More From Alder's Ledge

December 17, 2012

With Eyes Wide Shut

The World Looks To Burma
(Part of The Darkness Visible series)

(Rohingya Boy Starving To Death As Aid Is Blockaded)

MTV Exit recently did a concert to help raise awareness of modern day slavery that plagues Southeast Asia. The use of sexual slavery and indentured servitude has been a horrific part of life for many around the world. But there is in fact a far worse reality than slavery for some in Southeast Asia. This reality is a systematic slaughter of a people based on their ethnic and religious background. This reality is the genocide occurring to the Rohingya people of Myanmar. 

Make no mistake, Alder's Ledge has written article after article depicting the horrors of slavery and human trafficking around the world. We do not discredit the drastic need for action to be taken to save those kept in bondage across the globe. But we do believe that the living should take backseat to those about to die. 

This is the Hidden Genocide. It is not a "humanitarian crisis" like that of slavery. This is murder. This is genocide. There is no tomorrow for many of the faces we have shown here on Alder's Ledge. There is no hope for many who are now dead after months of neglect. These are the faces of souls that are lost to genocide or about to die due to the ineptitude of the Western world. 

In Sittwe, Burma the genocide has taken on the characteristics of Nazi Germany. The "undesirables" are being kept in what can only be described as concentration camps. These are the Rohingya. These are the "ethnically unclean" that Burma and Bangladesh have denied citizenship to. These are the people that Thein Sein's government has marked for annihilation. 

On Myebon Peninsula (in the Rakhine State) the Rohingya concentration camp is kept isolated and blockaded from humanitarian aid. Meanwhile the Buddhist who had fled the summer fighting are allowed to come and go form their camp freely. Their camp is the only one on the peninsula that is open for humanitarian aid to come in. The Buddhist are given food, water, and medicine in excess while the Rohingya die daily from starvation and readily preventable diseases. 

 Phu Ma Gyi's home was destroyed in the fighting. She is Buddhist. For that reason she is given a home in the government camp for the "Burmese citizens". In her own words...

"The government is looking after us here," she says. "We have food, medicine and what we need."

 As for the Rohingya on that same peninsula life has given them no certainty. They are prevented from receiving food. Those who have any form of bartering material left or money are prevented from going into neighboring villages to purchase food. Water is all around them, but it is salt water. Those who are sick in this concentration camp are left to die from ailments that could be prevented. Communicable diseases are just as fatal killers as are the bullets and knives of Rakhine Buddhists. 

(Rohingya Baby Starved To Death As Blockades Hold)

There is no famine currently occurring in Myanmar. There is no shortage of food in the country, anywhere. This is forced famine. This is a method of systematic slaughter through attrition. And this is why Alder's Ledge remains relentless in presenting the tragic fate these innocent souls now face. This is a fate that could be prevented. It is a tragedy that could be stopped right now. 

In this modern age of mass media it is impossible to hide these crimes against humanity. With even the poor now armed with cell phones it is hard for dictators to silence the outcry of oppressed. Even with the best attempts, such as Assad in Syria, the ruthless tyrants have had little luck in preventing the images of genocide from making it out to the rest of the world. And yet the world seems helpless to prevent these tragedies from happening in the first place. 

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