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Mobs raid homes of Muslims in Myanmar

Press TV – August 25, 2013

Some 1,000 Buddhists have reportedly attacked properties belonging to the Muslim community in northwestern Myanmar.

The rampage broke out shortly before Saturday midnight in the town of Kanbalu. Seven Muslim-owned shops and 15 houses were destroyed by the Buddhist mob.

The mob demanded that Myanmar’s police hand over a man suspected of attempting to rape a Buddhist woman.

Witnesses say police tried to disperse the angry crowd but failed to prevent the destruction.

Muslims are regularly targeted by riots in Myanmar. In 2012, similar violence in the western state of Rakhine left nearly 200 people – mostly Rohingya Muslims – dead.

The Saturday attack comes four days after the UN human rights envoy to Myanmar came under an attack by a group of Buddhists in central Myanmar.

UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Tomas Ojea Quintana said on August 21 that 200 angry Buddhists mobbed his car after he landed in the central town of Meikhtila to investigate attacks on Rohingya Muslims in the region.

In March, a wave of anti-Muslim riots killed over 40 people, destroyed hundreds of homes and displaced thousands in Meikhtila.

Over the past months, hundreds of Rohingyas are believed to have been killed and thousands displaced in attacks by extremist Buddhists.

The extremists frequently attack Rohingyas, and Myanmar’s government has been accused of failing to protect the Muslim minority.

Rohingyas are said to be Muslim descendants of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and Pathan origin, who migrated to Myanmar as early as the eighth century.

August 25, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Video | , , , , | Comments Off on Mobs raid homes of Muslims in Myanmar

Myanmar imposes two-child limit on Rohingya Muslims

Press TV – May 25, 2013

Officials in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine have placed a two-child limit for Muslim Rohingya couples in a gross violation of fundamental human rights and amid accusations of ethnic cleansing against the community.

Local authorities said on Saturday that the new measure will be exercised in the townships of Buthidaung and Maundaw, where about 95 percent of the population are Muslim.

Rakhine state spokesman, Win Myaing, said the measure was enacted a week ago, and was meant to stem population growth in the Muslim community.

Human rights groups say the policy makes Myanmar the only country in the world to impose such a restriction on a religious group.

They also warn that the new move will serve to fan the flames of sectarian violence in Myanmar.

Human Rights Watch has accused Rakhine authorities of fomenting an organized campaign of “ethnic cleansing” against the Rohingya Muslims.

Thousands of Rohingyas are deprived of citizenship rights due to the policy of discrimination that has denied them the right of citizenship and made them vulnerable to acts of violence and persecution, expulsion, and displacement.

The Myanmar government has so far refused to extricate the stateless Rohingyas in Rakhine state from their citizenship limbo, despite international pressure to give them a legal status.

The extremists frequently attack Rohingyas and have set fire to their homes in several villages in Rakhine. Myanmar Army forces allegedly provided the fanatics containers of petrol for torching the houses of Muslim villagers, who are then forced to flee.

Hundreds of Rohingyas are believed to have been killed and thousands displaced in recent attacks by extremists, who call themselves Buddhists.

Rohingyas are said to be Muslim descendants of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and Pathan origin, who migrated to Myanmar as early as the 8th century.

May 26, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Islamophobia | , , , , , | Comments Off on Myanmar imposes two-child limit on Rohingya Muslims

Iran to set up camp for displaced Rohingyas in Myanmar

A Muslim Rohingya man sits at his burnt home at a village in Minpyar in Rakhine state, Myanmar, on October 28, 2012.  (file photo)
A Rohingya man sits at his burnt home at a village in Minpyar in Rakhine state, Myanmar, on October 28, 2012.
Press TV – January 19, 2013

An Iranian MP says the Islamic Republic plans to set up a camp in Myanmar to help the efforts to provide relief to the country’s Rohingya Muslims.
On Saturday, Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Deputy Chairman Mansour Haqiqatpour said agreements have been reached with senior Myanmar officials to set up a camp in Rakhine state that can accommodate thousands of Rohingya refugees and where food can be provided for them.

He stated that Tehran will soon put forward its own plan for the cessation of violence against Rohingya Muslims and the restoration of the social rights of the Muslim community.

Earlier this month, an Iranian parliamentary delegation visited Myanmar to examine the situation of the Rohingya Muslims and find ways to help them.

Officials of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, the country’s Red Crescent Society (IRCS), and the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee accompanied the Iranian lawmakers during their visit to Myanmar.

Some 800,000 Rohingyas are deprived of citizenship rights due to the policy of discrimination that has denied them the right of citizenship and made them vulnerable to acts of violence and persecution, expulsion, and displacement.

The Myanmar government has so far refused to extricate the stateless Rohingyas in the western state of Rakhine from their citizenship limbo, despite international pressure to give them a legal status.

