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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 877

Burma - Post Mortem of A Sectarian Violence

By Kanbawza Win

Meticulously planned by the hardliners of the quasi civilian government of Burma has successfully produced a sectarian violence between the Muslim and the Buddhist communities in Western Burma of Arakan State.

At the time of this writing the official figure shows more than 50 person were killed and thousands have been homeless, but the real figure will be as usual much higher. It is still very fragile

The Target

Their main aim is to:-

(1) Revitalise the importance of military and that in time of crisis only the military is reliable and capable to protect the people from violence and lawlessness and that NLD led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi cannot do anything in time of crisis like this and this point has driven home.

(2) The government is very worried about the support commanded by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at home and in her trip to Thailand which discredited the military and now in her trip to Europe want to discredit her by forcing her into a position where she has to make a pro-Rohingya public statement that could damage her popularity among Burma's Buddhists, where anti-Muslim sentiment runs high or on the other hand, if she remains silent she will disappoint those who support her firm stand on human rights. i.e. she is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't and put her in a very difficult situation, which could seriously damage her reputation and erode much of her popularity. In this respect they miserably failed because she was wise and target the absence of law and order (the current administration claims to be the ancestors of State Law and Order Restoration Council ) and internationally her popularity increase instead of being diminished.

(3) The government wants to lure the pro-democracy movements, particularly the exiled Burmese media and the 8888 generation leaders which are very influential, appeal to the resourceful Burmese Diaspora community and the other ethnic nationalities who agree with them that Rohingya is not from Burma and does not belong to the recognized ethnic nationalities of Burma. In this aspect it is partially successful as most of them like Ko Ko Gyi falls into their trap.

(4) To divert the attention from its prolong military offensive against the Kachin where more than half of the military strength has to be used and over 300,000 Kachin have become refugees while the military losses were substantial running into thousands.

(5) The Generals have successfully implement the policy of , “Let the minority fights the minority” a sort of a divide and rule strategy, where the soldiers came out as a victor.

Implementation

This was meticulously plan including the evil genius Than Shwe, who paints the picture that he was on his dead bed but actually is very active and slyly stay out of sight. He is very allergic to the name of Aung San Suu Kyi and at the same time want to divert the country's attention from his gross human rights violations and ethnic cleansing policy now going on with might and main in Kachin State.

The best way is sectarian violence and earlier Burmese Chinese incident sprang up in Mandalay but he knew the potential of the China and its influence and quickly squashed it. Now he found the scapegoat in Kalar a Burmese degrading term for the darker complexion of Indian origin. The Burmese saying of not being able to conquer Kalar beat up the Rakhine was skillfully turned into being unable to tackle the Chinese turned on to Kalar by giving authority to Aung Thoung who have now taken up a new influential position of one of Secretaries of USDP, the ruling party. Aung Thoung planned the second Depaeyin Incident by going back to his native village WetLaung village near Kyaukse, in middle Burma and recruited all the bad hats, cut throats and after lavishing them with money and much needed resources transport them to Taunggoke. In the meantime Na Sa Ka via immigration has recruited one bad Rohingya, name Shaun Shou (aka Htet Htet or Phyo Zayyar Kyaw) by giving him some cash and Burmese citizen card, he in turned organise Marme (aka Yaw Pi or Hla Win) and Lu lu (aka Myint Swe, or Wushee) to go after a girl Thida who is quite flirt and to have sex with her,. The end result was a rape case but they did not rob the girl of her belonging. The next day it was highlighted in the media including the state control media. (1) How can the media be made known in minutes from such a remote area where there is no electricity if it is not pre arrange?

Then the Muslim pilgrims returning home were killed by a lynch mob, but my research indicates that it was not the mob but the bad hats and cut throats transported from Wetloung village by Aung Thoung. So the question is (2) Only the security persons at the check gate knew who were the people inside the car, they give word to these bad hats which explicitly means they were conniving. (3) The killing of these Muslim passengers were done in the vicinity of the town and yet none of the security intervene, Why. The confidential report which I got is that some of the dark skin security personals were torching the Buddhist villagers posing themselves to be Rohingya while some light skin torch the Muslim villagers as if they were Arakanese Buddhist youths. In some cased police were seen acting alongside Arakanese in torching homes of Muslims, while several reports have emerged of police opening fire on crowds of Muslims.

