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Genocidal Operations against Rohingyas
by Rohingya Human Rights
2009-02-16 09:45:14
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Branding the ethnic Rohingyas as Bangladeshi immigrants, the Burmese state-run newspaper, The New Light of Myanmar carried a story on Jan 30, 2009 saying: 'Bengalis from neighbouring country illegally immigrated Rakhine region of Myanmar...The government had to scrutinize illegal immigrants under national necessity... ....The government keeps on preventing illegal immigrations. ...With the aim of preventing illegal immigrants from entering the nation, the government launched Operations 'Kyeegan' and 'Shwe Kyee' in Buthidaung and Maungtaw regions in 1966, and Operation 'Myat Mon' in Sittway and Kyaukpyu districts from 1969 to 1971 and took the census of Bengalis.... ..Under the Operation Nagar Min in 1978, Bengalis illegally living in Maungtaw, Buthidaung, Rathedaung, Pauktaw, Kyauktaw, Sittway, MraukU and Minbya townships in Rakhine State were scrutinized to find out whether they were nationals or not. The majority of them dared not face the scrutinization, and fled to their native neighbouring countries... ..In the late 1991 and early 1992, the government, under the national necessity, had to scrutinize Bengalis illegally living in Maungtaw, Buthidaung, Rathedaung, Pauktaw and Sittway townships in Rakhine State to expose whether they were nationals or not. The majority of them left the nation in fear of the scrutinization."
forusintlreligiousfreedomreport2008_400Similarly, in an article published by the junta mouthpiece, The New Light of Myanmar on Feb 08,2009, under the caption 'Rohinja is not Myanmar national race, nor is in Myanmar'  it said: ' When the Revolutionary Council assumed the State responsibilities, steps were taken from October to December in 1966 to scrutinize and segregate Muslims who had already become Myanmar citizens from Bengali Muslims who later stealthily entered the nation under operation Kyigan. Under the operation, a large number of Bengali Muslims in Sittway, Myebon, Kyauktaw, Ponnagyun, Thandwe, Taungup, Kyeingyaung and Maungtaw regions were found to be those who illegally entered the nation.'
It also said: 'In February 1969, illegal immigrant Bengalis were scrutinized in Sittway and Kyaukphyu districts under the Myatmon operation. In 1971 when a conflict between East Pakistan (Bengal) and West Pakistan broke out over 10,000 Bengali refugees fled to Buthidaung and Maungtaw regions. Necessary measures were taken for them to be able to return to their native (Bengal) after systematic scrutiny.  Starting from February 1974, illegal immigrants were scrutinized in Rakhine, Chin, Kachin and Shan states under the Sabai operation. Under the operation, it was found that there were 988 Bangladeshi citizens who illegally entered Rakhine State, 663 who breached the citizen registration act and 18,254 foreigners.  Every time when operations were launched, the illegal Bengali Muslim immigrants fled to Bangladesh en masse. In 1978 when the Nagamin operation was launched those who illegally entered Rakhine State fled to their native nation. Some of those who fled to the native nation were scrutinized and accepted through the Hintha operation.'
About the origin of the Rohingyas, the article said: 'In the time of the British government, it was that the British brought Bengalis and Indians of India (now Pakistan, India and Bangladesh) into the nation with various intentions.  ...........The British ruled Rakine State for 123 years from 1827 to 1948. During that period, Bengalis entered the nation en masse.' 
However, this is an arrogant and at the sametime a brazen confession, though in a whitewash mode, of the Burmese military regime about the genocidal operations that it had conducted against the innocent Rohingyas in the name of scrutinization of the illegal immigrants under national necessity and also vowing to continue such a practice against the Rohingyas in the name of preventing illegal immigrations in the future.
It may be mentioned here that although the slavish history of the Rohingyas began with the annexation of Arakan in 1784 with Burma by the Burman king Bodaw Phaya, but the story of their large scale persecution and oppression began with the beginning of the 20th century. Particularly, since 1937, when Burma was separated from British India, the soil of Arakan has been frequently drenched with the blood of the Rohingyas which caused innumerable exodus of Rohingyas in the wake of innumerable operations led against the Rohingyas out of which the Pogrom of 1942, Dragon King Operation of 1978 and the Operation of 1991/92 are the most horrific genocidal operations. Being deprived of fundamental human rights and being victim of the systematic genocide, extra-judicial persecution and eviction, the Rohingyas have been leading a gypsy life at home and abroad decades after decades. The reminiscence of the tragic stories of the most heinous Pogrom of 1942 which is popularly known as "Biyallishar Khara Khari" still shudders the hearts of those who had witnessed the tragedy where over 2 hundred thousand Rohingya men, women and children have been massacred. During that Pogrom, the Rohingyas of 22 villages known as Baishfajja in Mrohaung Township which was the capital city of Ancient Arakan Kingdom and also the Rohingyas of 14 villages known as Chaiddafajja of Kyawktaw Township, have been purely massacred without leaving a single Rohingya alive in those villages. During that time, tens of thousands of Rohingyas crossed to neighboring countries. Those who survived the massacre stated that the genocidal operation in "Kyawktaw" Township was so fierce that the water of the "Kaladen River" has got a crimson color with the bloods of Rohingya victims. And for the following 2/3 years, the fish of the river could not be eaten due to the decomposed bodies of the victims.
However, particularly since Gen. Ne Win's seize of power in 1962, the exodus of Rohingyas from Arakan has turned out to be a regular phenomenon in order to escape the systematic genocidal, ethnic cleansing and drive out operations led against the Rohingyas by the Burmese military rulers. And as a part of the systematic genocidal operation, Nagar Min Operation which is popularly known as Dragon King Operation, was led against the Rohingyas in 1978, when innumerable Rohingya men, women and children have been subjected to massacres and eviction. During this operation, about 3 hundred thousand Rohingyas fled to neighboring Bangladesh. This was, in fact, the first time when the Rohingya refugee problem drew the international attention. Later, however, the Burmese military government was forced by the international community to take back its citizens.
But due to the lack of an all-out guarantee of their security in Arakan, a major portion of the refugees refused to return home and later, many of them have got mixed with the local people of Bangladesh and started leading a gypsy life here and there as undocumented refugees and many of them crossed to different countries like India, Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia etc.
However, out of those 3 hundred thousand refugees, only 180,000 have returned home amidst utter despondency and grief. But since there was no international observation team inside Arakan to look after the returning refugees, those who returned have become victims of double persecutions. They were not returned their original hearths and homes. The relief commodities given by different international organizations for these returning refugees were not distributed among them and instead were distributed elsewhere. In a punishing act, many food godowns of the refugees were burnt down by the army. As a result, one third of the returning refugees died of starvation and malnutrition and the rest of them began to lead a gypsy life here and there inside Arakan. In 1979, the military rulers led two more operations against the Rohingyas which were called "Galoon" and "Shwe Hinsa".
However, in late 1991, the world witnessed another grim showbiz of crackdown of the Burmese military regime when tens of thousands of Rohingya men, women and children streamed into neighboring Bangladesh with stories of rapes, killings, slave labor and destruction of religious sites and other acts of human rights violations. At that time, the Bangladesh government registered over 255,000 refugees. The green foliage and picturesque valleys of the southern parts of Cox's Bazar of Bangladesh which cater celestial delights to the visitors have turned into a place of exile for those hapless Rohingya refugees.
At that time, the refugees interviewed by different international organizations and the world media reported appalling atrocities at the hands of the Burmese army. Rape of women after their husbands or fathers had been taken for forced labor was common. Sometimes, the rape occurred in the homes of the victims with children and relatives left to watch. Sometimes, the women were taken to a nearby military camp where they were sorted out by beauty. In some cases, the women were killed, in other cases they were allowed to return home fully traumatized.

