Who Are These Rohingyas?

Humanity involves protecting the rights of the victims. When major world powers have set out demonizing Muslims, justice becomes a lame word for a society claiming to be modern, progressive and humanitarian.

Who Are These Rohingyas

Rohingya People are originally Bangladeshis who migrated to South West Myanmar in the province called Rakhine state. Although the migration took place before Bangladesh was born, till today they remain immigrants in Myanmar. Myanmar doesn’t want to grant them citizenship while Rohingya’s claim that they belong to Myanmar.

Following an attack on government forces two weeks ago allegedly by Rohingya militants, the retaliation to the Rohingya’s has been massive and brutal by the country’s military.

The government of Myanmar has alleged that the Rohingya militants have been burning villages and killing Hindus and Buddhists. This claim has been agreed upon by some of the residents. The Myanmar army confirmed the killing of 400 people, which are said to be terrorists. However the estimation from the UN has been at “around a thousand”.

What is really surprising, the act of army killing innocent Rohingyas is not termed a terrorist act while when these Rohingyas retaliate, the army is justifying that by brutally torturing and killing the Rohingyas.

What is even more surprising is that the whole world fought for Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese leader who was under house arrest for years by the Burmese army citing its a gross human rights violations. Today, when she is in power, her government is grossly violating basic human rights of Rohingyas. Even if she and her government doesn’t want to grant citizenship to Rohingyas, they violate international laws by torturing and murdering these people.

Independent observers and the media are denied access by the government to the places where Rohingyas dwell. Medicine, water and food which are necessities are denied to be delivered to Rohingyas even by UN agencies. The humanitarian workers have even accounted for the looting that is happening in the warehouses where vital emergency supplies are being stored.

It has been decades that the Rohingya community is subject to persecutions. The violence perpetrated against this community has not been witnessed for a long time in Myanmar.The Rohingya’s fight back is by a newly formed Rohingya militant group, called Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.

In the last two weeks, there have been over 120,000 Rohingya people that have fled to Bangladesh, as per the estimates of United Nations. It is also estimated that 400,000 stateless Rohingya people are trapped in the conflict zone in the Rakhine state of Western Myanmar.

Nobel laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, is increasingly facing criticism from around the world for remaining silent against this massacre.

Every time I see the news, my heart breaks at the suffering of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Over the last several years I have repeatedly condemned this tragic and shameful treatment. I am still waiting for my fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same,” tweeted Yousafzai, a Pakistani Noble Laureate who survived a Taliban shooting in her head.

Anifah Aman, the Malaysian foreign minister told the Agence France Presses, “Very frankly, I am dissatisfied with Aung San Suu Kyi. She stood up for the principles of human rights. Now it seems she is doing nothing.

Aung San Suu Kyi seems to be playing to the Buddhist majority in the country, by claiming the news about the Rohingya massacres is fake news which is helping the terrorists. This massacre has been projected as a clash between Buddhists and Muslims. This shows shortcomings of democracy!

An important question to ask is why are these incidents being allowed to happen now? There are a few primary reasons –

  •  Aung San Suu Kyi is fast losing her popularity and credibility as an effective leader. She needs to appease her large vote banks who are primarily Buddhists that she stands for them by demonising the Rohingyas.
  • It is normally the United States which act against such humanitarian crisis. Unfortunately, the world’s most advanced democracy has elected Donald Trump who is even a bigger hate monger especially when it comes to protecting rights of Muslims. 
  • Most of the Muslim nations have been able to react poorly in the international stage as they lack unity and solid platform to raise their voice. Their voice don’t hold much importance to common citizens of the world. 
  • China, Russia and other countries don’t normally unless they have direct interest attached to any global events. 
  • India now has a strong and vocal Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. Unfortunately, he has already taken bold step to deport the Rohingyas who are in India. this will help him further capitalise electoral benefits.

What hurts the most is that today societies are busy fighting for animal to protect their rights but a human is killed, the same society is justifying the killing as terrorist act. When army is killing innocent women and children, they are justified as an act of retaliation for national security but when civilians retaliate for self-defence, that is termed as terrorism. Is this not the death of humanity?