DPM: Rights activist Suu Kyi should take a stand

Rohingya crisis fans communal tensions across Myanmar

Many of Myanmar's Buddhists, who have long feared that their faith is in jeopardy, consider Muslims to be "terrorists" or a social threat. After the Mumbai meeting, people from the North-East living in several cities, particularly Bengaluru, apart from Mumbai itself, were pounced upon and mercilessly assaulted. The report calls for freedom of movement, for communal participation and representation, for a comprehensive strategy for the closure of internally displaced person camps, for inter-communal cohesion efforts to be intertwined with vocational training and cultural events, for the professionalization of police, for improved bilateral relations with neighboring Bangladesh, and for the creation of a mechanism to implement the Commission's recommendations.

In Washington, the US State Department on Thursday voiced its concern "following serious allegations of human rights abuses including mass burnings of Rohingya villages and violence conducted by security forces and also armed civilians". Since then, atrocities on Rohingyas in Myanmar have increasingly drawn attention in India. Neither the White House nor the State Department has spoken out in recent days, raising concern among Myanmar supporters that the Trump administration has abdicated the direct intervention that marked the tenure of President Barack Obama. Many joined me in doing just that.

A few stalls down, Thet Mhoo Ko Ko, 25, who helps run his family's eyeglasses shop, said the blame over the Rohingya crisis lies more with the military.

But to the hellish turn of events in the past weeks, world leaders have so far only offered couched words.

The majority of Rohingyas happen to be Muslim, converted by Arab traders whose ships sailed along the coastline of the Bay of Bengal. But Jinnah categorically turned this down. Confiscating the prize would add nothing to Rohingya in the mean time.

This background is important because it establishes that the Rohingya desire to relocate outside Burma is decades old.

At that time, the state government disclosed that they have not found any Rohingya involved in militancy-related incidents.

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"This might be from both sides but it would be heavily concentrated on the Rohingya population".

The Rohingya, alas, are the most "friendless" and some of the most "marginalised" minorities on earth. They have also been reported to enter Mizoram which shares a border with Myanmar. As Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi accommodated over 10 million refugees from East Pakistan fleeing unspeakable brutalities at the hands of Pakistani forces. Although not welcomed by local people in many cases, the Chakmas continue to live in various states of the North-East including faraway Arunachal Pradesh.

Anisul Mostafa, 40, who fled with his family after the military destroyed his house, said of Suu Kyi: "We thought our distress would be over once she took power".

"We are not going to allow either the security or stability or the integrity of our country to be threatened", Suu Kyi told The Washington Post in a rare interview in October. "The narrative is that Muslims are migrants". After all, they could be easy recruits for various terror outfits.

Khan told The Globe and Mail: "The Canadian government needs to take action in particular because we have a very direct connection to Myanmar because we gave an honorary Canadian citizenship to Aung San Suu Kyi". Any group, whether a majority or minority, have the inalienable right to self-defence if they are persecuted or their lives threatened. Illegal immigrants are everyone else, particularly Bangladeshi economic refugees. "Why silence before crimes against Rohingya Muslims?"

More than 386,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org, calling for Suu Kyi's Peace Prize to be stripped from her due to the persecution of her country's Rohingya Muslim minority. They can have no home other than the country of their birth. They face a hugely uncertain and challenging future. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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