Human Rights Groups Decry Burma’s Communal strife

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SITTWE — Western Burma appeared calm Saturday after almost a week of deadly communal strife, a government spokesman said as human rights groups called for action to end the violence that one said it has documented with satellite imagery.

Rakhine state spokesman Win Myaing there were no immediate reports of fresh clashes between the Buddhist Rakhine and the Muslim Rohingya communities.

State television reported Friday night that 67 people had died, 95 been injured and 2,818 houses were burned down from Sunday through Thursday in seven of the state’s townships. Win Myaing had earlier stated the death toll as 112, but later explained that had been a mistaken tally.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issued separate statements calling for more government action to protect lives. Human Rights Watch released satellite photos that it said showed extensive destruction in a predominantly Rohingya area of one of the townships where violence was reported.

In June, ethnic violence in Rakhine killed at least 90 people and destroyed more than 3,000 homes. About 75,000 have been living in refugee camps ever since. Curfews have been in place in some areas since the earlier violence and were extended in scope this past week.

“These latest incidents between Muslim Rohingyas and Buddhists demonstrate how urgent it is that the authorities intervene to protect everyone, and break the cycle of discrimination and violence,” Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific deputy director, Isabelle Arradon, said in a statement.

Human Rights Watch asserted in its statement that the Rohingya have suffered the brunt of the violence.

It quoted the group’s deputy Asia director, Phil Robertson, as saying Burma’s government urgently needs to provide security for the Rohingya. He added, “Unless the authorities also start addressing the root causes of the violence, it is only likely to get worse.”

Human Rights Watch said the true death toll may be higher than that officially reported, based on witnesses’ accounts and a history of government undercounting in cases that might reflect badly on it.

The Rohingya face grass-roots and official discrimination. Amnesty and Human Rights Watch both highlighted a 1984 law that effectively deprives most Rohingya of citizenship and denies them many basic civil rights.

Human Rights Watch released before-and-after satellite photos that it said showed the destruction of a Rohingya neighborhood in the coastal town of Kyaukpyu, where arson attacks reportedly took place Wednesday.

“The area of destruction measures 35 acres and includes 633 buildings and 178 houseboats and floating barges adjacent on the water, all of which were razed,” said Human Rights Watch.

President Thein Sein’s reformist government has described the violence as an obstacle to development. He took office as an elected president last year, and has instituted economic and political liberalization after almost half a century of repressive military rule.

“As the international community is closely watching Burma’s democratic transition, such unrest could tarnish the image of the country,” said a statement from the office of President Thein Sein published Friday in the state-run Myanma Ahlin newspaper.

The long-brewing conflict is rooted in a dispute over the Rohingyas’ origins. Although many Rohingya have lived in Burma for generations, they are widely denigrated as intruders who came from neighboring Bangladesh to steal scarce land.

The UN estimates their population in Burma at 800,000, but the government does not recognize them as one of the country’s 135 ethnic groups. Human rights groups say racism also plays a role: Many Rohingya, who speak a Bengali dialect and resemble Muslim Bangladeshis, have darker skin and are heavily discriminated against.

A statement issued Thursday by the office of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Burma authorities “to take urgent and effective action to bring under control all cases of lawlessness.”

“If this is not done, the fabric of social order could be irreparably damaged and the reform and opening up process being currently pursued by the government is likely to be jeopardized,” it said.

The crisis has proven a major challenge to Thein Sein’s government and to opposition leader and Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been criticized by some outsiders as failing to speak out strongly against what they see as repression of the Rohingya.

The UN warned Thursday that the crisis had sent a new wave of refugees to seek shelter in camps already overcrowded from the June violence.

Human Rights Watch deplored conditions in the camps, which it said housed many Rohingya who were denied access to adequate humanitarian aid and vulnerable to attack.


9 Responses to Human Rights Groups Decry Burma’s Communal strife

  1. The article included statements about the 1984 citizenship law and racism as the cause of of the June 8 riot and recent clash. However, various details have been left out therefore giving a misleading or incomplete picture .

    After coming into the country in great numbers Muslims Bengali later wanted the area they occupied to belong to another country ( Pakistan) and requested self-rule. When the country was in chaos they massacred people of the host country which they entered ( Burma) . It looks like now they are at it again. In the last two years Muslims have tried to chase Arakanese away from town in their own country by traumatizing them with a series of attack on Arakanese villages, not to mention gang rape and murder. Eventually Muslims launched the riot on June 8, 2012.

