Hidden Hands Behind Communal Violence in Myanmar: A Case Study of the Mandalay Riots

Maung Kyawnu 23/3/2015

For your kind information only .Hidden Hands Behind Communal Violence in Myanmar: A Case Study of the Mandalay Riots.

Some of the important questions that will be discussed include: who are these unknown hidden hands funding and organizing the armed gangs? What are their political objectives? How can future riots be prevented?

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Hidden Hands Behind Communal Violence in Myanmar: A Case Study of the Mandalay Riots
Press Briefing and Panel Discussion

11:00am – 12:30 pm, Monday, March 23, 2015

This is not an FCCT-sponsored event. It is a paid function and responsibility for program content is solely that of the event organizer

Justice Trust is an international human rights organization that partners with lawyers and activists in Myanmar to strengthen local communities fighting for justice.

At this panel discussion, Justice Trust will launch its new policy report, Hidden Hands Behind Communal Violence in Myanmar: A Case Study of the Mandalay Riots. The report examines the violence that shook Mandalay on July 1-2, 2014 – the latest in a series of communal riots that have fueled religious tensions across Myanmar.

The standard narrative of these communal riots is that the democratic opening has removed the lid from the pressure cooker, allowing deep-seated hatred between Buddhist and Muslim communities to boil over. This explanation misses one of the key drivers – the deployment of plainclothes units to incite and instigate the riots.

Based on extensive research and corroborated testimonies, the report documents that the Mandalay riots, while designed to appear as a spontaneous outbreak of mob violence, in fact were perpetrated by an organized gang of armed men brought in from outside Mandalay according to a script written by hidden hands. The same script was seen in previous riots in Meiktila and Lashio, but with one crucial difference – in Mandalay, local people opposed the riots and refused to be incited to violence, leaving the outside agitators exposed before multiple eyewitnesses.

Some of the important questions that will be discussed include: who are these unknown hidden hands funding and organizing the armed gangs? What are their political objectives? How can future riots be prevented?

Panelists:

Mr. Roger Normand, founder and Executive Director of Justice Trust, is an international lawyer and professor who has worked in the US, the Middle East, and Asia. He formerly served as Executive Director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights in New York, and as Asia-Pacific Director for the International Commission of Jurists in Bangkok.

Ms. Yee Mon Htun, Director of Justice Trust’s Myanmar Program, is an international lawyer from Canada who fled Myanmar as a refugee in 1988. She has worked on the Thai-Myanmar border on behalf of refugee and migrant communities, and has authored numerous human rights reports that have been submitted to various United Nations bodies.

Mr. Thein Than Oo, a member of Justice Trust’s Legal Committee, is a Supreme Court advocate who represents human rights defenders and communities fighting against land grabs and forcible evictions. He is also legal counsel for the Mandalay Peace Committee, a grassroots multi-faith organization that was established at the outset of the riots and helped prevent violence from spreading in the city.
Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand
Penthouse, Maneeya Center Building
518/5 Ploenchit Road

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