Facist Myanmar Tatmadaw and SPDC Fascist Junta

Facist Myanmar Tatmadaw

When analysed the defining features of the Facist Myanmar Tatmadaw, it fullfills the basic features defined or identified by Dr. Lawrence Britt in his famous, “Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism”

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of- 
  •  Hitler (Germany),
  • Mussolini (Italy)
  • Franco (Spain)
  • Suharto (Indonesia) 
  • and several Latin American regimes.

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71 People Rescued Off Sri Lanka

71 People Rescued Off Sri Lanka  

By SAW YAN NAING 

Seventy-one people-50 Burmese and 21 Bangladeshi nationals-were rescued on Monday morning in the Indian Ocean by the Sri Lankan navy.

The people were rescued after being adrift for 13 days some 150 nautical miles off the eastern coast of Sri Lanka due to boat engine failure, according to a report on the Sri Lankan naval Web site.

Seventeen Burmese migrants and three Bangladeshis died onboard following the lack of food and water. The illegal immigrants were planning to travel to Malaysia and Thailand to seek jobs.

The 91 people boarded the vessel from Burma and Bangladesh on February 9. The doomed craft is now being dragged to Trincomalee Harbour in Sri Lanka by the Sri Lankan navy while the survivors have been fed and treated medically.

Two deep sea surveillance ships were also asked to investigate the failed vessel by Sri Lanka navy’s Eastern Naval Command.

Fishermen had spotted the drifting boat off the shores of Mulaithuvu and reported the incident to Sri Lankan naval officials. 

In April 2007, two boats carrying more than 150 Rohingya men and boys from Burma, who said they left their homes because of political persecution by Burmese authorities, were detained off Phang Nga Province in southern Thailand by the country’s marine police.

According to a United States State Department report, “Trafficking in Persons,” released o¬n June 13, 2007, the Burmese military government has not done enough to stop the flow of human trafficking, particularly of women and children.

The report said an increasing number of ethnic Burmese girls and women have been leaving Burma in hope of finding work. Children have been trafficked to neighboring countries for sexual exploitation, forced labor and street begging, according to the report.

In December 2007, border patrol police in Tak found 41 Burmese men and women in the tank of an oil transport trailer without fresh air as they were being transported from Mae Sot to Bangkok.

Last year, about 740,000 migrant workers from Burma registered with the Department of Employment in Thailand. Many more Burmese migrants are working illegally. An estimated 1 million Burmese migrants are working in Thailand. 

To win the Hearts and Minds of the people of Burma

To win the Hearts and Minds

of the people of Burma 

Surely there must be a_

 “How-to-Govern” manual somewhere that says:

Thou Shalt Not Martyr Thy Opponents

Unless Thou Really Is Not Interested in

Winning the Hearts and Minds of Thy People’.

Marina Mahathir

Actually I just want to write two shot commentaries after reading Burma Digest but I cannot finished in few words because they moved my heart so much.  Dr. Thuria Tayza’s presentation to Wilton Parl Conference, “We Also Want to Stand on Our Own Feet” and Jim Mcnalis’ ” Creating Heroes”. After reading the following two paragraphs of the above named authors, my eyes were filled with tears because their words went directly into my heart.

Dr. Thuria Tayza wrote,”But we also want to be able to stand on our own feet. We cannot go on indefinitely living our lives on charity from around the world. We do not want our people to become regarded by the world as begging people. We do not want our next generation to have to go on begging around the world for charity and donations. We want our sons and grand sons to be able to live in their home land as proud citizens who can stand on their own feet.”

Jim Mcnalis wrote in his, Creating Heroes, “What the regime fails to understand is that they have not created prisoners, they have created heroes.  Like Daw Suu Kyi, they are unable to break down their opposition.”

Actually most of our opposition and our enemy SPDC had unsuccessfully tried to influence the “brains of our Burmese Mass, population” by presenting facts, figures and statistics. We count the number of political prisoners, number of raped ethnic minorities, number of HIVpatients, inflation figures. We had tried to influence the brains of the Burmese People but we could not or failed to mobilize the whole population to rise up against the SPDC.

