[ View the story "The plight of the Rohingya" on Storify] The plight of the Rohingya Amid Myanmar’s reforms, violence against minorities continues.
Storified by The Stream · Wed, Aug 01 2012 10:23:14
Human Rights Watch released a 56-page report today on the violence in Burma's western Rakhine state, sometimes known by its colonial name, Arakan. The report accuses the Burmese security forces of participating in the rape, murder and displacement of Rohingya Muslims in the region:
"The Government Could Have Stopped This" | Human Rights WatchMap of Northern Arakan State Summary and Key Recommendations II. Violence in Arakan State since June 2012 III. Human Rights Violations by...
This video, also from Human Rights Watch, provides background on the violence against Rohingya Muslims:
Burmese Security Forces Target Muslimshumanrightswatch
This map of Arakan state shows the areas where violence has been documented:
The government of Myanmar says the Rohingyas should be resettled elsewhere:
Myanmar President Thein Sein said in June the government was only responsible for third-generation Rohingyas whose families had arrived before independence in 1948 and that it was impossible to accept those who had "illegally entered" Myanmar.He recommended that the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR take care of them in camps or resettle them in third countries. UNHCR chief Antonio Guterres replied it could only resettle refugees that fled from one country to another.
A June 18 photo from
Human Rights Watch
shows Bangladeshi border officials denying boatloads of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar near the port town of Shah Porir Dweep, Bangladesh:
In an interview with
Al Jazeera English
, Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said it is not her country's responsibility to help the Rohingya people:
PM says Bangladesh cannot help RohingyaBangladesh's prime minister has told Al Jazeera that her country cannot afford to accomodate more Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing persec...
Rakhine people have also fled their homes in northwest Myanmar to escape the violence. This photo shows some Rakhine taking refuge in a local school in Sittwe.
Fueling the anger online are misleading images like this, posted and shared on social media networks. They turned out to be photos from other events, as this blog post from Pakistan's Express Tribune
. Below is an image from the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in China, but its caption says otherwise.
That hasn't stopped activists from waging online campaigns using graphics and cartoons:
held a demonstration outside a stadium in London where Burmese athletes were competing. They demanded the country be suspended from the Olympic Games:
While Muslims are slaughtered in Myanmar the athlets of this country are allowed to participate in the Olympic Games. Olympic Spirit???Oguz Ücüncü
Olympics-themed images like this have also emerged. This image suggests the violence is fueled by religious differences.
Across an image of Myanmar, this graphic reads: "We need peace! We want peace!"
is collecting signatures for a letter to urge the Dalai Lama, Tibet's Buddhist leader, to speak out against the alleged human rights abuses of Muslims in Myanmar:
The Dalai Lama is one of the world's most important moral voices today. He must speak out against the acts of the Burmese government, many of whom are Buddhists. Amnesty International has received "credible reports of human rights abuses against Rohingyas and other Rakhine Muslims– including physical abuse, rape, destruction of property, and unlawful killings – carried out by both Rakhine Buddhists and security forces." The Dalai Lama must use his international power to speak out against the killing of the Rohingya Muslims in Burma, by urging the democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to strengthen his calls for protecting the rights of ethnic minorities in Burma. The Dalai Lama must insist that the Rohingyas receive the same rights as all other Burmese citizens, and he must call for an end to indiscriminate killing of the Rohingyas people immediately.
Netizens have expressed outrage at the treatment of Rohingyas by all sides involved:
Stop genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar! Raise your voice against the killing of worlds most forgotten people! #SaveRohingyaKhansa Asikasari
#Bangladesh you should be ashamed of yourself for sending Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar back into the sea, back to Myanmar.Vedat Celik
This will go unheard, but least I know Ispoke. I urge any muslim country withhelp the Rohingya muslims beingslaughtered by the Myanmar terrorists.Yes we have lot Palestine, yes we havelost Chechnya, we have lost many, let'snot lose the Rohingya's..Muzamil Baghwaan
If Buddha is reincarneted, he would be extremely embarrassed as his followers massacre innocent Muslims in Arakan, Myanmar!Ali Rıza ÇOLAK
The UN chooses to fail in Myanmar Burma because the victims are not Jews or Christians, but they are poor Muslims ..Kenarah
The Batman shooting gets more coverage than the thousands of Muslims killed in Myanmar after refusing to convert to Buddhism. #nothingnewAysha
Others feel the Rohingya issue has been blown out of proportion:
If you look back at the history of the world, there was never been a clash or crusade between Muslims and Buddhists. doesn't that tell you something?For the media, they are not happy if everything is peaceful because it's counter productive for them. How many times have you read in the newspaper that communities are getting along very well? none, right? all you read in the news is that people killing each other, nations going to war, disasters, etc. it is human nature that we are more interested in reading those kind of news and media know that. and they also know that when it's something to do with religion, people are very easy to manipulate.
asked via Twitter, "What can be done on an international level to pressure Myanmar's government to address the Rohingya crisis?"
@AJStream Mass arrests of Rohingya villagers isn't exactly "restoring the peace" when they r at large th main victims of the riots #AJStreamMichael Treiger
@AJStream The solution is easy. The free world should honour #UN agreements and protect the victims of ethnic cleansing in #burma #RohingyaBilal Abdul Kader
@AJStream the reduction of violence is first step. Also UN and regional powers need to pressure/ shame Myanmar and Bangledesh into action.Monica Curca
@AJStream if ban ki moon has time to carry the olympic flag in london why doesn't he have the time for these people?!! #UN is a jokestrivn4jannah
@AJStream Silence of Aung san suu kyi and Dalai Lama on violence upon Rohingya is intriguing. They must take a stand.Abdul Wadud Aman
@AJStream Why the pressure on her to? She has done so much. Let's talk about organizations whose sole purpose is to prevent these things!Aryj
@AJStream If there's anything Suu Kyi could do, she should start and start now. The #Rohingyas have suffered almost like no other today.Samuel Ogundipe
@AJStream Although Bangladesh is a overpopulated developing country but from humanitarian view BD can't escape from responsibility.Shafik Sultan Biplob
@AJStream My question: Are the #Rohingyas really craving for a state of their own? If so, do they have the resources to maintain such?Samuel Ogundipe
@AJStream the last option obtainable is to form a sovereign state for #Rohingya like it was done for the Jewish in 1948.wahid karimi
@AJStream I think the big question to ask is: how do you prevent an "Israel" scenario, if you did create a new state.Travis McCrea