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A satellite image shows evidence of bulldozed homes in the village of Myin Hlut [DigitalGlobe/AP]

February 23, 2018

Satellite imagery released by HRW shows Rohingya dwellings razed between late December and February.

Myanmar's government has razed at least 55 villages once populated by Rohingya, destroying with them evidence of crimes against the persecuted minority, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Satellite images released by the rights group on Friday show that, between December 2017 and mid-February, areas that were once full of buildings and greenery had been completely cleared.

HRW described the actions by Burmese security forces as an "ethnic cleansing campaign" and called on the UN and Myanmar's donors to demand an end to the demolitions.



A total of 362 villages have been destroyed either completely or partially since Myanmar's military began a campaign against the Rohingya in August last year, according to HRW.

Brad Adams, HRW's Asia director, said the deliberate destruction of villages to hide evidence of "grave crimes" was obstruction of justice.

"The government's clearing of dozens of villages only heightens concerns about Rohingya families being able to return home," he said.

"Donor governments should ensure they don't provide any direct or indirect support that would hamper justice or assist those responsible for ethnic cleansing in their efforts to pretend the Rohingya do not have the right to return to their villages in northern Rakhine state."

Reports about village demolitions have been filtering through from members of the Rohingya community long before satellite images appeared seemingly confirming the accounts.

Rohingya activist Ro Nay San Lwin told Al Jazeera that he had heard reports of villages being razed from people on the ground.

"I have been hearing about bulldozing the villages since the beginning of January," he said, adding: "There were many houses, mosques and Islamic schools which remained intact in ... Maungdaw but those all were demolished and bulldozed.

"First Rakhine vigilantes enter the houses and take the things they want ... Then the authorities demolish and bulldoze."

Since August more than 650,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh where they live in camps on near the border.

Those fleeing bring with them accounts of rape, killing, and the destruction of homes by Burmese soldiers and vigilante gangs.

The UN has described their plight as textbook genocide, but little action has been taken by the international community to halt the Burmese government's campaign.

Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed on a deal to send Rohingya refugees back.

As part of the repatriation deal, Rohingya will be held in holding centres, which Rohingya activists have called "concentration camps".

A Rohingya refugee stands next to a pond in the early morning at the Balukhali refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh December 26, 2017. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

By Robin Emmott
February 22, 2018

BRUSSELS -- The European Union will start preparing sanctions against Myanmar generals over killings of Rohingya Muslims by formally calling on the bloc’s foreign policy chief next week to draw up a list of possible names, two diplomats said.

Any new travel bans and asset freezes would be the EU’s toughest measures yet to try to hold the military accountable for the abuses, likely joining U.S. and Canadian sanctions already in place. 

“Ministers will call on (Federica) Mogherini to propose restrictive measures on senior members of the Myanmar military for systematic human rights abuses, without delay,” one diplomat said on Thursday, referring to EU sanctions. 

Foreign ministers will also ask Mogherini and the EU’s foreign service, the EEAS, on Monday to look at ways to strengthen the bloc’s 1990s-era arms embargo on the Southeast Asian country that remains in place. 

In a statement expected to be released on Monday at a regular gathering of EU foreign ministers, the bloc is also expected to reiterate its call for the release of Reuters reporters detained on Dec. 12 over accusations that they violated Myanmar’s Official Secrets Act. 

The two had been working on a Reuters investigation into the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men who were buried in a mass grave in Rakhine state after being hacked to death or shot by ethnic Rakhine Buddhist neighbors and soldiers. 

No names of generals to be targeted for sanctions have been yet discussed, the diplomats said, but the United States said in December it was sanctioning Major General Maung Maung Soe, who is accused of a crackdown on the Rohingya minority in Rakhine. 

EU sanctions lists are often coordinated with Washington. 

The EU’s decision to consider sanctions reflects resistance to such measures in the U.N. Security Council, where veto-wielding powers Russia and China said this month they believe the situation in Rakhine was stable and under control. 

The United States, as well as United Nations, have described the military crackdown in Myanmar as “ethnic cleansing”. About 655,000 Rohingya have fled Rakhine for shelter over the border in Bangladesh, according to the United Nations. 

Reporting by Robin Emmott; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek and Mark Heinrich



Berlin Conference on Myanmar Genocide - Live Webcast 

will start on 26th February 2018 at 8:30 am (GMT +1) 

Stay tuned!





Immediate Release

Rohingya: The Silent Genocide?

21 February 2018

Oxford: This 22 Februrary (Thursday) the Oxford University Islamic Society is hosting public event titled - ‘Rohingya: The Silent Genocide?’ - Pembroke College, Oxford. 

The event will feature leading activists and scholars on the subject of Myanmar’s persecution of Rohingyas- including Research Professor at the Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College, Dr Azeem Ibrahim; Burmese human rights activist and genocide scholar Maung Zarni; human rights activist and President of Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, Tun Khin. 

The panel will address crucial issues surrounding what the United Nations call “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing’, the powerful Burmese military, and the complicity of Myanmar’s de facto leader and one of Oxford’s most iconic graduates Aung San Suu Kyi. It will also examine the stance of the West governments and UN in the face of numerous human rights crimes including crimes against humanity while exploring both short-term and long-term solutions to end Myanmar’s persecution of the Rohingya.
The event comes on the heel of a Channel 4 Interview with UN Special Rapporteur on human rights situation in Myanmar Professor Yanghee Lee during which she stated unequivocally that Aung San Suu Kyi “cannot NOT be tried” at the International Criminal Court for her “complicity of silence” in Myanmar’s crimes against humanity and even a genocide against Rohingya people. Aung San Suu Kyi is a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Oxford University.
Oxford University Press and the Vice Chancellor’s Office have come under open criticisms for the University’s ties with Suu Kyi’s Ministry of Education and the OUP’s choice of expert, a French-educated strategic adviser to Myanmar military, on the subject of Rohingya minority. 

The panel will be chaired by Affnafee Rahman, an engineering student at St Hugh’s, Suu Kyi’s alma mater, who successfully spearheaded a campaign to remove the disgraced Burmese icon’s name from the Junior Common Room and her painting from the college hall.

