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Sunday, 28 September 2014 Burma Times: Burma’s ethnic minorities will never cede from the country, providing their rights are respected and a genuine federal union established, said Nai Hongsa, one of the leading negotiators for the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) on Saturday. Speaking at a briefing for Burmese political parties in the wake of a five-day round of ceasefire talks between the NCCT ethnic alliance and a government delegation, Mon leader [more]
Sunday , 28 September 2014 Burma Times:COLOMBO – A controversial Buddhist cleric from Myanmar announced Sunday he is linking up with hardline monks in Sri Lanka, alleging that their religion is under threat from Islamic jihadists. The Mandalay-based monk Wirathu, addressing a convention in Colombo of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or Buddhist Force, said they would work together to protect their common religion. The BBS has been accused of instigating hate attacks [more]
Burma Times: 28 Sep 2014 Myanmar’s national government has drafted a plan that will give about a million members of the persecuted Rohingya Muslim ethnic minority a bleak choice: accept ethnic “reclassification” and the prospect of citizenship, or be detained. Most of Myanmar’s 1.1 million Rohingya already live in apartheid-like conditions in western Rakhine state, where deadly clashes with ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in 2012 displaced 140,000 people, mostly Rohingya. The plan, shared by [more]
Burma Times: By Harun Yahya 30 Sep 2014
The word “Islam” is in the headlines and news reports we read and listen to every single day. Yet only a very few of those reports and headlines refer to the real Islam as revealed by God in the Qur’an. Although we all read a lot of news articles about terror organizations that claim to have Islamic roots, today it has become a widely acknowledged truth that those terror organizations are actually “non-Islamic”.
The word “Islam” is derived from the word “silm” meaning “peace” in Arabic. Anyone with a basic level of knowledge regarding religions should know that Islam is a religion revealed to mankind with the intention of presenting a peaceful life through which the infinite compassion and mercy of God is made manifest on Earth. In the Qur’an, the one and only source of Islam, God calls all people to Islamic morals so that compassion, mercy, peace and love can be experienced all over the world. In doing so, God addresses all those who believe as a whole:
O You who believe! Enter absolutely into peace (Islam). (Surat al-Baqara, 208)
In this call of God to mankind there is compassion, there is love and there is the promise of a peaceful, decent life in which people of all nations would live together as brothers. However when we look at what is written and what is said about this uniquely liberating, uniquely peaceful religion, we see that over the ages it has been totally misrepresented. We, the Muslims, the believers of this time, are all responsible of making that right.
Before all else, it should be made clear that in Islam, “There is no compulsion where the religion is concerned.” (Surat Al-Baqarah; 256) As God commanded in this verse, Islam strictly prohibits believers to compel others – especially when religion is concerned. Surely in Islam, no one can be forced to believe or accept any lifestyle.
“Say, ‘Now the truth has come from your Lord: let those who wish to believe in it do so, and let those who wish to reject it do so.” (Surat Al-Kahf;29)
As the Qur’an states, we can clearly say that what we read today about so-called “Islamic” organizations’ brutal compulsion and their beheading of those who do not believe God in the way they do are in direct conflict with Islam.
Before all else, we should say that for a Muslim killing an innocent person who poses no threat to them whatsoever is strictly forbidden. God says that killing such a person is like murdering all mankind. (Surat Al-Furqan; 68) A Muslim would never kill in cold blood and surely would never advocate a system which regards killing such inoffensive people in cold blood as a form of “jihad.”
In this respect we need to make it clear that the concept of “jihad” in the Qur’an is nothing similar to what those “non-Islamic” organizations wage. The word “jihad” comes from the Arabic word “jahd” which means to work, strive, labor and make sacrifices. It means to control one’s own lower-self. God describes the concept of jihad in the Qur’an as teaching people good morals and striving to turn people away from evil with kind words, with love and compassion. A Muslim engaged in “jahd” strives to spread love, peace and affection and to teach people to turn away from all sorts of evil. A Muslim gives that struggle in a self-sacrificing, kind and loving manner. In all his interactions with people from other religions, a Muslim should sustain that kind and loving manner; that is because in the Qur’an God commands Muslims to “Only argue with the People of the Book in the kindest way” (Surat Al-Ankabut; 46)
When this is the case, it would be safe to say that trying to portrait Islam as the “source” of the twisted misconception of “jihad” conducted by those “non-Islamic” terror organizations would be a mistake. A Muslim’s jihad, a Muslim’s struggle, is with his own lower-self before all else as jihad involves becoming a good person by turning away from evil, hatred and anger.
It is true that radicals are behaving in a way that shows their ignorance about this undeniable fact. However there is no point in threatening or bombing those who imagine that they are waging “jihad” by killing inoffensive people. That is because, before all else, we should be well aware that none of the false information in their minds can be erased by weapons or bombs. Even if a small fraction of them could be eliminated with the use of weapons, their ideas will continue to produce people of their kind, feeling an even stronger rage and resorting to even fiercer acts of violence. The only way to neutralize any idea is to wage a struggle against that idea with the truth; there is no other way. The lack of education, the lack of proper understanding of the Qur’an is the most crucial fact that we, the Muslims of the world, should realize and strive against. That struggle is one that should be given with love and in peace, not with weapons. This ignorance at the root of the terror we all suffer from today can only come to an end through careful and scrupulous education by those who only use the language of peace. This is also the only solution for the sufferings of Muslims all over the world from East Turkestan to Myanmar, from Iraq to Afghanistan, from Palestine to Somali.
It is true that keeping the language of peace and love vibrant in a community that lives in aggression requires special virtues and maturity. But we should never forget that being virtuous and mature is a major part of being a “Muslim.” Teaching the radicals who think that killing is a solution that it really isn’t and that by doing so, they are doing what God has prohibited and that they would be held accountable for such acts is the only solution to put an end to the terror they are executing. The only way to do that is to use the language of peace in the way Qur’an demands us.
Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition, and argue with them in the kindest way. Your Lord knows best who is misguided from His way. And He knows best who are guided.
(Surat An-Nahl; 125)
The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He may be followed at @Harun_Yahya and www.harunyahya.com.
By Ibrahim Shah Thursday, 18 September 2014
Burma Times: On 11th September, UNDP Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Haoliang Xu and OCHA Director of Operations John Ging had released joint press release on their conclusion of a two-day visit to Rakhine State.
The joint press release of Mr. Xu and Ging did not describe evidently which communities are indeed in unacceptably dire situation. As the repressive regime led by Hitlerite Killer President Thein Sein warned UN delegations to refrain from expressing the term Rohingya, Mr. Su and Mr. Ging reported about the critical situation of the victims of the 2012 violence without identifying the ethnicity of the communities. Here the omission of the ethnicity of those communities who face catastrophe in western Burma is a kind of double standard of UNDP and OHCA.
According to the multiple reports of former UN Envoy for human rights in Burma Mr. Quintana and the current one Ms. Yanghee Lee, the situation of internally displaced people in western Burma is appalling. Amongst the IDPs, mostly are Rohingya and small quantity are Rakhine and Kaman Muslims. The ethnic Rakhine can move freely but Rohingya are confined.
Accordingly, the joint statement made by Mr. Xing and Mr. Ging indicates that UN endorses the ongoing so called Citizenship Verification process which is being carried out forcibly over Rohingya people under pilot Project according to the 1982 Burma citizenship Act. The so called Burma Citizenship Act established since 1982 under Junta Ne Win’s era is internationally notorious for it used double standard policies preferring racism and ethnocentric Buddhism.
