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The Most Horrific Massacre

Aung San Suu Kyi gives speech at a memorial service

When men, women and children are pounded by helicopter gunships, when one family is slaughtered in front of another, when children’s throats are slit in front of their parents, when humans are burnt alive, when women are raped in front of their own people, when houses are burnt, when an entire people estimated a million strong population are declared as outsiders and are forced to leave their homeland, where numbers of those killed is overshadowed by their plight, and when the “policemen of the world” turn a blind eye towards this horrific massacre, we all know we are witnessing in cold blood the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslim Minority in Myanmar.

The cruel and heart rendering human catastrophe unfolding right in front of the world where tens of thousands have been killed over the past years and recently, is poured upon the Rohingya Muslims by the Myanmar Army and Ethnic Leaders under the leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s First State Counsellor. This mass murder underway did not start today, but has been decades old. From 1948, when the Rohingya Muslims assumed powerful positions in Myanmar’s Government, to this day when they are beheaded like cattle, rather worse than cattle, requires a detailed study.

rohingya, displaced rohingya, rakhine shelter

Emergency food, drinking water and shelter to help people displaced in Rakhine State in December 2012. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Myanmar’s leadership does not identify the term “Rohingya”[a] and has excluded them from Myanmar’s citizenship under the Burmese Citizenship Law 1982, refers to them as “Bengalis” asserting that they are illegal immigrants settled in the Rakhine State of Myanmar intruding from Bangladesh or the Bengal region including India, and does not include them in the Burmese Ethnic Groups while traces of the Rohingyas in the Rakhine state of Myanmar can be traced as old as the 8th century, or some say the 18th century. Since decades they have been deprived the right to education, health, citizenship rights and public services. The largely weak population flees to neighboring Bangladesh to take refuge, and has caused Myanmar and Bangladesh to be on the brink of war in 1991-92 pertaining to around 250,000 Rohingya refugees fleeing to Bangladesh as a result of a brutal military assault against the defenseless people.

Nevertheless, it is sufficient to say that even if they were guilty of a crime which is not the case here, or even if a few of the Rohingyas were guilty as claimed to resist this oppression as part of self determination, no law or sense of human rights allow the murder of men women and children of an entire community in the cruel manner which is being brought upon the Rohingya Muslims. They are either killed by the Army, or Buddhist Monks, or by bandits in the jungles when fleeing to Bangladesh, or by drowning at sea while escaping.

Aid ships from various countries have been trying to break the siege and provide aid to the persecuted victims and fleeing refugees, but have been largely unsuccessful. A UN report released in 2013 has termed the Rohingyas as the “most persecuted minority of the world,” and “very likely” amounting to crimes against humanity. The Catholic Pope Francis has lamented this catastrophe calling it a “persecution of the religious minority of our Rohingya brothers”, and added that “I would like to express my full closeness to them – and let all of us ask the Lord to save them,”. On the other hand, India on Thursday refused to join an international declaration against Myanmar at an International Summit in Bali. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for support and solidarity with the Myanmar Leadership to curb extremist violence in the Rakhine State. Needless to say that when the state authorities massacre it’s own masses, the only excuse it uses is “combating Terror.” Meanwhile the British Parliament witnessed a debate on the issue questioning the Defense Minister as to why has the British Government provided weapons worth 500 million pounds over the past three years to Myanmar’s Army, including quarter a million in aid this year itself.

It comes to light and does not surprise one who has been studying the current world geopolitics for a while, that you find the same footprints all over the globe where hands of men are drenched with innocent blood.

[a] Selth, Andrew (2003). Burma’s Muslims: Terrorists or Terrorised?. Australia: Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University. p. 7. ISBN 073155437X

Feature Image: Wikimedia Commons

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