THE ROHIGYA MUSLIM ISSUE. CAN THE SRI LANKA MUSLIM MP’s BE DEAF? AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL 21 MUSLIM MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT.
Posted on July 10th, 2018

By Noor Nizam – Convener – “The Muslim Voice”, July 10th., 2018.

It is reported in the National Newspapers of Sri Lanka that the Prime Minister of Thailand,

General Prayut Chan-o-cha will undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka on 12 and 13 July 2018 at the invitation of President Maithripala Sirisena. This visit takes place against the backdrop of discussions during President Sirisena’s visit to Thailand in November 2015. Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha will arrive in Sri Lanka in the afternoon of 12 July.

As a devoted Muslim, it is my duty to understand and help brother Muslims anywhere in the world, to the best of my ability to relieve them from distress, hardships and oppression. I have just returned back from Bangladesh, after delivering much needed medicines to the needy Rohingya refugees camped in Cox’s Bazaar, South coast of Bangladesh. What I saw on the ground at Cox’s Bazaar is the dire situation of the Rohingya refugees who live in camps in Cox’s Bazaar.

These 900,000 people are living in totally unacceptable conditions. It is monsoon season now and there is mud and water everywhere. They have no clean drinking water and limited food and their shelters will not stand the wrath of the monsoon that has already started to settle. The world has turned its back on them.”

IT SEEMS THAT THE 21 MUSLIM MP’s IN SRI LANKA HAVE ALSO TURNED YOUR BACKS ON THE ROHINGYA REFUGEES IN COX’S BAZAAR, BANGLADESH.

I was moved to find out more about the Rohingya refugee crisis in the fall of 2017. It is the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis. Visiting UN Secretary General when he visited Cox’s Bazaar on July 3rd., 2018 said at a news conference that the refugees had to live under terrible conditions in the camps because of massive violations of their human rights in Myanmar.

The more we dig into the story, the more we will feel compelled to do something to help these people”. The Hamilton mobilization includes 6 mosques, the United Church of Canada, the City of Hamilton, the local communities of Hamilton and Dundas, and the Bangladeshi and Muslim community of Canada. The Canadian House of Commons support our endeavours politically and otherwise. We wanted to be their Voice in Canada for the Rohingya people.

Through our efforts we have been able to raise public awareness in Ontario about the plight of the Rohingya and funds were raised to get emergency medical relief to them. With a Bangladeshi Canadian colleague of mine and I just returned after delivering Cd.$’s: 50,000/= worth of Canadian emergency life-saving medicine Kits to the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society – Dhaka, field hospitals and clinics in Cox’s Bazaar. These medicines were packed in 08 medicine kits comprising of 16 boxes weighing 400 lbs., which we carried as accompanied baggage. It was only enough to provide medical treatment for an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 children and adults.

Malnutrition is rampant. The children are weak and vulnerable to sickness. They get diarrhea, stomach problems, malaria, flu and more. Drinking and clean water is very scarce. The health workers cannot do much without medicines. Canadians have been generous in this deed.

BUT WHY ARE THE MUSLIM MP’s NOT GENEROUS IN USING THEIR JOINT/UNITED VOICE TO ASK JUSTICE TO THESE VULNERABLE ROHINGYA REFUGEES NOW CRAMPED UP IN COX’S BAZAAR, BANGLADESH?

The medicines we brought to our on-the-ground partner, the Red Crescent Society of Bangladesh – Dhaka, could fill some of the shelves in the pharmacy at the medical camps organized by BRDCS. The field staff at the camp hospital really appreciated the donated medicines from Canada and expressed a desire for more.” Even though the Canadian Red Cross and the Doctors Without Borders denied from the beginning to dispatch these medicine kits through their logistic arrangements, when we offered these medicines to them, yet our determination to reach-out to the vulnerable Rohingya refugees, made it possible for us to find other official and approved channels to bring the medicines to Bangladesh. Medicines alone cannot solve the Rohingya crisis in the long-run.

WHAT IS NEEDED MORE IMMEDIATELY IS WORLD PUBLIC OPINION TO BRING REDRESS TO THESE PEOPLE DRIVEN FROM ARKAN/RAKHINE STATE OF MYANMAR, THE ATROCITIES AMOUNTING TO GENOCIDE. The 21 Muslim MP’s along with the support of their Sinhalese and Tamil MP’s can do this in Local Political Forums and the International Forums and diplomatic circles, unitedly.

Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), visited Bangladesh on June 30 to see the organization’s works in Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar. The International Federation of Red Cross Society also has a country office in Cox’s Bazaar. But the Red Cross and the IFRC cannot do much. They are fully bureaucratic and overloaded with staff and volunteers and managing a very large fleet of vehicles. Only a very few personnel are dedicated and, specially the field hospital and clinic personnel from the various National organizations working on the ground.

