Rohingya People: When International Institutions permit Slaughtering!


Myanmar located in southeastern Asia, formerly called Burma, has a population of approximately 54,5 millions. Since the 9th century, the most famous tribe used to be the Mon tribe. During the middle of the 18th century, the Mon tribe managed to dominate the whole of the country and prevail over the other tribes.

During 19th century, and after 3 wars between England and Burma, the country was conquered from the British under the British Empire of India. The British colonialists beat down all the revolutionary movements against the British rule, and caused an enormous bloodshed.

Later during the 20th century Burma's nationalist movement gains ground and during world war II the country is under Japanese authority. Myanmar becomes an independent country in 1948. In 1974, the new constitution of the country, creates the Socialists' Democracy of Myanmar. The government is trying to modernize and develop Myanmar's industrial sector, public health and education, but still the religious and ethnic minorities of the country continue to be a factor of instability and turbulence, like a bomb ready to explode.

On September of 2007, the biggest protest against the methods of the government which suppressed its people took place in Myanmar, with more than 100.000 protestors. The army beat down in violence the protestors and invaded Buddhist monasteries in order to intimidate the clerics.

Nowadays Myanmar's majority belongs to Buddhism and there is also a variety of ethnic and religious minorities. But there is only one, and this is the Rohingya minority who are muslims, and they are constantly being prosecuted and deprived of human rights.

Rohingyas' are known to be the most widely oppressed minority in the world. Muslim settlers first came to Arakan state (now called Myanmar) in 1430. During the British rule, the muslim population of the country tripled and the Burmese people didn't like that. Even though Myanmar recognizes 135 different ethnic groups, Rohingya are not one of them. Considered as non-citizens they are deprived of human rights. They have no citizenship and thus are treated as intruders in their homeland.

Most of them immigrate to Bangladesh, where they become refugees. But Bangladesh is overcrowded as well and the government's attitude towards refugees and ethnic minorities is not an open one.

Many villages where Rohingya people live have been burned, people and kids are being killed, women are being raped, abductions are usual, but the international institutions including Amnesty International seem to just observe the situation, keep record of the massacre and do nothing else.

Bangladesh has never signed the 1951 treaty for refugees, but still is the only "way out" for the Rohingya who are forced to live their homeland-Myanmar.

During August 2018, the biggest wave of Rohingya people migrated to Bangladesh and settled in the Kutupalong settlement for refugees now known to be the world's larger refugee camp.

Myanmar has been accused by the United Nations for ethnic cleansing, but that seems to be another argument and nothing more.

If the developed states all around the world, don't start to cooperate and find solutions against violence, migration and protect refugees, then citizen's should not put up with their governors.

We are responsible for not being informed all around the world, we are responsible for not paying attention to the problems right next to us, except for those knocking at our own doors.

A sense of political consciousness and civic-mindedness is prerequisite if we want to be developed or considered as such.

There is no other issue in a political agenda which could be higher in priority than violence of human rights all around the world. And we should adopt as sooner as possible the political consciousness that will lead our choices and give us the insight to judge leaders upon their priorities agenda.

                         written by Themis Panagiotopoulou, PhD in Political Science

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