Indifference of the World towards the Burmese Muslims

2012-07-24 22:37:00

Today's Zaman, July 24, 2012*.html 

Dr. Nazila Isgandarova

Not many international organizations take an action and urge their governments to put a pressure on the Burmese government to stop the massacre of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

            The world’s major media corporations also seem to be indifferent to the recent events in Burma, where thousands of the Rohingya Muslims have been massacred in the Arakan region in few days.

According to the Platform, a UK-based human rights organization, 6,000 homes belonging to the Rohingya Muslims were burnt during the unrest. A group of extremist Rakhine nationalists killed and burnt alive at least 650 Rohingya Muslims and raped hundreds of women in the region from June 10 to 28. There are at least 1,200 Muslims reported missing and more than 80,000 others were displaced.

 The London-based Equal Rights Trust reported that the Burmese army and police also play a leading role in a recent arbitrary violence against Rohingaya Muslims.         The United Nations listed the Rohingya Muslims asthe most persecuted and discriminated minorities of the world. The country, for years, suffered from the lack of investment, the standards of intellectual property and predictability of sustainable growth. Burma is also one of the world’s most corrupt countries.

The Rohingya Muslims massacre took a place before  Obama administration’s permission for American companies to invest in Myanmar’s oil and gas resources.

Very recently US  eased sanctions against the Burmese government but urged Myanmar’s president, Thein Sein, to make a macro change in economic and political fields.

Thein Sein was a former junta general. He was elected by the Burmese parliament in 2011 with a promise make a true change in Burma and draw international investment to the extensive timber, gems and natural gas resources of the country. Thein Sein promised US to make changes in his military relationship with North Korea.

US offered to help the Rohingya Muslims, who were displaced by the unrest. But  Thein Sein and his government did almost nothing to improve the human crisis in the region. The government still denies the right of citizenship to Rohingya Muslims, subjects them to forced labour, requires them to seek  government permission to marry, confiscate their lands, restricts them from traveling from one part of country to the other part, and forbids them from having more than two children per family. The Rohingyas are still considered “resident foreigners.”

The Burmese opposition leader and 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who very recently delivered her Nobel acceptance speech at Oslo’s City Hall, is also silent to call the Rakhine nationalist to stop the genocide and the plight of the Rohingya Muslims.

It seems the Rohingyas are forgotten in the midst of international pressure on the country to make democratic changes. They also pay a hard price for the disagreement between the government and opposition. That leaves a question in minds: Why does the UN not condemn the massacre? Where are the Muslim countries to stand up and defend the rights of Rohingyas in this holy month Ramadan?

Even the Buddhist leader and Nobel Peace prize winner Dalai Lama is mysteriously keeping his silence, except, Thein Sein’s ironic solution to the problem: “Expel all the Rohingya or turn them over to the UN as refugees!”




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