An Open Letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

An Open Letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

By Sufyan bin Uzayr
International Policy Digest
April 10, 2014

“Muslims have been targeted, but also Buddhists have been subjected to violence. But there’s fear on both sides and this is what is leading to all these troubles and we would like the world to understand: that the reaction of the Buddhists is also based on fear.” – Aung San Suu Kyi

Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. Photo: Claude TRUONG-NGOC

Dear Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi,

Thanks in part to the Internet, I have the luxury of writing this open letter to you.

Last month, at the third Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), you met with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina. Both of you discussed various issues, such as the importance of providing micro-loans to rural women and drug trafficking in the region. It was encouraging to hear that steps are being taken for the betterment of the entire region.

However, something was missing, the plight of the Rohingya people in Myanmar. Did you forget about them? Sheikh Hasina did allude to the Rohingya crisis, though. She told you that both Myanmar and Bangladesh need to resolve the refugee crisis, but you did not respond.

Since my assumption is that you have completely forgotten about the Rohingya people, allow me to remind you of their plight. They happen to be Burmese citizens. They are one of the most persecuted communities in the world. The United Nations describes them as “friendless,” and they are being massacred. On a side note, they also happen to have a religion that’s different from the majority of Burmese citizens, and this is why they are being killed. Essentially, Myanmar wants to eliminate the Rohingya people from its territory, and Bangladesh does not consider itself to be accountable for foreign refugees.

One can blame a lot many people for the destruction and violence towards the Rohingya people, but that’s an altogether different story. My question is, why are you silent?

I have followed your heroics ever since I was a child. As a child, I could not have fathomed what threat a single person posed to the military junta of Myanmar. After all, the junta had guns and bullets and you had just flowers! You symbolized the heart and spirit of resistance. You stood tall as the champion of freedom and democracy in your country. Your release from house arrest in 2010 marked a new era in the history of Myanmar.

As a result, your silence on the Rohingya issue is both shocking and disappointing. How can you – who has fought for the freedom of her own countrymen – be silent while an entire section of her country’s population is being killed? How can you be a mute spectator?

Your silence is shocking, Ms. Suu Kyi. And the fact that the world is silent about your silence is even more shocking. You see, it seems like nobody wishes to say anything negative towards you. After all, you are worshipped as a political hero. (The leader of the resistance.) Everyone supports the war you have waged for a ‘free’ Myanmar. However, your version of a ‘free’ Myanmar does not have room for the Rohingya people!

Since the Rohingya masses do not have many supporters, your stand is not unique, which is why I am writing this letter. You see, when it comes to the Rohingya crisis, the Bangladeshi and Burmese governments are trying their level best to evade responsibility, and the international community has chosen to be silent. You, on the other hand, could have served as a much-needed mediator. You could have facilitated a solution to this crisis by bringing the relevant players to the table and encouraging them to seek a mutual compromise. Unfortunately, you seem too busy to do that.

I know that if you were to express your willingness to help the Rohingya people, the international community would listen. But your inaction is heartbreaking.

The world rejoiced when you were released from prison. Why? Because you had fought for freedom, and your imprisonment was unjustified. Today, the Rohingya people of your country need you, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi. You have a political and moral duty towards them.

Please, try not to disappoint them!


Sufyan bin Uzayr
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Security Military Lieutenant Robs Things From A Rohingya House In Buthidaung

Security Military Lieutenant Robs Things From A Rohingya House In Buthidaung

RB News
April 16, 2014

Buthidaung, Arakan – A military lieutenant from Regiment 353 based in Buthidaung Township of Arakan State robbed things from a Rohingya house.

On April 8th at 12 pm, a military Lieutenant from Regiment 353 based in Kyaung Taung village tract in Buthidaung Township entered the house of Idris S/o Abdul Malek located in Taung Badaga hamlet of Badaga village tract.

At that time Idris wasn’t at home. The Lieutenant pulled out the wife of Idris from the house. Then he took a big solar panel, a battery and some wires then left the house. The Solar panel valued 120,000 kyats and the battery is valued at 25,000 kyats.

Idirs complained about the event to the village administrator once he arrived home. Although he requested the lieutenant to give back his things through the village administrator, the lieutenant responded that he would be hardly beaten if asked again for his things to be returned.
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OIC Chief Madani dismayed over deteriorating situation of Rohingyas

OIC Chief Madani dismayed over deteriorating situation of Rohingyas

By Pakistan Observer
April 17, 2014

Jeddah — The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Iyad Ameen Madani, expressed concern about the recently conducted national population census in Myanmar and the government’s decision not to allow census respondents to self-identify as Rohingya, stating that this decision does not conform with international census standards as set by the United Nations Population Fund nor does it conform with basic human rights principles in terms of non-discrimination.

The Secretary General reiterated that as a result of lack of adherence to principles of international law and infringement of the rights of the Rohingya people, a wave of condemnable violence again erupted including the burning of several Rohingya homes and the arbitrary detention of women.

He further expressed concern at the deteriorating situation of humanitarian aid workers in Rakhine State and regretted the reported attacks on their persons. He urged the government of Myanmar to enforce the rule of law in Rakhine, hold all perpetrators accountable, ensure the safety of those providing necessary assistance and humanitarian aid and prevent further escalation of violence.
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“Hitler and Eichmann are heroes”, in the eyes of Rakhine, Myanmar

“Hitler and Eichmann are heroes”, in the eyes of Rakhine, Myanmar

By Dr. Maung Zarni
April 16, 2014

The editorial of the Progress, the official publication of the largest Rakhine political party that has national representation at Myanmar’s Parliament in Naypyidaw, (No, 12, V. 2, Nov. 2012) explicitly states Hitler and Eichman were protectors of the Germans and they were great heroes.

