Myanmar Mili-monks delivered racist violence in Muslim neighbourhoods
Once again Myanmar's "Mili-Monks" and their lay colleagues are using #Facebook as their rallying tool in creating or attempting to create racist violence against Muslims.
Here is how "mili-monks", violent racists and nationalist thugs organized last night's attempt to create racist violence in Rangoon. (Mili-monks is a term coined by an anti-racist hate-monitoring Burmese, depicting the now not-so-secret strategic and operational link between the Burmese military and these "monks" and lay racist groups.
Myanmar Anti-Muslim Hate networks mobilize their supporters for fresh round of violent attacks against Muslims in Mingalar Taung Nyunt quarter in Yangon this time.
On 8 May early evening, one account under the name Ko Latt (Mingalar Taung Nyunt quarter, Yangon) sent the following coded message:
"Any of our nationalist members who are back in Yangon (Rangoon), please be informed that we have a scheduled Zat, a Burmese theatrical performance on the street, at 10 pm tomorrow. It will be a lot bigger than the previous Zat at Thaketa quarter. We need you there."
On 9 May another account under Tin Lin Hteik posted several pictures of young men gathering at a restaurant, with the caption "We are gathered here for a meal and drinks before heading out for the Operation Kalar Round-Up (or "nigger", in reference to Muslims).
At the appointed hour last night, monks, women, men, etc. in this network responded to the message, apparently. A group of these hate-mongers went to a Muslim family home where they accused the members of the Muslim family of harbouring "illegal Bengali". When their accusations proved baseless they still attempted to pressure local police to detain the targetted family.
When the police refused because they found the Muslim family completely lawful and innocent the Mili-monks and their supporters began to stir up fights with the Muslims.
A dozen police had to be sent to the hate crime site and warning shots were fired to disperse the racist attackers.
The first picture here is the facebook timeline where one Ko Latt sent the facebook rally call to the hate group members.
The second picture is the gathering of some hate group members before heading out to the Muslim neighborhood to trigger mass violence.
Many believe that the Swan-Aa-shin (or The Force), which Aung San Suu Kyi labeled as (Senior General Than Shwe's) "Brown Shirt" for the Burmese military and its mass base "Union Solidarity and Development Association" (or since 2014, Union Solidarity and Development Party).
Reuters won a Pulitzer in part on its expose of how the Burmese military since the time of the late General Saw Maung, Chair of the military junta named State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) post-1988 uprising, has incubated and spread, through its state media and its religious affairs department, Islamophobia throughout the conservative Buddhist Burmese society. (Vice Senior General Than Shwe was the Vice Chair of the SLORC and ex-General Khin Nyunt was Secretary #1 and head of military intelligence).
USDP is the previous military government with a civilian facade, which enacted 4 anti-Muslim racist national laws. It was headed by ex-general Thein Sein, the honoree of the ICG's "In Pursuit of Peace" Award in 2012, and the short-listed Burmese nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012.
Now Aung San Suu Kyi is in partnership with the Burmese military - and has sipped tea with the retired Senior General Than Shwe, she keeps her mouth shut. As a matter of fact, she had cleansed her party of any Muslim leaders, as if she had modelled the democratic party on the Muslim-free Myanmar Tatmadaw or Armed Forces.
In Burma, everyone who is remotely informed about the ways the military works knows th
at the Burmese military is the Hidden Hand behind
anti-Muslim hate campaign across the country
In Germany of 1920's and 1930's, the Nazi party was the main mobilizer, scapegoating the German Jews for the economic hardships and social ills in society.
In Burma today, the army uses the Sangha or Buddhist Order - conservative, typically racist, ill-educated in terms of intellectual outlooks and growth of its members, and rural (parochial) - as its proxy mobilizer.
The military - at the senior most level of leadership - has patronized a tiny gang of influential monks to do the army's bidding - racist divide and rule within the society that is generally anti-military.
Here two monks, namely Sitagu and Wirathu, are seen travelling with their security details.
Sitagu, the more senior of the two, is based in Rangoon.
Wirathu became the "face of Buddhist Terror" when TIME ran a cover story with that title
Beyond patronizing individuals monks, the military also bent the country's laws governing Buddhist organizations. The previous military government of the late general Ne Win (1962-88) singled out the Burmese monks - the Buddhist Order - as one of the two biggest threats to the military: student activists and monks -traditional allies. After a series of periodic unrests which were led by monks and students the Ne Win administration enacted a law, registering all Buddhist monks with the Department of Religious Affairs under Home Affairs Ministry and allowing only one central national monks' association. After the 2010 electioons which were "won" by the military's political proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party, the ruling party under ex-general and then President Thein Sein allowed the openly racist, anti-Muslim wing of the Buddhist Order to form "Race and Faith Defence League" where both Sitagu and Wirathu are most famous leaders.
This is a strategic symbiosis which has served the Burmese military's objectives of social control extremely well. It has enabled the military to keep the NLD - with absolutely no capacity for intelligence gathering or control of security forces - on its toes in terms of the socially destablizing impact of such racist mobilization by monks - with state impunity.
Here Ma Ba Tha leader - TIME's Coverstory Wirathu - seen with Myanmar Commander in Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing (in off-white traditional Burmese jacket) in Mandalay, 2016. The hate preacher travels with the military's protection.
The last picture is the most influential monk Sitagu with Karen Border Guard Force (ultimately the under Myanmar army's command) in Karen State where the army intelligence attempted to incite anti-Muslim violence, in collaboration with the border guard force and Karen monks). (Taken in March 2017)
Police fire warning shots as extremists speed up their anti-Muslim operations in capital city
By Alice Cowley and Maung Zarni
April 21, 2017
“Send us as many birth control pills as you can. They (Myanmar troops) are gang-raping our women. They are arresting and killing all our men. There is nothing else you can do. Just pray to Allah and to wish us speedy deaths! This is just simply unbearable,” said a Rohingya woman talking from her mobile phone from Myanmar’s predominantly Rohingya region of Northern Rakhine State bordering Bangladesh. [See Figure below right.] She was talking to her brother, an unregistered refugee living and working in a poor and rough neighborhood called Salayang on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Among the handful of Burmese eager for updates, listening to the phone conversation on speaker phone was U Maung Maung, a respected Muslim leader and activist from Mandalay, also making a living in Malaysia. Maung immediately posted this on his Facebook timeline on November 20, 2016, hoping to alert people to the shocking events unfolding. Western experts on the region note there is an “information blackhole,” owing to the Myanmar government’s lockdown of Northern Rakhine State for its ‘security clearance operations.’ As such, Myanmar authorities have barred access to humanitarian aid groups and local and international media. This latest lockdown was a result of the killing of nine Myanmar police officers which was believed to have been instigated by Rohingya hoping to form a resistance group.
