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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March 12, 2012

Chins in Mizoram State

Thousands of ethnics flee Burma also known as Myanmar to escape persecution. They seek refuge in neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and India. 100,000 ethnic refugees from Burma live in the Mizoram state of India. The Chins are constantly persecuted and run to their neighboring countries to seek refugee status, but find themselves being shunned by their new society as well.

English Version:


Burmese Version:


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January 5, 2012

Scholarships for Women and Women’s Education

It is statistically proven that educating young women proves access to economic opportunities for the woman, her family and even her community. Founder of Scholarships for Burma, Kirk Acevedo tells VOA about his organization and his support in empowering people everywhere through education.


Acevedo met a young Burmese woman, Ying who has gone through many hardships in her life and whose one wish was to go to college. 7 months after Acevedo began his foundation, he has collected over $21,000 for Ying to go to college. Ying only needs $6,000 to make her dreams a reality. Watch the video and see why empowering women is access to real equality. You can donate to Scholarships for Burma here: scholarshipsforburma


August 17, 2011

UNHCR Addresses 60th Anniversary of Refugee Resettlement in the US

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees held its first congress in Washington DC to address the 60th anniversary of the UN Refugee Convention. The attendees include refugees from around the world who have resettled in the United States, including refugees from Burma, Sudan and Somalia.


English Version:


Burmese Version:

May 5, 2011

Burma’s Refugees

My colleague, Thar Nyunt Oo and I ( Kaye Lin) went to the US State Department last week where a screening of the HBO award winning documentary, Burma Soldier was held. My colleagues and I have  met and interviewed the protagonist of the film, Myo Myint several times, and he has become a friend of the service.

On this particular event, we went and centered our story around America’s stance the refugee crises in Burma. Watch the videos here:

Myo Myint, the protagonist of the film, Burma Soldier, was a refugee in one of Thailand’s refugee camps. Eric Schwartz, Assistant Secretary of Population, Refugees and Migration says that Burma is one of the countries with the biggest refugee crises in the world. Hundreds of thousands of Burmese seek refuge in its neighobring country, Thailand; and Schwartz says that there are difficulties after repatriation that is not so transparent in the beginning.

English Version:

Burmese Version:

November 9, 2010

Thousands Flee to Thailand 1 day After Burmese Elections

A day after Burma’s first election in 20 years, thousands of Burmese fled into Thailand, afraid of the on going fights between the ethnic militia and the Burmese military regime. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Mae Sot, Thailand, on the Thai- Burma border.

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