Calling on Canada to help end Myanmar Genocide of Rohingya at Toronto City Council on 23 Nov 2017

Saying "Sorry!" to a Rohingya brother who survived Myanmar Genocide, Kutupalong Camp, Bangladesh, 7 Nov 2017.

Speaking on the Slow Burning Genocide of Rohingyas in Burma, with Professor Amartya Sen, Harvard University, Nov 2014

N. Ireland peace activist Mairead Maguire presenting Zarni with the Cultivation of Harmony Award on behalf of the Parliament of the World's Religions, Salt Lake City, USA 18 Oct 2015

Meeting with The Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt. Honourable Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, M.P., State Guest House, Dhaka, 4 Nov 2017

"National Traitor and Enemy of the State" for his opposition to Rohingya Genocide. Sun Rays, 16/9/17

Event: Genocide Memorial Day Programme



Programme

Sunday 21st January 2018

Failures of International Institutions in preventing genocide: Myanmar’s Rohingya and Bosnian Genocides


12:00 Registration and lunch

13:00 – 13:10 Mr Sayed Jalal Masoomi - Quran recitation

13:10 – 13:15 Translation 

Session One Panel 1

13:15 – 13:20 Nazim Ali - Introduction to the panel 

13:20 – 13:40 Dr Maung Zarni – Genocide scholar and Human Rights activist

13:40 – 13:45 Narjis Khan- Poetry recitation: “Palestine”

13:45 – 14:05 Demir Mahmutcehajic - Bosnian activist and one of the founders of IHRC

14:05 – 14:20 Q&A discussion

14:20 – 14:35 Break/ Prayers 

Session Two Panel 2

14:35 – 14:40 Nazim Ali - Introduction to the panel

14:40 – 15:00 Daniel Feierstein – Director of the Centre of Genocide Studies at the National University of Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires, Argentina

15:00 – 15:20 Ramon Grosfoguel - Professor at the Department of Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley

15:20 – 15:35 Q&A discussion

15:35 – 15:45 Latifa Abouchakra - Announcement of winner

15:45 – 15:50 Nadia Rasheed - Reading of genocides and one minute of silence 


15:50 – 16:00 Raza Kazim - Closing remarks

Dr Zarni on CNN against forced repatriation of Rohingyas



Myanmar and Bangladesh signed the repatriation agreement on November 23, 2017. Dr Zarni said Bangladesh should not engage in this repatriation. The repatriation must be safe and voluntary return. Now the repatriation is like forced repatriation back in to the killing fields.





Watch 1 minute clip

Repatriation without consent and safety is like sending Auschwitz survivors back to the gas chambers.





Event: Genocide: Why We Let It Happen




Genocide Panel

Event Start: 29th January 2018, 5:00pm

Genocide: Why We Let It Happen

Genocide leaves the darkest stain on the conscience of humanity, yet today we are again witnessing international passivity in the face of the genocide in Myanmar. Why have we failed to learn our lesson from these atrocities and why do we allow this stain on our conscience to continue to grow? With Holocaust Memorial Day on Saturday 27 January, we seek to reflect on how to apply the promise of 'never again'
  • David Sheffer: American lawyer and diplomat who, as US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes, helped create the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda
  • Alice Musabende: A survivor of the Rwandan genocide, now an expert on the dynamics of peacebuilding in the context of post-conflict countries
  • Mukesh Kapila: As the whistleblower on the Darfur atrocities, he is an expert on genocide prevention and international diplomacy
  • Maung Zarni: A Burmese human rights activist and academic, he has been denounced as an "enemy of the State" for his opposition to the Myanmar genocide
  • Ellen Kennedy: Director at the Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and founder and Executive Director of World Without Genocide
For more information: Please visit https://www.oxford-union.org/node/1630

Myanmar Guilty of Genocide: Gregory H. Stanton comments





Excerpted BBC One LIVE Debate on Myanmar's Genocide, Aung San Suu Kyi's Racism, Buddhism and Western Orientalism



Excerpted BBC One LIVE Debate on Myanmar's Genocide, Aung San Suu Kyi's Racism, Buddhism and Western Orientalism, BBC One's The Big Question, Broadcast live at 10-11 am UK, 7 Jan 2018. 

Dr Maung Zarni; Peter Popham, British journalist and author of two books on Aung San Suu Kyi; Mabrur Ahmed, Dir of Restless Beings and Professor Michael Charney, SOAS, U. of London



Event: Myanmar's Slow Burning Genocide of Rohingyas

Myanmar's Slow Burning Genocide of Rohingyas 

19 Jan 2018 

5-7 pm

School of Oriental and African Studies at University of London


Why did Myanmar Tatmadaw or Military even admit to killing 10 "Bengalis", in an unprecedented move?

Here is the sequence of events surrounding the arrest of two Burmese Reuters journalists 

1) MSF's LIMITED survey found over 10,000 (6,700 + 9,000) Rohingyas died many of whom from direct violence in the first month of Myanmar military's so-called "security clearance operations". 

'Staggering' Numbers From MSF on Rohingya Killings 

14 Dec 2017 


2) the two Reuters journalists who were sniffing around mass graves, which could potential provide solid evidence for the got for MSF's LIMITED - as opposed to comprehensive - SURVEY of 600,000 genocide survivors in Bangladesh camps, were detained; 

SOURCE: Two Reuters journalists arrested in Myanmar 

13 Dec 2017 



3) Myanmar military subsequently announced finding of mass graves; 

SOURCE: Myanmar bars UN probe as mass grave found in Rakhine 

20 December 2017 



4) the two detainees "disappeared" initially and temporarily. 

SOURCE: Detention extended for Reuters journalists in Myanmar 

27 Dec 2017 



5) the two journalists emerged defiant in the day they appeared before the court where they were charged with 'obtaining state secrets". 

SOURCE: Reuters Reporters Are Charged In Myanmar With Obtaining State Secrets 

10 Jan 2018 


6) Myanmar military admitted to "participating in the killings of 10 Bengali terrorists who threatened to kill local Buddhists". 

SOURCE: Rohingya crisis: Myanmar army admits killings 

10 January 2018 


Event: Talk & Discussion with Dr Maung Zarni on Myanmar's slow-burning Genocide of the Rohingya

Talk & Discussion with Dr Maung Zarni. The discussion will be moderated by Sabina Alkire, Director of Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford.

28 January 2018
5:30 pm

Richard Benson Hall
276 Cowley Rd
East Oxford 


Event: Myanmar's Rohingya and Bosnian Genocides

Genocide Memorial Day

Failures of International Institutions in preventing genocide:

Myanmar's Rohingya and Bosnian Genocides

Sunday 21st January 2018

Speakers: Maung Zarni, Daniel Feierstein, Ramon Grosfoguel and Demir Mahmutcehajic

P21 Gallery, 21 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD




Putting 354 Burned Rohingya Villages in Perspective

Myanmar Systematically Destroyed the Physical Foundation of Rohingya Community, in substantial part.

