KUALA LUMPUR: Getting updates from Myanmar is a routine dreaded by many Rohingya refugees here.
They get messages from family and friends seeking help or about what was happening in Rakhine State, along with photographs of people who were maimed or killed.
With all that is happening, refugee Muhammad Rafik Abdul Ghani said he felt helpless.
“There is little we can do, but we will keep trying,” said Rafik, who is part of the Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia (Mehrom).
“We got some attention in the demonstration on Friday, and we are grateful many Malaysians support our cause,” he said of the rally organised by Mehrom, which saw the participation of 42 non-governmental organisations, at the Myanmar embassy here on Friday.
“The Myanmar government needs to stop this genocide,” he said, adding the latest attacks on the community by 500 Myanmar government troops were in the Maungdaw and Buthidaung areas.
“Today, I received some pictures and messages about people being killed, and 10 university students were taken into custody.”
Rafik appealed for the release of his brother and Mehrom president Zafar Ahmad, who was detained during the demonstration, claiming that the police did not specify why he was arrested.
City police chief Datuk Amar Singh had said three Rohingya men and a Malaysian man were detained for investigations under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.
“The Rohingyas were arrested because under the act, foreigners are prohibited from participating in any assembly, while the Malaysian man was arrested because he tried to cause a scene.”
Another refugee, Muhammad Hassan Niyahuson, said he feared for his parents and family members in Myanmar as they were constantly on the run to avoid the military in the Arakan area.
Muhammad, who is also Ipoh Rohingya Society in Malaysia chairman, said the updates he received from home were similar to what news agencies were reporting.
He said many Rohingyas were killed or raped and had their houses burnt, and troops were hunting down Rohingyas who were on the run.
“The Muslims are in dire need of help, and I hope the international community can do something about this.
“They need humanitarian aid urgently.”
ROHINGYA CRISIS: Only an organised and sanctioned ground inspection will reveal the true extent of the massacre
SOME people call it ethnic cleansing, others refer it to as genocide. Call it by whatever name, but it’s clear that innocent Rohingya are being killed for no reason whatsoever. In everyday language, it’s just plain murder. Many are tortured. Women are gang-raped and children are burnt to death. The atrocities are endless.
Pictures of these killings are shared worldwide. They are real pictures — gory and brutal. They depict such wanton destruction of human lives that defies logic and reason.
I’m sure each and every one of us receive these pictures — stills and moving — on our smartphones every day. That’s besides the pictures displayed on Facebook and Twitter.
Google “Rohingya” and you can read and see as many pictures as you want. If you can stomach it, that is.
So many of these pictures cannot be displayed in open media, such as newspapers and television. They are just too gory, too brutal.
This wanton killing of innocent Rohingya in Rakhine state in western Myanmar cannot be ignored. There is much talk and urging from various quarters for this mass murder to stop. But, they have fallen on deaf ears.
I was at a car wash a few days ago. The workers were young men from Myanmar. All of them did their chores like clockwork. One drove the car to the washing area, one hosed the car with foam soap and another wiped the car off.
In less than 20 minutes, the car was spick and span. I paid them the RM8 for the wash and vacuum. Since there were no other cars, I sat and had tea with them.
They told me stories of horror and terror that would make anyone’s blood boil just by listening.
The gory details are enough to make anyone listening puke. They refuse to say whether they are Rohingya. But they talk of friends and people they know, whose families back home in Rakhine die by the dozens every day.
It may sound strange to hear of such blatant racial killings on this scale in the world today. Apparently, the dehumanisation of the Rohingya has taken place for years before the actual killings.
The endless killings of Rohingya is no different from the ethnic cleansing of Bosnians by the Serbs in the 1990s. More than 200,000 Bosnians lost their lives then. It ended when the world woke up and decided to intervene. A new country, Bosnia and Herzegovina, was created, brokered by international parties. Serbia and Croatia were two other countries created along the way.
Actually, the killing of the Rohingya is more cruel and brutal because they are unarmed. Almost all are poor villagers and pose no threat to the security or sovereignty of Myanmar.
The Myanmar government says the Rohingya are not citizens. In Buddhist majority Myanmar, the Rohingya are seen as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. Surely, this is no reason to eliminate them. The Rohingya claim they have been in Myanmar for generations, but have been denied citizenship. Bangladesh, on the other hand, says the Rohingya are not their people, either.
An AFP report quoted an official from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as saying that said soldiers were “killing men, shooting them, slaughtering children, raping women, burning and looting houses, forcing these people to cross over to Bangladesh”.
The least that a caring world can do is despatch a humanitarian team to Rakhine. Made up of credible international observers and media crews, the team can see for themselves what is really happening on the ground.
Summoning Myanmar ambassadors are fine, but it’s now time for less talk and more action. No plea from any quarters will stop the killing. If reports emanating from Myanmar are to be believed, even Buddhist monks are involved in this mass killing.
It does sound far-fetched. Only a properly-organised and sanctioned ground inspection will reveal the true extent of the daily massacre. Surely Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Syu Kyi can help facilitate.
At this rate, even this world famous laureate’s reputation is being questioned. Already there is an online petition being circulated to have her 1991 prize revoked.
If Myanmar refuses to allow an international humanitarian task force team to enter Rakhine to investigate the killings, there can only be one conclusion.
No one can stop the international community from believing that Myanmar is indeed guilty of genocide, ethnic cleansing and downright murder.
Source by: https://www.pressreader.com