Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Even after centuries they are called foreigners. suu kyi's father- thefounder of burma was instrumental in denying them citizenship

Their plight is still unknown to the rest of the world. Burma called them Indians in the 1950s, India did not move a finger because they are Muslims
Its been a 1000 times worse than Gujarat
Suu Kyi must be asked to declare that she will consider Rohingyas as equal citizens,
"Medicins San Frontieresdescribes [the Rohingya] as being among the world minority groups 'most in danger of extinction'."

Security forces in Myanmar are patrolling a tense town in the western state of Rakhine after deadly sectarian clashes forced the country’s president to declare a state of emergency.
Government forces on Monday were seen collecting bodies from the debris of homes burned down over the weekend in what appears to have been one of the worst episodes of sectarian bloodshed in years, as fearful residents remained indoors.
Police in the capital, Sittwe, retrieved four bodies, including one found in a river that was believed to be that of an ethnic Rakhine woman. The other three bodies were wrapped in blankets, but it was not clear who they were.
Police evacuated two Muslim families from the same area for their security because their homes were located among houses of ethnic Rakhines, who are predominantly Buddhist. The region is home to a Muslim minority who identify themselves as Rohingyas
Residents from Muslim-dominated town of Maungdaw had taken refuge in the local police headquarters, as a curfew came into force in the troubled areas to restore order.
Shops, schools and banks were closed, including Sittwe's main market, and some ethnic Rakhines wielding homemade swords could be seen guarding their homes or riding motorcycles.
An Associated Press photographer in the town saw many homes burned or ransacked in the city's Mi Zan district.
Army troops deployed in the towns of Maungdaw and Buthidaung to help local police keep order, and security officials were reported to have fired shots to quell the violence.
Bangladesh border guards also pushed back eight boats carrying more than 300 Rohingya, mostly women and children, who were fleeing the violence, a border guard told the AFP news agency.
"There were more than 300 Rohingya in the boats which are coming from the Myanmar city of Akyab (Sittwe). They were carrying mainly Rohingya women and children, many of whom were crying and looked extremely anxious," Shafiqur Rahman, a major in the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) force, told AFP.
"All eight boats have been pushed back to Myanmar territory," he added.
"It's a tinderbox," Phil Robertson, the deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, said. "These people very much feel like they're trapped in a box, surrounded by enemies and there is an extremely high level of frustration."
UN relocating
The UN said it was relocating about 44 workers and their families from a base in Maungdaw in Rakhine state, Ashok Nigam, UN resident and humanitarian co-ordinator in Yangon, said.
Who Are The Rohingyas?
The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic group from the northern Rakhine state of western Myanmar, formerly known as Arakan state.

Their history dates to the early seventh century, when Arab Muslim traders settled in the area.

They are physically, linguistically and culturally similar to South Asians, especially Bengali people.

According to Amnesty International, they suffer from human rights violations under the Myanmar military government, and many have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh as a result.

The vast majority of them have effectively been denied Myanmar citizenship.

In 1978 an estimated 200,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh. 

Approximately 20,000 Rohingya are living in UN refugee camps in Bangladesh.
The violence has left at least seven people dead and hundreds of homes torched since Friday, and poses one of the biggest tests yet for Myanmar's reformist government.
The handling of the unrest will draw close scrutiny from Western powers, which have praised President Thein Sein's administration in recent months and rewarded it by easing years of harsh economic sanctions.
Sein declared a state of emergency in the region late on Sunday and pleaded for an end to the "endless anarchic vengeance", warning that if the situation spun out of control, it could jeopardise the democratic reforms he has launched since taking office last year.
"We have not had any sleep for the last five days," said Ma Ohn May, a 42-year old textile shop owner in Sittwe.
The region has been tense for more than a week after rape and murder of a Buddhist woman blamed on Muslims and the reprisal killing of 10 Muslims at hands of a Buddhist mob.
State media said three men had gone on trial on Friday for the rape and murder.
Unofficial minority
Rohingya Muslims are seen by the government as illegal migrants from Bangladesh and are not officially recognised as one of the country's national ethnic minorities.
Although some are recent settlers, many have lived in Myanmar for centuries. The government position has rendered the Rohingyas effectively stateless, and rights groups say they have long suffered discrimination.
The UN's refugee agency estimates there are about 800,000 of them in three districts of Rakhine state bordering Bangladesh.
In Yangon on Sunday, about 600 ethnic Rakhine gathered at the Shwedagon Pagoda, a revered Buddhist site, demanding "Bengalis" be "removed from Myanmar".
The amount of information about violence released by state media in a timely fashion was nearly unprecedented, although still far from comprehensive.
Under the previous military government, such incidents usually went unreported or were referred to only in brief, cryptic fashion.

Chiang Mai, Thailand - The mob that set upon and killed a group of Muslims riding a bus through western Myanmar on June 3 displayed a depravity normally the hallmark of the country's military. News reports that emerged in the wake of the incident, allegedly in response to the gang rape and murder of a Buddhist girl by three Muslim men days before, described the ten victims of a frenzied beating being urinated upon before the bus was set ablaze.

Comments that circulated the internet in the wake of the massacre were almost as shocking. "Killing Kalars is good!" one person said, using the pejorative slur that has become a popular and casual way of referring to Muslims of South Asian decent (one that state media also regularly employs). It mattered little that the men accused of the rape had already been arrested.
"Medicins San Frontieresdescribes [the Rohingya] as being among the world minority groups 'most in danger of extinction'."
The attack was a rare incident; the reactions suggest however that heightened levels of resentment towards the presence of Muslims in Myanmar society exist on a much wider scale. This animosity is shared by senior figures in the government - current representative to the UN, Ye Myint Aung, once described the Rohingya, a Muslim minority in Arakan state who are singled out for particularly savage treatment, as "ugly as ogres", while since 1982 the government has denied them citizenship, claiming they are "illegal Bengali immigrants". Persecution of the group has been so protracted and debased thatMedicins San Frontieres describes them as being among the world minority groups "most in danger of extinction".

While Myanmar's myriad ethnic groups have all suffered egregious treatment at the hands of the military government, which has s