1) 354 villages, 110 kilometer or 68 miles (that's an area stretching from the British Parliament to Oxford or even longer);

2) nearly 700,000 survived in Bangladesh, after having fled the genocidal terror by Myanmar in a span of 90 days (from 26 Aug till 31 Dec 2017);

3) besides, the estimated 80,000 already fled in the period between Oct 2015-Aug 2016);

4) this exodus follows the pattern of genocide-&-terror-flight -5 altogether - since 12 Feb 1978;

5) 6,700 Rohingya massacred in 31 days of the first month of 2017 killings by Myanmar, according to a very limited survey carried out by MSF or Doctors Without Borders;

6) out of the estimated 700,000 Rohingya survivors, about 300,000 are children of whom 20,000 lost their parents (that is, they are orphans);

7) in the first months, again the MSF's limited survey shows, about 750 killed were children under the age of 5;

8) unknown number of Rohingya women - surely by the thousands- raped and slaughtered by Myanmar Government troops;

9) but, even prior to the physical destruction of their villages and direct killings by Myanmar troops of their community members, the Rohingyas were living in conditioned designed as a matter of policy and strategy by Myanmar to destroy their biological foundations of life - their bodies as 150,000 Rohingyas had access to only 1 - ONE - doctor in the two combined urban areas of Maungdaw and Buthidaung, according to a Lancet review article on public health conditions of the Rohingyas, while 80,500 children under the age of 5 are made to suffer by Myanmar sub-Saharan like semi-famine (or "severe acute malnutrition" and "acute malnutrition", according to the World Food Program's limited survey);

10) none of this includes 120,000 Rohingyas that have been placed in camps since the two bouts of mass and organized violence against them in June and Oct 2012, the camps that could only be described as semi-concentration camps;

11) there may be about 500,000 Rohingyas left inside Myanmar in areas that are heavily monitored as "security grids" by Myanmar inter-agency securit units - mainly around Buthidaung and they will face future waves of genocidal terror, when - not if - Myanmar gov and Rakhine local decide to finish off their Joint Genocidal Project;

12) last but not last, there may be an upward of about 500,000 Rohingyas in total who have fled the previous waves of Myanmar genocidal attacks since 1978, who are scattered in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and to a far lesser extent in Australia, Scandinavia, Western Europe, USA and Canada.

If you fight to end this genocide - like I do, albeit to no avail - you would understand why I didn't have an appetite for joining those who popped champagne last night.

ZARNI

"A Reuters graphic makes use of data from the U.N. Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) to show hundreds of villages in Rakhine state that were once inhabited by the Rohingya, but have now been burned down.

A total of 354 villages have either been completely or partially destroyed, Human Rights Watch said on Dec. 18.

The data, which was gathered from Aug. 25, the day of the Rohingya militant attack, to Nov. 25, shows burned settlements in an area stretching 110 km (68 miles) from the green hills of Rakhine’s northern tip to beaches near the state’s capital Sittwe in the south."

Here is the full text of the Reuters story:

A visual that shows just how many Rohingya villages have been burned

January 1, 2018

In the four months since the Myanmar military began a crackdown after Rohingya militants attacked an army base and police posts on Aug. 25, around 655,000 members of the stateless Muslim minority have fled the western state of Rakhine and crossed into neighboring Bangladesh.

A Rohingya refugee family eats as they sit inside their semi constructed shelter at Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A Reuters graphic makes use of data from the U.N. Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) to show hundreds of villages in Rakhine state that were once inhabited by the Rohingya, but have now been burned down. 

A total of 354 villages have either been completely or partially destroyed, Human Rights Watch said on Dec. 18. 

The data, which was gathered from Aug. 25, the day of the Rohingya militant attack, to Nov. 25, shows burned settlements in an area stretching 110 km (68 miles) from the green hills of Rakhine’s northern tip to beaches near the state’s capital Sittwe in the south. 

See the interactive graphic here: tmsnrt.rs/2zGVUmt

Top officials in the United Nations and United States have described the Myanmar military’s crackdown as ethnic cleansing. 

Myanmar has denied human rights abuses, saying its military is engaged in legitimate counter-insurgency operations. The military exonerated itself of all accusations of atrocities in an internal investigation, which published its findings on Nov. 13. Myanmar’s civilian government has said that the burnings were carried out by Rohingya militants and the Rohingya themselves. 

Myanmar’s military did not respond to Reuters’ questions about its role in the alleged atrocities against the Rohingya described in this graphic. 

Reporting by Weiyi Cai, Simon Scarr and Simon Lewis; Writing by Karishma Singh; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Martin Howell

The Global Silence Around Myanmar

Map of reports of abuses or events leading Rohingya residents to flee their home in Myanmar.

By Michelle Chen
December 26, 2017

Numbers don’t lie. Politicians do. It has been months since reports of mass violence started flowing from Rakhine state in Myanmar, amplifying a generations-old history of systemic oppression of the Rohingya Muslim minority. But the fresh wave of horror unfolding at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border underscore the modern limitations of human rights, when the targets of violence are simply no longer considered human.

Despite an ongoing media blackout within Myanmar, accounts of genocidal carnage and ethnic cleansing have spilled across the border to Bangladesh, producing an estimated more than 647,000 migrants since violence initially erupted in late August through December 12. The group Medicines Sans Frontiers recently reported that in just the first month of the exodus, from late August to September, an estimated 6,700 people were killed, including some 730 children under age five. Most were shot or beaten, others incinerated inside torched homes or bombed, or otherwise ravaged through bombs and other systematic physical and sexual attacks. Others died trying to escape by boat to Bangladesh.

A new data-mapping initiative on migration, Exchange.org, surveyed refugeesfrom Rakhine and outlying villages, who have crowded into unsanitary camps at in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar region. Of 1,360 respondents, more than 90 percent reported fleeing after experiencing or witnessing mass violence, including systematic destruction of villages, hundreds of armed attacks, and at least 171 incidents of rape (likely a vast undercount in this deeply traumatized community), and other military-driven attacks.

Interviewees attested to “a calculated campaign of sexual violence,” according to researchers, recalling that “perpetrators made calculated decisions to target women and girls by rounding them up, or kidnapping them after storming the villages.”

Hala, a thirty-five-year-old villager, reported: “The military started fires in my village. They forcibly entered my house. They raped me and stabbed my husband in the stomach. My young child was taken away from me and thrown into the fire. When I started crying, they raped me again.”

Gang rape was reportedly ritualized into a form of public torture, using tactics like public stripping and cutting off women’s nipples. One man from the village of Maungdang recounted an attack in which women were stripped, and “fifteen soldiers took turns raping the women over several hours. I felt like they would kill my wife.”

Though the military denies the claims of human rights abuses, soldiers, not local militants, were identified as the primary instigators. The regime has justified the crackdown by citing low-grade attacks by some local Rohingya militants deemed “terrorists,” but the response has been savagely disproportionate. One witness recalled soldiers “arresting the people from the villages, accusing them of joining a terrorist group, and threatening to take them to the police station, but they were killed by the military. The dead bodies were handed over to the families and their families could not even recognize their faces.”

