The fresh violence in Arakan State will have serious implications for Burma and regional stability if it does not stop immediately. The international community must not remain passive in this regard or the country’s fragile democratic transition will face a grim setback.
Burma observers have questioned the nature of this week’s visit by high ranking US defense officials to Naypyidaw. Vikram Singh, deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia, is currently in Burma for a series of meetings.
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For Buddhists and Muslims who live and co-exist in Burma, the recent outbreak of sectarian violence in Arakan State is nothing new. The profound fear that many feel, however, is that this won’t be the last time that these two communities are torn apart by strife.
In the last two months, Thailand has received two prominent figures from its former pariah neighbor.
Burma’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi visited in June and now reformist President Thein Sein has just concluded a trip focusing on trade collaboration.
Washington’s decision to ease sanctions and allow US companies unfettered access into Burma’s lucrative military-linked oil and gas sectors has drawn fierce criticism from human rights advocates.
Since Burma began its political opening last year, the peacock symbol has made something of a comeback. But the “fighting peacock” is not just a figure on the flag of the opposition National League for Democracy—it is also, and more importantly,