Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Abu Hanifa


Here is a link to a good article on Imam Abu Hanifa (R).

The Encounter of Imams

Here is the link to an excellent piece on the encounter between two of the great Sunni Imams of the past.
Here is the link to another excellent piece on the encounter of two Imams of Shi'a and Sunni Islam.

The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent by Robert J. Burrowes

The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions

Robert J. Burrowes

All nonviolent struggles are conducted simultaneously in the political and strategic spheres, and these spheres, which are distinct, interact throughout. I have discussed this at length elsewhere.[1] Despite this, only rarely have nonviolent struggles been conducted with a conscious awareness of this vitally important relationship. Gandhi’s campaigns were very effective partly because he understood the distinction and relationship between politics and strategy in nonviolent struggle. And the failure of many campaigns can be attributed, in part, to the fact that most activists do not. To illustrate the distinction and the relationship between these two spheres, and to highlight their vital importance, this article discusses them within the simpler context of nonviolent actions.
Every nonviolent action has a political objective and a strategic goal. When planning an action, it is vitally important to distinguish between its objective and its goal. The political objective of the action is a statement of what the group wants to do: to demonstrate in the city square, to hang a peace sign on the nuclear warship, to picket a factory, to blockade the bulldozer, to occupy the embassy, to go on strike. But why does the group want to do this? Usually, it is to persuade one or more sections of the community to act differently in relation to the campaign issue. So the strategic goal identifies, first, who the group wants to influence, and second, what they want them to do. For example, if the political objective is to demonstrate in the city square, one possible strategic goal might be to cause members of the public to speak out in support of the activist perspective. If the political objective is to picket a factory, the strategic goal might be to cause workers (through persuasion) not to enter it. If the political objective is to blockade a bulldozer, the strategic goal might be to cause workers to stop logging, or, if the media is present, to cause television viewers to not buy old- growth timber from a particular company.
As can be seen from these simple examples, it makes more sense to decide the strategic goal first, and to then design an action to ensure that the goal is achieved. In other words, it is superior strategy to 1. decide who you want to influence and what you want them to do (derived from the political and strategic assessment that guides your struggle), 2. decide on a tactic that will do this, and 3. design the action so that it will do this most effectively. Thus, a strategic goal should be stated using this form: to cause a specified group of people to act in a specified way. Further examples of strategic goals that conform to this formula include: to cause trade unionists to place work-bans on ships carrying uranium, to cause more men to speak out publicly against domestic violence, to cause builders to stop using old-growth timber.
Once the strategic goal has been carefully and specifically defined, equally careful thought should be put into working out what tactic (at this stage of the strategy) will most likely achieve this goal and how it should be designed (so that it will cause the specified audience to act in the specified way). Of course, good action design requires an awareness of what makes nonviolent action work in the first place.
Nonviolent action works because of its capacity to create a favourable political atmosphere (because of, for example, the way in which activist honesty builds trust); its capacity to create a non-threatening physical environment (because of the nonviolent discipline of the activists); and its capacity to alter the human psychological conditions (both innate and learned) that make people resist new ideas in the first place. This includes its capacity to reduce or eliminate fear and its capacity to ‘humanise’ activists in the eyes of more conservative sections of the community. In essence, nonviolent activists precipitate change because people are inspired by the honesty, discipline, integrity, courage and determination of the activists – despite arrests, beatings or imprisonment – and are thus inclined to identify with them. Moreover, as an extension of this, they are inclined to act in solidarity.
To summarise and illustrate the argument so far, consider a nonviolent struggle in which the activists are working to end sexual violence in a local community. One strategic goal of the group might be: to cause the men in a specified group (perhaps those in a particular organisation) to take specified action (sign a personal pledge to not use pornography? put a sign in their front window saying they abhor sexual violence? undertake to speak out publicly against all forms of sexual violence? join a group that organises counselling for male perpetrators?) to help halt sexual violence in that community. The strategic goal will be achieved, at least in part, if some men respond by doing the specified act(s). So what should be the political objective of the action; that is, what nonviolent action will best cause the specified men to act in this way? To ‘out’ known perpetrators by putting their photograph in public places? To conduct a street rally involving local women? To repaint a billboard that objectifies women? To picket the local hotel or brothel every Saturday night? To organise an exhibition of artwork by survivors of sexual violence? Or something else? For the action to be strategically effective, it must be planned to achieve the strategic goal.
And how might the action be designed to maximise its effectiveness? What qualities (truthfulness? dignity? respectfulness?) can the activists demonstrate that will most influence these men? How can the action be carried out in a way that engages these men? For example, human needs theory suggests that if you want people to change their behaviour, activists must provide opportunities for involvement that allow people to enhance their self-esteem and/or security, at least.
