Critical Commentary: Myanmar Human Rights Panel Members Meet Rakhine Residents

Posted on November 25, 2013 by


The topic being discussed here revolves around the issue of the unrest and rioting that has been happening in Rakhine State, Myanmar.  This article was reported by Min Thein Aung and Khin Khin Ei, translated by Khet Marn and written in English by Richard Finney.  There has been social unrest for over a year now in Rakhine State, the conflict is between the ethnic majority Rakhine Buddhists and the minority Rohingya Muslims.  This article concerns Human Rights specialists talking to community leaders and residents of the war-torn state.  The purpose of this meeting was to urge them to contain their “communal violence” in attempts to uphold human rights after the deadly occurrences last year.  Much of the conflict revolves around the Rohingya and whether they are seen as actual citizens of the state or not.  The law of citizenship only recognizes families that have been settled in Rakhine State before independence from Britain in 1948.  However, many of the Rohingya’s say that they have lived there for generations.

My first impression of this article is that the government has inserted itself in this region, heavily armed, and has chosen to talk to the refugees and other important community leaders about the future of this country.  Here is a photograph of armed guards looking on as the Secretary of Myanmar National Human Rights Commission Sit Mying talks with these people.




It gives the impression that it might be a dangerous area and that precautions are being taken.

The writing of this article is generally unbiased, although it may be leaning a little more towards sympathy of the Rohingya Muslims.  There are a few times where it is repeated how almost all Rohingya Muslims have been denied citizenship and once where it says “the U.N. has referred to the group as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.”  Other than these things, there are no stereotypes, name calling, or generalizations of any sort.  The writer kept an unbiased motive.

There are no known sources that the writer offers in his article, but it seems like he was there when Sit Mying met with the refugees, there are quotes from him when he was talking to them.  There is no source from the photo however.  It is difficult to identify the sources of information used in the coverage overall.

The perspective of this article is that the Rohingya Muslims are sort of being treated poorly here in this state.  They are not recognized as citizens, some of them have been killed due to violence, and many of them are without a home and have to live in refugee camps.  It makes the reader feel bad for them because in this article they have not done anything wrong at all.

I do not feel like there is much influence from the news media business here within this article. There doesn’t seem to be anything special in this story that has implemented just to get more viewers of this page.  It seems to be just a straight-up article.

This article arouses concepts about religions that may not be entirely good.  It makes you think about how certain religions might not be accepting of other religions or other groups of people.  These conflicts can happen violently and leave people in a state of disarray.  Religions have not always peacefully co-existed and this article shows that in full.  Once these conflicts start happening, they are really tough to end.

This article was on a variety of different web pages, so it was a pretty popular one.  I think the biggest thing that captured my attention was the picture of the guards watching as Sit Mying was meeting with the refugees.

Aung, Min Thein, and Khin Khin Ei. “Myanmar Human Rights Panel Members Meet Rakhine Residents.” Myanmar Human Rights Panel Members Meet Rakhine Residents. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2013. <>.


Mitch Elofson

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