Myanmar--concern about recent violence

Old Aug 29th, 2017, 07:42 PM
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Myanmar--concern about recent violence

Traveling to Myanmar in Oct. Just saw this article on fighting there and it made the hair on my neck stand up.

"United Nations officials said more than 8,700 Rohingya, members of Myanmar’s Muslim minority, have fled across the border to Bangladesh from Rakhine state since Saturday, following clashes last week between security forces and a militant group identified as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army. The fighting was reported to have killed more than 100 people."

I haven't followed the climate there except to know there is a history of political unrest and human rights violations. Now I'm wondering if it is still wise to go there or if I am overreacting. Would appreciate any feedback from folks who have or will soon travel there.
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Old Aug 29th, 2017, 10:34 PM
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The fighting is contained to an area of Rahkine state (Arakan) and access by foreigners is tightly controlled by the military. You won't be allowed near any hot spots. Having said that, terrorists can strike pretty much anywhere these days.

Be aware, but don't worry too much. The Myanmar people are very caring and helpful towards their visitors.
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Old Aug 30th, 2017, 03:40 AM
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Thanks Sardonic. I just checked the site and see they issued a statement today. I won't be traveling to those area and will keep my eye of the situation.

"U.S. Embassy Rangoon, Burma

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Violent Attacks in Northern Rakhine

August 30, 2017

Due to the widespread attacks against government security forces in northern Rakhine State and because of continued instability, we strongly advise all U.S. citizens to avoid travel to northern Rakhine State – defined as Maungdaw, Rathedaung, and Buthidaung townships.

U.S. Embassy staff members are currently prohibited from travel to these three townships, and are only permitted essential work travel on a case-by-case basis to all other parts of Rakhine State. U.S. Embassy staff are permitted personal travel to tourist areas outside of northern Rakhine State, such as Mrauk-U and the Thandwe/Ngapali Beach area, but are asked to exercise caution.

There may be further protests against the presence and activities of the United Nations and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) in Sittwe and elsewhere in Rakhine State. Avoid all protests and large gatherings as they could quickly become violent.

Tourist sites in Rakhine State such as Thandwe, Ngapali, and Mrauk-U are outside of the current areas of conflict and instability. However, travelers are urged to use caution, and maintain situational awareness if they choose to travel to these areas."
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Old Aug 30th, 2017, 03:51 AM
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I agree with sartoric about the safety issue and how caring the people of Myanmar are. BUT, after our visit there this past winter, I came home wondering if ethically we should have visited a country that so obviously is in violation of human rights. We went to Myanmar as tourists, sartoric has been, and now you are going.

Knowing what I know now about this issue (and having most people in Myanmar who discussed it at all with us just say, "it's complicated") if I had it to do over I don't know that I would choose to visit the country. I am just putting this statement out for others who are contemplating visiting Myanmar but who are vacillating. Unfortunately, Aung San Suu Kyi who many around the world admired in the past has not been such an admirable leader in this situation.
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Old Aug 31st, 2017, 10:31 PM
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Just don't say you're an aid worker. No worries if you work for the UN--you won't even be granted a visa.
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 08:57 AM
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We had planned to go to Myanmar next year but won't for ethical reasons. We can't give money to a govt that does this to it's own citizens due to religious differences. So disappointed.
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 11:34 AM
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We too are disappointed in not being able to go due to ethical reasons, as we also are disappointed about not going to Malaysia, a country that does not recognize israel’s right to exist and who are anti-Semitic. It is a shame that there is so much hatred and cruelty in the world. These are two countries that have been on top of my radar for several years.
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 03:34 PM
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I would like to see tourists avoid China for ethical and moral reasons.
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 05:55 PM
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OP here. We ended up skipping Myanmar and going to Vietnam in its place. No regrets.
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