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Myanmar Government – both the Litigant and the Judge

Qutub Shah
RB Article
February 25, 2015

In every issue relating to Rohingya, there is a dual role played by Myanmar government – as both the litigant and the judge. That’s why the problem seems to remain unsolved except by the intervention of a third party. Myanmar, especially since 2012, blames Rohingya for many negative things such as having lower literacy rates, higher birth rates, weak economy, limited natural resources, undeveloped environment, peculiar lifestyle, different communal system, and alienation of Burmese culture such as a big portion of them can’t speak Burmese, etc., whereas the government itself is the responsible for these. These are among the lacunas through which the Myanmar government tries to degrade or defame Rohingya community on the global rostrum hiding its hypocrisy of a playing dual role beyond its media or, you can say, ‘agents of injustice’. So, the one who follows up Burmese media may easily think that there may be secret(s) within themselves (Rohingya) which resulted in the backwardness of their community. The hypocrisy of playing a dual role manifests in every issue. Here are some examples of its manifestations:

Education and Culture

Myanmar government always defames Rohingya community. Portraying that it is an illiterate and uneducated community, and it does not value education. At the same time, the following are government violations in the field of education.

-> Not enough school is provided. 
-> Neither qualified teacher nor other facilities in the schools available. 
-> The Buddhist Rakhine teachers 
- Don’t attend school regularly, 
- Don’t teach Rohingya students sincerely 
- Don’t teach well to run their tuition classes. 
-> No Rohingya teacher at all, so language is a barrier for kids. 
-> Salaries of NGO-appointed teachers are corrupted by Rakhine Headmasters, and then they collect fees from poor villagers. 
-> Children going for forced labor to gov’t authorities’ camp disrupts their study, as their parents are busy in earning to sustain their lives. 
-> As for higher education, 
- No professional major for Rohingya students, 
- No choice of institution except Sittwe University 
- No freedom in choosing a major except some arts subjects like Burmese, History, psychology, etc. 
- Majority Rakhine students harassment in the university 
- Discrimination of Rakhine officers, lecturers and professors. 
- Movement permit (called Form 4 for foreign residents) is the main obstacle, as it must be issued with bribe, and takes time and efforts. 
-> Movement restriction is another major barrier for education. 
-> As for religious education, 
- Not allowed to establish new institutions at all 
- Not allowed to maintain the old ones 
- Not allowed to do teaching activities as necessary

Since 2012, there is no access to university for Rohingya students who pass Matriculation. Isn’t it a laughingstock that Thein Sein sometimes says the government will develop Rohingya education?

Secondly, in order to alienate the Rohingya community, the government and the Rakhines always blame Rohingya for not being able speak the country's official language; our life style and communal system is different from common Burmese culture. On the other hand, the government isolated this community and made northern Arakan state a ‘restricted area’ for its Muslim inhabitants – the entrant can’t go out and no entrance for one who exits once. Since 1962 of military rule, the government decreases gradually Rohingya employment to zero level.

Economy and development

The government also refers to weak economy and undevelopment of the region in the case of outbreak of any communal conflict or instability. The reason for weak economy goes to three things.

-> Arbitrary taxation: Government taxes or local authorities’ demands are too high to the extent that it exceeds all incomes.

-> Unique authorized agents: There are unique authorized agents of government who hold monopoly of goods and play with prices.

-> Bad roads and communications and movement restriction: Besides bad road and communications system, the restriction of movement lets Rakhines monopolize carry and supply of all goods.

There is not a single road in Arakan state built without Rohingya forced labor. There is not a single Authority camp or office but built on lands confiscated from Rohingya by force. No such camp or office is built except by materials seized from Rohingya illegally and their forced labors.

The government not only disallows Rohingya to build new long-lasting houses but also prohibits rebuilding or repairing them in any form even with a piece of bamboo or wood.

There is no public electricity except in city centers, and people light their nights by oil lamps. Generators used by some individuals must be borrowed to government authority from time to time and also for free. 

Citizenship and ethnicity

Myanmar government denies Rohingya citizenship and fundamental rights accusing them of being illegal immigrant from Bangladesh. The government itself is making them Bengalis or stateless by ignoring all historical record, changing the citizenship law, misinterpreting the statements of some leaders of the country and false reasoning the documents issued by the government, etc. This genocidal operation started in 1962, strengthened in 1982 and reaching the END currently.

In Myanmar there were 144 ethnic races, but there are now just 135. 

The rest are the victims of government genocide like Rohingya. 

2012 Massacre

In the recent 2012 massacre, the government was and still portraying it as a communal violence between the two communities. At the same time, the government is not providing full security over the situation or protection to the victims, but also government itself is involving in the riots. So, we can sum up that the police, army, military, security forces and other government authorities are authorized terrorists. 

Even today, government silence over the daily crimes against Rohingya committed by its authorities in Arakan state congratulates them and legalizes their crimes. Isn’t it state terrorism?

Currently the white card issue is another hypocrisy, as its holders who participated in the referendum and the election of Thein Sein and his ruling party USDP, their further right to vote is provoked by the same party and they are made fully ‘STATELESS’.

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