More From Alder's Ledge

July 31, 2012

What Happened To Buddhism Being Peaceful?

Attacks on Rohingya Continue
(Part of The Darkness Visible post)

As the violence in Rakhine, Myanmar continues the Buddhist population returns to allegations that the Rohingya are invaders. The charges are obviously blatantly false. Yet the Buddhist continue to attack with both words and violent actions.

Amnesty International stated this week that though the fighting had been down ethnic lines in the beginning the latest attacks have been primarily targeting the Rohingya minority. The Burmese government has not only been complacent in allowing the attacks but has commanded the Myanmar security forces to attack Rohingya villages and raid Rohingya camps. The goal of the Burmese government has always been deportation. And amidst this recent wave of violence the Myanmar government is stepping up its policies of discrimination.

We already know that the Bangladeshi government is not much better in its treatment of the Rohingya. The Bengali forces are known to use Rohingya as slaves and forced labor. The Bengali forces often uproot Rohingya and force them over the border into Burma. And in some of the worse cases have been known to kill Rohingya found along the border.

The Rohingya trapped in Burma have for six weeks now put up with mass arrest and routine attacks by biased Burmese Police. Children who go out searching for food can be subjected to beatings. Women caught outside without a male companion around are raped and often killed. The Rohingya men who aren't forced to submit humiliation by the Burmese security forces are more often than not beaten or killed.

So where is the UN and the Western world in all this?

The UN has sent observers to see first hand what is happening in Burma. Yet the Burmese government continues to keep the world at bay as it censors most everything the UN is allowed to see in the western Rakhine region of Myanmar. Security has long been an excuse for violators of human rights while they use the victims as an excuse for the violence. But the UN fails to force the issue even while knowing this disturbing trend.

The Russians, British, and Americans have all recently joined the race with China to exploit the small Asian country of its resources. Myanmar appears more than willing to let the foreign businesses in on one condition... they don't dare say a word about human rights. And as far as China and Russia go, Burma has no worries there. So where is Obama when it comes to Burmese atrocities?

Ignoring organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Obama has given the green light to US companies who want to outsource to Myanmar. Instead of growing jobs at home Obama seems happy to export American industry to prop up a genocidal government in Burma. And still the media back home in the US refuses to even discuss the problem as they cover the "Race for Burma". It seems none of them want to talk about Obama's complacency with murder when it comes to depressing the US economy and boosting the Burmese capabilities in conducting genocide.

Some parts of the world are watching however. Some parts of the world are preparing to act. But it isn't the groups we would want to "stop" genocide.

Pakistani Taliban members have recently claimed that they will begin attacking Burma if the Myanmar government does not put a stop to the killing of Rohingya. It appears that some of the worst human rights violators are actually prepared to act more directly than the civilized Western world. And yet even with the threat of global terrorism, the Western governments continue to hide their eyes and hope for the best.

If Taliban members do begin making attacks on Burma we could witness international acts of war coming  from both Pakistan and Myanmar alike. What could easily be stopped by intervention, either diplomatically or militarily, by the Western world and the UN is starting to boil over borders. The darkness is spreading from Myanmar and Bangladesh into India and Pakistan. The sparks are starting to fly and the tinderbox of the region is ready to ignite.

How will the West and the UN deal with war and genocide as this dark night reaches its darkest hours? Syria burns as the Sudan continues to be ravaged by war and genocide alike. Yemen starves as the Arab Spring appears ready to drag the country into Syria's pit of despair. Assam shows signs of healing and yet the Muslim world prepares to wage war to get even... Assam could erupt again. Burma is just the depth of the darkness itself. It shows us what kind of world we have become. In the middle of the night... in our darkness hour... we see how weak and vulnerable we really are.

If only to save ourselves the heartache, we have turned our backs on the Rohingya just as we have turned our eyes away from Syria. We are no more capable of standing up to our promise of "Never Again" now than we were in Bosnia... Rwanda... Cambodia... or Darfur. And from what we can see now, we aren't even trying to live up to those two hollow words.

The Roma, Jews, Armenians, Native Americans... more than we can mention... were all offered to the flames, gas, and bullets. After those crimes we were told ourselves we would never allow those crimes to happen to anyone else. We promised the world that together we could put an end to this dark chapter in our history.

Burma shows us that it is still with us. Syria screams to us that it has never left us. And Assam cries out to us to finally put an end to this dark night.

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