The attacks mark an intensification of a longstanding civilian-military collaboration with local Buddhist extremists, according to XChange.org researcher Pablo Gallego, “96 percent of the respondents said that the military was involved,” with locals generally playing “a supportive role,” which extends the “modus operandi” observed in earlier waves of anti-Rohingya violence.

The refugee crisis now entering its fourth month, and there remains a complete impasse over finding any viable political situation to either allow people to return or resettle long-term across the border (nearly 80 percent hope to go back if the situation at home improves).

The impasse tightened in late December, when the government barred United Nations Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee from making a scheduled visit in January, effectively halting a U.N. fact-finding mission Myanmar officials have dismissed as “biased.”

Yet while global outrage has mounted, it’s all quiet on the diplomacy front. Even symbolic condemnations have been blocked in the U.N. by China and Russia, yet again reducing human rights to geopolitical bargaining chip.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a coalition of ten nations including Myanmar, many tainted by egregious human rights track records, adhere to a principle of strict “non-interference” in each other’s affairs. Yet ASEAN is merely following an historical pattern of neighboring nations, and investors, politely turning a blind eye to the carnage.

China is eager to exploit Myanmar’s mineral resources as it consolidates its power across the region under its “Belt and Road” economic integration plan. So far, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, formerly CEO of Exxon Mobil, has denounced “ethnic cleansing” in Rakhine state. But, overall, the Trump Administration’s foreign policy, guided by business interests, has refrained from seriously pressing human rights throughout the region (or for that matter, domestically).

So globally, the Myanmar government has won a pass for its behavior. As an ethnic Muslim minority associated with the British Empire, the Rohingya have long been scapegoated through systematic persecution. Today, under independence, this pernicious divide-and-conquer governing strategy continues to be weaponized as a platform for nationalist demagoguery, directed at not just the Rohingya but several other ethnic minority groups that have rebelled against the government.

Even Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate and de facto leader of Myanmar’s “transitional” government, now acts as the military’s white-washer in chief, providing a patina of diplomatic stability by dismissing the Rohingya crisis as an internal matter, referring to the refugees as “Bengalis” or “illegal immigrants.”

Maung Zarni, a global human rights scholar from Myanmar, has given up hope that the international human rights regime can effectively pressure Myanmar’s government.

“Fact-Finding, human rights documentation, fieldwork, surveys . . . around my country’s Buddhist genocide of Rohingyas have become an end in and of itself, a growth industry,” he says via email.

Facts can only go so far when both mainstream humanitarian groups and governments fail to marshal the political will to exert genuine political pressure. Solutions will be necessarily complex, whether through internationally coordinated diplomacy, targeted economic isolation of the regime and its corporate allies, or the longer-term project of sustained social support and resettlement programs for refugees. Marni concludes, “It is not data or evidence that drive international politics or policies, but self-interests of players and their self-serving justification.”

The Rohingya crisis reflects a pattern of migration tragedy across the Middle East and north Africa, at the frontiers of southern Europe and even U.S.-Mexico border: communities brutalized by war or social or economic upheaval are driven into exile, exploited by smuggling networks, and dumped in host societies where they face further violence and exploitation. Dehumanized and damaged, migrants form the collateral damage of a world of low-grade warfare and high-grade economic globalization.

Strip away the experts and the fact-finders, and we’re left with a global power balance that hinges on mutual silence, inside and outside of Myanmar. Independence and self-determinations, it was once hoped, would foster Myanmar’s democratic renaissance. But fifty years on, those old imperial forces have been supplanted with autocrats and billionaires,who continue to prey on an underclass both new and ancient—the poor, the dispossessed, the hated ethnic other—in a colony by a different name.

Michelle Chen is a contributing writer for The Nation, a contributing editor at Dissent magazine and a co-producer of Dissent’s “Belabored” podcast.

Dr Maung Zarni testifies before the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal on Myanmar

Aung San Suu Kyi: Culpable of 'Genocide'?

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Claude TRUONG-NGOC

By David Hutt
December 19, 2017

Will the international community contend with Aung San Suu Kyi’s culpability for the violence in Rakhine State?

In recent months, the United Nations has hardened its view of the Rohingya’s plight in Myanmar to be that of “textbook ethnic cleansing,” as expressed by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights. But earlier this month, at a session of Human Rights Council in Geneva, Zeid asked (presumably not rhetorically) who can “rule out that elements of genocide may be present?” More recently, Zeid said that you also cannot rule out the possibility that one day Aung San Suu Kyi (along with head of the armed forces Aung Min Hlaing) will find herself in the dock on genocide charges. This certainly raises the stakes from simply taking away her Nobel Peace Prize or a few honorary titles awarded by foreign governments and cities.

Zeid’s comment, as to be expected, has reared the head of Suu Kyi’s apologists, a legion that is growing smaller by the day, though remains rather persistent and dogged. The apologia for Suu Kyi tends to rest on four arguments. I’ll begin with the most persuasive.

1. Suu Kyi, as the de-facto civilian leader of Myanmar, has no control over the country’s military forces, which have acted independently of civilian government.

This is an argument favored by many of her claquers, but it has countless flaws. The most obvious is that, even if Suu Kyi has no direct control over the military, she has tactically vindicated its actions and, more importantly, refused to come to the defense of the Rohingya. It is commonly reported that she has said “nothing” about the issue, or been “silent” on it, though neither is true.

She has repeatedly refused to even call the minority group by its name, referring to the Rohingya mainly as “refugees.” Zeid said of this: “To strip their name from them is dehumanizing to the point where you begin to believe that anything is possible.”

Her office has described some accounts of the atrocities as “fake news,” including the rape of women and girls by soldiers. She has attempted at moral equivalency, blaming terrorist attacks for being as bad as what the military is doing, when the numbers inflicted by the former pale in comparison to the latter’s.

It took her until November to actually visit Rakhine state for the first time, a PR visit where her apparent message was that all is fine, stressing some Rohingya decided not to flee, unlike more than the 650,000 others who have. “I hope everything will go fine as local villagers handle the rebuilding process,” she said, not bothering to mention why they needed to rebuild in the first case (in some cases because their entire villages were burnt to the ground).

She has also said the Rohingya can return to Myanmar, as long as they can prove they used to live in Rakhine, a flinty comment considering most likely fled without any documentation, and considering the Rohingya have long been stripped of citizenship, which Suu Kyi’s government hasn’t said they can have.

In fact, her spokesman last month blamed Bangladesh for not wanting to send the Rohingya back, “because [the Bangladeshi government is] afraid they will lose international donations,” a most reprehensible comment about a country that has willingly, and to its own detriment, taken in hundreds of thousands of people.

Then there have been flat out lies. Her cabinet, which she reportedly strictly controls, has in the past denied that any Rohingya have been killed by the military. “There is no case of the military killing Muslim civilians,” the social welfare minister said in October, “Muslim people killed their own Muslim people.”

In a speech to parliament in mid-September, she said there had been “no armed clashes or clearance operations” since September 5, something contested at the time by many independent observers. In the same speech, she claimed that “all people in Rakhine state have access to education and healthcare without discrimination,” which simply isn’t true.

