The Rohingyas are one of the world's most persecuted peoples. A Muslim minority unwanted in their native Burma by the current military regime, they flee to the unwelcoming environment of Bangladesh in hopes of finding a better life.
Inside of Burma they are denied citizenship, subject to false imprisonment, official extortion, travel restrictions, rape, violence, and are forbidden to marry or have children without government approval and paying high taxes for the right.
Even the new democratic reforms - in Myanmar- have not altered the perception of the Rohingya with President Thein Sein stating in July 2012 in the wake of this violence that he would not recognize the Rohingya or their rights and wished to turn over the entire ethnic group to the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees. Buddhist monks, contrary to the teachings of Buddha, staged anti-Rohingya marches in September to declare their support for the president’s proposal.
The Burmese government has blocked the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)from opening an aid office to assist displaced Rohingya due to the violence in Arakan state.
While many ethnic minorities in Burma, with non-Burmese peoples comprising over 30 percent of the population, have been the victims of the military junta’s oppressive measures, the Rohingya stand apart in that their very existence is threatened.
When General Ne Win and the military junta came to power in 1962, the central government began to shift away from the inclusive vision of Aung San and towards a nationalist ideology based on the Burmese ethnicity and the Buddhist faith.
The Rohingya, as both non-Burmese and Muslim, were now stripped of any legitimacy and erroneously and incorrectly labeled “illegal Bengali immigrants.”
The initial push of the military’s ethnic cleansing campaign came in 1978 under Operation Naga Min with the purpose of scrutinizing everyone in the state as either a citizen or alleged “illegal immigrant.”
For the Rohingya people, this resulted in widespread rape, arbitrary arrests, desecration of mosques, destruction of villages, and confiscation of lands. In the wake of this violence, nearly a quarter of a million Rohingya fled to neighboring Bangladesh, many of whom were later repatriated to Burma where they faced further rape, imprisonment, and torture.
In 1991, a second push, known as Operation Pyi Thaya, or Operation Clean and Beautiful Nation, was launched with the same purpose, resulting in another mass exodus of 200,000 Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh, with nearly 300,000 refugees remaining today, many without food or medical assistance from a Muslim population ignoring the demands for compassion in their faith towards their fellow Muslims.
With the passage of the 1982 Citizenship Law, the Rohingya were officially denied Burmese citizenship and effectively ceased to exist legally.
With their loss of citizenship, the Rohingya found their lives difficult to lead.
They were barred from travelling outside their villages, repairing their decaying places of worship, receiving an education in any language or even marrying and having children without rarely granted government permission, often procured through bribes which few are able to afford.
The failure to receive permission for any of these innocuous acts lands the offenders in prison where men are beaten and women routinely raped.
Women who become illegally pregnant are forced to either flee the country or resort to dangerous back-alley abortions, where many die because of their inability to get adequate medical treatment due to the severe travel restrictions.
The Rohingya are also subjected to modern-day slavery, where they are forced to work on infrastructure projects, such as constructing “model villages” to house Burmese settlers intended to displace them.
Women are susceptible to forced prostitution by the Burmese security forces.
*So much Buddha-dominant Myanmar hypocrisy and the American puppet Aung San Suu Kyi's hypopcrisy.
|pic courtesy zainabslounge.blogspot|
After the latest boat was rescued off Sri Lanka, survivor Shofiulla told the Associated Press that the Thai navy ran across them in the middle of their journey, only to strip their boat of its engine, leaving them to drift another 25 days.
The Thailand Defense Ministry rejected the allegation, telling the news agency it was “not possible.”
Thailand has also been criticized for arresting people fleeing from Myanmar, but is now allowing the immigrants to stay for six months under temporary protection.
Roughly 1,700 of them have arrived in Thailand in recent months, according to the United Nations; another 1,800 have landed recently in Malaysia.
The U.N. refugee agency applauded Sri Lanka for aiding the survivors who were rescued Saturday. The Sri Lankan navy also rescued roughly 130 people, believed to be coming from Myanmar and Bangladesh, earlier this month.
A few years ago,a few Malaysians had put their hands and hearts together to help a school for Rohingya Muslims in Selayang, Kuala Lumpur. Its founder (Ustaz Hashim) devoted his life to bringing about the creation of this humble school from a small Madrasah run by volunteers, in a small cramped place into a sanctuary for refugee children,orphans the needy, and a place to study Islam, the Holy Book, and to foster unity and to nurture faith.
Donations can be passed to the school. Better still if you can visit the founder and his students yourself and give a helping hand.
Teacher, volunteer and founder: Ustaz Hafiz Hashim Bin Qassim. tel: 0192621671
School: Madrasah Tahfiz Quran Hashimiah
Please do all you can to help those in need.
I hope you can refrain yourself from making money out of your trip there. One such person(s) has done such a thing; I have stumbled upon during my net-search on Rohinyas (demotix.com). I do not find that to be in good taste at all...well, unless the money you make out of those photo-sales, goes back into the Madrasah's wellbeing. Then, fine.
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