Saying that, I should not forget to credit the BDRCS staff who were engaged with us in making it all happen as wonderful people and fully dedicated to the cause. The chairman of BDRCS – Dhaka Mr. Hafiz Ahmed Muzumder and the Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh HE. Benoit Préfontaine
had an important message for us to carry, when we had the rare opportunity to meet with them. And that was, “bring public awareness to this issue so that a quick resolution can me found, otherwise it will be a continuing geo-political conflict in South East Asia for the future”.

I THEREFORE WRITE THIS OPEN LETTER TO ALL THE 21 MUSLIM MP’s IN THE SRI LANKA PARLIAMENT (PUTTING THEIR POLITICAL DIFFERENCES ASIDE) TO GET AN OFFICIAL APPOINTMENT THROUGH THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, SRI LANKA TO MEET WITH THE HON. PRIME MINISTER OF THAILAND GENERAL PRAYUT CHAN-O-CHA DURING HIS VISIT TO SRI LANKA THIS WEEK AND TO SEEK THAILAND’S INTERVENTION TO RESOLVE THE ROHINGYA CRISIS AT THE EARLIEST ALONG WITH ALL OTHER NATIONS WHO WANT AN END TO THIS SUFFERINGS, A PRAYER OF THE ROHINGYA REFUGEES SUFFERING IN COX’S BAZAAR, BANGLADESH.

Noor Nizam.

Convener – “The Muslim Voice”.

 

9 Responses to “THE ROHIGYA MUSLIM ISSUE. CAN THE SRI LANKA MUSLIM MP’s BE DEAF? AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL 21 MUSLIM MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT.”

  1. Christie Says:

    Hi Noor

    Thanks for a letter telling about people who are affected by Indian colonization and imperialism over the yeas.

    These Rohingiyas are decedents of people who went to work in rice fields in Burma from India.

    India has put up an electrical fence to stop these people coming back from Burma.

    These people worked for Hindu Indians who owned land in Burma when Burma was part of the British-Indian Empire.

    India accepted all Hindu Indians who were kicked out of Burma in the fifties and sixties.

    As you say this is a regional issue and we all should take an interest that will help these people.

    Compare this to how India reacts when Hindu colonial parasites are affected in any way.

  2. DAYA HEWAPATHIRANE Says:

    If you are so concerned about the Rohingya Muslims, why not request the rich Middle Eastern Muslim people/countries to show some compassion to these people Why not visit Muslim countries and get them to help.

  3. Ratanapala Says:

    Send Rohingyas to Saudi Arabia. There is enough land, enough money, enough Muslims to support fellow Muslims. Saudis can give them homes, Cadillacs and Yachts!

    There is no need whatsoever for Sri Lanka to intervene on behalf of Rohingyas. RIghtly they belong in Bangladesh from where they came from. Myanmaar is a Buddhist Country and her sanctity should not be allowed to be violated by the likes of worst human rights violators in the world – Muslims!

    Aung San Sukki took the right decision with respect to her Motherland. World Islamization must be stopped at whatever cost. Muslims play only by their rules – Sharia. All self respecting nations must take heed!

  4. Christie Says:

    Oh Rama Rama Raama Hari Haari.

    I do feel for the Rohigiyaas and their plight.

    What about decolonizing all Indian colonies including our country.

    Muslims who are Sinhalese have not killed any Sinhalese as a terrorist group.

    Most of the Rohingiyas went to work in Burma from Benlgal State of India.

    They worked for the Indian land owners in Burma.

    Please remember our women working in the Middle East are the ones who feed us today.

    Remember Ven. Budhdharakkitha tendered to import rice from Burma and our great SWRD Banda refused his tender because Indian Parasites were financing Bandas politics.

  5. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    We should take all of them of course since we don’t have enough of them already. Get them here, they have 10
    children each and in no time we can have all mussie mps, ministers, mayors, PM, even president. This is what the
    fastest breeding religion does to countries. They have too many children and the natives are no more in no time. The dirty, disgusting, sub human trick was used to turn old Buddhist iran, afganisthan, pakesthan, bangladesh, maldives, malaysia and indonesia to mussie countries within a few hundred years of their arrival in those countries. Please do not take my word for it. Google to see old Buddhist heritages in those countries.

