The West's faith in Burma isn't being repaid. When U.S. President Barack Obama lifted restrictions on investments by American companies in the country last month, state security forces were still committing killings, rape and mass arrests against Rohingya Muslims in Arakan state. These abuses came after the authorities failed to protect both Rohingya and Arakan Buddhists during sectarian violence that erupted in early June and which continues today.
The Rohingya, largely scorned by Burmese society, are treated as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Because they were stripped of citizenship in 1982, even in the best of times they are subjected to forced labor, arbitrary detentions, beatings and restrictions on movement.