Thursday, 23 January 2014

Long Night - poem for the Rohingya

Rohingya women and children exactly like this one in the camp at Manzi were brutally slaughtered by Burmese security forces and armed thugs following a raid on their village at Du Char Yar Tan on Jan 14th 2014

I tweeted this poem last night from bed, as I lay there waiting for news from my Rohingya friends who I knew had been awake all night, wondering if their homes were to be raided following an order to arrest all Rohingya men and boys over the age of ten.

We feared that the men would be taken away to be killed, and that the women left would be raped and their children hacked to pieces, as they had done so previously the week before at the village of Duchiradan (also known as Du Char Yar Tan as well as Kiladong). Indeed all the warning signs were there for an imminent massacre following a period of propaganda, visits by the infamous 969 group to the area, a call for militias who were understood to now be in training, and an official meeting where Rohingya village leaders had been warned of their fragile existence.

Long Night

Rohingya no more
Rwanda once more
Never again
Over and over again
Sit and contemplate
Can we change fate?

The advice we received
During this hour of need:
Avoid the word genocide
When you plead
That would oblige them to act
They don't like that 

A long night
Of extreme fright
All you can do is pray
They said
My children in bed
May all soon be dead

Take my tears
My fears
Save us
We have nothing left
Heart aches
Heaven shakes
Morning breaks
World wakes

by Jamila Hanan

The last line I wrote with hesitation. Should I have put a question mark at the end? This morning, my Rohingya friends are still alive, and people are coming together it appears. Officials behind the scenes are holding urgent meetings and in the media today we have official confirmation from Fortify Rights of the massacre we know took place. Pressure is on to stop the genocide. I am hopeful.

Please feel to publish the above poem with link to
For verified information about the massacre, just released today, please see this statement by Fortify Rights.

For media interviews regarding the Rohingya, please contact who has a list of people available for interview.


  1. hai there, i am from malaysia and are interested to be one of the volunteer. how can i be one?

  2. I just copied the poems in my fb. never forget to write the author

  3. Person can be terrorist but how can a total community can be a terrorist? THIS is only my view :