Thursday 27 August 2015

Rohingya IDPs Detained in Rangoon: Police

Source Irrawaddy, 26 Aug

Bangladeshi nationals found on two boats by the Burma Navy in May are repatriated on Tuesday. (Photo: IPRD)Bangladeshi nationals found on two boats by the Burma Navy in May are repatriated on Tuesday. (Photo: IPRD)

RANGOON — Police in Rangoon Division's Hmawbi Township have detained 10 Rohingya Muslims and the driver of the vehicle in which they were found riding, according to local law enforcement.

A police officer in Hmawbi Township told The Irrawaddy that local authorities were holding the internal migrants, but he declined to provide specifics of the case over the phone.

Citing a police source, a BBC Burmese radio report on Wednesday said each of the Rohingya paid a 1.2 million kyats (US$940) bribe to the Burma Army in order to smuggle them to Rangoon from two camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Arakan State's Sittwe Township.

The 10 men and women were part of a larger group of 29 Rohingya, according to The Voice daily, with two other vehicles having thus far evaded authorities.

The Rohingya minority in Arakan State are subject to severe restrictions on movement, and more than 100,000 remain in IDP camps after deadly violence in 2012 between Arakanese Buddhists and Muslims drove them from their homes.

Meanwhile, 125 migrants were deported from western Burma to Bangladesh on Tuesday, as more than 100 people remain in shelters near the border, potentially awaiting the same fate, according to a local immigration official.

"We deported them at 2 pm yesterday after two country officers signed an agreement. There are even more, 101 people, remaining who are awaiting deportation," Khin Soe, an immigration officer in Sittwe, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

Two separate boats packed with refugees and economic migrants were discovered by the Burma Navy in May, seeing more than 900 people brought onto Burmese soil. Burmese immigration authorities have been holding the migrants at temporary shelters in Taung Pyo Let Wai village in Arakan State's Maungdaw Township, where their nationalities are undergoing scrutiny.

The governments of the two countries have been cooperating in the process, which has seen hundreds of Bangladeshi nationals repatriated in several batches since the boats carrying them were brought to shore. At least 187 of the boats' passengers were found to be from Burma.

Earlier this year, thousands of migrants from Bangladesh and refugees from Arakan State began washing up on the shores of other Southeast Asian nations after human traffickers abandoned them at sea. Those from Burma were predominantly Rohingya fleeing state-sanctioned persecution and hardscrabble IDP camp existences in the country's western coastal state.

Tuesday 25 August 2015

Brothers in history: Scars of tragedy in Burma and Cambodia

Source dvb, 23 Aug

Victims of the Khmer Rouge (1975-78; David Parker)Victims of the Khmer Rouge (1975-78; David Parker)

Burma continues to suffer from a conflict that has been described as the longest-running civil war in contemporary history.

While economic and political incentives certainly play a role in the conflict, it is also, without a doubt, driven by difference. Difference can take many forms. Some of mankind's most horrendous conflicts and instances of mass atrocities were/are predicated on ethnic, national and religious differences.

But are people really different? Our universal humanity stands out before all differences. So when we look to a people in a neighboring country, province, village or house, although there are many differences we can list, there are just as many (and more) similarities as a result of our shared humanity. It is a lesson that post-conflict countries learn the hard way. Cambodia has much to teach Burma's government and people.

From 1970 and until the surrender of the last Khmer Rouge stronghold in 1998, Cambodia was one of the most volatile and war-torn regions in the world. The country suffered from social turmoil and war since the 1960s (and arguably earlier). And when the communist Khmer Rouge captured the country in 1975, they exploited national, ethnic, and religious differences in their campaign to transform the country. Millions of Cambodians suffered or perished. Survivors today, as well as the offspring of people who suffered and died, continue to harbour animosity for what happened. But with time and effort, Cambodia has made significant strides toward national healing, memory, and justice. The journey was hardly easy, let alone without error, which is why Burma should look to Cambodia not only for identifying solutions to ongoing problems, but also for lessons learned.

I am close to Burma, or Myanmar, both in terms of ethnicity as well as background. As a Khmer, I am linked to the Mon ethnic group in our history. I grew up with this ethnic identity, being reminded of such by my family. I also felt a strong affinity for the country when I visited—as if I was re-connecting with my roots. I can imagine that I am not unique among other Cambodians who visited Burma when I asked myself, "Do I look like a Mon person in Burma?" And I do.