Rohingya Muslims have faced torture, neglect, and repression in Myanmar since it achieved independence in 1948.

Hundreds of Rohingyas are believed to have been killed and thousands displaced in recent attacks by extremists who call themselves Buddhists.

The extremists frequently attack Rohingyas and have set fire to their homes in several villages in Rakhine. Myanmar Army forces allegedly provided the fanatics containers of petrol for torching the houses of Muslim villagers, who are then forced to flee.

Myanmar’s government has been accused of failing to protect the Muslim minority.

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has also come under fire for her stance on the violence. The Nobel Peace laureate has refused to censure the Myanmarese military for its persecution of the Rohingyas.

Rohingyas are said to be Muslim descendants of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and Pathan origin, who migrated to Myanmar as early as the 8th century.

January 19, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Comments Off on Iran to set up camp for displaced Rohingyas in Myanmar

Myanmar Buddhists set Muslim villages on fire, kill 11 Muslims in Rakhine

Press TV – October 22, 2012

At least eleven Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar have been killed after extremist Buddhists set fire to their houses in two Muslim villages in the city of Sittwe in the western Rakhine state, a report says.

The incident occurred when a number of Buddhists backed by army and border forces set fire to houses of Muslims in the villages of Mamra and Mraut late Sunday, Radio Banga reported on Monday.

Myanmar army forces allegedly provided the Buddhists with big containers of petrol to set ablaze the houses of Muslim villagers and force them to flee their houses.

The silence of the human rights organizations towards abuses against the Rohingya Muslims has emboldened the extremist Buddhists and Myanmar’s government forces.

The Buddhist-majority government of Myanmar refuses to recognize Rohingyas and has classified them as illegal migrants, even though the Rohingyas are said to be Muslim descendants of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and Pathan origin, who migrated to Myanmar as early as the 8th century.

According to reports, thousands of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims are living in dire conditions in refugee camps after government forces and Buddhist extremists started burning down their villages on August 10.

Reports say some 650 Rohingyas have been killed in the Rakhine state in the west of the country in recent months. This is while 1,200 others are missing and 80,000 more have been displaced.

October 22, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 2 Comments

US rewarding Myanmar for massacring Muslims

An undated photo shows a Rohingya refugee woman carrying a child in an unregistered camp in Kutupalong, some 400 kilometers southeast of Dhaka.
An undated photo shows a Rohingya refugee woman carrying a child in an unregistered camp in Kutupalong, some 400 kilometers southeast of Dhaka.
By Kevin Barrett | Press TV | August 26, 2012

I am writing to every contact listed at Buddhanet.info’s American Buddhist Directory to ask:

Are you aware of the ongoing genocide in Myanmar (Burma) — a genocide that is being committed in the name of Buddhism?

And did you know that the United States of America bears responsibility for this genocide, since the US has been rewarding the Myanmar regime with ever-closer political and economic ties during recent months of accelerating atrocities?

As American Buddhists, you are in a position to help stop this genocide, by pressuring the US and Myanmar governments as well as international human rights organizations. Your visible participation in the campaign to save the Rohingya people from extermination by murderous Buddhist fanatics will not only help draw the world’s attention to this horrific situation, but also help restore the image of Buddhism as a religion of compassion.

The facts about the genocide in Myanmar are not in dispute. The fanatical Buddhist nationalists, who unfortunately represent a large segment of the roughly 60 million Buddhists in Myanmar, admit that they are trying to uproot and exterminate the roughly one million Muslim Rohingya from land that the Rohingya have lived on for centuries.

Here is what a typical genocidal Buddhist fanatic from Myanmar wrote in a comment on a Wall Street Journal article:

“Burma is Buddhist nation created for the 135 Tibeto-Burman tribes. People do not get citizenship just because born there or illegally lived there for centuries. Please do not interfere with the law and internal affairs of Burma just as you do not like other nations to poke their nose in your internal affairs.”

“People do not get citizenship just because born there or illegally lived there for centuries.” This statement, which aptly sums up the official policy of the Burmese regime, could get the person who made it, and the government that follows it, hanged for crimes against humanity. Obviously, being born in a modern nation to a family that has been there for centuries automatically confers citizenship. And obviously, any modern nation that denies citizenship to such people, burns their homes and communities, and murders them en masse, with the aim of removing them from the nation of their birth, is committing the internationally-recognized crime of genocide.

In recent weeks, many thousands of homes, and more than 20 mosques, have been burned by murderous Buddhist mobs, backed by national security forces, in the Arakan state of Myanmar. Estimates of the number of Rohingya Muslims murdered, whether directly or by drowning in the Naf River, as they flee the killers, range from the thousands to the tens of thousands. Every one of the more than 500 mosques in Arakan has been taken over by the genocidal regime’s security forces and shut down, and they are being demolished one-by-one. (This happened during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims are supposed to spend as much time as possible in a mosque.)

