Is Myanmar Government of President Thein Sein using the narrative and incident of a murder of a single police officer, to widen and step up its Rohingya genocide?
By Dr. Maung Zarni
January 23, 2014
Here is the historical background and the latest from the Rohingya village named Du Chi Ra Dan:
Du Chi Ra Dan is a sizable village, with 4,000 people, in Maungdaw Township, one of the two major towns (the other is Buthidaung) with the highest Rohingya concentration in all of Arakan or Rakhine State. There are adjacent Rohingya villages which are also part of the state's security grid system where movements between villages are watched and restricted by Myanmar security troops since the inception of the Nasaka in the 1990's.
(Nasaka was abolished as a public relations move on the eve of Thein Sein's visit to UK last year, but none of the repressive policies and acts by Myanmar government in Naypyidaw has changed at all. Naska was abolished because its chief Major General Thein Htay, one of Than Shwe's pets, and a member of Myanmar delegation led by then General Shwe Mann - now the house speaker and presidential aspirant - to N. Korea for weapons shopping spree, was singled out by the US Government as a dubious character involved in Myanmar's continued dealings with N. Korea).
1) when the news spread that the government security forces launched an operation to arrest all Rohingya males above 10 in the village the panic-stricken Rohingya boys and men who fit the profile ran to any direction.
2) many are assumed to have taken refuge in nearby villages, or worse still, may have permanently 'disappeared as they tried to flee. (in the context of Myanmar and as a matter of un-written policies, raping or killing Rohingya is done routinely by Rakhines as well as security forces with IMPUNITY. The situation may be a bit like the American South where a black man pulling a face or spitting in the presence of a whiteman or woman was an offense punishable with public lynching, a given).
3) as of 12:00 midnight, 23 Jan, the said village - Du Chi Ra Dan - has not a single soul left - all women and children who were left behind by their men and 10+ boys also fled for fear of massacres at the hands of the GOVERNMENT security troops.
4) the Rakhine local came along and looted everything of value, and everything that was movable - even wooden houses did not escape the loot and destruction. The Rakhine came and took even removable pieces of wood from the Rohingya houses.
5) the Rakhine local government has spread word that it is now safe and order has been restored in Du Chi Ra Dan village (Rohingya village) and asked the terror-stricken Rohingya residents from that village to return.
6) the Rakhine chief minister Hla Maung Tin, known for his complicity and collaboration with the Nazi-inspired Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP) which holds parliamentary seats in Naypyidaw in the June and October waves of pogroms in 2012, has reportedly met with a group of 40 Rohingya elders - before their public/official meeting with the UN officials, central government authorities, etc.
Hla Maung Tin gave the Rohingya the official narrative of the massacres, and openly told them that if they deviated from the official narrative they will be shot dead.
Nothern most part of Arakan or Rakhine state is historically 70% and above Rohingya pockets.
The Rohingya fear that the government (and local Rakhine) are stepping up their campaign of terror, using the murder of a single police officer.
The un-stated goal is to drive out AND kill as many Rohingya as possible from these Rohingya pockets.
During the 1950s and 1960s, the two largest Rohingya towns - Maungdaw and Buthidaung - were directly administered as a single administrative district and placed under the direct command of Western Command - instead of being administered through the racist anti-Burmese nationalist Rakhine political organizations and administration based in Sittwe or Akyab.
The district was then called May Yu. The Rohingya were loyal to the Union of Burma and keen to cooperate with the central government in Rangoon throughout successive governments, both the parliamentary government of PM U Nu and the so-called Caretaker Government headed by military officers under General Ne Win's leadership (1958-1960).
Rohingya's historical cooperation with the Burmese has long been one of the major sources of resentment and hatred of the secession-aspired Rakhine nationalists.
Rakhine nationalism is NOT based on the notion or idea of a Union of Burma, but rather is anchored in their collective feudal vision of a lost sovereign Rakhine Kingdom utterly crushed by the Burmese king in 1785.