And SPDC also show off the infrastructures they had built such as; roads, bridged, dams e.t.c. to influence the people including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. But they even blamed Daw Suu that they allowed Daw Suu to tour the country to appreciate the above but, “she ignored the progress of the Nation building process of the Military.”

That shows that we all are ignorant in politics, if I have to borrow the words of the famous political Analyst, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, “People decide with their hearts but not with their brains.” If we could move the heart and minds of the people, we could mobilize the masses; detailed facts and figures are not that important actually.

No wonder, politicians and leaders frequently and successfully used the “Patriotism” to push for the mass mobilization even to start a war. When blinded with Patriotism, people are willing to kill or dared to be killed.

Love for the country, race and religion are successfully used by the leaders to mobilize the whole country. Even the dictators around the world tried to threaten their citizens with bogeymen: foreign super-powers, neo-colonization, re-colonization, communists, foreigners, possible loss of the country, race or religion e.t.c.

Actually SPDC had failed badly in this Psychological and Propaganda Warfare. As Jim Mcnalis wrote in his, Creating Heroes, “What the regime fails to understand is that they have not created prisoners, they have created heroes.” If Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is free, she would not get the present support of the whole Burma and the people of the world. May be even difficult to get a Noble Prize. Even before getting the power, opposition leaders, U Nu and Aung Gyi chose to walk a different path.

If only SPDC had allowed NLD and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to form a democratic government, the Political scenario today would be different. Please kindly allow me to use an analogy.

Parents had given their beloved daughter a piece of cake. The big brother was angry because he thought the parents had shown some favouritism. So he used his bigger strength and power to take away the cake from his helpless power sister. The parents and neighbours witnessed that and labeled the big brother as a big bully. All of them pity the poor young sister.

If only he is more diplomatic, asked nicely that he is hungry, parents could give him another piece of cake. Or his gentle kindhearted sister would definitely share her cake. After all he is the one who is brave, strong and protecting her from the bullies in school and neighbourhood.

If only the SPDC is more diplomatic, may be the corruptions and infightings amongst the opposition could definitely need for NLD and Daw Suu to even ask help from the Tatmadaw. After all, the military is needed in all the countries to fight off the enemies and to unify the country. They are at least trained, well organized and have the experience of running the country’s government machinery. Just see our neighbours, the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand. After bringing down the military dictators, people have to turn back to ask help from their military later.

So arresting of Daw Suu, Min Ko Naing and all the political prisoners made them hero and definitely the whole world and all the Burmese People see SPDC as mere thugs.

But we had badly failed to mobilize the opposition during the Depayin incident. I think that is our biggest weakness. God forbade, if they do any thing bad on our leaders or even if bad things accidentally happens, we must prepare to mobilize the whole population to over-throw this SPDC Government.

I hereby congratulate and wish to record the praises to the BBC. We all know and accept that BBC was the prime mover of the people’s power in 8888 movement. On the day of surfacing of the “Royal Wedding Video”, BBC World’s  the “Asia Today” successfully and effectively shown a section of the video-clip of the diamonds of that “Princess” followed by the scene of Myanmar’s poor people in the slum. The short clip showing the mother feeding her hungry daughter with rice only without any curry, followed by the following video pictures could influence the world’s opinion on SPDC. Because the mother was talking to the BBC camera, the child touched her mother to attract her attention, showed the gesture by pointing her mouth to feed her could move the audiences’ hearts. Some of my friends even cry with pity. Congratulations BBC. You have done a very good job for us.

BBC had successfully illustrated the Dr Tayza’s following words “In Burma people are poor not because there’s no money in Burma. There is money in Burma. Burmese generals are making billions of dollars every year from gas, oil, forestry and mining in Burma. But the problem is they are using that money to buy huge diamonds for very grand and very glamorous and very glittering weddings for their daughters. So you know what is the root cause of long term problems in Burma.”

