This briefer, which covers the period from October
2012 to March 2013, includes the following developments:
• The authorities continue to commit serious
human rights violations against Rohingya in Arakan State, including
extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, torture, the rape
of women, and restrictions on religious freedom. The regime also
tightens restrictions on freedom of movement, and refuses to consider
citizenship rights for Rohingya.
• From December, the regime dramatically
intensifies military offensives against the Kachin Independence
Army. The Tatmadaw uses fighter jets, helicopters, artillery,
mortars, and cluster bombs during military operations. Tatmadaw
attacks claim several civilian lives.
• Over 115,000 predominately Rohingya IDPs
remain displaced in Arakan State. Rohingya IDPs continue to endure
terrible conditions in camps. Thousands of Rohingya boat people
die during perilous journeys in search of safety in Southern Thailand
• Regime’s determination to stifle
freedom of speech and freedom of assembly persists. In numerous
cases, the authorities respond to peaceful protests with arrests
and excessive use of force.
• Severe restrictions continue to characterize
Burma’s media environment, with the regime replacing its
notorious Censorship Board with a similar body tasked with monitoring
publications and suspending/revoking publishing licenses.
• The USDP-dominated Parliament approves
massive military spending, with over 20% of the total budget for
the 2013-14 fiscal year allocated to military expenditure and
only 4.4% and 3.9% to education and healthcare respectively.
• Burma continues to rank poorly on international
surveys measuring perceived corruption, risks posed to investors,
and transparency in the financial sector. The regime’s push
for the development of Special Economic Zones continues to adversely
impact local communities.