    Myanmar was saved from the fastest breeding religion thanks to their patriotic leader. Sri Lanka, we have traitor
    deshapaluwan who can’t lick the backsides enough of mussies for their votes. So the multiplication goes on unabated with the express support of the mussie deshapaluwan like bada udin who destroyed Wilpaththu, Mannar etc. then bada udin of old who put foundations to segregate mussies by starting mussie only schools all of which today are filled up to the rafters (ideal way to hide real numbers by mussie only schools), a sad ali (not enough
    children to be sad?), ass rough who destroyed the east, xxxxhim etc. etc. who has done irrepairable damage
    to racial harmony in the country. One thing is certain. That’s is this uncontrollable multiplication is going to end
    up in a long protracted blood bath. But any of the mussies leaders taking any steps to stop it. All the mussies
    deshapaluwan think the dirty, disgusting, sub human trick going to work in this modern era, and encourage
    mass baby (vote) production.

    I had the impression NN was a patriotic guy and respected him. Now he has shown his real colours with the article.
    Anything, he should not encourage more mussies in Sri Lanka knowing there is a lot of friction in the country due
    to mussie taking over everything. It shows, wherever the mussies are, their loyalty to mussie brotherhood comes
    first than any long term peace and well being.

    Fastest breeding religion propagate by fast breeding. Sri Lanka today at the mercy of these multipliers. The year
    is 2018 and we can not believe people still believe in god in this scientific era. Charles Darwin’s Theory of
    Evolution destroyed the god concept for good. Then his book, The Tree of Life, explained how all these millions
    of creatures came to being by evolving over millions of years. Today all people (honest only) accept the The
    Theory to be 100% true. What’s more Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection also explains why people kill each
    other. See it is also science, science and science. No god.

    Then NASA’s missions showed the world, the earth’s size is a grain of sand in the vast, vast, vast, vast universe
    where distances are measured in light years and no scientist knows the edges of it to date. A god involving in
    such a project? You can understand people believing in a god thousands of years ago. Today? You do your
    maths.

    There are a lot of holes in god concept. Why did he choose ‘the grain of sand’ missing all the other big planets?
    Why people look different from country to country, race to race? Why ‘the grain of sand’ built with built-in
    tsunamis, earth quakes, natural disasters? No god’s work or bad builder? Look up at the night sky and you see millions of stars. They look tiny since they are billions of miles away from us, and some of them could even be
    suns in a different solar systems. A god can involve in such a creation. Answers to old these things, Lord Buddha explained over 2,500 years ago. The Theory of Evolution, Big Bang, all these things Lord Buddha explained in his teachings.

    Today, Buddhism is the only religion which passes the science test with flying colours while all other religions
    fail miserably. Buddhism isn’t a religion of convenience. That’s why Buddhism disappeared from India in no time
    since there was no place for the caste system, animal sacrifice etc. Also invading mussies burnt Buddhist monks
    and burnt down Buddhist books etc. In fact, Lord Buddha explained in his teachings that universe is a vast vast place and we don’t need to know its size, how we got here etc. What he wanted to do was how to help to get us
    out of being reborn and escape the suffering. That he explained, was his mission. Sounds familiar? That concept was re-branded in the later religions with so called god.

    We want Sri Lanka to be the followers of only true religion in the world. People who came to Sri Lanka and want
    to change that should go back to where they came from. They should change or leave without
    taking the country to another blood bath. One foreigner group took us to a 30+ years blood bath for their
    catholic tigers of tamils only tamil drealam while living all over the country comforably. Now the mussies have multiplied, and multiplying and taking us to another for their mussies only mussisthan while living, grabbing land
    etc. all over the country very comfortably. Mussies and mussies deshapaluwan change
    their multiplication, land grabbing, putting up eye sore mosques to drive out natives, non believers etc. etc.
    to safeguard racial harmony? No chance of that with their mindset living in prehistoric times and believing in a
    mythical god, believing in the old dirty, disgusting sub human trick of multiply and outnumber!

  6. Noor Nizam Says:

    SOME POINTS FOR THE THOUGHT OF THE LEARNED WHO HAVE COMMENTED NEGATIVE. MY “OPEN LETTER” WHICH WAS FOR THE MUSLIM MP’s TO TAKE UP THE MATTER WITH THE VISITING THAILAND PM TO FIND AN INTERNATIONAL SOLUTION TO THE ISSUE, WITHOUT BEING “DEAF”. THERE IS NO UN-PATRIOTISM IN MY OPEN LETTER. I HAVE DEFENDED MY “MAATHRUBOOMIYA” IN THE EAST ON THE GROUND AND FOUGHT AGAINST THE LTTE LOBBY IN NORTH AMERICA AND IN THE INTERNATIONAL FRONT TILL 2011 MUCH MORE THAN ANY OF YOU THREE GENTLEMAN. THE POLITICAL AND MILITARY POWERS THAT FOUGHT SEPARATISM IN SRI LANKA KNOW ABOUT IT. SO DO NOT BE RACIST PLEASE.

