May 25, 2013.
New measure, which applies to Muslim Rohingya families in western Rakhine state, does not affect Buddhists in the area.
Authorities in Myanmar's western Rakhine state have imposed a two-child limit for Muslim Rohingya families, a policy that does not apply to Buddhists in the area, and comes amid accusations of ethnic cleansing in the aftermath of sectarian violence.
Local officials said on Saturday that the new measure would be applied to two Rakhine townships that border Bangladesh and have the highest Muslim populations in the state.
The townships, Buthidaung and Maundaw, are about 95 percent Muslim.
The unusual order makes Myanmar perhaps the only country in the world to impose such a restriction on a religious group, and is likely to fuel further criticism that Muslims are being discriminated against in the Buddhist-majority country.
China has a one-child policy, but it is not based on religion and exceptions apply to minority ethnic groups.
India briefly practised forced sterilisation of men in a bid to control the population in the mid-1970s when civil liberties were suspended during a period of emergency rule, but a nationwide outcry quickly shut down the programme.
'Overpopulation causes tension'
Rakhine state spokesman Win Myaing said the new programme was meant to stem rapid population growth in the Muslim community, which a government-appointed commission identified as one of the causes of the sectarian violence.
Although Muslims are the majority in the two townships in which the new policy applies, they account for only about 4 percent of Myanmar's roughly 60 million people.
The measure was enacted a week ago after the commission recommended family planning programs to stem population growth among Muslims, Win Myaing said.
The commission also recommended doubling the number of security forces in the volatile region.
"The population growth of Rohingya Muslims is 10 times higher than that of the Rakhine (Buddhists)," Win Myaing said. "Overpopulation is one of the causes of tension."
Sectarian violence in Myanmar first flared nearly a year ago in Rakhine state between the region's Rakhine Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya.
Mobs of Buddhists armed with machetes razed thousands of Muslim homes, leaving hundreds of people dead and forcing 125,000 to flee, mostly Muslims.
Witnesses and human rights groups said riot police stood by as crowds attacked Muslims and burned their villages.
New York-based Human Rights Watch has accused authorities in Rakhine of fomenting an organised campaign of "ethnic cleansing" against the Rohingya.
See the original article here.
*****Comment: The makings of genocide against the Rohingya are in the details of this latest crack-down.
The worry over a population explosion is just a ruse. The purpose is plain to see.
The military junta government is intent on oppressing the Rohingya all they can while the world looks on as if it is someone else's problem.
No oil there and no strategic position to defend and, therefore, no reason for Western powers to invade on the pretense of a humanitarian intervention.
But that does not mean the West does not want to sell to Burma. There is money to be made there. Ask South Africa's golf celebrity, Gary Player, he built golf courses for the leaders of the military junta even though it was against international sanctions to do business with them at the time.
Is he being hounded to stand trial or at least pay back the profits he reaped from selling to inhumane bigots?
Nope. Gary Player is a friend to the ruling party. Well a benefactor is probably more accurate even now that former President Mandela can't join him on the golf course anymore.
It is all dirty money and Gary Player is a buffoon in a larger oppressive history. That history unfortunately has not impressed upon our capitalized leaders here in the delusional rainbow to stand-up and speak on behalf of the Rohingya.
Hell not a word has come from President Zuma or any of the deployments that run international relations in South Africa.
It seems the Gary Player manner of profiting or turning a blind eye is instructive as South Africa has continued its normal diplomatic and trade relations with Burma - as it did even when Aung San Suu Kyi was still under house arrest.
Speaking of sellouts, Suu Kyi has still not bothered to raise her voice against the blatant oppression of the Rohingya.
Seems like everyone can be bought if the price and envisioned prize is right.
And we are not free.