Frontier Myanmar: Pro-military death squad rallies openly on social media

Frontier Myanmar: Pro-military death squad rallies openly on social media. “After tea shop owner U Khin Maung Thein was abducted and killed in April, pictures of his body were uploaded to the social media platform Telegram. Hanging around his neck, over his bloodstained shirt, was a lanyard with a strange symbol: a red circle with an image of an ancient Burmese warrior holding two swords. This is the calling card of Thwe Thauk Apwe, a new pro-military vigilante group whose violent rise has played out over social media, particularly Facebook and Telegram.”

Facebook fails to detect hate against Rohingya: report (Associated Press)

Associated Press: Facebook fails to detect hate against Rohingya: report. “A new report has found that Facebook failed to detect blatant hate speech and calls to violence against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority years after such behaviour was found to have played a determining role in the genocide against them. The report shared exclusively with The Associated Press showed the rights group Global Witness submitted eight paid ads for approval to Facebook, each including different versions of hate speech against Rohingya. All eight ads were approved by Facebook to be published.”

South China Morning Post: Rotting fruit, sinking fortunes – Covid-19 curbs take their toll on China’s Myanmar border

South China Morning Post: Rotting fruit, sinking fortunes – Covid-19 curbs take their toll on China’s Myanmar border. “Thousands of tonnes of watermelon are lying dumped by the roadside along Myanmar’s border with southwestern China, with local exporters complaining that strict Covid-19 pandemic controls had made trade in perishables ‘nearly impossible’. Major road links to the city of Ruili in Yunnan province – China’s major gateway to Myanmar – remain jammed with hundreds of trucks waiting to clear the checkpoints.”

CNN: Meta bans businesses run by Myanmar’s military from Facebook

CNN: Meta bans businesses run by Myanmar’s military from Facebook. “Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, is further clamping down on content linked to Myanmar’s military amid pressure to step up safety controls in the country. The company announced Wednesday that it would ban military-controlled businesses from Facebook, wiping out their pages, groups and accounts.”

Association of Southeast Asian Nations: ASEAN launches first e-exhibition on cultural heritage digital archive portal

Association of Southeast Asian Nations: ASEAN launches first e-exhibition on cultural heritage digital archive portal . “‘Forging History’ brings focus to the roles of metals in transforming the ASEAN region’s history and cultures. It features 22 digitised cultural heritage treasures selected by guest curator Girard Phillip E. Bonotan with support from museums and archival institutions of the ASEAN Member States. Highlights of the e-exhibition include Buddhist manuscript cabinets from Thailand, golden crowns from Indonesia, and modern metal artworks created by Malaysian artists, among others.” You can get an overview of ASEAN and its member nations here.

Business Insider: Facebook is fighting to keep records of its own investigation into the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar out of court

Business Insider: Facebook is fighting to keep records of its own investigation into the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar out of court. “Facebook on Wednesday challenged part of a judge’s order that would require the tech giant to release internal documents and private user content connected to the genocide of 24,000 Rohingya people in Myanmar. The company is appealing US Magistrate Zia Faruqi’s September mandate that said Facebook must disclose records from the company’s private investigation into its role in the systematic mass executions of Rohingya civilians by the Myanmar military.”

Washington Post: Myanmar’s Suu Kyi pleads not guilty to breaking virus rules

Washington Post: Myanmar’s Suu Kyi pleads not guilty to breaking virus rules. “Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and former President Win Myint pleaded not guilty Monday to violating COVID-19 restrictions, their lawyers said, as the pair were formally indicted after the army seized power. Each was charged with two counts under the Disaster Management Act for failing to observe pandemic restrictions during last year’s general election campaign. Each count carries a penalty of up to three years in prison.”

Covid and a coup: The double crisis pushing Myanmar to the brink (BBC)

BBC: Covid and a coup: The double crisis pushing Myanmar to the brink. “On 1 February, Myanmar’s military seized power from its civilian government, leading to a series of mass protests that show no signs of stopping. Among the protesters were thousands of healthcare workers who walked out, leading to a collapse in the healthcare system and throwing Myanmar’s vaccination and testing response into chaos. And now, a surge in coronavirus cases fuelled by the highly infectious Delta variant has dealt the country a fresh blow.”

The Citizen (Tanzania): The UN’s refugee data shame, and what needs to be done

The Citizen (Tanzania): The UN’s refugee data shame, and what needs to be done. “Back in 2017, I wrote of the risks of the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, collecting biometric registration data from Rohingya refugees, noting that the data could be used to drive unwilling repatriation; that collecting such data may make refugees believe their access to aid depends upon providing such data; and that – once collected or shared – such biometric data is virtually impossible to get rid of. Nearly four years later, a report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) says these worst-case scenarios have come true: A detailed database of the Rohingya refugee population has been handed over to Myanmar’s government, which drove them across the border into Bangladesh almost four years ago.”

Rights group: Facebook amplified Myanmar military propaganda (Washington Post)

Washington Post: Rights group: Facebook amplified Myanmar military propaganda. “Facebook’s recommendation algorithm amplifies military propaganda and other material that breaches the company’s own policies in Myanmar following a military takeover in February, a new report by the rights group Global Witness says. A month after the military seized power in Myanmar and imprisoned elected leaders, Facebook’s algorithms were still prompting users to view and ‘like’ pro-military pages with posts that incited and threatened violence, pushed misinformation that could lead to physical harm, praised the military and glorified its abuses, Global Witness said in the report, published late Tuesday.”

Songs, stories, pottery: Refugees preserve their heritage in digital archives (Thomson Reuters Foundation)

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Songs, stories, pottery: Refugees preserve their heritage in digital archives. “Solima Khatun has been a refugee six times in her long life. She first left her home in Myanmar during the Second World War, and most recently in 2017 – when relatives had to carry her as they fled to Bangladesh with nearly one million other Rohingyas…. Khatun’s story – along with pictures of her and her loda – are among scores of exhibits featured in the Rohingya Cultural Memory Centre (RCMC), a new digital archive of the art, literature and treasured belongings of refugees in Cox’s Bazar.”