    Since September 23rd., escalations of the violence by the Burmese Military on ROHINGYA has increased.
    History describes the Rohingya have lived in Burma for generations. Rohingya had migrated from Bangladesh to Arakan, today’s Rakhine, since the 1800s – during the British rule. It is TRUE they lived in Burma for generations. The 1982 Citizenship Law deprived the Rohingya and their off springs of citizenship in Myanmar. This law made Rohingya “STATELESS” people.

    Myanmar should embrace the Rohingya if reconciliation is to be achieved. National League for Democracy government of Aung San Suu Kyi has to acknowledge this. If Myanmar and Aung San Suu Kyi will not embrace the Rohingya, solving their issues, Myanmar should NOT be allowed into the Commonwealth of Nations. Myanmar forfeited its Commonwealth membership in 1948 and there is a strong lobby for Mayanmar’s re-entry again.

    Rohingya issues are addressed in Kofi Annan’s recommendations especially to address the statelessness of the Rohingya. Simultaneously Kofi Annan’s recommendation on Citizenship, needs rejection because it is a violation of the Fundamental and Human Rights of the Rohingya people and the UN Charter. If the Burmese Government 1982 Citizenship Law is NOT amended, it violates Articles 1, 2, 7, 9, 15, 17 and 26 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

    Facts about the present Rohingya crisis.

    1.”HRW research in 2013 concluded that the atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state is a crime against humanity and bordering on ethnic cleansing”.

    2. Today, – It explains why the Rohingya cannot live in their homeland and look for new life in Bangaladesh. The climax of this exodus was witnessed after September 23rd., 2017 violence perpetrated by the Mayanmar military on innocent Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State, Burma.

    3. 60 % of the Rohingya Refugees in Cox’s Bazaar, are below the age of 18.

    4. 87 % of the Rohingya Refugees are sick and need immediate Healthcare attention.

    5. UNICEF says – If no water and waste infrastructure not available, ensuring that REFUGEES have clean drinking water and hygienic sanitation facilities needed, falls under UNICEF’s mandate. UNICEF reports that all shallow ground water tube wells installed will dry out soon. Water tables are indicating LOW water levels and polluted. Now deep water wells have to be drilled or the camps should be shifted to locations where ample ground water can be found. Drilling deep wells are impossible because of no-availability of roads.

    6. Bangladesh is seeking multilateral approach to solve Rohingya crisis. Bangalsdesh is also planning to set-up 1 large camp for 800,000 refugees with foreign assistance.

    VVIP delegates visited Cox’s Bazaar for a day-long visit on Sunday 19th., November 2017 – to observe the plight of the Rohingya refugees. Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali accompanied them during the visit.

    7. However, Bangladesh has been reluctant to approve bigger projects, for fear they will encourage the refugees to stay.

    Testimony:

    1. UNICEF Bangladesh Representative Edouard Beigbeder has said. “The Rohingya children in the camp – with severe malnutrition are now at risk of dying. These children need help right now.

    According to the Daily Star (Bangladeshi newspaper), “14,740 orphan Rohingya children have been identified since September 20 in the settlements in Ukhia and Teknaf.”

    “The people living in Buthidaung and Maungdaw Townships are Rohingya, ethnic of Burma” said Burma’s first prime minister U Nu in a pubic speech on 25 September 1954 at 8 pm. “The Rohingya has the equal status of nationality with Kachin, Kayah, Karen, Mon, Rakhine and Shan” said the prime minister and minister for defense U Ba Swe at public gatherings in Buthidaung and Maungdaw Townships on 3 and 4 November 1959.
    Though this ethnic classification was undertaken under General Ne Win, who installed the military regime after a coup in March 1962, successive governments, including the present National League for Democracy government led by the 1991 Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has not changed this state policy.
    The latest wave of violence is a consequence of lingering, simmering tensions between Rohingya Muslims and Rakhine Buddhists which started in 2012 with the rape and murder of a Rakhine woman on May 28, 2012, allegedly by Rohingya Muslims.
    The May incident was followed by a retaliatory killing of 10 Muslims by a mob of Rakhine Buddhists on Jun 3 that same year, with greater violence against the Rohingya, displacing about 140,000. (Present displacement 1.1 million according to UN and IOM).

    A significant exodus occurred during what the Myanmar immigration and security authorities call operations to register citizens and screen out foreigners under the Burma Socialist Programme Party military government in 1978.
    That year, over 200,000 refugees from Myanmar crossed over to Bangladesh. The international community accused Myanmar authorities of persecution, torture, harassment and excessive use of force against the Muslims of Rakhine state.