Bo Aung Din

The Power of Arts Moves

The Hearts and Minds of the People

The greatest power of art is its power to shake us into revelation and rip us from our default mode of seeing. After an encounter with that force, we don’t look at a face, a colour, a sky, a body, in quite the same way again. We get fitted with new sight: in-sight. Visions of beauty or a rush of intense pleasure are part of that process, but so too may be shock, pain, desire, pity, even revulsion. That kind of art seems to have rewired our senses. We apprehend the world differently. (BBC’s Simon Schama)

The Arts have an incredible potential to heal the individual, and to heal communities at times of need and turmoil. But, perhaps even more important, the arts can empower us to become agents ourselves towards the healing and empowerment of others.  “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”- (Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl, 1952)

Writing, Poetry and The Spoken Word can empower individuals and communities. Words can unite, uplift, teach, build communities, inspire, and heal. Even stone, clay canvas or a blank paper came to life with the magic touch of artists.

The whole nation or even the whole world could be motivated by the power of art. There are some words that moved our hearts so much.  

Our beloved national hero Bogyoke Aung San’s speeches had moved the whole Burma to fight for the Independence. ‘I Have A Dream’ speech given by Martin Luther King from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in the August 1963 had electrified America.

No wonder, politicians and leaders frequently and successfully used the “Patriotism” to push for the mass mobilization even to start a war. When blinded with Patriotism, people are willing to kill or dare to be killed.

Former UN Special Envoy Tan Sri Razali Ismail recalls his meetings with Burma’s most famous prisoner, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.in his, One Wisma Putra.. His art of portraying Daw Suu choked my heart, and I could not even talk for a while and unable to hold my tears.

“After a period of waiting she emerged, cool and composed, in a traditional blue blouse and sarong, with bunga melor (jasmine flower) in her hair. Call it a grand entrance, if you like. She was polite and dignified, placing me on her right as she sat with me on a semicircular settee, her back ramrod straight. It was one of those settees without backs, the kind that tends to make one slouch if one is not careful, and it made me painfully aware of my own posture, sitting beside her with her back straight as a dancer. Subconsciously, I felt obliged to match her posture, losing the battle, however, and slouching as the discussion went on. There was no question about it —she looked very attractive, what with the scent of the melor in the air at close quarters. At an early part of my conversation with her, I said, “You are not only courageous but also attractive.” (I was forewarned that she was glacial). By the end of a two-hour chat, during which time she did not bend at all (perhaps symbolic of her uprightness in terms of her principles), a basis for an ongoing relationship had already developed.

She believed wholeheartedly in the rule of law and hoped that the UN would equally commit to that in helping Myanmar. Our discussions covered, obviously, issues of reconciliation, the rights of various ethnic parties, the future role of the military, etc. But the times with her were very rich. Conversation meandered to other subjects like life, culture, humanity, law and rights. The Lady (Suu Kyi is affectionately referred to thus across the country) really can talk. She impressed me, surprised me, that despite her years of detention she had managed to keep track of virtually everything, including UN developments and those in the world. She even told me that she had been re-examining the Myanmar constitution in readiness for the difficult negotiations ahead toward national reconciliation and democracy.

Marching songs and bands are used by the armies to psyche their soldiers and the public. All the people are elated, ecstatic, euphoric and excited under the charm of the marching songs. Nationalistic spirits rose to the heaven. Love of the country filled our heart. Even hearing our National Anthem abroad, especially played after winning any game or sports at the prize giving ceremony would give a goose skin to all of us. Not only at the national level but our school song, party song or company songs could unite us and give us power and love to the respective organizations.

The other powerful art forms such as movies, plays, stage performances etc also need the background music. Even before the real scene of fight, love, sadness, scary events appear, background music could psyche the audiences in the required moods. And, nowadays because of the advances in Information Communication Technology, Internet is rapidly establishing itself as the most powerful weapon of the powerless poor ordinary citizens.

So, to mobilize the people, we need to know that the people tend to decide with their hearts but not with their brains. If we can move the heart and minds of the people, we may be able to mobilize the masses for our ultimate people power movement to topple military rule in Burma..

Dr San Oo Aung

Persecution of Muslims in Myanmar

Persecution of Muslims in Myanmar

Muslims in Burmese History

2 Anti-Muslim and anti-Indian Riots

    2.1 Anti-Indian Riots

3 Muslims under U Nu

4 Muslims under General Ne Win

5 Anti-Muslim Riots

6 Anti-Muslim Riots in Mandalay (1997)

7 Anti-Muslim Riots in Taungoo(2001)

8 Human rights violations against Rohingya minority

9 See also

10 References

11 External links

 

Muslims in Burmese History

The first Muslim killing recorded in Burmese history

The first Muslim documented in Burmese history (recorded in Hmannan Yazawin or Glass Palace Chronicle) was Byat Wi during the Mon, Thaton King reign. (It was at about 1050 AD). [1] He was killed because the king was worried about of his strength.

