VOA Burmese Blog

August 16, 2012

President Thein Sein on Rohingyas in an Exclusive Intv with VOA Burmese


This is a blog post that I have been waiting to put up for a very long time. With so many people distraught and in a sensitive state, I’ve refrained a lot from writing my own thoughts. I hope that this interview that VOA Burmese chief, Than Lwin Htun with President Thein Sein discloses the attitude and state that Burma is in. This was the first time President Thein Sein had talked about “Rohingyas” in an interview, and VOA was the first to get this rare opportunity. VOA Burmese Chief traveled to Naypyidaw, and had gotten this interview.

Although this interview has spurred controversy ( for example) on the use of President Thein Sein’s language in calling Rohingyas, ” Bengalis”, many believe that this is a great light for all of Burma. I think these are the four important points of the interview:

1.) On the education system and in implementing schools in Burma- Thein Sein says he will open schools for Rohingyas ” so they can know what is right or wrong” but he does not see them as citizens.

2.) Thein Sein said that the sectarian violence is not a religious issue. He says that it is ignited by the rape and murder of a young girl by Rohingya men.

3.) Thein Sein on Rohingya Citizenship ( direct translation): ” We have the citizenship legislation of 1982, which as far as I know gave protection to those who are living here. Roughly, as I know, these people were brought in for farming; then they stayed here without going back. The 1982 legislation already stated that it recognizes third generation Rohingyas ” Bengalis” as citizens- those who are grandchildren of those who migrated. So by implementing this law again, we will make these societies live in harmony and respect human rights. “

4.) They invite the international community such as the OIC and other organizations to witness the on the ground situation. However, he said that this is a national problem and that international organizations are not needed.

What do you think about the interview? What do you think about what President Thein Sein had said?

In an exclusive interview with VOA Burmese Chief, Than Lwin Htun, Burma’s President Thein Sein discloses that he and his government will open schools for Rohingya Muslims who have accused the Buddhist majority of human rights violations and the persecution of the Rohingya people. Thein Sein believes that through education- the different communities may be able to live in harmony, while noting that Rohingyas should not be given Burmese citizenship.

Write to us and let us know what you think of President Thein Sein’s thoughts on the conflict in the comment section below.

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August 3, 2012

HIV AIDS Conference 2012


Ko Thar Nyunt Oo and I went to the 19th International AIDS conference at the Washington E. Convention center in Washington. There were so many people there from all around the world. People took the stage to speak about many topics and issues – on research, policy and how to cope with HIV/AIDS.

The second video that Ko Thar reported on was about the Red Ribbon Award Winners. Burma’s, The Help group had received the prestigious award. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi even had a special message to the audience. She gave a special thank you to the volunteers who are helping with the issue of AIDS and HIV. Everyone should be aware about HIV-AIDS- how to help others living with it and how to prevent the spread of it. The AIDS conference takes place every two years. Four years ago, it took place in Mexico. This year it takes place in the US; in two years, it’ll take place in Australia.

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Producer/ Reporter: Thar Nyunt Oo

Videographer/ Editor : Kaye Lin

July 18, 2012

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to Visit the US in September


Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will visit the US in September to accept the Global Citizens Award from Atlantic Council.  A representative from Atlantic Council had told VOA Burmese that Daw Suu will accept this award ” in person”. This will be the first time she will be coming to the US since working for the United Nations in the 1980′s.

In June, Daw Suu traveled across Europe for more than two weeks, meeting with state leaders and government officials. My editor, Khin Soe Win and I followed her around to different countries and cities as she accepted the prizes and made great speeches. You can watch more of Khin Soe Win’s videos on a later post.

Here are some of the pictures that we had taken in Europe while covering Daw Suu’s trip. This trip was personal for me as I had gotten to meet Burma’s ” heroine”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VOA was in Oslo, Norway to cover Daw Suu’s Nobel Peace Prize Speech:

June 4, 2012

VOA’s David Ensor and Than Lwin Htun in Napyitaw,Burma


 

VOA Director David Ensor, Burmese Parliament House Speaker, Thura Shwe Mann and VOA Burmese Service Chief Than Lwin Htun held preliminary talks in Burma’s capital, Naypyitaw on Monday, June 4th 2012.

Burma, also known as Myanmar lived under a military dictatorship for decades- with enforced oppressive laws including the suppression of freedom of speech and expression. Recently, however, with the country’s willingness to open its arms to changes, there are talks of press freedom in the country, and VOA is at the forefront in covering this Southeast Asian nation.

What do you think of Burma’s road to reforms and the changes in media law?  What do you hope to see VOA do in the country?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 3, 2012

Interview with Priscilla Clapp- Former Charge D’ Affaires of Burma


Priscilla Clapp- Former Charge D’Affaires of Burma and current Senior Adviser to Asia Society, joins VOA’s Khin Soe Win to talk about Burma’s new reforms and what these reforms could mean for the future of the country. She also speaks about the challenges that Burma has to face in building this new democracy -which she explains is more than just rhetoric. She says that Burma is no longer a one man top down system-meaning, that the military is no longer the primary rule. There are different branches that have to be built and established in a democracy and it will take some time.
English Version:

Burmese Version:

The EU and the US Easing Sanctions on Burma


The United States and the European Union have said that it will follow and reward Burma’s democratic reforms, and they have been bargaining. As the new government led by President Thein Sein enacted in a series of democratic changes such as granting amnesty on some political prisoners and announcing greater press freedom, the United States, Australia, European Union including Norway, Britain have rewarded those reforms by lifting some long-standing sanctions against Burma.

During the 1990′s, the European Union and America imposed sanctions on Burma for its human rights abuses. Sanctions on Burma drove the country closer to its big superpower neighbor, China, and the Burmese government is looking forward to attract more foreign investors as analysts disclose the Burmese government’s growing exhaustion of China taking advantage of its resources. The videos show case the World Bank’s forum on Burma’s progress towards economic reforms discussing the removal of the sanctions and the humanitarian issues that still face the country.

English Version:

Burmese Version:

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