Editorial : June 2015
The Sounds of Silence
Dr.Rasheed Hasan Khan
Countless Rohingyas are stranded at sea, lacking food, water and sanitation, seeking refuge in countries whose navies are bent upon foiling their desperate attempts to find asylum.
The only country so far, to have offered them refuge is the Philippines, a Catholic-dominated country, while others, including the Muslim-dominated Malaysia and Indonesia, denied them entry for as long as they could fend off the pressures of Editorial: June international public opinion. In fact, even after relenting, they continued to insist that the refuge is being provided only temporarily and expect the international community to come up with a permanent resettlement plan for the Rohingyas.
The Rohingya are a predominately Muslim people living in Myanmar’s southwest state of Rakhine – and have lived there for generations. Many may be indigenous to Myanmar, having settled there centuries ago. Others may have come to Myanmar during the British rule during the 1800’s as indentured labour.
Despite the fact that they have lived in Myanmar for generations, they are treated as a stateless people, with the political dynamics in Myanmar making it nearly impossible to grant them citizenship without considerable conflict and the threat of widespread violence.It is not because the government of Myanmar will not grant them citizenship.They have tried a number of times in the past. It is the groups that have opposed Rohingya citizenship that have perpetuated the problem, groups the Western media has intentionally failed to expose and condemn.
The group that is in fact driving the Rohingya from their homes in Myanmar and the silence of the international media about it is the root cause of the current crisis – the followers and supporters of the West’s own “patron saint of democracy,” Aung San Su Kye.
Su Kye herself, and many of the NGOs that support her and her political network are directly and substantially underwritten by the US and British governments.
The Noble laureate’s followers have conducted a campaign of racist genocide aimed at eradicating Myanmar entirely of the Rohingya people, often with orgies of machete-wielding brutality and neighborhood-wide arson leaving scores of people dead, and hundreds, sometimes thousands homeless and destitute.
Leading the violence are Su Kye’s saffron monks.The so-called “Saffron Revolution” of 2007 which aimed at ousting the Myanmar government and putting into power Aung San Su Kye and her “National League for Democracy” was named so after the saffron-colored robes of these supporters.
While the Western media attempts to shift the blame on the Myanmar government for the current Rohingya crisis, it is a fact that the government attempted to grant the Rohingya citizenship through incremental programs that included allowing them to vote in upcoming elections.But the plan was disrupted by violence spearheaded by Su Kye’s followers,.
Su Kye, for her part, has remained utterly silent regarding the brutality and inhumanity of her most loyal and active supporters.While her silence is shrugged off by the Western media as “pragmatic” and “calculated,” it is in reality merely her refusal to condemn the supporters who have carved out a niche for her in Myanmar’s political landscape.
The Ronhingya are not “stateless.” They are not “boat people.” They are not “without a home.” Their home is Myanmar. But racist, genocidal criminals, apparently with the support and blessing of the West, have driven them from that home.A just solution to this question must above all keep this cardinal fact in mind.But while the comity of nations ruminates over which course is to be adopted thousands are adrift and the only sound to be heard is an all encompassing silence.