(part of The Darkness Visible series)
(Central Burma Being "Cleansed" of Muslim Communities)
As the Rohingya wait for the hammer to fall they can't help but notice the Muslims of central Burma being burnt out of their homes. Meikhtila and Yangon have begun to see large riots where Buddhists extremist have whipped their followers into a frenzy of looting and burning. This is a recreation of the massacres and pogroms that the Rohingya suffered for nearly 8-9 months now. The only difference is that the extremist are spreading the fire beyond the Arakan region of Burma.
On March 20th the extreme wings of Buddhists nationalism descended upon Meikhtila and began burning Muslim districts. Police, apparently less willing to participate in violence outside the Arakan, tried hard to push the mobs back. Yet when the mobs refused to stop and put away their weapons... the police stood down. Instead of fighting the mobs, the police tried to confine the violence to areas already on fire and to help get Muslims out of the line of fire.
(Centers of Muslim Daily Life Targeted First)
It is believed that in response to this the security forces in the Arakan have attempted to prepare themselves for the coming "third massacre". In routinely poor forum and provoked out of fear, the security personnel are confining Rohingya to their homes and villages. Security personnel have ordered Rohingya in MinPya to stay indoors and not leave the confines of their own homes. At best they are banned from leaving their villages. All the while Rakhine mobs are telling calling for the Rohingya homes in MinPya to be burnt and the Rohingya killed.
The desire to appear as though the local authorities are trying to fight the violence is however a mask. Just as in the past two massacres the Myanmar military will either stand off to the side and watch or actively join in the blood bath and take the opportunity to slaughter Rohingya. The second option will only be made easier now that the Rohingya are confined to concentration camps and ghettos. In essence the ground work for a Burmese style "final solution" has already been laid.
(This Is What Awaits The Rohingya)
Rakhine Buddhists have promised the world a "third massacre". Their lack of desire to stop the violence has been only encouraged by Burmese politicians who have rewarded the past two pogroms. Leaders in the Nasaka (border police) have helped Rakhine while imprisoning the Rohingya. Leaders in Thein Sein's party have made a habit of denouncing the "ethnic tension" while praising the Rakhine extremist. Thein Sein himself has told leaders like Barack Obama that he is against the slaughter of the Rohingya while making it easier for the Rakhine mobs to do just that.
The conditions in the Arakan state are a tinderbox for this next pogrom. The stage has been set. The show is ready and the outside world is watching. Even the governments that claim to be looking the other way are eagerly looking at Arakan, Myanmar. Yet nobody is trying to stop it?
(What Will We Do When The Rohingya Ghettos Look Like This?)
In HaraPyaing, MinPya 871 Rohingya are starving to death as they wait for the next pogrom. But they aren't alone:
- Tenseik has 1,867 starving Rohingya
- Sakkyar Ywa has 1,109 Rohingya starving to death
- There are 3,232 Rohingya starving in Lama Ywa
- 768 Rohingya are starving to death in Thadar Ywa
- 1,152 Rohingya are close to death in Piekthay Ywa
- There are 1,250 Rohingya starving to death in Tara Auk
- NagaPyan has 1,065 starving Rohingya
- 2,400 Rohingya are starving to death in Nagara Pauktaw
- SanGyi Pyin has 2,232 starving Rohingya
- Nawnaw Ywa is home to 997 starving Rohingya
- And in Yatori Ywa there are 767 starved Rohingya
All the world has to ask itself now is just how they will justify the lack of action that has characterized our response to the last two massacres. How will we justify the silence? How will we rationalize the dead? And who will remain silent once this massacre begins?
Whatever happened to "Never Again"?