Brothers in arms: Former political prisoners Youk Chhang (right) with 88 Generation's Chit Min Lay. (PHOTO: Sirik Savina, Director Museum of Memory)Brothers in arms: Former political prisoners Youk Chhang (right) with 88 Generation's Chit Min Lay. (PHOTO: Sirik Savina, Director Museum of Memory)

Many Cambodians and Burmese would be surprised by how much they share in experience as well as culture. Both countries have had refugee populations in Thailand. It was in Thailand that I met my first Burmese friend, Maung Chung. We both shared so much in common that we could have been siblings. And like brothers in history, Cambodia and Burma have also shared in the misery of war, violence and oppression.

During the Khmer Rouge period, I was put in prison at the age of 15 and one of my most painful experiences was the memory of being severely beaten by Khmer Rouge security guards during this time. I believed my mother was in the crowd for this 'Communist people's court', and I believed she watched me during this horrible experience. It pained me to think that while being torturing by the Khmer Rouge security guards, my mother chose not to come out and protect or at least beg forgiveness for me. The 'crimes' I committed may have seemed trivial, yet at the time they were seen by the Khmer Rouge to deserve swift punishment by death. I was caught picking mushrooms to feed my sister. She was pregnant at the time and consequently, lacking adequate food, she suffered from horrible starvation. Without permission from the revolutionary commander, I tried to obtain some mushrooms from the rice field for her. While I was angry with the Khmer Rouge security guards for beating me, I was also angry with my own mother. Thirty-five years later my mother told me that she was not among the crowd. She said she knew I was beaten up and taken away to a prison nearby, but she only arrived at the crime site after the incident.

While the experience occurred nearly 35 years ago, it continues to linger as a spot in our family relations—producing great emotion and tension. Even though many Cambodians survived the genocide, the experiences continue to impact families, communities and the country in unspoken and often indirect ways. Sometimes the wounds that heal on the inside are far more grievous than the ones on the outside. While 35 years may have covered over Cambodia's physical scars, the internal and intangible scars are the ones that bear the most intense impacts on a society's struggle to move forward.

I've met many wonderful people such as Chit Min Lay in Burma over the years, and I have seen these scars as well. Locked away for 'political crimes', many people spent the best years of their life in prison. Some suffered torture and physical wounds that speak to their intense suffering; however, it is the internal scars that bear the greatest pain on the individual and society. Many former prisoners struggle with reconnecting with their families. Lives were shattered, and family relations were often destroyed.

Likewise, ethnic and religious strife continues in Burma. Many people continue to suffer from discrimination, oppression, and the persistent threat of violence solely on the basis of their ethnic, national, or religious difference. Like Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, the concept of difference continues to overshadow our shared humanity. There is no excuse.

Related Stories

Difference does not have to lead to an "us versus them" mentality; rather it should compel an appreciation for diversity, which is a critical component to all thriving democracies. It is the life force of modern civilisation. Burma will never move forward as a country until it recognises that the vitality and future of its country is directly tied to the extent to which it is able to harness the full participation of its entire population. Countries that ignore (or in many cases, trample) their minorities are, in the least, trading the full potential for their country in exchange for a perceived increase in the security of the majority (or elite). In the worst, they are gambling the future of their country.

While Cambodia has made significant strides in its post-conflict development, it has also made many mistakes that other countries should learn from. It has taken Cambodia over 35 years since the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime to come to grips with the horrors of its history. While the prison walls built by the Khmer Rouge have been weathered by time and development, sometimes the greatest walls are not the physical ones. It is the walls that exist in our mind, built by years of oppression, discrimination, fear, violence, and atrocity that demand our utmost attention. The longer a country waits in confronting these walls, the greater the effort required to surmount them. Cambodia is a lesson in history, but it is hardly alone. The Middle East, Africa, and even the United States stand as examples of the difficult struggle that arises when countries fail to confront their problems (or rather differences).

Burma stands at an opportune time to move forward and learn from Cambodia's experiences. As brothers in history, Burma and Cambodia have much to learn from each other, and Burma does not have to repeat its brother's long struggle.


Youk Chhang is the director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia. He has authored several articles and book chapters on Cambodia's quest for memory and justice, and is the co-editor of Cambodia's Hidden Scars: Trauma Psychology in the Wake of the Khmer Rouge (2011). He was named one of TIME magazine's "60 Asian heroes" in 2006, and one of the "Time 100" most influential people in the world in 2007 for his stand against impunity in Cambodia and elsewhere.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's, and do not reflect DVB editorial policy.

