International/Domestic Relations Timeline

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2012

June

President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency in Rakhine.

July

-President Thein Sein said to the UNHCR that their government will take on the responsibility for its own ethnic nationalities, but it is “not at all possible to recognize the illegal border-crossing Rohingyas who are not our ethnicity.” Sein then said  that the Rohingya pose a threat to national security and that they should be resettled in any third country that is “willing to take them”.

-Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu condemns repression and human rights violations against Rohingya Muslims.

August

-UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Myanmar Vijay Nambiar and the UNHCR, call for an impartial investigation into the violence in Arakan/Rakhine state.

October

-Sectarian violence breaks out in nine townships in Rakhine state, causing 35,000 people most of which were Muslim to be displaced.

-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan reported that Myanmar government officials had rejected an offer by ASEAN to open response dialogues between ASEAN, the UN, and the government aimed at quelling the violence in Arakan/Rakhine state.

November

– UNHCR calls asks the Myanmar government to review the 1982 Citizenship Law.

– US President Barack Obama meets with President Thein Sein and Aung San Suu Kyi.

 

2013

January

-The World Bank announces that Myanmar’s owed debt to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank have been waived with the assistance of the Japanese government. -Myanmar gets approved for a $440 million credit from the World Bank. The Asian Development Bank grants a $512 million credit.

March

– Violence starts between Buddhists and Muslims in the town of Meikhtila located in the Mandalay region, and sweeps through several other regions, killing at least 40 and displacing another 12,000 people.

-After outbreak of violence president Thein Sein declared a state of emergency in Meikhtila.

April

-European Union lifts sanctions imposed on Myanmar with the exception of the arms embargo and the embargo on equipment.

May

– United States President Barack Obama extends current US imposed sanctions against Myanmar and lifts the 1996 visa ban.

– Government officials in the Maungdaw District of the Rakhine state impose a two-child limit on Rohingyan families.

– Myanmar parliament extends the state of emergency in Meikhtila for an additional 60 days.

– Japanese government backs the progress of Myanmar’s reforms and grants a loan of $504 million (first loan in 26 years) and pardons the remainder of the country’s owed debt,

-Anti-Muslim violence occurs in Lashio, Shan state. The violent Buddhist rioters destroy a mosque, an orphanage and various Muslim-owned businesses, displacing approximately 1,400 Muslim people.

June

-European Union creates a resolution condemning the human rights violations and the rampant violence enacted against the Rohingya Muslims and urges the Myanmar government to take active measures to protect them.

-A Buddhist leaders’ conference in Yangon proposes an interfaith marriage law that would restrict Buddhist women seeking to marry Muslim men. The law would make it necessary to obtain approval from government authorities and require the Muslim man to convert to Buddhism.

July

-President Thein Sein dissolves the border security force, NaSaKa, which has been historically accused of committing human rights violations against the Rohingya mostly in the form of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrest and detention, and torture.

– President Thein Sein lifts the state of emergency in Meikhtila, stating that the situation there has been stabilized.

August

-Buddhist rioters burn down dozens of Muslim-owned homes and shops in Kanbalu.

October

– Violence at the end of September particularly targeted toward the Muslim population in Thandwe spreads to various other villages in the Rakhine state. Reports found that at least 480 people were displaced, while at least 5 people were killed and 110 homes were burned down.

– President Thein Sein claims that the government will use all means necessary without prejudicial bias based on race/ethnic/religious background to restore peace and stability in Rakhine state

November

-A boat with over 70 Rohingya fleeing persecution capsizes at sea off the coast of Sittwe. Only 8 survive the catastrophe.

 

2014

January

-In the Du Chee Yar Tan village of the Maungdaw Township in the Rakhine state eight Rohingya Muslims are attacked and killed by local residents.

– After a series of violent clashes between Buddhist and Rohingya groups in the Du Chee Yar Tan village, a police sergeant is killed by the Rohingyas. Buddhist residents and police respond by killing approximately 40 Rohingya men, women and children.

-The Chief Minister of Rakhine State, U Hla Maung Tin, decides to visit the Du Chee Yar Tan village to look into recent violence outbreaks. He ends up dismissing the “false news published and aired by foreign media that children and women were killed.”

April

-In the northern region At least 22 people are killed in fighting between government troops and ethnic Kachin rebels

May

– US extends sanctions for another year, stating that despite the recent  governmental reforms, human rights abuses and unjust military influence on politics and the economy persist.
October
– Parliamentary elections are set for October/November 2015.
-Government announces release of 3,000 prisoners. Officials state that most are petty criminals, but include ex-military intelligence officers.

2015

March

– A draft agreement on ceasefire is signed between the government and 16 rebel groups.

May

– Hundreds of Muslim Rohingyas migrants attempt to flee by sea via unstable boats, along with migrants from Bangladesh.

UN criticizes failure of southeast Asian states to rescue migrants lost at sea

August

– Intense floods affect large portions of low-lying parts of country, killing 103 people and displacing a million others.

November

– Opposition National League for Democracy – led by Aung San Suu Kyi – wins enough seats in parliamentary elections to form a government.

-Rohingya were not part of the election process due to citizenship status.

 

2016

March

-Suu Kyi is blocked from assuming office due to her marriage with a non-citizen

-Myanmar parliament will conduct a vote for the next president

April

-New president elect will assume office.

 

 

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