• gidss.com

Genocide: Hear The Rohingya Cries


TAWAKKOL Karman, co-recipient of the 2011 Nobel peace prize asks of the Rohingya genocide, “Why is this happening? Why is this human holocaust happening right before our eyes, not being stopped?”


The Rohingya, an ethnic group that has been a part of Myanmar for centuries, has been a target of systematic ethnic cleansing since 2010. In plain sight of the world, these people were burned alive, their houses razed to the ground, women were gang-raped and their children murdered in the most horrific of ways.


The tyranny and persecution became so severe that the United Nations, which usually remains detached in the face of local conflicts, declared the Rohingya as the “world’s most persecuted people” and called their treatment “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. Since then, many world leaders, in addition to countless human rights organizations, have joined the UN to condemn the attacks and have called the actions genocide, but the relentless violence pushed on.


Vicious attacks forced hundreds of thousands of innocent people to seek shelter in neighboring countries. However, most of the time, they ran into the cold face of rejection. Australia, despite its richness and vast land, refused to lend a helping help to the Rohingya, even when they were stranded in the ocean on dingy boats.


In addition, the persecution and tyranny didn’t remain only physical. There is a systematic effort underway to erase the ethnic group from the collective history and memory of the country. Myanmar’s authorities are unabashedly denying the Rohingya’s past, claiming that they are illegal migrants from Bangladesh and refuse to call them by their name, Rohingya. The identity, heritage, and legacy of this ethnic minority, which was a thriving community with ministers in the government until a couple of decades ago, are brazenly denied.


Hannah Beech, the Southeast Asia Bureau Chief of the New York Times, expresses her shock: