Rohingya and Rakhine
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres wrote an op ed for The Washington Post about how the Rohingya are the victims of ethnic cleansing, and the world has failed them.
The Reuters trial had a dark moment this week, with the judge officially deciding to charge the journalists with the Official Secrets Act. This was the week where it was thought that the judge might dismiss the case. The trial will now continue.
The third session of Panglong kicked off this week, with a handful of ethnic armed groups/ceasefire non-signatories invited to attend… just so long as they don’t talk. More here in my piece for AP.
The United States has imposed some visa restrictions on Myanmar (and neighbor Laos) after the Myanmar refused to take back immigrants the US wanted to deport. The visa restrictions mostly impact higher-level government officials.
Progressive Voice released a report taking a closer look at youth movements and the proposed amendments to the peaceful assembly law.
Myanmar’s foreign debt currently sits at USD 9.1 billion, and almost half of that is owed to China. Nice little explainer interactive graphic on it.
On the borders
More Aung San statue drama- this time resulting in Karenni youth activists being sued under the controversial Peaceful Assembly law. Don’t let the name of that law fool you- it’s been used against protestors with some frequency and is accused of stifling freedom of expression in Myanmar.
Fighting in Shan between the Tatmadaw and armed ethnic group RCSS displaced hundreds this week.
A grenade and swords were found in the home of an ultranationalist sympathizer in Rakhine. The man got into trouble when he refused to leave land that had formerly been a Rohingya village that has since been razed.
Just across the border, in Thailand, Myanmar migrant workers had a defamation case against them dropped. The workers had complained to that they were facing unfair work conditions and in retaliation the business sued them.
Karen NGOs are urging the Myanmar government to reconsider dam projects that they say would hurt rural communities. Hydro projects have been a long-standing point of contention between the government and rural communities in Myanmar.
Not quite Myanmar, but not a problem that’s foreign to Myanmar: my piece for Splice about how fake news in India is killing people, and how fact-checking needs to be done in something besides English.
Myanmar peace activist and musician Ko Ye Lwin has died. Read more about his life here.
Pyinsa Rasa opened the “Seven Decades” exhibit last weekend, marking the first time that Myanmar artists have been allowed to show at the Secretariat. The show runs till July 31 and is definitely worth a visit.
Frontier wrote about the stigma of condoms in Myanmar.
A new virus has been detected in Myanmar’s bats! Cool.
That's it for this week. I leave you with this scene I spotted last week while in the Irrawaddy Delta region. Be kind to each other, folks.