I always considered myself a worldly person, I keep up with current events and try not to be naive about what is going on around me. However, recently I began to question that when I was alerted to the genocide of ethnic people which is currently happening in Burma/Myanmar.
Genocide? I mean how can something that big be happening in todays day an age without us knowing about it?
Well I started looking into it and it is truly happening. After researching and reading a large number of materials I am truly shocked with what I have discovered.
I feel compelled to help these people & I believe the best way to do that is to raise awareness of their situation.
So please, read on. Here is the story of the Rohingya….
To start, a quick history & geography lesson
– The population of Burma is approximately 53 million
– 89% of this population is Buddhist.
– In the late 1800s the British invaded and decided to bring together the 7 states of Myanmar, this created tension within the nation.
– The Brits also brought along slaves from Bangladesh
– In 1948 Burma gained independence and then came under military rule, simultaneously going into civil war
– Burma has the longest standing civil war in history
– As of 2010 Burma is no longer under military rule
So, Burma has been in this long standing civil war, but it all seems to be turning a corner with recent democratic reforms, tourism sectors being opened up and cease fires from a number of different parties. Hurray!?
There is no need for celebration yet as one race is being persecuted daily, and this has been going on for over half a century. Currently in Burma there is half a million displaced people with millions more having fled across the border to neighbouring countries. These people are called ROHINGYA. Many are native to the Rakine state of Burma but are not recognised as citizens by the government. Why? Because they’re muslim.
Because of their religion they’re being targeted.
How are they being targeted?
– In the 1980’s the government began institutional discrimination and in a secret Miranda in 1988 they outlined plans to undermine the Rohingya’s ability to live in Myanmar including; control of birth rate, limited education opportunities, restriction of movement etc.
– In the outlying townships of the Rakine state there are large sectioned off areas where the Rohingya people are confined to, they cannot leave to work, they cannot leave for school, there only means of survival are aid rations. They’re completely cut off from contact with the outside world.
– Laws were passed which state that anyone who identifies as Rohingya must pay $700 to be married and $150 per child they conceive…these rules do not apply to any other ethnic group
– In 2012 after a woman was allegedly raped by three muslim men the whole nation exploded into violence against the entire Rohingya population, hundreds of people were burned alive, women and children were raped in front of their fathers and husbands, the government walked through the streets with machine guns opening fire on anyone in the villages.
Essentially, they’re caught in a vicious cycle, they cannot go to school or find jobs, but in order to marry or have a child they must pay money. The government is carrying out it Miranda. The government and religious leaders of this nation are controlling the birth rate of the Rohingya in order to wipe them out. And if one person from the group does something wrong the whole group is punished.
The human rights of this entire ethnic group are being violated EVERYDAY.
So what does the Burmese government say in response?
They say that the Rohingya belong in Bangladesh and that muslims are a threat to there society, however Bangladesh won’t accept them as they originate from Myanmar.
So what is happening to the Rohingya now? They’re fleeing. They’re risking there lives to leave Burma because anywhere is safer to them. But no one is accepting them, they’re the worlds most unwanted people.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post.
I hope I taught you something.
My goal is to raise awareness of this situation, if you think you can help or just want some more information please contact me!