However, Maung’s attempt to alert the world via Facebook came to naught. The post was in Burmese language. But more importantly, his alert — like many others conveyed by ‘locals’ — had not been vetted by any Western organizations or international human rights ‘experts,’ who have become the standard bearers of facts or “truth-conveyors” relating to other peoples’ experiences of atrocities. Victims and their accounts need first to be vetted by these mediating agencies — a system understood only too well by the Burmese government with its blanket denials of the allegations coming out of the information black hole it created. Aung San Suu Kyi Government’s Information Committee referred to the atrocities on many occasions, “fake rape” and “exaggerations” or “fabrications.”
Following hundreds of similar allegations and coordinated documentation by Rohingya groups of mass killings, mass rape, and destruction of whole villages, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCR) sent a team to interview Rohingya refugees who had recently fled to Bangladesh — 70,000 of whom had arrived in four months. Based on over 200 interviews, OHCR issued a damning Flash Report (Feb 3) complete with harrowing tales of burning elderly Rohingya men alive and slitting children’s throats. The U.N. estimates that Myanmar may have killed as many as 1,000 Rohingya men in recent violence alone. This information, presented at the 34th session of the Human Rights Council, did not result in the much-hoped-and-lobbied-for U.N. Commission of Inquiry with a view towards the International Criminal Court. The result was a compromise — a ‘Fact Finding Mission’ — which both the military and the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government are determined not to accept or cooperate with.
We have previously argued that far from being a new phenomenon, waves of state-directed violence and communal destruction such as these have been occurring since 1978 and are part of a process of ‘slow-burning genocide.’ Two other independent studies published a year later reinforce our findings. Over these decades, Rohingya experiences and sufferings have been tossed across multiple discourses that deny the central role of the military such as “communal violence” or since the October 9 raids, “Muslim insurgency” pregnant with potential for escalations involving “international terrorism.” In recent years, these have run concurrently with human rights bodies and organizations framing the situation as “ethnic cleansing” and “crimes against humanity”— U.N. Special Rapporteurs and the OHCHR included.
Despite these shifting narratives, the fundamental nature of the problem has remained constant. The military-controlled state has attempted to “cleanse”the nation of the largest Muslim minority in Myanmar, unique with legitimate claims to Northern Rakhine as their ancestral home. Firstly, this has been attempted through legal, bureaucratic, and administrative means — such as removing their rights to citizenship, destroying and revoking documents in Rohingya possession, refusing to register thousands of Rohingya infants, household checks, as well as subjecting them to a web of criss-crossing security grids by which the freedom of movement of the Rohingya population is severely restricted and monitored. Secondly, it has been attempted through denial of their history/identity and propaganda campaigns that serve to de-nationalize them. Where these two attempts have not been achieved, communities have also been subjected to physical destruction through methods such as burning property, evictions, and killings.
However, this has not always been the case. In 1961, the Burmese co-author’s late great uncle, Zeya Kyaw Htin Major Ant Kywe, a decorated nationalist solider, was the Deputy Commander of the administrative district of Mayu in 1961, which was effectively established as a homeland for Rohingya in Rakhine State in order to maintain law and order in the region where the central government was confronted with rebellions from two different fronts: Muslim Rohingya separatists and Buddhist Rakhine nationalists clamouring for statehood.
On Myanmar’s Independence Day (January 4, 1948), even as the Union Jack was lowered at the colonial Secretariat in Rangoon, the Burma Army was engaged in ferocious battles against armed Rakhine (Buddhist) rebels who wanted to reclaim the sovereignty they had lost to the militarily dominant Burmese Buddhist group in 1784.
In the years following Myanmar independence in 1948, the central government, specifically the Ministry of Defense, strategically sought to embrace Rohingyas as a bona fide ethnic minority of the new Union of Burma, with equal and full citizenship rights, along with multiple other minorities with armed revolts against the ethnically Burmese central government. It is essential to see the root of the Rohingya persecution not simply in the sectarian ethnic conflict between the two main co-habitant communities in Rakhine state of Western Burma, namely Rakhine Buddhist majority and Rohingya Muslim minorities, but in the ethnic triangle involving also the majority Burmese in ultimate control of the state (both the military under General Ne Win and the civilian political coalition headed by PM U Nu).
Although the Burma Army was fighting battles on two fronts in West Myanmar, it was the Rakhine rebellions that presented a more serious threat to the central government than the simultaneous Muslim/Rohingya armed movements, some of which sought, with no success, to join with the predominantly Muslim nation of Pakistan (East Pakistan). During the Rohingya surrender ceremony of 290 Muslim rebels, held on 4 July 1961 in Northern Rakhine town of Buthidaung, the Commander of the Border Area Administration and Territorial Forces Colonel Saw Myint promised “absolutely no religious or ethnic discrimination” against Rohingyas — vis-à-vis Rakhine Buddhists —and guaranteed “equal protection under Law for all those who abide by the law and live in peace.” Saw Myint’s superior and the second in command, after General Ne Win of the Burma Army Brigadier Aung Gyi, presided over the ceremony and explained the need for Rohingyas as an ethnic minority group to recognize and accept the primacy of political allegiance to the Union of Burma over their kinship, cultural, and religious ties in exchange for the full citizenship rights and ethnic equality which they were offered.
In addition, as early as May 1960, the Ministry of Defense agreed to the Rohingyas’ request to carve out the predominantly Rohingya geographic pocket in Northern Rakhine State and establish a new district named after the local river Mayu. The co-founder of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, the then-young Lt-Colonel Tin Oo, was tasked with establishing the Mayu District, which was to be administered centrally from the Burmese-controlled Rakhine Military Command. Rohingyas’ request was precipitated by the moves made by Prime Minister U Nu’s re-elected civilian government in order to fulfil its election pledge of granting Rakhine Buddhists a separate statehood, within the Union of Burma.
Within eight months of the establishment of the May-U District, General Ne Win and his deputies staged a coup against U Nu’s government on the pretext that Nu’s opportunistic electioneering and weak leadership were emboldening ethnic minorities’ demands for devolution of power away from the Burmese centre. While the coup leaders continued to honour the arrangements with Rohingyas, the policy orientation of the military leadership shifted towards racist, isolationist, xenophobic, and socialistically doctrinaire. The more liberal and less radical military leaders such as the Deputy Commander in Chief of Army Brigadier General Aung Gyi and Colonel Chit Myaing were sacked in 1963 and 1964.The remaining military leaders under Ne Win’s commandership began to marginalize and eventually cleanse the Armed Forces of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu officers unless they agreed to convert to Buddhism. Having remade this once-multiethnic, multi-faith national institution of unrivalled power and control over society, the military leadership turned its sights to society at large. Most important, the army leadership initiated, promoted, and sustained the process of radically reimagining ethnic and political histories, national identity, and the society at large along the army’s new “purist” Buddhist vision.