The editorial says again explicitly whatever the heinous crimes patriotism requires Rakhine patriots to stop any peaceful co-existence “with the un-seen enemy” (meaning Muslims and Rohingya in Rakhine State).

“We cannot pass on this (Muslim/Rohingya) ‘problem’ to the next generation any more. We need to finish this job during our time”.

This is a coded and chilling message for ethnic cleansing AND a genocide.

This message is framed as ‘protecting Rakhine race, Buddhist faith and Burma’s national sovereignty’.

This call for genocide is justified as something NOT against human rights because patriots are to protect their human community as Rakhine and Burmese.

The publication is littered with genocidal messages. Vet Aye Maung, the leader of the Rakhine’s largest party, now known as Rakhine National Party (before RNDP or Rakhine Nationality Development Party) argues that “Bengali” (racist reference to Rohingya) problem was a well-time detonation of ‘population time bomb’ by those (Islamic groups, inside and outside of Burma) that plan to swallow Rakhine-land and exterminate or purge Buddhist Rakhine. He welcomed the violent events – mainly organized and structured mass violence by the Rakhine and Myanmar security troops against Rohingya as ‘opportune’ for Burma to address the underlying fundamental problem (of the need to get rid of “Bengali”).

One Rakhine author stated that “some people (in a rather obvious reference to Rohingya in Rakhine State) cannot be considered fully humans. Not everyone with a head on the shoulders ought to be considered humans. Because they do NOT deserve fully human status, they are not entitled to human rights.”

This is straight out of the slavery discourses in the United States in the pre-Civil War period where Africans were considered 3/5 human beings!

Myanmar is only about 250 years behind the world!

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In Pictures: Myanmar’s census bars Rohingya

In Pictures: Myanmar’s census bars Rohingya

By Hereward Holland
April 14, 2014
Muslim Rohingya are excluded from political representation as a result of not being counted.
Myanmar’s million-plus Muslim Rohingya population doesn’t officially exist on government records. Branded “Bengali” and considered illegal immigrants, they’ve been living under systematic discrimination since sectarian violence erupted in 2012 in the coastal Rakhine state.
In the past six months, resentment of aid groups has been building among some Buddhists because of charities’ perceived preferential treatment of the Rohingya, who make up the vast majority of those displaced by the recent unrest. Many aid groups that once provided life-giving support to the Rohingya’s squalid camps have either been banned or forced to flee, their compounds ransacked by Buddhist mobs.
The mobs gathered after a UN-backed national census, the country’s first in 30 years.
The headcount officially began on March 30, despite threats of violence and questions of ethnicity and religion that could re-ignite conflict in an already deeply fractured country.
Rights groups and think tanks advised the government to delay the census or remove questions concerning race and religion because of Myanmar’s fragile stage in transition from dictatorship to “disciplined democracy”.
The UK’s Department for International Development donated £10 million ($16m) to the project.
Days before the count, Buddhist nationalists – roused by hard-line monks – threatened to boycott the census if the Rohingya registered their ethnicity.
In an attempt to keep the peace, the government barred Rohingya from taking part in the census unless they identified themselves as “Bengali”.
The UN Population Fund said it was “deeply concerned about the departure from international census standards”.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
Provoked by hard-line monks, many in the Buddhist community were angered that the government initially allowed Muslim Rohingya to register their ethnicity. The government later barred Rohingya from taking part unless they registered as “Bengali”.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
Ethnic Rohingya, who have lived in the region for centuries, are conspicuously absent from this museum display. Rohingya are also absent from the official list of 135 ethnicities on the country’s census form.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
In the run up to the census, some hard-line Buddhists spread rumours that Muslims were attempting to convert Myanmar from a Buddhist country through migration and marriage to Buddhist women.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
A building owned by Malteser International, an emergency aid group, bears the scars of an attack by a Buddhist mob angered by the removal of a pro-Buddhist flag from their building. Local Buddhists saw this as disrespectful, compounding resentment over the agency’s perceived preferential treatment of Rohingya following previous sectarian violence. Later, a mob wielding hammers marched around town smashing and looting more than two dozen compounds used by aid agencies.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
On April 1, around 200 census workers entered Te Chaung camp on the outskirts of Sittwe. The data collectors were flanked by police and backed up by two army battalions. The camp’s overwhelming majority is ethnic Rohingya.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
Instead of asking the 41 questions of the census, workers asked just one: “What is your ethnicity?” If respondents answered: “Rohingya”, the workers reportedly moved on without registering the family.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
A Rohingya woman watches as census workers walk past her home, refusing to allow her to participate. Participation is crucial, as ministerial positions in local parliaments are allocated corresponding to proportional representation of registered ethnic groups.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
Rohingya children look out from their hut as census workers pass. They won’t be counted, after pressure on the government from Buddhist nationalists – who see the Rohingya’s census participation as the “thin edge of the wedge” towards citizenship, even though officials deny the count would be used for that purpose.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
A Kaman Muslim man living in the Te Chaung displacement camp poses with a card showing he participated in the census. Despite being Muslim, the Kaman is one of the 135 officially recognised ethnicities.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
A census worker practices filling out the pink census form at a training session. The United Nations Population Fund and the national government say the headcount will help allocate the nation’s budget and resources.

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By Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( merhrom) Posted in Uncategorized

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