Burma: Why Such Silence Over Muslim Genocide? By Aneela Shahzad
Buddha came and went, with his message of peace and love; he preached common-sense humanity. Would Buddha be more concerned with the revering of his towering statues, in decorated pagodas or would he be more eager to hold the hand of a suffering fellow human. Would Buddha not be hurt to see, of all people, those upholding his name, treating fellow beings in the most brutal, inhumane ways?
The Rohingyas are the largest minority of Burma, comprising of ethnically Bengali Muslims who migrated to this land after the British had conquered it, in 1886, as cheap labor and settled in the Rakhine province. The plight of the Rohingya is that the Burmese Buddhist majority has never accepted them as their own; after more than a century and several generations the Rohingya haven’t earned a right to claim Burma as their homeland.
Right from their inception into Burma the Rohingya have been facing hatred and riots against them, the riots have become increasingly systematic and the massacre has been widespread.
The major uprisings against the Muslims in 1930, 1938, 1997, 2001 and now in 2012 have witnessed major human rights violations and among other Muslim of Burma, have left thousands upon thousands of Rohingya massacred. But due to the strict control of the government over the information media the real numbers of killings are never released and estimates may go in the tens of thousands each time.
Each time the Rohingya face these waves of slaughter and are persecuted with murder, enslavement, forced imprisonment, torture and rape in the several days between mass killings, there are apt to flee the country. Devastated by the onslaught the Rohingya families would grab whatever their hands can hold and flee towards the boats; if land cannot give them refuge perhaps the water would. At such time of desperation the Rohingya have one hope in their illusioned hearts; that perhaps they can go back to Bangladesh. But what has happened to them every time is extremely heartbreaking and inhumane.
Each time the Rohingyas are hurled into boats, by the force of the riots and the designs of the Rakhine people, these boats are deliberately escorted by official boats into deep seas and left on their own there. A large number of these boats, laden with hungry, wretched, people sink in the ocean; a few that manages to reach the shores of Bangladesh, are unwelcomed. The Rohingyas are either forced to return or to remain stranded in narrow shore areas by the Bangladesh authorities.
Here are some eye-witness excerpts from a Rohingya blog upon the recent and ongoing 2012 riots against the Rohingyas. The material depicts these riots to be systematically organized genocides.