    The refugees claimed that they were fleeing the atrocities of the Myanmar army and immigration officials who targeted them. But the Myanmar government said these Muslims were not its nationals but illegal immigrants or fugitives fleeing from the law. The Myanmar government’s position was that the refugees were Bangladesh nationals, who had illegally settled along the border and inside Myanmar.

    History tells us that the Rohingya have lived in the country for generations. Many of the Rohingya had indeed migrated from Bangladesh during the British rule, and had come to live in the state of Arakan, today’s Rakhine, since the 1800s, based on British population census. It is a undeniable fact that many of them have lived in the country for generations, with no fault of their own.

    More importantly, the Myanmar government and the general Myanmar public must be ready to embrace the Rohingya if any genuine reconciliation is to be achieved.
    Some of these fundamental issues were addressed in Kofi Annan’s state advisory commission’s recommendations, including concrete steps to end enforced segregation of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, and to address the statelessness of the Rohingya.
    It’ll be prudent to relook those recommendations in thinking through steps towards reconciliation.
    Some startling facts about the present Rohingya crisis:

    1.”HRW research in 2013 concluded that the atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state is a crime against humanity and bordering on ethnic cleansing,” he said.
    Today,
    “This is a very serious situation and it explains why the Rohingya cannot live in their homeland and have to take a ferry, a dangerous risk, at the hands of human traffickers and embark on this maritime exodus heading for a better life, a new life in another country.
    2. Clean drinking water, Healthcare facilities, sanitation facilities, UNICEFsays – When there are often large populations located in places with no water and waste infrastructure, and ensuring that people have the water and sanitation facilities they need falls under UNICEF’s mandate. Bangladesh is seeking multilateral approach to solve Rohingya crisis. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, Japanese Foreign Japan Taro Kono and high representative of the European Union Federica Mogherini went to Cox’s Bazar for a day-long visit on Sunday – to observe the plight of the forcibly displaced Rohingya who sought refuge in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali accompanied them during the visit. However, Bangladesh has been reluctant to approve some bigger projects, for fear they will encourage the refugees to stay.

    3. Bangladesh is seeking multilateral approach to solve Rohingya crisis. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, Japanese Foreign Japan Taro Kono and high representative of the European Union Federica Mogherini went to Cox’s Bazar for a day-long visit on Sunday – to observe the plight of the forcibly displaced Rohingya who sought refuge in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali accompanied them during the visit. However, Bangladesh has been reluctant to approve some bigger projects, for fear they will encourage the refugees to stay.

    A testimony:
    A firefighter Perth veteran, Alex Galonski was traveled to Bangladesh last month to help the more than half a million Rohingya people who have fled their ethnic homeland of Rakhine State, Myanmar, for the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar District in Bangladesh. This was his testimony -“You see children with multiple bullet wounds, most of the people I spoke to had lost at least one family member and there were countless horrific stories from the Rohingya people of rape, abuse and torture at the hands of the Myanmar Army.”
    Noor Nizam.

  7. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Sorry you have seen our comments as racists. To understand our view point, you should put yourself in our
    shoes. Sinhalese are being pushed to a corner, in their own land, by the two foreigner groups and slowly but
    surely are being taking over and facing stateless before long. If you care to check the histories of iran, pakisthan, afganisthan, bangladesh, malaysia, maldives and indoenesia, you will see in most of those former Buddhist countries native Buddhist population is 0. Is that what you want us to become? If you want to understand how
    people should live in other countries, take a look at the Chinese communities in Sri Lanka living for hundreds of
    years. Every major town has a small Chinese population and their numbers have hardly increased in the last 50 years. Muslims? They will need less than 50 years to outnumber the natives in the area.

    If you just look at these refugees, they have vast numbers of children. Who is going to provide jobs, housing,
    land, schools, hospitals, etc. etc. etc. etc, etc? Why do you have so many children, knowing it is going to cause
    a lot of problems to parents, society and the country? Some people have an easy answer to these, thinking the other guys are fools, oh god will help them. We all know that god is a man-made (mythical one). So having too many children to steal a country creates immense problems. This is the root cause of these problems and no muslim in the world honest enough to accept it. We are more than 100% sure , if the rohingya followed the
    Chinese example, they still would’ve been living in Myanmar without any problem.

    It never occurred to you, muslim countries should take them/help them since you all are bonded by the fastest
    breeding religion. Sri Lanka has nothing to do with them, and expecting us to take them contradict with the
    patriotism you mentioned. History tell us you invite them at your peril. Can you blame the Burmese? We want
    Sri Lanka to stay a followers of the only true religion in the world, Buddhism.