In 1978, Ne Win launched a centrally organized, violent operation against Rohingyas of both Southern and Northern Rakhine, under the pretext of surprise immigration checks. Known as Operation King Dragon, the events of 1978 are carved into the consciousness and the inter-generational memories of Rohingya communities. It was conducted as an interagency campaign of terror involving Immigration, Religious Affairs, Police, Courts, Army, Navy, and police intelligence, as well as local administrations made up of anti-Rohingya Rakhine. Myanmar’s former chief of military intelligence until 2004, Ex-General Khin Nyunt, who was operationally involved on the ground as a young major from Special Operations Bureau, Ministry of Defense, serving as the Commander of Infantry Regiment No. 20 based in Rakhine, wrote that a total of 277,938 fled, between February 12 and June 3, from Western Burma into the neighboring Bangladesh. Shut off from the outside world by an isolationist military regime, the Burmese public — the Burmese co-author included — was misinformed of this operation as an act of national defense, under the slogan “the (Buddhist) race could be swallowed up by other (alien) race” — an understanding that still resounds today. This was the first of the chronic waves of state-sponsored and state-condoned violence against Rohingyas which have resulted each time in hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fleeing “unbearable life on land.”
Following Ne Win’s coup in 1962, the nation’s vision fundamentally changed — from one that sought to establish peace through a unified multiethnic nation based on equality, to one which harnessed and mobilized the Buddhist public’s anti-colonial sentiments, and along with this their anti-Indian (subcontinent) and anti-Muslim racisms, which emerged out of the colonial-era political economy in which locals were subordinated to Indians. It was a vision which sought to ‘cleanse’ the nation through systematic attempts to subjugate some ethnic minorities whilst removing others (such as Rohingyas) from the national fold.
The now internationally infamous 1982 Citizenship Act was one part of a long process of stripping the Rohingya of their citizenship and the rights of future generations of Rohingya to obtain Myanmar citizenship. It was accompanied by eviction, land confiscation, and disenfranchisement of the Rohingya. Although this controversial law does not mention Rohingyas by name, viewed within the historical context of large scale forced repatriations from Bangladesh, and based on accounts of those involved in drafting the Act, it can be concluded that the primary aim in drafting the Act was to exclude Rohingyas from citizenship. The law — and its application regarding 135 fixed ethnic nationalities excluding Rohingya, on the basis of their absence in the dubious colonial censuses, who in fact existed in Myanmar prior to the first British Annexation of Western Burma in 1826 — has not simply left Rohingya vulnerable to multiple discriminatory policies aimed at non-nationals, it has also fed popular anti-colonial racisms in society that have led to pervasive social ostracism of Rohingya and violence in which Rakhine Buddhists and state security forces have worked hand in glove.
Despite annual U.N. human rights monitoring in Myanmar since 1992 and the UNHCR having a presence on the ground in northern Rakhine State since the early 1990s, violent persecution of the Rohingya has continued unabated and indeed increased. This persecution was largely perceived as a part of the authoritarian regime’s general pattern of rights violations, for the Myanmar military was notoriously repressive towards ethnically Burmese opposition movement under Aung San Suu Kyi’s leadership across the country, as well as other non-Bama ethnic groups in the country’s North and North East regions.
Myanmar’s rights abuses in Rohingya regions of Western Myanmar weren’t seen as something that demanded special attention. Today, while the anti-historical and institutionally amnesiac discourses such as “humanitarian concern,” “communal conflict,” “security and terrorism,” “lack of development,” and “livelihood creation” float through the ether world of foreign embassies, development, and U.N. agencies, the decades of facts relating to the instrumental role of the central Myanmar State in the abuses of Rohingya are buried alongside very real human corpses — again — waiting to be verified and validated by the right kind of foreign experts and the right kind of U.N. process. People and processes that never come. As Rohingyas in Northern Rakhine wait and their diasporic relatives post desperate calls for U.N. peacekeepers and intervention on Facebook, “Never again!”— the foundational myth of the United Nations — must sound bitterly hollow.
Fifty-five years ago, the Myanmar Ministry of Defense and its military leaders officially embraced Rohingya as an ethnic minority, granted them equal rights, and full citizenship while enabling them to make contributions to the country’s politics, society, and economy. Today, the military’s radical reversal of Rohingya policy created the space in society where Rohingyas are commonly seen as “leaches,” their identity and history “a hoax,” and their presence a demographic and jihadist threat to the Buddhist nation. Meanwhile, over the same period, under the same national visions, other ethnic communities along the country’s strategic, resource-rich borderlands including Kachins, Shan, Karenni, etc., were offered promises, pledges, and agreements by generations of military and civilian leaders, only to have them reneged when powerful stakeholders changed their strategic calculations. Under the military regime, those that refused to be co-opted into the military’s national vision complete with its Burmese dominance, were and still are subject to persecution, oppression, and war. They are victims of the same ideologies that cleanse the nation of Rohingyas and all those that oppose or live in contradiction to the state’s centralized control and organization of Burma’s ethnic minorities.
With NLD elected to government and with Aung San Suu Kyi as de facto leader, one would hope for at least a dilution of the military leadership’s post-1962 purist ideologies, or at best for a radical re-imagination of the Burmese national community incorporating her late father’s (Aung San) vision of post-colonial Burma as a secular, progressive, multi-culturalist, multiethnic nation. Tragically, it is not only the armed forces that have implemented internal cleansing of their institutions. NLD is now also without a single Muslim representative from the population. Every time the government calls rape ‘fake’ on the military’s behalf or refuses to cooperate with U.N. bodies' attempts to unearth and validate atrocities, Aung San’s multiethnic vision of Burma is trampled further into the ground.
 Amartya Sen, the foremost scholar on famines, explains why Burma’s intentional measures to deny, severely limit, or block Rohingyas’ access to livelihoods, nutritional opportunities, and essential medical services is an act of “institutionalized killing,” a slow genocide, not like Khmer Rouge’s genocide, Rwanda or the Holocaust. Conference on the Plight of the Rohingya, Harvard University, November 4, 2014, accessed April 5, 2017, http://tribunalonmyanmar.org/2014/11/15/the-slow-genocide-of-the-rohingya-by-nobel-laureate-amartya-sen/.
 International State Crime Initiative (ISCI), Queen Mary University of London, “Genocide of Rohingya in Myanmar may be entering a new and deadly phase, October 17, 2016, April 3, 2017, http://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/hss/187983.html.
 Myanmar State Counsellor Information Committee, “Information Committee Refutes Rumours of Rape,” December 26, 2016, accessed April 3, 2017, http://www.statecounsellor.gov.mm/en/node/551. See also “Aung San Suu Kyi is making war time rape easier to commit,” MSN.com, December 26, 2016, accessed April 3, 2017, http://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/other/aung-san-suu-kyi-is-making-wartime-rape-easier-to-commit/ar-BBxzZR6.