Rahman said, ‘as privileged students of Oxford University, it is our moral responsibility to stand against this ongoing persecution of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, upon Aung San Suu Kyi’s watch. And the least we can do is to formally protest against the atrocities and call out on the complicity of our alumnus. We need to educate ourselves about the persecution of Rohingya, which is an affront to any decent humans. I hope fellow Oxonians will make an effort to come and learn about what’s happening in Myanmar and what role our Burmese graduates and University, if any, are playing in this unfolding tragedy.”
Contact: Affnafee Rahman affnafee.rahman@st-hughs.ox.ac.uk 
Tweet: @AffnafeeRahman
By M.S. Anwar | Opinion & Analysis

The Burmese (Myanmar) quasi-civilian government unleashed a large-scale violence against the minority Rohingya in the western Myanmar state of Arakan in 2012. The violence, which some wrongly frame as ‘Communal’, was carried out by the Burmese armed forces along with Rakhine Buddhist extremist elements. The violence continued throughout the year and partially destroyed the localities of Rohingya community across the state, killing thousands and displacing more than 140,000. Many women were raped and gang-raped, untold atrocities were committed.


Consequently, the Burmese regime was internationally condemned for violence against Rohingya and international pressure increased on them to allow ‘International Investigation Teams’ to investigate into the crimes in Arakan. However, the Burmese government formed its own Investigation Commission with its own (bunch of racist) people to investigate into the crimes committed by its own armed forces. The first 'Rakhine Investigation Commission' was formed by Thein Sein, the ex-President of Myanmar and ex-military General, on 17th August 2012. 


As expected, the commission came out with a report shifting blames on the victims and everyone else except for the real culprits, the Burmese armed forces. The report was a total cover-up of the crimes committed by the armed forces.


Since then, the Burmese government has formed its own inquiry commission every time there was a demand to allow an ‘International Investigation Team’ as aftermath of a round of violence. The report that every Burmese inquiry commission came up with was expectedly white-washing of the crimes of the Genocide and the Crimes against Humanity. 


No improvements were made
in any aspect of the lives of Rohingya. The displaced people in Akyab, Pauktaw and other parts of Arakan still remain displaced. Rather, the Burmese has severed many aspects of Rohingyas' lives and persecuted them even more.


Inaction by the United Nations and; and the US, EU and ASEAN etc, who prefer to have diplomatic and economic ties with Burma over ending Genocidal violence against Rohingya; has led some desperate young Rohingyas to take desperate measures against the State Armed Forces. A group of ill-trained and poorly armed Rohingya rebels, who later came to know as ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army), launched attacks on security posts of the Burmese armed forces, especially the Border Guard Police (BGP), in Maungdaw district and Rathedaung Township twice, on October 9, 2016 and August 25, 2017 respectively. All hell broke loose for the Rohingya once again.


The Burmese armed forces used these attacks as perfect pretexts to collectively destroy the Rohingya community by carrying out arson attacks on the Rohingya homes and driving them out from their lands. Since October 9, 2016, approximately 10,000 Rohingya villagers were summarily executed and untold numbers of women were raped by the Burmese armed forces. More than 350 villages across Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung were burnt down, that are now being bulldozed to eradicate the Rohingya history. The genocidal destruction of the people has forced almost 700,000 people to flee to Bangladesh, triggering one of the man-made humanitarian disasters in history.


So, since the violence began in June 2012, the Burmese regime has formed following Inquiry Commissions with their own men, and successfully managed to reject all the international calls to allow ‘International Investigation Teams’.
1) The Rakhine Investigation Commission (formed on 17th August 2012)
2) Duchiradan Investigation Commission (formed on 6th February 2014)
3) Investigation Commission on Rakhine (formed on 1st December 2016, after October 9, 2016 violence)
4) Committee for Implementation of the Recommendations on Rakhine State (formed on 9th October 2017)


None of these government’s investigation teams has found any member of armed force guilty despite a mountain of evidences of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity by the members of the armed forces.


In short, formation of 'Investigation Commissions' is a TIME-BUYING tactic by the Burmese government and a distraction from the unfolding Genocide. In this regard, the Burmese government now led by Aung San Suu Kyi has also formed following Commissions comprising some well-known international figures.
1) Kofi Annan's Advisory Commission on Rakhine State (formed on 24th August 2016)
2) Advisory Board for the “Committee for Implementation of the Recommendations on Rakhine State” (14th December 2017)


However, these commissions, too, have so far proven to be playing on behalf of the Burmese government and military to rebuild their image on the international stage and have become hindrances to making any real progress in the crisis or international calls to punish the Burmese military for committing Genocide and Crimes against Humanity. In fact, the Burmese Presidential Spokesperson Zaw Htay openly said 'Kofi Annan Commission is a Shield for the Government.


And this is the tactic used by the Burmese government to frustrate international community to eventually give up their calls for 'Independent Investigations' and to end Genocide. This is just one of many methods that military frequently uses to distract us from Genocide and Crimes against Humanity. There many more methods such as 'Victim-Blaming and Blaming Everyone Else for the Culprits' they use to downplay Genocide, which will be discussed later.


The cycle of violence against Rohingya has been going since 1951 and will continue until they are completely destroyed in Myanmar. For Army Chief Snr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, Rohingya is an 'Unfinished Business from WW2'. Now, it's up to the world communities if they collectively act to stop the Genocide or not.


[Note: 1) The Burmese armed forces mostly act upon the commands from the highest level of the Command Chain and so to say that the Burmese generals at the top must be held accountable for most of the atrocities committed by the armed forces on the ground.
2) Some words used in the article: Burma = Myanmar, Burmese = Bama (the majority Buddhist population in the country), Burmese armed forces = Burmese military, Hluntein (paramilitary), BGP (Border Guard Police) and Nasaka (the former Border Security Force)]


M.S. Anwar is an activist and journalist born and brought up in Arakan, Burma. He can be reached at: editor@rohingyablogger.com



Date: February 20, 2018

Scholars, Activists and Politicians in Germany to hold an International Conference on Myanmar Genocide at the Jewish Museum in Berlin

Urge EU & the world to make “Never again!” a reality

On 26 February, a group of prominent human rights activists, genocide scholars and practitioners of international law are gathering at the Jewish Museum of Berlin for the first-ever conference in Germany on Myanmar Genocide of the Rohingya people. 

The conference is co-sponsored by one-dozen renowned academic centres specializing in law, humanities, human rights and genocide studies. 

The host and convenor Dr. Maria do Mar Castro Varela, Professor of Pedagogy and Social Work at Berlin’s Alice Salomon University, said, “the conference aims to inform German civil society and the European public about the on-going genocide of Rohingya people in Myanmar/Burma. We hope to be able to help influence public opinion, which in turn will demand that the EU leaders take their shared political and human responsibility to make the call: “Never again!” a reality.”