    These religions of conveniences (you only cheating yourself believing sins are not sins and pay for them in the
    next life. As a result you won’t be a two legged creature in the next life) do not regard killing, stealing, lying,
    sexual misconduct and drug abuse (Buddhism’s five precept) as
    sins while all people (honest only) including all the law courts under the sun do. Your advice is to get more of
    these religions of conveniences guys here. At least those mussie deshapaluwans who have been traitors by over promoting mussies, destroying ancient Buddhist temples, destroying wild life sanctuaries, starting mussie only schools to hide real numbers, destroying racial harmony have realised the danger of inviting them here
    going to cause more trouble and stayed away from the troubles. It is a shame, you with all that so called
    patriotism saw it in a different light.

  8. DAYA HEWAPATHIRANE Says:

    TRUE FACTS ABOUT THE ROHINGYA MENACE

    MUSLIM MENACE IN MYANMAR

    Dr. Daya Hewapathirane

    The Muslim community associated with Myanmar or former Burma, known as Rohingya Muslims are not indigenous to Myanmar. They are a relatively recent migrant community of Myanmar. Most of these Muslims are illicit immigrants who migrated from Muslim neighborhood regions of Bengal India during the British colonial period and later from East Pakistan or the present Bangladesh. The Myanmar government s of the past and present do not consider Rohingya Muslims as legitimate citizens of Myanmar. The people of Myanmar consider the Rohingya people as illegal immigrants. Myanmar’s Muslims account for an estimated 04% of the total Myanmar population of about 60 million. In 2012, there were about 800,000 Rohingya Muslims living in Rohang, the western state of Myanmar known officially as Rakhine or Arakan.

    THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BURMA (MYANMAR)

    The indigenous people of Myanmar are ethno-linguistically Sino-Tibetan and are predominantly Buddhists as opposed to the Rohingya Muslims who are ethno-linguistically related to the Indo-Aryan Bengali people of India and Bangladesh and their religion is Islam. The language spoken by the Rohingya Muslims is different from that of the indigenous people of Myanmar. It is derived from a Indo-Aryan sub-branch of the greater Indo-European language family and is closely related to the Chittagonian language spoken in the southernmost part of the present Bangladesh bordering Myanmar. Therefore, culturally the Rohingya Muslims are quite different to the indigenous people of Myanmar.

    ROHANG AND THE RAKKHITA BUDDHIST COMMUNITY

    It was mostly during the British colonial period that these Muslim people crossed the borders and settled in border regions of Burma, concentrating largely in Rohang which was also known as Rakhine or Arakan, located in the immediate neighborhood of Bengal. Their numbers increased substantially during the British colonial period, and thereafter. Rakhine State consists of a population of about 3,8 million, with the indigenous Rakhine people forming the overwhelming majority in the State, who live mainly in the lowland valleys. Most of the indigenous people living in Rakhine State adhere to Theravada Buddhism. In spite of the government rule limiting Muslims to two children per family, the Muslim population in Myanmar shows an increasing trend.

    According to historians of Myanmar, the name ‘Rohingya’ is of recent origin and appears to have been created in the1950’s, by the descendants of the Muslim Bengali people who settled down in the Rohang or Arakan region of Myanmar. The name Rohingya has not been used or recognized in the Burma population census conducted by the British in the year 1824. It is also noteworthy that the name Rohingya is not found in any historical source in any language before the 1950’s.

    Rohang is an important region of Myanmar inhabited from ancient times by the Rakkhita, Rakkha or Rakhaing people, who belong to the indigenous Buddhist community of Burma. From historic times, this was a highly respected Burmese community, well known for the honourable life they led. They were well known for their contribution to the development and preservation of the national cultural heritage and Buddhist spiritual values. These Rakkhita people had their own language and their livelihood was strongly based on Buddhist principles. The name of the state Rakhine is derived from the Pali word Rakkhita or Rakkhapura which means “the land of the Rakhasa” or Rakkha or Rakhaing.

    There were striking differences in the customs, traditions and livelihood patterns of the two communities – the indigenous Burmese Buddhists of the Arakan region, especially the Rakkhita community and the Muslim immigrants from Bengal. These cultural incompatibilities and differences resulted in open conflicts between the two communities, which were well evident from about the mid 20th century. Soon violence broke out in the Arakan region and the Muslim Rohingyas became a serious threat to the people of Myanmar. Occasional isolated violence involving Myanmar’s majority Buddhist and minority Muslim communities has occurred for decades, even under the authoritarian military governments that ruled the country from 1962 to 2011.

    BRITISH RESPONSIBLE FOR AGGRAVATION OF THE PROBLEM

    According to Aye Chan, a historian at the Kanda University, communal violence between the Arakanese or the indigenous Myanmar (Burmese) Buddhists and the Rohingya Muslims began during World War -II in 1942. The British were primarily responsible for the aggravation of disharmony between the Rohingya Muslims and the indigenous people of Myanmar.

