Showing posts with label Myanmar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Myanmar. Show all posts

Monday, November 04, 2013

Nasty Nationalism

Myanmar's Muslim minority, demonised and persecuted for decades, is facing a fresh wave of violence amid media silence. Rohingya Muslims  number 1.3 million out of the country's 60 million people.

 The Oxford-educated, daughter of a General,  Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi,  characterises the waves of organised violence and  hate campaigns currently being committed by her fellow Buddhists - monks and non-monks alike - as violence of two equal sides, claims that Burmese Buddhists live in the perceived fear of the rise of great Muslim power worldwide.

The Rohingya and other Muslims make up more than 90 percent of the victims of violence, which has displaced more than 140,000 in Rakhine State. Anti-Muslim violence spread to 11 different towns elsewhere in the country, resulting in 100 Muslim deaths, displacing 12,000 Muslims, and destroying 1,300 Muslim homes and 37 Mosques. Since the 1990s, Rohingya Muslims of northern Arakan state have been confined within a web of security grids where they are subject to extreme restrictions of movement, preventing them from accessing adequate healthcare, education and jobs. Summary executions, rape, extortions, forced labour and other human rights atrocities, mostly at the hands of state security forces, are rampant. Restrictions on marriages and births have resulted in over 60,000 Rohingya children who are not registered or recognised by the Burmese government, in violation of the Rights of Child, hence depriving them of access to basic schooling. In a country that has one of the highest adult literacy rates in Asia, a staggering 80 percent of Rohingya adults are illiterate. The doctor-patient ratio among the Rohingya Muslims is 1 to 75,000 and 1 to 83,000 in the two major ancestral pockets of the Rohingya respectively, as compared with the national average of 1 to 375.

 Human Rights Watch has called it "ethnic cleansing" and "crimes against humanity." Suu Kyi's denial and silence on the racially-motivated violence against a Muslim minority, that only makes up about 4 percent of the total population, has led to a growing chorus of international criticism.

The Rohingya and other Burmese Muslims are confronted with threats to their very existence. They pose no existential threat to the Buddhist way of life, national security or sovereignty.Governments such as the US and the UK have chosen, out of their own strategic needs and commercial pursuits, to embrace the military leadership that has tacitly backed the Islamophobic perpetrators and hate-preachers.

 From here