Shwe Byin brothers Martyred

The second two persons killed later were his nephews. The two sons of his brother Byat Ta, known as Shwe Byin brothers. These children were executed because they refused to obey the forced labour order of the king, may be because of their religious belief. [2][3]
They refused to contribute to the building of the pagoda and the king and people walking in the corridors of powers in the royal court were worried of their popularity and skills. It was clearly recorded in the Glass Palace Chronicle of the Kings of Burma that they were not trusted any more. [4]

Assassination of Nga Yaman Kan

Rahman Khan (Nga Yaman Kan) was another Muslim killed for political reason, because of treason to his own king and clearly not a religious persecution. It was during wartime, the famous national hero, King Kyansittha sent a hunter as a sniper to assassinate him. [5] [6]

Massacre in Arakan

Another mass killings of Muslims in Arakan may be not for the religion but likely to be due to politics and greed only.

Shah Shuja’ was the second son of the Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan who built the famous Taj Mahal of India. Shah Shuja’ lost to his brother and fled with his family and army in to Arakan.

Sandathudama (1652-1687 AD), Arakan King accepted and allow him to settle there. He wanted to continue to buy ships to go to Mecca and willing to pay with silver and gold. But Arakan king asked for his daughter and also became greedy to get all the wealth.

At last after an alleged unsuccessful attempt of rebellion the Sultan Shah Shuja’ and all his followers were killed.

All men seen with beard, the symbol of Islam, were beheaded.

Women were put into prison and let them die with hunger.

The massacre was targeted at Muslims refugees from India because of their religion, Islam  and for the economic or political reason.[7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

Muslims under Bayintnaung

Muslims served under Burmese king Bayintnaung (1550-1589 AD). [13] In 1559 AD after conquering Bago (Pegu) he prohibited the Muslims from doing halal (killing by cutting the throat under the name of Allah) of goats and chicken. He showed some religious intolerance and had forced some of his subjects to listen to Buddhist sermons and some were even said to be converted by force. He also disallowed the Edil Adha, Kurbani sacrifice of cattle. [14]

Muslims under Alaungpaya

King Alaungpaya (1752-1760) prohibited Muslims to do halal on cattle. [15]

Bodawpaya

King Bodawpaya (1782-1819) arrested four famous Myanmar Muslims Moulvis (Imams) from Myedu and killed them in Ava, capital after they refused to eat pork. [16] According to the Myedu Muslims and Myanmar Muslims version there were seven dark days after that execution and the king later apologize and recognized them as saints. [17][18]

Anti-Muslim and anti-Indian Riots

Anti-Indian Riots

British Official White Paper

This paragraph’s basic facts are taken from Maurice Collis’ “Trials in Burma”. He was the judge in Rangoon, eye witnessed the riots and wrote his book based on the British Official White Paper given by, The Simon Commission. (The Royal Statutory Commission, appointed according to the Law of the Government of India1919, The Montague-Chelmsford Law.) [19]

Anti Indian and anti Muslim sentiments started during British rule. Anti-Indian sentiments in Burma/Myanmar is rooted in the Anti-foreign sentiment and Nationalism_

  1. The pride and good feelings of nationalism,

  2. the love for the country,

  3. race and

  4. religion is frequently exploited and used by many politicians, ultra-nationalists, religious fanatics, racial extremists and present Military Junta of Myanmar.

Adolf Hitlar of Nazi Germany and Slobodan Milosivic, were the most prominent and indisputable examples.

But it is shameful to admit that many governments and politicians around the world are guilty of this crime one time or another to get or accomplish their own agenda or to cover up their faults and failures.

They use to threaten their own people with the following immaginary ‘threats’-

  1.  with the foreign powers and enemies,

  2. western colonists,

  3. imperialists,

  4. religious terrorists,

  5. Communists,

  6. possible out break of racial riots and

  7. the danger of losing independence of their beloved country etc..

