The Ethnic Clash Between Rakhines And The Rohingyas

The mainstream media call it a sectarian clash, between Buddhists and Muslims but the trouble is significantly more deep rooted. The escalated clash was a result of an ongoing struggle between the Rakhines (Arakanese Buddhists) and the Rohingyas. The clash as the mainstream media would say started with the murder of a Buddhist woman last month which led to the bus attack by the Rakhines (on the 3rd June) in the western part of the Arakan state which carried 9 Rohingyas. From this, the clash escalated as hundreds of homes were burnt and hundreds of people died in the process, creating uproar especially in the Sittwe, Ramree, Maung Daw and Buthidaung Townships.

The state has enforced a curfew on these townships to ensure ‘control’ over the violent clashes, and President Thein Sein has placed the area under a state of emergency which means that the military will now be monitoring and taking control of the situation because of worries that the violence will spread to other parts of Burma, also the delicate balance of the recent talks of reform and move to ‘democracy’ will be in danger. But who does this help?

The Rohingya have been sidelined to the fringes of society and as far as they are concerned, they believe that Burma is far from reform to democracy as the state ignores the fundamental needs of its ethnic minorities. The Rohingyas are constantly labelled as foreigners, unwelcome Bangladeshis or Muslim terrorists.

Muhammad Nomaan a Rohingyan living in the U.K. tells us – “For me it’s just a funny thought that how only about 0.5% of total population in Burma can start such a riot for nothing. Please think with common sense why these people are involved in riots even though they know they will be either killed or jailed because we Rohingyas are only asking to restore Citizenship and looking for basic human rights. My family are literally frightened with those Mogs, Rakhine terrorist, Police and army as well involve in such destruction”.

It is ironic that though the Rohingyans are labelled as ‘Bangladeshi terrorists’, it has been reported that the Bangladeshi Border control and officials are pushing back the Rohingyas who are trying to escape the violent clashes Western Arakan; Bangladeshi border guards turned back eight boats carrying more than 300 Rohingya Muslims, mostly women and children, fleeing religious violence in Myanmar, constantly in a limbo state, help cannot be found in neither sides of the Border only racial hatred.

Restless Beings work to champion Human Rights for Rohingyas, to raise awareness of their constant battle of persecution and racial hatred, and this is one of the most crucial times to ensure that their voice is heard. Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK) are holding a peaceful protest outside the Burmese Embassy on the 13th of June, join them, the Restless Beings ChangeMakers to be part of tangible change.

Date : 13th June 2012 
Time: 12:00 -13:30
Place: In front of Burmese Embassy, 19A Charles Street, London, W1J 5DX
Nearest Tube: Green Park (Piccadilly & Victoria Line)

Sources

Comments

Mabrur Ahmed

Honestly, some of the comments from the facists who support this ethnic cleansing are truly despicable. We need to gain more traction with the call for a right to proper treatment for the Rohingya in Burma and Bangladesh where they are equally mistreated!

13 June 2012 delete
Zeenat Islam

It is a very tragic truth that it takes something as horific as to this to give the Rohingya situation some media airtime- and even then pretty much next to nothing. The key issue here is the lack of awareness; who are the Rohingya, what is their plight, and what can we do? We need some serious mobolisiation at the civil society level to pressure the international community into acting. For too long, has the Rohingyan struggle been ignored. What's also tragic, is how politics dictates whose suffering is worthy of media attention- not because of the intrinsic wrong of that suffering but because it serves someone's wider political agenda somewhere. What is it we mean when we talk of universable inalienable values? Seems that this ideal is heavily qualified.

13 June 2012 delete
Mabrur Ahmed

I think what is most disturbing is how the majority of Burmese see the Rohingya genuinely, as imposters, and so by their logic, they are outsiders who are actually Bangladeshi - they cannot accept nor understand that the Rohingya have a right to call Burma their own as it has been their motherland for generations - there seems to be a real issue of seclusion because of race and religion. Its hard to believe that people hold such intolerant views. But it is a reality - and one which affects thousands if not millions across the world - and not just in Palestine

13 June 2012 delete
Zeenat Islam

There are thousands of Palestines all over the world. Not that this makes anyones suffering less or more. Only reason we hear more about Palestine, is because one of the parties to that conflict happens to be Israel- Lovechild of the US.

13 June 2012 delete
Mabrur Ahmed

Your right. I was actually really disappointed to hear Catherine Ashdown congratulate the Myanmar government for its handling of this affair purely because the EU has vested interests in having another puppydog regime in the region obviously to offset the influence of China. Really sad.

13 June 2012 delete
Foreda Begum

the burmese nationals wont change but the rest of the world can when/if aung saan suu kyi speaks out about it (maybe she will on her european tour) the whole world will be on it addressing the rohingya situation, because she is high profile news herself so there will be a lot of jumping on the bandwagon, as sad as it seems - its bitter sweet. the question is will she? cos by speaking out she risks her chances of 2015 elections in Burma, by easily being ousted by the regime now, thats why she is so careful about what she speaks of - and without the 2015 elections the rohingyas have virtually no chance of change. i guess its up to the rohingyas themselves and those who support them for now during these turbulent times :(

13 June 2012 delete
Nancy Kamal

Totally shocked by this.
It's funny how those who have been stripped of the right to voice their sorrows, pain and suffering have to further endure the poison words of the educated ignorants!
Spewing lies because they know they'll not get a comeback??
If that's not cowardice, I don't know what is.

13 June 2012 delete
Mabrur Ahmed

Daw Suu Kyi unfortunately has been pressing ahead with calls for more economic transparency and foreign investment into the country - as opposed to speaking up for the ethnic rights who have been on the end of the regimes most monstrous attrocities.

Of course your right Foreda that this is mostly to do with the fact that she has an eye on the elections in 2015. BUT the international community have not exactly unequivocally denounced the actions and as i said the EU's premiere even congratulated the regime for its handling.

A depressing outlook indeed, but more the reason for why we need to stand taller, be braver, and voice louder the distressed cries of help and calls for change on behalf of the Rohingya

13 June 2012 delete