If the strategic goal of a nonviolent action is achieved, then the action was strategically effective; this does not mean or require, however, that its political objective was achieved. In fact, it might not have been. This is because strategic effectiveness is unrelated to the achievement of the political objective. For example, the political objective of activists might be to blockade a bulldozer. However, the (usually unspecified) strategic goal of the bulldozer blockade should be something like this: to cause consumers to stop buying (the specified) paper products that are made from woodchips taken from old-growth forest (by a specified company). In this case, as long as the action is well-designed, it does not matter if the activists are arrested before the blockade takes place, because the message of their truthfulness, commitment, discipline, courage and sacrifice, together with the solidarity action they are calling for (which will undermine the power of their opponent), will still go out to their audience. In short, the failure to physically stop the bulldozer is strategically irrelevant.
It is the failure to distinguish between the political objective and the strategic goal that often causes a great deal of confusion, particularly around such questions as the role of secrecy and sabotage, in planning nonviolent actions. Many groups attach great importance to the political objective of their action, and use secrecy to improve their prospects of being able to carry it out. But this is invariably counterproductive, in the strategic sense, and is based on a flawed understanding of how and why nonviolence works. This is because, as explained above, achievement of the political objective is not equivalent to achievement of the strategic goal. And while many activists achieve their (secret) political objective, they fail to achieve (what should be) their strategic goal (to cause specified people to act in the specified way) because the qualities (such as honesty and integrity) of activists that inspire their audience are not allowed into play. (There are, of course, many other reasons why the use of secrecy is strategically counterproductive.)
For some types of action – such as a rally, a picket or a strike – no one would even suggest using secrecy. But whatever the action, as explained above, strategic effectiveness is unrelated to whether the action is successfully carried out or not (provided it is strategically selected, well-designed and sincerely attempted). This point was classically illustrated by the Indian satyagrahis who attempted to nonviolently invade the Dharasana salt works in 1930.[2] Despite repeated attempts by many hundreds of activists to walk into the salt works during a three week period, not one activist got a pinch of salt! But an account of the activists’ nonviolent discipline, commitment and courage – under the baton blows of the police – was reported in 1,350 newspapers around the world. As a result, this action – which failed to achieve the political objective of seizing salt – functionally undermined support for British imperialism in India.[3] If the activists had resorted to the use of secrecy, there would have been no chance to demonstrate their honesty, integrity and determination – and to thus inspire empathy for their cause – although they might have got some salt![4]
For essentially the same reason (as well as many others not discussed here), sabotage is strategically counterproductive when employed as part of a nonviolent struggle. If the important aspect of a nonviolent action is its strategic goal, then activists who plan acts of sabotage (that is, for example, their political objective is to disable a bulldozer or to destroy the nose cone of a nuclear missile) must be able to identify how this act will cause their specified audience(s) to act on the issue in the specified way(s). If they cannot, the action might well be strategically ineffective or even counterproductive, no matter how much media attention is gained if the political objective (damaging the equipment) is achieved. Thus, although this act might mobilise some people (and recent conflict theory provides several thorough explanations of why it will be few), the fact remains that activists who use sabotage (and the secrecy that almost invariably accompanies it) are placing too much emphasis on their political objective (the act of sabotage itself) rather than their (unidentified) strategic goal. As explained above, this limits the possibility of activist qualities that inspire the audience being allowed into play.
Whether or not activists achieve their political objective is strategically irrelevant. This is because an effective nonviolent action is designed to achieve its strategic goal, irrespective of the response of opponents or the authorities to the political objective of the action. Whether or not activists achieve their strategic goal, however, is always strategically determinative.
Endnotes:
1. See The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach.
2. Because it illustrates the point so effectively, I have simply repeated the example that I cited in an earlier article. See ‘Nonviolent Activism and the Police’.
3. For an account of the salt raids at Dharasana, see Thomas Weber. ‘”The Marchers Simply Walked Forward Until Struck Down”: Nonviolent Suffering and Conversion’.
4. If salt had been removed secretly, the British government could, if they had chosen, ignored it: after all, who would have known or cared? However, they could not afford to let the satyagrahis take salt openly because salt removal was illegal and failure to react would have shown the salt law – a law that represented the antithesis of Indian independence – to be ineffective.
This article ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’ was originally published in Nonviolence Today 48, January-February 1996. pp. 6-7. It has been widely republished since then.
Source of this document: https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/articles/political-objective-strategic-goal/