Daring at self-pity, and self-aggrandizement, she has constantly tried to redirect international empathy for the Rohingya’s plight to her own past struggles. “We know very well, more than most, what it means to be deprived of human rights and democratic protection,” she is thought to have told the Turkish leader in September. One suspects that she now knows, more than most, what it means to deprive others of human rights and democratic protection, as well.

Let’s attempt a brief thought experiment. Imagine that it wasn’t Suu Kyi, the Nobelist and (former) international democracy icon, in charge of Myanmar’s civilian government. Instead, it is some person you never heard of, who hasn’t been beatified by the likes of Luc Besson or Hillary Clinton. Now, imagine that you are told this individual has done all of the above and, as well as disregarding ethnic cleansing, has also censored newspapers, arrested journalists, attacked honest reporting as “fake news,” and failed to live up to most of their electoral promises.

I imagine, or hope, that the reader would come to conclusion that the leader shouldn’t be supported. Indeed, I suspect few politicians would find the level of support (nay sympathy and pity) if they didn’t have the PR history of Suu Kyi. Whichever way one looks at it, Suu Kyi has become a synonym, or par excellence, of Christopher Hitchen’s penetrating maxim that some people’s actions are judged by their reputations and not their reputations by their actions.

2. Even if Suu Kyi has justified the military’s action, she has no power to stop their ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya.

This is a not-so-subtle extension of the first apologia, only it gives certain ground on her deplorable comments. But the subtlety is that Suu Kyi is suddenly provided some autonomy in this defense, which some loyalists deny her, many of whom think of her as still being under a sort of house arrest, albeit in the lower house of parliament.

3. Suu Kyi’s civilian government has restrained the military from what could have been a far worse ethnic cleansing. 

This might be a justification, but it is a hard one to prove. (Nor, is it that much of an excuse; an accomplice that convinces a murderer to slay only 10, not 15, people is no less an accomplice). Much easier to prove is that the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya didn’t start in its worst manifestation and then ease off. Instead, it got increasingly barbaric as the year went on.

4. Holding Suu Kyi responsible for the Rohingya’s plight would be disastrous for Myanmar’s democratic movement, likely handing power back exclusively to the military leadership.

By far, this is the most reprehensible apologia, tarnishing not only the name of democracy but also embracing the worst of realpolitik and the vilest of utilitarianism. In short, it justifies the sacrificing of hundreds of thousands of people for the sake of political power. And, if true, would admit Suu Kyi is willing to sacrifice one portion of society for the possible benefit of the majority.

Imagine I told you that if Suu Kyi can bring about economic reform, introduce some progressive social measures and, even, put an end to Myanmar’s endemic corruption, and that this would justify her vindications of possible genocide. I trust the reader would consider such a statement deplorable.

But in this defense of Suu Kyi one also finds a fallacy. To argue that Suu Kyi and the NLD ought to stay in government because there is the distinct possibility of domestic reform is to admit that she actually does hold some power. Not only that, she must have considerable power, given the difficulty of reforming a system that has been in place for decades, and held in place by once-hermetic military sadists.

So, either Suu Kyi doesn’t have any real power or she does. Her apologists cannot have it both ways. If she has no real power, then her retention of numerous political portfolios and de-facto control of civilian government is the sign of a naive opportunist, not a moralist.

And if she doesn’t have the power to even criticize the actions of the country’s military, what chance does she have to actually reform a political system still dominated by that military. Or, even more basely, if she cannot find the moral strength to denounce a possible genocide (or, simply, call a people by their name) why on earth should we believe she has the moral strength to battle corruption, or poverty, or human rights abuses not related to a Muslim minority?

In one sense, her civilian leadership has become inane. Worse still, stained by association. The NLD might have won a democratic election, but that’s it. Indeed, this article hasn’t even begun to scratch at what is currently happening to civil society in Myanmar, including the detention of two Reuters reporters this month. Even if the Rohingya ethnic cleansing wasn’t taking place, there would be few good things to say about what her civilian government is currently doing, nor able to argue that the pro-democratic party is acting in a democratic manner.

The only moral thing left to do (though it might now be too late) is for Suu Kyi to resign, extract the NLD from the current regime and regain some bloody courage by vehemently opposing genocide in her country, in opposition. Let the military generals take the opprobrium from the international community and let them stand trial alone for genocide, if such an event actually happens.

I feel compelled to admit that history is littered with politicians of contradictions. Lincoln was a volunteer captain in the Black Hawk War, one instance in the genocide of Native Americans, but would later become the Great Emancipator. Maybe, then, historians will look upon Suu Kyi in a more kindly light. Today, however, I cannot justify taking such dispassionate stance. No, she deserves nothing but opprobrium and censure.

Maung Zarni, Burmese activist: “What we were doing to the Rohingya fits the term genocide”



Maung Zarni is an activist who lived in Burma between 1963 and 1988. He explains why Myanmar is not a model democratic transition.

Published on 20 November 2017

TheMuslimPost: You come from a Buddhist Burmese family. Tell us about your childhood in Burma?

Maung Zarni : I grew up between 1963 and 1988 in Mandalay, the last royal capital of the Burmese Kingdom. With a half million inhabitants, our city was marked by its ethnic and religious diversity due to its geographic location. Notwithstanding this diversity, the idea of blood-based ethnic identity has been so deeply ingrained in our​ mainstream Burmese​ thought. So, the deeply-rooted notion of ‘pure blood’ or ‘half-blooded’ governed our social relations. My earliest memory of ethno-nationalist self-awareness based on “blood” came from a couple of nationally acclaimed fictions based on history: “Blood” and “Burmese Sword.”

When was your epiphany moment?

It was my British wife who triggered this epiphany. She worked as a volunteer in a Karen war refugee camp along Thai-Burmese borders about 15 years ago. Around 2009, she began to discover the unspeakable crimes my country committed against the Rohingya people. So, I started to do my own research, and began to realize that what we were doing to the Rohingya fits the term genocide. On a personal level, I began to ask myself what if my daughters were tossed into the fire by a powerful army, or my wife raped and gang-raped, or my old mother shot dead by the soldiers – simply because they exist in a place where their presence is not welcomed by the Burmese army and the Rakhine. That was an extremely shocking and a personally painful realization.

What is your reaction towards elements of Burmese society and their role in inciting more hate (e.g. Wirathu). How does the primer Buddhist principle of non-violence align with this?

Complete and utter disbelief. This may be a paradox: as someone who was deeply influenced by Buddhist philosophy in his thoughts and outlook on life, I became extremely outraged that these Saffron Robe-men who call themselves ‘monks’ and ‘Buddhists” are espousing categorically Fascist ideas and worldview.

There is absolutely nothing Buddhist about these hate-mongers. Their Saffron robes and shaven heads are taken to be coterminous with Buddhism.

What precise action needs to be done?

