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25 August 2017 – A Dark Day in Rohingya History

AN ANALYSIS By Arifa – A BRIEF INSIGHT OF 25 AUGUST AND THE AFTERMATH OF THE PRE-PLANNED OPERATIONS ON ROHINGYA ON THAT DAY, WHICH EXPELLED NEARLY A MILLION OF ROHINGYA TO MAKESHIFT CAMPS ON BANGLADESH.

Tomorrow marks a year end of the 25th August 2017, which became an another milestone date in Burma’s genocidal operations on Rohingya in Arakan (Rakhine) state, which is the homeland of the Rohingya, known as the “Most Persecuted People on Earth.”

An Innocent Rohingya killed in mass military execution in Arakan on 25th August 2017. Image: RVISIONTV 

WHAT HAPPENED ON 25th AUGUST?

25th August is a day on which Burmese military & government began openly committing full-fledged genocide of Rohingya through brutal mass killings and execution of civilians, raping and gang-raping women, and burning two thirds of the Rohingya villages across Maungdaw, Buthidaung & Rathedaung Townships. The torching down of more than 300 villages forced out nearly 800,000 Rohingya towards neighboring Bangladesh, on the pretext of counter-insurgency operations against Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).

On this day 25th August, the Burmese government, the military, and many Burmese and Mogh (Rakhine) Buddhists, throughout Burma (Myanmar), will attempt to portray all Rohingya to be extremists by highlighting only what ARSA did (which were reactions, good or bad, to the decades-long genocidal oppression of Rohingya).

They will try to blame Rohingya for whatever has happened and been happening in Arakan, to hide Burmese military’s crimes of genocide and to distort the reality of genocide against Rohingya.

Therefore, it’s really necessary for the Rohingya all over the world to highlight the crimes of genocide committed by the Burmese military for decades and especially since 2012 so that Burma cannot lie to the world.

With this goal on mind, Rohingya in diaspora like in United Kingdom (UK), Canada, Ireland and in other countries held peaceful gatherings and events to highlight the Rohingya genocide and demand what is required to end the genocide once and for all and to bring the perpetrators of the genocide to justice.

As a result, Rohingya refugees and communities worldwide, including the camps in Bangladesh and other countries, are going to hold peaceful gatherings on August 25 by marking the day as ‘Rohingya Genocide Remembrance Day.’

Smoke rises from what is believed to be a burning village in the area near Maungdaw in Myanmar’s Rakhine state on August 30, 2017. Image: AFP

ROHINGYA’S DEMANDS

These following legitimate demands need to be fulfilled by the Burmese Burmese Government & Military.

1) Native/Indigenous Status (Taiyin Thar) and ethnic rights MUST be restored to Rohingya
2) Citizenship MUST be restored (make sure to use RESTORE, not GIVEN) to Rohingya
3) Rohingya must be restored to their original villages (not to the concentration camps built by China which will later become permanent camps for Rohingya. See IDP camps in Akyab, Pauktaw, etc. for example. They became permanent places for Rohingya) with their homes to be built by the Burmese government. And compensation for the loss of lives and properties.

4) Displaced Rohingya & Kaman people living in camps in Akyab, Pauktaw, Kyauktaw, Kyaukpyu, Myebon & Minbya townships must be restored to their villages with their homes built by the Burmese government.
5) Not only the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, but also Rohingya refugees in India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia & the Rohingya diaspora worldwide must be given the RIGHT to RETURN HOME (ARAKAN).
6) All the perpetrators i.e. Burmese military and government officials who committed genocide against Rohingya must be brought to justice through ICC.
7) Last but most importantly, Rohingya needs ‘Protected Return to Protected Homeland.’ Rohingya homes and villages need to be protected by UN Peacekeeping Forces or any other international forces to prevent the cycles of violence and refugee crises happening since 1951 from happening again. International Forces need to be deployed in Arakan.

Rohingya held demonstration on 2nd July, 2018 at Kutupalong, Cox’s Bazaar. Image: RVISION TV

ROHINGYA’S COMPLICATED REPATRIATION

To bring a peaceful and effective solution, all these demands need to be fulfilled on the soil of Bangladesh and before the Rohingya refugees return to their homes in Burma. That is because, under international pressures and for the fear of getting prosecuted at ICC, once Burmese government & military manage to take Rohingya refugees in the concentration camps in Burma, they will never fulfill Rohingyas’ legitimate demands.

Burmese military & government is well known for their behavior. They will never fulfill Rohingya’s demands for their rights once they (Rohingya) go back under their control again. The concentration camps will become permanent homes for Rohingya. No International NGOs and government bodies & international media will be accessible there. No one will know about their sufferings in the concentration camps in Burma.

Read Atrocity List Since 2017:

Atrocities Since 25th August 2017

This time, all the lives and blood that Rohingya have lost should not go in vain like previous times. One way to fulfill Rohingya’s demands is to be patient enough to stay in Bangladesh camps until the demands are fulfilled. After all, the Rohingya people fled from Burma to save their lives and escape from oppression. How can Rohingya go back there without guaranteeing their safety and dignity?

As long as Rohingya are in camps of Bangladesh, they will be accessible to international government bodies, international media, NGOs & human rights groups. Therefore, pressures will keeping rising on Burma to fulfil all the Rohingya’s demands.

To date, no such returns have happened, Mr Ingram, Senior Communication Advisor for UNICEF told journalists at a press briefing in Geneva recently.

“I think everybody would hope that the returns of the Rohingnya people to Myanmar would happen sooner rather than later, as soon as possible indeed, but the position of the UN and UNICEF have been absolutely clear, that that can only happen when circumstances are right.”

Mr Ingram further added

To escape from international pressure, the Burmese government is applying many tricks to persuade Rohingya to go back to Burma for living in the concentration camps without fulfilling their demands. To do so, they are giving promises and hopes to the Rohingya by saying their demands will be fulfilled once Rohingya go to the camps in Burma, which will not be happening in reality.

As a result, the Burmese government is using some international NGOs to trick, persuade and trap Rohingya to go & live in the camps in Myanmar.
Using such hidden tricks, the Burmese government has been very manipulative to the international community since decades in their successful genocide campaign.

Arifa is News editor and a Rohingya journalist, to send her reports and feedback, please email arifa@rvisiontv.com

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