 “Aung San Suu Kyi laughs out loud at Rohingya genocide allegations while in Singapore,” The Independent, January 5, 2017, April 3, 2017, http://www.theindependent.sg/aung-san-suu-kyi-laughs-out-loud-at-rohingya-genocide-allegations-while-in-singapore/; and Jonah Fisher, “Myanmar’s Rohingya: Truth, lies and Aung San Suu Kyi,” BBC, accessed April 3, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-38756601 Accessed 3 April 2017.
 “Rohingya flee into Bangladesh as Crisis Deepen,” Getty Images, January 18, 2017, accessed April 3, 2017, http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/album/rohingya-flee-into-bangladesh-as-crisis-deepens-around-70000-rohingya-muslims--fVZ0izTy4ESIzTtE_KtsOQ#people-are-seen-in-kutapalong-unregistered-camp-on-january-18-2017-in-picture-id631975540.
 “Devastating cruelty against Rohingya children, women and men detailed in UN human rights report,” Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), February 3, 2017, accessed April 3, 2017, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21142&L...http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21142&LangID=E#sthash.ktblvICd.dpuf Accessed 3 April 2017. See the full report at http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/MM/FlashReport3Feb2017.pdfAccessed 3 April 2017.
 “Exclusive: More than 1,000 feared killed in Myanmar army crackdown on Rohingya - U.N. officials,” Reuters, February 8, 2017, accessed April 3, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-rohingya-idUSKBN15N1TJ.
 U.N. OHCR, “Statement by Ms. Yanghee LEE, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar at the 34th session of the Human Rights Council,” March 2017, accessed April 3, 2017, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21355&LangID=E#sthash.au9jPlEw.dpuf.
 “Rohingya issue: UN to send fact-finding mission to Myanmar,” ANI News, March 24, 2017, accessed April 3, 2017, http://www.aninews.in/newsdetail-MzY/MzA1NzIz/rohingya-issue-un-to-send-fact-finding-mission-to-myanmar.htmlAccessed 3 April 2017.
 “Myanmar Military Chief Defends Crackdown Against Rohingya in Rakhine State,” Radio Free Asia, March 27, 2017, accessed April 3, 2017, http://www.rfa.org/english/news/myanmar/myanmar-military-chief-defends-crackdown-against-rohingya-in-rakhine-state-03272017154143.html.
 “Myanmar rejects UN call for rights probe,” Bangkok Post, March 25, 2017, accessed April 3, 2017, http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1221134/myanmar-rebuffs-un-rights-probe.
Maung Zarni and Alice Cowley, “The Slow-Burning Genocide of Myanmar’s Rohingya,” Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal 23, 3 (2014): 683-754, accessed April 3, 2017, http://digital.law.washington.edu/dspace-law/handle/1773.1/1377. (Hereafter “The Slow-Burning Genocide”).
 See Penny Green, Thomas MacManus & Alicia de la Cour Venning, “Countdown to Annihilation: Genocide in Myanmar,” International State Crime Initiative Report, Queen Mary University of London, 2015, accessed April 3, 2017, http://statecrime.org/state-crime-research/isci-report-countdown-to-annihilation-genocide-in-myanmar/; and “Is Genocide Occuring in Myanmar’s Rakhine State?: A Legal Analysis,” Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, Yale Law School, October 2015, accessed April 3, 2017, http://www.fortifyrights.org/downloads/Yale_Persecution_of_the_Rohingya_October_2015.pdf.
 See, for instance, Jim Della-Giacoma, “A Dangerous Resurgence of Communal Violence in Myanmar,” International Crisis Group, March 28. 2013, accessed April 3, 2017, https://www.crisisgroup.org/asia/south-east-asia/myanmar/dangerous-resurgence-communal-violence-myanmar. See also “Why is there communal violence in Myanmar?” BBC, July 3, 2014, accessed April 3, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18395788.
 “Myanmar: A New Muslim Insurgency in Rakhine State,” International Crisis Group Report No. 283/Asia, December 15, 2016, accessed April 3, 2017, https://www.crisisgroup.org/asia/south-east-asia/myanmar/283-myanmar-new-muslim-insurgency-rakhine-state; Tim Johnston and Anagha Neelakantan, “The World's Newest Muslim Insurgency Is Being Waged in Burma,” TIME, December 13, 2016, accessed April 3, 2017, http://time.com/4601203/burma-myanmar-muslim-insurgency-rohingya/.
 Human Rights Watch, “Burma: End Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims,” April 22, 2013, accessed April 3, 2017, https://www.hrw.org/news/2013/04/22/burma-end-ethnic-cleansing-rohingya-muslims. See also Jocelyne Sambira, “Myanmar minorities suffer 'systemic' discrimination, abuse: UN,” United Nations Radio, June 20, 2016, accessed April 3, 2017, http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/2016/06/myanmar-minorities-suffer-systemic-discrimination-abuse-un/#.WOKL1_nyu5s.
 See “The Slow-Burning Genocide.” See also Widney Brown, “Where there is police There is persecution, Physicians for Human Rights,” Physicians for Human Rights, October 2016, accessed April 3, 2017, http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/library/reports/myanmar-rakhine-state.html?referrer=https://uk.search.yahoo.com/.
 In addition to the state-controlled mass media and official speeches by the generals and ex-generals, Myanmar Military Intelligence Services spread deliberately false historical information through teachers’ refresher courses at the Civil Servant Training School at Hpaung Gyi, which thousands of Burmese state school teachers are required to attend, according to Daw Khin Hla, former Rohingya Middle School Teacher, from Myanmar, who spoke at the conference on Rohingya Persecution, November 4, 2014, accessed April 3, 2017, http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic662843.files/HGEI-Burma_Semin...
 “Finally, peace has prevailed in Mayu Borderlands District,” Editorial, Special Issue on Mayu, Current Affairs (or Khit Yay), Ministry of Defense, the Union of Burma, 12, 6 (July 18, 1961): 5. (Burmese Language publication).
 Tape-recorded Interview in Virginia, U.S. (July 1994) with retired Colonel Chit Myaing, former member of General Ne Win’s Revolutionary Council (1962). As the Deputy Commander of the Burma Rifle Brigade 5, Chit Myaing led the government’s military campaign against the armed Rakhine rebellion in January 1948.
 The full text of the official Burmese language transcript of the speech delivered by Brigadier General Aung Gyi, Vice Chief of Staff (Army), at the Surrender Ceremony of Mujahideen Rohingya troops, Maung Daw Town, Northern Rakhine State, 4 July 1961. See “Special Issue on Mayu”, Current Affairs (or Khit Yay), Ministry of Defense, the Union of Burma, 12, 6 (July 18, 1961): 8-10 & 23-24. (Hereafter Brigadier General Aung Gyi’s speech).
