Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Absurd claims against the Rohingya people

In today's world of conflicts and confusion, probably there is nothing better than to defeat or deny the legitimate rights of a persecuted people by propagating the lies that the group is affiliated with terrorism. After all, once labeled as such, the group is vilified and frowned upon, and all sorts of abuses can be legitimized against the targeted group.

And that has been the ploy for many of the usurping and criminal governments around the globe to delegitimize freedom seeking liberation movements around the world. Such movements are depicted by the criminal regimes as 'terrorist' organizations. More problematic, however, is the labeling of a group which is already facing genocide or mass-scale extermination by a criminal regime that has no moral bites for its hideous crimes against the humanity.

Take for instance the case of the Rohingya people of Myanmar who by all accounts is the most persecuted people on earth in our time. Unlike other persecuted ethnic minorities inside Myanmar who are involved in armed struggle, the Rohingyas are not involved in any armed conflict and don't have any armed group either. Yet, time and again, they are depicted as a people with ties to 'terrorist' groups around the globe, esp. with so-called Islamic identity.

In the post-9/11 era with all the publicity around al-Qaeda, the Myanmar regime and its supporters within the Buddhist population inside and outside the country claimed that the Rohingyas had affiliation with al Qaeda. The tactic worked out quite well for the rogue regime and its racist population, especially inside Arakan, which wanted to exterminate or ethnically cleanse the Rakhine (Arakan) state of its Muslim population. It was like killing two birds with a single stone! Not only could the persecuted Rohingya be depicted as an 'evil' and/or 'terrorist' affiliated group, thus legitimizing all forms of human rights abuses and persecutions including genocidal pogroms against them, but also to uproot them en masse.

Obviously, with the execution style murder of OBL, al Qaeda is deemed either no longer a security threat or been simply mellowed down. The spotlight has shifted to more ominous groups like the Daes or so-called ISIS and Boko Haram. So, naturally, the tactics of the Myanmar regime had to also shift to account for the evolving changes vis-a-vis terrorism. Now the Rohingyas are depicted as having ties with the ISIS. What else do you expect from a regime that has denied the very existence of Rohingya people, falsely claiming them to be outsiders from Bangladesh?

Well, it is libelous propaganda with no truths whatsoever. Unfortunately, in our polarized world, those who are in the business of delegitimizing the rights of the persecuted Rohingya people are exploiting this myth to further their agenda.

As has been recently tweeted by Dr. Maung Zarni, a prominent Burmese dissident and human rights activist, on his facebook wall – “… the careerist sickos in the fields called “Security Studies” and “Anti-Terrorism Research” centers, and some lazy journalists, are barking up the wrong tree when they attempt, again without success, to link #Rohingya genocide with ISIS, radicalization, blah blah blah.”             

Zarni also referred to presidential spokespersons trying to brand Rohingyas with terrorists as ‘3rd rate Nazi propagandists’.

His comments come following reports in some sections of the international media that Rohingyas might be attracted towards terror groups such as the IS as they continue to face ethnic cleansing by the Myanmar regime.

Following these reports, the security forces have launched a crackdown in some parts and tortured many Rohingyas on charges of belonging to the terror group. In one instance, army personal sexually harassed women in the IDP camp of Cilkhali in Rathedaung as they pretended to search for foreign fighters.

I am not surprised how the criminal Myanmar regime and its mesmerized supporters within the greater Buddhist community are taking advantage of such absurd accusations to make the life of every ordinary Rohingya inside the country a living hell. Surely, the regime and its Nazi-like fascist supporters have learned the trade quite well!

But history has repeatedly shown that such lies cannot ultimately succeed and are bound to be defeated, whether the majority of the populace fell for it or not. I only hope that it does not take too long for the world community to say 'enough is enough' with such libelous claims and punish the regime and its murderous supporters for their crimes against humanity. 

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