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Myanmar Muslim Genocide Awareness Convention: this Sunday in LATim King Salem-News.com
A fascinating and important event to help people understand the Genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Burma.
(LOS ANGELES) - The Myanmar Muslim Genocide Awareness Convention happens this Sunday in Los Angeles. Matt Rains and Alia Mehboob of Lux Capio Photography Agency, will show their incredible photographs at this special event, taken during recent trips to Burma, now known as Myanmar.
These images reveal the darkness that has enveloped an erratic SE Asian country, long ruled by a military junta, regarded internationally as a pariah state, which is now recognized by the United States as a 'democracy'.
Rarely if ever, has that word been stretched so dreadfully thin.
It is a land soaked in blood and disparity. Last October we reported that Dr. Nora Rowley, a Human Rights Physician who lived in Burma for years, observed that the violence, "is looking more like Bosnia and true Genocide every day rather than ethnic cleansing."
The Rohingya people are routed like Holocaust Jews and killed for their religion and ethnicity specifically. Last week U.S. officials were asking Burma not to implement its new "two child" law for Rohingya Muslims. It begs the question, what is it that lurks in the heart of man that turns them into brutal unrepentant monsters? I am growing less patient over time with the ignorance that follows the Buddhist religion around like a bad smell.
There are Buddhists in Tibet and Vietnam and all over the world who never commit violent acts, but the only two Genocides of the 21st Century have been committed by Buddhists. It is a bitter pill to swallow but that doesn't change the facts. The awareness level of these widespread cases of state terrorism is painfully low. The actions of senior Buddhist leaders in reeling in the violence is almost non-existent.
I often hear, "Buddhism isn't a religion, it is a system of belief," and those who state that are in fact sorely mistaken. The Buddhists of Burma are conditioned to believe in superiority over people of other faiths. We think they wouldn't harm a fly, when in fact they rape, torture and murder this population of Muslims on a daily basis. If you aren't a Buddhist, or a western traveler, you aren't safe there.
Rakhine Buddhists are conditioned for mob violence, just like the Sinhala Buddhists of Sri Lanka who managed to exterminate 160,000 Tamil Hindus and Christians in 2009 while the world, from the Americans media and politicians to those in India, turned a blind eye.
The annihilation of the Rohingya Muslim minority culture by Rakhine Buddhists began almost one year ago and that is one year too long. Unlike almost all other U.S. based news agencies, we have been covering it since the beginning.
The Myanmar Buddhists are in a moral disarray and the trail of Rohingya blood traces back to an incident last July that may have simply been staged, may have never happened at all... It was the alleged rape and murder of a young Buddhist woman. Photos of a woman's mangled body are reported to be those of the victim. These were widely circulated by Rakhine groups who have clearly been intent on killing and eradicating the Rohingya from the country for decades, long before this last year of intense bloodshed.
Those photos were the jump off point. The day following their release, ten Muslim men from a totally different part of the country were pulled from a bus and murdered in the street by Buddhists in broad daylight in an act of vengeance. That attack opened the floodgates. Since then hundreds and hundreds of Rohingya villages and mosques have been burnt to the ground, and thousands of human beings have been murdered and forced into refugee camps where they languish without adequate food, water, medicine, etc.
The Rohingya, denied citizenship in Burma since 1982, have been described by the UN as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
They are falsely labeled as "illegal immigrants from Bangladesh" when that is not the case. I have written many articles about this over the last year. We have shown conclusive proof that Rohingya Muslims have lived in Burma for hundreds of years.
But what if those "illegal immigrant" charges were true? It still would not give the Buddhists the right to become murderous bullies and genocidal, homicidal maniacs.
The group that is heading the human destruction is a Buddhist gang known as "969" - literal skinheads lead by a violent, influential monk named Wirathu, and they are bent on ethnic cleansing. The crimes of so many of these neo-nazi incarnates would be punishable by death in courts all over the world, but in Burma a Muslim can be raped, tortured or even murdered with almost no repercussion.
I would think that the way the 969 group utilizes the swastika as part of their identity, would inspire great anger within the Jewish community. So far this Nazi swastika thing is failing to draw the wrath of groups like American Israel Public Interest Committee (AIPAC). I think almost any decent human being would be offended, and it is particularly bizarre that an ethnic group would adopt that symbol that screams 'white power'.
It is obscene on all counts.
The group maungzarni.com states in their 24 March 2013 article, Stop 969, Burma's Fastest Growing neo-Nazi 'Buddhist' Nationalst Movement:
With respect to these gory details, I can't stress how important the Los Angeles "Myanmar Muslim Genocide Awareness Convention" this Sunday, is for media, political leaders and the general public to attend.
I've had the privilege of seeing Matt and Alia's photography and video and hearing the details of their often harrowing journeys to Burma that allowed them to bring back a great deal of evidence from this ethnic cleansing. The über vivid imagery removes any doubts about the enormity of the challenges that lie ahead for the Rogingya Muslims.
The problem with Myanmar is that U.S. corporations want to profit from this mostly virgin country, and they are looking past the Genocide in order to do business, with the support of their political leaders.
The absolutely most obscene thing that has taken place, was the nomination of Myanmar President Thein Sein for a Nobel Prize. It was Edmund Burke who famously said, "The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing". Sein did nothing.