 For the detailed records of this triangular politics amongst Rakhine-Burmese-Rohingya see the book-length Burmese language publication, Kyaw Win, Mya Han and Thein Hlaing, “Myanmar Naing Ngan Yay” (Burma’s Politics), Volume 3 (years 1958-1962), (Rangoon: Universities Press, 1991), in particular Chapter 12, pp. 167-250. (Hereafter “Burma’s Politics,” 1991).
 The full text of the official Burmese language transcript of the speech by Colonel Saw Myint, Chief of the Border Areas Administration and Commander of the Territorial Forces, “Special Issue on Mayu,” Current Affairs (or Khit Yay), Ministry of Defense, the Union of Burma, 12, 6 (July 18, 1961): 15.
 Brigadier General Aung Gyi’s Speech, 1961.
 Transcript of the Current Affairs magazine discussions with Prime Minister’s Private Secretary-2 U Khin Nyunt, “Special Issue on Mayu,” Current Affairs (or Khit Yay), Ministry of Defense, the Union of Burma, 12, 6 (July 18, 1961): 16-20.
 “Burma’s Politics” (1991), 230.
 Interview with retired Colonel Chit Myaing, 1994, op cit.
 Within Myanmar Armed Forces – and in the society at large – it is widely known that non-Buddhist military officers no longer get promoted beyond the ranks of Major.
 Wa Lone, “Snr Gen Min Aung Hlaing pledges to help safeguard Buddhism,” Myanmar Times, June 24, 2016, accessed April 3, 2017, http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/21035-snr-gen-min-aung-hlaing-pledges-to-help-safeguard-buddhism.html.
 Maung Zarni, “Buddhist Nationalism in Burma
Institutionalized racism against the Rohingya Muslims led Burma to genocide”, Feature, Tricycle, Spring 2013, https://tricycle.org/magazine/buddhist-nationalism-burma/Accessed 3 April 2017.
 Personal Testimony delivered by U Ba Sein, a former Rohingya civil servant – now a refugee in London, UK - who lived through this King Dragon Operation in N. Rakhine, Permanent People’s Tribunal on Myanmar, Queen Mary University of London. March 6-7, 2017, accessed April 3, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9Q11ZhC8qI (Ba Sein’s testimony begins at 7:55 minutes).
 Ex-General Khin Nyunt, Naing Ngan Ei Ah Nauk Hpet Ta Gar Pauk Ka Pya Tha Na (or The Crisis from the Western Gate of Burma), (Rangoon: Pan Myo Ta Yar Press, 2016), particularly Chapter 3, pp. 21-43.
 Although race/ethnicity and faith are two different “things,” the majority Buddhist Burmese public collapse the two. The Burmese popular saying sums it up: “to be Burmese is to be Buddhist.”
 The Burmese co-author and a key drafter, the late Rakhine historian Dr Aye Kyaw, were friends and fellow exiles for years in the United States. A few years before the two bouts of violence against Rohingyas in 2012 Aye Kyaw gave a Burmese language interview to the influential Irrawaddy News Group wherein he explained in details the internal discussions among the Drafting Committee members, that focused on the best ways to de-nationalize Rohingya through the citizenship act. Irrawaddy has since removed Aye Kyaw’s Burmese language interview.
 See the mountains of Human Rights Situation Reports on Myanmar for the last 25 years beginning March 3, 1992, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, accessed April 3, 2017, http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?m=89.
Burmese Nobel Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi Has Turned Into an Apologist for Genocide Against Muslims
|Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at the polling station to cast vote during Myanmar’s first free and fair election on Nov. 8, 2015 in Yangon, Myanmar.|
By Mehdi Hasan
April 13, 2017
AUNG SAN SUU KYI IS ONE of the most celebrated human rights icons of our age: Nobel Peace Laureate, winner of the Sakharov Prize, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an Amnesty International-recognized prisoner of conscience for 15 long years.
These days, however, she is also an apologist for genocide, ethnic cleansing and mass rape.
For the past year, Aung San Suu Kyi has been State Counselor, or de facto head of government, in Myanmar, where members of the Rohingya Muslim minority in the northern Rakhine state have been shot, stabbed, starved, robbed, raped and driven from their homes in the hundreds of thousands. In December, while the world focused on the fall of Aleppo, more than a dozen Nobel Laureates published an open letter warning of a tragedy in Rakhine “amounting to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”
In February, a report by the United Nations documented how the Burmese army’s attacks on the Rohingya were “widespread as well as systematic” thus “indicating the very likely commission of crimes against humanity.” More than half of the 101 Rohingya women interviewed by UN investigators across the border in Bangladesh said they had suffered rape or other forms of sexual violence at the hands of security forces. “They beat and killed my husband with a knife,” one survivor recalled. “Five of them took off my clothes and raped me. My eight-month old son was crying of hunger when they were in my house because he wanted to breastfeed, so to silence him they killed him too with a knife.”
And the response of Aung San Suu Kyi? This once-proud campaigner against wartime rape and human rights abuses by the Burmese military has opted to borrow from the Donald Trump playbook of denial and deflection. Her office accused Rohingya women of fabricating stories of sexual violence and put the words “fake rape” — in the form of a banner headline, no less — on its official website. A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry — also controlled directly by Aung San Suu Kyi — dismissed “made-up stories, blown out of proportion.” In February, the State Counselor herself reportedly told the Archbishop of Yangon, Charles Bo, that the international community is exaggerating the Rohingya issue.
This is Trumpism 101: Deny. Discredit. Smear.
It was all supposed to be so different. In November 2015, Myanmar held its first contested national elections after five decades of military rule. An overwhelming victory for Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) and former political prisoner, was going to usher in a new era of democracy, human rights and respect for minorities. That, at least, was the hope.
The reality has been very different. Less than a year after taking office, Burmese security forces launched a brutal crackdown on the Rohingya after an attack on a border outpost in Rakhine killed nine police officers in October. The northern portion of the state was sealed off by the military and humanitarian aid was blocked, as was access to foreign journalists and human rights groups. Hundreds of Rohingya Muslims are believed to have been slaughtered and tens of thousands driven across the border into Bangladesh.
This is only the latest chapter in the anti-Rohingya saga. The Muslim residents of Rakhine have been subjected to violent attacks by the military since 2012 and were stripped of citizenship, and rendered stateless, as long ago as 1982. The 1-million odd Rohingya Muslims live in apartheid-like conditions: denied access to employment, education and healthcare, forced to obtain permission to marry and subjected to a discriminatory “two-child” policy. “About 10 percent are held in internment camps,” according to Patrick Winn, Asia correspondent for Public Radio International. “The rest are quarantined in militarized districts and forbidden to travel.”
