Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Myanmar Making AmeriKa's Ma$$ Media Mad

Must be the peace deal that did it:

"3 sentenced for posting Buddha image" New York Times  March 18, 2015

YANGON, Myanmar — A bar manager from New Zealand and two Burmese men were sentenced to two years in prison Tuesday for posting an image online of the Buddha wearing headphones.

The court in Yangon said the image, used to promote an event, denigrated Buddhism and was a violation of Myanmar’s religion act, which prohibits insulting, damaging, or destroying religion.

“It is clear the act of the bar offended the majority religion in the country,” said the judge, U Ye Lwin.

The image was posted in December on the Facebook page of the VGastro bar and restaurant in Yangon.

After an outcry from hard-line Buddhist groups, the police arrested the restaurant’s general manager, Philip Blackwood, 32, of New Zealand, along with the bar owner, U Tun Thurein, 40, and the manager, U Htut Ko Ko Lwin, 26.

In addition to the two-year term for violating the religion act, the three were also sentenced to six months for illegally operating a bar after 10 p.m. Blackwood said the men had expected that they would be convicted.

The case has added to growing concerns about religious and ethnic intolerance in majority-Buddhist Myanmar, also known as Burma, where Muslims have faced increasing discrimination and violence.

Hundreds of people were killed in sectarian violence in western and central Myanmar in 2012 and 2013.

The country’s Parliament is also considering new laws that critics fear will be used to discriminate against minorities.

Phil Robertson, the deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, who is based in Bangkok, called the verdict outrageous.


I'm just wondering what else Myanmar has done wrong?

I say we deport them all:

"Burmese immigrant held in N.C. slayings" Associated Press  March 19, 2015

NEW BERN, N.C. — A Burmese immigrant accused of stabbing three young brothers to death had scared another neighborhood family by knocking on their door several times in the middle of the night. 

He's lucky he wasn't shot.

‘‘I told my wife: ‘Be careful. Don’t answer the door,’ ” a neighbor, Ner Wah, said Wednesday.

The suspect, identified as 18-year-old Eh Lar Doh Htoo, alleged attacked a Burmese family in their home Tuesday night with a knife, police said.

When officers arrived he was still holding the weapon, New Bern Police Chief Toussaint Summers Jr. said.

They didn't shoot him dead like they would a black American?

Htoo also wounded the brothers’ mother and their 14-year-old sister.

Police said they don’t know a motive for the attack and a language barrier hampered their investigation.

New Bern is a coastal town and is home to about 1,900 Burmese refugees, who resettled in the area after fleeing persecution from Myanmar, once called Burma.

Wah said that like him, Htoo was a member of the Karen ethnic group, an oppressed people whose language has been banned in Myanmar.

That is where the print copy ended.

‘‘Anytime this happens in any community, any part of town, it’s surprising,’’ the police chief said.

About 11 p.m. Tuesday, officers were called to a report of a person with a knife. They entered the home and found two dead boys. A third died at a hospital.

The stabbings happened on a street of about 10 row-like homes that face a railroad track and several dilapidated commercial buildings.

The mother jumped out the second-floor window of her home after she was attacked, according to neighbor A Lay, who was awakened when she knocked on his door. Her back was bloody.

‘‘She said she needed help and she needed the police,’’ said A Lay’s wife, A Bu.

Police did not release the victims’ names.

Htoo was expected to appear in court Friday. Police said they did not know whether he had an attorney.

Htoo once came to Wah’s house during the day to ask him to help translate documents, but Wah said they weren’t friends.

‘‘We felt very scared of him,’’ Wah said.

Susan Husson, executive director of the Interfaith Refugee Ministry in New Bern, said the victims’ family and the suspect’s family likely came through her office before settling in New Bern, but she didn’t know them personally.

She said the first Burmese refugee came to New Bern around 1999.

‘‘It’s just really hard right now,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s been really horrific.’’

A neighbor who lives about five houses away said he heard sirens late Tuesday night and decided to stay inside.

‘‘We were scared. We just locked the door,’’ said 23-year-old Yyoch Rmah, who moved to the US from Vietnam in 2006.

He said there were a lot of Burmese refugees in the neighborhood, and people from other countries.

‘‘People keep to themselves,’’ he said.

New Bern draws tourists from around the region and is known for being the birthplace of Pepsi and the colonial capital of North Carolina.


Speaking of tourists:

"A crowded double-decker passenger ferry capsized in northwestern Myanmar after being slammed by huge waves, killing 34 people and leaving more than a dozen missing, officials and state TV said Saturday. Rescuers pulled 167 survivors to safety late Friday, a Red Cross official said (AP)."

That's all the Globe pulled up from Myanmar.