I continue to write about faraway Burma (Myanmar) because American readers need to know that there is an on-going push by federal refugee contractors to bring Rohingya Muslims to the US for resettlement. So, please pay attention to what is happening in Burma so you might be able to protest any big push for more Rohingya resettlement.
Here is the latest news on renewed violence, from Time* magazine:
Buddhists say the Muslims are attempting to out-breed them and thus win the “fertility war”:
The bloodshed has polarized Burma, which is officially known as Myanmar. Some people from Burma’s ethnic Bamar (or Burman) nationality, which shares a Buddhist faith with the Arakanese, accuse the Muslim Rohingya of being recent illegal immigrants from nearby Bangladesh. They contend that the Rohingya, most of whom do not have Burmese citizenship, should be deported. The Bangladeshi government also refuses most members of the 800,000-strong community citizenship. When I was in Sittwe, the capital of Arakan state earlier this year, Arakanese told me they felt that the Rohingya were waging a kind of fertility war by procreating more prolifically than the local Buddhist population.
Aung San Suu Kyi had fallen for the ‘diversity is strength myth’!
President Thein Sein, a retired general who has introduced a series of reforms in one of the world’s most closed societies, has stated that the Rohingya are not Burmese nationals. Earlier this month, the Burmese President prevented the Organization of the Islamic Conference from opening up offices in Burma, after Buddhist clerics protested the Muslim body’s proposed entry into the country. Even Burma’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has tended to shy away publicly from the ethnic issue, although while on a trip to the U.S. last month she did address the fragile state of Burmese ethnic unity: “We have to learn to live together as a union. We had great hopes that our diversity would be our strength. Those hopes have not been realized. We owe it to the world, to all those who have supported us, to make that change.”
Who is more deadly? Arakanese or Rohingya?
On social media, both the Arakanese and Rohingya have claimed fatalities from the latest violence. The Associated Press, which had a photographer in Arakan, reported that one local hospital was filled with only Arakanese victims. But the wire service cautioned that might have been because the Rohingya were too frightened to visit a government-run institution. An official in the Burmese President’s office contends that intervention by Burmese military forces prevented the bloodshed from escalating further.
* This (below) is what I reported in a post in 2009 about an earlier (2002!) story from Time that they seem to have forgotten:
Here is what Time magazine said about Rohingya on October 14, 2002 in an article entitled, ‘Deadly Cargo’ by Alex Perry. What, no search function at Time?
Today, southern Bangladesh has become a haven for hundreds of jihadis on the lam. They find natural allies in Muslim guerrillas from India hiding out across the border, and in Muslim Rohingyas, tens of thousands of whom fled the ethnic and religious suppression of the Burmese military junta in the late 1970s and 1980s. Many Rohingyas are long-term refugees, but some are trained to cause trouble back home in camps tolerated by a succession of Bangladeshi governments. The original facilities date back to 1975, making them Asia’s oldest jihadi training camps. And one former Burmese guerrilla who visits the camps regularly describes three near Ukhia, south of the town of Cox’s Bazar, as able to accommodate a force of 2,500 between them.
For new readers we have been cataloging news on Rohingya for five years and have 122 previous posts at our Rohingya Reports category.
We didn’t see the Somali waves coming twenty years ago, but we have no excuse now not to raise an alarm when the US State Department via the United Nations pushes Rohingya resettlement.