Current News

Myanmar’s double wars on Rohingya

Myanmar's foreign minister Aung San Suu Kyi refuses to use the name Rohingya. Photo: AP

In defense of Haikal Mansor

Dr. Hla Kyaw Khubyb

Myanmar’s first war on Rohingya officially began in February 1978. The code name of the special operation was “King Dragon Operation.” The operation eventually expelled 277, 839 Rohingya into neighboring Bangladesh, according to ex-Military Intelligence chief ex-general Khin Nyunt who was involved in Myanmar’s war on Rohingya since February 1978 until his purge in October 2004. Our elders recounted the horrors, mass rapes, arrests and killings of hundreds of Rohingya.

Of several operations along the way to the systematic destruction of Rohingya, Myanmar conducted one of the most notorious operations in 1990. It was named as “Operation Clean and Beautiful Nation,” which caused an exodus of 260 000 Rohingya. Many Rohingya women were raped, while several hundred Rohingya men were killed and arrested.

Since 9 October 2016, the cruelest operation was started with a code name “Clearance Operation.” The operation is still going on. The intensity of the operation is to such an extent that the United Nations officials have described as “Ethnic Cleansing.” Massive destruction of Rohingya houses and religious infrastructures has been documented.

There was merciless and indiscriminate shooting, including helicopter gunshots, of Rohingya. Some Rohingya children were thrown into the fire. Hundreds of Rohingya women were raped, and in some cases, gang-raped. Noor Hossain, who escaped to Bangladesh, recounted the horror and told the Guardian, “At least 100 women were raped and 25 of them were killed during the attack in Karyiprang. At least 40 Rohingyas were burnt alive in the village.

Apart from killing people with gunshots and burning them, the soldiers also slaughtered many with knife. They also took away about 150 Rohingya men who have not returned as yet.”

The 38 year old Myanmar’s systematic and institutionalized destruction of Rohingya has been unfortunately ill documented. However, recent researches conducted by several scholars and institutions including Dr. Maung Zarni, International State Crimes Institute, Harvard and Yale Universities came to a conclusion that Myanmar’s persecution of Rohingya amounts to no other than genocide. Some scholars argue the genocide is in its final stage of annihilation.

The Myanmar’s war on Rohingya doesn’t stop there, and Myanmar’s satiety on Rohingya’s lives shows no signs of boundary. It launched another frontier of war on Rohingya: the war on Rohingya activists to silent our voices for our fellow Rohingya. Recently, the office of Myanmar State-Counsellor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi launched an attack with threats and intimidations on Haikal Mansor,  a Rohingya activist and professional, fluent in Burmese, Rohingya and English languages privately and publicly. He made a 2 minutes video clip of her Burmese language exchange with Burmese audience in Singapore on 1 Dec 2016. The video was subtitled in English with the purpose of exposing Aung San Suu Kyi’s complicity in the crime of genocide of our people. There are many countless cases of attacks and intimidation on Rohingya activists. These must be condemned.

Myanmar authority should be reminded of that there is nothing more to lose as a Rohingya. We have lost everything – history, memory, culture, identity, etc. What else could be lost than what have been lost? Our mothers and sisters as young as 10 years old have been raped en masse; hundreds of our brothers have been arbitrarily arrested and put into the indefinite detention, many of whom would not find a return to their families; and several thousands of our families have been internally displaced.

Burmese society is sick, wounded and fearful. The society is suffering from an “epidemic” of soullessness, racism, violence and heartlessness. The “epidemic” is not confined to one sector or another. It permeates into every layers of the society, and does not skip any arena. From Nobel Laureate, leaders, generals, journalists, intellectuals to the monk, the society is going through the greatest crisis: the crisis of “soullessness.” This must be cured.

We are determined. We, all Rohingya, stand with Haikal Mansor. We will rise and shine although the world leaders retreat into the hideout of silence. We will liberate our Rohingya from Myanmar’s cruel genocide.

If not now, then soon!

Twitter: @drkhubyb