Burned Qur'an, cut up pages left outside California mosques

Here is a belated hate crime report, filed by the CNN, from California that happened during the last days of Ramadan.

Two Islamic centers in Northern California were the sites of possible hate crimes during the last days of Ramadan, law enforcement officials said.
A burned Qur'an filled with bacon was found outside a Sacramento mosque Saturday, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said. It was hanging by a handcuff from a temporary fence outside the Masjid An-nur Islamic Center.
"Sheriff's Hate Crime detectives were called to the scene to begin their investigation into the possible hate crime," the department said in a statement.

The center, which is the largest mosque in the greater Sacramento area, is next to a police station but it has been targeted in the past.

Another center was targeted about 20 miles west in Davis, California.

Is Tajmahal not a part of Indian Culture? by Ram Puniyani

Is Tajmahal not a part of Indian Culture?
Ram Puniyani
 
 
Culture is a fascinating aspect of our life. To understand the culture one examines the social life and observes multiple facets of life, food habits, clothes, music, language, literature, architecture and aspects of religion, among other. In a plural diverse country like ours’ there is a mosaic which gives us the understanding of the complexity of our culture. In India there is a heavy intermingling, of facets of cultures contributed by people of different religions. So what is Indian culture? One can say the totality of plural expressions of people is Indian culture. It is inclusive and has syncretism in all the aspects of social life. This view of Indian culture is held by the Indian nationalists. And till now most of the time this belief in composite culture guided the practice of those in seats of power.
 
With the ascendance of Hindu nationalists from last few decades and more so from last three years; the attempt is being made to give sectarian slant to this understanding of our culture. All things which are non Brahmanical are being sidetracked and undermined. One of the examples of this came in glaringly when Mr. Adityanath Yogi, the Chief Minister of UP, went on to criticize the practice of gifting the replica of Taj Mahal to the visiting dignitaries (June 16, 2017). As per him Taj Mahal is not a part of Indian culture, Yogi upheld the practice of gifting Gita, the Holy Scripture, initiated by Narendra Modi.
 
Taj Mahal is a UNESCO world heritage site, to be given protection. It is also regarded as one among Seven Wonders of the World. Apart from being a global tourist attraction it symbolizes the great architectural achievements of India. It was built by Emperor Shahjahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. There is another prevailing controversy about this great monument. The propaganda had been done that this was a Shiv temple which has been converted into a mausoleum. It is totally wrong. Historical records and documents tell a different tale.
 
Shahjahan’s Badshahnama makes it abundantly clear that the structure was built by Shahjahan. A European traveler Peter Mundy writes that the emperor Shahjahan is in deep grief due to the death of his favorite wife and is building an impressive mausoleum in her memory. A French jeweler Tavernier who visited India at that time corroborates this. The daily account books of Shahjahan do give the detailed record of the expenses incurred, like the money spent for marble and the wages for the workers etc. The only base of this misconception of it being Shiv Temple (Tejo Mahalay) is the mention that the land was bought from Raja Jaisingh for a compensation. It is also to be noted that Jaisingh to whom this Shaiva temple is attributed was a Vaishnav and it is not possible that a Viashnav king would build a Shaiv temple.
 
