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Top 10 anti-Muslim and anti-Rohingya Statements from Myanmar: Take your pick

By Dr. Maung Zarni
May 23, 2013
Two Rohingya children terrorized, half-starved and perceived as "viruses and threats to Burma's national security" by the pro-democracy dissidents, civil society, Buddhist Order and the military state
A Rohingya child's pictorial memory of life in Rakhine State
A street scene in the Third Reich, 1930's
As chillingly reminiscent of the Third Reich and its Nazism, un-Buddhist, un-factual and ethnocidal as some may sound, these select statements are an accurate reflection of the sub-consciously neo-Nazi world of the ethnically dominant Burmese ruling elite and counter-elite who are forging ahead one grand coalition with their former jailers to turn Burma into 'the last Asian tiger' and build 'discipline flourishing democracy', apparently at the expense of religious and ethnic minorities who make up 40% of the population. 

Ironically, local Rakhines, generally widely disliked by both the Burmese public and the military, and the Rohingya Muslim, one of the world's 'most vulnerable' peoples, have been pitted against one another by the internally colonial State and Society in Burma, since 1940's.

1. Burma's Ambassador to the UN (Geneva)

Rohingya 'as ugly as ogres'

"In reality, Rohingya are neither Myanmar people nor Myanmar's ethnic group. It is quite different from what you have seen and read in the papers. (They are as ugly as ogres)."

- ex-Major Ye Myint Aung, then Consul General of Myanmar Consulate, Hong Kong and subsequent to sending his rather racist and derogatory written note to the UK-based diplomatic missions, was promoted to Ambassadorship in the UN, Geneva, 10 Feb 2009

2. President Thein Sein, the man and his office

2. A "According to our government, we don't have a policy of discriminating based on religion or race."

President Thein Sein, Interviewed by CNN'S AMANPOUR, 20 May 2013

2. B  “There is no Rohingya among our races. We have Bengalis who were brought to do farming during colonial days. Some of them settled.” He spoke approvingly of a 1982 law that has been used to deny them citizenship.

2. C "(I)t is impossible for Burma to accept people who are not ethnic to the country and who have entered illegally ... (and Myanmar is) “willing to send the Rohingyas to any third country that will accept them.”

Myanmar Government Official Statement out of President Thein Sein's office, 12 July 2012

2. D “The UN and other organizations have done what they should do. The [Rakhine-Rohingya] situation is moving in a positive direction. A report containing harsh accusations is un-constructive, and does not represent 60 million people.”

Sit Myaing, a former police colonel and a member of the Myanmar (official) Human Rights Commission

3. Madam Aung San Suu Kyi

3. A "I don't know".

3. B "She believes, in Burma, there is no Rohingya ethnic group".

Nyan Win, Aung San Suu Kyi's official spokesperson

4. "We, the 88 Generation, who fought for human rights for so many years, are unhappy about the HRW report. I feel that it is an insult to our nation. The main thing is that this is not an ethnic problem, it is the fact that the Rule of Law in Myanmar is so weak."

Min Zay Yar, a well-known former student leader from the 1988 student uprisings

5. Ko Ko Gyi, (considered by his peers as the "brain" of the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society Group, a former international relations undergraduate student, Rangoon University, 1988)

5. A “Rohingya issue”—that is, the status of Arakan State’s Muslim minority — is essentially a matter of sovereignty. 

Ko Ko Gyi - 88 Generation Peace and Open Society Group

(paraphrased by Aung Zaw, Irrawaddy)

5. B "I will resign from this commission if it uses the word 'human rights' in association with these Bengali".

Ko Ko Gyi

(Personal phone conversation with Zarganar, the fellow commissioner on the Rakhine Sectarian Violence Inquiry Commission set up by President Thein Sein, Fall 2012)

5. C "The job of UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar Professor Tomas Quintana is to investigate human rights abuses. This (violence between the Rohingya and the Rakhine) is ethnic conflict. So, it's not really his job to examine the inter-ethnic violence."

Again, Ko Ko Gyi, to a group of international visitors who research on human rights atrocities in Western Burmese state of Rakhine or Arakan, Rangoon, the weekend of 27-28 Apr 2013

6. Major Zaw Htay, Thein Sein's official spokesperson 

"Although there are some who criticized [Myanmar] quoting the Human Rights Watch's report, [you can see] Myanmar has been praised recently for its human rights progress by the US which promotes human rights activities around the world."

Zaw Htay, the director for the President's Office on his Facebook page on April 22, 

7. Former Mae Sot, Thailand-based exile and human rights educator

“In such a sensitive situation, the use of the phrase ‘ethnic cleansing’ is unacceptable. Ethnic Cleansing means eliminating other ethnic groups. This is not the case [in Rakhine State].”

Aung Myo Min, Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB)

8. Presidential Inquiry Commissioners (Myanmar Genocide Whitewashers)

Myanmar Presidential Inquiry Commission on the Rakhine Sectarian Violence at the Western donor-funded Myanmar Peace Center (29 Apr 2013)

From left to right (Aung Naing Oo, Dr Kyaw Yin Hlaing (Secretary and President Thein Sein's adviser), Dr Yin Yin Nwe (ex-daughter-in-law of the late despot General Ne Win), Ko Ko Gyi (88 Generation Peace and Open Society Group) and Zarganar
The following are the on-the-record statements/views of Presidential Inquiry Commission on the Sectarian Violence in Rakhine State.

(For my critique of this commission and its blatantly ethnocidal report, see my Myanmar whitewashes ethnic cleansing )

8. A Dr Myo Myint

"They (the "Bengalis" from across Bangladesh) are here already. We can't simply kick them out. What to do?"