The French President Emmanuel Macron has called Myanmar’s persecution of Rohingya a genocide. The conference coincides with the 26 February meeting of EU Foreign Ministers who will review the present EU policy towards Myanmar. 

Margarete Bause, MP for Alliance 90/The Greens and Full Member of the Bundestag Commission on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, states, "crimes against humanity are being committed at this moment in Myanmar. Innocent children, women, and men alike are murdered in large numbers. The world needs to be informed about the extent of this ongoing horror and these grave violations of human rights, which constitute genocide. World governments - including the German government - must act immediately to protect the Rohingya. I therefore expressly welcome and support the conference being organized by Professor Castro Varela and ensure that we will put the subject on the German Bundestag agenda. We demand the immediate halt to the crimes against the Rohingya people." 

The Eventbrite announcement (https://www.eventbrite.de/e/berlin-conference-on-myanmar-genocide-registration-43057746880) reads, “the conference rejects the view that only a UN-authorized tribunal can decide whose collective sufferings and which acts of violence and destruction amount to genocide. Five independent academic and legal studies of Myanmar’s persecution and plight of the Rohingya ‑ including the Permanent Peoples Tribunal on Myanmar, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School, the International State Crime Initiative of Queen Mary University of London” and the Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal of the University of Washington School of Law ‑ have arrived at a single common conclusion, that there is mounting evidence of a genocide against the Rohingya.”

Ro Nay San Lwin, a renowned Rohingya blogger and researcher who resettled in Germany as a refugee, said he is pleased that German scholars and politicians are taking up the cause of the Rohingya people who make up the world’s largest population of “stateless people”. “I think holding this international conference to inform German and EU public and politicians here in Germany is extremely timely and crucial. On behalf of all the Rohingya survivors and refugees who have suffered decades of Myanmar’s slow burning genocide, I thank from the bottom of my heart the Jewish Museum for allowing this conference to take place at its prestigious and morally important venue.”

Among the high profile speakers are The Rt. Honourable Irwin Cotler, former counsel for Nelson Mandela and Natan Sharansky; the outgoing UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee; former US Ambassador-at-large for War Crimes Professor David Scheffler; Mofidul Hoque, a founding trustee of the Liberation War Museum of Bangladesh; the renowned genocide scholar Emeritus Professor Rainer Schulze of the University of Essex, UK; Karen Jungblut who directs Global Initiatives at the Shoah Foundation, University of Southern California; and Prof. Dr. Beate Rudolf, the Director of the German Institute for Human Rights & elected Chairperson of GANHRI (Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions). 

In addition, well-known human rights activists in the Burmese diaspora will join a group of prominent Rohingya refugees and activists in the latter’s call for “a piece of earth which Rohingyas can call their home”, a UN-protected, self-administered region for the Rohingya people on their ancestral land next to Bangladesh. 

Professor Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, a renowned post-colonial scholar from Columbia University in New York will deliver the closing keynote, calling for the world’s actions to end Myanmar genocide. 

The conference will end with a quiet procession from Brandenburg Gate to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe where activists against genocides – including Bosnians, Tamils, Bangladeshi, Jewish, Germans, British, Burmese, Palestinians, and Canadians – will hold a candle light vigil in memory of all victims of genocides, past and present. 


Conference Program:


Contact: 

Professor Maria Maria do Mar Castro Varela : castrovarela@posteo.de

Dr Maung Zarni: + 44 771 047 3322 or fanon2005@gmail.com

About one million Rohingya refugees are in Bangladesh [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

By Anealla Safdar
February 20, 2018

UK-based activists, who hail from opposite sides of Myanmar conflict, on why Rohingya repatriation plan is not solution.

England, United Kingdom - As Myanmar's Rohingya continue to trickle into neighbouring Bangladesh, extending a six-month exodus, talk of repatriation simmers at the diplomatic level.

There are already about one million members of the persecuted, mostly-Muslim minority struggling in overcrowded camps in the South Asian country.

They have fled what several international leaders have termed a genocide in Myanmar, their home country where they are not granted the simplest of rights - including citizenship.

Victims and rights groups have provided evidence of a campaign of ethnic cleansing. Myanmar security forces stand accused of raping Rohingya women, tossing babies into fires, burning down entire villages and slaughtering thousands.

In January, Bangladesh and Myanmar announced a repatriation deal, prompting concerns from rights groups and members of the Rohingya.

The Rohingya were not consulted about the agreement, which does not guarantee safety upon return or basic rights such as full citizenship.

"Some people asked me - how can we return to this place?" says Tun Khin, a Rohingya activist and the head of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, who visited camps in Bangladesh last week.

"It is a joke. It is not the time to talk about repatriation," he adds. 

On Thursday, Tun Khin will address students at the University of Oxford, a symbolic location.

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's de-facto leader charged with complicity over killings of Rohingya, studied at the university's St Hugh's College. 

Students there, angered that Aung San Suu Kyi remained a revered figure across campus as the crisis unfolded in Myanmar, recently succeeded in removing her portrait from the entrance and name from a common room.

Tun Khin will be joined on the panel by Maung Zarni, a member of Myanmar's Buddhist majority who hails from a military family. The scholar and activist, who is also based in the UK, says he is in "complete opposition to what my own community is doing to Tun Khin's community".

Al Jazeera spoke with Tun Khin and Zarni on plans to repatriate the Rohingya, the West's role in ending persecution and the apparent failure of the UN Security Council to stop the bloodshed.

Tun Khin visited camps in Bangladesh last week [Courtesy: Tun Khin]

Al Jazeera: Earlier this month, Boris Johnson, the UK's foreign secretary, returned from Myanmar and Bangladesh and said there was no doubt "industrial ethnic cleansing"of Rohingya Muslims had been taking place. Does this statement from a Western figure mark some kind of a turning point?

Tun Khin: As a Rohingya myself, I am a victim of genocide. This is not something that is happening just right now, it's been happening since 1978 when my mother was pregnant with me. I was born in Burma. My family fled to Bangladesh, and came back without any citizenship.

(Note: In 1978, Myanmar drove out "illegal"residents. Many Rohingya fled to Bangladesh but returned following international pressure. In 1982, Myanmar's Citizenship Law deprived the Rohingya of citizenship.)

The West knows what has been happening. There are well documented UK and US embassies in Yangon - they are all aware of what's been happening over many years to the Rohingya. 

What's been happening since August is clearly a genocide, which they knew about.

It's good to see Boris Johnson visited, but we haven't seen any significant action from the UK government to stop this genocide.