Mr Xu said that by starting the verification process the government had shown a willingness to confront the problem. Though it remains unclear what will happen to those who are deemed to not meet the criteria, Mr Xu said that the pilot process was an important starting point that could provide an opportunity to find a sustainable solution to the issue, according to Myanmar Times.
Here it appeared that Mr. Xu completely recommends the overt ethnic cleansing of Rohingya community by the disguised reformist President Thein Sein and it is evident that UN has changed its direction from protection of human rights into multiple business sectors.
Rohingya community was an officially recognized ethnic group in Burma until 1982. The ongoing so called Verification Scheme over Rohingya community in western Burma is a kind of wasting time and harassment to them.
“The people living in Buthidaung and Maungdaw Townships are Rohingya, ethnic of Burma” said Burma’s firstdemocratically elected prime minister U Nu in a public speech on 25 September 1954 at 8 pm. “The Rohingya has the equal status of nationality with Kachin, Kayah, Karen, Mon, Rakhine and Shan” said the prime minister and minister for defense U Ba Swe at public gatherings in Buthidaung and Maungdaw Townships on 3 and 4 November 1959.
Here we could obviously perceive that Rohingya is a Burmese officially recognized ethnic group. The ongoing verification scheme for them is unnecessary and it is just the deception of Burmese genocidal rulers who have been perpetually enacting ethnocentric Buddhism policies to convert the entire Burma into Theravada Buddhism after eradicating other religions.
Apparently, it is regrettable how the two high-profile responsible personalities of UNDP and OHCA could knowingly omitted the ethnical term of those who are indeed in dire situation in western Burma. To conceal something knowingly is a sort of crime which cannot be replaced in return.
If those personalities who advocate for human rights of the UN initiated to step into racism and prostitution, how the ongoing global calamity will be perished? If oppressors victimize someone, the third party should protect the victim from the hand of oppressors. The world has changed the system that oppressors are going to be protected by third party who is in super power than the oppressors and the third party follows according to the tricky propaganda of oppressors.
Article 13 of “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”: (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state; (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
According to the above article of the universal declaration of human rights, Mr. Xu and Mr. Ging had already violated the universally declared Act of human rights. Thus UNDP and OHCA should scrutinize the matter why the Mr. Xing and Mr. Ging had violated Acts declared by UN assembly and should bring criminal charges against them as they tried to change the direction of UN from protection of human rights into racism and prostitution.
UNDP and OHCA should send those responsible persons who can differentiate right and wrong in Burma as the ruling quasi-military regime led by Killer president Thein Sein pulls international community into tricky trap by sweetheart voices and several deceptions in the way Hitler did.
It is unimaginable how Rohingya community badly experience state-sponsored catastrophe in western Burma and no one could be able to think without physically arrival there whether indeed Rohingya are in dire situation or it is just a rumor.
Here is attached a link for Mr. Xu and Mr. Ging so they can be able to inquire whether Rohingya people are indigenous residents of western Burma or illegal immigrants according to the accusation of the killer President Thein Sein . http://burmatimes.net/let-rohingya-fill-up-the-ethnicity-by-rohingya-in-myanmar-census-2014/
Burma Times: By Harun Yahya 9 Sep 2014
Widespread violence around the world has caused millions of people to suffer and live in poverty.
Muslim countries are rocked by war, hunger and poverty. The cries for help of people who live amid death, injury and destruction are heartbreaking.
In the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, thousands of homes were demolished and damaged in Gaza, while tens of hospitals and health centers were affected by the war. The United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) says that 300,000 Palestinians have sought shelter in UN schools. The number of injured exceeded 10,000. Gaza urgently needs assistance in food, health care and housing.
Palestinians live in difficult conditions, not just in Gaza, but also in refugee camps in neighboring countries. About 18,000 Palestinians are struggling to survive in Syria’s Yarmouk camp, due to widespread hunger as a result of a year-long siege. It is impossible to forget the images of people who starved to death in Yarmouk.
Palestinians who fled the Arab-Israeli wars over the past six decades sought refuge in other countries, including Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. Numerous diseases have spread inside camps due to unsanitary conditions. It is becoming harder to treat the injured. Almost 2 million people are internally displaced in Gaza and the West Bank. The total number of Palestinian refugees is nearly 5 million.
In Iraq, Christians, Turkmen, Shiites and Yazidis fleeing attacks by the Islamic State now represent a new wave of refugees. Children are the worst affected by the harsh conditions.
Syrian refugees are also faced with a humanitarian catastrophe. According to the United Nations, over 191,000 people have been killed and several hundred thousand injured. In total, there are approximately 9.5 million internally displaced persons (IDP) and refugees — 6.5 million within Syria and 3 million in neighboring countries. It is totally unbecoming of any Muslim to turn a blind eye to these facts, be unwilling to assist and fail to help find long-lasting and deep-rooted solutions.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that because of climate conditions and high food prices, 33 countries, 26 of which are in Africa, require external food aid. According to the FAO, 870,000 people are in need of food aid in Somalia, 3.5 million in South Sudan and 5 million in Sudan.
The problems in Muslim lands are by no means limited to Syria and Palestine. Many Muslims, including Uighur Turks, Iraqis, Afghans, people from Rakhine, Somalis and Sudanese, are looking to people of good conscience for help.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that because of climate conditions and high food prices, 33 countries, 26 of which are in Africa, require external food aid. According to the FAO, 870,000 people are in need of food aid in Somalia, 3.5 million in South Sudan and 5 million in Sudan, particularly IDPs or those living in poverty in rural areas. UN Humanitarian Affairs Coordinator for South Sudan Toby Lanzer states that the situation in South Sudan is as dangerous as that in Syria. Are we really unable to provide enough aid for people who are suffering?
Professor Per Pinstrup-Andersen, a leading figure in the FAO campaign against food wastage, states that 100 million tons of food are thrown away in Europe every year. According to the most optimistic FAO estimates, one-third of the food produced for human consumption in the world is either past its sell-by-date before it can be eaten or simply thrown away.
In conclusion, the data shows that there is enough food resources to feed all of the 7 billion people in the world. In that case, the most pressing matter is to get these resources to areas where they are most needed, and then to establish systems to ensure that nobody in the world goes hungry.
Food is only one aspect of waste. The greatest waste is the amount of money spent on weapons made for fighting and the bombs built to devastate cities. Since love is imprisoned in the world today, countries are arming themselves in an insane frenzy; hatred results in destruction and more suffering. When waste of all manner is prevented, and when mechanisms of distribution are set up for God’s sake, these problems will be eradicated.
The real sickness in the world is lovelessness. There is a profound lovelessness behind hatred and conflict. It is lovelessness that underlies disagreements and violence between different communities on the basis of race, sect or belief. The world is now waiting for people of love to govern, bring justice and put an end to the bloodshed.
The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He may be followed at @Harun_Yahya and www.harunyahya.com.
