Thursday, 5 June 2014

Rohingya: Waiting for Massacre in Maungdaw

Rohingya man held in stocks in Myanmar.

It only seems like a matter of time before a massacre takes place in Maungdaw (which is the area in Myanmar/Burma next to the Bangladesh border). Recent events suggest Myanmar authorities have plans to 'cleanse' the Myanmar/Bangladesh border from the Rohingya 'viruses' - worryingly it seems that not only do they want Rohingya living within the border of Myanmar, but they don't want them hanging around in camps outside either.

For a long time now international media has reported that this 'conflict' has been confined within Myanmar's borders - but concern has been expressed that 'ethnic tensions' have the ability to inflame the entire region and result in an increase in 'terrorism' that stretches beyond Myanmar's borders. This is the 'spin'.

Now here is the truth: There is no 'conflict' in Myanmar - just state sponsored genocide. Any 'ethnic tension' to be found is a direct result of state sponsored propaganda and policies to eliminate the Rohingya. Evidence of Rohingya 'terrorism' is being actively fabricated by Myanmar authorities. The real 'terrorists' are without doubt the Myanmar army and police, who happily go about persecuting the Rohingya with full impunity.

Right now there is a real risk that terrorism will spread beyond the border of Myanmar and into Bangladesh, but it is not terrorism undertaken by the Rohingya, but rather the Myanmar authorities - in the first instance the border police - but this plan stretches across all authorities and 'security forces'. So expect violence, and excuse for mass atrocities, and clearance of the Rohingya, both within Myanmar and even beyond.

Here I have put together a list of links to atrocities that have taken place recently against the Rohingya in the region of Maungdaw, which is close to the Myanmar/Bangladesh border. You can see that the vast majority of the atrocities are committed by the Myanmar authorities, in particular the police and the army - this is clearly not 'ethnic tension'.

4th June - 11pm 20 Rohingya shops burnt down
4/5th June - Rohingya man murdered
4th June - 3 Rohingya children slapped and held for ransom by Myanmar military
3rd June - Rohingya lady gang raped and murdered by military, husband arrested, falsely accused of being an RSO member "She died whilst the fourth military man was raping her".
1st June - Administrators of Rohingya villages were told by border police police that they would re-implement a 'Nasaka Style Census Operation' against them soon
30th May - Bangladesh report Myanmar border police as attacking the border
30th May - Ten Rohingyas Forced To Serve As Porters For Myanmar Military In Bangladesh-Myanmar Border Armed Conflict
29th May - border police beat up 10 year old
28th May  -  8  Rohingya sentenced to 7 years in prison, falsely accused of burning own homes in previous massacre that took place in Duchiradan
26th May - Myanmar border police enter Bangladesh and shoot dead 16 year old Rohingya boy in camp
26th May - innocent Rohingya man arrested and taken for framed photo shoot with guns strapped around him, labelled wrongly as an 'RSO' member
25th May - homeless Rohingya in area, whose homes were previously burnt, are told by authorities that hey will not be rehoused - despite previous promises, and Rohingya lady wrongly arrested on 26th accused with starting fire
25th May - Rohingya man sentenced to 7 years for using a phone that military had told him to use
25th May - two Rohingya men tortured by border police for money
24th May - 8 Rohingya families in Buthidaung forced To vacate their houses by authorities
21st May - At least 36 Rohingya killed by Myanmar border police since 17th May
18th May - Police commander summons Rohingya village leaders demanding that 13 'RSO' members be found - threatened with killing if not found - starting to spread lying propaganda about RSO invading (Rohingya Solidarity Organisation - a long time disbanded group).
11th May - Rohingya villagers summoned to meeting by commander of security force (Hlun Htein) told that  NaSaKa style rules and regulations will be enforced on the Rohingya community again, and warned that in time the Rohingya villages will be raided and anyone that does anything without permission will be punished.
8th May - two Rohingya men put 'in the stocks' in Northern Maungdaw
4th May - Rohingya man tortured by police for two days before being released - died at home on 6th May
29th April - police severely beat up elderly Rohingya man who dies later
25th April - mosque caretaker detained by police for protecting mosque - warned not to repair it
8th April onwards - many Rohingya in Southern Maungdaw have been subjected to forced labour by the security forces including 14 year old boy who was severely beaten, found on the road in serious condition
3rd April - reports of armed Rakhine militants entering from Bangladesh
30th March - Rohingya house torched, others robbed, sightings of armed thugs
30th March - Security forces seen throwing stones at MSF office
26th March - 7 Rohingya shops burnt in Northern Maungdaw
24th March - 969 extremists reported to be gathering at monasteries in Northern Maungdaw, trying to set homes on fire
22nd March - Authorities shoot fake video with staged violence in Maungdaw

Many other arbitrary arrests where money was extorted throughout April and May:

1. Sign this petition. It IS important. Anyone can sign, you don't have to live in the US. You do have to create an account but that only takes one minute. Hint: check spam box for email confirmation after creating account/asking for pwd reminder.

2. Contact your member of parliament/congress. Send them this blog post, and these recent reports too:
Ask your politicians to call on your government to take urgent action to save the Rohingya in Myanmar and to avoid another massacre taking place in Maungdaw (which is the area in Myanmar close to the Bangladesh border).