Maung Zarni: The Rohingya and Burmese Buddhists and other ethnic communities - we belong in the same country. Tun Khin's community has been singled out for, essentially, intentional destruction from its very root. This has been going on for 40 years since 1978 [and] the UN and its member states and the UK, US - they know more than enough to determine that this is a classic case of a genocide.

The problem is members states of the UN, particularly the UN Security Council. The Security Council is essentially in a coma in the case of Rohingya, in the case of Syria, in the case of Yemen.

Before this exodus, Yangon was the place every world leader and delegation went - they wanted to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi, they wanted to visit her home.

Now, Burma is no longer democratising, Burma is actually going backward and moving in the fascist direction.

Now every single iconic figure with concerns about refugees is travelling to Bangladesh. Hollywood stars, heads of states, and Boris Johnson. I must say I am a little bit encouraged by the fact Johnson went there, he went strongly in support of the Rohingya and called it 'industrial ethnic cleansing'.

Now, Burma is no longer democratising, Burma is actually going backward and moving in the fascist direction. 
MAUNG ZARNI, MEMBER OF MYANMAR'S BUDDHIST MAJORITY

But I am very concerned [the West continues to] express support for Aung San Suu Kyi and portray her as the only hope and prospect for democratisation.

She is part of this genocide.

Al Jazeera: As you have mentioned, the language used by some international figures refers to genocide, while rights groups have spoken of an apartheid. Why does action not match this rhetoric?

Zarni: As much as it sounds impractical, there needs to be a concerted push by four or five major governments. French President Macron called this genocide. Boris Johnson called it industrial ethnic cleansing. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called it ethnic cleansing.

These are three major permanent UN Security Council members. You cannot describe a situation like this and then not consider very forceful options, even if the Burmese government and its neighbours are unprepared to act.

[Then there are] Islamic countries such as Turkey and Egypt recognising this as a major atrocity and crime.

We need a coalition of seriously concerned governments deciding what to do to.

Tun Khin is the head of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK [Courtesy: Tun Khin]

Al Jazeera: What does concrete action look like to you?

Tun Khin: I met refugees who fled Myanmar as recently as last week. It's a joke to talk about repatriation. It is not the time to talk about repatriation from this government. It's time to see how we can use the International Criminal Court (ICC) to try [Myanmar military chief] Min Aung Hlaing and Aung San Suu Kyi. They joined together to commit genocide.

The Rohingya want safety and protection - so we need a UN-protected area for their return.

Zarni: Before we can take any action, we need to accept the reality. The reality is that Burma - the society and military and government of Aung San Suu Kyi - has shown absolutely no indication that it will accept the Rohingya as an ethnic community who deserve full and equal citizenship as well as basic human rights, like everyone else in the country.

When you have a situation where the entire society and entire military and entire political class have rejected an ethnic community, then it is dishonest for any politician and any UN official leader to keep saying they want to see voluntary safe and dignified return.

What the Rohingya need is a piece of earth that they can call their home, where they don’t need to worry about being slaughtered or their houses and villages being burned. 
MAUNG ZARNI, MEMBER OF MYANMAR'S BUDDHIST MAJORITY

Return is no longer an option. If the Burmese army or Aung San Suu Kyi said they want to receive the Rohingya back, that is simply a deception to try to defuse the international attention and get the international community off its back.

What the Rohingya need is a piece of earth that they can call their home, where they don't need to worry about being slaughtered or their houses and villages being burned.

What we need to see is a small number of genuinely concerned leaders around the world to call a special conference to create an autonomous region for the Rohingya, where they can feel safe and protected by the UN and neighbouring government of Bangladesh and others. I don't think any other solution will work. 

We are not talking about [for example, the] creation of a Jewish state out of Palestine where there were already pre-existing populations that got kicked out. We are simply looking at the land where Rohingya were kicked out from, where Rohingya belong.

Tun Khin: These people have been in trauma - they are not talking about returning. Some people ask me, 'How can we return to this place?'There is no way to return.

Some who fled recently told me the military came to their village and told them they needed to go to an immigration office. When they left, the military burned down their homes. When they got back, the military arrested them, claiming they had burned their own houses. They were arrested for 10 days until they could pay the military a big bribe.

The people want UN protection - international protection. Everyone sees Rohingya as illegal immigrants, and says, 'just kill them all'.

Nobody will return unless there is forced repatriation.

Bangladesh and Myanmar announced a repatriation deal in January [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

Al Jazeera: While you both seek an autonomous region for the Rohingya, what other scenarios could be expected regarding repatriation?

Zarni: It's in the interest of the Bangladeshi government to try to get as many Rohingya as possible returned to Burma - this is a large number of humans that Bangladesh is being burdened with. We need to understand frustrations and fears of Bangladesh of shouldering one million people on top of its 166 million.

From the Burmese military's perspective, they would want this process of repatriation to be drawn out as much as possible.

[Repatriation] is like telling Auschwitz survivors to go back and make a living in Auschwitz.

Al Jazeera: In Bangladesh, as well as overcrowding issues in the camps, what other challenges do the Rohingya face?

Zarni: The danger here is that thousands of Rohingya are facing health and existential crises. In the next three to four months, there will be monsoon season. 

They are in a low-lying area and Bangladesh is flood-prone. They are facing the extremely dangerous prospect of being washed away.

The outbreak of infectious diseases, diarrhoea and what not [is also a concern].

And then you have another 500,000 trapped inside Burma, whose lives are squeezed by Burmese military.

Al Jazeera: In a few days, you will speak at the University of Oxford, where Aung San Suu Kyi is a noted graduate. Why is the location important?

Zarni: Oxford University is playing this bystander role. It is looking on when genocide is happening under the watch of its most famous alumna.

The university maintains official ties with the University of Yangon, where genocidal views are espoused.

Oxford also has an exchange programme for Burmese scholars and researchers. They become more articulate and better educated and use the Oxford training to justify the genocide of the Rohingya and to cover up.

We want students to tell the Vice-Chancellor Louise Richardson to cut institutional ties with Yangon, to strip Aung San Suu Kyi of her doctorate. If the university doesn't have precedent, it should make an exception.