It is sad to note that, that propaganda warfare is usually successful with the help of the local government controlled media (and nowadays on internet and even on Wikipedia) and because of the use or exploitation of the nationalistic spirit. People against this would be labeled as unpatriotic or traitor.

  1. Once intoxicated with the patriotism and nationality fever, people were blinded.

  2. They are ready to do any thing for that patriotism.

  3. They are even willing to kill or dare to be killed.

  4. They are willing to sacrifice themselves, their family, their property and every thing on earth.

  5. Patriotism could mobilize the whole nation.

Myanmar democracy leader Daw Aung San Su Kyi once comments regarding the political extremists, religious fanatics and ultra nationalists,

“Well, there are people who think that it’s right to do any thing in the name of their religion, their race, their family, or any organization to which they may belong.”

Anti Indian sentiments started after the First World War during the British rule. [20] In Burma there were half million Muslims in 1921. More then half of Indians were Indian Muslims. [21]

Although Myanmar Muslims are different from the Indian Muslims and Indian Myanmar Muslims, Burmese Buddhists put them together even mixed with Hindu Indians, and called them Kala.[22]

The root of this hatred was_ [23] [24]

  1. Earlier muslim persecution of Buddhists and Hindus during the Mughal wars of conquest, where many Buddhists/Hindus were forcibly converted.

  2. Low standard of living of the recent migrants.

  3. Recent migrants willingness to do, Dirty, Difficult and Dangerous jobs.

  4. Indians took over the Burmese lands especially Chittiers.

  5. Indians had already filled up and monopolized the government services when the Burmese were later ready for those jobs.

  6. Professional competition.

  7. World economic recession of 1930 aggravated the competition for the reduced economic pie.

1930 anti-Indian riots

In 1930 there was an anti-Indian riots in Burma under British rule.

The problem started in Yangon port, because of the irresponsible action of the British firm of Stevedores. It had employed hundreds of Indian labourers. While those Indians were on strike, that firm had employed the Burmese workers just to break the strike. So the Indians had to give in and ended the strike. Next morning when the Burmese workers came and report for work they were told by the British firm that their service was no more needed. Some of the Indian workers who were angry because they had to end the strike at failure because of these Burmese workers laughed at them. Some Burmese workers were angry and started the fight and Indians retaliate. It grew rapidly into anti Indian (including anti Muslims) riots. Even within the first half-hour at least two hundred Indians were massacred and flung into the river. Authorities ordered the police to fire upon any assembly of five or more who refuse to lay down the arms, under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code. That was a black day of 26 May. Within two days it spread to the whole country and no one knew the exact causality. [25]

Anti Muslim riots in 1938

There was another anti Muslim riots in 1938, while still under British rule. The real basic hidden agenda was aimed at British Government but the Burmese dare not show this openly.

The growing Nationalistic sentiments fanned by the local media disguised as anti Muslim to avoid the early detection and notice followed by the full blown force of mighty British Government machinery.

Throughout the Burmese struggles against British rule, all the political issues, movements, meetings, demonstrations, riots, rebellions and even the revolutions were instigated, inspired, influenced and led by newspapers. [26] [27]

Burma for Burmese Campaign

Burmese started the Burma for Burmese only Campaign. Then marched to the Muslim (Surti) Bazar. [28] While the Indian Police broke the violent demonstration, three monks were hurt. Burmese Newspapers use the pictures of Indian police attacking the Buddhist monks to further incite the spread of riots.[29] Muslim properties: shops, houses and mosques were looted, destroyed and burnt to ashes. They assaulted and even massacred the Muslims. It spreads to all over Burma and recorded that 113 mosques were damaged. [30]

The Inquiry Committee by British

On 22.9.38. British Governor set up the Inquiry Committee. [31] They found out that the real cause was the discontent in the government regarding the deterioration in sociopolitical and economic conditions of Burmans. [32] The book was used as an inciting factor by the irresponsible Burmese newspapers. [33] They use the anti Muslim propaganda as a disguise to cover up for the political struggle to gain independence.So the Buddhist used the Muslims as a scapegoat, for the first time, to fight against the British.

The Simon Commission (The Royal Statutory Commission, appointed according to the Law of the Government of India1919, The Montague-Chelmsford Law) to inquire the effects of Dyarchy system of ruling Burma, had recommended that special places be assigned to the Myanmar Muslims in the Legislative Council.