Adnan Oktar’s piece on Fair Observer:
Burma Times :By Aman Ullah 1 Sep 2014
Muslims of Arakan and Baxter Report
By Aman Ullah
Following the 1935 Government of India Act’s reforms, the British granted Burma a larger autonomous status with the Government of Burma Act. However, with very few educated Burmese available to do the necessary tasks, most of the government affairs continued to be run by the Indian subjects. This attitude of the British government was resented by most Burmese who started the ‘Burma for Burmese only’ Campaign. The Burmese mob marched to the Muslim (Surti) Bazaar. While the Indian Police broke the violent demonstration, three monks were hurt. Burmese newspapers uses the pictures of Indian police attacking the Buddhist monks to further incite the spread of riots. Muslim properties: shops, houses and mosques were looted, destroyed and burned. They also assaulted and killed Muslims. It spread all over Burma and a recorded 113 mosques were damaged. The Burmese also resented the fact that all the anti-government and race riots were quelled by Indian troops and police forces.
New waves of anti-Indian violence (more specifically anti-Muslim) were stirred up in July-August 1938 by the Burman in the country’s major cities while general strikes (workers, civil servants and students) paralyzed the economy of the province. Riots began in the capital of Rangoon and spread to almost all of southern and central Burma, including Mandalay. The rioting lasted for a month, officially causing the death of 204 people and leaving 1,000 injured. Buddhist monks took a leading role in organizing these riots. On September 2, 1938 another outbreak of anti-Indian rioting occurred in Rangoon. Although somewhat less severe and restricted to Rangoon only, the disturbance lasted for six days.
On September 22, 1938, the British Governor set up an inquiry committee to investigate the reasons behind the riots. The Riot Inquiry Committee found out that the real cause was the discontent in the Ba Maw government regarding the deterioration in socio-political and economic conditions of Burmans.
In March 1939 there were serious communal and agrarian troubles in Shwebo and Myaungmya. Later in the same month additional Military Police units had to be sent to Myaungmya because of Burmese attacks on Indians. Military Police units were also sent to patrol Shwebo and parts of Katha in the north because of attacks by Burmese on Muslim and Zerbadi (Indo-Burmese Muslim) villages. The troubles spread to Tharrawaddy district as well. By April, 1939, riots had spread to Bassein, Pyapon, Pegu, Lower Chindwin, Shwebo and Myaungmya.
Then the Government of Burma issued a communiqué declaring its intention to examine the question of Indian immigration and announced the nature and scope of the agreed upon between the Government of India and Burma. As a result of correspondence with the Government of India has been reached on a Commission of Enquiry that was entrusted to a sole commission to whom one Burman and one Indian were attached as assessors.
According the Government of Burma in a Resolution, dated the 15th July 1939, after consultation with the Government of India, appointed the Hon’ble Mr. J. Baxter to examine the question of Indian immigration into Burma, with the assistance of two assessors, U Tin Tut, I.C.S and Mr. Ratilal Desai, M.A,. Later Dr. H. Bernardelli, D. Phil., Head of Department of Economics, University College Rangoon was appointed Secretary to the Commission of Inquiry.
The Commission held eighteen meetings and interviewed over seventy-five witness. Memoranda on questions relating to the enquiry was received from representatives of the more important business firms, from employers of Labour, from a member of Government Departments, from Chambers of Commerce and others. A special enquiry on industrial labour was carried out in connexion with which information in the form of required was received from 1,392 industrial establishments.
The Report of the Commission, more commonly known as the Baxter Report, was completed in October 1940 and was published in Rangoon in 1941 by the Government Printing and Stationery Office. The Report made recommendations which were generally accepted by the Governments of Burma and India. The Agreement provided that the existing Immigration Order of 1937 would continue at least until 1 October 1945, while Indian immigration into Burma would be subject to the new rules contained in the Agreement with effect from 1 October 1941.
The Government of Burma recognize that, “Indians who were born and bred in Burma, have made Burma their permanent home and regard their future and the future of their families as bound up with its interest are entitled to be regarded as having established a claim if they which to make it, to a Burma domicile and therefore on the benefit of section 144 of the Government of Burma Act, 1935.”
About the Indian in Arakan, in chapter VII, paragraph 66 of the Baxter Report mentioned that, “Indian immigration into Arakan shows special characteristics, due to fundamentally to the existence of a Land frontier with India across which movement between Chittagong in the Province of Bengal and Akyab District of Arakan is, because of the natural configuration of this region, easy, quick and cheap. About 97 percent of Indian population in Arakan in 1931 was concentrated in Akyab District. In Arakan Division, total population was 1,008,538 and Indian population was 217, 801.”
|Indian population was distributed as under: –|
|Akyab District||210, 990|
|Arakan Hills Tract||500|
|Kyauk Pyu District||4, 321|
|Sandoway District||1, 990|
In Akyab District
Total population was 637, 580
Indian population was 210, 990.
The numbers of Indians in Akyab District born in and born outside Burma respectively as follows: –
|Born in Burma||Born outside Burma|
|Males||86, 000||38, 000|
“Females constituted 48.5 per cent of the Indian born in 13.6 per cent of Indian born outside Burma. The great deficiency of females in “born out” population indicates the highly immigrant and unsettled nature of that part of the Indian population while on the other hand the approximation to sex equilibrium in the “born in” population is indicative of its settled character.”
In paragraph 67, it shows the racial constitution of the Indian population in Akyab District as follows: –
|Total||Born in||Born out|
“The Oriyas were practically born outside Burma and were practically all males. Only 677 of 3, 558 Hidustanis were born in Burma and 2, 955 of totals were males. 0f the Bengalis other than Chittagonians, 61 per cent were born in Burma. Of the “born in” the sex ratio was about four females to five males. Of the 5,990 Bengalis born outside Burma only 312 were females. Over 88 per cent of all Indians in Akyab District were of Chittagonians origin and 84 per cent of all Chittagonians were recorded as having been born in Burma. The sex distribution of Chittagonians born in Burma was in the proportion of 94 to 95 females to every 100 males while that Chittagonians born outside Burma was in the ratio of 22 to 23 females to every 100 males.”
“Of the males earners engaged in agriculture, 9,442 were cultivating landowners, 12, 848 were cultivating tenants and 19, 436 were agricultural labours. It is of interest to note that only 5,570 of the agricultural labours were born outside Burma.”
In the paragraph 11 of that report, commenting on the population in the Arakan Division, which showed an Indian population of 197,990 in 1911 against a total of 839,896, the report says, “For the reasons already given, the 1881 to 1911 Indian population figures are probably too high since they are believed to include a considerable number of Arakanese Muslims. In 1911, for example, the Hindu and Mohamedan populations in Arakan together amounted to 202,320 persons or only 4,330 more than the number who returned an Indian vernacular.” It is also important to note here that the percentage of Indian population in Arakan actually show a downward trend from 1911 to 1931 going down from 23.5% to 22.7% in 1921 to 21.6% in 1931.”
In Chapter III, Paragraph 21, the report also provides some information about the Indians living – permanently or temporarily – inside Burma and Arakan when the censuses were taken.
|Year||Total Indians in Burma||Born in India||Born in Burma|
There was a major influx of Indians moving into Burma after the entire country was colonized by the British government. As already noted, many of them came with the colonial administration. A comparison with the census data in 1891 also points to the fact that the 1881 census data for the Indian population born in Burma is unreliable. At the time of 1931 census nearly 77% of the Indians in Arakan were born in Burma.
