Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dr. Maung Zarni's blog disproves Myanmar government claims about Rohingya

Periodically, the controversy over Rohingya identity flares up in Myanmar where the government and its vast Buddhist population are in the denial business. To them, Rohingya minorities in Burma are a British-era invention or infiltration, and as such, cannot be called ethnic to the Rakhine state and Burma. Such attempts, as I have demonstrated repeatedly, are distortions of history and nothing else.

In a recent interview, Ma Aa La Commander in Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing (born in 1956) said: Rohingya‬ people are descendants of farm coolies that have no claim for nationality in Myanmar! To quote: "Descendants of Bengali (#Myanmar's officially and popularly genocidal reference to the #Rohingya) as British-era farm collies have no basis for nationality claim or are entitled to no privileges."

Dr. Maung Zarni, a human rights activist academic, has done a wonderful job in archiving information from the sources within Burma to disprove recent racist comments about the Rohingya people and their ethnicity. You can view his blog for a good source of reference.

Regarding the Rohingya's historical claim as an ethnic nationality of Burma or Myanmar which sources do you trust most? Dr. Maung Zarni says, a truth seeker should look for old sources where much truth was stored rather than nasty historical revisionism that is in play at the mercy of racist regimes and their backers within and outside Myanmar.
1) Myanmar's official encyclopedia, Government Printing House, 1964
2) Prime Minister U Nu's weekly radio address (official transcript) on religious harmony, 1950's
3) Brigadier General Aung Gyi's address (official transcript), Ministry of Defence, July 1960
4) Ma Aa La Bogyoke, or Commander in Chief Min Aung Hlaing.

Dr. Zarni writes, "In 1960, Brigadier Aung Gyi, one of the senior most military leaders officially addressed the Rohingya community, political and religious leaders 'Esteemed Rohingya leaders' - and the entire Government of the Union of Burma officially recognized the Rohingya as 'constitutive ethnic nationality' or native of Western borders of Burma.
When the Rohingya were officially recognized as one of the ethnic nationalities by their own self-chosen name Rohingya by the senior most Burmese military leaders Min Aung Hlaing was still wearing diaper."

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