Officially designated by the UN as one of the most persecuted communities in the world and referred to as Palestinians Asia, but few know their name.
The Rohingya have been subject to a program of ethnic cleansing supported by the Government of Burma (Burma). Despite their existence in Burma, dating from the 8th century, the Rohingya are condemned as “non-citizens” and “illegal immigrants”. Aimed as a result of religion and race, the Rohingya are suffering from oppression and discrimination they encounter in face of the Buddhist majority of Racine. The confiscation of land, forced labor and denial of the very basic human rights-including education, healthcare and marriage-are typical of the daily reality of Rohingya.
The injustice against the people of the Rohingya is deeply rooted in institutions and in the government system of Burma. Can be seen at 1982 Law on Nationality introduced the Burmese junta, which recognizes 135 ethnic tribes in Burma, and explicitly excludes the Rohingya. This legislation has received widespread condemnation for the biased nature and its incompatibility with international standards of human rights, including the right to citizenship.
This systematic denial of human rights, based on the refusal of the government of Burma to grant citizenship to the Rohingya, leaving them stateless in their own country. The denial of citizenship has been used as a tool to deprive Rohingya of their identity and their right to exist.
This severe marginalization and restriction of basic rights and fundamental freedoms, has forced the Rohingya to flee their homes in search of viable conditions. Therefore, between 1978 and 1992, some 200,000 Rohingya fled to save themselves from the tyranny of the Burmese army. Most fled to Bangladesh, where they remain as refugees. Life in Bangladesh proved not much improved since Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world in which prevailing discrimination against ethnic minorities. Like Rohingya living in Burma, so the Rohingya refugees are restricted to traffic, often are exploited and their main resources are greatly limited. Also Rohingya women have often been victims of sexual violence in refugee camps. The hostility in Bangladesh has led epmenos Rohingya to seek refuge in other countries, such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, where they met but similar treatment.
The role of Bangladesh regarding the situation of Rohingya, reappears in the light of recent ethnic clashes that began in June 2012 in Burma. The escalating violence has displaced 90,000 Rohingya. According to Amnesty International, violence against Rohingya in western Burma continued in July, with many Rohingya Muslims have been beaten, raped or killed. The human rights group accused both the security forces and the Buddhist Racine, renewed attacks against the Rohingya. Authorities said that at least 78 people were killed and thousands of homes, Buddhists and Muslims were burned or destroyed.
Villages are burned, people are kidnapped, new camps are created, women raped and children killed mercilessly. Survivors desperately trying to flee persecution and seek refuge in Bangladesh. However, the Bangladeshi government seems to have forgotten its own struggle for existence and has adopted a policy of closed borders. Boats with men, women and children who are starving, being rejected and not have another option, return to Burma to die or wait for death at sea. It is true that Bangladesh as a nation faces its own difficulties, and that has not signed the 1951 Convention on Refugees. However, it is still bound by the rules of customary international law, namely, that of “non-refoulement”, a principle which prohibits the return of a victim of persecution in his pursuer.
Apart from the obligations of Bangladesh, remains the primary responsibility of Burma to meet not only the current humanitarian disaster, but also the context in which it was born. Reality dictates that Burma, despite the shift to the “democratization”, still does not include the rights of the Rohingya in the new policy agenda. Only these are no longer a national, not a regional issue. Has become an issue that requires international concern, condemnation and action. There are no other words to describe the persecution of Rohingya, save, ethnic cleansing and genocide. Assumption par with some of the darkest moments of history, as in Rwanda and Bosnia
Inertia in the international arena, on the silent massacre in Burma is exactly reproducing the saturation of politics and power that resides at the core of our global governance systems.
In light of these shortcomings, the hope can only be found in simple movements, civil society and the spirit of those who have the courage to say “no more”
Photos: Restless Beings