As the Light Recedes
(Part of: The Darkness Visible Series)
As Syria burns the world covers its eyes and hopes to that everything will be alright when the new day dawns. Yet this night has been dragging on for over a year now. And the war for our humanity has been lost as we break our necks to look away. This is a sign of what the Rohingya have to look forward to as a new night begins.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has pleaded with Aung San Suu Kyi to help bring about peace in the battle ridden western region of Myanmar (Burma). Their attempts are meant to bring about some form of protection for the Rohingya people who are being targeted for extermination. But nothing is happening. The world remains silent as Europe drools over their new pet (Suu Kyi). And the United States remains incompetent as Obama fights to hold onto power. The darkness continues to spread.
As of July 6Th there have been 10 foreign aid workers detained by the bias Myanmar government. Many of these were smurfs (UN) who made the mistake of helping the wrong group... the targeted group. Now they are waiting release and most likely expulsion from the country. The reason is clear. Myanmar wants to keep the Rohingya helpless and vulnerable. This makes it easier for Myanmar police and military to begin rounding up Rohingya for massacres.
While Suu Kyi denies that the Rohingya in the Rakhine state are being specifically targeted the Myanmar government admits that it did commit mass arrest of Rohingya on Wednesday. The most recent mass arrest (or round ups) is estimated just above 100 Rohingya. Somewhere around 10 fleeing Rohingya were shot or killed in other ways as the police and security forces went through villages looking for victims.
And yet the Rohingyas' plight does not end at the Myanmar border. The government of Bangladesh has been sending fleeing Rohingya back into Myanmar. It has been a long standing policy of Bangladesh to use military force to expel Rohingya from Bangladesh into Myanmar. Thus creating even more ethnic tension in the region as Bengali Rohingya are forced out of their homes into the Rakhine State across the border. And creating massive populations of internally displaced peoples across the border in Myanmar.
It has also been Myanmar's policy to refuse Burmese Rohingya citizenship in their own country of origin. This complicates the already tense relations between the Buddhist population and their Muslim neighbors. To make things worse, the Rohingya are routinely used as slave labor by the Myanmar military and police forces. This is a slap in the face due to the fact that the military is then used to oppress and murder the Rohingya Muslims.
For the Rohingya that make it even further away from the conflict live only slightly better lives. In Malaysia the refugee Rohingya live day to day lives waiting for the day that the government of Malaysia will send them back to Myanmar. The reason for their deportation? Malaysia refuses to accept the Rohingya as refugees and claims that without a Burmese birth certificate or passport the Rohingya are to be deemed illegal immigrants. Thus they are subject to deportation back to a country that routinely commits pogroms against them.
As for now, a month into the latest ethnic violence, the long night seems to be just beginning. The darkness is spreading. And the outside world seems content to pull the wool over their own eyes. Is there no sense of humanity left in the West? Can we not find it in us to act on behalf of those left helpless? Or will the darkness engulf us all?
Source Document Used For This Post (note not all sources are cited)
The Wall Street Journal