Ngebray.com,- The humanity crisis is taking over Rohingya ethnic in Myanmar. People all over the world put their attention to the violence. A crew of The New York Times in Southeast Asia, Hannah Beech, report the situation at the site. Here is her voice.
“I was walking toward the border of Bangladesh and Myanmar and what I saw were thousands of Rohingya refugees. I’ve covered refugee crisis before and this was by far the worst thing that I’ve ever seen. All I saw was this endless stream of people and an endless stream of mud and water and rain.The lucky ones were carrying objects that were dear to them, you know, rice or solar panels or water pots. The unlucky had absolutely nothing.
The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic minority who live predominantly in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State. They have been persecuted for decades by the Burmese government, and most of them are stateless. On Aug. 25, a Rohingya militant group attacked around 30 police posts and a Myanmar army base. It claims that it has been committing these acts to highlight the repression over decades by the Burmese state. The Burmese Army and Buddhist vigilante groups have started torching dozens of villages in northern Rakhine State, killing what looks like possibly hundreds of Rohingya villagers. And that has caused these groups of refugees to stream across the border.
All the people that I saw talked about having witnessed personally neighbors and family and friends who were killed usually shot or stabbed by either the Myanmar military or by these Buddhist mobs. A Rohingya refugee, Noor Symon said, “The Buddhist are killing us with bullets. They burned houses and tried to shoot us. They killed my husband”. She added, “Everywhere in Rathedaung they have surrounded from all sides and they are burning down everything. They are clearing everything. All people were killed in Chut Pyin village. They didn’t allow anyone to escape”.
What struck me about the stories that I heard was that they were completely unfiltered. They were consistent and they were horrifying. These are the new grave pits of Chut Pyin villagers. They could not bring all dead bodies. They could bring only 10 to 20. Human Rights Watch has used satellite imagery to document 17 different sites in which there is extensive fire damage. Now they can’t say what the damage was caused by, but this is the monsoon season and it seems very unnatural that there would be a rash of natural fires. Houses and even farm stables are burning.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar, is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. As such I think a lot of the international community expects her to speak up for the human rights. And basic freedoms of everybody in Myanmar, and she has been conspicuously silent on the issue of the Rohingya. She said, “No, no, it’s not ethnic cleansing. It’s a new problem. And yet it is linked to old problems as well. With regard to violence, I object to violence committed by anybody against anybody. It does not matter whether the violence is committed by Buddhists or by Muslims or by Christians. I object to it entirely”.
Even if the Rohingya survived the torchings of their villages, the massacres of villagers, they faced a very difficult path to Bangladesh. Around 50 people have died trying to cross over the border, mostly women and children who capsized in boats. On Friday alone the daily influx of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh was the largest in a generation. And as difficult as conditions were in Myanmar, where they were escaping from, the refugee camps here are sprawling, They are squalid. There’s not enough food and medicine. It’s very difficult to imagine how the new refugees will be able to be processed through that system.
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