By Aung Aung Oo
My dear Mother Suu,
I am one of the internal refugees of your country living in a muddy and miserable camp of Sittwe, the World know the reason of being refugees in Arakan State.
Your father, our national independence architect, General Aung San, was brilliant national hero who sowed the seed of democracy in Myanmar soil, who made just and fair foundation of national constitution in 1947 in which all ethnic groups could happily participate including 2 Rohingya scholars. He knew both Rakhine and Rohingya very well, he was reported in detail information of Arakan State by Bo Yan Naing who was responsible for Arakan State in his time.
When you wrote “ Freedom from Fear”, we were very happy and learnt many things from your writing. We admire you and your father, our national hero. Your father and you gave us advices to follow the reality and to be honest, just, and kind.
Rohingya issue became an international issue since 1970s. UN, NGOs, and all of the World leaders know it. When you said “ I don’t know Rohingya “, I was so shocked. How could a Noble Prize Winner deny a reality? Could you please let us know that based on what documents did you dare to deny Rohingya? There are hundreds of historical documents and monuments, thousands of historians including Rakhine, Bamar, and foreign scholars wrote about Arkanese Muslims, Rohingya.
If you think that Rohingya history is not reliable, and then you could better form a commission of World historians who could easily decide authenticity of Rohingya history, you shouldn’t deny its existence.
There were more than 140 ethnic groups including Rohingya in Burma. Dictator Ne Win reduced the numbers to 135 which included Kokant, and Wa, two newly recognized ethnics, in order to deprive the right of Muslims and Christains minorities. You opposed Ne Win but you would like to agree his idea. I don’t hate dictators but I hate their ideas. You don’t like the name, Myanmar instead of Burma because it was not decided in democratic way. Why do you like dictators’ decision of annihilating Rohingya who were approved by your father , second national hero U Nu, and parliament democratic government. U Nu was accused of religious person who wanted to make Burma as a Buddhist country but he didn’t deny Rohingya like racist dictators.
You wrote: It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it. Most Burmese are familiar with the four a-gati, the four kinds of corruption. Chanda-gati, corruption induced by desire,is deviation from the right path in pursuit of bribes or for the sake of those one loves. Dosagati is taking the wrong path to spite those against whom one bears ill will, and moga-gati is aberration due to ignorance. But perhaps the worst of the four is bhaya-gati, for not only does bhaya, fear, stifle and slowly destroy all sense of right and wrong, it so often lies at the root of the other three kinds of corruption. Just as chanda-gati, when not the result of sheer avarice, can be caused by fear of want or fear of losing the goodwill of those one loves, so fear of being surpassed, humiliated or injured in some way can provide the impetus for ill will. And it would be difficult to dispel ignorance unless there is freedom to pursue the truth unfettered by fear. With so close a relationship between fear and corruption it is little
wonder that in any society where fear is rife corruption in all forms becomes deeply entrenched.
You encouraged us not to be fear but why do you have fear now. Isn’t it for losing power by getting vote in the next election? Or could you please tell us the reason for denial of reality?
You wrote very beautifully regarding human right: In an age when immense technological advances have created lethal weapons which could be, and are, used by the powerful and the unprincipled to dominate the weak and the helpless, there is a compelling need for a closer relationship between politics and ethics at both the national and international levels. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations proclaims that ‘every individual and every organ of society’ should strive to promote the basic rights and freedoms to which all human beings regardless of race, nationality or religion are entitled. But as long as there are governments whose authority is founded on coercion rather than on the mandate of the people, and interest groups which place short-term profits above long-term peace and prosperity, concerted international action to protect and promote human rights will remain at best a partially realized struggle. There will continue to be arenas of struggle where victims of oppression have to draw on their own inner resources to defend their inalienable rights as members of the human family.
Don’t you feel that Rohingya are also human being like you? Do you want to implement neo-racism in Burma? I attached you some statements of Rohingya raped victims, I was informed 500 rape cases. I have hundreds of photo and video evidences which are against human rights.
If you want I can send all those evidences to you.
You wrote: Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure. A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man’s self-respect and inherent human dignity. It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear. Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilized man.
You know the condition of iron rule but you don’t want to be practical regarding Rohingya issue, why? Could you please tell us the reason?
When I met Burmese migrant workers and refugees during my recent visit to Thailand, many cried out: “Don’t forget us!” They meant: “don’t forget our plight, don’t forget to do what you can to help us, don’t forget we also belong to your world.” When the Nobel Committee awarded the Peace Prize to me they were recognizing that the oppressed and the isolated in Burma were also a part of the world, they were recognizing the oneness of humanity. So for me receiving the Nobel Peace Prize means personally extending my concerns for democracy and human rights beyond national borders. The Nobel Peace Prize opened up a door in my heart.
Everyday people are dying in the Rohingya Camps, most of them died lack of health care; pregnant women, children, and aged people. Today, Fathawli, 26, daughter of Abul Kalam from Thechaung Camp died during the delivery, both mother and baby died. There is no medication in Muslim Camps. If you look Buddhist Rakhine so called Camp , you can see doctors, nurses, and medicine store. Where have your voices of human rights gone? Why are you so silent? Who forced you to close your mouth? Isn’t it fear?
Every human being has a right giving a name to his or her child. Every group has a right to give its own name even according to 2008 Myanmar law. Concerning Rohingya, you don’t want to recognize their name and you don’t like restoring their citizenship rights which was approved by the elected parliament democratic government. What is the reason for these double standards?
Since 1948, Rakhine people have been enjoying in full ethic rights, and in 1976 promoted them with State right too; for them, Rakhine State is a Paradise but for the Rohingya it is not more than hell-like prison since 1970s. Hundreds of operations had already been conducted by military, immigration staffs, and security forces to find out illegal immigrants from Bangladesh but they failed to prove even a single family. You can see thousands of Rohingya refugees all over the world, you may hear boat people, and thousands of Rohingya were killed while travelling to Yangon and other countries.
In Bangladesh, there were more than 3 million Rakhine Buddhists before Burmese Independence but now it reduced to less than one million, nobody asked where the rest has gone, why? You can not see any Myanmar ambassador who is Muslim, Bangladesh has many officers and ambassador who is Buddhists, current Bangladesh ambassador of Myanmar is a Buddhist.
Politic shouldn’t be a dirty game, it should be a way toward peaceful global family. In a family, everyone can eat according to his or her choice but no one has a right to force eating what he or she doesn’t like, no one has right to blame or criticize.
If you have a mother’s Metta, affection, please raise your voice for us too as you do for other ethnics.
Yours extremely suffering son,
Aung Aung Oo
Chain Pain Road
Kun Dan Quarter
The views expressed are the author’s own