    During the World War, when the British were retreating, they took action to arm Muslim groups in Northern Arakan in order to create a buffer zone against the Japanese invasion. Furthermore, the British promised the Muslims living in Burma (Myanmar) at this time, that if they supported the British during the war, the Muslims will be given their own “national area” within Burma.

    Once acquiring arms, the Muslim Rohingyas became a serious threat to the people of Myanmar. They soon began a spree of violence against the Buddhists of the Arakan region. They began destroying Buddhist villages in Arakan, using the firearms given to them by the British. In 1942, a major armed confrontation occurred between the Rohingya Muslims and indigenous Arakanese people which led to many casualties on both sides. Rohingya Muslims massacred about 20,000 Arakanese in Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships. In retaliation, about 5,000 Muslims in Minbya and Mrauk-U Townships were killed by the Arakanese.

    In the mid 20th century, Rohingya Muslims living in Arakan organized into several militant groups. They formed an aggressive movement known as the Mujahideen movement which was active during the 1947 to 1961 period. There were several Mujahideen uprisings in Arakan. The aim behind the riots of the Rohingya militant groups was to separate the northern part of Arakan, or the Muslim populated Mayu frontier region and create an independent Muslim state for the Rohingya Muslims and annex it to the newly-formed Muslim East Pakistan as an exclusively Muslim country.

    In 1947, when a new Islamic country of Pakistan was about to be formed, Rohingya Muslims who had already possessed arms from the British, wanted to obtain a “national area” for them within Burma, in accordance to the assurance given to them by the British. They formed the North Arakan Muslim League and met Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, and requested that Mayu region of Myanmar be annexed to East Pakistan which was about to be formed. Jinnah however, was not in favour of such a move. This did not stop the Rohingya Muslims in their agitation for separation from Myanmar. During the 1960’s and early 1970’s, there were several uprisings which were popularly known as Arakan State Riots. A widespread armed insurgency started with the formation of a Muslim political party called Jami-a-tul Ulema-e Islam, demanding separation.

    The Burmese central government refused to grant a separate Muslim state in the Mayu region and the Muslim militants of Northern Arakan declared jihad on Burma. The Mujahid militants began their insurgent activities in the Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships within the Mayu region that lies on Burma-East Pakistan border, led by a long-term Muslim criminal named Abdul Kassem who was a leader of the Mujahid movement. There was widespread violence in the Arakanese villagers and the Buddhist Arakanese inhabitants of Buthidaung and Maungdaw were forced to leave their homes. By June 1949, the Mujahid rebels were in possession of all of northern Arakan. In the meantime, the Mujahid extremists encouraged and supported illegal immigration into the Arakan region of thousands of Muslim Bengali people from the over-populated East Pakistan.

    CONTAINING MILITARY OPERATIONS OF MUJAHID MILITANTS

    When the rebellion was becoming intensified the Burmese government declared martial law and took firm action to contain the militants. This led to the subjugation of the Mujahid insurgency and the Muslim insurgents fled to the jungles of northern Arakan. Between 1950 and 1954, the Burmese army launched major military operations against the Mujahid rebels in Northern Arakan. All major centres of the Mujahids were captured and several of their leaders were subdued. Towards the end of 1961, most Mujahids surrendered, but some formed small armed groups and continued to loot, harass and terrorize the Burmese Buddhists, especially in remote regions in Northern Arakan.

    THE RADICALIST MOVEMENTS (1971-1988)

    During Bangladesh Libration War in 1971, the Rohingya Muslim who resided in the Myanmar-Bangladesh border had the opportunity to collect weapons. In 1972, the Rohingya Muslims formed the Rohingya Liberation Party (RLP) with activities based in the jungles of Buthidaung. Military Operation conducted by the Burmese Army in 1974 led to many Muslim insurgents fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh.

    In March 1978, the Burmese government launched a campaign to check illegal immigrants residing in Burma. This led to many thousands of Rohingyas in the Arakan region crossing the border to Bangladesh. Arrests of illegal migrants by the Burmese army created unrest in Arakan and as a result, there was a mass exodus of around 252,000 refugees to Bangladesh.

    In late 1982, the Burmese Citizenship Law was introduced and most of the Rohingyas were denied Burmese citizenship. Radical Rohingya militant group took this opportunity to recruit many Rohingya Muslims who were occupying the region along the Bangladesh-Burma border. In the early 1980s, radical Muslims formed the Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO) which soon became the most militant faction among the Rohingyas on the Burma-Bangladesh border. Using the Islam religious card the RSO was able to obtain various forms of assistance and support from the Muslim world, including the JeI in Bangladesh and Pakistan, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e-Islami (HeI) in Afghanistan, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir and the Angkatan Belia Islam sa-Malaysia (ABIM), and the Islamic Youth Organization of Malaysia.

