By Dr. Anita Schug, The Stateless (TSR) Article
Burma, a country of more than 135 ethnicities has been very repressive towards its people. Countless grave human atrocities take place on daily basis especially against it minority groups. Unfortunately, the Rohingya, a different ethno-religious group, being distinct from rest of Burma, has been hit very hard by state sponsored terrorism nearing them to their final annihilation.
World’s history shows a rise of rebellion movements against any government when the government is exclusive in its policies; where a group of people or a nation is deprived of freedom and equality. Tragically, Rohingya have been hooked in this trap ever since Burma got independence.
The Kachin, Karen, Kyin and the Shan are among the 10 ethnic communities, who took up arms against the discriminative Burmese government policies. Their fights go on, despite of the Nationwide Ceasefire agreement signed between the Myanmar government and eight armed ethnic groups on 15.10.15.
Unlike other armed ethnic minorities, Rohingya through their peaceful struggle have been pushed to walk down the only road; towards a Genocide. The Burmese military was never people’s friend. Shamefully, under Aung San Suu Kyi’s leadership, the so called global peace icon, a state counsellor and a foreign minister, this process has taken even a higher momentum before the alleged 9th October 2016 attacks on Burmese border posts in northern Rakhine State.
Speculation has been rampant in the wake of the attacks and subsequent military crackdown, ranging from claims that the assailants were trained by the Pakistani Taliban, to those in opposition claiming the entire affair has been orchestrated by the military to seize resources, regain control of the government and complete the final phase of the Genocide; mass expulsion of Rohingya. What is clear is that much of what happened and who was behind was lying in plain sight.
At aftermath of the attacks; a group named “Faith Movement”, claimed to be sons of Arakan soil and have carried out the attacks. It is their spontaneous reaction to the decades of unbearable state sponsored prosecutions relayed from one military government to another.
In the first case scenario; analysis of the videos available in social media shows that these are hardly 12-16 years old young boys. Based on their age and their handmade weapons like homemade swords & sticks and farm tools one must think what has led this group of young mostly under aged Rohingya have had assumed the worst coming for their people & took this drastic measure having run out of option. The Rohingya have for years tried to address their grievances through political means but only found to be abandoned by all resourceful nations at last and thus felt forced to take this worst way. Surely, each one of these boys has a tragic story to tell. Each one of them have at least, lost a precious member of his family. Not to forget, many of these young men have witnessed rape of their mothers and sisters or themselves victims of dehumanization by the Burmese military officials. They knew countless Rohingyas picked up by military to never come back home and still so many died in police custody.
To suit their agenda, Myanmar’s president office has linked the alleged attackers to Taliban as well as accusing them of receiving support from outside in line as very deceitful as Suu Kyi has always been. She stated that her government is tackling this delicate issue with the rule of law. Since 9th october-2016 under Suu Kyi’s so called “Rule of Law” more than 100 innocent Rohingya have been killed, more than 70 Rohingya women been raped, 1000 houses and more than 200 Rohingya owned shops torched, approximately 15,000 Rohingyas displaced. 80,000 Rohingya are left without food and medicine. The numbers might be even higher since international media and UN led investigators are prevented from accessing the lockdown town of Maungdaw and Buthidaung & Rathedaung.
Instead of protecting all the civilians, including the Rohingya, Burmese government selectively evacuated only Rakhine Buddhists. The government has started arming local Rakhine population, master planning for further destruction of the remaining non-IDP Rohingya community. The military is playing again the old dirty trick, arming the local Rakhine to inflict direct harm on Rohingya ( pitting one brother against another );a divide & rule strategy will bring a situation that could easily worsen the resentment and hopelessness among Rohingyas.
Suu Kyi’s government has been denying of any wrong doing on Rohingya in the lockdown Rakhine State, despite of strong evidences put forward by human rights watch group (HRW). HRW provided satellite images of around 43O Rohingya villages completely burnt down in Maungdaw district. There are more villages to be added to the list. Media coverage on Rakhine state is being purposely blocked by the Myanmar government. Miss Fiona McGregor was fired after she reported Rohingya women being raped by the Burmese military. Under the so called democratic government one media is being silenced out of hook. Only some local news outlets with no media ethics but follow the wrongful army line are allowed in lately. Thus, the country is sliding back to controlled & bias media play era.
Different definitions exist on Terrorism. The definition is very vague and at times confusing. But what is common to all these existing definitions is: Terrorism is a calculated, fear generating direct violence without legal or moral restrains targeting mainly unarmed civilians and non-combatant. The alleged Rohingya attackers attacked only on the border posts. They didn’t attack a single civilian! In contrast the Burmese military is openly firing on Rohingya civilians including children, spreading fear to flee the en masse killings, arrests and torture.
Continued extrajudicial killings including recent fresh airstrikes on hundreds of unarmed Rohingya civilians, burning down Rohingya villages, displacing Rohingya, are never ending horrifying human atrocities committed against this very defenceless ethnic minority mass punishment to the alleged death of 9 Burmese border guards. It is nothing but an extension of state sponsored terrorism transferred from ex-military government to the present pseudo- democratic government. The question to ask is; who are the real terrorist here? The alleged Rohingya gunmen / violent attackers or Aung San Suu Kyi and her state apparatus? The Burmese government will label these alleged Rohingya boys without any doubt as Terrorist but to the whole Rohingya community and to many human rights organisations they are the “Heros”; heroes who are compelled to use sticks and rods against the apartheid regime. To the international community these young boys and their community are victims of Genocide. Suu Kyi successfully puts the international community under Hypnosis with her “Rule of Law”. The international community including UN must wake up from this trance. It is nothing but a genocidal tool for her and her military. Suu Kyi and military lacks every will to stop washing their hands with Rohingya’s blood, let alone the fact that she has no control over her military.
There will be no peace and prosperity of a nation as a whole if the government continues to be exclusive in its state policies. In order to see a fairer and a free Burma, Suu Kyi & her lackeys should be inclusive in their state policies towards all its minorities including Rohingya. To great disappointment Suu Kyi and her military has chosen to walk the hall of shame, opening doors for unimaginable crimes against Humanity.
So far, Rohingya are defenceless & choiceless. The bitter truth for Rohingya is, their rescue will not come from inside Myanmar. Rohingya’s struggle is not Jihad but rather a desperate attempt to save Rohingya race & its culture from complete extinction. We should not leave any stone unturned to get UN protection. If China blocks such a favourable resolution for Rohingya and protects Myanmar, a joint ASEAN protection must be mobilised. We are not at war with any other brotherly races in the country.
Violence will continue against the Rohingyas as long as Suu Kyi takes on Rohingya issue as red line with the country’s dictatorial military parasites.