Indians born in India and born in Arakan was given as bellow: –
|Year||Total Indians in Arakan||Born in India||Born in Arakan|
In the Paragraph 7 the Baxter report, it’s mentioned that, “There was an Arakanese Muslim community settled so long in Akyab District that it had for all intents and purposes to be regarded as an indigenous race. There were also a few Mohamedan Kamans in Arakan and a small but long established Muslim community around Moulemin which could not be regarded as Indian. There is no record of the numbers of any of these categories of Mohamedans in the 1872 census returns and consequently no allowance can be made for them by way of deduction from the Hindu and Mohamedan population figures.”
In the table provided on Section 8, page 5 of the report it mentioned that, “for the censuses 1881 to 1911 inclusive are probably too high. There is reason to believe that some of the Arakanese Mohamedans returned an Indian vernacular as their mother tongue since although they used Burmese in writing, among themselves they commonly speak the language of their ancestors. The number of Arakanese Muslims who returned an Indian vernacular in 1021 was estimated in the 1931 census report at ten to fifteen thousand persons.”
Thus, in sum according to the Baxter report, we can say that: –
- There was an Arakanese Muslim community settled so long in Akyab District that it had for all intents and purposes to be regarded as an indigenous race. There were also a few Mohamedan Kamans in Arakan and a small but long established Muslim community around Moulemin which could not be regarded as Indian.
- The 1881 to 1911 Indian population figures are probably too high since they are believed to include a considerable number of Arakanese Muslims and the figures are inaccurate.
- At the time of 1931 census nearly 77% of the Indians in Arakan were born in Burma.
- The Government of Burma recognize that Indians who were born and bred in Burma, have made Burma their permanent home and regard their future and the future of their families as bound up with its interest are entitled to be regarded as having established a claim if they which to make it, to a Burma domicile and
Burma Times: 22 August 2014 By Nurul Islam (GWAB)
The Rakhine State (historically known as Arakan), is one of seven ethnic minority states which were formed under the constitution of 1974. The Rohingya Muslim population is mostly concentrated in the three northern townships: Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung. The Rohingyas speak a Bengali dialect similar to what is spoken in the Chittagong region of Bangladesh , mixed primarily with words from the Urdu, Hindi and Arabic languages, but also from the Bama and English languages. The first Muslims who settled in this region were believed to be Arab mariners and traders that arrived on the Rakhine coast in the 8th and 9th centuries. Other Muslims who came to the area in later centuries include Persians, Moghuls, Turks, Pathans and Bengalis. During the British colonial period from 1824 until 1948 there was also migration from Chittagong to what is now the Rakhine State.The Muslim ethnic minority, generally known as the Rohingyas, who live in northern. Rakhine State , western Myanmar , continue to suffer from several forms of restrictions and human rights violations. They are also subjected to various forms of extortion and arbitrary taxation; land confiscation; forced eviction and house destruction; and financial restrictions on marriage. Rohingyas continue to be used as forced labourers on roads and at military camps.Rohingyas are victims of religious and racial discrimination.
Myanmar’s successive military regimes persisted in a policy of denying citizenship to the Rohingya Muslims , especially in the frontier area. They stubbornly grasped the 1982 Citizenship Law that allowed only the ethnic groups who had lived in Burma before the First Anglo-Burmese War that began in 1824 as the citizens of the country. By this law those Muslims had been treated as aliens in the land they have inhabited for more than a century. In 1978 the Burmese junta created a situation for the Arakanese Muslims that forced them to leave their country for safety elsewhere.
According to Amnesty International, in 1978 over 200,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh, following the Burmese army’s Operation Nagamin. Most – it is claimed by Yangon – were eventually repatriated, but around 15,000 refused to return. In 1991, a second wave of about a quarter of a million Rohingyas fled Myanmar to Bangladesh. An estimated one million Rohingyas are now living in Rakahine state and 1.5 million of Rohingya population are in Diaspora particularly in Bangladesh , India , Pakistan , Saudi Arabia , UAE, Thailand and Malaysia .
A family list is crucial to the Rohingya’s ability to prove residency. Many of the Rohingyas whose testimonies were made available to Amnesty International complained that people have been dropped from the family list if they were not present during a population check by the local authorities. Where someone is not present for such a count and their absence is not covered by a travel permit, in many instances the authorities have deleted people from the family list. Rohingyas in northern Rakhine State must apply for permission to go to another nearby village. This practice does not apply to the Rakhine population in the Rakhine State. Rohingyas’ freedom of movement, therefore, is considerably more limited than that of other residents of the Rakhine State. This has had serious repercussions on their livelihood and food security, as they are often unable to seek employment outside their village or trade goods and produce unless they have official permission and obtain a pass which they must pay for. Most Rohingyas cannot afford to pay for these permits. In 2012, two eruptions of violence between Rohingyas and majority Buddhists in Rakhine State in western Myanmar killed at least 192 people and made 140,000 homeless. Most were Rohingya, who live in wretched camps or under apartheid-like segregation with little access to healthcare, schools or jobs. Govt`s security forces were directly (or) indirectly involved in the communal violence. As Impact of the communal violence the sufferers (Rohingya Muslims ) have fled Burma by sea in unprecedented numbers over the past years.
‘According to the 1983 census Muslims in Arakan constituted 24.3 percent and they were categorized as Bangladeshi. The SPDC rejects the existence of a separate ethnic group called “Rohingya”. The fact is that the Rohingyas are not originally from Bangladesh. They are the children of the first settlers of Arakan, which is part of Buddhist Myanmar (Burma),today.Their ancestors livid in Arakan since time immemorial. When the British occupied Arakan in 1824, 30 percent of the population was Muslim, who are now known as the “Rohingya”. About 1 million Rohingya people are believed to live in Arakan State, where they face government-imposed restrictions that make it nearly impossible for them to access health care, education and other basic services.
A majority of victims from the 2012 violence were Rohingya, and today they continue to live in squalid camps for internally displaced people (IDPs). government immigration officials began verifying the citizenship of Muslims in limited parts of Arakan State. It appears the process stalled last year, amid resistance to requirements that the Rohingya identify as Bengali. The government refers to the Rohingya as Bengali, suggesting that they came to the country illegally from Bangladesh, though many trace their family roots back to Burma for generations. Mohamed Salim, a Rohingya spokesman for the National Development and Peace Party in Rangoon, criticized the verification process as biased. “We do not accept the term ‘Bengalis.’ The Muslim people in Arakan State are Rohingya,” he told The Irrawaddy. “If they want to conduct an examination based on the 1982 law, they need to first amend the law in accordance with international standards, since it currently includes much discrimination, and after that they can exam us.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday ( August 9, 2014 )met Thein Sein and discussed plans for elections in 2015 and concerns over the treatment of the minority Muslim Rohingya. In particular, he addressed the designation of the term “Bengali” which the Rohingya see as underscoring an assertion they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, even though many have lived in western Burma for generations. “The name issue should be set aside,” he said. “To force any community to accept a name they consider to be offensive is to invite conflict, and if the goal is to prevent conflict, then it’s better to set that aside, ”he said. Matthew Smith, director of the international human rights group Fortify Rights, says giving Rohingya equal access to citizenship rights is crucial to preventing the conflict in the future. He says foreign nations should press the government more on the issue. “The fact that the immigration department is handling this issue is indicative of the perception that all Rohingya come from Bangladesh,” Smith said. “Immigration is an issue on all of Myanmar’s borders, but the wholesale denial of Rohingya citizenship, Rohingya ethnicity, has contributed to these abuses that we’ve been documenting now for two years.” The Muslim stateless residents of northern Rakhine state have long identified themselves as “Rohingya,” a term recognized by the United Nations, and foreign nations, including the United States. But not by Myanmar’s government. Instead, authorities are asking them to register as “Bengalis”(IINA).