Dr Myo Myint (PhD in History, Cornell), former lecturer of history at Mandalay University, retired Director-General, Religious Affairs Department (Ministry of Home Affairs), Chairman of the Rakhine Sectarian Violence Presidential Inquiry Commission, 17 Aug 2013 (YouTube)

8. B Dr Myo Myint

"You don't need to report to the President about the situation on a regular basis. The security and welfare of those people ("Bengali") are not our commission's responsibility". 

Dr Myo Myint, a recorded phone conversation with one of the Muslim Commissioners who was fired, arrested and later released by the Special Branch, 2 days prior to his arrest in November 2012 

{Compiler's note: I listened to the 10-minute recorded conversation earlier this month, and with absolute certainty I can verify that it was THE voice of Dr Myo Myint, my old history tutor at Mandalay University (1982)}

8. C Dr Yin Yin Nwe

"These un-educated Bengali women procreate like mad. On average one woman has about 10-12 children, and men are allowed to have more than 1 wife. I even told them I have only 1 child and even then the cost of education is quite expensive. Because of this population explosion, now 90-plus % of Buthidaung and Maung Daw population is made up of Bengali and only about 5-6 percent are Rakhine and Bama. So, think for yourself who is a majority here and who is minority. That's why, we proposed population control - albeit on a voluntary basis."

Dr Yin Yin Nwe, (PhD Geology, Cambridgae), ex-daughter in law of the late dictator Ne Win, Thein Sein's gem stones adviser, member of the Presidential Inquiry Commission on the Rakhine Sectarian Violence Commission, the Voice of America Burmese TV Interview, 12 May 2013

{Compiler's remark: With this single interview she has become an instant celebrity extremely popular with the Burmese YouTube viewers and social media virtual public, both inside Burma and in diaspora}

8. D Dr Kyaw Yin Hlaing, Secretary and Presidential Adviser

"It's untrue to say that our government is not doing anything. We are doing interfaith dialogues among Buddhist and Muslim leaders in Rakhine and Rangoon. We surveyed about 2,000 people in Western Burma. There is a lot of hatred there". 

Dr Kyaw Yin Hlaing (PhD in Government, Cornell), former student of Commission Chairman Dr Myo Myint and himself, Secretary of the Presidential Inquiry Commission on sectarian violence in Rakhine 

(It was in response to a question by a Burmese Muslim retiree U Win Aung from the Voice of America and the Burmese Broadcasting Service regarding the situation which Human Rights Watch characterizes as "ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity" of the Rohingya of Western Burmese state of Rakhine, the Voice of America Burmese service townhall meeting with President Thein Sein, Washington, DC, 19 May 2013).

8. E Zarganar (a.k.a Dr Thura), a key commissioner member who knew a lot of purposely and verifiably false statements were inserted into the government official inquiry commission report, but he chose to endorse it publicly.

"This is a made-up report (that is, the damning report of the Human Rights Watch on ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Burma)". 

Dr Thura or better known as Zarganar is the country's best known political comedian and recipient of many human rights awards, film educator and 4-times political prisoner, a key member of the aforementioned inquiry commission and a member of the political prisoners verification committee - in reference to Human Rights Watch's damning report indicting the State, its leadership and institutions in the organized mass violence against the Rohingya in the two bouts of violence in June and Oct 2012. (see the report here:

9. The Rakhine Voices

9. A “This is unfair. Our party does not accept the statement at all. All the local people in Rakhine State know the incidents from A to Z. The violence did not occur racially or religiously. It happened between those who want to seize the territory and those who want to defend that territory. Ethnic cleansing is not the matter of that issue.”

Aung Mya Kyaw, Rakhine State Parliament MP Aung Mya Kyaw of Rakhine Nationalities Development Party in reference to Human Rights Watch's report "All You can Do is Pray: Ethnic Cleansing and Crimes against Humanity against the Rohingya of Western Burma", 22 April 2013

9. B “I don’t know whether the HRW’s wording is linked to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. We will say that their use of term ‘Rohingya’ is wrong.” 

"We don't have Rohingyas in our country. We can only say that they are Bangladeshi or foreign Bengalis. Now, the words used by this group have reached the level of hurting the country and its people. [They] often kept saying ethnic cleaning. Actually, it's not a racial or religious issue. It's called communal violence… Politically, it includes competition of groups living inside the country and abroad. We have been living together with Muslims since a long time ago and we didn't have any problems. The group will know if they come [to Myanmar]".

Dr U Maung, vice chairman of the Araken League for Democracy

9. C "We have to restore Rakhine villages (to the pre-Bengali period). We need to take inspiration from Israel and model our restoration (of Rakhine State only for the Rakhine) from Israel."

MP Aye Maung, Chairman of the Rakine National Development Party, in his interview with Burma's local news magazine - Venus News, Current Politics section, 14 Aug 2012

9. D "How can it be ethnic cleansing? They are not an ethnic group".

Mr Win Myaing, Rakhine State Government Spokesperson, quoted in Reuters, 15 May 2013

10. The Venerable Wirathu, New Ma-soe-yein Teaching Buddhist Monastery

"Whatever (the Muslims) do they do it with their 'national' Muslim interests in mind. They have designs against our country, our faith and our society. They now have monopoly over the construction sector in Rangoon. They have come to dominate Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy. Even she is only riding the niggers' cars. All these national dissidents such as Aung San Suu Kyi and Min Ko Naing dare not speak a word about the Rakhine Crisis (during which our brethen Rakhine are suffering at the hands of the Bangali). Our national political emblem has been replaced by the Islam's symbol of beards! They are the worst violators of human rights and religious freedom. So, you Buddhist lay public must do everything with the (anti-Muslim) nationalist ethos. Only do business and socially interact with those who embrace 969 ethos of economic boycott and societal exclusion and ostracism against the (Muslim) enemy".

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