The standard Western media narrative is to accuse The Lady, as she is known by her admirers, of silence and of a grotesque failure to speak out against these human rights abuses. In an editorial last May, the New York Times denounced Suu Kyi’s “cowardly stance on the Rohingya.”
Yet hers is not merely a crime of omission, a refusal to denounce or condemn. Hers are much worse crimes of commission. She took a deliberate decision to try and discredit the Rohingya victims of rape. She went out of her way to accuse human rights groups and foreign journalists of exaggerations and fabrications. She demanded that the U.S. government stop using the name “Rohingya” — thereby perpetuating the pernicious myth that the Muslims of Rakhine are “Bengali” interlopers (rather than a Burmese community with a centuries-long presence inside Myanmar.) She also appointed a former army general to investigate the recent attacks on the Rohingya and he produced a report in January that, not surprisingly, whitewashed the well-documented crimes of his former colleagues in the Burmese military.
Silence, therefore, is the least of her sins. Silence also suggests a studied neutrality. Yet there is nothing neutral about Aung San Suu Kyi’s stance. She has picked her side and it is the side of Buddhist nationalism and crude Islamophobia.
In 2013, after an interview with the BBC’s Mishal Husain, Aung San Suu Kyi complained, “No one told me I was going to be interviewed by a Muslim.” In 2015, ahead of historic parliamentary elections, the NLD leader purged her party of all Muslim candidates, resulting in the country’s first legislature without any Muslim representation whatsoever. Like a Burmese Steve Bannon, she paranoiacally speaks of “global Muslim power” being “very great” — only 4 percent of the Burmese population, incidentally, is Muslim — while conspiratorially dismissing reports of Buddhist-orchestrated massacres in Rakhine as “Muslims killing Muslims.”
This is a form of genocide denial, delivered in a soft tone and posh voice by a telegenic Nobel Peace Prize winner. Genocide, though, sounds like an exaggeration, doesn’t it? Pro-Rohingya propaganda, perhaps? Yet independent study after independent study has come to the same stark and depressing conclusion: genocide is being carried out against the Rohingya. For example, an October 2015 legal analysis by the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School, found “strong evidence… that genocidal acts have been committed against Rohingya” and “that such acts have been committed with the intent to destroy the Rohingya, in whole or in part.”
|Rohingya from Myanmar who recently crossed over to Bangladesh huddle in a room at an unregistered refugee camp in Teknaf, near Cox’s Bazar, south of Dhaka, Bangladesh on Dec. 2, 2016. Photo: A.M. Ahad/AP|
Another report published in the same month, by the International State Crime Initiative at Queen Mary University of London, concluded that “the Rohingya face the final stages of genocide” and noted how “state-sponsored stigmatisation, discrimination, violence and segregation … make precarious the very existence of the Rohingya.”
Aung San Suu Kyi, argues Maung Zarni, a Burmese scholar and founder of the Free Burma Coalition, holds “genocidal views towards the Rohingya” because “she denies Rohingya identity and history.” Genocide, he tells me, “begins with an attack on identity and history. The victims never existed and … will never exist.”
The State Counselor, from this perspective, is not simply standing by as genocide occurs; she is legitimizing, encouraging and enabling it. When a legendary champion of human rights is in charge of a government that undertakes military operations against “terrorists,” smearing and discrediting the victims of gang rape and loudly denying the burning down of villagesand forced expulsion of families, it makes it much harder for the international community to highlight those crimes, let alone intervene to halt them. In recent years, in fact, Western governments have been rolling back political and economic sanctions on Myanmar, citing the country’s “progress“on democracy and pointing to the election victory of Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD.
Politicians and pundits in the West, observes Zarni, long ago adopted Aung San Suu Kyi as “their liberal darling — petite, attractive, Oxford-educated ‘Oriental’ woman with the most prestigious pedigree, married to a white man, an Oxford don, connected with the British Establishment.” Belatedly, the West’s journalists, diplomats and human rights groups “are waking up to the ugly realities that she is neither principled nor liberal,” he adds.
It may be too little and too late, however. Around 1,000 Rohinga are believedto have been killed since October and more than 70,000 have been forced to flee the country. Yet Aung San Suu Kyi continues to shamelessly tell interviewers, such as the BBC’s Fergal Keane last week, that there is no ethnic cleansing going on and that the Burmese military are “not free to rape, pillage and torture” in Rakhine. Is this the behavior of a Mandela… or a Mugabe?
“Saints should always be judged guilty,” wrote George Orwell, in his famous 1949 essay on Mahatma Gandhi, “until they are proved innocent.” There is no evidence of innocence when it comes to Aung San Suu Kyi and her treatment of the Rohingya — only complicity and collusion in unspeakable crimes. This supposed saint is now an open sinner. The former political prisoner and democracy activist has turned into a genocide-denying, rape-excusing, Muslim-bashing Buddhist nationalist. Forget the house arrest and the Nobel Prize. This is how history will remember The Lady of Myanmar.
It will be 30 years next year since I began my post-Burma life as a Burmese, living, studying, working and being activist in the western world of academics, media, activism, human rights, etc.
Friendships have died; friends died literally. Comrades have turned foes. Some foes became friends. Some have taught me about activism, politics, research, etc. Others I have taught or simply shared what I know. All this is normal, typical and nothing extraordinary.
But one thing that has deeply disturbed me to the core of my existence is what the late Edward Said called, and popularized as, "Orientalism".
The ugly realities on the ground make this ground-breaking term "Orientalism" a bit too mild, too subtle.
For the phenomenon that Said captured in his seminal writings is in fact really crude, pathetic and pathological.
It is the knowledge/propaganda/culture industry's equivalent of White Settlerism. By this I mean a bunch of western men and women, usually White in exterior, and "acting White" in Judith Butler's sense of "social power-privilege", who "move in" or "settle" in non-white societies, insert themselves into other people's worlds, usually of wars, conflicts, internecine fights, etc. AND arrogate to themselves the sole privilege of determining and describing what is true, what is fact, what is analysis about the places they "settle" or "adopt" as their new "knowledge colonies".
Typically incompetent or utterly lacking in local command of languages, many ill-equipped intellectually, conceptually, analytically, they begin producing country-specific or region-specific "expertly" knowledge, while again acting typically without humility, modesty.
To me they typically cut pitiful figures - far worse than the proverbial 6 blind Brahmins attempting to describe the Elephant.
I am reminded of an arrogance-filled remark made by the head of Balliol, one of the oldest colleges of Oxford, at the turn of the 20th century:
"I know knowledge. If I know not it ain't knowledge."
This age-old colonial presumption to know, to name things, people, phenomena, to describe, to decide which is knowledge and what is non-knowledge, IS in fact an integral lump in the bigger White Cancer, that can't know itself to be terminal.
