Sterilization As A Means of Genocide
(Part of The Darkness Visible series)
In previous post Alder's Ledge has covered the use of sterilization as a weapon and means to keep "undesirables" from maintaining a growing population. Countries such as Norway and Switzerland have used forced sterilization to keep Roma citizens from having children in the past. Germany made the practice notorious with the use of it during the Holocaust. And in America the use of sterilization to further the practice of Eugenics occurred in nearly every state. Today the Rohingya face this threat as Burmese President Thein Sien continues to plot the final stages of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.
The fear of forced sterilization has arisen as authorities in Burma have ramped up pressure on the Rohingya minority. In Tan-Seik village Rohingya youth are routinely charged with crimes they have not committed or have not even occurred. In Tan-Ran-Daing village police have confiscated the Rohingya fishing equipment to keep the Rohingya from their main profession. This harassment is only complicated by the fact that the Burmese police also take part in burning the Rohingya homes and attacking those who flee.
Fear of sterilization arises even more prevalently when the police who participate in ethnic cleansing are the same ones who run the jails, detention centers, and ghettos in Myanmar. Have the ability to detain Rohingya youth and women at will give the authorities in Burma the ability to subject the Rohingya to sterilization. For all we know, sterilization may have already begun in the Rohingya ghettos and in Burma's official and secret prisons.
In Norway sterilization of the Romani took place without consent of the woman by disguising the process as another type of surgery. In many cases the Roma woman who was sterilized did not realize what had happened until years later. And in some cases the Roma woman may never have learned that she was sterilized at all.
It is not clear whether or not Burmese officials will use this form of deceit to get Rohingya women to the operating table. In Sin-Gri-Daung village reports are already coming in that medical workers showed up with armed guards unannounced. These reports indicate that the Burmese authorities have no intention of tricking their victims into the procedure. Instead it appears that if widespread sterilization begins the Myanmar authorities will be performing random sweeps to track down their victims.
Other cases of sterilization in Myanmar may arise out of the detention centers that house Rohingya victims. Just as jails in Indiana were once used by Eugenicist to sterilize their victims, it appears that Burma will be doing the same. The only difference is that unlike America's sterilization cases, Myanmar's sterilization may be more closely related to Hitler's final solution.
Just as with Hitler's genocide, Thein Sien's pogroms are geared toward the total annihilation of the Rohingya. The use of sterilization as a tool of genocide guarantees the Burmese government that even if some Rohingya survive their numbers will be forever inhibited. And even if Thein Sien's government does not kill every Rohingya, but sterilizes most of them, they will in affect kill off the next generation of the world's most persecuted people.