Funnily, first it is regarded as Shiva temple and now it is being asserted that it is not a part of Indian culture? Also question comes as to why Gita is being given such a primacy? One recalls that earlier, very often, our visiting leaders were gifting the autobiography of Gandhi, ‘My experiments with truth’, to their hosts. Gita is being presented as the representative book from among our many sacred books like, Guru Granth Sahib, Kabir Vani, and writings of Basavanna, Naryan Guru etc. We may find the answer of this from none other than Babasaheb Ambedkar. Ambedkar points out that Gita is Manusmriti in nutshell, which in turn is core of Brahmanism. Ambedkar’s central mission was to fight against the values of Manusmrirti. The other symbol which is being promoted lately is Holy cow. Both these are symbols of Brahmanism, as the current ruling dispensation is promoting Brahmanism in the garb of Hindutva and Hinduism.
 
As such the Indian culture as understood by freedom movement, Indian nationalist ideology, regards symbols of all religions, regions and languages as Indian. As per that the contributions of Buddhists, Jains, Christians, Muslims, and Sikhs are all part of Indian legacy. This gets reflected in our daily life. As such India is one of the places where all religions have flourished without any discrimination. People have been following these religions from centuries. Some of these were born here and some of these came in and spread through different mechanisms, like the teachings of saints, Sufis, missionaries etc. Islam mainly spread through the teachings of Sufi saints, Christianity through missionaries working for charity in the arena of education and health. All aspects of Indian culture have rich sprinkling from people of different religions.
 
Our food habits, many of the practices coming from West Asia and other parts of the World, our clothing our architecture has a strong imprint of from people of different religions and different parts of World coming and contributing to the evolving culture. While Bhakti and Sufi are the high point of this interaction, today one can discern the contribution of different religionists in the various rituals and practices of people. One knows that Bhakti saints had following among Muslims as well, while many Hindus visited the Dargahs of Sufi saints. Saint Guru Nanak drew heavily from both the main religious traditions prevailing here.
 
Mahatma Gandhi had been the best interpreter of Indian culture and Indian history. He did not see antagonism in religions. In his book Hind Swaraj he writes, “The Hindus flourished under Moslem sovereigns and Moslems under the Hindu. Each party recognized that mutual fighting was suicidal, and that neither party would abandon its religion by force of arms. Both parties, therefore, decided to live in peace. With the English advent quarrels recommenced… Should we not remember that many Hindus and Mohammedans own the same ancestors and the same blood runs through their veins?”
 
Accordingly the aspects of culture contributed by people of different religions become Indian, in contrast to present dispensation for whom only Brahmanical symbols alone represent this nation, and that’s what Mr. Yogi is trying to assert.  