You find its pervasive spread - and entrenchment - across mass media, academia, "think tanks", governments, schools, culture industry, INGOs- in short, what the late Althuser called State Ideological Apparatuses.
Sprung out of its 500+ years of ignoble history - and the political economy that has developed around it - this cancer isn't going to go away. Not any time soon.
But when you see this phenomenon all around the least you can do is call out on it being repeated, reproduced, and reinforced generation after generation.
You play along and you perpetuate your own plight as a subject.
We are not Zombies.
Each of us can and do make our choices.
ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္က ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာမ်ားကုိ လူမ်ဳိးတုန္းသတ္ျဖတ္မႈ မရွိဟု ေျပာၾကားခ်က္ႏွင့္ ပတ္သက္ၿပီး ေဒါက္တာဇာနည္၏ တု႔ံျပန္ခ်က္
ဧၿပီလ (၆) ရက္ေန႔က ႏုိင္ငံေတာ္၏ အတုိင္ပင္ခံပုဂၢဳိလ္ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္ကုိ ဘီဘီစီ သတင္းဌာနမွ ေတြ႔ဆုံေမးျမန္းခဲ့ရာတြင္ ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္က ရုိဟင္ဂ်ာလူမ်ဳိးမ်ားကုိ လူမ်ဳိးတုန္းသတ္ျဖတ္ေနျခင္း မရွိဟု ေျပာဆုိခဲ့သည္ႏွင့္ ပတ္သက္၍ ဗီြအုိေအျမန္မာပုိင္းက ကေမာၻဒီးယား ဂ်ီႏုိဆုိက္သုေတသနဌာနမွ သုေသတီ ေဒါက္တာဇာနည္ကုိ ေမးျမန္းထားသည္ကုိ ေအာက္ပါ အသံဖုိင္တြင္ နားေထာင္ႏုိင္ပါသည္။
|Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi speaks at a memorial ceremony to mark one month from the killing of Ko Ni, prominent legal adviser to the government, and taxi driver Ne Win, Feb.26, 2017, in Yangon, Myanmar.|
By VOA News
April 7, 2017
The director general of an international coalition of 61 Rohingya organizations said he was “disappointed” at Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi for saying ethnic cleansing was “too strong” a term to describe what was happening in the Muslim-majority Rakhine region.
Wakar Uddin also called on her to reinstate a pre-independence system that showed Rohingya’s citizenship.
“I was very disappointed,” said Uddin of the Arakan Rohingya Union. “I can understand why she said that because she’s the head of state. If she admits it is ethnic cleansing, and for that matter genocide, there will be consequences from the international community.”
BBC televised a rare interview with the Myanmar’s state counselor on Wednesday. Attacks on Myanmar border guard posts in October last year by a previously unknown insurgent group set off the biggest crisis of Aung San Suu Kyi's year in power. More than 75,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh in the ensuing army crackdown.
"I don't think there is ethnic cleansing going on," Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi said of the situation in Rakhine state. "I think ethnic cleansing is too strong an expression to use for what is happening."
"It is not just a matter of ethnic cleansing,” she said. “It is a matter of people on different sides of a divide, and this divide we are trying to close up as best as possible and not to widen it further.”
"What we are trying to go for is reconciliation, not condemnation," Aung San Suu Kyi told the BBC. "It is Muslims killing Muslims as well."
Uddin, a professor of plant pathology and environmental microbiology at Penn State University, said in response that "Ethnic cleansing … is defined by what is going on on the ground. … She needs to understand, to know, the truth of what is going on -- the violence, the turbulence, the population displacement."
|To escape violence in Rakhine state during the military crackdown there, in November 2016, Rohingya woman Haresa Begum fled to Bangladesh with her four children, leaving her husband in Myanmar.|
The recent violence is the latest in a long cycle. Zar Ni, a genocide scholar in London, said “Half of the [Rohingya] population was deported from the country in 1978. Almost 300,000 were then driven out of [Myanmar]. About 200,000 of them later came back. This kind of harassment is repeated every five or 10 years.
“The expression ‘genocide’ is used based on these actions of about 40 years,” he said. “There is no necessity to actively kill the entire population to say that is genocide.”
Burmese authorities consider most Rohingya to be "resident foreigners," not citizens, according to Human Rights Watch. In a report, the organization says “This lack of full citizenship rights means that the Rohingya are subject to other abuses, including restrictions on their freedom of movement, discriminatory limitations on access to education, and arbitrary confiscation of property.”
Uddin called on Aung San Suu Kyi to reinstate the national registration certificate (NRC), cards issued to Rohingya as proof of citizenship in 1947, a year before Myanmar - then known as Burma - gained independence from Britain. The military effectively voided the NRC with the 1982 citizenship law, by defining who was not a citizen and making some 800,000 Rohingya stateless.
“Reinstate the NRC,” Uddin said. “Many people still have those cards. The NRC cardholders and their children, who hold white cards, Aung San Suu Kyi can reinstate those and go from there. That is a fundamental issue.”
Myanmar has launched its own probe into possible crimes in Rakhine and appointed former United Nations chief Kofi Annan to head a commission tasked with healing long-simmering divisions between Buddhists and Muslims.
A U.N. human rights report issued earlier this year said Myanmar's security forces had committed mass killings and gang rapes against Rohingya during their campaign against the insurgents, which may amount to crimes against humanity.
The military has denied the accusations, saying it was engaged in a legitimate counterinsurgency operation. The U.N. Human Rights Council has called for an investigation, which Myanmar has refused to accommodate.
In the interview, Aung San Suu Kyi tried to reassure those who fled that "if they come back they will be safe."
Thar Nyunt Oo contributed to this report which originated with the VOA Burmese Service.
For the mass media is now bigging up Rohingya Resistance, but it isn't telling you anything I consider intelligent, analytical, researched or factual.
1) Did #Myanmar army want the attacks on its border posts on 9 October?
Now that the dust has settled, I will answer this in resounding YES.
Hundreds of poorly armed #Rohingya men were allowed by the central command to attack 3 hard-military targets, thru 24/7 checkpoints.
(Conversely, in Meikhtila in March 2013, the Central Command allowed the town's Muslims to be slaughtered - over 500, according to the local researchers who were also eye-witnesses to the slaughter - by issuing absolutely NO ORDER to do anything while the slaughter raged on the whole night).
FACT - straight from the horse's mouth:
"We can't turn on the lights at night. We can't move from one place to another during the day too. Everywhere checkpoints. That is not the way human beings live."
- Ata Ullah, Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army,
Exclusive - Rohingya rebel leader challenges Myanmar's Suu Kyi, vows to fight on,
Mar 31, 2017 | 6:30pm BST
2) Ata Ullah was correct in stating the impossibility of moving from Point A to Point B.