Muslims have been living in Burma since roughly 800 c.e. — that is, nearly for as long as the religion of Islam has existed. And Arakan has been a Muslim region, ruled by Muslim kings and/or populated by Bengali Muslims, since 1430. The most notable population increase of Muslims in Arakan took place in the 1600s. The idea that the Rohingya people are somehow “recent immigrants” to the region is clinically insane — a symptom of the larger insanity known as nationalist fanaticism.”

Both Buddhism and Islam are universalist religions: They proclaim truths that are valid for all people, indeed for all of existence. And the core truth that both religions proclaim is the primacy of compassion. In Buddhism, a central feature of the Buddha nature is compassion for all beings. If one were to choose a single hallmark of a successful advanced practitioner of Buddhism, it would be a highly-developed sense of compassion.

Whatever has happened to the Myanmar Buddhists’ compassion for their fellow citizens who happen to be born as Rohingyas?

Islam, too, views compassion as a central reality of creation. Muslim theologians, like the more advanced Christian and Jewish religious thinkers, view God as ineffable; but the primary and overriding tangible characteristic of God in Islam (with the proviso that no tangible characteristics fully express the reality of the one ineffable God) is rahma, or compassion. The two adjectives Muslims use the most to “describe” God are ar-rahman ar-rahim, usually translated as “the merciful, the compassionate.” (The root of rahma and its cognates derives from the word for “womb,” suggesting that this “compassion” has something in common with the nurturing, all-embracing, unconditional love that mothers feel for their children.)

Additionally, both Buddhism and Islam teach us to transcend or even annihilate the (tribal) ego. Buddhism offers a set of teachings that take its practitioners beyond the ego, which is the source of the endless desire that is the cause of the pervasive suffering or disappointment that characterizes ordinary human existence. Likewise, Islam teaches its serious practitioners to annihilate the “ego that desires evil” through absolute submission to God. Each religion offers a very similar cure for the unhappiness of the ordinary human condition.

The kind of chest-thumping egotistical nationalism that proclaims “I am a Buddhist, my heroic nation is Buddhist, I am so much better than those non-Buddhists that I must kill them or exile them” is about as far from the compassionate teachings of the Buddha as it is possible to get. Likewise, extremist Muslims who proclaim that their narrow version of Islam is the only truth, and that everyone who disagrees should be killed, are equally far from the universal, all-compassionate message proclaimed by God through Prophet Muhammad (peace upon him).

Muslims and Buddhists ought to unite against ego-driven nationalist fanaticism, which is an affront to both religious traditions.

August 26, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Stateless Rohingya… Running on Empty

By January 12, 2012

Rohingyas, the ethnic Muslim minority in Burma, are treated as aliens and discriminated in their own country despite their continued existence there for centuries. They face systematic oppression of forced labor, arbitrary arrest, and land confiscation. Only Rohingyas must apply for travel passes even to go to the next village less than a mile away. So, they cannot go to mosques for prayer or to marry or even study or work. Only Rohingyas, but not Buddhist Arakanese, face exorbitant and outrageous taxation for land, property, and activities such as repairing houses, marrying someone, and giving birth. Thus, they are without human and civil rights. They live in fear and without freedom.

July 21, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | Comments Off on Stateless Rohingya… Running on Empty

Democracy and slaughter in Myanmar: Gold Rush overrides Human Rights

By Ramzy Baroud | Press TV | July 16, 2012

The widespread killings of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar – have received only passing and dispassionate coverage in most media. What they actually warrant is widespread outrage and decisive efforts to bring further human rights abuses to an immediate halt.

“Burmese helicopter set fire to three boats carrying nearly 50 Muslim Rohingyas fleeing sectarian violence in western Burma in an attack that is believed to have killed everyone on board,” reported Radio Free Europe on July 12.

Why would anyone take such fatal risks? Refugees are attempting to escape imminent death, torture or arrest at the hands of the Ethnic Buddhist Rakhine majority, which has the full support of the Myanmar government.

The relatively little media interest in Myanmar’s ‘ethnic clashes’ is by no means an indication of the significance of the story. The recent flaring of violence followed the raping and killing of a Rhakine woman on May 28, allegedly by three Rohingya men. The incident ushered a rare movement of unity between many sectors of Myanmar society, including the government, security forces and so-called pro-democracy activists and groups. The first order of business was the beating to death of ten innocent Muslims. The victims, who were dragged out of a bus and attacked by a mob of 300 strong Buddhist Rhakine, were not even Rohingyas, according to the Bangkok Post (June 22). Not all Muslims in Myanmar are from the Rohingya ethnic group. Some are descendants of Indian immigrants, some have Chinese ancestry, and some even have early Arab and Persian origins. Myanmar is a country with a population of an estimated 60 million, only 4 percent of whom are Muslim.

