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Identity dilemma

By Huson Salm
RB Aricle
April 6, 2014

Does the name Rohingyas really pose problem to national security and national affairs as per the saying Myo Myint Thaung in yesterday newspapers? 

As I have earlier articulated about Rohingyas’ existence in Myanmar history, the existence of Rohingyas was exposed to the world historical page by the British Surgeon Dr.Francis Buchanan in the year 1799 in his research work while he was in Inwa. Since this time onward, in British Periods and during its rule, the regime recorded the Rakhine inhabitants as Arakanese Muslims and Arakanese Buddhists. At the dawn of the independence periods, every intellectual did work to formalize the respective ethnic relevant identity in the first constitution, drafted in 1947, and so did Rohingyas. Rohingyas intellectuals did not created the terminology nor has it been a fabricated lingo as accused by the government of Myanmar and that of the high ranking officials. Nor the terminology Rohingyas was hired nor stolen nor taken from any other language from a particular race of the human being, but the terminology ‘Rohingyas’ does only belong to who bravely declare the self-identity of their own in Rakhine state, because history repeats its authenticity and identity. In fact, Dr.Francis Buchanan’s work has only gotten into an approval of the existence of Rohingyas who have had the background historical records of a thousand years settlement in Arakan before the year 1799.

After gaining the independence from the Great Britain in 1948, there had been multi-color insurgents, including Bamar people because of the general dissatisfaction, so did Rohingyas as Mujahidin, the independent fighters for the sake of Rohingyas’ well-being. In the history, not only Rohingyas but each and every ethnic group had been and still there are several ethnic armies except Rohingyas. Up to now, Rohingyas are being attacked, ransacked, burned, looted and dispersed by Rakhine rebellions. Rohingya Mujahidin were appeased by Mr. Abdul Gaffar to surrender and there is no single visible guerilla since around 1970. Since then, the oppressive and suppressive operations on Rohingyas one after another have been launched by the consecutive governments to annihilate the Rohingyas from the soil. There had been more than twenty ethnic cleansing operations—which not included the violence erupted in 2012-- on innocent Rohingyas. To disenfranchise the Rohingyas’ rights one by one, the then U Ne Win government has crookedly formulated the 1982 citizenship law, which international community bitterly denied accepting to be a standard citizenship law to apply with. 

Having known the cruelty and inhumane atrocities of Myanmar government which were committed and continuing on innocent Rohingyas by the local, regional and international community-- the world has started to raise their voice to protect the victimized Rohingyas in Arakan state for twenty years ago. Since the year 1994, there have been UNHCR and many INGOs, NGOs and life–saving organizations to provide shelter, medicine, and general stuff for the oppressed and frustrated Rohingyas in the enclave, north Arakan. After having nearly two decades of UN monitoring- it has publicly announced that ‘Rohingyas are the most persecuted people in the world’. 

Though the atrocities and general prejudices which were committed on Rohingyas people in their land up to the year 2010 was unknown completely by the people of the world. The communal violence which intentionally created in the year 2012 by Rakhine Buddhists terrorists to jeopardize the lives of Rohingyas and their livelihoods have been realized by global community as the crime against humanity with the combination act of both Rakhine and Union government. That, the coordinative long term plans which have been systematically designed by the consecutive governments to eradicate the innocent Rohingyas from Myanmar history. 

Having known the veracity of the existence of Rohingyas as indigenous people of Burma and the general prejudice, discrimination and injustice suffered by almost all Rohingyas people in the hand of the past governments and the current President U Thein Sein regime, the United Nations has shown its concerning for the sake of Humanity about innocent Rohingyas and other relevant United Nations Organizations and the world wide activists too. But, Myanmar government has never admitted any wrong doings against Rohingyas from the one side and it has never agreed to let observe the Rohingyas’ general suffering by the international community in the enclave where Rohingyas have been boxed in for more than thirty years now though there have been mounting amount of international pressure on Myanmar government in regard the human rights violation. 

From the other hand, almost all Rakhine bigoted criminals are being secretly trained and directed to crush all Rohingyas Muslims lives, villages, livelihoods and then send to concentration camps in accord to U Thein Sein’s discussion with Mr. Antonio Gueterras after creating sensitive myth which usually related between Buddhist and Muslim faith. All these criminal plans were exposed by ‘Fortify Rights’ in its paper.

The regional and world communities have been constantly warning U Thein Sein’s government to end the inhumane atrocities and bring the perpetrators to the justice. Neither U Thein Sein regime did arrest the perpetrators who have widely been believed to have involved in incidents nor trying to stop more communal violence in the nation which had been one after another in nationwide. Along the violence, what U Thein Sein regime has been performing is, just condoning to commit crime against Rohingya and general Muslims from the one hand and it has been ordering to arrest more innocent Rohingyas to put in jails without bails from the other hand. All these have been the fine work of U Thein Sein’s after his inauguration as president of the state. 

Remembering the past two censuses, counted in the year 1973 and 1983, there were mixed Rakhine and Rohingyas enumerators and who had enumerated the census peacefully and thoroughly as per the response of the respondents in the region. Was there any problem? Was there any noisy voice? If not, why was that? Things are very clear. Those enumeration records of 1973 and 1983 were later deleted and altered into ‘Bengali’ in their identify tally in the immigration offices at the absence of Rohingyas people. 

