The Rohingya, a Muslim minority who have been isolated from humanity on the outskirts of Myanmar in the Rakhine state for decades, have consistently been described as ‘one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.’ They are by far the largest group of stateless people with around 1.3 million in Myanmar today. Only recently has their plight been seriously considered by the Western media as government sponsored torture, destroying of their makeshift homes and propaganda against them increases, with ethnic cleansing appearing a clear possibility. Even Bangladesh and Malaysia have recalled Myanmar’s ambassador’s to their respective states due to feeling the weight of the situation as hundreds of Rohingya’s flee the state in desperation. While the UN remains effectively powerless in sanctioning the government and we celebrate the apparent progressiveness of the democracy of the country, it is clear that this is not a reality for the Rohingya people. Despite living in Myanmar for generations, the government does not recognise their status, claiming they are illegal migrants native to Bangladesh, the bordering country.
Whether they are ethnically Bengali or Burmese, there is NO excuse in denying a huge sector of society the chance to dignity, hope, human rights or shelter. Unfortunately, propaganda, which is pushed forward by many leading officials and respected Buddhist faith leaders leads many of the general population to suspect the Rohingya of wanting something more sinister than basic human rights. This is not helped by the fact that many cannot even meet one if they wanted to due to the segregation of the Rohingya onto the outskirts of Burma, with prohibition of entering mainland Myanmurr. Bangladesh’s PM Sheikh Hasina has previously (as the situation has escalated) claimed they cannot afford to accommodate any more refugees and that many are ‘mentally sick’ for assuming they can make more money by going abroad. That is absolutely absurd considering the fact that they have been completely stripped of hope or dignity on both borders, and therefore are extremely vulnerable to dangerous traffickers who are taking them far East to countries like Thailand and Malaysia, where they hope to make a living, but instead are being trapped into forced labour and dangerous journeys via boat.
The lack of global condemnation is worrying. Persecution comes in many forms, but is highly explicit in Myanmur recently. We have seen genocide in many forms. It is sad that despite having witnessed plenty in the 20th century, many of the most powerful world leaders fail to even comment on this one. The reality is that this is not just an ‘affair for the Far East’ if the same people who cite this are the ones who still choose to maintain diplomatic relations with the country’s government. This has been straining on for decades with – once again – personal vested interests of nations overriding the responsibility as human beings to condemn the government of Myanmur for their failure to respect the dignity of human beings on their very shores. The fact that free press is highly limited makes it difficult to gain verifications of accounts as well as to show the world the truth.
Thanks for reading 🙂 SHARE to get their plight heard!