Tuesday, 21 November 2017

By Fayas (KPN)

 
In the background of recent violence (0n October 1, 2) in Sandoway Town, Arakan (Rakhine) State, the continuous persecution of Kamans has made news again. Unfortunately, it is becoming all-to-familiar a tale. This time, majority Buddhist community showed their wrath over a news item that a Muslim shopkeeper had verbally abused a Buddhist taxi driver as he was trying to park outside his shop. People point out, how deeply rooted communal tensions are and the increasing likelihood small brawls turning into bloody riots.

 

In recent violence in Sandoway Township, even as the President Thein  Sein came to western Burma’ to urge and end to sectarian violence, security forces---police and military--- could not prevent  Buddhist mobs from torching the homes of Kaman Muslims or hacking them to death, They also encouraged the Rakhine mobs.  In these communal clashes, three Muslim villages---Thabyu Chaung, Pauktaw and Thapu Kyain--- had been attacked by Rakhine mobs, five Muslims were killed including a 94-year-old woman, over 144 houses were burnt down into ashes, three mosques were abolished, and over 500 people became homeless. On October 1, authorities had plenty of opportunities to prevent series of attacks, in Sandoway, each more brutal than the next, but did nothing.
It is a pre-planned action against the Kaman Muslims as all the houses of Buddhist were floating religious flags in front of their houses because of distinguishing the houses of Muslims from Buddhists so that the mobs could easily find the Muslim houses to put on fire as the Muslims and Buddhists are living side by side in the village.

On October 5, again, a communal clash was occurred between Burmese Muslims and Buddhist at Kyaung Gone town, 50 Km north-west of Rangoon, at about mid-night over the allegation that a 14-year old Buddhist girl was raped by a Muslim man. Five houses owned by Muslims were destroyed or burnt down by Buddhist mobs. But, no people were injured.  It is very surprise to me that how the Muslim man tried to rape a Buddhist girl with this political circumstance. May be, it is really created by authority or some other people to blame the Muslims and want to create problem between Buddhists and Muslims.

It is necessary to go deeper into the reasons why communal conflicts have been frequently taking place. Hate speech must be controlled. The government must take urgent action, to end all forms of persecutions and violence against the Rohingyas, Kamans and Burmese Muslims. Float
In the diplomatic front, the UN and OIC along with leading countries like China, USA, UK, and France have to take a diplomatic approach to the Burmese Government with the help of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate to encourage the Citizenship of Rohingyas in Burma.
It is hoped that the Burmese Government will amend the 2008 constitution to remove the inherent role of military in politics and bad laws like Citizenships law of 1982.  People believe that some positive outcome of the constitution review committee will be forthcoming to solve the problems. Hopefully, the election in 2015 will be free and fair for the people of Burma to get a real democracy. As long as the military plays a role in the politics of Burma, it may be difficult for ethnic groups to live in peace and for Rohingyas to get Citizenships in their homeland.