What needs to be done is to establish the fact that the Citizenship Act of 1982 has served genocidal purposes against the Rohingya. We also need to put pressure on the government of Myanmar to review and revise it. It’s like Hitler’s Nuremberg Law that de-Germanized the Jews and stripped them of any rights or protection. Actions should center on getting the International community -both people and states- to acknowledge the persecution of the Rohingya by the Burmese state -a U.N. member- as the crime of genocide. Also, an independant summit should be planned where a coalition of Muslim and non-Muslim U.N states can pressurize the Burmese leadership – both Aung San Suu Kyi and general Min Aung Hlaing – to end the persecution immediately. 

Do you support reverting economic sanctions against Burma for the sake of imposing new humanitarian grounds?

Yes, I absolutely do. Over 10 years, I have worked on building an international boycott campaign against Burma – when Suu Kyi was under house arrest. Later, I argued that isolation and boycott were hurting the country’s people more than the generals. But I think at this point, I would support anything including military intervention. But, the intervention of a powerful neighbour to stop the genocide- is still inconceivable. It has been going on for almost 40 years. That’s was why, I coined the term “the slow burning genocide” as opposed to a swift one like the Rwandan genocide.

How did the rise of China in the region (which has a bad record with its Muslim minority) affect the treatment of Rohingya in the country?

As a matter of fact, China is implicated in the latest phases of persecution, and so is India. Both have invested in some of the areas, where Rohingyas have been driven out of their whole neighborhoods for deep sea port development, Special Economic Zone project, etc. 

The Burmese military brought both, India and China, as their business partners. Over 100,000 Rohingya lost their homes, lands and livelihood as the Burmese military made ways for Chinese and Indian projects. 

Where is Myanmar heading in the age of normalized relations with the U.S. and the West and the ascendance of new anti-Islam, conservative voices in the West?

I think Washington, London and Brussels are finding it difficult to continue with their collective and concerted spin that Myanmar is a ‘model democratic transition’, especially since the country is spearheaded by their old darling, the Oxford-educated and beautiful Oriental woman whom they consider as a Mandela-like figure. They are realizing that their darling is an anti-Muslim racist who is “cooperating fully” – by her own admission on Channel News Asia on 8 Dec – with the Burmese army. Even BBC -the mainstream British media- has broadcasted scathing news analyses about the despicable role she is playing as the genocide whitewasher. Kofi Annan is also playing this whitewash role in the midst of Aung San Suu Kyi’s allegations of democratizing Myanmar, which represents a full-scale genocide.

Reworking the Colonial-Era Indian Peril: Myanmar’s State-Directed Persecution of Rohingyas and Other Muslims

By Maung Zarni and Natalie Brinham 
December 2017

Myanmar’s widely hailed transition from military dictatorship to a Chinese model of great commercial opening and calibrated political liberalization— “discipline flourishing democracy,” as the generals call it—has had one unintended consequence for the country’s military-controlled government: ugly things have been exposed. Suddenly, the dark secrets of this predominantly Buddhist nation of 51 million people with diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds have been laid bare. The world now has access to hitherto-closed-off sites of religious and ethnic persecution via international media such as CNN, BBC, wire news agencies, and so on. First, the world witnessed the eruption of two large bouts of violence in 2012 between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhist Rakhine communities in the western coastal region of the country. Within a year, there were incidents of organized violence against Muslims in about one dozen towns and neighborhoods across the country... (download full article pdf below)

Displaced Rohingya people in Rakhine State (Photo by UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, accessed via Wikimedia Commons)

Download full article: Zarni_published.pdf

In 2017, no one has fallen further than Aung San Suu Kyi

A 7-year-old Rohingya refugee shows a bullet wound on his chest at the Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on Tuesday. (Marko Djurica/Reuters)

By Christian Caryl
December 20, 2017

The world is a mess. Wars are devouring civilian lives. In the United States and elsewhere, populist leaders are eroding eroded democratic norms and coarsening public discourse. Many dictators are jailing and killing their opponents with impunity.

In some ways, though, the events in Burma over the past year have been uniquely horrific.

In August, in what it depicted as retaliation for a few minor attacks launched by insurgents acting in the name of the Muslim minority known as the Rohingya, the Burmese military launched a wave of attacks on Rohingya communities, burning and killing in a calculated effort to drive them out of the country and across the border into Bangladesh.

Since then, almost 700,000 people have made the journey, bringing them with a few scant possessions and countless tales of atrocities, including gang rapes, the murder of children and the destruction of entire villages. What makes the survivors’ accounts even more disturbing is the realization that many of the horrors they describe were coolly planned and premeditated, as documented in a recent report by Human Rights Watch.

Think about that: In the early 21st century, a government institution has consciously set about to eliminate an entire ethnic group’s presence within its country.

And fatefully implicated in this nightmare is a woman who, not that long ago, exemplified heroic endurance and courage in the pursuit of democratic ideals. Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s de facto leader, now stands accused of betraying the ideals for which she was once lionized by the world.

We expect President Trump to be a boor. We expect the Putins, the Xis, the Erdogans to brutalize their own people. But there is something uniquely awful about a Nobel Peace Prize laureate acting as an enabler of the murder and displacement of an entire community.

Commentators have faulted her for her silence on what many are calling a deliberate act of genocide. But that’s not quite right. Far from being silent, she has actively defended the military’s actions, writing off eyewitness accounts of its crimes — in a chillingly Trumpian flourish — as “fake news.” (In 2016, when the military embarked on a smaller version of this year’s “clearance operations,” Suu Kyi’s own office contemptuously dismissed the stories of Rohingya women who said they’d been sexually assaulted by soldiers with the words “fake rape.”) Last month she rejected foreign criticism of the army’s actions by saying that “no one can fully understand the situation of our country the way we do.”

Her defenders rightly note that Burma’s current constitution does not grant her control over the army. Yet this argument ignores the powers she does have. When the United Nations tried to send investigators to Burma to look into allegations of mistreatment of the Rohingya this summer, in the run-up to the ethnic-cleansing campaign, Suu Kyi — who is also Burma’s foreign minister and thus in charge of controlling foreigners’ access to the country — refused to give them visas.

Her long struggle for freedom has given her unchallenged moral authority. Yet this power, too, she has conspicuously failed to use. In September, when the cleansing campaign was in full gear, she gave a speech in which she claimed that “more than 50 percent of the villages of Muslims are intact.” (She didn’t say what had happened to the other 50 percent, many of which have since been destroyed as well.) She also claimed that the “clearance operations” were winding down. Hundreds of thousands more Rohingya have fled since her words.

Small wonder that the leader of one of Britain’s top pro-Burma campaigns recently declared publicly that the onetime idol of human rights is “complicit” in crimes against humanity. Small wonder that Dublin and Oxford have both withdrawn their awards to her. Small wonder that prominent figures — including some of her fellow laureates — are calling upon the Nobel Prize Committee to take back the 1991 Peace Prize she won for her work as a dissident.

So what does this say about us, her supporters in the international community? Were we too naive in embracing her as a dissident star? Did we miss the telltale signs of a Burmese Buddhist nationalist who quietly views some of her compatriots as alien and inferior?

Or did we fail to realize that, once in power, she would have to accommodate herself to the strength of a strain of lethal racism embedded in mainstream Burmese culture? (During the 2015 election campaign — which ended with the landslide victory that gave her the power she enjoys today — she revealingly refused to include any Muslims in her party’s candidate list. Was this cynical realism or a genuine expression of her deeper impulses?)

