Rakhine people: How do they get voice in today’s world?
During the past fifteen years I became involved once again with Canadians from Burma now know as Myanmar. Having only been involved with Canada and Canadian issues, I was unaware of the different issues that now was part of the ex-pats. I knew they wanted democracy and Daw Aung San Su Kyi needed to be released from house arrest. That was all!
Today, complex ethnic interactions is for a sociologist a mine field, especially when we speak about rights. On twitter tags like
#HelpRohingyaHugo or tweets that include “Rohingyans, victims of Genocide in Burma” ; one can read about how one side is creating a problem with a lack of balance or facts. Then I hear from the Rakhine ex-pats how upset they are with the lack of a honest discourse and that religion is not the issue as their is interfaith dialogues occurring in Myanmar.
I have commented on the word THUGS and allowed a piece from a guest to speak to how they view the world in which they live.
Living in a so called Multicultural country which states it adheres to Human Rights many INGOs in Canada like to point out the ‘sins’ of developing countries. The EU, the USA as well are full of organizations making a living out of the misery of others. At first glance one does not see the missionary zeal that comes along with these individuals, and how they know better than those they try to help. Along with interfering with local issues these INGOs and their supporters back home make it their business to advise all of us how we should think about issues in a land that we came from or live in. As a researcher, it is incumbent to find out ‘the best’ truth there is. Apart from current scholarly work, History helps to find out the who, where, what, and why.
Q: Who are the original population in Rakhine? The Rohingya state they were there for centuries and the government say there are illegal Bengali nationals within an older Muslim group – Arakanese Muslims . Checking the article below, there was a Rakhine Kingdom and it was not Muslim. Other articles state how the Mulsims did live within the Rakhine Kingdom and lived together with Buddhist. Rather than distorting facts, INGOs could benefit their advocacy without advancing inflammatory statements like Genocide, and Thugs. Not one INGO looks at their own countries and how they treat anyone that is viewed as illegal – that includes Canada which has deported many refugee applicants even after 15 years in this country.
In order to make sure I read the article below to support the idea that there was a Kingdom and that historical documents exist.
Phayre, A. P. “On the History of Arakan.” Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 13, no. 1 (1844):23-53. states:
“A compilation was made at my request from various ancient chronicles, by Nga-mi, one of the most learned among the literati of his country, and I proceed to furnish an epitome of its contents. Many copies of the Ra dza-weng, (History of Kings,) are to be found among the Arakanese, differing from each other in details, being ample or scanty in the narrative, according to the research or imagination of the authors, but, all agreeing in the main facts of the national history. On the Burmese conquest of the country, the ancient chronicles were sought after with avidity, and destroyed or carried away, in the hope apparently of eradicating the national feeling. These efforts were, however, futile, many of the ancient books were secretly preserved, or carried away by the owners on their emigration to the adjoining British territory, where many chiefs anxiously watched for an opportunity to recover their country.”
The article is a good read via google. However, in order that Religion alone is not the problem we have to understand the long standing tensions. One reason is language and identity, the other a historical fact when the Rohingyas not only formed their own army but also approached the ‘Father of Pakistan,’ Muhammad Ali Jinnah, ‘asking him to incorporate Northern Arakan into East Pakistan.
It is not outsiders that will resolve this issue. They add to the animosities. Goodwill on all parties within the country can reconcile the differences and bring about stability in this baby democracy.