Wednesday May 22, 2013
Are Rohingyas and Kamans Less (Than) Human Beings?M.S. Anwar Special to Salem-News.com
If the vulnerable situation of Rohingyas and Kamans continue, it will not take long for the humanity to see exterminations of more ethnic communities in the modern time, why?
(KUALA LAMPUR) - The world has been witnessing the well-planned Genocide of Rohingyas and Kamans in Arakan, Burma for more than eight months now. Consequently, Rohingyas and Kamans are now without foods, any access to medical treatments and their other ways to livelihoods are blocked. They are being arbitrary arrested, tortured and killed. Their properties are being looted and women being raped. Religious buildings are locked down and so and so atrocities have been being carried out against them under the so-called international radar. Not surprisingly though, the heinous crimes Rohingyas and Kamans are successfully being covered up. Their outcries are falling into deaf ears. Less attention and (less) importance are given to their dying plights. No effective steps to prevent the continuing Genocide of them have been taken yet. Nor does it seem it will be taken in the future.
To avoid such extremely vulnerable conditions, Rohingyas and Kamans (Men, Women and Children alike) are leaving Arakan in order to find a land where they can breathe without fear. That (leaving Arakan) is what exactly Rakhine extremists want. Though many Rohingyas know it, they are left with hardly any choices but to leave their ancestral land. They first come to the neighboring Bangladesh for shelter and refuge. But the country’s authority bitterly rather inhumanly reject them. They arrest the Rohingya victims, detain and torture and finally deport them back to their country despite knowing that these people will have no lives there.
Bangladesh authority gives a lame excuse for rejecting the refugees. They don’t want to exaggerate their problems by adding more people to their already booming population and say that they are already hosting thousands of Rohingya refugees. How have they been hosting them? By treating them like prisoners?? However, naturally, no Rohingya wants to permanently live in Bangladesh. They just seek shelter in the country. It is not that Rohingyas are exaggerating Bangladesh problems but that the self-centered politicians do not want to solve their own problems.
Had Bangladesh wanted it, they could have solved the problems of Rohingyas long ago and repatriated the thousands of Rohingyas living in the country by taking the sociopathic Burmese leaders to international dialogues or international courts for denying the history of Rohingyas and true history of Arakan. If Bangladesh can do it, it will be the win-win situation for both Bangladesh and Rohingyas. But Bangladesh doesn’t do it for the lame hopes of more profits to be gained from maintaining a good relationship with Burma. So Rohingyas have no choice but to take perilous sea voyages for wherever they feel and believe they will be given refuges and breathing spaces. However, all of their hopes of respites and refuges are but all over soon after their journeys start.
Most of these persecuted people head to Malaysia where they hope they will be given refuge. On their way to Malaysia, they have to cross Thailand, a country that either doesn’t regard them as human beings. And this Thailand has a hypocritical stand on this issue. Thailand, in the past, used to push the boats of the Rohingya victims back to sea. But after the violence in Arakan, the plight of Rohingyas has drawn much international attentions (though not actions) and is now under international scrutiny. So, nowadays, if the boats packed with Rohingya victims already arrive to the shore, Thailand rather keeps the refugees in detentions lest pushing their boats back to the sea should tarnish her image internationally. From the detentions, Thai Authority sells many Rohingyas to the Human Traffickers in the country. On the other hand, Thailand Navy drags the boats of Rohingya victims to the sea and set them adrift without their boat engines and food in the ocean to die. No one sees them doing so because it is happening deep into the seaside and far away from the shore.
Recently, 98 out of 130 people horrifically died in a boat that floated around 40 days in the sea. The boat was mercilessly set adrift to the ocean by the Thai Navy and finally it docked to Sri Lankan shore. According to the surviving victims, before getting to the shore, their boat was dragged and set adrift to the sea by the Thai Navy. It is not the first time for Thai authority that treated Rohingya victims so inhumanly. Besides, the Thailand authority is trying to deport the detained Rohingyas back to Burma, where they are not considered as human beings.
Unfortunately, Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra seems to have been afflicted with unfounded fears and delusions. She said that Rohingyas are feared to possibly join the combatants in the southern Thailand. Asking a basic question to her is essential here: the world knows and so does she that Rohingyas are persecuted and being killed. They are out and out helpless victims. In such situations, if the good people like MS Yingluck Shinawatra don’t give them critically required refuge and shelter, it will not be their fault even if they happen to join the combatants (which they will not) because they have to save their lives and survive like other human beings.
Malaysia, the favored destination of most of the fleeing Rohingya victims, either, doesn’t give good respites and show the necessary hospitality towards these victims even though it (Malaysia) is not treating them as badly as Bangladesh and Thailand are. They are detaining the refugees on their arrival to its shore. Malaysia has a good excuse for doing so. That is Malaysia is not signatory to UN Refugee Convention and hence they can treat and detain the refugee as they wish. Where on earth is their humanity? Malaysia likes to portray everything about itself positively to the international community. That might be a reason why it has sent a humanitarian mission to Arakan last year. But it might be all for show off. Every country was doing that. So, Malaysia cannot be exceptional if she wants to be in the international good-list. So did they do. But the suffering Rohingyas in Arakan become confused. They started thinking that if they go to Malaysia, they will be given the critically required respites and refuges. However, all their hopes are over once they get to Malaysia. Many of Rohingya victims hope Australia will be a better destination for refuge but it is too far, difficult and dangerous for them to sail to the country.
Amidst the Genocide of these people in their home country, rejection of Bangladesh, Thailand’s inhuman treatments, Malaysia’s not giving good refuge and hypocritical stands of the so-called international community and human rights champions, the lives of the innocent children, young and adults have become in limbo and are struggling for their survival. They have become unwanted everywhere and no land’s people. If the vulnerable situation of Rohingyas and Kamans continue, it will not take long for the humanity to see exterminations of more ethnic communities in the modern time. After all, why? Are they less than human beings? The whole humanity has to answer for this.
MS Anwar is an activist and student in Malaysia. The writings here are of his own and don’t reflect the editorial policy of Bangla Times.
Source: Bangla Times
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