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  #1  
Old October 27, 2012, 10:24 AM
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Default Ethnic cleansing of Burma's Rohingya sparks again



Fears for thousands after 'near total destruction' of Myanmar city's Muslim quarter

Human rights group expressed concern for the safety of thousands of Muslims on Saturday after revealing satellite images of a once-thriving coastal community reduced to ashes during a week of violence in western Myanmar.

The images released by the New York-based Human Rights Watch show "near total destruction" of a predominantly Rohingya Muslim part of Kyaukpyu, one of several areas in Rakhine state where battles between Rohingyas and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists threaten to derail the former Burma's fragile democratic transition.

More than 811 buildings and houseboats were razed in Kyaukpyu on Oct. 24, forcing many Rohingya to flee north by sea toward the state capital Sittwe, Human Rights Watch said.

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  #2  
Old October 27, 2012, 06:35 PM
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Unfortunately our morally corrupt government has turned its back on what are essentially Bengalis in Burma.
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  #3  
Old October 27, 2012, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al Furqaan
Unfortunately our morally corrupt government has turned its back on what are essentially Bengalis in Burma.
I'm curious - are you saying that these are people of our ethnicity in Burma? Or are you saying that they are Bengali because of their religion (surely not)?
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Old October 28, 2012, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cricket_king
I'm curious - are you saying that these are people of our ethnicity in Burma? Or are you saying that they are Bengali because of their religion (surely not)?
Perhaps it is because they Speak Bangla and have close ties/roots(relatives) in Bangladesh
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  #5  
Old October 28, 2012, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by cricket_king
I'm curious - are you saying that these are people of our ethnicity in Burma? Or are you saying that they are Bengali because of their religion (surely not)?
Certainly. They're definitely not Burmese, in this the Burma authorities are correct. Its true they may have been in the region for hundreds of years but that doesn't change the fact that they aren't really Burmese. Everything from racial appearance to language to religion screams Bengali.
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  #6  
Old October 28, 2012, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al Furqaan
Certainly. They're definitely not Burmese, in this the Burma authorities are correct. Its true they may have been in the region for hundreds of years but that doesn't change the fact that they aren't really Burmese. Everything from racial appearance to language to religion screams Bengali.
So they speak Bangla? That's a surprise to me.
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  #7  
Old October 28, 2012, 02:17 AM
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Al_f,

firstly, the issue of whether they are Bengali is still officially undetermined and secondly, EVEN if they ethnically are, is the State of Bangladesh responsible for the fate of all Bengalis, whether they have been residing in Assam, West Bengal, Arakan, Tripura etc. for decades? Should they have an open door policy where every person who has Bengali heritage can waltz in and claim Bangladesh citizenship? I don't think so.

My view is simple. International pressure should be exerted on Myanmar first and foremost to end such atrocities. Whether they are committed against a group they consider as being part of their citizenry or not - that is a separate issue - but what they are doing amounts to ethnic cleansing at best and genocide at worst. Whether Bangladesh or Thailand is willing to grant refugee status to them is a secondary issue and the decision to grant it should be done under the respective country's immigration/asylum laws and international conventions such as the Refugee Convention 1951, not some vague concept of citizenship and belonging. Given the horrific situation now, on that, and that ground alone, Bangladesh should consider granting them refugee status.

Unfortunately, the Ramu calamity will not help the Rohingya cause and will give the Government further reason to take no action on this issue, as it has been strongly alleged in the media that it was some members of their community in Chittagong that were partially responsible for destroying Buddhist religious and holy sites.
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  #8  
Old October 28, 2012, 02:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navo
Al_f,

firstly, the issue of whether they are Bengali is still officially undetermined and secondly, EVEN if they ethnically are, is the State of Bangladesh responsible for the fate of all Bengalis, whether they have been residing in Assam, West Bengal, Arakan, Tripura etc. for decades? Should they have an open door policy where every person who has Bengali heritage can waltz in and claim Bangladesh citizenship? I don't think so.
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.

Quote:
My view is simple. International pressure should be exerted on Myanmar first and foremost to end such atrocities. Whether they are committed against a group they consider as being part of their citizenry or not - that is a separate issue - but what they are doing amounts to ethnic cleansing at best and genocide at worst. Whether Bangladesh or Thailand is willing to grant refugee status to them is a secondary issue and the decision to grant it should be done under the respective country's immigration/asylum laws and international conventions such as the Refugee Convention 1951, not some vague concept of citizenship and belonging. Given the horrific situation now, on that, and that ground alone, Bangladesh should consider granting them refugee status.
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.

Quote:
Unfortunately, the Ramu calamity will not help the Rohingya cause and will give the Government further reason to take no action on this issue, as it has been strongly alleged in the media that it was some members of their community in Chittagong that were partially responsible for destroying Buddhist religious and holy sites.
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.
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  #9  
Old October 28, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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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  #10  
Old October 28, 2012, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navo
'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.