Monday 24 August 2015

Rohingya MP banned from contesting election

Source Asian review, 23 Aug

USDP Lower House MP for Buthidaung Township Shwe Maung (Photo: Patrick Boehler / The Irrawaddy)

YANGON -- One of five lawmakers from Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya minority who have sat in the country's national and regional parliaments since 2010 has been barred from contesting the upcoming Nov. 8 national election.

Shwe Maung, speaking to the Nikkei Asian Review on Sunday, said he had received an official notice from the government's election commission that he was not eligible to run in the election - even though he holds a seat in national parliament. He said he would appeal the decision take by the district election sub-commission in Maungdaw, a Rohingya-majority district in northern Rakhine state, bordering Bangladesh.

"I have seven days to appeal and perhaps tomorrow I will make the appeal at the Rakhine state regional electoral commission," said Shwe Maung, who was elected in 2010 as a lawmaker in Myanmar's lower house, representing the Union Solidarity and Development Party, the military-backed ruling party that recently saw the purge of its erstwhile leader, Shwe Mann, the current speaker of parliament.

Shwe Maung said that the local election commission, which is part of the national Union Election Commission, said he was deemed ineligible to contest the election as his parents were not citizens of Myanmar.

Shwe Maung disputes this, saying that both his parents received national identity cards in 1952, four years after the country, then known as Burma, won its independence from Britain.

Fate Of Rohingyas In Bengal Prisons Hangs In Balance

Source Huffingtonpost, 23 Aug
Representative image. Burmese refugees from the Rohingya community, a predominantly Muslim sect in Burma, take refuge on a street near the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) office in New Delhi on May 6, 2012. Eight hundred Burmese refugees have set up a temporary camp near the UNHCR office in South Delhi since April 9, 2012. The UNHCR has issued them asylum seeker cards but they have been demanding refugee status. AFP PHOTO/ Andrew Caballero-Reynolds (Photo credit shou | AFP via Getty Images

KOLKATA -- Over 80 Rohingya Muslims lodged in various prisons across Bengal are staring at an uncertain future as their plea to get refugee status is yet to be heard by Indian authorities.

The 83 Rohingyas, including several women, were arrested in the past five-six years when they were trying to cross over to India through Bangladesh. Of these 83, 27 have already completed their sentences but are still in jails.

"We have written to state home department and also to the MHA regarding the issue of Rohingyas lodged in Bengal prisons and also about those 27 prisoners who have already completed their sentence. But we are yet to receive any communication from them. So they are still in prison as we can't just let them go," ADG (prisons) Adhir Sharma told PTI.

He said that the matter has been informed to the state Home department and the state home department has taken up the issue with MHA.

"After we were informed by the jail authorities, we have given several reminders and letters to MHA. But there has been no concrete response," said a senior official of the state home department on condition of anonymity.

The official added that the issue of Rohingyas has been a sensitive one as there are reports that terrorist organisations have being trying to exploit the condition of Rohingyas worldwide.

"It is not just a case of a foreigner asking for refugee status. The case of Rohingyas is different from others seeking refugee status," said the official.

Just a few months ago, NGO Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), which works in coordination with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), had approached the state home department and the jail authorities so that the Rohingyas can be granted refugee status.

"Few months ago we were able to talk to the Rohingyas lodged in various prisons, and we made preparations so that their plea seeking refugee status can be forwarded to UNHRC, who had forwarded it to Ministry of Home Affairs. But as of now nothing has moved forward," said Madhurima Dhanuka, consultant with Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), told PTI.

The Rohingyas are among millions of stateless people worldwide due to the fallout of clashes with Buddhists in Myanmar. Thousands more, unregistered, are living in other parts of the country such as Jammu and Hyderabad.

According to UNHCR, there are five important pointers that cumulatively form the criteria for being termed as a 'refugee'.

"Owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership to a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of origin of his nationality and is unable or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of protection of that country," UNHCR states.

In the case of Rohingyas, there are certain laid down identification tests to differentiate between a Rohingya lodged in prison and other inmates.

"We identify a Rohingya from other inmates on the basis of geographical description, religion, language, physical features, education, occupation, and the kind of house they had in Myanmar," said Dhanuka.

According to her, an asylum seeker approaches UNHCR in New Delhi following which the UN body gives a registration form to fill asking broad details like name, country of origin and why he or she fled the country.

"Once the person fills up the form and submits it to UNHCR, the person is given status of person of concern to UNHCR. UNHCR then gives document to that effect. Following various interviews and examinations if the case is found positive she is granted refugee status and settled within his or her community," she says.