Tun Khin: As a Rohingya myself, I want to bring the messages of the victims to the University of Oxford.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Maung Zarni at the Oxford Union Genocide Panel on January 29, 2018 - Courtesy

By Rifat Islam Esha
February 19, 2018

Maung Zarni is a Myanmarese academic exiled in the UK who is an activist, commentator and expert on Myanmar. He is currently a scholar with the Documentation Centre of Cambodia at the Sleuk Rith Institute. In an exclusive interview with the Dhaka Tribune, he talks about the Rohingya repatriation to Myanmar which, he says, from the Myanmar army’s perspective is a tactical retreat in the face of heavy artillery of international condemnations, criticisms and reimposition of sanctions, and it might take around 10-20 years to complete

Over 688,000 Rohingya entered Bangladesh between August 25, 2017 and February 11, 2018, after Myanmar security forces launched a brutal crackdown against the mainly Muslim minority – following militant attacks on border outposts and an army base by insurgents.

As agreed between Bangladesh and Myanmar on November 23, the Rohingya repatriation process was supposed to start on January 23. However, it was delayed, and on Friday (February 16), Bangladesh handed over its first list of 1,673 Rohingya families (8,032 individuals) to Myanmar to start the first phase of repatriation to their homeland.

Do you think the Rohingya repatriation ever will take place?

Yes, the repatriation will take place because both Dhaka and Naypyidaw wants it. Dhaka wants it to take place because the pressure of 688,000 (in addition to the pre-existing Rohingya refugees from the previous waves since 1991) needs to be relieved and wants to set the new process of reducing the number of Rohingyas from its soil. Myanmar wants repatriation because it wants to show the world that its intention is not genocide or ethnic cleansing, and it has this mistaken belief that taking back the Rohingyas who survived the Myanmar troops’ mass-slaughter will make it difficult for the world to press charges of ethnic cleansing or genocide. As the former Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson, the veteran US envoy and diplomat, said it openly: “Repatriation is a big whitewash,” of Myanmar’s international state crimes against Rohingya. From the Myanmar military’s perspective repatriation is a tactical retreat in the face of heavy artillery of international condemnations, criticisms and reimposition of sanctions.

How long do you think it might take?

Well, there are estimated one million Rohingyas who fit the textbook example of refugees – although Dhaka chose to invent its own term “displaced people of Myanmar,” even under the most conducive circumstances it will take 10-20 years, especially at the rate Myanmar side wants to receive.

Do you think the Rohingya people’s return will be “safe, voluntary and dignified”?

Absolutely not. I actually avoid that international mantra coming from INGOs, UN agencies and governments following Kofi Annan’s phraseology. How can the return ever be “safe, voluntary and dignified” for a million people whose physical, cultural, economic, social and intellectual existence, as a minority community has been completely and intentionally destroyed from its very foundations? Myanmar military burned nearly 350 villages systematically in a region stretching 100 kilometres within several months. Myanmar’s Commander in Chief Min Aung Hlaing viewed – and officially told the nation of anti-Rohingya racists – that the army is engaged in completing the “unfinished business” from the WWII. I will say the “finished business” is charred villages where any physical traces of Rohingyas are being bulldozed. Those thousands of Rohingya who still remain inside Myanmar today just told the Canadian Special Envoy to Myanmar, Bob Rae, last week that they feel like they are “in a big cage” where they have absolutely no freedom of movements for accessing food, medicine, jobs, etc. I want to ask those politicians and officials who spit out this mind-numbing delusional phrase, why they are knowingly pussyfooting around Myanmar’s blatant violations of the Genocide Convention – an inter-state treaty, and focusing on sending the Rohingya survivors back to what really is a vast complex of past and future concentration camps inside Myanmar.

What role can the UNHCR play?

UNHCR is primarily mandated to protect Rohingyas. Its leadership has been doing a good job, telling the Security Council – and the world at large – the unpalatable truth being that the conditions inside Myanmar are absolutely non-conducive to any form of return of Rohingyas. It should continue to discharge its main mission of protecting and promoting the well-being of the one million Rohingyas on Bangladeshi soil. It should persuade Dhaka to accept Rohingyas as legally defined refugees and genocide survivors – not simply “forcibly displaced persons from Myanmar.”

How much power does the military still have over the state and how much power does the government have to address this crisis?

The military has all the power to end the persecution of Rohingya. But the military will not cease the genocide because it has since late 1960’s institutionalized the eradication of Rohingyas from the group’s very foundations on the false, racist and paranoid ground that they are Bangladesh’s “proxy” Muslim population inside the strategic Western region. Suu Kyi’s civilian leadership shares these paranoid and anti-Muslim racist policies as well. The difference between the Myanmar generals and Suu Kyi government, particularly Suu Kyi herself, is not in kind, but in degree. This is the racist woman who cannot bring herself to respect the right of Rohingya to self-identify as Rohingya or cannot embrace the truth that Rohingyas are a part of Myanmarese society at large, despite her Oxford education and decades of life in liberal western societies. It’s no longer about whether if Suu Kyi had more power would she have been able to end it. The fact is whatever limited power the civilian government has it uses it to deny, dismiss and cover up the military’s crimes against humanity and genocide against Rohingyas. Remember, Suu Kyi has consistently praised the ethnic cleansing and Myanmar army for “doing a good job.”

How effective do you think are the recommendations made by the Advisory Commission?

Absolutely zero effect, despite the loud chorus of support from UN and government quarters for its recommendations. To start with, the military did not welcome Kofi Annan’s involvement from day one at all. It attempted to derail, block or otherwise mitigate the commission’s influence on policy and public opinion. As a matter of fact, it was Myanmar military that was determined to kill the final report upon delivery in August 2017: Annan’s recommendations stand in the way of the military’s attempt to complete its “unfinished business.” One has to be absolutely delusional and stupid not to see how this report plays right into the hands of the Myanmar generals. The military strategists simply honey-trapped the young, primitively armed angry Rohingya militants to attack a few military and police outposts as they wanted the pretext to launch the large scale genocidal campaign of terror within a few days of Kofi Annan’s report.

My reading of the turn of events since August 26, 2017 stands in sharp contrast with the mainstreamed but patently false view that ARSA triggered these military operations by Myanmar that led to the displacement of 688,000 Rohingyas, burning of nearly 350 villages. ARSA is no Hamas in terms of its capacity or strength. Not even Israel has inflicted this level of genocidal destruction of its target. Myanmar is worse than Israel.

Lt General Kyaw Swe, the home affairs minister, who was in Dhaka on an official visit mentioned that Myanmar was keen to implement a few Annan Commission recommendations. It is a complete act of deception. When the military failed to derail Kofi Annan commission’s work, it attempted to use Annan as its outermost shield internationally. The ex-major and Myanmar spokesperson Zaw Htay said this openly.

What should be done to ensure the security and basic rights of the Rohingya people?