The international community has welcomed Myanmar’s historic transition from military to civilian rule. While some governments have expressed grave concern regarding the human rights situation within the country. The risk of further mass atrocity crimes being committed against Muslims in Myanmar is high. In particular, the government must address the endemic discrimination against Rohingya and grant them access to citizenship. It must hold accountable those who incite ethnic and religious hatred and provide appropriate protection for Muslim communities against violence and other human rights abuses. The government must allow unhindered humanitarian access to those affected by previous violence.
The collection of census data in Rakhine State remains stalled because of the issue of Rohingya self-identification. Negotiations to enable census information to be collected from “Bengalis” had been fruitless because it regards them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. But the international ethnicity law is allowing any ethnic group to name themselves as they choose. But Myanmar government is forcing Rohingyas to identify them as “Bengali”. So, international community should apply pressure on Myanmar government to repeal or amend the 1982 Citizenship Law in order to conform with international standards and to stop the segregation of communities in Arakan and replace it with a proactive policy of ‘peaceful co-existence’.
1.Reports of Amnesty International-2004,
2. Articles by Dr. Habib Siddiqui,
3. Burmar`s missing Dots By Dr. Abid Bahar
4. The Plight of Stateless Rohingyas by Prof. Imtias Ahmed, Dhaka University,
5. Irrawaddy News,
6. Radio Free Asia (RFA) News,
7. International Islamic News Agency ( IINA )
Not for publication
6, R.M Lane, Chittagong-4000,Bangladesh.
Burma Times: 31 July 2014
Burma Times Report on “Premeditated Violence occurred in Mandalay on 1st July 2014”
Burma Times Media Project published a report titled “a circumstantial report on premeditated violence against minority Muslim by Majority Buddhist in Mandalay division known as central Burma triggered from first to fourth July 2014” about the thuggish activities of President Thein Sein’s depraved administration. This report is the first official report of Burma Times Media project about the state-sponsored violence so called religious clashes or communal violence that takes place against minorities in particular Muslims and it is challenged that all the facts described in the report is 100% reliable and authentic.
Burma Times Media Project worked hard with relentless efforts from every corner to disclose the covert master plot of the ruling President Thein Sein’s quasi-military regime which are being carried out by several brutal methods in order to remain in quasi-military power until some terms.
According to the report of internal source obtained by Burma Times, the thuggish activities of depraved administration of ruthless President Thein Sein will not be ceased under any circumstance and will perpetually accomplish all the plots of former Juntas enacting militaristic Acts in order.
Fundamentally, this report is written to disclose in details about the mob attacks in reality state-sponsored violence which have been taking place against minotiry in particular ethnic Muslims of Burma including Rohingya community from western Burma.
In this report it is revealed that the most unrevealed strategies of Burmese quasi-civilian regime that how it was premeditated to trigger state-backed violence in the name of inter-communal clashes or religious conflicts to remain in power by military influence. Moreover, Isamophobia was highlighted because it is a political trick of President Thein Sein who defends the leader of anti-Muslim movement 969 Wirathu standing from every corner as he,Wirathu, is used by government as political tool to covertly suppress NLD and other democratic forces, and to eradicate Muslims from Burma and to syndicate Chinese commercial zones under government’s control in Mandalay.
According to the leaked information through internal source obtained by Burma Times Media project, the ruling Burmese successive President Thein Sein’s thuggish administration might trigger more violence in upcoming days to win a landslide victory and to hold legitimacy for 2015 poll.
The full report can be downloaded from here:
Burma Times: By Aman Ullah 31 July 2014
“They are generally known as Begalis or Chittagonians, quite incorrectly, and took at they are quite unlike any other product of India or Burma that I have seen. They are resemble the Arab in name, in dress and in habit. The women, and more particularly the young girls, have distintictive Arab touch about them” wrote Anthony Irwin in his Burmese outpost (1946).
“They are called Rohingyas. They are same par in the status of nationality with Kachin, Kaya, Karen, Mon, Rekhine and Shan. They are one of the ethnic races of Burma,” anounced U Nu, the Burma’s first elected Prime Minister on September 25, 1954 at 8:00pm from BBS Rangoon.
However, the present Thein Sein government vehemently denies the existence of a Rohingya ethnicity, referring to the group, even in official documents, as “Bengali.” Ultra-nationalist Rakhine Buddhists vehemently reject this view, framing the Rohingyas as illegal immigrants who migrated from East Bengal during the British rule of Burma and/or after Burma and Pakistan’s independence in 1948 and 1947, respectively.
Although the Government did not convince President Obama and the US Government to use ‘Myanmar’ instead of ‘Burma’, now they have success to convince not to use the word ’Rohingya’ to the new United Nations Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, Ms Yanghee Lee, who has visited to gather the first-hand information on the country at the invitation of the Government.
The President’s Office said in a July 29 statement that the UN special rapporteur for human rights in Myanmar, Ms Yanghee Lee, needs to pay “serious consideration to [using] the term” if a “long-term solution” to problems in Rakhine are to be achieved. “While the people of Myanmar are ready, and as it has been the case, to accept those who meet the criteria of the 1982 Citizenship Law as citizens, we do not accept the term ‘Rohingya’ which has never existed in the country’s history,” the statement said. “The term has been maliciously used by a group of people with wider political agenda. The people of Myanmar will never recognize the term.”
On her briefing at Yangon International Airport, on 26 July 2014, Ms Lee said that, ‘issues around terminology and citizenship are particularly sensitive. I was repeatedly told not to use the term ‘Rohingya’ as this was not recognized by the Government.’
‘Yet, as a human rights independent expert, I am guided by international human rights law. In this regard, the rights of minorities to self-identify on the basis of their national, ethnic, religious and linguistic characteristics is related to the obligations of States to ensure non-discrimination against individuals and groups, which is a central principle of international human rights law. I also note that various human rights treaty bodies and intergovernmental bodies, including the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which I chaired for four years and of which I was a member for ten years, the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly use the term Rohingya,’ she added.
Ethnic identity is an essential human need that provides a sense of belonging and historical continuity and created a foundation on which to build a concept of self. It is an individual’s self-concept developed from knowledge of membership in a cultural group. Ethnic identity and self-identity has supported a strong relationship between the two.
According to Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.’ For the ‘equal in dignity’ the right to self- identification is important. It is very significantly important to know differentially the incomparable difference between “ethnicity or ethnic group and ethno-religious group”. “Ethnicity or ethnic group” is a specific term to identify the ancestral background of each community who are eligible to belong an ethnicity—particular language, distinct culture, racial dress, populous territory.