"We had managed to interview few adults and few children in Balurghat jail and Berhampur jail. Their case studies were forwarded to UNHCR office in New Delhi office," an NGO official said.

When contacted, UNHCR officials said one of the main problems with Rohingyas is that they sneak into India through Bengal from Bangladesh and are detained as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.

While talking about the number of Rohingyas having registered as refugees under UNHCR and living in India, Shuchita Mehta, Public Information Officer of UNHCR India, said, "There are around 9,150 Rohingya refugees and 2,406 asylum seekers registered with UNHCR in India."

The state home ministry official too agreed with the views of UNHCR, and said, "They don't want to go back to Myanmar fearing they would be killed and most of them identify themselves as Bangladeshis so that they can be pushed back to the neighbouring country after serving jail term."

The UNHCR official also said that it has been organising sensitisation programmes for jail officials and police officers and these were aimed towards helping the officials to identify and distinguish the Rohingyas from others and help them to appeal to UNHCR for refugee status.

Muslim Rohingya women sit inside a tent at Mansi Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Sittwe on May 14, 2013. Boats carrying scores of Rohingya Muslims fleeing a cyclone have capsized off Myanmar's coast, the UN said on May 14, heightening fears over the storm which threatens camps for tens of thousands of displaced people. (STR/AFP/Getty Images

Friday 21 August 2015

SAARC-ASEAN Academics Observe World Humanitarian Day—Sorrowing Elegies of ‘Dying-Alive’ Rohingya Children Voiced Across Asia

Source livewirereporter, 20 Aug

Rohingya Refugees Face Health Crisis As MyanmarLam Yik Fei—Getty Images: Rosheda Bagoung holds her malnourished child inside the tent at the Dar Paing refugee camp in Sittwe, Burma, on May 10, 2014 (
The ongoing slaughtering of innocent Rohingya children is not an atrocity against an ethnic minority's small babies, but the unbroken chains atrocities and massacre outrages, against all humans and the whole humanity! SAARC-ASEAN Post-doc Academia.

Breaking Featured-News/UN Observances/Asia – August 20, 2015 – "Waging a 'genocidal-war' or a 'raging-clampdown' on small innocent children is not easy…!", remind academics from all over Asia, while observing 2015's 'World Humanitarian Day'.

"Even, when being in a war, one is going to pull the trigger on a lonely innocent baby, a myriad of thorny questions still besieges the mind—which of the stimuli can be able to justify this inhumane brutality…?—what objective can be achieved by slaughtering these 'tiny-selves'…?—what purpose can be served by thrashing these 'little beings'…?"

What's more…?—Nonethelessly, these acts of inhumaneness aren't happening in a battlefield. These are not unsystematic or all of a sudden random acts of individual or communal violence in their very 'nature of occurrence'—but are precisely methodical, systematic and state-backed executions of unprecedented cruelty and cold-bloodedness, being manifested in Burma, 'every-night-and-every-day, in an unceasing way'.

These are the 'sorrowing elegies' of dying-alive desperate children of the most persecuted lonely minority 'Rohingya'. The Rohingya's screams have been voiced and re-echoed by post-doctoral academicians across the ASEAN and SAARC regions, on the UN proclaimed World Humanitarian Day's Observance, that is marked cross-regionally for the first time  

"This is not an atrocity against an ethnic minority's small children, but the unbroken chains atrocities and massacre outrages, against all humans and the whole humanity—the humanitarian outcries, that are now well converting to a global 'mirror to the blind' as I have earlier made the facts brought-forth to the global attention, and made them admitted to the UN and rest of the world, through SAIRI report on the subject-matter", maintains Professor Dr. Aurangzeb Hafi, who documented a detailed and well-read testimonial-description on 'Rohingya Children Crisis' last month. The testimony-document was predominantly instituted to the UN and the global hierarchies in particular, and primed for the international cross-boundary academic spheres in general.     