In the short run, the world needs to monitor the Rohingya’s plight very closely. Four types of large Rohingya populations exist today: 307,500 pre-existing Rohingya refugees and 688,000 new arrivals in Bangladesh; nearly half a million inside Myanmar among whom 120,000 are in IDP camps where they are languishing in inhuman conditions; then there are Rohingyas in vast open prisons in areas that are not yet attacked or destroyed by Myanmar military and its Rakhine local militia and vigilantes. Dhaka needs massive infusion of humanitarian assistance both in cash and in kind so that no public health epidemics break out in these large refugee areas of Cox’s Bazaar and Chittagong. 100,000 Rohingyas who are apprised as the most vulnerable as soon as the monsoon season begins, need urgent assistance with relocation, and material support.

In the long run, the only viable safeguard for Rohingyas against Myanmar’s evidently genocidal national policies is to help establish North Arakan sub-region – which has been predominantly Rohingya since Myanmar’s independence – and historically, as UN-protected self-administered Rohingya home. Of course, Myanmar will resist any attempt to help put Rohingyas back on their own ancestral soil. But no genocides ever end without the intervention of some sort from outside power. The Security Council will never authorize intervention although it is tasked with the principal duty of promoting peace and protecting world’s population. Just remember how Bangladesh was liberated from the nasty genocidal attacks by West Pakistan in 1971. Bangladesh had 12 million Bengali or East Pakistani refugees back then. Now you are a nation with a vibrant economy.

Rohingya people deserve and need a piece of earth they can call home, where they can be Rohingya, where they go to school, access medical services, have proper villages, tend to their farms and look after their families – without having to fear being locked in this cycle of large scale terror and violence, forced repatriation, living in “big cages” inside Myanmar – until the next waves of killing and destruction comes.




RB News | February 19, 2018

Buthidaung, Arakan State -- Three Rohingya houses have been destroyed in a fire in Buthidaung a while ago.

The Rohingya houses at Ward 4 (Thabbyay Gone) in the downtown of Buthidaung were reportedly set alight by 4 Rakhine extremists from the nearby Rakhine area of the same Ward at around 9:50pm.

A man, who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity and said to have witnessed the incident, said "I saw 4 Rakhine men armed with machetes and knives fleeing from the scene as soon as the fire has broken out. I believe they are the ones who torched the homes."

However, we are yet to independently verify his claim. 

The fire brigade arrived half an hour after the fire had broken out and extinguished the fire.

The owners of three houses destroyed in the fire are 1) Noormaal Hakim, 2) Farooque and 3) Laylay.

The Police arrested 'U Futunnia,' an elderly Rohingya man and father of Farooque (an owner of a house that got destroyed in the fire), under the allegation of causing the fire by negligence.

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

Please email to: editor@rohingyablogger.com to send your reports and feedback.

Buthidaung [Photo: RFA]

RB News | February 19, 2018

Buthidaung, Arakan state -- Rohingya students are racially segregated from Rakhine and other Buddhist students in Buthidaung Township as they sit for their school exams, say students' parents.

Exams for Class 4 (Grade 5) and Class 8 (Grade 9) students have started nation-wide from today (Feb 19) and but in Buthidaung, Rohingya students have now to sit for exams in racially segregated halls.

The Burmese letter 'Ba' (implicating 'Bengali') is written on the walls of the exam halls of the Rohingya students, whereas 'Ta' (implicating 'Taiyinthar' or natives) is written on that of Rakhine, Dainet, Khami, Mro and Bama students of Buddhist faith.

"This is the first time I've heard exams are held in segregated halls any where on this earth on the basis of one's race and religion. And I also believe 'this blatant discrimination in education sector' is happening in Myanmar for the 1st time and this is the only place (Buthidaung) where it's happening.

"We suspect that this is happening under the direction of the Rakhine state education minister, Aung Kyaw Tun, who is a reknown extremist and has, at early stages of his career, got transferred to other places because of extremist views. This is something unacceptable and must be stopped," said a parent of a student sitting for exam under such a condition.

This action, segregating Rohingya students on account of their faith and racial origin, is not only threatening the right to unfetterd access to education of the Rohingya children but also demeaning the whole education system of Myanmar and that, such explicit show of racism in schools could poison young minds.

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

Please email to: editor@rohingyablogger.com to send your reports and feedback.

After a Myanmar army crackdown in Rakhine that started in August 25 last year, over 6,500 Rohingya people from different villages had moved to the Tambru no man’s land and been living there, a place that is adjacent to Naikhongchhari’s Ghumdum border in Bandarban (Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune)

By Tarek Mahmud
February 18, 2018

Over 6,500 Rohingya protesters from Tambru’s no man’s land are reportedly among the 8,032 named in the initial repatriation list, which Bangladesh handed over to Myanmar on Friday, reports Tarek Mahmud after returning from Bandarban’s Ghumdum

The Rohingya refugees living in the no man’s land between Myanmar’s Tambru and Bangladesh’s Konapara border areas and protesting the repatriation process have found renewed justification for anxiety.

Demonstrating in Tambru’s no man’s land on Saturday and Sunday, the refugees said they want the Myanmar government to accede to their demands, including ensuring their safety and rights, before they are sent back.

Dil Mohammed and Arif Hossain, two Rohingya leaders of the area, claimed that Myanmar army and Mogh extremists were still bulldozing Rohingya houses, villages, and markets, as well as torturing those who are still living in the Rakhine state.

They said: “The Rohingyas of no man’s land feel threatened and concerned that putting their names in the repatriation list will be put them at risk again.”

Rohingya refugees have demonstrated in Tambru’s no man’s land on Saturday and Sunday to push for their demands | Tarek Mahmud/Dhaka Tribune

The protesters demanded deployment of UN peacekeeping force in Rakhine’s Rohingya majority areas and recognition of the Rohingyas as citizens of Myanmar.

They also want international organizations and media to be engaged in the repatriation process and monitor the overall situation, along with the full implementation of the recommendations made in the report of the Kofi Anan-led Advisory Commission on Rakhine State and the five-point proposal of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Dil Mohammad said the refugees would not go back to their homeland until their demands are met.

Over 6,500 Rohingya protesters from Tambru’s no man’s land are reportedly among the 8,032 named in the initial repatriation list, which the Bangladesh government handed over to Myanmar on Friday.

The Dhaka Tribune could not independently verify the reports, but repatriating the Rohingyas living in this area first was discussed during the home minister-level meeting of both countries Friday.

The Rohingyas in the no man’s land have been subjected to intimidating efforts by Myanmar security forces over the past few months. But the situation worsened after Myanmar’s Deputy Home Minister Major General Aung Soe visited the Tambru border area on February 8.

