U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Terrorism 2006 - Burma
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism|
|Publication Date||30 April 2007|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Terrorism 2006 - Burma, 30 April 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/468108502d.html [accessed 21 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Bilateral relations between Burma and the United States remained strained. The Burmese regime's willingness to cooperate and coordinate on counterterrorist activities within the country and throughout the region remains limited. However, Burma has cooperated with the United States on both transnational terrorist threats and law enforcement efforts to stem narcotrafficking and money laundering. Burmese Special Branch police created a new counterterrorism unit headquartered in Rangoon.
The Burmese judicial system lacked independence and transparency and suffered from corruption. The government defined almost all anti-regime activities "acts of terrorism" and made little distinction between peaceful political dissent and violent attacks by insurgents or criminals. Suspected perpetrators of any acts that opposed the regime were subject to lengthy detention without trial or due process. The government was quick to characterize dissident groups as aligned with terrorist organizations and used this as justification to scrutinize and disrupt their activities. The regime regularly labeled exile leaders and political activists as "terrorists." No reliable evidence existed that any terrorists, terrorist organizations, or affiliations, were using Burma as a safe haven.
No known anti-American terrorist groups were operating in Burma. However, some observers posited possible links between known terrorist organizations and two local insurgent groups: the Rohingya Solidarity Organization, and the Arakan Rohingya National Organization. There were few signs that either group remained active inside of Burma, although the Burmese regime's severe repression of the Rohingya Muslim population inside Burma could foster sympathy with extremist methods and objectives.
Indigenous violence in Burma generally was targeted against the ruling regime. Various insurgent groups in ethnic minority areas near borders with China, India, Bangladesh, Laos, and Thailand conducted small-scale actions against the Burmese authorities. The Government of Burma attributed several recent bombings in the capital and elsewhere to anti-regime elements, but did not publicly file charges against specific individuals.
On January 3, two small-scale bombings occurred in Bago. No deaths or injuries were reported. Police conducted an initial investigation and blamed ethnic Karen groups for attempting to disrupt the National Convention and Burmese Independence Day, which is January 4. On April 20, five small improvised explosive devices went off in downtown Rangoon; police reported minimal damage and no injuries. On September 21, Embassy contacts in the Burmese Special Branch Police reported that a small bomb exploded inside a women's bathroom at the Teachers Training College in Rangoon, but that no one was injured and the explosion caused very little damage. The Burmese police politely refused the Embassy's request to view either the scene or any remaining fragments. As in most such incidents, the Government of Burma claimed the incident was a subversive act, "committed by a group of insurgent destructive elements who wanted to disturb and destroy stability of the state." Authorities did not make public any evidence of a genuine investigation or identify the specific perpetrator(s).