A Nonviolent Strategy to Defeat Genocide by Robert J. Burrowes

It is a tragic measure of the depravity of human existence that genocide is a continuing and prevalent manifestation of violence in the international system, despite the effort following World War II to abolish it through negotiation, and then adoption and ratification of the 1948 Genocide Convention.
According to the Genocide Convention, genocide is any act committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group by killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group and/or forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
While this definition is contested because, for example, it excludes killing of political groups, and words such as ‘democide’ (the murder or intentionally reckless and depraved disregard for the life of any person or people by their government,) and ‘politicide’ (the murder of any person or people because of their political or ideological beliefs) have been suggested as complementary terms, in fact atrocities that have been characterized as ‘genocide’ by various authors include mass killings, mass deportations, politicides, democides, withholding of food and/or other necessities of life, death by deliberate exposure to invasive infectious disease agents or combinations of these. See ‘Genocides in history’.
While genocide and attempts at genocide were prevalent enough both before World War II (just ask the world’s indigenous peoples) and then during World War II itself, which is why the issue attracted serious international attention in the war’s aftermath, it cannot be claimed that the outlawing of genocide did much to end the practice, as the record clearly demonstrates.
Moreover, given that the United Nations and national governments, out of supposed ‘deference’ to ‘state sovereignty’, have been notoriously unwilling and slow to meaningfully respond to genocides, as was the case in Rwanda in 1994 and has been the case with the Rohingya in Myanmar (Burma) for four decades –  as carefully documented in ‘The Slow-Burning Genocide of Myanmar’s Rohingya’ – there is little evidence to suggest that major actors in the international system have any significant commitment to ending the practice, either in individual cases or in general. For example, as official bodies of the world watch, solicit reports and debate whether or not the Rohingya are actually victims of genocide, this minority Muslim population clearly suffers from what many organizations and any decent human being have long labeled as such. For a sample of the vast literature on this subject, see ‘The 8 Stages of Genocide Against Burma’s Rohingya’ and ‘Countdown to Annihilation: Genocide in Myanmar’.
Of course, it is not difficult to understand institutional inaction. Despite its fine rhetoric and even legal provisions, the United Nations, acting in response to the political and corporate elites that control it, routinely fails to act to prevent or halt wars (despite a UN Charter and treaties, such as the Kellogg-Briand Pact, that empower and require it to do so), routinely fails to defend refugees, routinely fails to act decisively on issues (such as nuclear weapons and the climate catastrophe) that constitute global imperatives for human survival, and turns the other way when peoples under military occupation (such as those of Tibet, West Papua, Western Sahara and Palestine) seek their support.
Why then should those under genocidal assault expect supportive action from the UN or international community in general? The factors which drive these manifestations of violence serve a diverse range of geopolitical interests in each case, and are usually highly profitable into the bargain. What hope justice or even decency in such circumstances?
Moreover, the deep psychological imperatives that drive the phenomenal violence in the international system are readily nominated: in essence, phenomenal fear, self-hatred and powerlessness. These psychological characteristics, together with the others that drive the behaviour of perpetrators of violence, have been identified and explained – see ‘Why Violence?’ and Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice – but it is the way these (unconsciously and deeply-suppressed) emotions are projected that is critical to understanding the violent (and insane) behavioural outcomes in our world. For brief explanations see, for example, ‘Understanding Self-Hatred in World Affairs’ and ‘The Global Elite is Insane’.
Given the deep psychological imperatives that drive the violence of global geopolitics and corporate exploitation (as well as national, subnational and individual acts of violence), we cannot expect a compassionate and effective institutional response to genocide in the prevailing institutional order, as the record demonstrates. So, is there anything a targeted population can do to resist a genocidal assault?
Fortunately, there is a great deal that a targeted population can do. The most effective response is to develop and implement a comprehensive nonviolent strategy to either prevent a genocidal assault in the first place or to halt it once it has begun. This is done most effectively by using a sound strategic framework that guides the comprehensive planning of the strategy. Obviously, there is no point designing a strategy that is incomplete or cannot be successful.
A sound strategic framework enables us to think and plan strategically so that once our strategy has been elaborated, it can be widely shared and clearly understood by everyone involved. It also means that nonviolent actions can then be implemented because they are known to have strategic utility and that precise utility is understood in advance. There is little point taking action at random, especially if our opponent is powerful and committed (even if that ‘commitment’ is insane which, as briefly noted above, is invariably the case).
There is a simple diagram presenting a 12-point strategic framework illustrated here in the form of the ‘Nonviolent Strategy Wheel’.
In order to think strategically about nonviolently defending against a genocidal assault, a clearly defined political purpose is needed; that is, a simple summary statement of ‘what you want’. In general terms, this might be stated thus: To defend the [nominated group] against the genocidal assault and establish the conditions for the group to live in peace, free of violence and exploitation.
Once the political purpose has been defined, the two strategic aims (‘how you get what you want’) of the strategy acquire their meaning. These two strategic aims (which are always the same whatever the political purpose) are as follows: 1. To increase support for the struggle to defeat the genocidal assault by developing a network of groups who can assist you. 2. To alter the will and undermine the power of those groups inciting, facilitating, organizing and conducting the genocide.
While the two strategic aims are always the same, they are achieved via a series of intermediate strategic goals which are always specific to each struggle. I have identified a generalized set of 48 strategic goals that would be appropriate in the context of ending any genocide here. These strategic goals can be readily modified to the circumstances of each particular instance of genocide.
Many of these strategic goals would usually be tackled by action groups working in solidarity with the affected population campaigning in third-party countries. Of course, individual activist groups would usually accept responsibility for focusing their work on achieving just one or a few of the strategic goals (which is why any single campaign within the overall strategy is readily manageable).
As I hope is apparent, the two strategic aims are achieved via a series of intermediate strategic goals.
Not all of the strategic goals will need to be achieved for the strategy to be successful but each goal is focused in such a way that its achievement will functionally undermine the power of those conducting the genocide.
It is the responsibility of the struggle’s strategic leadership to ensure that each of the strategic goals, which should be identified and prioritized according to their precise understanding of the circumstances in the country where the genocide is occurring, is being addressed (or to prioritize if resource limitations require this).
I wish to emphasize that I have only briefly discussed two aspects of a comprehensive strategy for ending a genocide: its political purpose and its two strategic aims (with its many subsidiary strategic goals). For the strategy to be effective, all twelve components of the strategy should be planned (and then implemented). See Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy.
This will require, for example, that tactics that will achieve the strategic goals must be carefully chosen and implemented bearing in mind the vital distinction between the political objective and strategic goal of any such tactic. See ‘The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions’.
It is not difficult to nonviolently defend a targeted population against genocide. Vitally, however, it requires a leadership that can develop a sound strategy so that people are mobilized and deployed effectively.
========
Robert Burrowes, Ph.D. is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of Why Violence? Websites: (Charter)  (Flame Tree Project)  (Songs of Nonviolence) (Nonviolent Campaign Strategy) (Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy(http://robertjburrowes.wordpress.com)  Email: flametree@riseup.net
 This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 26 June 2017.