    Back in 1942:

    In 1942 the country was in chaos because there was a war taken place between Japan and British in Burma. Bengali Muslims took advantage of the chaos and turned against people in the host country ( Burma) . Thousands ( 17, 000 ) of armed Bengali Muslim massacred Rakhine local people and burned down their homes . According to record, there were over 200 village totally vanished with only a few villages left.

    1946

    Bengalis requested self-rule ( to rule themselves under Islamic Sharia Law instead ) and wanted Bhuthidawng & Maungdaw belong to another country-Pakistan . They later rebelled on June 9th,1948, by the name “Mujahid Organization” to push their agenda.

    1948

    Burma Independence

    1975

    According to Mr.Kaiser, the Bangladesh Ambassador to Burma , in 1975 “there were upward of ½ million Bangalee trespassers in Arakan” and that the Burmese government had “some right” to eject over 500,000 “Bangalee trespassers” as the Ambassador described them – not “Rohingyas”. Mr Kaiser subsequently became Bangladesh Ambassador to the UN and was Chairman of the UN Security Council for October 1979.

    1984

    ” The Citizenship Act was enacted with the aim to protect national security as the country is situated next to the world’s most populous countries.”

    Please include the full information if you want to mention the cause of the clash . The rape of one Arakanese woman was not full story, it was just the tipping point. Numerous atrocities was inflicted on Arakanese for a year or two before this June 2012:

    “Buthidaung, Burma : Some remote Buddhist villages in southern Buthidaung Township, 80 miles north of Sittwe, are under threat of damage due to the rampant Muslim robbers in the area, report local people widely.

    A villager in Kwe Gomaw Village said, “The authority is not protecting our village right now. So many families are thinking of moving to more safe places like downtown Buthidaung, where many army battalions are stationed.”

    The village of Kwe Gomaw is located near Nyung Chaung Nasaka outpost in southern Buthidaung Township, and the village was hit by dacoits on 1 January, 2011.

    “At 12 pm on 1 January, around 30 armed Muslim robbers surrounded our village. After that the robbers entered our village and robbed property from all the houses one by one. When a villager refused to give over his property, a robber beat him with his gun and injured his head. Properties worth 3 million kyat were taken by the robbers,” the villager said.

    After the robbers left the village, they hit another Buddhist village in the area, Thein Daung Byint, where many people of the Dynet tribes are living.

    During the second attack, the village chairman’s wife was severely wounded when some of the robbers opened fire on villagers who were trying to fight back against them. The woman is now hospitalized in Buthidaung in critical condition, although her condition is improving.

    A villager from Thein Daung Byint said, “We are now afraid to live in our village because we have no safety, despite that our village is located in inner Buthidaung Township, not in the border area. Moreover, when we informed the Nasaka officers about the robber, the officers beat us because were unable to defend ourselves against the robbers. Now we are facing many difficulties living in our village.”

    During December, 2010, a large robbery also took place in Shwet Bying Village under Zaydi Bying circle in Rathidaung Township. The villagers lost 30 million kyat of property. The robbery was also committed by a group of armed Muslim dacoits.

    The Muslim robbers have never robbed any Muslim villages in the area, having so far only struck Buddhist villages in Buthidaung Township. Because of this, many ordinary citizens, including those in the Muslim community, are anxious that the robberies might foment conflict and lead to riots among the people in the area.”

  2. According to some of reports, resent problem started by
    Rakhine man was beaten by illegal migrant Bengali so called Rohingya group when
    he walk passing through Muslim ward. After that Rakhine group come back and
    fighting with illegal Migrant Bengali Rohingya group.

    Illegal Migrant Bengali Rohingya who starting lifting fire
    on their own homes. Later they set fire on Rakhine peoples homes and Buddhist
    monasteries.

    Illegal Migrant Bengali Rohingya peoples believe their homes
    and villages will be rebuilding by OIC and $ 50 millions fund by Saudi
    Arabia King.

    So Bengali Rohingya peoples are lifting fire on their hut
    for better build home which they believe OIC will rebuild for them. Also they
    wanted to put pressure on Burmese Government by International Governments,
    NGOs, OIC, Human Right organization and UN.

    Illegal Migrant Bengali Rohingya peoples are not victim in
    communal violence as what Human Right organization and some media said. They
    are aggressive peoples and attacking on native Rakhine ethnic and other Burmese
    ethnics.

    The problem is Human Right organization, NGOs, UN and OIC
    because these organizations are side with illegal Migrant Bengali Rohingya. Their
    present in Rakhine state is encouraging illegal Migrant Bengali Rohingya to terrorize
    on native Rakhine peoples and other Burmese ethnics.

    Did Human Right organization, NGOs and OIC ever criticized
    on Bangladeshi Government for killing Buddhist Jumma peoples and destroying Buddhist
    Temples and Monasteries in
    Chittagong Hill Tracts?

    They are deaf and blind on Muslim terrorizing on Buddhist
    Jumma tribal peoples in CHT. Chittagong Hill Tracts was historically belonging
    to Rakhine, Burma
    but British colony Government ignored objection from Indigenous peoples of CHT
    and gave CHT to Pakistan,
    later part of Bangladesh.
    Now Islamization is hidden epidemic in that region and ethnics and religion
    cleansing in CHT.

    These Human Right Organization and NGOs are pro Islamic and
    they are favoring Muslim Bengali Rohingya.

    These organizations should be stay out of Rakhine
    State.

    Native Rakhine peoples are living in scare and fear in their
    homeland.

    No countries and no organizations have criticized
    Bangladeshi Government for not taking back it citizens. Bengali becoming
    Rohingya once they have arrived illegally by boat in Rakhine
    State and they are still illegally
    crossing border into Burma.

    There’s no Rohingya ethnic in Burma.
    Rohingya is Bengali speaking ethnic from Bangladesh.
    They can’t speak Burmese or Rakhine language either. 

    Please, international media and NGOs must let fair go for
    native Rakhine peoples.

     

    • Amnesty International calls on the government of Bangladesh to carry out a prompt, independent and impartial investigation into the death of two Jumma indigenous residents of the Chittagong Hill Tracts after the army opened fire on them on 20 February 2010.
      http://www.amnesty.org.au/news/comments/22626/

      You’re only seeing what you want to see, a common trait among dictators and their fascist supporters.

  3. The Burmese Freedom Fighter

    Politically correct bona fides! ——  —- Politically correct bona fides! Setting your sight on jumping in proving your politically correct bona fides won’t get you anywhere. The sight of your politically correct bona fides has been caught more often in this communal riot in western part of Burma. 

    Human Rights are for each and every one of all human being without the discrimination of the degree of suffering of which race or what religion affiliation in this rival community. Having the sight of international rights groups set on standing up for Bengali alone during this hate violence undeniably shows that there is no fairness in their judgment on recognition of the price that Rakhine had to pay in this hostile communal violence, an apparent bias of human nature regardless of who they work for in jumping to prove only their politically correct bona fides. Reckless condescending tone and using popular second language of sarcasm in Burmese internal affair will not entice tolerance of the host citizens of Burma toward their invader Bengali at all, but agitation, and hatred.  

    Only when international community started to recognize the existence of influx of illegal immigrants in Burma as one of the epic center of communal riots, the trust of Burmese to international communities will begin to build up, allowing tolerance to be multiplied among the Burmese that will usher to finding a skeleton key to open the door of honest conversation on the communal riots in Rakhine State of Burma. The trust of Burmese people has to be earned first before current tragedy of communal riots has its chance to have its hate violence feasibly reshaped into a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live.

    The political correctness has to leave behind to give a way for pragmatic and viable solution to communal riots. We have enough of being brainwashed with your culture of political correctness and tolerance. We warn all of you, self-righteous groups, and we are deplorably accused of giving hate speeches. If we don’t agree with everything that you believe, you call us intolerant. Please be sensible! Your politically correct bona fides does not legislate tolerance; it only promotes hatred.

    The Burmese Freedom Fighter

  4. Shocking, absolutely disgusting. And there are plenty of people posting on this site whose words have in my opinion created an ‘enabling environment’ for this, a climate of impunity.

  5. ” Prime beach front condo with full facilities in tranquil setting blessed with wonderful sunset views; exciting investment opportunities, apply now!”

    The whole area being burnt down and the regime’s cronies coming in to build and sell the shining towers has been regular business practise for all markets, shopping centres and residencial areas in Burma for as long as the military has been. Oh, Almost forgot!  There is no more military now!Instant Democracy! Just add water. With prizes to prove. Hooray!!!

    But of course this time there are atrocious killings and inhumane acts as well as lack of any chance for alternative accommodation surrounded by  hostile and homicidal neighbours.

    Thein Sein has even been allowed to admit the obvious. That is democracy. Kill and burn and raze  but then admit and blame others and comment like a bystander. Usual formula. Definite support by the international communities and the ever loyal “media” is sooo reassuring. Who says one cannot get away with murder? There is nothing Thein Sein can do to upset those two groups in the slightest.

    Surplus virulent racism and aggression is such that, like out of control Rottweiler used to intimidate the people, the military even have to pull the string hard by killing some on their own side. Having racism on tap can be taxing. Too much of a good thing!

    The drooling international communities may not like the look too much now though. How can one keep appearances if these pictures and reports keep coming out at such  inopportune times? Should we start condemning now? Nahh…

    There is no other way. Unless some independent crazy act happens, Thein Sein and Aung San Suu Kyi have to be well succoured in  their innocent looking cruel perpetrator and tacit supporter roles. After all, they have been steadfast in cowing the Burmese public and colluded wholeheartedly for the rich natural resource loot and trade routes construction. They would even support to charge the expenses incurred for those routes and yes, interest on the loan  on the mostly  illiterate and definitely ignorant people of the country who would be languishing in the subsistent t wage jobs for generations.

    Trifling nuisance! This one. But still one must keep an eye on.

  6. I have read and watchedabout Rakhine State communal violence on Aljazeera TV, BBC, SBS and ABC TV. Now most of International TV stations are buying news from Aljazeera.
    What do you expect from Muslim reporter reporting about riot between Buddhist and Muslim?
    All the  news related to Rakhine communal violence is just one side story and Buddhist Rakhine peoples are to blame for communal violence in Rakhine state.
    Also Human Right organization, International Amnesty and other NGOs employees is mostly leftist and Muslim in related Rakhine aid. These organizations are siding with illegal migrant Bengali Rohingya peoples. Their present in Rakhine State is encouraging to illegal migrant Bengali Rohingya to attack and terrorize on native Rakhine ethnic and other Burmese ethnics in Rakhine state.
    I have read and watched TV and News paper and they said hundreds of homes are razed in Rohingya villages this news was reported by HRW (Human Right Watch) . They never said how many Buddhist Rakhine homes were torched by terrorist illegal migrant Bengali Rohingya in International media.
    I believe some of news coming from Rakhine state about illegal migrant Bengali Rohingya peoples are setting fire on their hut and Mosque because they believe they will be given aid and rebuild better home for them by OIC with the money $ 50 millions donated by Saudi King.
    Our exile Medias are pulling back and they are scaring to report true story from Rakhine.
    Burmese and Rakhine peoples’ English language knowledge is poor and they can’t compete with International Muslim media’s manufactured untruth news for Rakhine communal violence.
    They are accusing Buddhist as terrorist. Our fellow country men and women in Rakhine were accusing terrorist in their homeland by Muslims and International medias.
    Our fellow exile medias must defense integrity of Rakhine peoples and report truth about what actually happening in Rakhine state.
    No organization and Human Right Watch blame Bangladeshi Government for turning back its citizens coming back from Burma.
    Now I don’t have respect staffers from NGOs, Human Right Watch and other organizations.
    Their job is must be neutral but they are siding with Muslim and against Buddhist.
    NGOs, HRW, OIC and other organizations must be stay out of Rakhine and Burma.
    Rakhine peoples can not scarify for illegal migrant Bengali peoples.
    Land of Rakhine is belonging to Rakhine peoples.
    Sai Lin Kan

  7. George Than Setkyar Heine

     “Many Rohingya, who speak a Bengali dialect and resemble Muslim
    Bangladeshis, have darker skin and are heavily discriminated against”.
    Hence, Rohingya are Bangali Muslims who crossed the border since day one until today and making life miserable for the native Rakhines today.
    And finding the ROOTS of the ROHINGYA in BURMA as well would be MORE FOOLISH than A FOOL WHO SWALLOWED HIS OWN POOH to say the truth.
    Hence the ROHINGYA SAGA should be TAKEN CARE of ACCORDINGLY like they DO to ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS worldwide: QUARANTINE THEM in the first place and before PROCESSING them for RESETTLEMENT in THIRD COUNTRIES ( most preferably Muslim countries under the OIC of course) like Australia is DOING NOW for BOAT PEOPLE.
    Of course Burma has NO CAUSE least of all to GIVEN CITIZENSHIP much less RECOGNIZE the ROHINGYA as an ETHNIC MINORITY of BURMA as well, as the PEOPLE of BURMA would not ACCEPT the ROHINGYA in their country since day one until today as well.
    Hence, Thein Sein nor the UN, US, and least of all OIC have NO RIGHT much less AUTHORITY to FORCE the MATTER – render citizenship to illegal immigrants from Bangladesh nor recognize them as an ethnic minority of Burma as well. PERIOD!

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