USCIRF Report will not Reform Myanmar

By Dr Habib Siddiqui

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has recently issued its report on Myanmar (Burma).

The key findings of the USCIRF are: “In 2014, religious and ethnic minorities in Burma continued to experience intolerance, discrimination, and violence, particularly Rohingya Muslims. Bigotry and chauvinism against religious and ethnic minorities grew more pervasive, in some cases provoked by religious figures within the Buddhist community, while the Burmese government demonstrated little willingness to intervene, investigate properly, or prosecute those responsible for abuses in a timely and transparent manner. While the government, at times, denounced violence and incitement, its lack of strong and consistent leadership to condemn intolerance enabled abuses to continue relatively unchecked. Throughout 2014, the expansion of Internet availability and social media played a role in propagating expressions of hatred and spurring violence directed against minority populations. The introduction of four discriminatory race and religion bills in 2014 could well further entrench such prejudices. Based on these systematic, egregious, and ongoing violations, USCIRF continues to recommend in 2015 that Burma be designated as a ‘country of particular concern,’ or CPC, under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). The State Department has designated Burma a CPC since 1999, most recently in July 2014.”
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