The world has lost a hero. Were we wrong to put her on a pedestal in the first place? Should we stop viewing international politics through the prism of heroism? Or should we refocus our efforts on the ideals that she once seemed to embody?

The international community should now confront its own complicity in this disaster. We must work to understand how we allowed this to happen, and we must urgently establish accountability — legal and moral — for those behind these crimes. Viewed against this daunting background, the questions I’ve posed above seem minor by comparison.

Christian Caryl is an editor with The Post's Global Opinions section. Follow @ccaryl

Aung San Suu Kyi honours Myanmar's top genocidal hate-monger Sitagu "monk" Aung San Suu Kyi just bestowed on Sitagu monk a high honour "Abidaza Maha Guru" in Myanmar today.



Aung San Suu Kyi honours Myanmar's top genocidal hate-monger Sitagu "monk" Aung San Suu Kyi just bestowed on Sitagu monk a high honour "Abidaza Maha Guru" in Myanmar today. 

Sitagu is the most dangerous GENOCIDAL Demagogue who justifie the slaughter of non-Buddhists, "1/2 humans", before the military commandos, on 30 Oct.

https://coconuts.co/yangon/news/not-buddhists-agree-sitagu-sayadaws-militant-message/

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The U.N.'s Rights Chief Says He Wouldn't Be Surprised if Aung San Suu Kyi Faced Genocide Charges

http://time.com/5068442/aung-san-suu-kyi-genocide-myanmar/

In 2017, the world let another 'genocide' unfold



By Ishaan Tharoor
December 19, 2017

The volume of utterly horrifying stories emerging from Myanmar can feel overwhelming. Since late August, more than 626,000 ethnic Rohingya have fled what seemed to be a systematic campaign of attacks by the Burmese military and local militias in the country's Rakhine state — the most rapid exodus of a community since the Rwandan genocide. An aid group estimated that some 9,000 Rohingya, including 1,000 small children, died between late August and late September. Satellite data showed hundreds of villages burned to the ground, while virtually everyone who escaped to squalid refugee camps in Bangladesh has a horror story to tell.

Unforgettable scenes

"They shot my old father, they put a log of wood in his mouth and then slit his throat," a woman named Almas Khatun recently told The Sydney Morning Herald. "I keep thinking about my children. I couldn't save them. They killed seven of my children, my husband and his two brothers." She pretended to be dead and managed to later crawl to safety, away from the burning ruin of her village and the corpses of dozens of slain relatives.

Last week, an investigation by The Associated Press chronicled what appears to have been a campaign of mass rape carried out by Burmese security forces, based on interviews with 29 women and girls ranging from the ages of 13 to 35. Soldiers and anti-Rohingya vigilantes, they say, engaged in robbery and torture, including abusing and gang-raping the women they captured. "The testimonies bolster the U.N.'s contention that Myanmar's armed forces are systematically employing rape as a 'calculated tool of terror' aimed at exterminating the Rohingya people," the AP wrote.

In a Friday column, Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times recounted his own conversations with Rohingya women who were raped and had to witness the slaughter of their loved ones. He called on Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's top civilian leader and Nobel laureate, to listen to the story of Hasina Begum, a 21-year-old who saw the men and boys of her village killed, their bodies dumped in a pile, doused in gasoline and set aflame. The women and girls were meant to endure an even grislier fate.

"I was trying to hide my baby under my scarf, but they saw her leg," Hasina told Kristof. "They grabbed my baby by the leg and threw her onto the fire." The story goes on: "Hasina said she collapsed on the ground, screaming. The impatient soldiers then began to club her — she showed me scars from the beating — and dragged her into a hut with her sister-in-law, Asma Begum. The soldiers stripped the women naked and raped them, she said, and finally closed the door and set the hut on fire."

Nightmares

Naked, the two women managed to escape through a hole in the hut, salved their injuries with mud, scavenged clothes and made a three-day trek to the Bangladesh border. "When I fall asleep, I look for my baby," Hasina told Kristof. "I wake up screaming."

The violence that prompted these shocking stories has generated plenty of international outrage. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which warned two years ago that conditions in Myanmar, also called Burma, were ripe for genocide, issued a report in November alongside a local rights group saying there was "mounting evidence" that the Burmese military carried out acts that "represent a genocide of the Rohingya people."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described what befell the Rohingya as "ethnic cleansing," while various senior U.N. officials have also made similar statements. Yet there has been little genuine action, and not just from the United States.

Muslim leaders from Turkey to Malaysia grandstanded for a time about the tragedy befalling their fellow Muslims, but most have moved on. In India, which does have influence over Myanmar, sympathy for the Rohingya played second fiddle to domestic politics, with the country's Hindu-nationalist government moving to deport thousands of Rohingya refugees in the country over concerns about Islamist extremism. And China, which has a close relationship with Myanmar's generals and deep economic interests in the country, has proposed a repatriation plan that would likely shield Myanmar's top brass from further international scrutiny.

"The Rohingya are a lesser consideration for Beijing," noted Nicholas Bequelin of Amnesty International in The New York Times. "The returnees would not be allowed to go to their home villages, which have been reduced to ashes, but consigned to grim internment camps. The system of discrimination and segregation that made them so vulnerable in the first place would become further entrenched."

The Burmese government certainly seems unmoved. Suu Kyi maintains that Rohingya testimony isn't to be believed on face value and blames local "terrorists" among the Rohingya for provoking the chaos. Her defenders argue that she has to play her own complicated game with the country's overweening military, but her maneuvering still obscures the calamity in Rakhine, which remains almost entirely closed off to independent media.

When journalists recently asked a Rakhine official, Col. Phone Tint, about reports of rape, he scoffed. "These women were claiming they were raped, but look at their appearances — do you think they are that attractive to be raped?" he said.

The fake-news defense

Another senior official from Rakhine, speaking to Hannah Beech of The New York Times, articulated the Burmese government's refusal to even believe in the existence of the Rohingya, a largely Muslim ethnic group that has lived for generations in Myanmar but had its citizenship rights stripped in the 1980s by a military junta. "There is no such thing as Rohingya," he said before parroting President Donald Trump. "It is fake news."

That use of the term "fake news" generated a fair bit of controversy, underscoring both Trump's broader appeal to strongmen abroad and his own muted response to the Rohingya crisis. Yet, in this instance, Trump is hardly alone in his indifference.

"Crimes against humanity are an offense against all humanity and require a response from all of us," wrote Kristof. But in a year so profoundly steeped in bad blood, that common response is nowhere in sight.