"Every single neutral observer is now able to find much more horrific details and horrendous facts that are still secreted and, though failed, yet ut-mostly 'tried' to be kept concealed from the public eye," establishes further Dr. Hafi

"We, the academicians of ASEAN and SAARC regions, under the patronage-benefaction of Justice(R) S.S. Paru L.L.D., Chancellor Emeritus SAARC-ASEAN Post-doc Academia(Indonesia), Dr. Faisar N.M. (Sri Lanka), Dr. Bareera N.B. (Pakistan), Dr. Dass U.(India), Prof. Emeritus Dr. Zaki and Dr. Khalida M. Khan Dr. F. M. Bhatti(Pakistan), Dr. M.S.Salawal Salah from SAARC Post-doc Academia, along with tens of hundreds of other academics from all over Asia, unanimously re-echo the plea-elegies of desperate Rohingya children on this World Humanitarian Day of 2015" …. "Now… let the cries of these lonely children be our clarion call…!!!

"These longsuffering 'stateless' and 'restless' entities—the Rohingyas and their desperate children—are on their knees before the collective conscience of the world—the international community—the UN, the governments and the entire humanity." 

"These glimmering flowers are being reduced and converted to dusky coffins, floating on the Andaman Sea."

"The world has become a global village; we are all inhabitants of the same planet to which they belong, and—where alongside, they are being oppressed, thrashed, beleaguered and de-humanized—their homes being burned down—their heads being smashed on roads—their bodies being ruined and crumpled in streets—their small children being enslaved—their women being made sex-slaves—and, due to the unapproachability and inaccessibility to food and water they are forced to drink their own urine to survive…!!!

"They are like us all—their lives are as precious as our's—their small babies are like our own small kids—the children that are now crying to seek a rescue—  'begging-for-their-lives'—these desperate kids are not, but like ours…!!!"

"And, if by now, we fail, therefore, to respond at this vulnerable hour, or if the global community continues to shy away from taking a 'moral stand', then, there can be no more justifiable reason for the pursuit of a humane society or for persisting and sticking to even the least realms of humaneness!"

"We have to strive for a 'principal resolve' of the 'Rohingya Children Crisis' as a 'Moral Imperative'—if not a legal requisite!"

These were the phraseological supplications of Rohingya children, that were categorically presaged by Professor Qadhi Aurangzeb Al Hafi, earlier in SAIRI's 1st situation report on 'Rohingya Children's De-humanizing Genocidal Clamp-down'.

Media Contact
Company Name: SAARC-ASEAN Academics
Contact Person: Dr. Alex Jayawardene
Email: Send Email
Phone: 0094775993698
City: Colombo
Country: Sri Lanka

Friday 7 August 2015

Rohingya boat people moved to new shelter in Indonesia

Source Anadolu, 6 Aug

06 August 2015 16:33 (Last updated 06 August 2015 16:38)

Refugees who washed ashore during people smuggling crisis housed at center with rooms for families, playground for children and mosque

By Ainur Rohmah


Lonzanabibi, an 8-year-old Rohingya girl who washed up on Indonesia's coast amid Southeast Asia's recent boat people crisis, jumped onto a playground immediately after arriving at a new shelter complex Thursday.

The burning sun did not deter her or other Rohingya children from exploring the play area – a new experience for them after their stay at refugee camps – as their laughter rang though the compound in Aceh province, where they will be accommodated in coming months.

Around 330 Rohingya were moved Thursday to the Integrated Community Shelter, built by Jakarta-based organization Aksi Cepat Tanggap (Fast Action Response) with Rp 6 billion ($420,000) in funding from various parties, both inside and outside of the country.

The complex -- which stands on an area of 5 hectares -- has 120 rooms, with each Rohingya family receiving their own while single refugees are placed into two barracks - one for men and one for women.

While settling in Thursday, the adults could be seen moving household items and bags of clothes, the mothers arranging the rooms shared by their families.

Surakhatu, a 28-year-old mother-of-three, told Anadolu Agency that after spending several months at sea before arriving in Aceh in early May, the shelter was like a new home.

"I am delighted to have a new home. My kids were also happy," she said, her face lighting up.

Surakhatu was forced to leave Myanmar like hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya who have been fleeing the majority Buddhist country since 2012 in fear of violence that some human rights groups consider to be state-sponsored.

After arriving in Indonesia following months on a crammed boat, she and hundreds of others had been accommodated at a fishing complex in crowded and unsanitary conditions, before being moved to a job training center while the shelter was under construction.

Dicky Saputra, National Committee of Solidarity for the Rohingya coordinator, told Anadolu Agency on Thursday that the volunteers at the new complex "are very happy to see the faces of the refugees, especially the children who seem happy when entering our shelter fence."

"They like having a new spirit. All look cheerful," he said.

He added that before the transfer, they had communicated with the refugees on how to maintain order and security at the shelter.

"We ask them to keep the clean environment. Including how they have to care for the garden and trees in the shelter," he said.

