Following my last disturbing chat with my Rohingya friend @aungaungsittwe in Burma which you can read here, I asked for an update on the situation this morning, Monday 18th March 2013, which I have posted below.
6:16 AM me: hey
6:17 AM Aung: yes, sister , how r you
me: hi :-)
so nice to talk to you
tell me the situation now
does it look like the massacre will go ahead?
or be delayed?
6:18 AM Aung: Now, in Minpya, Kyauktaw, Pauktaw, Mrauk U , some
Rakhine gathered , Rohingya cannot go there, some Rakhine friends
called to Rohingya of those places
Today, Exam will finish
6:19 AM me: so Rakhine are already gathered to kill the Rohingya?
6:20 AM Aung: 3rd massacre will be depend on military , some Rohingya
said becoz if military give full protection, Rakhine can't do,
6:22 AM Rakhine are gathering daily but they are waiting some signals
from Myanmar government , we think. Government and Rakhine have the
same plan to kill us or to deport us
me: are the Rakhine waiting at Minpya, Kyauktaw, Pauktaw, Mrauk U
carrying weapons do you know?
6:26 AM Tell me, the Rakhine gathering at Minpya, Kyauktaw, Pauktaw
and Mrauk U, are they carrying weapons do you know?
6:27 AM According to info, Rakhine are gathering & having meeting
regarding how can they start 3rd masscare
6:28 AM me: are they carrying weapons now? or not yet?
6:30 AM Aung: They are not carrying weapons so far, but they have plan
to organize systematically , they said this time , they will act in
such a way that Rohingya will be remained only in exhibition hall, not
in the ground
me: did someone hear them say that?
6:31 AM Aung: They wrote it even on their FB wall
me: can you post the link to Twitter? with translation - the
translation is important
Aung: I 'm trying to give you the link but I cannot open FB here
me: but did anyone hear them say that? or did you just read it on facebook?
6:32 AM Aung: My friend from Minpya told me yesterday the exact word
me: he was there at the meeting?
6:33 AM Aung: No. he has a very close friend who is Rakhine attended the meeting
6:34 AM me: ok I understand. do you have any names of offical people
at the meeting?
names of anyone who spoke?
names of anyone who organisated the meeting?
how many were at the meeting exactly?
when it took place exactly
we need details and names
6:35 AM Aung: Ward administrators, community leaders organized the
meeting, meeting was held in the monastry
6:36 AM me: names of leaders? name of monastry?
Aung: My friend's friend estimated 500 gathered in Minpya
me: which day exactly?
6:37 AM Aung: It was yesterday
me: ok, 17th March then
Aung: 2 to 5 PM
me: names of leaders? name of monastry?
6:38 AM Aung: I will try to get later
me: if we had names we could push for arrests
when talking to friends thing about collecting evidence - we need details
Aung: O.K thank you
6:39 AM me: do you know anything else said at the meeting?
was everyone in agreement?
me: i know you dont have long online
me: please keep your tweets focused on the massacre
Aung: o.k thanks
all this is evidence
without evidence we can get no action
6:43 AM we are talking to officials but need evidence urgently
your tweets are evidence
and people need to understand the threat is real
if you tweet about other things they will forget
we all know your history
only in Burma do they deny it
6:44 AM Aung: Have u checked yr mail
me: but we all know that, we have proof, we believe it
yes I have the photos thankyou
Aung: I sent photos
me: I will publish more
if we can get any photos of people carrying weapons
these are the important things now
leaflets (especially these)
6:45 AM Aung: it's not easy but we are trying
me: yes i know brother
you are doing amazing work
we must try and stop this
we all have to keep working very hard
what do you think now, youself, personally?
do you think the massacre will begin?
6:46 AM Aung: I don't think they will begin soon becoz they want to
show the world
me: my concern is the weapons and the hatred
if the authorities change their minds, the youths may begine anyway
6:47 AM what do you think?
6:48 AM Aung: Yes, if military want they can stop easily
me: but the youths, do they have guns now?
Aung: Yes, they have
6:49 AM me: so if they start fighting they can do a lot of harm, very quickly
who gave the youths the guns?
Aung: Rakhine authority, RNDP, ALD, ALP
6:50 AM me: not the military?
Aung: No, not military
6:51 AM me: what about the NaSaka, did they give anyone guns?
Aung: But in Maungdaw, Rakhine get training fr military
me: who is giving the Rakhine authorities the guns, do you know?
6:52 AM Aung: In Maungdaw, NaSaKa is helping Rakhine, give them
training , weapons
Rakhine have their own army
me: how many are in the Rakhine army do you know?
6:53 AM Aung: Myanmar Government know it very well
I don't know the exact number,
6:54 AM me: do the Rakhine army wear a uniform, or civilian clothes?
Aung: There might be 10 to 20 thousands
6:55 AM I mean in the whole Arakan
me: so it is a well organised army, the Rakhine army?
6:56 AM is it an official organisation, or a secret organisation?
6:57 AM Aung: Before 2010, they were rebellion but now they entered
acco to agreement with government
6:58 AM me: do they wear uniforms?
me: do you know who is in charge of the Rakhine army?
6:59 AM Aung: I need to check
me: this is important
7:00 AM again we need names
and connections - who is funding the army for example
where the weapons are coming from
Aung: I'll check and inform you soon
me: links to senior members of parliament
we need to know who is organising the genocide
if we are to stop it
7:01 AM Aung: ok
Following this chat I made further enquireies about the Rakhine army. I found out that they are called the ALA (Arakan Liberation Army) a branch of the ALP (Arakan Liberation Party). I asked who was in charge of them and I was told it is Khaing Soe Naing Aung.
You can see video clips of the ALA in training from 1999 in the video alongside my interview here
They are in large numbers, highly organised, trained, and armed. Very worrying is that they are in civilian clothes and it would seem waiting to strike, to wipe out the Rohingya, as soon as word is given. My worry is that even if they are not given the signal to strike, they may do it anyway.
Thousands of youths, armed and trained, brainwashed by hate propaganda to 'wipe out the viruses' (the Rohingya) is a recipe for a blood bath disaster. And if/when that happens, the rest of the world might realise that those investments and oil contracts are the least of their worries - and the opening of that pipeline might become a distant dream!
Perhaps now governments around the world might insist on the defense of the Roghingya, in their national interest? Perhaps they might urgently send in independent observers, and insist on the confiscation of weapons from the Rakhine, with urgency, or else reimpose sanctions, with urgency?
It seems there are a lot of authorities 'watching the situation very carefully'. No doubt soon we will hear lots of messages of 'deep concern'. But watching and expressing concern will not stop the angry mob. Once this kicks off, it will be extremely difficult to stop, if at all.
If this matter is not acted on with the utmost urgency I see us heading for a human disaster that will have far reaching consequences, for the whole region, and likely have serious repercussions worldwide.
Praying that the world will take note. And act. Now.
One small group of honest dedicated independent journalists are about to leave to gather evidence and uncover truth about the Rohingya in Burma to help stop this massacre. But they need your support. Please find out more and consider making a donation to our Rohingya Journalism Fund here (every little helps). If we had some support we would take in hidden cameras and satellite equipment to feed back every bit of information as we get it.
More information from just this afternoon about the build up to the massacre have just been posted by @aungaungsittwe here.
Anyone that wants further information on any of the above may email me firstname.lastname@example.org