However, in order to legalize the genocidal operations and the worst human rights violations against the Rohingyas in a systematic way, the military regime has abrogated the Rohingyas' rights to the Burmese citizenships through an amendment to the Burma's citizenship law in 1982, suddenly making them illegal immigrants in their ancestral motherland where they have been living centuries after centuries and whose presence in the region can be traced back to the 7th century.
In fact, during the long military rule since 1962 the army had conducted armed operations against the Rohingyas almost every year under the aegis of the notorious "Immigration Act". And it is this notorious 'Immigration Act' which serves as a ready instrument to put any Rohingya in prison as and when the authority desires. For example, during 1990 general elections only four Rohingyas were elected members of parliament. Then the authority asked them to resign. Three Rohingya MPs immediately resigned fearing reprisals but one Rohingya MP U Kyaw Min refused to resign. Then he was dragged to prison and handed down 47 years of imprisonment on the allegation of being a foreigner and was charged under Section 18 Citizenship Law 1982 and section 5(j) Anti State Emergency Law. At the sametime his wife Daw Tiza, his two daughters Kin Kin Nu and Way Way Nu and his son Maung Aung Naing have also been sentenced to 17 years imprisonment respectively. Now all of them have been passing a nightmarish life in the jail in Burma.
Moreover, as a part of its "divide & rule" policy, the military regime has instigated many communal riots between the Rakhines and Rohingyas. Besides, the army and other law enforcing personnel often enter the Rohingya localities on the pretext of an enquiry. While searching the houses of the Rohingyas, they either assault the Rohingya womenfolk or take away those who look beautiful. The Rohingyas are often compelled to provide rice, goats, fowls, etc., free of cost for the army or the police outposts. In what is called modern-day slave labor, they are forced to provide free labour for the construction of different roads and accommodation facilities for the government forces. Sometimes, while all the males of a Rohingya village are summoned to an army camp under some pretext, including forced volunteering for the slave labor – the "kooli" - the forces indiscriminately assault and dishonor the Rohingya women.

Besides, serious restrictions are imposed on the Rohingyas on their marriage. They are not allowed to marry without official permission which takes some two years to obtain from the authority and again no permission is granted without signing a commitment not to have more than two children. Couples caught getting married or sleeping together without this approval can be arrested. And there are innumerable cases where Rohingyas have been jailed for even seven years for not complying to the requirements of the marriage rules which are only applicable to Rohingyas in Burma.
However, the stories of groaning Rohingyas which has started since the beginning of the 20th century are still continuing. They have been bleeding and their tears have been rolling down their cheeks generation after generation. Sometimes they die in silence or perish in the deep sea beyond the notice and sometimes they cry in the corner. Nobody knows when the stories of their bloods and tears will come to an end.
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Muhammad Amin Nadwi2009-02-16 15:54:36
Article with high significance

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