April 20, 2013
A political analyst says the international community and particularly the West has not pressured the government in Myanmar to stop the violence and to stop this genocide or ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people.
The comments came after the UN refugee agency warned of a “humanitarian catastrophe” in Myanmar as the country’s displaced Rohingya Muslims face the threat of monsoon floods. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday said it is “seriously concerned about the risks facing over 60,000 displaced people in flood-prone areas and in makeshift shelters.” Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar account for about five percent of the country’s population of nearly 60 million. They have been persecuted and faced torture, neglect, and repression since the country’s independence in 1948.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Kevin Barrett, from the Muslim-Christian-Jewish Alliance, to further discuss the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Kevin Barrett, I would hate to see this monsoon season obviously pretty much have an effect on the lives of these already most persecuted minority being the Rohingyas but it seems like that maybe their fate.
What has not occurred when we look at this really disaster that’s been going on for the past six months in terms of the persecution, the government involvement and etc.?
Barrett: Well what hasn’t happened is that the international community and particularly the West has not pressured the government in Myanmar to stop the violence and to stop this genocide or ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people.
Why is that? Quite often we do hear the West making loud noises about human rights and sometimes in situations where the violations of human rights are a lot, less extreme than they are in Myanmar.
And I think the answer is in this particular situation, the West and particularly the USA has opened up good relations with the Myanmar government just at the moment that the Myanmar government has started to commit and countenance genocide on its territory.
And the US is basically playing a geo-strategic game, is trying to take Myanmar out of the orbit of China and place it more firmly into the Western orbit. The US is deluging Myanmar with representatives trying to establish more trade ties, more business relationships, the money is flowing more than ever and rather than use the pressure and the leverage that they certainly do have to stop these very, very large scale abuses and this horrible suffering of the Rohingya ethnic cleansing victims.
The US and to some extent even the international human rights community have tended to downplay it and ignore it. So this is just another example of the hypocrisy of the way Western countries especially the US use human rights more as a tool of their foreign policy in their geo-strategic objectives rather than out of concern for humanity.
Press TV: So quickly, when you say they want to pull Myanmar out of this fear of China, of influence of China, I mean so that that border is an area that they will probably going to, if they had not already placed the military power whether it is soldiers, equipments etc. Is that another aim that the US has obviously to counter China militarily?
Barrett: Absolutely. US is ringing China with military bases. There is a containment of China strategy going on, Obama has called it the shift to Asia . They are winding down the Middle Eastern war on terror, although you would know that from what is going on in Syria and they are ramping up the future war on China to prevent China from continuing to rise and taking its place as the world’s biggest economy and most powerful technological country.
So it is a big geo-strategic game and the Rohingya Muslims are caught in the middle.