The Rohingya are a nation with a population of more than 3 million (both home and abroad), having a supporting history, separate culture, civilization, language and literature, historically settled territory and reasonable size of population and area. They share a public culture different from the public culture of those around them. They are determined not only to preserve and develop their public culture, but also to transmit to future generations as the basis of their continued existence as people, in accordance with their own cultural pattern, social institution and legal system.
is widely used by the international community to identify a group of Muslims of Arakan. According to Dr. Ganganath Jha of Jawaharlal Nehru University of India, the term Rohingya is derived from Rohang the ancient name of Arakan. The Muslims of Arakan called their country, in their own language, ‘Rohang or Roang’ and called themselves as Rohangya (Rohang+ya) or Roangya (Roang+ya) means native of Rohang or Roang. In Burmese it is ‘ရိုဟင္ဂ်ာ’, in Rakhine’s pronunciation it will read as ‘Rohangya’ but in Burmese pronunciation it became ‘Rohingya’ and now it’s established as ‘Rhinggya’. Like other peoples of the world, they have needed to identify as Rohingya to some degree for centuries.
In the work of Arab geographer Rashiduddin (1310 AD) it appears as ‘Rahan or Raham’. The British travelers Relph Fitch (1586 AD) referred the name of Arakan as ‘Rocon’. In the Rennell’s map (1771 AD), it is ‘Rassawn’. Tripura Chronicle Rajmala mentions as ‘Roshang’. In the medieval works of the poets of Arakan and Chittagong, like Quazi Daulat, Mardan, Shamser Ali, Quraishi Magan, Alaol, Ainuddin, Abdul Ghani and others, they frequently referred to Arakan as ‘Roshang’, ‘Roshanga’, ‘Roshango Shar’, and ‘Roshango Des’. Famous European traveller Francis Buchanam (1762-1829 AD) in his accounts mentioned Arakan as “Rossawn, Rohhawn, Roang, Reng or Rung”. In one of his accounts, “A Comparative Vocabulary of some of the languages spoken in the Burman Empire” it was stated that, “The first is that spoken by the Mohammedans, who have long settled in Arakan, and who call themselves Rooinga, or natives of Arakan.” . The Persians called it ‘Rekan’.” The Chakmas and Saks from 18th century called it ‘Roang’. Today the Muslims of Arakan call the country ‘Rohang’ or Roang’ or ‘Arakan’ and call themselves ‘Rohingya’ or native of Rohang.
Rohingya is not simply a self-referential group identity, but an official group and ethnic identity recognized by the post-independence state. In the early years of Myanmar’s independence, the Rohingya were recognized as a legitimate ethnic group that deserved a homeland in Burma.
• On 31st December 1942, Brig-Gen C E Lucas Phillips of 14th British Army declared the North Arakan as “Muslim National Area” As per Public Notice No. 11-OA-CC/42. Then formed a Peace Committed headed by Mr. Omra Meah and Mr. Zahir Uddin Ahmed and entrusted for administration of the area. On 1st January 1945 Brigadier C.E Lucas Phillips became the Chief Administrator of the area and appointed members of Peace Committee as administrative officers of the area. The British recognized the Muslims of Arakan as a distinct racial group and the British officer-in-command promised to grant more autonomy in North Arakan.
• In 1947, Hon’ble Bo Let Ya the Deputy Prime Minister, came to visit Maungdaw, to expound the principles laid down in the constitution of the Union of Burma, but it appeared on the “New Times of Burma” that he addressed the inhabitants of Maungdaw as “Chittagonians” which was objectionable and contradictory in relation to the Muslims of North Arakan forming parts and parcel of Indigenous races of Burma. The Prime Minister U Nu expressed regrets for the use of wrong terms “Chittagonians” and as per letter No.153/22 PM 48 dated; 20 February 1948, instructed that it should be either “Arakanese Muslims” or “Burmese Muslims”. The term ‘Burmese Muslims’ published in the form of Press communiqué issued by His Excellency Sir Domon Smith, the Governor of Burma, on 27th September 1941.
• On 30th 1949, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a Burma Gazette Extra Ordinary, as par letter No. 282/ HD- 49, in which it was, mentioned that the Arakanese Muslims of Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships of Akyab district as indigenous peoples of Burma.
• On September 1954, U Nu, the first elected Prime Minister of Burma, in his radio address to nation, announced that, “The people living in northern Arakan are our national brethren. They are called Rohingyas. They are on the same par in the status of nationality with Kachin, Kayah, Karen, Mon, Rakhine and Shan.”
• On 3rd and 4th November 1959, U Ba Swe, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Affairs, in the public meetings of Maungdaw and Buthidaung, announced that, ‘The Rohingyas are equal in every way with other minority races like Shan, Kachin, Karen, kayah, Mon and Rakhine. They have lived in Burma ages according to historical facts. There is historical evidence that they have lived faithfully and harmoniously with other races of Burma.’
• On 4th July 1961, Brig-General Aung Gyi, Deputy Chief of Staff, officially explained that, ‘On the west, May Yu district borders with Pakistan. As is the case with all borderlands communities, there are Muslims on both sides of the borders. Those who are on Pakistan’s side are known as Pakistani while the Muslims on our Burmese side of the borders are referred to as ‘Rohingya.’ Here I must stress that this is not a case where one single race splits itself into two communities in two different neighbouring countries. If you look at the Sino-Burmese border region, you will see this kind of phenomenon, namely ‘adjacent people’. To give you a concrete example, take Lisu of Kachin state, or La-wa (or Wa) and E-kaw of the same Kachin State by the Chinese borderlands. They all straddle on both sides of the borders. Likewise, the Shan can be found on the Chinese side as well as in Thailand – and they are known as ‘Tai’ or ‘Dai’ over there…They speak similar language and they have a common religion.’
• The Rohingyas were enfranchised in all the national and local elections of Burma. Their representatives were in the Legislative Assembly, in the Constituent Assembly and in the Parliament. As members of the new Parliament, their representatives took the oath of allegiance to the Union of Burma on the 4th January 1948. Their representatives were appointed as cabinet ministers and parliamentary secretaries. They had their own political, cultural, social organizations and had their programme in their own language in the official Burma Broadcasting Services (BSS).
• As a Burma’s racial groups, they participated in the official “Union Day’ celebration in Burma’s capital, Rangoon, every year.
• To satisfy part of their demand, the government granted them limited local autonomy and declared establishment of Mayu Frontier Administration (MFA) in early 60s, a special frontier district to be ruled directly by the central government.
Thus, the Muslims of Rakhine region over the centuries have had many terms by which to identify themselves, including the terms Rakhine Muslim, Arakan Muslim, and Rohingya, the last of which has become more prominent in recent times.
However, the Rakhine nationalist claims that, the term Rohingya was created in the 1950s to promote the political demands of the Bengalis in Myanmar.
Ethnic identity is not a God-given thing, but different forms of identities are invented and reworked thorough space and time. That’s why the process of identity formation is known as ‘social construction’. And Ethnicity is not just a ‘thing’ but also a ‘process’ in which the state actors impose identities, and the people themselves actively articulate their own identities for the sake of political and material livelihood.
As Burma and Arakan state are the products of the nation-sate formation through a relatively long, history, The name ‘Rakhne’ and the place ‘Arakan’ have been “invented” at particular points of time, just like the name “Rohinggya’ was invented another points of time. If Rohingya ‘migrated’ from Bangladesh of somewhere else at one historical point of time Rakhines must have ‘migrated’ at similar or another historical points of time. But immigrating earlier of later does not negates the problematic reality that both groups have migrated from somewhere else. None of these groups fell from the sky. The claim that the name ‘Rohingya’ is invented is unacceptable and completely contradicts the very foundational understanding of ethnicity and ethnic identity.
