For decades, Rohingyas have been the victims of racial and religious persecutions in Myanmar largely dominated by Neo-Nazi Buddhists. Hence, oppression against this community is nothing new and had been going on silently until the state-sponsored violence that started in June, last year. The violence against them, which is going on until today, is just a transformation of the silent persecution into an open and widespread violence.
United Nations call them to be one of the most persecuted people on the earth. There is a Human Rights Watch (HRW), one of most of the credible human rights watchdog in the world, which announces with all the evidences that Rohingyas have been subjected to Ethnic Cleansing. In reality, many in the international community are calling it Genocide. President Obama, Desmond Tu Tu, Dalai Lama, Ramos Hortha and many other famous personalities urged Burmese government to stop the ethnic cleansing. But does it have any impacts on Burmese regime? No impact at all! In fact, the violence against Muslims is escalating even more.
The more the Burmese regime is urged to stop the violence, the more the violence is taking place. After all, why? The answer might be simple to those who know about Burmese socio-political structures. Though the violence is portrayed as sectarian, in reality, it is a politically motivated violence targeting Muslims, their religious infrastructures and their properties and businesses. Therefore, no matter be how great one’s personality or how pious he, he cannot influence to cease the violence.
There is a Neo-Nazi fascist skinned-head called Wirathu, the abbot of the Mandalay Masurein Monastery, who has been propagating Islamophobia in the so-called defense of Buddhism. Buddhism is a philosophy that doesn’t need any defense. The fascist monk might know what Buddhism teaches but he doesn’t follow it at all. The very first tenet of Buddhism is “Do No Harm” to the creatures let alone killing human beings. Nevertheless, all his speeches are about “Doing Harms.” A member of Buddhism can’t break its very first ruling in its defense!! We can only label such fanatic extremist as a terrorist. This terrorist head has so many terrorist gangs under the name of 969.
Coming to the point, in Myanmar, one can’t, yet, protest or propagate anything without the consent of the government or that goes against the government. The reforms that are portrayed to be taking place in Myanmar by the western media are just nothing but full-packed lies for their own benefits. Therefore, Wirathu and his 969 gang are well-supported by the government itself. Many at times, the Burmese regime and Wirathu have spoken the same language regarding anti-Muslim violence with vested political interest. Hence, it goes without saying that they are the birds that are flocking their same feathers together!!
Therefore, the violence in Myanmar will not simply stop contrary to some people’s thought that it can be solved through diplomacy. To go through diplomacy, one must be able to find someone who understands the language of diplomacy or is willing to work diplomatically. For instance, to communicate in English, one must find out a man who understands English or willing to communicate in it! Awfully, Burmese regime is deaf to any diplomatic language. They neither understand it nor will to go through it even if they understand.
Someone, recently, has rightly pointed out that diplomacy is all about lying. You lie for your interest, I lie for my interest. Obama lies. Thein Sein lies. What is so new in it? Obama said he urged Thein Sein to end the violence but never seems to exert pressure to do so. Thein Sein, in turn, said he will try to quell the violence. See what happened right after his trip to USA. Many houses, shops, businesses, religious buildings owned by Muslims in Lashio, Shan state, were destroyed by the government sponsored 969 terrorist Gangs. Besides, few Muslims were killed as well. This is what you call a real DOPLOMACY!
So what to do to stop the ever escalating violence and ethnic cleansing in Myanmar? There is a saying that “one must use diamond to shape another piece of diamond.” If you don’t take lessons from distant people, you must at least learn something from other ethnic people in Myanmar and their struggles. Kachins, Karens and Shans are recognized as ethnic communities in Myanmar. Yet, they revolt and take up arms because they are considered inferior and not treated equally by the Burmese supremacists. Now, these communities have got opportunities to have dialogues with the government to demand the due rights and status they deserve. All because of their difficult armed-struggles! Alas, even if Rakhine extremists, who are killing Rohingyas, can have armed militant wings called Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) and Arakan Army (AA), why can’t Rohingyas who are subjected to ethnic cleansing take up arms for their survival.
So what are you waiting for if you want to survive with dignity on your own land? Stop giving speeches in the air-conditioned rooms, issuing and sending letters and begging for your due status and rights. Go and take arms up. It is all legal according to both all the major religions and the international laws. In the Preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is mentioned “whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.”
No people in the world had, are having and will be having their freedom without sacrificing their wealth, blood and lives. And Rohingyas can’t be exempted from this reality.
Let me end this with a quote,
You cannot be sure of having something to live for unless you are willing to die for it.
Ernesto Che Guevara
MS Anwar is a student and activist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.