    In 1991 and 1992, there was forced relocation of Muslims by the government and the creation of new Buddhist settlements in Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships. This provoked another mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh.

    CONNECTIONS WITH TALIBAN AND AL-QAEDA (1988-2011)

    The military camps of Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO) were located in the Cox’s Bazaar district in southern Bangladesh. In 1991, it possessed a large number of military equipment, including light machine-guns, AK-47 assault rifles, RPG-2 rocket launchers, claymore mines and explosives. They were equipped with UK-made 9mm Sterling L2A3 sub-machine guns, M-16 assault rifles and point-303 rifles. Afghan’s Taliban instructors were associated with RSO camps along the Bangladesh-Burma border. Many RSO rebels were undergoing training in the Afghan province of Khost with Hizb-e-Islami Mujahideen.

    The expansion of the RSO in the late 1980s and early 1990s made the Burmese government launch a massive counter-offensive to clear up the Burma-Bangladesh border. In December 1991, Burmese troops crossed the border and attacked a Bangladeshi military outpost. The incident developed into a major crisis in Bangladesh-Burma relations, and by April 1992, more than 250,000 Rohingya civilians had been forced out of Arakan, western Burma.

    In late 1998, Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO) and Arakan Rohingya Islamic Front (ARIF) combined to form the Rohingya National Council (RNC) with its own armed wing, gathering the different Rohingya insurgents into one group. In 2001, they underwent training in Libya and Afghanistan, in guerrilla warfare and the use of a variety of explosives and heavy-weapons. They had several meetings with Al-Qaeda representatives.

    Throughout 2012 and in 2013, there have been a series of riots and much violence in Northern Arakan in the Rakhine State, between extremist Rohingya Muslims and the indigenous Rakhini or Arakanese people. Muslim fanatics are largely responsible for the outbreak of violence. The 2012 riots began after a Rakhine teenage girl was brutally raped and cut into pieces by three Muslim fanatics. This immediately led to an outrage and retaliation by the Rakhine community. This was followed by the extremist Muslims resorting to extreme forms of violence, destroying many villages in their entirety and murdering many innocent people. Those displaced by these riots exceeded 50, 000. The situation in the Rakhine state remains tense.

    In 2013, the worst violence in Myanmar was in Meikhtila city, which resulted in widespread bloodshed and destruction of property, and the displacement of nearly 10,000 people who were forced out of their homes. A State of Emergency was declared and the army took control of the city. The devastation was reminiscent of last year’s clashes between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya that left hundreds of people dead and more than 100,000 displaced. The struggle to contain the violence has become a major challenge to the government. Buddhist and Muslim communities live in near-total segregation, constantly fearing more violence. The violence in Meikhtila city began once news spread that a Muslim man had killed a Buddhist monk. Soon, Buddhist mobs rampaged through a Muslim neighborhood and the situation quickly became out of control.

    A CURSE TO HUMANITY

    Those conversant with global affairs, are aware of the fact that, especially in recent years, Muslims have become a curse to humanity, resorting to violent and unethical means of serving their religious ends, or to ‘resolve’ their obsessive religion-based issues and self-created problems. Peace and harmony in many countries in the West and East, have been impaired greatly owing to unwholesome actions of Muslim religious fanatics.

    As far as Sri Lanka is concerned, Muslim encroachment of traditional Sinhala Buddhist land and the demolition of historic sites and archeological remains of Buddhist heritage show the sheer lack of respect for Buddhism and related and cultural heritage of the country that gave them shelter. The situation does not seem too different in Myanmar or Thailand.

    There is clear evidence of disregard and disrespect on the part of most Muslims, for the Buddhist cultural heritage of our country. There is evidence of destruction of archeological and historic cultural monuments and remains, especially in areas inhabited by Muslims. The fundamentals of ‘Islam’ that are being widely propagated by the Muslims have serious negative implications as far as the national culture is concerned.

  9. Dilrook Says:

    I completely disagree with Noor Nizam.

    Sri Lanka must not interfere with internal affairs of Thailand and Burma – two very friendly nations for thousands of years. Let them do whatever they want. It does not matter to Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan MPs must not be allowed to interfere with our excellent relations with Thailand and Burma.

    No MP should be allowed to deal with foreign nations in anyway. All foreign affairs dealings must go through the government. If MPs do take up these issues with Thailand and Burma, the government must clearly tell these nations that their views are not shared by Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka supports whatever action taken or not taken by Burma and Thailand.

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