It recommended that full rights of citizenship should be guaranteed to all the minorities: the right of free worship, the right to follow their own customs, the right to own property and to receive a share of the public revenues for the maintenance of their own educational and charitable institutions. It recommended Home Rule or independent government separate from India or the status of dominion.

But the British Government refused to accept all those recommended except the separation, at the round table committee on India held in London in 1930.

Muslims under U Nu

AFPFL expelled Burma Muslim Congress [34]

The BMC, Burma Muslim Congress was founded almost at the same time with the AFPFL, Anti-Fascist Peoples’ Freedom Party of General Aung San and U Nu before World War Two. On 25.12 45 in Pyin Mana, U Razak was elected the President of BMC and decided to join AFPFL. U Razak was elected AFPFL President in the Mandalay district in 1946. Later the Governor accepted him as the member of constitutional council. He had a very good relations with Buddhist and even fluent in Pali (Buddhist scriptures are written in this ancient language of India). He became the Minister of Education and Planning in Bogoke’s (General Aung San) Government and was assassinated together later. [35] But he had supported the main policy of the AFPFL: that is against the partition along the community or religious lines. U Razak and his few associates objected to the struggle of those demanding specific constitutional guarantees for the Myanmar Muslim minority. So, although U Razak was a very popular, important and prominent Myanmar Muslim leader who had successfully organized the Myanmar Muslims to be able to get an official record that they had participated since the very beginning of the Burmese National struggle towards independence.

His stand of united Burmese (Myanmar) nation sacrificing the long-term interest of guarantee for the rights of Minority Myanmar Muslim satisfied not only the Burmese Buddhist leaders of the AFPFL, but strangely also the British Government. May be because of that he got a lot of personal rewards. U Raschid and more prominently U Khin Maung Lat, follows the general policy of sacrificing the Rights and Interests of the Myanmar Muslim Community for ‘the country and their party’. So no wander most of the Myanmar Muslims later refused to regard or recognize these ‘self interested’ seasoned politicians as their true representatives or saviors. Prime Minister U Nu, just few months after independence of Burma, requested the Burma Muslim Congress to resign its membership from AFPFL. In response to that U Khin Maung Lat, the new President of BMC decided to discontinue the Islamic Religious activities of the BMC and rejoined the AFPFL. Later he became the Minister of Justice but no more represented the wishes of Myanmar Muslim community. The newly formed The Burmese Muslim League requested a special government department for the Muslim affairs to determine their own future, as the same as for other minorities, who had Ministries in Yangon and governments in their states. U Nu removed the Burma Muslim Congress from AFPFL on 30.9.1956. BMC was asked to dissolve since 1955. Later U Nu decreed the Buddhism as the state religion of Burma against the will of the Ethnic Minorities and various religious organizations including Myanmar Muslims. U Nu as the devoted Buddhist was pressured the wealthy and influential Hindi merchants ordered the prohibition of slaughtering the cattle. Although he relaxed that during the Kurbani Edd (Hariraya Haji), Muslims had to apply the permits for each cattle and strictly follow under police supervision. Although General Ne Win revoked the first order and allow the slaughter of cattle for daily consumption, the second order of strict restriction for the sacrifice remained up to the present and the Muslims. Even Mosques’ official who failed to adhere to the permitted number of cattle are arrested and punished. And some Muslims complained that U Nu’s government had made more difficult conditions and regulations for the Haj pilgrimage than the Buddhists pilgrims going to Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Muslims under General Ne Win

When General Ne Win swept to power on a wave of nationalism in 1962, the status of Muslims changed for the worse. Muslims were expelled from the army and were rapidly marginalized[1]. Myanmar has a Buddhist majority. Muslims are stereotyped in the society as “cattle killers” (referring to the cattle sacrifice festival of Eid Al Adha in Islam). The generic racist slur of “kala” (black) used against perceived “foreigners” has especially negative connotations when referring to Burmese Muslims. The more pious Muslims communities who segregate themselves from the Buddhist majority face greater difficulties than those who integrate more at the cost of observance to Islamic personal laws.[2]