The end result of this orchestrated events led to sectarian violence and got out of hand resulting hundred killed (official figure put it as 50 plus) and thousands of home burned. But many people with enough brains suspected this set up and finally the accomplice Shaun Shou was silence in the custody and declared that he committed suicide. (4) How can a person commit suicide when his is in the custody of the security authorities?

Epilogue

In a place where the atomization of society on the laissez-faire economic held together solely by an economic nexus and had no social or cultural ties it became problematic. The ruling generals have effectively exploited it for their own agendas. By killing each other, the people themselves become the ultimate losers. It is the military that ends up as the clear winner. The government's initial passivity in enforcing law and order in Arakan state has led the public to demand decisive military intervention.

The longer the conflict goes on, the more likely it is that the army will emerge as the indispensible defender and savior of "national security." The timing of the conflict clearly benefits the rulers to coincide with Daw Aung San Suu Ky’s European tour in 24 years and the government's proxies painted that that she's promoting herself and her personal popularity while her people suffer back at home. Obviously they would be quite happy to see her on a perpetual world tour and media circus to keep the world's attention away from their wars against the "ethnic" nationalities, their rapes, murders, looting and atrocities against the population. Now the rapacious "developers" of EU led by Myanmar Egress and US led by Cheveron are smacking their lips to join in the rape of the human and natural resources of the country.

The Rohingya problem has to be decided by the people of Arakan and the government where humanitarian concern must be considered. Recognizing them as citizens who have been living in the country for more than centuries will have no problem at all but the individual verification will be problematic considering the rampant corruption among the security personals as many recent arrivals from Chittagong holds National Registration Cards. This is because of the long rule of the corrupt military administration especially among the immigration and the National Registration and there is no rule of law.

However, to recognize them as one of the ethnic races is out of question because the Yandabo Treaty Chronicles (In the final phase of the treaty of Yandobo when Burma was annexed to the British Empire in the 1850s,) the British had pain stain kingly collected the general census of all the ethnic tribes residing in British Burma and there was no Rohingya except it describe Mujahid a seasonal Muslim migrant workers from India (at that time there was no Pakistan or Bangladesh). Besides when the Union of Burma was born in 1948s the northern part of Arakan where these Mujahid resides went to Ali Jina founder of Pakistan imploring him to take this northern enclave of Arakan into East Pakistan. It was rejected. This authentically proved that the ancestors or Rohingya did not have any allegiance to the Union of Burma. Another factor to be noted is that all the ethnic nationalities residing in Burma recognize the lingua franca but not the Rohingya whose language is the same as Chittagonians, nor do their leaders attempted to do so. The majority of the Arakanese Buddhist construe them that there will be another attempt to take this northern part of Arakan into Bangladesh and probably will be the only ethnic race that is not genuine to the Union of Burma.

However, it must be admitted that Rohingya have been mistreated for decades in Burma, with Rohingya children born out of wedlock denied travel permits, the privilege of attending school or even the ability to obtain marriage certificates. This discrimination is even apparent among Burma’s pro-democracy leaders, the so-called “forces for change” in the country and harbour a wrong notion that “if western nations really believed in human rights, they would take the Rohingya from us.” Indeed most comments either in English or in Burma seldom tackles the unfolding crisis, but instead exploit it as a means to vent their own bigotry.

What has happened recently is just more of a symptom of a long history of really horrible discriminatory treatment of the Rohingya. The military administration that have ruled the country repressively for half a century have handled this situation very badly for decades and have encouraged this mentality. It made little efforts to integrate them or resolve this problem in a sustainable way and is not an integral part of any reconciliation program involving ethnic groups but instead the Generals have exploited the Rohingya by giving them voting rights in Burma’s landmark 2010 elections promising citizenship, if they voted for the military regime’s representatives. However the promise was never implemented. Hence as long as the vestiges of the Burmese generals are in power they will never really attempt to solve this problem and will even try to prevent anyone from doing so lest the raison d’ etre to have the army will be none.

However, a very strong international reaction, including a strong statement from the United States that put the Rohingya of Burma as “country of particular concern” in its annual surveys on international religious freedom is something to be thought of by the upcoming leaders of Burma. Let us see how the Generals will react to the Amnesty International call for investigation or probably will fall to deaf ears like UN Commission of Inquiry (CoI) and prevent the genuine reconciliation.

- Asian Tribune –

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