Here is the report on the system of checkpoints by Physicians for Human Rights:
"As part of the report, PHR’s investigators documented and mapped a network of 86 security checkpoints scattered across northern Rakhine State, where Rohingyas are routinely forced to pay bribes or face jail time and other types of brutality at the hands of security forces. Many Rohingyas told PHR that they often avoided seeking advanced medical care because of their fear of passing through checkpoints and suffering the consequent abuse and humiliation.
In addition to the system of checkpoints, PHR gathered evidence of raids and a pervasive surveillance system in Rohingya-populated areas, as well as instances of forced labor and arbitrary detention and fines. These include onerous fees that Rohingyas must pay to leave their villages, register fishing nets, fix their homes – even slaughter their own animals."
3) Given the aforementioned background, it is utterly inconceivable that Ata and his several hundred men reportedly "carrying sticks, spears and a few homemade guns" from their rendezvous to 3 strategically located border guard posts and were able to launch their ambushes - WITHOUT HAVING BEEN NOTICED BY THE EXTENSIVE SURVEILLANCE NETWORKS of Rohingya informers, Rakhine local security units and civil administration, military and other interagency intelligence network put in place by Myanmar Ministry of Defence.
4) Why would the Burmese military allow the attacks to take place - if indeed they were well-aware of Ata and his "Rohingya Salvation" activities?
One word: PRETEXT
Pretext for accelerated persecution and destruction of Rohingya communities.
9 police officers dead
1) locked down entire webs of villages which effectively blocked vital humanitarian assistance including food provision to literally thousands of Rohingya families
2) destroyed food systems
3) torched 1,000+ homes (or more)
4) executed 1,000 Rohingya men
5) rounded up and kept in captivity un-known - but estimated hundred
6) cleansed Northern Rakhine state of 75,000 Rohingya (into Bangladesh)
7) rendered 10,000-20,000 Rohingya permanently homeless, property-less, farm-less
5) Why would Myanmar Central Command allow 9 police men manned 3 border guard posts to be killed - if it knew that several hundred Rohingya men - armed with farm tools (sticks, spears, swords and a few homemade weapons) were on their way to slit the police's throats?
Why would the generals NOT sacrifice their men?
After all, these generals have sacrificed hundrends - if not thousands - of Infantry troops mowed down and blown up on land mines in the battles against the Kachin Independence Army in Northern Burma in the last 6 years?
Besides, in the hierarchy of prestige, power and life's worth police are at the very bottom. The generals may view their house pets more valuable and worth than the life of a police.
In the war against Kachins, the most prestigious Defence Services Academy graduates get slaughtered routinely by the Kachin Independence Army and its allies.
Learning to be Fascists, victims, and bystanders (and everything in-between).
We learn to love, hate, kill, slaughter, rape, torture, etc.
This picture which hangs on an exhibit hall of the Hollywood-designed Oscar Schindler's museum (formerly his factory, now a must-see museum in Krakow, within a few minutes' walk from the walled Jewish ghetto).
My Polish sociologist guide taught me something really perceptive using this photo:.
Learning to submit completely -
the Jewish victims of Nazi - Polish Jews in the Nazi-occupied Poland - were taught to behave rather submissively whenever they encountered SS or Gestapo members. For behaving otherwise would result in their death.
Here an Orthodox Jewish man stood with complete docility while a group of SS or Gestapos stopped him and humiliated him in full of of the public.
Learning to be sadistic human monsters - with a small 'm'
ordinary Germans who joined the Nazi security forces learned to behave as perpetrators, sadists, torturers, executioners, rapists, looters, robbers, etc. The more sadistic the better for your career prospects within the Nazi ladder. They learned that they enjoyed BLANKET IMPUNITY to do anything to the marked population GROUPS.
Notice a few Nazi men in uniform posing gleefully for camera with their Jewish victim.
Learning to be indifferent bystanders
Poles and others whom in the Nazi ideology were borderlines Aryans (those who had potentials to be at the bottom of race hierarchy in the Nazi system as labourer population) learned to behave indifferent towards a situation which they knew was grossly barbaric. For showing kindness and acting on this kindness towards the members of the marked population, namely their local Jewish friends, neighbors, etc. as well as Roma gypsies, etc. would invite collective punishment of their own Polish families, friends, etc.
In the photo a few Polish men looked on, wearing the faces of indifference.
Nazism and Nazi behaviours were "taught", through punishment and reward systems.
No human social organisation is immune from this kind of Pavlovian condition.
In my view, the Burmese society is undergoing this experience re; Rohingya victims of state terror, social ostracism/exclusion and the emerging sadistic culture of those who call themselves "Buddhists".
|Photo from the Yalta Conference: Winston S. Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Stalin|
Imagine the Security Council as a place where a small pack of big dogs growl at each other - over a piece of rotten meat, scent of a bitch on heat, a turf to urinate on, etc. You get the drift here.
Contrary to the Pavlovian views and sentiments about what we have been taught to call "world powers", these beastly creatures are NOT moral agents that promote human well-being.
We need to question, challenge and discard the conventional wisdom that makes us cry for their help in promoting human well-being and human rights.
How could powers that have had hand in virtually all conflicts that have re-engulfed the world post-WWII? After all, they happen - how coincidental!! - to be the world's biggest merchants of death, that supply, at hefty costs or with strings attached, their weapons to their preferred parties in wars and conflicts the world over.
Rather these creatures typically behave more like hungry hounds (DOGS) who guard their territories jealously, often showing paranoia that some other dogs might snatch a piece of rotten meat, come to deficate or urinate on their marked turfs.
If you have not looked at the world's most powerful body you should.
All the official discourses of world peace, human rights, sovereignty, etc. are utterly devoid of meaning and substance.
The respective turfs of these hungry, beastly creatures reflects the tacit colonial arrangement of geopolitical projections called "spheres of influence".
As my friend Denis Halliday, who resigned from his Assistant Sec-General position in protest of the second invasion of Iraq, pointed out correctly, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin weren't exactly nice men.
FDR's racist, paranoid, economically jealous policies led to the internment of hundreds of thousands of Japanese-Americans many of whom were successful farmers during the WWII.
Winston Churchill, really a bastard colonialist who branded anyone who demanded freedom from the yoke of British Empire.
Joseph Stalin - this Georgian man's crimes were too numerous to list, on a par with Hitler really. Heard of gulags?
Everything flows from this extremely dodgy beginning with racist & murderous minds.
Forget the empty rhetoric of humanism.
Have the courage to confront the failed and failing realities of this institution created as a new colonial arrangement.
We do not live in a rule-based, moral world where progress is about taking care of fellow humans and human communities. We live in yet another colonial world order that is cancerously depraved, greed-driven and delusions-dictated.
The world's people have been trained like Pavlovian creatures to play along with the imperialist powers.
Dodgy imperialist powers and humanism don't exist in a single space.