Patterns of Denial: July 1 2016 Report

Burma Task Force presents the attached policy paper Patterns of Denial to critique the counter-productive policies of Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD party. Approaching 100 days into the new government, there have been no reforms to restore the rights of the Rohingya minority. Instead there is backtracking on rights protections, characterized a persistent refusal to even call the Rohingya people by their name, and an unusual demand for the international community to follow this marginalizing approach.

Now that she is in power, Ms Suu Kyi has, by all indications, continued with the military’s long-standing policy of ethnic and religious persecution. Moreover, at the end of June 2016 the Obama administration seriously downgraded Myanmar’s ranking on human trafficking and declared it to be among the very worst offenders. During the previous week the OHCHR released a strong report suggesting that the pattern of rights violations in Burma has reached the level of “crimes against humanity.”  At the same time an attack by anti-Muslim nationalists resulted in the destruction of a mosque and several businesses near Yangon, and there were reports of other attacks against mosques throughout the nation, along with harassment against Muslims observing Ramadan prayers and fasts. Anti-Muslim sentiment continues to be officially tolerated and even promoted in Burma.


This pattern underscores the impact of a policy that denies the Rohingya people an astonishing array of rights including the basic right to self-identify as one of the recognized ethnic groups of Burma. The attached report also details how the Burmese government has been pressuring the international community to deny Rohingya ethnic identity.


Burma Task Force USA is the main program of Justice for All, a US-based NGO working to promote human rights and accredited with DPI at the United Nations. Representing a range of major Muslim American organizations as well as Rohingya organizations, our coalition members seek to raise awareness of the anti-Muslim policies that target this indigenous but currently stateless ethnic group in Myanmar/Burma.