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'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
All are fair points. I think the various governments of Bangladesh have displayed such a callous ineptitude - and I'm not an expert on Bangladesh's domestic issues or policies - but judging from the ever increasing pessimism I'm always hearing about the general character of Bangladesh, interspersed with some natural economic growth, leads me to feel that this "basketcase" of a nation's sheer ineptitude negates any legitimacy it had. A government's sole job is too safeguard the interests of its citizens. Perhaps the word "legitimate" is a bad one, but I don't see much difference in how the BCB runs cricket and our governments run state.
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  #11  
Old October 28, 2012, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al Furqaan
Certainly. They're definitely not Burmese, in this the Burma authorities are correct. Its true they may have been in the region for hundreds of years but that doesn't change the fact that they aren't really Burmese. Everything from racial appearance to language to religion screams Bengali.
I fail to understand, how the Burmese authority is correct in saying that they aren't Burmese?? What else they need to do to be Burmese after living their for centuries?? Assam, West Bengal...all of them can claim to be not Indian, if they wish??

Helping and supporting some marginalized groups is ok on humanitarian ground ... But acknowledging such illogical things are not humanitarian at all.

State of Israel is completely un comparable to Bangladesh, or may any other nation on earth. Israel was born with that concept and it's impossible for any other nation's constitution to follow that.

Bangladesh can help them by calling emergency meetings of UN general assembly, as a country threatened by the act of its neighbor, make diplomatic notice around the globe with Islamic and western governments to gain support, and can make it a legal issue through UNHRC, Minority rights groups etc to examine the legality of Burmese government, how they omitted these people from their constitution etc, which can force Burma to resolve the issue. Instead of focussing on temporary issues like opening refugee camps for all Rohingyas. In extreme case, BD can ask for military intervention by UN in Burma to secure the Rohingyas ... Giving them shelter will uproot them from their land forever.

Or simply Arm Rohingyas and help them to fight their battle with the other ethnic groups in their area, so to force the government to come to a settlement.
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Old October 28, 2012, 08:07 PM
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where is our boss Dr.Z? No comments yet from him regarding this. He was very vocal when few Bangladeshi attacked on our Buddhist community in Ramo. Dr Z is very vocal when Muslim terrorists attack on innocent human, but very silent when innocent Muslim suffer by so called peace loving Buddhist other side of the border. Is it double standard by our Dr Z? Am I going to be banned? LOL
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Old October 28, 2012, 08:44 PM
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As one of Bangladeshi Muslim origin, it is my duty to to speak about abuses and atrocities by and on our kind. I hope you all understand where I come from. And unfortunately, there are so many other examples of man's inhumanity to man that were I to condemn every incident, I'll have no waking time left.

PS: Otherwise, my umbrage is equal - whoever is a victim of atrovityies and prejudice - be they Muslims, Christians, gays, Hindus , Wiccans and what not.

PPS: I hope that is a lesson you will learn in life.
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Old November 25, 2012, 07:54 PM
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CNN just published a poignant documentary:

Myanmar's minorities fight for survival

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority living in Myanmar's Rakhine state
  • Thousands have been forced to flee the region amid persecution from Buddhist majority
  • They are driven to refugee camps where conditions are extremely poor
  • U.S. President Barack Obama raised the issue during his recent visit to Myanmar
Sittwe, Myanmar (CNN) -- It's been three years since I reported on the plight of the Rohingya Muslim people of western Myanmar and neighboring Bangladesh.
We called our documentary "A Forgotten People," and it looked at appalling incidents where boatloads of refugees fleeing poverty and persecution arrived in Thailand only to be towed back out to sea and abandoned by the Thai security forces. Hundreds died or went missing.

WATCH: The Forgotten People: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Since then, the Rohingya have remained off the political agenda in western countries.
But now that's changing. U.S. President Barack Obama addressed their plight during his recent visit to Yangon. The lukewarm response he got in the auditorium was nothing to the vitriol he got online. Even mentioning the name Rohingya is controversial for some in Myanmar.

more
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Old November 25, 2012, 10:37 PM
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Navo explained it best. I agree with every single thing he addressed.

On the issue of Rohingyans being Bengalis,well they do speak a similar dialect to Chittagonian and more importantly thier language has indo-aryan roots, as opposed to the the rest of Burma's sino-Tibetan. But the matter of fact is such inter language differences in a nation is all too common. Just consider India. It doesn't mean we should annex people similar to us, without annexing their territories too.But the Burmese authorities won't like that will they? They want to drive the Rohingya's out, but keep all their land.
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Old March 22, 2013, 11:48 AM
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Default Myanmar riots stoke fears of widening sectarian violence again

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Myanmar declared martial law in four central townships on Friday after unrest between Buddhists and Muslims stoked fears that last year's sectarian bloodshed was spreading into the country's heartland in a test of Asia's newest democracy.

Source: Reuters
Burma bloodsehed hits international media again. Saw some video footage today in BBC, despite no journalists are allowed to broadcast these riot & massacre through this ethnic violance.
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Old March 22, 2013, 12:09 PM
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Old April 7, 2013, 08:00 PM
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A Good Interview Of a Burmese investigative Journalist: What's Happening and Why?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/iJI8fb2Uc6I
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