It wouldn’t be a surprise if I tell you that last week violence again erupted against the Rohingyas living in the Rakhine state of Myanmar. That it was, slightly reported but, heavily unreported.
That according to various news sources, around 1000 people were killed by the Burmese army. The numbers vary, nevertheless, dead bodies did pile up, innocent people did get killed and a Buddhist majority state did get violent.
In an interview to The Hindu, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, Prof. Yanghee Lee, has said that the number of people killed in the violence since August 25 in Myanmar has crossed 1,000.
If we are talking about numbers, it should be stated that earlier this year, in February, over 1000 Rohingyas were feared killed in Myanmar army crackdown on Rohingyas.
Rohingyas are a group of an ethnic minority who generally stay in the Rakhine state of Myanmar. The United Nations have declared them as “one of the most oppressed minorities in the world.”
What’s fascinating, demeaning and terrible is that they are not treated as citizens in their own country. According to the Nationality law of Myanmar, Rohingyas are not citizens of Myanmar. They are not provided citizenship and nationality, which makes them landless, stateless and hopeless.
In their own country, or the country which they belong to, they are not allowed to pursue higher education or to freely move. They are required to get permission from the government before traveling to any place. And obviously, they don’t have any right to vote. It is claimed that their agrarian lands have been confiscated by the military, and they are often used as forced labor.
Also, nobody wants them.
Hence the name “world’s least wanted minority.”
Who Is Responsible
The Myanmar government consider Rohingya Muslims terrorists. They don’t speculate or theorize, they have just blatantly and directly accepted their supposition as a fact.
To know why the Myanmar government doesn’t consider them citizens, read this: When You’re A Refugee In Your Own Country: Demystifying The “Rohingya” Issue (ED Times)
According to various news reports, what Myanmar is doing, in the garb of curbing terrorism, is persecuting Rohingyas by torching their villages and carrying “search” operations. And guess what, the Myanmar army is legally doing it. Not to forget to mention, the Rohingya community does retaliate to the same and practices in its own violence towards the army, at times.
The consequences are deeply troubling as over one lakh and twenty thousand Rohingyas have fled the country in the last two weeks. The UN chief has urged Myanmar to end violence, again.
The Myanmar government, de facto head of government Aung San Suu Kyi, is criticised by activists to be hypocritic. The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner has claimed that Rohingyas are burning their own villages and killing other Buddhists and Hindus. Myanmar also accused the international aid workers of helping the terrorists and spreading false information about the violence.
She has denied any UN inquiry into the crimes against Rohingya Muslims.
But it is not as if the Rohingyas are all innocent or spotless of any stains. They have been fighting back violently by killing Buddhists and burning down police stations. This is what makes them, or anyone, a subject of terrorism. They have also created their small army to retaliate and protect themselves.
The Rohingya situation is turning more or less like the Tamil problem in Sri Lanka which led to Sri Lanka Civil War. But because of no political or financial backing, Rohingyas haven’t been able to form a LTTE level organization or even close to it.
A Buddhist Country
A Nobel Peace Prize Winner’s Government
There are times when irony is standing with a lantern in its hand waiting for people to not notice it. This is one such moment.
Myanmar is a Buddhist majority country. Almost 89% of the population practices Buddhism, a religion whose alter-ego is peace and tranquility. What termed them violent?
One may say that the minority Muslim population is causing discomfort. However, what can be noticed is that the entire world is turning towards majoritarian rule. Everyone loves to dislike the minority belonging to a different religion. It’s not as if the problem began today. The Rohingya issue dates back to 4 decades ago. But the recent shift to right is making things go out of hand.
What’s ultra ironic is that Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of Nobel Peace Prize and creator of a constitutional position called State Counsellor equivalent to prime minister just because she was disqualified to become the President of Myanmar, is silent over the issue. She speaks occasionally on the issue and to only condemn terrorism. Her silence not only reflects poorly on her designation but also on her tag of a peace activist. There’s little escape for her or any country to address the issue.
European Union, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc., condemned attacks on Rohingya community by Myanmar. It is interesting to note that India still hasn’t.
Question: Can a Nobel Prize be revoked?
Since Aung San Suu Kyi is being heavily criticised for her incompetent handling of the issue, many are demanding Nobel Committee to revoke her Nobel.
India’s Dilemma On Accepting Refugees
Actually, it’s not a dilemma. The Indian government has luminously refused to shelter Rohingya Muslim refugees or as they like to call them, illegal immigrants from Myanmar. The matter is now before Supreme Court of India.
The opposition is pulling up the government and stating that India has always been hospitable to victims of violence. Thousands of immigrants reside in India, the capital city being the key place.
But Indian government’s stand is neither wrong nor plausible.
None of the neighboring countries of Myanmar is developed or rich. The immigrants or refugees, whose number is in lakhs, not only populate the already populated poor countries like Bangladesh or India but it also becomes the responsibility of the government to consolidate communal harmony among different communities.
These developing countries are always one step away from rioting. In such a case it is quite risky to allow an influx of lakhs of people belonging to a different community, speaking a different language and holding a different belief.
Nevertheless, on humanitarian grounds, refusing to give shelter to violence hit victims is an infamy for any country.
(Feature Image from rvisiontv.com)
More on ED Times:
Not Just Tibetans And Afghans, Delhi Is Home To Other Refugee Groups Too (Video)
As An Aid Worker My Greatest Fear Has Been Abduction And Torture: A Ground Report