Any oppression worse than the one by Israel really got to be a lot!
Update on the genocide of the Rohinygas in Burma:
Except for the death toll about which apparently the author is misinformed, the rest of this article is an honest effort by Nicholas Kristof to awaken this ignorant world and the deniers of this episode. Hope you will read and share.
BURMA'S APPALING APARTHEID
By Nicholas Kristof -
May 28, 2014
SITTWE, Myanmar — Minura Begum has been in labor for almost 24 hours, and the baby is stuck. Worse, it’s turned around, one tiny foot already emerging into the world in a difficult breech delivery that threatens the lives of mother and child alike.
Twenty-three years old and delivering her first child, Minura desperately needs a doctor. But the Myanmar government has confined her, along with 150,000 others to a quasi-concentration camp outside town here, and it blocks aid workers from entering to provide medical help. She’s on her own.
Welcome to Myanmar, where tremendous democratic progress is being swamped by crimes against humanity toward the Rohingya, a much-resented Muslim minority in this Buddhist country. Budding democracy seems to aggravate the persecution, for ethnic cleansing of an unpopular minority appears to be a popular vote-getting strategy.
This is my annual “win-a-trip” journey, in which I take a university student on a reporting trip to the developing world. I’m with this year’s winner, Nicole Sganga of Notre Dame University, spotlighting an injustice that some call a genocide.
There are more than one million Rohingya in Rakhine State in the northwest of Myanmar. They are distinct from the local Buddhists both by darker skin and by their Islamic faith. For decades, Myanmar’s military rulers have tried systematically to erase the Rohingya’s existence with oppression, periodic mass expulsions and denials of their identity.
“There are no people called Rohingya in Myanmar,” U Win Myaing, a spokesman for Rakhine State, told me. He said that most are simply illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. This narrative is absurd, as well as racist. A document as far back as 1799 refers to the Rohingya population here, and an 1826 report estimates that 30 percent of the population of this region was Muslim.
Since clashes in 2012 claimed more than 200* lives — including children hacked with machetes — the authorities have confined Rohingya to internment camps or their own villages. They are stripped of citizenship and cannot freely go to the market, to schools, to university, to hospitals.
(*Please know, this figure is either a misprint or a misinformation. The death toll of Rohingyas was 200 during the first week of June 2012. It's now well over 150,000 competing with the casualties in Syria).
Tens of thousands have made desperate attempts to flee by boat, with many drowning along the way.
This year, the Myanmar authorities have cracked down even harder, making the situation worse. First, the government expelled Doctors Without Borders which had been providing health care for the Rohingya. Then orchestrated mobs attacked the offices of humanitarian organizations, forcing them out.
Some kinds of aid are resuming, but not health care. That’s a sterile way of putting it. I wish readers could see the terrified eyes of Shamshida Begum, 22, a mom whose 1-year-old daughter, Noor, burned with fever.
Shamshida said that at home the thermometer had registered 107 degrees. Even after damp cloths had been placed on Noor to lower her temperature, the thermometer, when I saw it, still read 105 degrees. What kind of a government denies humanitarians from providing medical care to a toddler?
Noor survived, but some don’t. We visited the grief-stricken family of a 35-year-old man named Ba Sein, who died after his tuberculosis went untreated.
“He died because he couldn’t get medicine,” said his widow, Habiba, as friends made a bamboo coffin outside. Now she worries about her four small children who, like other children in the camp, haven’t been vaccinated. The camp is an epidemic waiting to happen.
Minura, the woman with a breech delivery, survived a 28-hour labor and hemorrhaging, but lost her baby. The infant girl was buried in an unmarked grave — one of a large number of achingly small graves on the outskirts of the camp. “Because I am Rohingya, I cannot get health care and I cannot be a father,” Minura’s husband, Zakir Ahmed, a mason, said bitterly after the burial.
The United States has spoken up, but far too mildly; Europe and Asia have tried to look the other way. We should work in particular with Japan, Britain, Malaysia and the United Nations to pressure Myanmar to restore humanitarian access and medical care.
President Obama, who visited Myanmar and is much admired here, should flatly declare that what is happening here is unconscionable. Obama has lately noted that his foreign policy options are limited, and that military interventions often backfire. True enough, but in Myanmar he has political capital that he has not fully used.
As a university student, Obama denounced apartheid in South Africa. As president, he should stand up to an even more appalling apartheid — one in Myanmar that deprives members of one ethnic group even of health care. Myanmar seeks American investment and approval. We must make clear that it will get neither unless it treats Rohingya as human beings.
Burma Task Force USA has called the situation "slow-burning, but smart genocide. If they kill them all, their misery might be over. The world will talk about it for a week, just like the genocide in Central African Republic, and then move on. No one will even say "never again." They are Muslims. Their life is not worth it. Rohingyas are in the worst shape today. They are being slowly strangled to death with lack of food, no medical care and no hope. Rohingya Muslims have just two choices. Either run in small broken canoes to any of the neighboring countries or live to die in their ancestral land, a slow death without a doctor with little food where they are not allowed to marry, have children, go to school or have a job."
In blockaded Gaza, there is only one doctor for every 13,000 cancer patients. All human beings around the world (who are unfortunately few) were shocked at that. The shocker coming from Burma is far more rattling. After kicking out Doctors Without Borders, the Burmese government has ordered one local physician for every 83,000 Rohinyga Muslims. For the Buddhist majority there is one physician for every 600 persons.
Presuming and hoping that you are one of those few human beings in this planet, kindly send this blog-entry around and share the information. The animals of the mainstream media have put a thick cover over this painful, mind boggling apartheid.