The Rakhine nationalists ultimately want independence from Burma, and they hold deep resentment towards the dominant Burmese in the central plains of the Dry Zone who brought them as POWs and forced laborers as early as the 18th century - to build pagodas, to repair old irrigation systems and to do any menial jobs at the Burmese rulers' pleasure.
As a matter of fact, despite all this popular talk of collaborative Union spirit between the Burmese and the Rakhine Buddhists, neither can't stand the other.
Because the Burmese are dominant, numerically and in terms of political and military the Rakhine scapegoat the Rohingya for all their collective misery, failings, colonized status vis-a-vis the Burmese.
The result is the Rakhine taking it out on the Rohingya.
Before the central Burmese governments used the Rohingya to check on the independence/secessionist aspirations of the ultra-nationalist, feudal Rakhine, especially in Sittwe, Kyauk Phyu, and a small pockets of Rakhine nationalists.
Since 1978, in close collaboration with Rakhine nationalists such as historian the late Dr Aye Kyaw and Physics Professor San Than Aung, General Ne Win adopted an anti-Muslim and anti-Rohingya genocidal policies, which resulted in the passage of the 1982 Citizenship Act.
Geopolitically, Arakan or Rakhine coastline is one of the most crucial areas for both USA and China - it is crucial for Beijing because its Kyauk Hpyu island is excellent for its sea depth - deep sea port. The Chinese have 2 major oil and gas pipeline originating in Rakhine coast line. Rakhine is also the ONLY Chinese access to the Indian Sea. China is building a blue water navy to access the Indian Ocean. Its S. China Sea access is dotted with all the non-NATO US allies/proxies (Japan, S. Korea, the Philippines, and Singapore - and anti-Chinese Vietnam). That makes it imperative for China to bring Rakhine coast line into its strategic clutches. As far as the twin gas and oil pipeline - gas pumped from Burma's offshore and oil transported via sea routes from the Sea of Arabia (the Middle East) past Sri Lanka and S. India - it is meant to enable China to keep its energy flow, irrespective of whatever happens to the narrow Straits of Melacca.
So, the Chinese have been cultivating their ties with the Nazi-inspired Rakhine nationalists the likes of MP Aye Maung and are said to be even financing Aye Maung and his party - I can't verify it either way.
On its part, the United States is in Myanmar - not for human rights, not for reconciliation, not for democratization, but only as the result of American corporate interests - and longer terms anti-China strategy. This is verifiable despite their disingenuous, and intellectually stupid denial by American officials that its policy towards Myanmar has anything to do with US's concerns about the threats posed by rising China.
The result is the United States Government is complicit in the Rohingya genocide insofar as its refusal to recognize the unfolding genocide as a genocide. Rather outrageously, the United States Government through its US Embassy, the National Endowment for Democracy (National Democratic Institute, for instance) have provided 'strategic communications' - that is, lying professionally to the world - to Thein Sein Government - all under the cover of interfaith dialogue, reconciliation, etc.
Specifically, the United States Government and its proxies or official or consultants, helped with what I call 'Rohingya genocide whitewash report', written and signed off by my old history tutor Dr Myo Myint and his pupil Kyaw Yin Hlaing, both students of Benedict Anderson at Cornell in the 1980s and1990s, respectively. If one looks at the recommendations of that Rohingya genocide whitewash report you will see the finger prints of the Americans - parts of the recommendations look like Pentagon's wish-list of military cooperation with Burma's murderous Armed Forces.
For those who have taken a keen interest in the genocides, this is a rather familiar pattern - from Cambodia to Sri Lanka to now Myanmar.
There are those who pull the trigger. And there are those who issue order, usually UN-VERIFIABLE because the state's genocidal criminals are like cats which cover their shit and piss, to pull the trigger. And yet still there are those external players who enable the genocidists by refusing to call an unmistakable genocide a genocide.
In light of these rather despicable scenario, the Rohingyas only have bad options.
But the least we can do as CITIZENS with brains and hearts is to shine the spot light on the genocidal situation in Myanmar.