Sectarian violence, which has gripped Myanmar since the summer of 2012, is back in full swing, leaving an untold number of Rohingya Muslims, including at least 30 children, dead in this latest flare up near Maungdaw.
Once again, they are being targeted by Rakhine Buddhist extremists, who are operating with local Buddhist political leaders.
Earlier this week, Rakhine mobs and security forces known in Myanmar as Lun Htein, entered the settlement of Kiladaung Village East.
According to reports, Rohingya people in Kiladaung initially believed they were being besieged by robbers. As it turned out, the men entering the village were police who didn’t wear uniforms.
People of the village at first sought to protect their property, but were forced to flee.
Around 12:30 a.m. on 15 January 2014, a sizable force entered Kilagaung again and opened fire on the Rohingya villagers. Witnesses say many Rohingya ran away, however many people could not, most who were unable to leave remained hidden in their homes.
The next morning, Rakhine officials, along with a Rohingya man named Mr. Jahangir, visited Kiladaung and accused Rohingya villagers of killing a Rakhine police officer and stealing and hiding his weapon.
The Rohingya who were questioned, said they had no idea. The officials snapped photos and recorded video of the villagers and the entire village. The photo evidence, Rohingya villagers say, was taken in order to deceive the world. That is not hard to believe.
Burma Times reports, “…after the officials left, mobs of Rakhine Buddhists and security forces went to Kiladaung at 1:00 p.m. and started slaughtering the residents, moving from house to house killing everyone, even babies.
The following evening at 6:30 p.m., a Rohingya who had been in Gadusara, the scene of several killings, and spent the night there. He explained that he risked his life to determine the fate of his family. He reports seeing the dead bodies of three people he knew.
They were identified as:
Sakera Begum, daughter of Omar Miah 35 years old
Rahimullah, son of Ali Husein 15 years old
Zahir Ahmed, son of Ali Husein 12 years old
In what sounds like a scene from a B grade horror film, this witness says he observed the dead bodies of 35 children, the majority (30) girls, and 7 young men.
The witness says he moved slowly toward his house, only to discover that there was nothing left of it. The man is quoted by Burma Times as saying, “I couldn’t control myself, I don’t know where were my 2 sons, one daughter and my wife.”
As he came out from his house, he could see a group of Rakhine approaching from the distance, so he used another route to exit the village. Again according to Burma Times, “…on the way, he saw dead bodies of 10 kids and nearly 60 girls, another place near a lake, nearly 120 people’s dead bodies, were found.”
Myanmar National TV announced that 60 people died in the conflicts. Journalist Aung Aung in Sittwe, along with editor Ibrahim Shah with Burma Times, wrote in the article: “I think it will be 10 times more than that because State usually reduces numbers 10 times less. There were 340 houses, more than 4,000 Rohingya live there but the whole village is emptied, Rakhine mobs with the help of security forces took away all Rohingya’ properties, cattle, chickens, even doors and wood of houses.”
It is reported that 5 Rohingya from Kildaung were arrested by police on 15 January 2014, in Taung Bali, Du Nyaung Pyin Gyi Mosque (ShudaFara). On the same day, police entered Kiladaung West village, arresting 15 Rohingya who were suspected of living in Kiladaung East village.
Around 10:30 a.m. the next day, 16 January 2014, Rohingya villagers from Gawdusara were arrested and brought to Natala Rakhine village by Rakhine police, where local people believe they were killed:
Hafiz Nur Huda son of M.V Lalmiah
Fazal Ahmed son of Ali Husein
Abdu Hannan son of Sultan
Jamal son of Muhammad Sufaith
Also on the 16th, two Rohingya women observed three dead bodies while traveling to Kiladaung to see their families. Extremely frightened, the ladies ran to Gadusara village and were followed by Rakhine mobs. One of the women fell and was captured and taken away, the other managed to escape and reach Gadusara in Maungdaw.