Since then, the consecutive governments have been allegedly justifying Rohingya as Bengali in local and international by holding already altered documents which are in officials’ hands. Still there are many more Rohingyas adults alive, remembering their participation in the last two enumerations process as heads of the enumerators in the censuses to prove, if necessary. Rohingyas aren’t that much naïve, as greatly Myanmar governments have been crook and lawbreakers on them. 

As more, the governments have been crying out all along the time in everywhere of the world that, Rohingyas are Bengali, immigrants, aliens and penetrated into the Myanmar territory, that is why they are foreigners and should be dealt as guests in the territory. Which, both Rakhine and the union government have been orchestrating to precede crime after crime against guiltless Rohingyas people? 

Nowadays, there is no single Rohingyas in the enumeration process throughout the region (Arakan) and in countryside at large. Rohingyas widely believe that the 2014 census -- supported by UNFPA and several donor nations—is systematically designed by the sophisticated computerized system with the help of UN scheme experts to include every tiny private date in the process. 

U Thein Sein and his high paid government portfolios have been shamelessly denying that there are no Rohingyas in the country and they are not concerned to address about the Rohingyas issue whenever wherever discussed by global community. 

This time, U Thein Sein’s government is afraid of being exposed to the bulk recorded data in regard Rohingyas existence in their locations -- If the enumerators, who are travelling from one village to another to ask the respondents in Arakan State, collect the data as per the respondents and forward to the concerning authorities at the sight of UNFPA and international observers. 

Based on this ground, the fearful U Thein Sein and his portfolios have employed Union Ministers, Vice-presidents, and the district level authorities, who have been meeting and roaring with local Rohingya adults to bargain the price, meaning from ‘Rohingya’ to any alternative identity such as ‘Myanmar-Muslim or any. Considering to this ‘identity bargaining’ activities, I have got a thought to share my idea to the people. Would any Bamar race agree to identity as Mon or Kachin or Kayah or Karine or any? Not, at all. Every ethnic group is for itself this time. Likewise I think Rohingyas is the same position. It is nature. Why Rohingyas alone was pressurized to change their identity. Instead of trying to make choice the alternative identity on Rohingyas at this time, it is better to identify them as per the respondents by the enumerators which is in line conformity of UNFPA and international donor countries’ will. Neither Rohingyas are asking for Prime Minister Portfolio, district level officer positions, autonomous region nor anything else against the disintegration of the nation and sovereignty of the state. It has been only Rakhine people who have been back-biting the Union Government this and that which are totally exaggeration from the reality. Also it is very right time now to survey thoroughly in the region with combined international body where the Rohingyas people are residing--whether they want to secede from Rakhine state, or seeking any independence from Rakhine state, or annex the enclave with Bangladesh as the Rakhine people exaggerating and orchestrating in the web, or want to swallow up the entire Rakhine people, or anything else which is against the sovereignty and integrity of the state, national security threat and that of the prestige and honor?

Myo Myint Thaung wrote in the newspaper that Rohingyas have been answering all the enumerators’ questionnaires as ‘Rohingyas’. Wasn’t exaggeration via with the giant power of state media to think entire Rohingyas as foolish by the people of the entire nation? I don’t argue about the answer ‘Rohingya’ by a group of pest children who would play in the street or ground or they would think over it as funny in somewhere. It is an exception and should be. The finding which was exposed yesterday (5/4/2014) in the newspaper may not be thorough examination by the enumerators’ finding all the over the townships. Again I would like to confess that entire “Rohingyas” are not teenager.

Entire Rohingyas are eager to participate in the enumeration process which has been held in the region and it hasn’t been any mistake from the site of Rohingya populace as they are only respondents to the enumerators but in the entire process in Rakhine state, the fault has been by the enumerators who are responsible to register as per the respondents not only in Rakhine state but in entire nation. But right now, the Rakhine enumerators are practicing as decision maker of the Rohingyas identity or a referee in the playground. 

At most deplorable thing from the site of the union government is that – fanatic Rakhine had been allowed to demonstrate all over Rakhine state against Rohingyas and that of their identity for many days not to enumerate them as Rohingyas in the enumeration process—and the state government has freely allowed to attack the international INGOs, NGOs who have been employing for the sake of general humanity. The Union Government is totally responsible to take into custody the perpetrators and to stabilize the region. 

Whose fault it has been by either Rakhine enumerators or respondents? If any particular policy to kill the identity “Rohingya”, the government should announce through television, radios and newspapers rather than spreading the rumors by garbage news journals, and secretly employing spies to do this and not to do that which is against the accord that reached between Myanmar government and UNFPA, donor countries. While the rumor is a great traveler to destroy everything within minutes the transparency in this regard is very important at this critical situation. 

I believe that though the entire Rohingyas people do love president U Thein Sein and admire him as head of the state who has been twisting the existence of the Rohingyas both in local and international floors but they (Rohingays) would not forgive the denial of President’s Rohingyas existence in this country and their identity.

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