(Part of The Darkness Visible series)
Myanmar Government Now Establishing Ghettos For Rohingya
In Sittwe, Myanmar the Burmese government has now established a policy of forced segregation in which the Rohingya are being forced into ghettos. The Rakhine Buddhist are now the only ones allowed to enter the market areas in Sittwe and other cities and larger villages in the Rakhine region of Myanmar. Rohingya who had their own businesses in this region are now banned from working. Rohingya who had homes in Sittwe are now homeless and forced to walk the alleyways of the ghettos. Not one Rohingya dares leave the ghettos in fear that they will be attacked. Sittwe is now in a full fledged stage of ethnic cleansing.
In 1992 the Serbian militias set up concentration camps and ghettos where the Bosniaks were forced to live in constant fear. These sorts of open air prisons are meant to force the prisoners to live like animals. For the oppressors on the outside these camps are designed to give the image that the prisoners are not human. And for the community as a whole... this sort of segregation will leave scars that even time can not truly heal.
For my ancestors the ghettos were a way of life that still lives in the backs of our minds. To a degree the memory of these places still lives on even in generations who never knew what the ghettos were actually like. This is how time fails to wipe the slate clean. This is why the ghetto is such an effective tool of war.
Myanmar police and military have been known to use these ghettos to round up Rohingya women to gang rape or use as sexual slaves. Once again this mirrors how the Serbian militias used this tactic. It shows how the Junta is creating a step by step version of ethnic cleansing. This is exactly the style of genocide that appeared in Bosnia. It is the method the Nazis used in Eastern Europe. And it is how the Russians exercised their segregation and pogroms before the Holocaust.
Food and Clean Water are Scarce in the Ghetto
Death has a way of lingering in camps like these. Frail bodies haunt the shadows as helplessness creeps around every corner. A sense of timelessness falls over a person who lives in these conditions. There is nothing to mark the passing of time anyhow. There are no meals to speak of. There are no jobs to get up in the morning and go off to do. There is no reason to go to bed when your stomach is aching and your body is hurting. And there is no way of quenching your thirst without inviting death from disease or infection.
No human being should ever have to live like this. Nobody should ever have to wait for death to come for them as they live with the fading hope of having a life worth living. Yet this is what the world has left for the Rohingya. This is the life Myanmar has cursed an entire ethnicity with.
For those who make it to UN sponsored camps life isn't much better. They have already passed through the hell of war. They have been hunted like a dog as they ran through the flames. And now they must live in a ghetto full of pale canvas tents and meager rations.
So how can you help end this ethnic cleansing campaign? How can you do anything that might end the United States support for Myanmar's genocidal campaign against the Rohingya?
The easiest way to take action is to first contact your Representative in Congress. All you have to do is search by zip code on the following page:
Once you have found your Representative you can go to their web page and email them. In your own words you can express how you have read about the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar and you want the United States to come out on the world stage and condemn it. Tell your Representative that you want the United States to take any actions necessary to force Myanmar to end the ethnic cleansing and stop the genocide of the Rohingya Muslims.
If you do not want to take this action you can "Scream" with us. To do this you can simply press the "share" button down below. By posting these articles on your FaceBook and Twitter you raise your voice with us and help spread the word about this horrific tragedy. And that alone is a simple step you can take that honestly and rapidly helps end the silence surrounding this genocide.