The complex – completed within a month and divided into 15 blocks -- is equipped with 46 bathrooms, two teaching rooms, a health clinic, a children's playground, a park and a mosque.

"The shelter is designed with a variety of facilities above [the quality of an] average refugee camp," he said.

Laila Khalidah, one of the volunteers, admitted that she was touched to see the enthusiasm among the refugees.

"It is like all of my tiring and hard work paid off, seeing the joy of the children and refugees once inside the shelter," she told Anadolu Agency.

Fast Action Response's executive director, Sri Eddy Kuncuro, had earlier said that community development programs would be run inside the complex, including training in agriculture, keeping livestock and fishing.

In May, a crackdown on people smuggling in Thailand - to which many of the Rohingya had traveled by boat in an effort to get to Malaysia and beyond - scared traffickers into abandoning up to 4,500 migrants on boats in the Andaman Sea.

Around 1000 of the Rohingya ended up in Aceh. Many of the Rohingya have been staying in sports centers, warehouses, and fishing complexes since they first arrived.

Indonesia's government - along with Malaysia - has offered to shelter the thousands of Rohingya, ascertain which are genuine refugees and which are migrants, and house them for one year.

After that, it has asked the international community to take the refugees in.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Myanmar floods affect 21,000 Rohingya Muslims

Source Presstv, 5 Aug

Soldiers and rescue workers load food aid onto a military helicopter in Sittwe airport in Myanmar's Rakhine state on August 4, 2015 (AFP)
Soldiers and rescue workers load food aid onto a military helicopter in Sittwe airport in Myanmar's Rakhine state on August 4, 2015 (AFP

Heavy rains and flooding caused by cyclone Komen in Myanmar affects camps housing thousands of Rohingya Muslims who were displaced by ethnic violence in the country's Rakhine state, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says.

"In 24 camps assessed so far, a quarter of the temporary shelters are damaged, and more than 21,000 displaced people affected as a result," said UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards on Tuesday.

Alongside Chin state and the Sagaing and Magway regions, Rakhine has been declared a natural disaster zone by the Myanmar government.

"The floods are hitting children and families who are already very vulnerable, including those living in camps in Rakhine state," said Shalini Bahuguna, from the UN Children's Fund on Monday.

According to reports, security forces turned out Muslims from abandoned schools and community centers where they had taken shelter.

An aerial view shows floodwaters inundating houses and vegetation in Kalaymyo, in Myanmar's Sagaing region, on August 3, 2015. (AFP)

Also On Monday, the Myanmar government announced that 39 people had died due the flooding that has so far affected over 200,000 people.

The UN recognizes the Rohingya Muslims as one of the world's most persecuted communities, who were forced to move from their homes to make-shift coastal camps in 2012, following deadly attacks by government-backed Buddhist extremists.

The Slow-Burning Genocide Of Myanmar's Rohingya

Source maungzarni, 10 July

By Maung Zarni and Alice Cowley

Abstract: Since 1978, the Rohingya, a Muslim minority of Western Burma, have been subject to a state-sponsored process of destruction. The Rohingya have deep historical roots in the borderlands of Rakhine State, Myanmar, and were recognized officially both as citizens and as an ethnic group by three successive governments of post-independence Burma. In 1978, General Ne Win's socialist military dictatorship launched the first large-scale campaign against the Rohingya in Rakhine State with the intent first of expelling them en masse from Western Burma and subsequently legalizing the systematic erasure of Rohingya group identity and legitimizing their physical destruction. This on-going process has continued to the present day under the civilian-military rule of President Thein Sein's government. Since 2012, the Rohingya have been subject to renewed waves of hate campaigns and accompanying violence, killings and ostracization that aim both to destroy the Rohingya and to permanently remove them from their ancestral homes in Rakhine State.

Findings from the authors' three-year research on the plight of the Rohingya lead us to conclude that Rohingya have been subject to a process of slow-burning genocide over the past thirty-five years. The destruction of the Rohingya is carried out both by civilian populations backed by the state and perpetrated directly by state actors and state institutions. Both the State in Burma and the local community have committed four out of five acts of genocide as spelled out by the 1948 Convention on the Punishment and Prevention of the Crime of Genocide. Despite growing evidence of genocide, the international community has so far avoided calling this large scale human suffering genocide because no powerful member states of the UN Security Council have any appetite to forego their commercial and strategic interests in Burma to address the slow-burning Rohingya genocide.
- See more at: