A Red Cross volunteer carrying an elderly person at the Sittwe port in Sittwe, Rakhine state, Myanmar, on Saturday. The brutality towards the minority can no longer be hidden. (EPA PIC)

AUNG San Suu Kyi, who came to power as the first civilian leader in decades after the junta regime in Myanmar, was considered a great hope for the Rohingya Muslims. The promises she made before the election were hopeful and peaceful. The Rohingya believed that things would change for the better, as reported.

Suu Kyi received numerous awards from Europe. First, she received the Sakharov Prize from the European Parliament, then the Nobel Peace Prize. While Europe was rewarding her, Suu Kyi, in contrast to her promises, expanded her policy of oppressing Rohingya Muslims. The expectations of the Rohingya, who have been subjected to genocide for years, resulted in disappointment, as reported.

The Rohingya have made the headlines with reports of massacres, genocides and exiles for a long time, and new reports on Aug 28 showed that the situation has become even more critical for Rohingya Muslims. The European Rohingya Council reported on Aug 28 that between 2,000 and 3,000 Muslims were killed in three days during attacks by the army in Rakhine province, Myanmar. Some human rights organisations in the region state that this number is somewhere around 20,000.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees regional spokesman for Bangladesh Vivian Tan said the number of people fleeing to Bangladesh from the violence ongoing since Aug 25 has reached 270,000, and that the majority of them had not eaten for days.

While stating that there had been massacres in 20 villages, Rohingya writer Habib Rahman said: “Many people are hiding in jungles near their houses because they are shot dead if they try to travel to another place.

“Rohingya people are systematically locked up, and there are 42 concentration camps in Rakhine state, which are isolated from the world. Nobody can visit these places.” 

How these people lived in these camps and what kind of tortures they suffered were hidden from the eyes of the world until now. But the terrible brutality towards these poor people can no longer be hidden. Regrettably, by the time the world heard it, many innocent Muslims had died. Rahman said these acts of brutality included tank and rocket attacks on Muslims who escaped from their homes. According to Rahman, this is a “silent genocide”.

Even while these words are being written, massacres and genocide continue to take place in the region. The policy of driving Muslims in the region out of Myanmar is part of the policy of de-identification that began during the years when the country was under British colonial control.

The British administration of the period, which divided those lands into India-Pakistan and Bangladesh when they withdrew from India, left behind civil wars that killed tens of thousands of innocent people. Rakhine, which they attached to Buddhist Burma, was handed over to General Aung San in 1948, who had acted alongside the Japanese who occupied Burma during World War 2.

Therefore, the path for a policy in which they were continuously alienated by the aforementioned administration was paved.

Indeed, this policy was part of a plan. As a matter of fact, the energy routes that will pass through the homeland of Rohingya Muslims has long been the focal point.

The policy to annihilate the Muslim population on these valuable lands would be left to the Myanmar government. Consequently, Suu Kyi is just one of the leaders chosen to carry out this policy right now.

In the face of these facts, it is not realistic to expect a solution from Western powers or the UN for this tragedy. Even though certain powers in the West say the Rohingya need to be helped, they will be powerless against those who included the region in their deep plans.

Those who will benefit the most from the proposed energy routes will always be in favour of destroying the Muslim population there. Even though the meetings held to raise humanitarian aid are a demonstration of goodwill, the Muslim world should know that they will not produce any results.

It is about time the Muslim world abandons its strategy to wait for a solution from the West. Provided that they stay united, the world’s 1.7 billion Muslims would have tremendous potential and enormous power. The problem is that a large part of the Muslim world is buried in superstitions and embroiled in sectarian conflicts, neglecting to help the oppressed.

Indeed, sensible and mindful leaders are involved in a shuttle diplomacy on the subject. But we have to be quick.

The president of the Turkish Republic, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, stated that negotiations about helping the Rohingya were going on with leaders of countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. Turkey has informed the Bangladeshi government that in exchange for accepting Muslims arriving at their border, all expenses would be covered by Turkey. This will at least ensure that the people who escape from that region can take refuge in a safe place. We also hope that the telephone conversation Erdogan had with Suu Kyi would be effective and yield results.

But of course, this cruel policy needs to be exposed and be loudly condemned. For this, a meeting of millions of people attended also by some Muslim leaders should be organised if necessary. It is clear that small meetings and condemnations will not make enough noise. A nation collectively condemning this brutality will be effective in a real sense. It is now time for Muslims to come together and make their voices heard. Our voice must reach the Rohingya who experience this brutality.

The writer has authored more than 300 books, translated into 73
languages, on politics, religion and
science

418 reads