Since that visit, the Myanmar army and Border Guard Police (BGP), using loudspeakers, have asked the Rohingyas to return to Rakhine from the no man’s land. But at night, the Myanmar army reportedly fires blanks to scare them and stop them from going back.

“We used to escape to Bangladesh territory at night and return at day. But now the army and BGP are giving warnings over loudspeakers every hour,” said Siddique Ahmad, an old Rohingya man living in the no man’s land.

On Saturday night, Myanmar security forces issued instructions about repatriating the Rohingyas from the no man’s land, prompting at least 50 of them to cross over into Bangladesh, where they were detained by Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB). They were later sent to a refugee camp with basic provisions.

“The Rohingyas of the no man’s land are under strict BGB surveillance,” Lt Col Khalid Hasan, director (operations) of BGB’s Cox’s Bazar Ad-hoc Region, told the Dhaka Tribune.

After a Myanmar army crackdown in Rakhine started in August 25 last year, over 6,500 Rohingya people from Tambru, Medipara, Raimongkhali, Deybuinna, Laipuiya, Ponduiya, Khuyangcipong villages and Maungdaw’s Panirchora had moved to that no man’s land and been living there, a place that is adjacent to Naikhongchhari’s Ghumdum border in Bandarban.

Since then, more than 10,000 Rohingyas have sought shelter in the no man’s land bordering Ghumdum union’s Konarpara area, Sadar union’s Sapmara Jhiri, Boro Chonkhola, and Dochhari union’s Bahir Math area under Naikhongchhari.

In January, all the Rohingyas living in the no man’s land were taken to the Rohingya camps at Ukhiya’s Kutupalong, Cox’s Bazar. However, the refugees living in the Konarpara bordering areas, despite promises that they would be taken too, are still living in Tambru.

The government’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission said nearly 700,000 Rohingyas entered Bangladesh till February 11 fleeing the brutal persecution termed as “ethnic cleansing” by the UN. They joined the several hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas who had been living in two upazilas of Cox’s Bazar for years.

Dhaka and Naypyidaw have signed an agreement to send the Rohingyas back to their homeland. After signing a bilateral deal in November last year, the repatriation process was scheduled to begin last month, but got delayed.

You've gotta love former British Ambassador Derek Tonkin!

Genocidal Khmer Rouge chaps were "delightful". 

Berlin Conference organisers are "Fakes".

Apartheid was 'very complex', anti-apartheid activism was useless.

Former British Ambassador Derek Tonkin has shown no conscience, compassion or wisdom, despite his age (almost 90) and Oxford education. 

No wonder Myanmar Governments quote him extensively.

He calls organisers of the upcoming Berlin Conference "fake".

He described Khmer Rouge diplomats who had lunch with "delightful" - despite the deep knowledge of 2 million deaths.

He argued anti-apartheid movement made not the slightest difference.

He described apartheid as "very complex" which only he understood, having been a pro-apartheid British diplomat in Pretoria at its height. 

He wrote a rather nasty blog on his Network Myanmar, a front for commercial advisory work with those interested in doing business with the Burmese military, about the Oslo Conference held at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in May 2015 as "she·nan·i·gans" - dishonest activities.

- Zarni










The Rt. Hon. Theresa May,

MP Prime Minister Government of the United Kingdom
10 Downing Street, London SW1A 2AA
E-mail: mayt@parliament.uk

Berlin, 30th January 2018

Your Excellency

I am Khin Maung Saw, a retired lecturer in the Department of Burma Studies, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. I used to work also as a 'Scholar in Residence' at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, U.S..A. Currently, I am elected as a patron and an advisor of the World Arakanese Organisation (WAO), Europe Branch.

As a historian, let me approach the current affairs of the Northern Rakhine State of Myanmar from the historical point of view.

I. Are the Rohingyas an ethnic group of Myanmar (Burma)?

There are eight major ethnic groups in Myanmar (Burma) such as Bama (Burman or Burmese), Chin, Kachin, Karen, Kayah (Karenni), Mon, Rakhine (Arakanese) and other small native ethnic groups, all together 135. The name 'Rohingya' is not the name of an ethnic group in Burma, instead it is an invented name.

Since some parts of Burma, particularly Arakan, was a British Colony from 1826 to 1947, the British authorities then made very proper administrative records. Please check in the British Archives whether the name 'Rohingyas' was ever mentioned there or not. The name 'Rohingya' was neither recorded in Burmese History nor in Indian History written by British, Portuguese, Dutch and native historians. All British Colonial Archives had proven that there was no such an ethnic group called 'Rohingya', neither in British Burma nor in the British Indian Empire.

In 1971 the Independence War in East Pakistan broke out. It started on 26th March 1971 and ended on 16th December in the same year. At that time, according to BBC news, there were about one and a half million to two million East Pakistani war refugees in Arakan Division of Burma. In the mean time, there were more than ten million war refugees on Indian soil. In 1975 the Bangladeshi ambassador in Burma, K.N. Kaiser, admitted to the then British ambassador to Burma, Mr. T.J. O’Brien that there were still about five hundred thousand illegal Bangladeshi immigrants inside Burma. That report can be seen in the National Archives in London, Folio 35 on File FCO 15/2041.

Another factor is the population explosion in Bangladesh. When the nation of Bangladesh was established in 1971, it's population was only 65 million but now it reached 170 million. Because of this population explosion, there is no longer enough space in their motherland and Bengali Muslims from Bangladesh are immigrating illegally into two of her neignbours, namely India and Myanmar (Burma), by crossing the porous border either secretly or due to the corruption of border authorities. The communal riots with blood bath in the Indian State of Assam is an evidence.

Since these 'Rohingya' people confess polygamy do not use birth control methods and contraceptives their population growth is much higher than other ethnic groups. In this way, they became 95% of the population in Maungdaw District. That means, they are the majorities and NOT minorities. Because of their men waves Rakhaings (Arakanese) unfortunately became a minority in their native soil, Northern Arakan.

These Chittagonian Bengali Muslims have created the term “Rohingya" which has a meaning “the natives of Arakan” in Bengali language Chittagaung dialect (Rohan = Arakan and “Gya” or “Ja” means “Native”). That’s why the real Arakanese (Rakhaings) as well as the whole populace cannot accept that term.

