April 8, 2012
Myanmar has a Buddhist majority. The Muslim minority in Myanmar mostly consists of the Rohingya people and the descendants of Muslim immigrants from India (including what is now Bangladesh) and China (the ancestors of Chinese Muslims in Myanmar came from the Yunnan province), as well as descendants of earlier Arab settlers. Indian Muslims migrated to Burma during British rule to fill jobs in the expanding economy, especially in clerical work and business. After independence, many Muslims retained their previous positions and achieved prominence in business and politics. According to Human Rights Watch the Burmese government has denied citizenship to any Rohingya person who cannot prove their ancestors settled in the country before 1823, the beginning of British occupation of what is now Arakan State.
According to Amnesty International, the Muslim Rohingya people have continued to suffer from human rights violations under the Burmese junta since 1978, and many have fled to neighboring Bangladesh as a result.
Despite earlier efforts by the UN, the vast majority of Rohingya refugees have remained in Bangladesh, unable to return because of the regime in Myanmar. Now they face problems in Bangladesh where they do not receive support from the government. In February 2009, many Rohingya refugees were helped by Acehnese sailors in the Strait of Malacca, after 21 days at sea.
Hello and welcome to the program Insight with me , when we come back we will further examine Burma in Flame with Mohamed Ibrahim, who is the media Secretary of European Rohingya Council (ERC) live from Germany. So stay with us
Welcome to the show Mr. Ibrahim, my first question is
Q 1: What’s behind the sectarian violence in Myanmar?
There are few serious conspiracies behind this sectarian violence in Myanmar. The first one is directed by some members of Thein Sein government including Thein Sein himself and some members of the military. They are doing this because they want to create a political excuse to grasp the power because they are afraid of losing their grips on power after election in 2015. Thein Sein definitely is one of these conspirators. In addition he wants to be more popular than Aung Sann Su Sky among majority bhuddists by oppressing Muslims as he knows that most of the Burmese Bhuddists are chauvinists.
Rakhines politicians are also firmly behind this violence because they are afraid of that muslims specially Rohingya can get upper hand both in politics and business if they will get equal rights when real democracy comes to Myanmar. So they want to make Rohingya like refugees or illegal immigrants.
However every Bhuddist political force including opposition wants to get rid of Muslims in the country. In other words they want Myanmar free for Muslims.
Q 2 : Who are the Rohingya?
The Rohingyas are one of the most persecuted communities in the world. Al though, they have been living in the state of Arakan since the 7th century (which is now part of Burma), the Rohingyas have been under extreme scrutiny by the Burmese government. They haven’t been recognized as citizens of The Union of Burma since 1962 coup dictated by General Ne Win. After decades of oppression and margina lization, the passing of the 1982 Citizenship Law deemed them officially stateless. Also I can say that Rohingyas are sons of Arabs, Persians, settlers that came to Arakan as early as 7th century.
Q 3: What are the authorities doing?
We have ample of hard evidence that authorities are behind these carnages. In many cases fire brigade for example used petrol instead of water while they were called for help when hoses were set on fire. Police and other law enforcement agencies have blocked Muslims from putting the fire off. In fact many Muslims who came to help others were shot dead on sight while Bhuddists terrorists were supplied with lethal weapons.
Q 4: What is the world saying?
World is doing nothing in practical term. Only few countries are giving some lips services while a few countries are helping Burmese government financially. This financial help in turn is encouraging terrorists to commit more crimes against Muslims because they know that the worse the situation for Muslims become the more they get. Develop countries are competing against eachother to be more friendly with Burmese government to fulfill their self-interest.
Human Rights Watch says tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees are currently staying in makeshift camps in Bangladesh, with many living in conditions that seasoned aid workers have described as “the worst they haveever seen.”
As the result of this violence U.N. says 20,000 homeless after Myanmar clashes
Q 5: What will become of these people?
I have actually no idea of what will happen to these people or who will save them. We don’t have any hope or trust on the opposition that is dancing on the tunes of Thein Sein regime. But I am sure that one day we will come out of this conspiracy. I want to say that it will be very foolish of Thein Sein and his accomplices, Buddhist terrorists to think that they can exterminate us from the soil of Arakan.
Q 6: Is there a political agenda behind this?
As I mentioned before there is a clear political agenda behind this. Every actor has their own agenda in addition to their common agenda of reducing Muslim population in the country. Opposition is eyeing next election.
So they don’t want to alienate majority voters by voicing against genocide of Muslims. Aung San Su Skyi is sacrificing Muslims for her dreams. She has already forgotten that she is a noble laureate.