It has been extensively reported that a Buddhist monk named U. Wirathu, who formed the “969” movement, is behind the Buddhist terrorist gang’s constant efforts to misuse Buddhism, terrorizing Rohingya, Muslims and Christians systematically.
Writer Aung Aung in Sittwe, who has been an active information source since the time this whole period of anti-Rohingya violence flared in July 2012, states, “I have been writing how the regime created violence everywhere. In the name protecting Buddhism and Buddhists, they built Dhammar-yun, Buddhist worship house in every street, every ward, and every village.
“Regime has been using legal method to create violence everywhere, slaughtering and torturing everywhere. All police, security forces, NaSaKa, military, judges, courts, immigrations and Lun Htein are controlled by central Government of Thein Sein which has been ignoring the reality because it is State sponsored genocidal plan. One million Rohingya have been being blocked since June 2012.”
Sadly, the Rohingya couldn’t offer any concrete evidence of the Kiladaung massacre. Myanmar’s government does not release evidence of its crimes. Aung Aung said, “I would like to request International Investigation to go to Kiladaung as soon as possible.”
The stateless Rohingya are considered by the United Nations as the most persecuted ethnic group in the world. They are nearly powerless because the Buddhist mobs are often backed by government security forces and police.
“Government is busy to wipe out all evidence, arrests all eyewitnesses, most of them tortured to death. Court needs evidence, the World needs evidence, State knows well how to conceal and wipe out all evidence; threatens people, blackmails people and tortures people in order to conceal evidence. Depriving of education, most of the Rohingya became uneducated, State uses that weak point effectively.
“If International Investigation comes to Kiladaung of Maungdaw now, they could see how did police and Rakhine mobs slaughtered Rohingya and looted all their properties. I beg all World Media and International Communities to send International Commission before Government wipes out all evidence of Kiladaung , Maungdaw. State has plans to create more violence in Arakan, Burma very soon, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and Wirathu visited to the whole Arakan State in order to instruct violence systematically, that’s the reason they didn’t visit any Rohingya refugee Camp of Arakan.”
It doesn’t help that the notorious monk leader Thitagu Sayadaw held a conference to implement 969 policies everywhere with the help of government.
A military junta until recent years, the government is pressing 1982 discriminatory laws and the regime’s policies against Rohingya and non-Buddhists. The government has also been busy denying the existence of Rohingya as legitimate residents of Mynmar, instead enacting a genocidal program.
OIC Weighs in…
Iyad Ameen Madani, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the OIC, expressed deep concern regarding the recent events of 14th January, 2014 in which looting, raping and killing of Rohingya Muslim civilian citizens in southern Maungdaw, Rakhine State took place.
These events, stressed The Secretary General, violate the basic rights of the Rohingya Muslims to be protected as citizens and as a minority by their own government. They also represent a grave violation of Myanmar’s government international commitments to protect civilians; as well as breaking the statements signed between the OIC’s ministerial Contact group and Myanmar authorities during the group’s visit from 14 to 16 November 2013.
The Secretary General urged the government of Myanmar to adhere to the framework it agreed to, to enforce the rule of law and to keep its assurances to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Madani also called on the political leaders of Myanmar, especially those who claim the high moral ground, to exercise their influence for the sake of peace, tolerance and community reconciliation.
Aung Aung also reports that, “More than 10,000 monks attended the conference at A Tu Ma Shi monastery in Mandalay on 16 January 2014 to convince people to continue submitting signatures to Parliament in support of a proposed law that would restrict interfaith marriages between Buddhist women and men of other faiths and rights of ethnic Rohingya Muslims in west Burma to form political parties or vote.
“The designated security forces so called Lun Htein in Rohingya quarters by Rakhine state government are almost empowered by Rakhine extremists who persecute Rohingya more cruelly than the recently disbanded Nasaka forces.”
Myanmar Rohingya are suffering while their government, intent on creating a Buddhist only nation, continues its slaughter and while the international community looks the other way. Even vaunted leader Aung San Suu Kyi has remained dead silent, refusing to shed light on the criminal actions of her own people, Rakhine Buddhists.