Publication date: 28 September, 2017
Last stage of genocide going on in Arakan
Media: The Independent
Original URL: Last stage of genocide going on in Arakan
E-paper URL: Last stage of genocide going on in Arakan
Mung Tun Khin, president of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK), came to Cox’s Bazar from the United Kingdom to see the Rohingyas in Bangladesh.
In an exclusive interview with The Independent, he talked about a solution to the Rohingya crisis, future of the Kofi Anan Commission report, Aung San Suu Kyi’s stand, Safe Zone, and the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).
Mung Tun Khin told The Independent that the systematic killing of the Rohingyas by the Myanmar military had started in 1962 (after the 1962 military coup in Burma, Myanmar’s former name). Currently, that onslaught has turned into a genocide, which, in his opinion, is in its final stages and worsening daily.
Mung Tun Khin said the recent torture unleashed on the Rohingyas by the Myanmar Army had crossed all previous records and the international community was talking about it and mounting pressure on Myanmar. It was high time, he said, a permanent solution to the persisting crisis was found by holding discussions with Myanmar.
He said the genocide in Arakan (Rakhine state) was perpetrated by the Myanmar military. He appealed to the international community and the UN not to let the Rakhine state become a second Rwanda.
He said: “What is happening in Arakan is leading to a second Rwanda. The international community will not let it happen again. Over 1.3 million Rohingyas are facing genocide. We appreciate the international community and the world leaders for coming forward and condemning the genocide against the Rohingyas, but that is not enough.”
He gave four proposals for an immediate halt to the violence in Rakhine and the solving of the Rohingya issue. “Firstly, we want to see practical action. We need an immediate UN Security Council meeting again to interpret genocide by the UN and the despatching of UN peacekeeping forces to Arakan as a top priority to save the lives of innocent Rohingyas.
“Secondly, world leaders must put pressure on the Burmese military and government, including Aung San Suu Kyi, to stop the genocide.
“Thirdly, world leaders—including the UN, USA, KSA, EU, OIC members—must come together with a coordinated action to put pressure on the Burmese military and Aun Sun Syki to allow immediate humanitarian access. The Rohingyas are dying due to lack of food and medical care at IDPs in the Arakan state.
“Fourthly, we appeal to the international community to put strong pressure on the Burmese military to immediately allow a fact-finding mission to find out what is happening to the Rohingya people. We want justice from the international community.”
Mung Tun Khin alleged that the Myanmar army was pushing the Rohingyas to Bangladesh whenever they got an opportunity, and Bangladesh, an overcrowded country, was suffering because of their action.
“This has been a systematic plan of the Burmese military since 1962. First, they stripped us off our ethnic rights, and then striped off our citizenship.
“In 1982, the citizenship law, made us stateless and took away our voting rights. Under the law, Rohingyas are not recognised as one of the country’s 135 ethnic groups. They called us illegal immigrants from Bangladesh; illegal immigrant to Arakan.
“They then imposed restrictions on movement, placed restrictions on marriage, restrictions on education, confiscated our lands, put restrictions on the practising of religion and access to healthcare. Now, in this last stage, the military is involved in direct killing.
“According to our report so far, the military has killed at least 10,000 people including children, women and elderly, and completely burned down over 30,000 houses of 170 villages and 214 villages are affected. Eyewitnesses have told me several hundred Rohingyas have been slaughtered, several hundred children were thrown into fire.
“Over 50,000 people are trapped in mountains in Arakan(Rakhine State). They are passing through the mountains from Rathedaung and Buthidaung. They are going without food, as they are trapped for three-to four weeks. “These people are waiting to enter Bangladesh. In the meantime, over 500,000 entered Bangladesh fleeing the persecution.
“Those who managed to cross the border said, while they were passing through the mountains, they saw many bodies, especially those of children.”
He said he was grateful to Bangladesh and its Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for giving refuge to the Rohingyas. “My appreciation goes to Bangladesh premier Sheikh Hasina for visiting the Rohingya camps and allowing Rohingyas into Bangladesh and its people (of Bangladesh) for showing humanity and extending hospitality to the Rohingya people. We will not forget Bangladesh people, as Bangladesh has treated the Rohingyas in a brotherly manner.”
He said he welcomed the Bangladesh government’s proposal for the creation of a safe zone.
“I welcome the Bangladesh government proposal to create a safe zone for the Rohingyas in the northern part of the Arakan state. It is very important. The International community must apply pressure to create a safe zone as proposed by the Bangladesh government and that’s’ the way the Rohingya people will have safety, security in their own land. It will be a kind of protection for the Rohingyas in their native land. It should be in Maungdaw,Rathedaung and Buthidaung.”
Mung Tun Khin feels the safe zone should be under the protection of the international community. Its creation would give hope to the Rohingyas refugees to return in future. He wants cooperation of the UN, Bangladesh and the Myanmar government to provide safety and security to the Rohingyas, but added that stronger pressure was needed to create a safe zone.
“The Kofi Anan commission was formed by Aung San Suu Kyi but I suspect she will not implement the report,” said Mung Tun Khin.
He added: “If the government had the political will to solve the Rohingyas issue, she could have done it much earlier. “She has no will to solve it. At the same time, she is complicit in the ongoing genocide. She formed the commission to tell the world that she wanted to solve the Rohingya issue because of international pressure. This is a kind of strategy to ease the international pressure and waste time. Whenever she goes outside Myanmar, the international community asks her what she has done to solve the Rohingyas issue after forming the commission.
“The military is not happy with the report. The chief of the military has some objections to the report. The military is still in control of Myanmar, not Aung San Suu Kyi.” He said if the government wanted to solve the Rohingya issue, it need not have waited for the Kofi Anan commission report, as there were many credible UN reports.
Mung Tun Khin said: “It is very shocking and surprising that Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace laureate is not treating the Rohingyas as human beings. She is completely on the side of the military, though well-documented and credible reports of Human Rights Watch say genocide is going on in the Arakanstate. She tried to divert the international community by terming these reports as ‘fake’ in her recent speech. It is useless.
“It is unfortunate that she is on the side of the military. In October 2016, too, when allegations of rape by the Burmese military kept mounting, she termed that rape as fake. It has been proved that crime against humanity is going on in Arakan.