(Part of The Darkness Visible series)
(Around 800 Rohingya Homes Torched in Pauktaw, Burma)
Those of us who have been following the genocide in Myanmar have already seen the satellite images showing the burnt out Rohingya neighborhoods in Pauktaw, Arakan Myanmar. If you look closely at these images you can see the distinct line between the Buddhist and Muslim neighborhoods. It is where the police and fire crews stopped. Their only worry seemed to be keeping the arson contained to the Rohingya part of town. The police have been reported to have shot at those trying to leave the flames and smoke that engulfed the Rohingya homes.
This attack is the first of its kind in this part of the Arakan region of Myanmar. Since the genocide began in June Pauktaw had managed to avoid the violence. Despite this fact however the Rohingya in Pauktaw had been restricted to this small swath of land and forbidden to cross over into the Rakhine part of town. They had been concentrated into an area of around 800 houses. An area that was backed up to the water where many had parked their houseboats.
When the attack began the Rakhine mobs made an effort to sink or burn the boats before setting the houses on fire. This shows that an organized effort was made to cut the Rohingya off from fleeing. This was an attack that was designed to maximize casualties and to kill as many Rohingya as possible. Those who managed to flee were set adrift without food, water, or fuel. They could only flee with what they could carry. And even then they could only carry what their makeshift boats could hold.
(Rakhine Police Watching the Fires, Blocking Escape)
As the fires spread across the Arakan region it seems the world has no interest in stopping the attacks. Rakhine mobs have been gaining more weapons and organizing larger attacks. Their religion of peace (Buddhism) seems to offer little resistance to this urge to violence. And the government of Myanmar has done little to stop the fighting.
Police who sometimes guard the Rohingya areas of town are often seen engaging in the attacks against the Rohingya. The people the Rohingya are supposed to respect and trust are the very people that help torch their homes, rape their women, and kill their children. Fear of the state is almost as prevalent as the fear of their neighbors.
(Burning Villages in Myanmar)
So what can you do to lift your voice and take action to bring awareness to these genocidal attacks?
All you have to do is speak up. If you have a Facebook or Twitter account you can easily share these post on your accounts. You can also give updates in your own words about current attacks or ones that have happened during this horrific genocide. Your voice will give a voice to the most forgotten people on the planet. Your words can give dignity back to the people the world has neglected and abused.
Want to do more? Want to take action?
Sign petitions like the one to soon be started by Restless Beings (www.restlessbeings.org) (http://www.restlessbeings.org/campaigns/voice-the-rohingya-petition). These petitions put your name out there and show others that you support the Rohingya. They also help tell our nations leaders that we want to see our nations take action to stop these attacks. They show our leaders that silence on this issue will not be tolerated.
And remember... silence is a sin far worse than any other. For all evil needs to be victorious is for the good to remain silent.