Regardless of numbers, the abuses are widespread and rioters are facing little or no repercussions for their actions. “The Rohingyas…face some of the worst discrimination in the world,” reported Reuters on July 4, citing rights groups. UK-based Equal Rights Trust indicated that the recent violence is not merely due to ethnic clashes, but actually involves active government participation. “From June 16 onwards, the military became more actively involved in committing acts of violence and other human rights abuses against the Rohingya including killings and mass-scale arrests of Rohingya men and boys in North Rakhine State.”

The ‘pro-democracy’ Myanmar’s groups and individuals celebrated by Western governments for objecting to the country’s military junta are also taking part in the war against minorities. Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald on July 8, Hanna Hindstrom reported that one pro-democracy group stated on Twitter that “[t]he so-called Rohingya are liars,” while another social media user said, “We must kill all the kalar.” Kalar is a racist slur applied to dark-skinned people from the Indian subcontinent

Politically, Myanmar has a poor reputation. A protracted civil war has ravaged the country shortly after its independence from Britain in 1948. The colonial era was exceptionally destructive as the country was used as a battleground for great powers. Many Myanmar people were slaughtered in a situation that was not of their making. As foreign powers divided the country according to their own purposes, an ensuing civil war was almost predictable. It supposedly ended when a military junta took over from 1962 to 2011, but many of the underlying problems remained unresolved.

Per western media coverage, Myanmar is defined by a few ‘iconic’ individuals’ quest for democracy, notwithstanding opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Since an election last year brought a civilian government to power, we have been led to believe that a happy ending is now in the making. “Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi made her historic parliamentary debut on Monday (July 9), marking a new phase in her near quarter century struggle to bring democracy to her army-dominated homeland,” reported the British Telegraph.

But aside from mere ‘concerns’ over the ethnic violence, Aung San Suu Kyi is staying on the fence – as if the slaughter of the country’s ‘dark-skinned Indians’ is not as urgent as having a parliamentary representation for her party, the National League for Democracy in Myanmar. Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu called on ‘The Lady’ to do something, anything. “As a Nobel Peace Laureate, we are confident that the first step of your journey towards ensuring peace in the world would start from your own doorstep and that you would play a positive role in bringing an end to the violence that has afflicted Arakan State,” he wrote. However, “Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy continues to carefully sidestep the hot-button issue,” according to Foreign Policy.

The violent targeting of Burmese minorities arrived at an interesting time for the US and Britain. Their pro-democracy campaign was largely called off when the junta agreed to provide semi-democratic reforms. Eager to offset the near exclusive Chinese influence over the Myanmar economy, Western companies jumped into Myanmar as if one of the most oppressive regimes in the world was suddenly resurrected into an oasis for democracy.

“The gold rush for Burma has begun,” wrote Alex Spillius in the British Guardian. It was ushered in by US President Barak Obama’s recent lifting of the ban on American investment in the country. Britain immediately followed suit, as a UK trade office was hurriedly opened in Rangoon on July 11. “Its aim is to forge links with one of the last unexploited markets in Asia, a country blessed by ample resources of hydro-carbons, minerals, gems and timber, not to mention a cheap labour force, which thanks to years of isolation and sanctions is near virgin territory for foreign investors.” Since US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her ‘historic’ visit to Myanmar in December 2011, a recurring media theme has been ‘Myanmar riches’ and the ‘race for Myanmar’. Little else is being discussed, and certainly not minority rights.

Recently, Clinton held a meeting with Myanmar’s President Thein Sein, who is now being branded as another success story for US diplomacy. On the agenda are US concerns regarding the “lack of transparency in Myanmar’s investment environment and the military’s role in the economy” (CNN, July 12). Thein Sein, however, is guilty of much greater sins, for he is providing a dangerous political discourse that could possibly lead to more killings, or even genocide. The ‘reformist’ president told the UN that “refugee camps or deportation is the solution for nearly a million Rohingya Muslims,” according to ABC Australia. He offered to send the Rohingyas away “if any third country would accept them.”

The Rohingyas are currently undergoing one of the most violent episodes of their history, and their suffering is one of the most pressing issues anywhere in the world. Yet their plight is suspiciously absent from regional and international priorities, or is undercut by giddiness over the country’s “ample resources of hydro-carbons, minerals, gems and timber.”

Meanwhile, the stateless and defenseless Rohingyas continue to suffer and die. Those lucky to make it to Bangladesh are being turned back. Aside from few courageous journalists – indifferent to the country’s promise for ‘democracy’ and other fables – most are simply looking the other way. This tragic attitude must immediately change if human rights matter in the least.

July 16, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 2 Comments