BRAFA Chairman Shaukhat Kyaw Soe Aung alias MSK Jilani highlighted the situation of suffering Muslims in Burma at the MAS Convention- Milwaukee Chapter are as follows.
– Burma is located in Southeast Asia and it is majority Buddhist country with a population of an estimated more than 60 million people consisting of Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Hindu and other religious groups. Muslim settlements and propagation of Islam in Burma has been widely documented by Arab, Persian, European and Chinese travelers in the 8 century A.D.
– The current Muslim population in Burma are an estimated 8 to 9 million and they are descendants of Arabs, Persians, Turks, Moors, Indians, Pakistanis, Pathans, Moghuls, Bengalis, Chinese Muslims, Malays and other indo-Mongoloid people who settled down and intermarried with the local people and other ethnic Burmese groups in Burma according to historical survey.
– So, Muslims in Burma have been living for many centuries and they were recognized as indigenous people and bona fide citizens of Burma by the previous Burmese democratic government institutions. Muslims of Burma have been enjoyed the fruits of democratic rights and equal status and used to have a number of high-ranking officers in the previous parliamentary democratic government from 1948 to 1962.
– Soon after Burmese dictator General Ne Win seized the power in March, 1962 Muslims have been deliberately and systematically excluded from the governmental positions and hundreds of thousands of Muslims were forced to leave Burma. Since then, Muslims in Burma have become the third class inhabitants and living as subjugated minority, who are no longer treated to be Burmese citizens.
– With the enactment of 1982 discriminatory Burmese citizenship law which is against international law standards and basic fundamental human rights by the dictator General Ne Win and his political agent ultra-nationalists and racist academicians, Muslims of Burma particularly, the Rohingya people of Arakan has been denied citizenship rights and become stateless people or foreigners in their native home-land Arakan who were living there for many centuries with historical roots.
– Muslims in Burma are being painfully subjected to barbaric and appalling atrocities of extremist Buddhists and security forces of Burmese government. Their lives are in a constant fear and under extremely threats. The brutal Burmese military regime has been carrying out massive atrocities, religious violence, racial discrimination, human rights abuses and restriction of movement on Muslim minority which are neither totally acceptable nor tolerable and these are all against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and democratic norms.
– Most evidently, starting from the last year June, 2012, Muslim minorities in Burma become suffering victims of widespread racial, religious and political persecutions and violent attacks at the hands of Burmese extremist Buddhist and government security forces and yet still on going the same violence and atrocities against Muslims throughout Burma (Myanmar). Today, Muslims in Burma are under horrible suppression and there is no scope of any security protection given to the Muslims by the President Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government and its security forces because they themselves either directly or indirectly involved in the ongoing violence and anti-Muslim campaigns in collaboration with racist monks and Buddhist extremists to vanish and annihilate the Muslims from the land of Burma.
– There have been two rounds of religious violence and terrorist attack erupted on the Rohingyas and Kaman Muslims in Arakan State, the western part of Burma in the last year. The first round is in June 2012 and the second round is in October 2012 which ultimately resulted over 25,000 Muslims includes men, women, and children have been butchered and untold numbers of Rohingyas and Kaman Muslims were missing when they were escaping the violence and still unknown where about. Hundreds of Muslim women and young girls were raped by the Buddhists and Burmese security forces while more than 125,000 Muslims includes Rohingyas and Kaman have been displaced and now they are living in the concentration camps in Sittwe (Akyab), Arakan State as internally displaced persons (IDP). The Burmese Government do not take any concrete program and planning yet to resettle the displaced Muslims to their original places and locations nor given any appropriate compensations to them for the loss and destruction of their houses and properties which were burned down and destroyed in the violence and terrorist attack by the Buddhist extremists and government security forces. Instead of amicably resolving the problem by protecting minority and innocent Muslims, the President Thein Sein led Burmese government and its security forces covertly supported the Buddhist rioters and racist monks, which created greater hardships for the defenseless Muslims.
– Meanwhile, due to fear of extreme repression, brutal methods of torturing, killing, looting and arbitrary confiscation of Muslim properties, disappearances and rape of Muslim women, mass arrest, restriction of movement, harassment, inflicting physical and causing mental harm as well as other kinds of human rights violations such as blocking of humanitarian aid and relief goods, education and employment restriction, dire living conditions in the camps, and restriction on five time daily religious prayer services, several thousands of Muslim Rohingyas so far have fled the country in rickety (overcrowded) boats through Indian Andaman sea and eventually they managed to reach somehow to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka after several days voyaging in the sea without foods and water while hundreds of people have drowned already at sea because of engine breaking down. Currently, these boat people are under detention of Thailand, Malaysia and some are in Indonesia and Sri Lanka respectively.
– Subsequently, another new wave of violence erupted on Burmese Muslims in Meiktila town of Mandalay region in central Burma on March 20, 2013 and now this violence has spreading all over cities, townships, and Muslim villages in central Burma and other eastern parts including the former capital city of Rangoon. As a result of extensive violence and anti-Muslim campaigns orchestrated by the Buddhist people, according to reliable news information from the ground, at least 30 mosques include Madaras and Maktabs have been destroyed and burnt down into ashes in front of the police personals and security forces. Hundreds of Burmese Muslims were killed in this violence by the Buddhist extremists and many injured. Several business properties, shops, stores and houses owned by the Burmese Muslims were burnt and destroyed while more than 20,000 Burmese Muslims were displaced and now they are taking shelter at the stadium complex in central Burma. They have no enough foods, no medical services and lack of other necessary shelter and equipment at this time for the contemporary life survival.
– Unfortunately, neither United Nations – UN, European Union – EU, United States Government (U.S.), ASEAN, nor civilized world communities of the 21st century has initiated any affirmative action or positively raised voice against the inhumane atrocities, worst human massacre and the grim condition of Muslims in Burma. International communities including world veto power 5 countries are still so quiet and not taking any practical action on military backed Burmese government, despite receiving daily news through various media groups, watching the horrific video, and pictures of this unprecedented genocide of Muslims at the hands of Burmese security forces, civilian political party leaders, racist monks and Buddhist extremists in Burma.
Taking everything into accounts of the suffering Muslims in Burma and pursuing their grim condition, on behalf of the Burmese Rohingya American Friendship Association (BRAFA), I sincerely want to request all of the participant Muslim brothers and sisters in this Muslim American Society (MAS) Convention including world-wide Muslim Ummah to help and provide moral and material support to the suffering Muslims in Burma and also demand the United Nations Security Council and US Government to dispatch international peace keeping forces to save the lives of the innocent and unarmed Muslims of Burma. Thein Sein led Burmese government does not give enough protection to the Muslim people and therefore, they are in need of international protection immediately.