Since 1942, the Rakhine Buddhists pushed the Muslims from the southern Arakan to the northern Arakan.
Since 1962, successive military regimes denied their citizenship right by labeling that they are illegal immigrants from Bangaladesh.
Since 2012, the Thein Sein regime rejected their identity and forcefully making them Bengali.
The Rohingya Muslims of Arakan, both home and abroad, believed that they belong to Burma and they are parts and parcel of indigenous races of Burma. They never try to be Bengali. At present there are more than 3 million Roghingyas both home and abroad. Their only blood related community is the Roai people, a third and fourth generation Rohingyas, who strongly believed that their ancestors were from Arakan or related to Arakan. Their population is round about 10 million lived in Cox’s Bazaar district and southern Chittagong district. These peoples are morally concerned to the Rohingyas Muslims of Arakan.
However, the present Thein Sein Government and Ultra- Natiionalits Rakhines are going to forcefully making the Rohingya to Bengali. Then the Bengali peoples became concerned to the case and cause of the Rohuingyas. In Bangladesh, there are 160 million Bengali, in India also about 100 million Bengali and other parts of the world also more than 40 million Bengali. So there are more than 300 million Bengali throughout the world. In the case of the Rohingya has forcefully became Bengali then they will be parts and parcel of other Bengali peoples, and the world’s over 300 million Bengali will try to stand behind the ill-fated 3 million Rohingya people. The Government is playing with a great risk that will not good for the country and for the peoples of Burma, particularly for Arakan.
Burma Times Media Project is going to release “a circumstantial report on premeditated violence against minority Muslim by Majority Buddhist in Mandalay division known as central Burma triggered from first to fourth July 2014”
In this report it comprised 35 contents and all the contents are written through collection of concrete documents and authentic information of our correspondents, and other reliable sources and reiteratively reviewed. A challenge of Burma Times Media Project regarding this report is that all the information written here is 100% authentic and deserved reliability.
This report is composed and compiled by Burma Times media project aiming at revealing some covert master plots of Burmese quasi-military regime behind the mob attack against minorities in particular Muslims of Burma including Rohingya which are scheduled to be implemented systematically in turn, and to make public awareness for an immediate call upon Burmese government to defrock fake monks in particular the proponent monk of anti-Muslim movement 969 or religious hatred preacher Wirathu, to severely charge the perpetrators involved in mob attack, and to put severe penalty to all sex offenders regardless race, religion or party, and to create a peaceful environment under multiculturalism across Burma where people can have their freedom with justice without any discrimination or fear.
Moreover, the remained objective to issue this report is a plea standing on the side of the most persecuted minority Rohingya of western Burma and all other victims of freedom constraint regardless ethnicity or religious faith—Burma Buddhist, Burma Muslim, Kamein Muslim, Pan Thay Muslim, Chulia Muslim, Kachin, Kayah, Karenni, Mon, Dinate, Thet, Mro, Anun,Paku, Bwe,Thado,Kwe Myi, Shan,Yun,Kwi,Pyin, Yaw,Beik, etc—to international community to pave the path for people of Burma to make them lead daily life easily without continual thuggish ruling of current President Thein Sein’s administration. The current President Thein Sein’s administration is a thuggish administration which makes up tensions for people triggering so called religious clashes or sectarian violence or communal violence to remain in militaristic power. In fact the current violence occurs in Burma is a series of premeditated violence against Muslims including Rohingya.
Burma Times Media Project received many reliable reports of this premeditated violence against Muslim occurred in central Burma known as Mandalay on 1st July 2014 and our team monitored the situation from beginning until the end and we provided all the documents which our correspondent from Mandalay collected through various sources on the covert plot of Burmese President Thein Sein’s thuggish administration which premeditated to disturb the campaign of National League for Democracy for constitutional amendment of article 436, to suppress the activities of different human right activists, to distract the attention of Burmese Mandalay residents from sending complain letters against the new Chinese arrivals, to eradicate Islam from Mandaly displacing all Muslims, to remain in grasping the transit of Chinese market for Southeast Asian countries drawing attention of Chinese government that the ruling quasi0-civilian regime led by former high rank army officer President Thein Sein gets ready to act everything in favor of China, and to alternatively bring all the Chinese occupied commercial zones under government’s control to sell them with a huge cost to foreign stakeholders to be more close with westerners.
According to the leaked information through internal source obtained by Burma Times Media project, the ruling Burmese successive President Thein Sein’s thuggish administration might trigger more violence in upcoming days to win a landslide victory and to hold legitimacy for 2015 poll.
All the ethnic Muslims of Burma should be alert always to escape from the state-sponsored Buddhist mob attack as the ruling Burmese successive President Thien Sein’s thuggish administration has been arranging orderly to accomplish their long plot in particular in Yangoon, Mandaly, Rakhine state and other Muslim dense territories.
Apparently, to be protected from the state plotted disturbance of Buddhist miscreants, particularly, Muslim ladies should accompany men when they wished to go out of the residence.
The report is researched and written by Ibrahim Shah, the chief Editor of Burma Times media project, and Ibrahim Dubashi, founder of Burma Times media Project. Most of the important reports are collected by our senior correspondent, Faroque Shah. It is reviewed by Mohammed Osman, Burmese Rohingya 88 generation activist and 4 anonymous reviewers.
We, the team of Burma Times Media Project, expect that all the ethnic nationalities of Burma inside and abroad and international community can be able to perceive after perusing this report which will be released soon in fact who is behind the so called religious clashes in Burma and why the ruling President Thein Sein’s thuggish administration kept quiet to bring the perpetrators in justice.
Ibrahim Shah Mohmamad Ibrahim
The Chief Editor of Burma Times Media Project
Founder of Burma Times Media Project
Burma Times: By M.S. Anwar, Friday, May 23, 2014
Analysis & Opinion
Yes, you read it right. ‘‘One of the World’s most persecuted people’’ is what United Nations has labeled Rohingya, a Muslim minority of Indian Descends living in Arakan (now called Rakhine) state of Burma (now called Myanmar). It’s undeniable that they have been victims of institutionalized persecution in Myanmar for decades. Came June 2012, Myanmar government in cooperation with Rakhine extremists with vested political interests triggered a full-fledged violence against Rohingyas. The rest is known to the world. It’s Genocide, every fair-minded human being will say.
Nevertheless, hardly has any official government or international media stepped up to call it “Genocide.” Why? It does smell fishy, doesn’t it?
In fact, frankly speaking, Rakhine Political Parties, Myanmar Government and other global players such as United States (US), India and China have been playing their own games in the strategically located and resource blessed Arakan state. Myanmar pseudo-civilian government needs to elongate the violence as a perfect smokescreen for its offensive war against Kachins, Land Grabbing in central Myanmar, attracting Buddhists’ support under the pretext of fighting against the threat to their religion and most importantly, to keep military fighting with Rakhine armed groups [such as Arakan Liberation Army (ALA)] in dark.
On the other hand, regional strategic partners, US and India, want to force China out of Arakan and China, in turn, that considers itself nothing less than formers is playing its own games to firm up its stand on the soil of Arakan. It is coaxing Rakhine politicians with lucrative financial assistances on top of working through Myanmar regime.
None of them has interest to solve the ongoing problems but to complicate and mess up the problems to fit in their respective interests. They want to see the violence becomes chronic. For Indian and US, if they can install their proxy Rakhine politicians into power, they can easily control the region and will be able to encircle the future global economic leader, China. As for Rakhines, their desire to have an independent nation is no longer a secret. But they want it exclusively, an independent nation that doesn’t include Rohingyas. Hence, naturally, India and US have to back up Rakhine groups including their armed wings as, obviously, Rakhine is the strongest group in Arakan state.
On the other hand, US and India wants to pull out Myanmar Military from China’s Circle. But Myanmar regime seems too smart to totally go under anyone’s influence and control. It has been expertly balancing power for its own benefits. So, US has turned to Suu Kyi’s NLD (National League for Democracy), so-called 88-Generation Students Group and other civil societies. Besides, internal sources say that US has snatched President Thein Sein out of the Myanmar Military net. Thein Sein has betrayed the military backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), the party that he had represented.
However, a people weak and voiceless, defenseless like Rohingya getting entangled in the power struggle can be proven too costly for them to survive. They are getting slaughtered and massacred. They have cried out, they have begged. But who gives a damn! They are too weak to fit in anyone’s interest.
Known for playing all sides of a game, US has not fallen short to take Rohingyas in their control. Today, Rohingyas both in Myanmar and in exile are under their absolute control. Rohingyas dance as US pulls strings. Are there any Rohingya strategic policy makers? Sadly, there seems hardly any.
Yet, it must be admitted that US has been in the fore-front in providing humanitarian aids to more than 140,000 internally displaced Rohingyas in different parts of Arakan state. It has been before anyone else in diplomatic efforts with Myanmar Regime to solve Rohingya crisis. But are they all genuine? Or are they just parts of their plans? If not, why do they hesitate to take stern actions like they took against former Yugoslavia, Libya or anyone else?
Recently, Myanmar domestic media have been paranoiac that RSO (Rohingya Solidarity Organization) has been fighting with Myanmar Forces and trying to invade Arakan. RSO was a Rohingya armed force disbanded almost a decade ago. It is now officially non-existent according to Bangladesh Government. Therefore, the paranoiac reports by Myanmar Media are nothing but a blatant propaganda by Rakhine extremists that have demanded Myanmar government for an armed force composed of ONLY Rakhine nationals along the border. Rohingyas are attacking us, so fulfill our demand; it is as easy as you read. Thus, it is part of their movement to claim their independence.
On 21st May 2014 morning, two political officers from US Embassy Yangon, Mr. Clint Fenning and Aurther Aye, arrived at Aung Mingalar in Sittwe (Akyab) Township. They held a meeting with local Rohingyas of the quarter.
After sugar-coating Rohingyas with their diplomatic efforts to solve the crisis, what they ultimately had to say to Rohingyas was “we are worried that the Rohingya people will be unable to tolerate persecution anymore. Consequently, the people may happen to associate with the international terrorists groups. It’s not a problem if you are having problems with each other inside the state without associating International terrorists. And you may be aware of sept-9/11 in US. We, Americans, need to involve and respond in case that any international terrorist group interferes in the country. If Rohingya people are not patient, we cannot step forward to work for Rohingyas. I would like leave this message to you all.” They are expected to visit more regions in Arakan state.
Look at the timing and the tone of the political officers. Compare them with Rakhines’ RSO propaganda. Too matching to be coincidental! What do they mean by the speech? RSO is non-existent. US, too, knows it. US have the most sophisticated intelligent system in the word. Even if the so-called RSO exists, why don’t they find out their sponsors as well? Why are they beating around the bush?
Can you blame a cat for biting back when it is cornered? Whom to blame, then? All the stakeholders with interests, global players playing in the region and partners in-crime have been systematically and deliberately pushing peace-loving Rohingyas towards armed conflicts. And they are trying to blame Rohingyas for the armed activities they have not carried out yet? Or are they taking pre-emptive actions to destroy any such possibilities? In either way, it is wrong, insincere, unjust, diabolic, what’s not? The preamble of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) says it. US Law, too, says it.
As for Rohingya, they need to stop being apologetic and submissive, get rid of begging mentality and find out where they actual and durable solution lies. They need to know that US need them as much as they need US.
God has given us another opportunity to sincerely serve humanity. Let’s not abuse it. We worship under different names. So, what? We worship none but God. Therefore, be sincere and just with one of the world’s most persecuted people. In fact, to me, the world’s most persecuted as of today.
M.S. Anwar is a student, activist and reporter on Arakan. Opinions expressed are solely of his own. It doesn’t necessarily reflect editorial of Burma Times. He can be reached at: Arakan@email.com
Burma Times- 10 May 2014
The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (SPAS) held a unique photo exhibition known as “The Vanishing Tribes of Burma” and an event, , in Kägelbanan, Southern Theatre, Stockholm, Sweden, on 6-7 May. On the 7th May, the previous and current situation of Burma was discussed there.
Richard K. Diran, photographer who traveled to Burma / Myanmar for 25 years and met the indigenous peoples in different parts of the country, showed images of many ethnic groups of Burma. It is considerably regretful that Burmese government and the leader of Burmese opposition party Aung San Suu Kyi, who was invited as prime speaker, did not allow to show the images of Rohingya who have been long suffering, in the photo exhibition that was held previously in Yangon, he added.
Zin Mar Aung , a former political prisoner, Recipients of the International Women of Courage Award in 2012, from Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama, briefed that the brutal Burmese militaristic rulers enacted repressive laws and imprisoned many innocent people who speak up against injustices and double standard policies. The women in particular are in most oppression in Burma, she continued.
Cin Khan Lian, Leader of a large civil society organization from the ethnic group in Zomi Chin State, founder of the organization Ar Yone Oo -Social Development Association and the only male member of the board of Women Organization Network, briefed on civil society involvement in peace-building and democratic processes in Burma. There is not yet real democracy in Burma and it is more important to focus the actual needs of Burmese oppressed people of every ethnic nationality who have been facing discrimination, he added.
Abul Kalam, the chairman of Swedish Rohingya Association and the welfare secretary of the European Rohingya Council (ERC), briefed on how the barbaric Burmese rulers exercise repression and violence against the Muslim population including Rohingya in Burma / Myanmar.
The Rohingya inside and abroad became illiteracy gradually due to lack of higher educational chance which is most inevitable to build up a society and the state-sponsored blockage makes them ill-brained. The international community should come forward with necessary steps without further delay to help vulnerable Rohingya so that Rohingya people can survive easily likewise other nationalities of this earth planet, he added.
In conclusion, Mohamed Ibrahim, the media and information secretary of ERC expressed the long suffering of Rohinya as follows- “When I arrived at airport in Germany, nobody interrogated me about my passport or any identity although my religion is Islam. Likewise, I was not interrogated at the airport in Sweden. But, it is in fact a major misfortune and great devastation for us that we cannot move even one hundred meters without permission of authorities in western Burma, Arakan state. We have been living in Arakan since immemorial decades. Arakan was a sovereign state until 1784 in which year it was annexed by Burmese intruder King Maung Wei and it became a part of Burma since then. Afterwards, it is called as western part of Burma or Rkahine state. The state sponsored discrimination and systematic persecution against Rohingya have been taking place in various ways. Therefore, we appeal to international community to pressurize Burma to immediate postpone the human-made catastrophe on Rohimngya”.