রোহিঙ্গারা নিরাপত্তা হুমকি নয়

মং জার্নি

এটা কি কল্পনা করা যায়, বিবিসি, চ্যাটহ্যাম হাউস, রান্ড করপোরেশন অসউইচসহ দ্বিতীয় বিশ্বযুদ্ধের বিভিন্ন কুখ্যাত নির্যাতন শিবিরের বেঁচে যাওয়া ইহুদিদের সম্ভাব্য ‘ইহুদি সন্ত্রাসী’ হিসেবে আখ্যা দিয়েছে? আবার এটাও কি ভাবা যায় যে ছোট ছোট ইহুদি ছেলেমেয়েদের ‘সম্ভাব্য ইহুদি সন্ত্রাসী’ আখ্যা দেওয়া হয়েছে? যদিও তাদের মধ্যে হয়তো স্বাভাবিকভাবে প্রতিশোধস্পৃহা জন্ম নিয়েছিল? যাদের বাবা-মাকে হিটলার গ্যাস চেম্বারে ঢুকিয়ে হত্যা করেছিল। তবে নিশ্চিতভাবে এসব কিছু তখন ঘটেনি।

কিন্তু আজ মিয়ানমারের বৌদ্ধদের পরিচালিত গণহত্যা থেকে বেঁচে যাওয়া মানুষের বেলায় এ কথা বলা হচ্ছে। যাদের নাম মিয়ানমারের ক্যাথলিক চার্চ, এমনকি পোপ পর্যন্ত মুখে আনেননি, পাছে এই গণহত্যার নেতা সেনাপ্রধান মিন অং লেইং ও অং সান সু চি বিরক্ত হন। বাস্তবতা হলো প্রায় ১০ লাখ রোহিঙ্গা দ্বিমুখী নিপীড়নের শিকার হচ্ছে। প্রথমত, তারা ফেরত গেলে উত্তর আরাকানে নিপীড়িত হওয়ার আশঙ্কা আছে; দ্বিতীয়ত, বাংলাদেশেও তারা সম্ভাব্য হুমকির মুখে আছে।

রোহিঙ্গাদের জন্মস্থান মিয়ানমার আনুষ্ঠানিকভাবে রোহিঙ্গাদের ‘অবৈধ বাঙালি অভিবাসী’ আখ্যা দেয়, এটা ভ্রান্ত। আরও খারাপভাবে বললে তাদের ‘জিহাদি সম্প্রদায়’ বলে আখ্যা দেয়। মিয়ানমারের নাগরিক সমাজে এই ধারণাটা সামগ্রিকভাবে জনপ্রিয় ও প্রসারিত হয়েছে, তাদের অবস্থাটা এখন ১৯৩০-এর দশকের জার্মানদের মতো। মিয়ানমারের মানুষের চোখে রোহিঙ্গারা তাদের ‘বৌদ্ধ জীবনযাপনের’ প্রতি হুমকিস্বরূপ, শুধু তা-ই নয়, জাতীয় নিরাপত্তার প্রতিও। বাংলাদেশ তাদের আশ্রয় দিলেও দেশটির এ নিয়ে দীর্ঘমেয়াদি উদ্বেগ আছে। কারণ, এতে সে কিছু ‘অপ্রথাগত নিরাপত্তা হুমকির’ সম্মুখীন হয়েছে, যার মধ্যে আছে মহামারি, দেহব্যবসা, মাদক ব্যবসা ইত্যাদি। অন্যদিকে এরা ইসলামি সন্ত্রাসবাদীদের দলে ভিড়ে যেতে পারে।

বিশ্বের সবচেয়ে বড় রাষ্ট্রবিহীন এই জাতিগোষ্ঠীর ব্যাপারে বিভিন্ন রাষ্ট্রের যেমন ভুল ধারণা আছে, তেমনি এই ভুল ধারণার পালে বিভিন্ন পরামর্শক ও সাংবাদিকেরাও হাওয়া দিচ্ছেন। তাঁরা নানা রকম ‘নিরাপত্তা বিশ্লেষণ’ হাজির করছেন। আবার এখন এ নিয়ে অনেক খবর আসছে যে রোহিঙ্গা এতিম, নারী ও কিশোরীরা এখন স্থানীয় বাংলাদেশি ও রোহিঙ্গা অপরাধী চক্রের খপ্পরে পড়েছে। এরা এখন এই মেয়েদের দিয়ে পতিতাবৃত্তি, মাদক ব্যবসা বা বাঁধা শ্রমিকের কাজ করাবে।

তবে গভীর সমস্যা হচ্ছে ভদ্রলোকি অপরাধ, আমি যার নাম দেব রোহিঙ্গাদের প্রতীকী শোষণ। এর মধ্যে আছেন গবেষক, সাংবাদিক ও অন্যান্য পেশাজীবী, যাঁরা বিশ্লেষণ ও প্রতিবেদন বিক্রি করে জীবিকা নির্বাহ করেন। তাঁরা এসব প্রতিবেদন প্রণয়ন করছেন কিছু ধারণার আলোকে। সেগুলো হচ্ছে ‘মুসলিম বিদ্রোহ’, ‘আমূল ইসলামি সংস্কারবাদ’, ‘মৌলবাদী সন্ত্রাস’ ইত্যাদি।

আর এই ধাক্কায় যে ৬ লাখ ৪০ হাজার রোহিঙ্গা চলে এল, তার মধ্যে ৬০ ভাগই হচ্ছে ভীতসন্ত্রস্ত নারী ও শিশু, দুর্বল বৃদ্ধ মানুষ। ফলে গয়রহভাবে তাদের ‘আঞ্চলিক স্থিতিশীলতার হুমকি’ বা আইএসের দলভুক্তকরণের সম্ভাব্য লক্ষ্যবস্তু হিসেবে আখ্যা দেওয়াটা তাদের ওপর পরিচালিত গণহত্যার মতোই বিতৃষ্ণাকর। এই ভদ্রলোক সন্ত্রাসীরা চট্টগ্রামের ছিঁচকে অপরাধীদের মতোই অনৈতিক, তাদের চেয়ে বেশি না হলেও। এই উভয় গোষ্ঠী নিজেদের পকেট ভরতে পৃথিবীর সবচেয়ে অরক্ষিত গোষ্ঠীকে ব্যবহার করে। এদের সিঁড়ি হিসেবে ব্যবহার করে তারা নিজেদের বিশেষজ্ঞ ভাবমূর্তি গড়ে তোলে, তখন তারা ‘সন্ত্রাসবাদ’ ও ‘নিরাপত্তা’ বিশেষজ্ঞ হিসেবে পরিচিতি পায়।

এই গভীর ক্ষোভ হজম করে আমি নিজেকে এসব থিঙ্কট্যাঙ্ক প্রতিষ্ঠানের প্রতিবেদন, সংবাদপত্রের সম্পাদকীয়, রাজনৈতিক আলোচনা, সাক্ষাৎকার পড়তে বাধ্য করেছি; যেখানে রাজনীতিক, পরামর্শক, এনজিও ও সাংবাদিকেরা বলে থাকেন যে বাংলাদেশে চরমপন্থা বিস্তারের আশঙ্কা আছে। সেখানে সতর্কতার সঙ্গে বলা হয়, ‘মিয়ানমারের জোরপূর্বক বাস্তুচ্যুত মানুষ’। এই ‘নিরাপত্তা বিশ্লেষকেরা’ স্থূলভাবে এই সত্য অস্বীকার করেন যে কেউ তাদের ওপর বোমা মারেনি, সেটা যেমন মিয়ানমারে, তেমনি বাংলাদেশে। সেই ৩৯ বছর আগে মিয়ানমার প্রথম যখন উত্তর রাখাইনে গণহত্যা শুরু করে, তখন থেকে এ পর্যন্ত তারা পৃথিবীর কোনো দেশে বোমা মারেনি।

