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Old October 28, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by al Furqaan
If Sylhetis and Chatgayyas are considered Bengalis, I don't see why the Rohingya cannot be. If you want to be exclusive you can continue to draw the lines closer and closer ad absurdum.

If these people are defined as Bengalis and/or Bangladeshis, then the state absolutely should be concerned about their well being no matter where they are. I understand that defining them as Bangladeshis is impossible, but such things need not be obstacles to reacting humanely.

The state of Israel regards any Jew anywhere as a potential citizen, if that individual ever wishes for it. It took a great genocide for that to happen. The history of genocide against Bengalis should do the same.

I do believe this can be applied to any oppressed group regardless of ethnicity, language, or even religion. If Rakhine Buddhists were the minorty and attacked by Rohingya, we would have the exact same moral imperative to admit them as refugees.
'Bengali' or 'Bangalee' has a particular meaning under the Bangladesh Constitution, which is the supreme law of the country. Under article 6(2) of the Constitution, "The People of Bangladesh shall be known as Bangalees as a nation and the citizens of Bangaldesh shall be known as Bangladeshis." Bangladesh includes, as per article 2(a) of the Constitution "The territory of the Republic shall comprise - the territories which immediately before the Proclamation of Independence on the 26th day of March, 1971 constituted East Pakistan [and the territories referred to as included territories in the Constitution (Third Amendment) Act, 1974, but excluding the territories referred to as excluded territories in that Act]" Sylhet and Chittagong fall under the definition of 2(a), ergo, they're considered 'Bangalees' under the Constitution.

Thus, Bengalis/Bangalees elsewhere are such ethnically but are not part of the nation or citizenry that constitutes Bangladesh due to the fact they are not part of this territory. Besides the fact that the Constitution does not provide for such an open-door policy as Israel, it is facetious to conflate the genocide of the Jews with the genocide of East Bengalis in 1971. The founding story of the State of Israel is one based on the Jews finding their Biblical promised land and such an open door policy ties neatly with it. Bangladesh was never conceived as a 'promised land' for all Bengalis as all Bengalis did not live and comprise East Pakistan and were not the target of West Pakistani forces - only the Bengali Hindus and Muslims of the erstwhile East Pakistan were. (It would be interesting to know how many Rohingya, Assamese, Tripurans, etc. were killed in '71)

I agree with your last point here, which I will elaborate upon below.

That would be great if it worked. But they tried diplomacy against man named Hitler once and he ended up killing 12 million directly and another 30 million as a direct result of his actions. Diplomacy rarely works. Diplomacy will not stop Ahmedinijad from getting a nuke. Difference is Ahmedinijad would have to be suicidal to actually use his nuke, ergo, diplomacy won't actually kill anyone.
Imposing warnings and sanctions like the US is doing and other countries have intimated is quite different from Chamberlain's appeasement policy. Myanmar is not economically self-sufficient and diluting the good will generated towards the Government in recent times due to its release of Aung Sang Suu Kyi will have an impact.

Re: immigration, in my first post, I want to clarify that I said that the BD Government should be compelled to take in Rohingya refugees, not because they may or may not be Bengali, but because they are being persecuted due to their race and religion. I think this is a point on which we can agree.

I might be of the extreme minority here, but I don't think this government has much legitmacy to begin with, and what little it had on this particular issue it squandered by its inaction towards the Rohingya issue some months ago. Inaction that is morally no better than acting as an accessory, IMO.
I'm curious to read why you choose to use the word 'legitimacy' when describing the incumbent Government? You can associate negative terms with the current Government but 'legitimacy' is a more tenuous one. Legitimacy, when it comes to Governments, stems from the mandate give to it by the electorate. The mandate given to the BD one in 2009 was overwhelming and there were few grumbles about the conduct of the elections by national and international observers.

I agree though that it is at fault for not being more pro-active in assisting Rohingya but at the same time, articles such as this demonstrate why some are relieved that more Rohingyas are not granted refugee status:
"Rohingya Groups under scanner" DS Oct. 7 2012
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