The Nobel Prize, once such a distinguished honor, is given out today to leaders who look the other way and keep their lips clamped shut over Human Rights violations. See the 26 April 2013 article, Myanmar's Thein Sein - Oversee a Genocide and then Receive a Nobel Prize?
What a disappointing thing, but it's nothing new.
The silent Genocidalist, Aung San Suu Kyi, was admired for years because we in the world believed she was the answer for Burma. However she is a Rakhine Buddhist too, and she intentionally, defiantly refused to speak out over the plight of this tiny minority of people as they were cut down like trees in a forest and laid to waste. Suu Kyi had the ability to do far more, she did nothing, shattering the illusion for so many of us. See the 03 November 2013 article, Aung San Shoot Thee?
The following is from the organizers of the event:
More on Matt Rains and Alia Mehboob
I first met Alia through email correspondence. She explained that they had been traveling back and forth to Burma and had incredible photo documentation of what was taking place. Eventually we had the opportunity to spend a couple of days together and I was extremely impressed with the tenacity of these two. Matt Rains is a West Point educated former Army Captain, he was a Blackhawk pilot. He told me he was nearly ten years into his career when he departed and became a photographer.
He said it wasn't long ago that he could not have seen himself with long hair, working overseas in a combat zone. I think I said something to the effect of, "Yeah I know exactly what you mean."
Matt served this country with great distinction and an obvious pride that he will always possess. I am glad both he and Alia have the moral fortitude and exceptional character to get themselves into and back out of extremely dangerous situations. Some of the material I was shown will never air publicly, some of it is just purely tragic. The photos accompanying this article obviously carry that message.
Matt seems to almost tower over Alia, but don't be fooled, she is tough as nails and she absolutely holds her ground in the face of physical threat, she doesn't put up with it, and the two are amazing allies in their work. I had introduced them to Dr. Nora Rowley via email, explaining to her at the time how excellent their work product was. Then a few weeks ago, several thousand miles from here in Asia, they ran into her by a chance encounter.
We say "it's a small world" and yet the world really isn't small, but Human Rights advocates are drawn together by mysterious forces, many would simply say by God. However it happens, rest assured that it does happen. Some people have the ability to move small mountains, and their actions are a counter balance to the wrongs of this world.
The organizers of this Sunday's "Myanmar Muslim Genocide Awareness Convention" in Los Angeles, stated:
As a final thought, I know I am emphasizing the crimes of the Rakhine Buddhists emphatically, but I want to note that there is far more to the Rakhine Buddhists than these terrible acts.
Dr. Nora Rowley, who will speak at this weekend's convention, would be the first to remind us that there are many members of that ethnic group that are not participating in these crimes. The bottom line is that one is too many, and there are thousands upon thousands of Rakhine Buddhists harming Rohingya Muslims.
It is obvious any time people kill in the name of religion, that they are abusing the benefits of group membership. No religions demand this of their followers, if they do then they are falsely abusing the most powerful commodity on earth, that is human faith.
See you in LA this Sunday.
June 9, 2013, SUNDAY. 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
For event center location: 310- 253-6470
Learn more, visit facebook.com/MyanmarMuslimsGenocideAwarenessConvention2013/info
(Editor's note: The song and video presentation below are possibly the first example of modern western music that celebrates and recognizes both the Rohingya people, and their struggle against the militant government of Burma which is decidedly pro-Rakhine Buddhist and anti-Rohingya Muslim. Even their citizenship is denied. Tim King asked Agron Belica if he could please put his musical talents to work by writing and producing a song about the Rohingyas, it took almost no time and the final version is now here)
(Saladin: Muslim sultan of Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and Palestine, founder of the Ayyūbid dynasty, and the most famous of Muslim heroes. In wars against the Christians.)
07 June 2013
Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer
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With almost 25 years of experience on the west coast and worldwide as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor, Tim King is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine who follows stories of Marines and Marine Veterans; he's covered British Royal Marines and in Iraq, Tim embedded with the same unit he served with in the 1980's.
Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from traditional mainstream news agencies like The Associated Press and Electronic Media Association; he also holds awards from the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs; and was presented with a 'Good Neighbor Award' for his reporting, by the The Red Cross.
Tim's years as a Human Rights reporter have taken on many dimensions; he has rallied for a long list of cultures and populations and continues to every day, with a strong and direct concentration on the 2009 Genocide of Tamil Hindus and Christians in Sri Lanka. As a result of his long list of reports exposing war crimes against Tamil people, Tim was invited to be the keynote speaker at the FeTNA (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) Conference in Baltimore, in July 2012. This is the largest annual gathering of North American Tamils; Tim addressed more than 3000 people and was presented with a traditional Sri Lanka ‘blessed garland’ and a shawl as per the tradition and custom of Tamil Nadu
In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005. Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by Salem-News.com, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 23+ countries and regions.
Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide; and maintains that the label 'terrorist' is ill placed in many cases; specifically with the LTTE Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, where it was used as an excuse to slaughter people by the tens of thousands; and in Gaza, where a trapped population lives at the mercy of Israel's destructive military war crime grinder. At the center of all of this, Tim pays extremely close attention to the safety and welfare of journalists worldwide.
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