WARNING THIS ARTICLE HAS GRAPHIC IMAGES! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Contribution by: Dan El Fizree
Terrorism exists in many cultures. Not just Islam. Humanities war should be against hate.
via New York Times:
Myanmar has long persecuted the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority, denying it basic rights to citizenship, to marry, to worship and to an education. After violence unleashed in 2012 by Buddhist extremists drove tens of thousands of Rohingya out of their homes, many risked their lives to escape in smugglers’ boats; more than 100,000 others are living in squalid internment camps. Now, a counterinsurgency operation by Myanmar’s military is again forcing thousands of Rohingya to abandon their villages.
Over the weekend and on Monday, according to Reuters, hundreds of Rohingya Muslims crossed from Myanmar into Bangladesh seeking shelter from the escalating violence. An official from the International Organization for Migration, a United Nations agency, told the news agency that he had seen more than 500 people enter its camps in the hills near the border. Meanwhile, Reuters also reported fighting between security forces and rebels on Myanmar’s border with China.
The military’s counterinsurgency operation began as a response to an attack on Oct. 9 by armed assailants that left nine police officers dead in Rakhine State. It is not clear who the assailants were, and theories range from drug gangs to Islamist terrorists. Since then, more than 100 people, mostly civilians, have been killed by the military. Satellite images published by Human Rights Watch indicate that at least 430 homes were burned in villages in northern Rakhine State between Oct. 22 and Nov. 10.
There are credible allegations of soldiers looting, killing unarmed people and raping women. The government denies this. U Aung Win, the chairman of a Rakhine State investigation into the Oct. 9 attack, said soldiers would not rape Rohingya women because they “are very dirty.”
The Oct. 9 attack may have been set off by an earlier government announcement that it planned to destroy illegal structures in the area, including more than 2,500 homes, 600 shops, a dozen mosques and more than 30 schools. “That was saying we have to reduce the population of Rohingya,” said U Kyaw Min, a Rohingya who is the chairman of the Democracy and Human Rights Party.
More than 1,200 homes have been razed in villages inhabited by Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority in the past six weeks, Human Rights Watch says.
The group has released a batch of new satellite images that it says show 820 structures were destroyed between 10-18 November.
The military is conducting security operations in Rakhine but the government denies it is razing homes.
The Rohingya are one of the world’s most persecuted minority groups.
The BBC cannot independently verify the extent of destruction in Rohingya villages as the government has blocked international journalists from visiting the area, from where tens of thousands of people have fled.
But a BBC correspondent on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border has spoken with fleeing Rohingya families who described what was happening in northern Rakhine as “hell on earth”.
The government of Myanmar, which is also known as Burma, says that the Rohingya are setting fire to their own homes to attract international attention.
Human Rights Watch previously identified 430 destroyed buildings in three villages from satellite images released on 13 November. Presidential spokesman Zaw Htay accused the group of exaggeration in responding to that report.
Full Story: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-38049106