and Malaysia have made public statements asking Burma to revisit its policy toward the Muslim minority Rohingya as violence continues to escalate in the nation. Earlier this week, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa called … More

    Administration Burma Policy: Lift Sanctions, Ask Questions Later

    President Obama’s meeting with Burma’s President Thein Sein at the White House today is a stark reminder of how far the Administration has come on Burma policy. In initiating the annual process for renewal of the ban on Burmese imports last week, Representative Joseph Crowley (D–NY) reiterated his desire that … More

    U.N. General Assembly Adopts the Arms Trade Treaty

    This morning, by a vote of 154 nations in favor (including the United States), 23 abstentions, and three against (Syria, North Korea, and Iran), the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The treaty will be open for national signature on June 3, 2013, and will enter into … More

    Atrocities in Burma a Reminder of Human Rights Concerns

    Over the past month, violence between the Burmese government and the Kachin, a small Christian minority group, has escalated. Just this week, three people were killed and at least four were wounded amid destruction that has displaced nearly 100,000. The violence is the latest episode in the ongoing conflict since … More

    International Religious Freedom: President Obama Misses an Opportunity

    President Obama missed a key opportunity to advance robust religious liberty in prepared remarks delivered in Burma recently. This is especially disappointing given that Burma has a long track record of persecution against religious minorities; the plight of Muslims in its west is just the latest and most visible manifestation. … More

    Burmese Elections an Encouraging Signal—No More, No Less

    For months now, many encouraging signals have been coming from Burma’s military-backed regime. The list of reforms over the last year is well-known: release of hundreds of political prisoners, relaxation of press censorship and return of exiled journalists, legal amendments to allow for labor unions and strikes, ceasefires with ethnic … More

    U.S.–Burma Policy Is About More Than a Successful By-Election

    As we inch closer to the April 1 by-elections in Burma, during which Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) will contest some 46 parliamentary seats, Western observers need to step back, assess the conditions on the ground, and determine whether the recent reforms in Burma—coupled … More

    Burma’s Reforms: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Election

    By all accounts, Burma today is vastly different than a year ago. Since the fraudulent November 2010 elections, President Thein Sein has enacted a series of reforms, eliciting praise from the international community. Yet numerous challenges still remain, and recent incidents have cast doubt on the government’s ability, and willpower, … More