he persecution, ethnic cleansing, and attempted genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state is an affront to the rule of law, a well-documented atrocity and, according to a top international lawyer, a moral stain on “our collective conscience and humanity”. So why are the killings and other horrors continuing while known perpetrators go unpunished?
It’s a question with several possible answers. Maybe poor, isolated Myanmar, formerly Burma, is not important enough a state to warrant sustained international attention. Perhaps, in the western subconscious, the lives of a largely unseen, unknown, brown-skinned Muslim minority do not matter so much at a time of multiple racial, ethnic and refugee crises.
Or perhaps the absence of sustained outrage stems from an age-old problem: the inability to prevent great powers subjugating, manipulating and exploiting more vulnerable peoples and countries for selfish ends. In Myanmar, for more than a century, it was imperial Britain. Now it’s imperial China, which cares naught for human rights at home or abroad
At the heart of the Myanmar conundrum lies the unchecked, repressive power of the Tatmadaw, the armed forces organisation that dominates national life despite the notional restoration of democracy in 2011. Its attacks on the Rohingya in 2016-17, which killed thousands of people and forced three-quarters of a million to flee to Bangladesh, shocked the world. Yet no one has been called to account.
Oct 31, 2020After fleeing a brutal crackdown which left thousands dead in their homeland of Myanmar, the Rohingya are once again under threat. In Cox’s Bazar, the massive refugee camp in Bangladesh to which many of the Rohingya refugees fled, violence and drug and human trafficking are on the rise. The Bangladeshi government has begun relocating hundreds […]
Oct 28, 2020