The majority of the so-called Rohingyas cannot speak Burmese. They speak only their mother tongue which is Bengali Chittagong Dialect. They cannot communicate with any natives of Myanmar (Burma) because of language barrier, however, when they are in Bangladesh they do not have any communication difficulty. When they are in a third country they normally asked for a Bengali interpreter. It will be very obvious if some people who claim to be British but cannot speak English instead ask for a Polish interpreter!

Derek Tonkin with Myanmar Ambassador (Photo: Embassy Magazine)

In his work, Derek Tonkin, a former British Ambassador, wrote in "The 'Rohingya' Identity: The British Experience in Arakan 1826 – 1948": "But supporters of Rakhine Muslims overseas should at the same time acknowledge that the particular designation 'Rohingya' had no serious historical validity prior to independence in 1948".

In the interview with the Irrawaddy Magazine on July 9th 2012 Dr. Jacques Leider, an Arakan expert, answered very clearly:

Jacques P. Leider

Q: Are the Rohingya an ethnic group of Burma?

A: My answer is that Rohingya is not an ethnic concept. Okay, they can stand up and say we are an ethnic group inside Myanmar. But I think that is not the best way. When you argue we are Muslims and we have been living in Rakhine for several generations, nobody can deny it. For me, Rohingya is the term, which is an old word that has been claimed as above all as a political label after the independence of Myanmar. For the moment, I do not see that all the people there readily submit to one and a single label. When I was in Bangladesh, people pointed out Muslims to me who originally lived in Rakhine. They have now moved to Bangladesh and when you ask them, “Are you Rohingya coming from Rakhine?” they say, “No, we are Muslims who lived in Rakhine, we do not take for us the label Rohingya.”

Let me emphasize some points:

It is the nature of peoples living at the borders.

(1) There are Karens & Shans in Burma. These peoples are also in Thailand.
(2) There are Kachins & Shans in Burma. These peoples can be found also in China.
(3) Nagas & Chins can be found in Burma. There are Nagas & Chins also in India.
(4) Rakhaings & Saks inhabit in Burma. These peoples live also in Bangladesh and in India.

However, is it not very strange or ridiculous that the so-called 'Rohingyas' exists only in Burma but not in Bangladesh and in India?

Hence, the term 'Rohingya'is NOT the name of an ethnic group in Myanmar, instead it is a political term invented for a political movement!

It is a wrong statement that the "Rohingya" — have been in Arakan State for generations. There were some Muslims who have been in Arakan for generations but they never named themselves “Rohingyas“. They are Kaman, Myedu and the descendants of Bengali slaves who were recorded by the British authorities as Chittagonian Bengalis and grouped them as non-indigenous ethnic group.

II. ‘Rohingyas’ for Myanmar Citizenship

Almost all natives of Myanmar will have no objection if these so-called "Rohingyas" want to become Myanmar citizens, as long as they can fulfil the requirements. The problem is: Till now almost all ‘Rohingyas’ can speak only their mother tongue which is the Bengali Chittagong Dialect and many of them are illiterates. Apart from that, they are very stubborn and they refused to learn Myanmar (Burmese) instead they demand that their 'Rohingya' language must be accepted as one of the languages spoken in Myanmar (Burma). Furthermore, they can neither salute the Flag of the Union of Myanmar nor sing the Myanmar National Anthem because the Koran instructs a Muslim has to worship only Allah!! That's why most of them cannot get Myanmar citizenship.

These so-called 'Rohingya 'people have to learn how to speak, read and write Myanmar (Burmese) language which is the official language as well as the communication language of one ethnic group to another in the Union of Myanmar. If they do not pass the basic test on the Myanmar language and some general knowledge about Myanmar, how can they be citizens of Myanmar? This kind of test is required in almost all countries on the earth for their naturalized citizens.

In any case, one should not forget the fact that every sovereign nation has their own immigration and naturalization laws which the others should respect. Even "the most democratic country on the earth", the United States of America" do not grant citizenship automatically to many offsprings of the Mexicans who were born inside the U.S.A. because their parents came illegally to the U.S.A. and lived there as illegal immigrants.

The similar problem is also for the People of the Subcontinent, Sri Lanka and the West Indies who reside in The United Kingdom, "the Mother of Democracy". These people came to UK using the right of a citizen of a "British Commonwealth" country. However, they were not granted British citizenship easily. Many of them demonstrated in the U.K. with the slogan "We are here because you were there!"

So do many Turks in Germany. Some of them came to Germany as ‘Guest Workers’ invited by the then West-German Government in the 1950’s. Some of them live there more than 40 years and their children were born in Germany, however, these children won’t be granted German citizenship automatically, unless or otherwise they apply for that and go through some legal procedures.

Hence, I would like to suggest sincerely to the 'Rohingyas' that they should be honest and they should stop demanding for the undeserved right of an ethnic minority status, instead they should ask only for citizenship. Furthermore, they should try to pass the citizenship test, which is needed for aliens in all countries. If they don't want to be called Bengali and want to have a different identity they should suggest another name rather than the unacceptable name 'Rohingya'.

III. Population Growth of the Refugee Camps inside Bangladesh and their claims of military abuse

On one hand Myanmar armed forces are accused for stationing at the border, blocking the"Rohingya Exodus", searching for 'Rohingyas' to kill, rape and torture. On the other hand, the number of Refugees who arrived at the Bangladeshi side increased from zero to six hundred thousand within ten days. If there were numbers of Myanmar police and soldiers stationing at the border and killing them, how could six hundred thousand people cross the border easily? We could even see in BBC TV and other media how easily and safely these 'refugees' could cross the border and comunicate easily with the natives of Bangladesh through their mother tongue!! Is that not rediculous and in contradiction to their claims?

There were some accusations of military abuse or killing of villagers by the soldiers and policemen, however, the plainttiffs could not state clearly where, when and how it happened, how many people were killed and where the mass graveyard could be and so forth. Otherwise, only God will know whether their stories were true or they were framing Myanmar armed forces and made them scapegoats! Recently, Myanmar authorities found out a graveyard of ten people and the armed forces personnel in that area were charged by Myanmar military.

Your Excellency, in the light of my historical pleading I hope and wish that you can see this problem more thoroughly and can judge properly.

Respectully

Khin Maung Saw

Cc.

1. The Rt. Hon Boris Johnson, MP, Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, King Charles Street,London,SW1A 2AH, boris.johnson.mp@parliament.uk

2. The Rt. Hon Penny Mordant, MP, Secretary of State, Department of International Development, Caxton House, Tothill Street London,SW1H 9NA, penny.mordaunt.mp@parliament. uk

3. fcocorrespondence@fco.gov.uk


Rohingya Exodus