বিশ্বের সরকার ও গণমাধ্যমের কাছে আমার অনুরোধ, দ্বিতীয় বিশ্বযুদ্ধের নিধনযজ্ঞ থেকে বেঁচে যাওয়া মানুষকে যেমন যথাযথভাবে রাজনৈতিক ও নৈতিক সমর্থন দেওয়া হয়েছিল, রোহিঙ্গাদেরও যেন সে রকম সমর্থন দেওয়া হয়। কিন্তু প্রশ্ন হচ্ছে বিশ্বশক্তি ও গোয়েন্দারা কেন এসব ভুল ব্যাখ্যা গ্রহণ করে? এর উত্তরে আমি দুটি সংক্ষিপ্ত ও পরস্পর সম্পর্কিত ব্যাখ্যা দেব: একটি হচ্ছে ইসলামভীতি, আরেকটি হলো নির্যাতনের বদ্ধমূল ধারণাঘটিত মানসিক বৈকল্য, যার ওপর গোয়েন্দা সংস্থাগুলো নির্ভর করে।

প্রথমত, এসব সংস্থা ও সেখানে কর্মরত নারী-পুরুষ প্রাতিষ্ঠানিক ও মানসিকভাবে মানুষকে সম্ভাব্য অপরাধী হিসেব দেখে থাকে; যেখানে সুস্থ-স্বাভাবিক মানুষ অন্য মানুষকে শোভন, সম্ভাব্য বন্ধু, ভালোবাসার মানুষ বা অংশীদার হিসেবে দেখে। আমার বাবার একজন প্রিয় বন্ধু, যিনি কর্মজীবনে মিয়ানমারের একটি গোয়েন্দা সংস্থার সমন্বয়ক ছিলেন, তিনি আমার এই ধারণাটা আরও পাকাপোক্ত করেছেন যে গোয়েন্দাদের ক্ষেত্রে এটা এক ধরনের প্রাতিষ্ঠানিক ভ্রম।

দ্বিতীয়ত ও শেষত, ৯/১১-এরপর পশ্চিমা গণমাধ্যম ও শক্তিশালী সংস্কৃতি শিল্প যেমন হলিউড প্রাচ্যবাদী (পড়ুন বর্ণবাদী) ধারণার বশবর্তী হয়ে ইসলাম ও মুসলমানদের সন্ত্রাসী হিসেবে আখ্যা দিতে শুরু করে। তারা বলতে থাকল, এদের বোধ-বুদ্ধি নেই, এরা নির্মম, সংকীর্ণ ও প্রতিক্রিয়াশীল। যদিও ‘খ্রিষ্টান পশ্চিমা’ বিশ্ব গত ১০০ বছরে সবচেয়ে বেশি মানুষের মৃত্যুর কারণ।

এসব বলতে বলতে দুটি বিশ্বযুদ্ধ, ধ্বংসযজ্ঞ (হলোকাস্ট), স্নায়ুযুদ্ধ, ডেথ স্কোয়াড, গুলাগ, কোরীয় যুদ্ধ, ভিয়েতনাম যুদ্ধ ও বর্তমানে ছড়িয়ে পড়া মধ্যপ্রাচ্যের যুদ্ধের কথা মাথায় আসে। তবে এর মধ্যে ৫০০ বছরের গির্জাভিত্তিক এবং গির্জার অর্থায়নে পরিচালিত ইউরোপীয় উপনিবেশবাদের গণহত্যার কথা কিন্তু আসেনি। রোহিঙ্গা শরণার্থীদের এখন মিয়ানমারের গণহত্যা, জাতিগত নিধনযজ্ঞ, মানবতাবিরোধী অপরাধ থেকে বেঁচে যাওয়া মানুষ হিসেবে আনুষ্ঠানিকভাবে ও গণপরিসরে স্বীকৃতি দিতে হবে অথবা তাকে অন্য নামে স্বীকৃতি দিতে হবে।

অনুবাদ: প্রতীক বর্ধন।

মং জার্নি: পাশ্চাত্যে বসবাসরত মিয়ানমারের মানবাধিকারকর্মী ও গণহত্যা বিশেষজ্ঞ।

Rohingya crisis is 'very deliberate genocide', former UN general Romeo Dallaire says

Romeo Dallaire was awarded the Canada Pearson Peace Medal

The former commander of UN peacekeeping forces in Rwanda says the "will to intervene" on the Rohingya crisis is missing.

By Dominic Waghorn, Diplomatic Editor 
December 13, 2017

A world authority on genocide has told Sky News what is happening to Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims is undoubtedly genocide and the international community must intervene to prevent it.

As commander of UN peacekeeping forces in Rwanda in the early 1990s, Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire warned that genocide was imminent but was ignored.

As a veteran witness of the mass killings in Rwanda, he has been warning of mass murder being planned in Myanmar, and now for the first time has told the Sky News World View programme that genocide is underway.

History, he says, is repeating itself.

He said: "It’s as if they wrote the same book that the hardliners did in Rwanda and how the international community is reacting is following the same book, and this after the great pieces of work like Responsibility to Protect which we’re all afraid to implement and operationalise."

Responsibility to Protect was a UN-backed international agreement to prevent genocide happening again.

General Dallaire believes it has been discarded in the wake of the Rohingya crisis.

The UN has condemned Myanmar's military operation against the Rohingya as "ethnic cleansing".

The country's authorities have been severely criticised for the attacks on the minority group in Rakhine State but criticisms have fallen short of using the word 'genocide'.

Under international treaties, countries are obliged to intervene in cases of genocide, but there has been little appetite for intervention.

This is despite a programme of killings, mass rape, forcible displacement and the systematic burning of Rohingya villages. As many as a million Rohingyas have been forced to flee.

As Sky News reported earlier this month, thousands remain stranded on beaches and the land behind them has been mined by Myanmar's military.

General Dallaire says he has seen the same methods used before.

He told Sky News: "You’re into the mist of a very slow moving and very deliberate genocide, there is no doubt in my military mind that the way they’re operating, the way they’re conducting, the way they’re using their forces.

"The way the government is camouflaging it.

"They’re all very significant indicators of genocide in operation. They want to wipe them out and they’ve said that’s what they operating to do”.

He is calling for an international military intervention to prevent and reverse the genocide and says where there is sufficient international will there should be a way.

General Dallaire said: "We put 60, 70 thousand people in ex-Yugoslavia. Why can’t we do that there?

"They’re more people being killed and martyred, more internally displaced refugees than there was in the whole Yugoslav campaign so it is purely will to intervene which is missing."

General Dallaire is not the only one to have warned of imminent genocide being planned in Myanmar against the Rohingya.

Academics at London's Queen Mary University have been writing to the British Government since 2014 advising all the precursors of genocide were present.