Will The World Continue To Look On At The Ethnic Cleansing? – OpEd


The Frontline Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) has meticulously televised the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas by the Tatmadaw (Myanmar Army), followed by the Australian and BBC televisions. Hypothetically or rather hypocritically why it is highlighted only now when the Tatmadaw has been implementing this ethnic cleansing since its inception, when the then Burma Independence Army threw a grenade into a Karen church during the Worship service way back in 1940s?

But this legal ethnic cleansing became known only, when the Tatmadaw launched a military coup in 1962 and since then there was no stopping of the ethnic cleansing over its more numerous non-Myanmar indigenous ethnic nationalities of Burma.

Numerous NGOs have systematically recorded and published this ethnic cleansing policy but the civilized world including the UN were muted. It is only now that the Western Corporate media picked it up and highlighted. Is this because the Burmese proverb “when the Burmese cries no one hears, only when the Ka Lar cried everybody hears” prove to be true or rather because the fifty seven member strong OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation منظمة التعاون الإسلامي‎;) backed by the petro dollars has its say? Whatever the rai·son d’ê·tre we are residing in the 21st century where business always overrules the conscience and at least the Western media have highlighted only now, a microcosm of the last half a century of ethnic cleansing. How will the world react? Will it indirectly shore up the dictatorial Tatmadaw regime by blaming the pro-democracy group led by Daw Suu Kyi, knowing full well that there are two governments and that the army is calling all the shorts as simplified by Kofi Annan Commission.

Or will the international community able to differentiate the bad Myanmar from the good ones and following the sensational news will tantamount to giving much needed ammunition to the bad Myanmar led by Tatmadaw and making things worse. The more, the international community heap the blame on the civilian government of Burma led by Daw Suu, the more the happier will be the Tatmadaw whose generals are itching to take back power as it had done for more than half a century. If this episode ended in this scenario, Burma will be forced to lean back on the dictatorial countries like Russia and China and obviously democracy and human rights will take a back seat in this this last frontier. If so the Western world will soon witness that not only South China Sea but also the Indian Ocean becoming the Chinese lake which can soon encompass the world with its One Belt One Road initiative. If so let us start greeting each other Ni How Mar (你好吗) instead of our usual salutations of ‘how do you do’?

Any average man glimpsing back to Burma may realize that the Tatmadaw has completely ruled and ruined the country since its military coup in 1962 to date, more than half a century taking the country to the least developed status, and is still power hungry and have grudgingly handed some power back to the civilian administration only when its proxy the USDP (Union Solidarity and Democratic Party) lost overwhelming. But, what the world didn’t knew was these ex-brass party was the same party that orchestrated the attempted murder of Aung San Suu Kyi herself at Depaeyin way back in May 2003 and when it failed, it mechanized a Muslim incident to initiate the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya. Of course this thuggish party were able to exploit and organized the Buddhist zealot like U Wirathu (Burma’s Bin-laden funded and advice by the Tatmadaw had labelled the UN special Rapporteur Yanhee lee as a bitch) organizing the poor and uneducated local Arakanese and exploiting the religious fever. Even now they are organizing the local people not to accept back the Rohingya refugees.

Care must be taken that the international community must not underestimate the Myanmar Tatmadaw think tank who in their vain attempt to rule the country in perpetuity had deliberately targeted the universities and higher institutions, so as the upcoming brains may not get the required education while on the other hand encouraging its military academies for the young vipers to rule the country often sending their offspring to study the latest technology abroad. Hence Burma, became the only country in the world that did not hark back to democracy when all the Afro-Asian countries changed back to democracy after a few decades of military rule. Even now it has able to install the 2008 Nargis Constitution after a fraudulent referendum and manipulated elections in 2011, and the international community had easily acquiesce by recognizing it as the Union of Myanmar instead of the Union of Burma indirectly encouraging that ethnic cleansing of the Myanmar over the Non Myanmar ethnic nationalities (including Rohingya) proving beyond doubt that dictators can change the fair name of the country without the consensus of the people. So the simple logic is why the hue and cry over ethnic cleansing only now?

Lamentably, we discovered that many countries does not have a Burma Desk in their foreign ministry and have little or no knowledge except that it is a good place for exploiting its natural and human resources which is just opening up. Hence, when this problem rose up they did not know how to react except to base its conclusion on the corporate’s sensational news and unwittingly making it worst. The world need to study the making of modern Burma to know the psyche and the rationale of the Myanmar Tatmadaw and its long history of ethnic cleansing before finding a solution.
The architect of modern Burma Aung San (father of the lady) had laid down the federal type of administration fore seeing that only the amalgamation of different independent states under the British colonial empire will make modern Burma. But he was assassinated by Tatmadaw proxy who even attempted to delete his name during the Junta days eventually taking the country to the Least Developed Status.

It is also a fact that the Rohingya (original name Mujahid) were pardoned when they attempted to take the northern Arakan to join the then East Pakistan and legal recognized by the Burmese government. But, they not only refused to speak the lingua franca and insisted on practicing polygamy in proselytization, refusing to honour the flag and the national anthem of the country couple with their allegiance to Pakistan, compelling the Myanmar Tatmadaw to embark on this ethnic cleansing by the ever marauding Myanmar Tatmadaw. Not only must the Tatmadaw be ostracized but their economic conglomerate must be targeted, whose crony capitalism in the country have prevented the well-being of the populace and prevented democracy from taking its roots.

One object is very sure as long as Myanmar Tatmadaw is not replaced by the Union army composed of all the ethnic nationalities as in the British had done, this rapist Myanmar Tatmadaw will continue the ethnic cleansing of the more numerous indigenous non Myanmar will go on forever. It is time for the UNSC and the international community should teach how to live in this civilized world and the Trump administration could begin by appointing the Asian Pacific Secretary to tackle it properly.

Kanbawza Win

Kanbawza Win is a political scientist based in Canada

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