Myanmar leader fails to allay concerns over the ongoing killing of Muslims

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by Yacoob Cassim

RakhineMyanmar is a country that is known to have a Buddhist Majority. However there is large
Muslim ethnic minority in the North East State Rakhine known as the Rohingya that is now
suffering persecution at the hands of the Army and its civilian supporters. They claim to be
fighting militancy. Some 300,000 Rohingya refugees have already fled to neighbouring
Bangladesh. Their villages have been torched by the Army and the violence has continued
Days after fleeing their village on the Myanmar side of the border fence, a group of
Rohingya Muslims watched from inside Bangladesh as yet another house went up in flames.
“You see this fire today” said Farid Alam, one of the Rohingya who watched the fire burn
from about 100 metres (yards) away.
The villagers said they had escaped days ago, crossing into Bangladesh at the border point
of Tumbru and joining thousands of other ethnic Rohingya, huddling in the open in the
district of Bandarban to escape recent violence in Buddhist- majority Myanmar while
watching their villages burn about 500 metres (away).
So now there is also the issue of seeing your house burning while staying in another country
across the border. You yourself will be staying in a tent huddled with your close family
members and if you’re lucky you would be relying on international aid workers to provide
you with food. Mean while your plight would have attracted the attention of the world
through the international news media.
So how is all of this impacting the Myanmar government of Aung San Su Kyi who claims the
army is fighting militants akin to ISIL? Well the woman who is the de facto leader of
Myanmar’s fledgling democracy has denied that the genocide being perpetrated against the
Rohingya is ethnic cleansing. The United Nations however has taken a rather dim view of
the situation.
General Min Aung Hlaing urged people and the media in Myanmar to unite over the “issue”
of the Rohingya. He said the military operation began after 93 clashes with “Militant

Bengalis” –referring to Rohingya militants – that began on 25 August, killing 12 security
personnel. The violence, he added, was an organized attempt to build a stronghold in
Rakhine state.
So now the most important character behind the genocide in Myanmar General Min Aung
has claimed that he is combating Rohingya militants, which began on 25 August, however he
hasn’t produced any evidence to support his claim. Both the Army and the Government
claim the Rohingya are not an ethnic group Indigenous to Myanmar but are emigrants from
Bangladesh. Also the argument that the Rohingya militants are building a “stronghold” in
Rakhine makes no sense.
Why after all these years under military rule and stripped of formal citizenship and many
basic rights would the Rohingya engage in some form of an insurgency now? What would
they gain from trying to gain from establishing an enclave or “stronghold” that is not
answerable to any regional or national authority in Myanmar? The only solution for the
crisis is to call for a ceasefire and for the Government in Naypidaw to work out a solution
with representatives from the Rohingya minority from both outside and inside the country
to restore some status of respect for the Rohingya people.

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