What is the truth behind the continuing persecution of the Rohingya?

Latest Rohingya crises update from AVAAZ

Very few had heard of Rwanda until 800,000 people were dead. And right now in Burma, the Rohingya people are being massacred --they’re even beheading tiny children. Shockingly, the army behind the killing is supported by countries like Britain, Germany and Italy

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. (Ghandi)

Myanmar chief of general staff Mya Tun Oo  said at least 160 people were killed in the conflict between the armed forces and ethnic armed groups in Shan during the last three months.
Myanmar security forces are “very likely” to have committed crimes against humanity against Rohingya Muslims in recent months, U.N. human rights investigators said.

Rohingya exodus

It is estimated that 1.5 million Rohingyas live in exile around the world. Recent events suggest that their plight is worsening and there is little likelihood of improvement in the short term. Myanmar’s democratic reforms will not be helped by the continuing humanitarian crisis regarding the Muslim Rohingya minority in the western state of Rakihine (Arakan) bordering Bangladesh. Arakan was neither part of Bangladesh or Burma until 1784 and the Rohingya are natives of that region (approximately 2 million)

Violent confrontation between the Rohingya Muslims and Rakhine Buddhists has led to the displacement of 140,000 and killed more than 200, most of them Rohingya. International aid agencies were expelled from Rakhine (Arakan) in March 2014. It appears the situation has not improved since then.

Rohingya
Rohingya (Photo credit: AK Rockefeller)

Is Rohingya claim justified?

I found it difficult to know who or what to believe when I first watched Al-Jazeera’s 2012 documentary video about the Rohingya Muslims living in Rakhine (Arakan) in 2014. The UN said Rohingyas are deprived of citizenship and the most basic liberties (which Myanmar denies) They are classified as illegal immigrants and are denied identity cards which are essential for work, housing and travel. They claim they are Myanmar citizens and are arguably one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.

Is the persecution of the Rohingyas ethnic cleansing, a form of hidden genocide, religious or a human rights violation which has had little exposure internationally? Neither Myanmar, neighbouring Bangladesh or Thailand want these ‘stateless’ people or appear to recognise that they have any rights. That indicates their claim to citizenship of Myanmar is unjustified and needs clarification.

Will the Rohingyas be destroyed?

It looks increasingly like the intention is to destroy the Rohingyas as an ethnic group. Taking measures to restrict movement, marriage and births; denying peoples identity, denying their history and denying the legitimacy of their right to live where they do, are all indications of genocide and are of great concern.

Former Myanmar President Thein Sein considered most Rohingyas to be illegal immigrants (as does Bangladesh). They should therefore, be deported or sent to refugee camps.

English: Aung San Suu Kyi greeting supporters ...
English: Aung San Suu Kyi greeting supporters from Bago State on 14 August 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Myanmar icon Aung San Suu Kyi has refused to support the rights of the Rohingya, to citizenship and has been silent about their problems. The reasons are largely unexplained. Why?

Whatever your views or feelings about the Rohingya and this long running conflict may be, denial of basic human rights can never be acceptable.

The Guardian’s expose on the Thai fishing industry’s exploitation of the Rohingyas makes for sad reading.

This is just another example of how difficult the human race finds it to live together in harmony. When there is no trust we live in fear, paranoia sets in and we believe everyone is a threat.

0 thoughts on “What is the truth behind the continuing persecution of the Rohingya?”

  1. I read about how children are put in boats and pushed out to sea…. And no country will let them come ashore….. What kind of world have we become?….

    1. That’s right Golde. These people have been trying to find refuge elsewhere for a long time. I am battling to understand how people who have inhabited a place for hundreds of years can be classified as illegal immigrants?? They are denied the right of citizenship anywhere!! Religious beliefs are irrelevant and nothing to do with basic human rights. We all have a right to belong somewhere, surely? Enjoy your hol. James

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