Nearly half a million refugees are fleeing Myanmar

The news below should not surprise anyone except fascist Buddhists of Myanmar.

In an embarrassment for the Myanmar Government, which is effectively led by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the latest study released by the United Nation’s refugee agency says the number of people fleeing Myanmar is now almost half a million.
By the end of 2016, according to the UNHCR’s annual global trends study released on 20 June, refugees from Myanmar rose to 490,300, up from 451,800 the previous year. Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy came to power early in 2016 after 50 years of military rule. Myanmar is now the eighth largest refugee producing country in the world after Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.
Bangladesh hosts 276,200 Myanmar refugees while Thailand looks after 102,600, Malaysia 87,000, and India 15,600.
Muslim-majority Bangladesh initially offered a relatively safe haven to Muslim Rohingyas from Rakhine state, who faced ongoing conflict there with Buddhist ethnic Rakhines. In 2013, however, Bangladesh sealed off its border with Myanmar and refused entry to boatloads of fleeing Rohingyas.
After a deadly Rohingya militant attack against Myanmar border police on 9 October last year, some 75,000 Rohingyas still managed to cross the border to Bangladesh to escape the subsequent crackdown. Action by security forces left about 600 people dead, dozens of women were raped and Rohingya villages were razed. Around 30,000 people have reportedly since returned to their villages, with temporary shelter provided by the UNHCR.
Fr Thomas Htang Shan Mong, director of the Myanmar Catholic bishops' office for peace building and justice, blamed a range of political and economic factors for the rise in refugees. “There has been 70 nearly years of conflict and unrest in Myanmar, especially in ethnic areas,” Fr Mong told ucanews.com.
Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, said while there are many issues facing the minority Muslim group, “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya is not taking place.
Cardinal Bo has been a strong advocate for better treatment of the Rohingyas, and in February called on the Myanmar Government  “to allow unhindered access to all parts of Rakhine State,” as well as to allow “international humanitarian aid agencies, media and human rights monitors.” Cardinal Bo pointed out that all religious minorities, including Christians, face problems in the Buddhist-majority country.
Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario of Bangladesh, where Pope Francis may visit later this year, said on World Refugee Day last month that the new arrivals from Myanmar are “human beings who have a right to dwell in their own traditional way. They have a right to live where they have been living, but now they are refugees.”
The Myanmar military maintains control of 25 per cent of the seats in the national assembly, enough to block reform of a national charter that entrenches the armed forces within the corridors of power.  Aung San Suu Kyi told the BBC earlier this year that the army was “not free to rape, pillage and torture” but was “free to go in and fight. And of course, that is in the constitution.” She said she aimed to amend the constitution.