Muslims in Myanmar are affected by the actions of Islamic extremism in other countries. Violence in Indonesia perpetrated by Islamists is used as a pretext to commit violence against Muslim minorities in Burma. The anti-Buddhist actions of the Taliban in Afghanistan (the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan) was also used as a pretext to commit violence against Muslims in Myanmar by Buddhist mobs. Human Rights Watch reports that there was mounting tension between the Buddhist and Muslim communities in Taungoo for weeks before it erupted into violence in the middle of May 2001.Buddhist monks demanded that the Hantha Mosque in Taungoo be destroyed in “retaliation” for the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan.[3] Mobs of Buddhists, led by monks, vandalized Muslim-owned businesses and property and attacked and killed Muslims in Muslim communities. This was followed by retaliation by Muslims against Buddhists.

The dictatorial government, which operates a pervasive internal security apparatus, generally infiltrates or monitors the meetings and activities of virtually all organizations, including religious organizations. Religious freedom for Muslims is reduced. Monitoring and control of Islam undermines the free exchange of thoughts and ideas associated with religious activities.[4] Accusations of “terrorism” are made against Muslim organizations such as the All Burma Muslim Union.[5]

It is widely feared that persecution of Muslims in Myanmar could foment Islamic extremism in the country.[6] Many Muslims have joined armed resistance groups who are fighting for greater freedoms in Myanmar.[7]

Anti-Muslim Riots

The racial tension in March 1997 between Buddhists and Muslims and the attack on Muslim properties began during the renovation of a Buddha statue. The bronze Buddha statue in the Maha Myatmuni pagoda, originally from the Arakan, brought to Mandalay by King Bodawpaya in 1784 AD was renovated by the authorities. The Mahamyat Muni statue was broken open, leaving a gaping hole in the statue, and it was generally presumed that the regime was searching for the Padamya Myetshin, a legendary ruby that ensures victory in war to those who possess it.[36]

Anti-Muslim Riots in Mandalay (1997)

On 16 March 1997 beginning at about 3:30 p.m. a mob of about 1,000/1,500 Buddhist monks and others shouted anti-Muslim slogans without any provocation of any kind on the part of the Muslims. They targeted the mosques first for attack, followed by Muslim shop-houses and transportation vehicles in the vicinity of mosques, damaging, destroying, looting, and trampling, burning the religious books, committing acts of sacrilege. The area where the acts of damage, destruction, and lootings committed in Kaingdan, Mandalay.[37]The unrest in Mandalay allegedly began after reports of an attempted rape of a girl by Muslim men. At least three people have been killed and around 100 monks arrested. [38]

Anti-Muslim Riots in Taungoo(2001)

In 2001,Myo Pyauk Hmar Soe Kyauk Hla Tai (or) The Fear of Losing One’s Race and many other anti-Muslim pamphlets were widely distributed by monks. Many Muslims feel that this exacerbated the anti-Muslim feelings that had been provoked by the destruction in Bamiyan, Afghanistan.[39] On May, 15, 2001, anti-Muslim riots broke out in Taungoo, Pegu division, resulting in the deaths of about 200 Muslims, in the destruction of 11 mosques and setting ablaze of over 400 houses. On May, 15, the first day of the anti-Muslim uprisings, about 20 Muslims who were praying in the Han Tha mosque were killed and some were beaten to death by the pro-junta forces. On May, 17, 2001, Lt. General Win Myint, Secretary No.3 of the SPDC and deputy Home and Religious minister arrived and curfew was imposed there in Taungoo until today, July, 12, 2001. All communication lines remain disconnected.[40]Buddhist monks demanded that the ancient Hantha Mosque in Taungoo be destroyed in retaliation for the destruction in Bamiyan.[41] On May, 18, however, Han Tha mosque and Taungoo Railway station mosque were razed to ground by bulldozers owned by the SPDC junta..[42]The mosques in Taungoo remained closed as of May 2002. Muslims have been forced to worship in their homes. Local Muslim leaders complain that they are still harassed. After the violence, many local Muslims moved away from Taungoo to other nearby towns and as far away as Yangon. After two days of violence the military stepped in and the violence immediately ended.[43]

Human rights violations against Rohingya minority

According to Amnesty International, the Muslim Rohingya people have continued to suffer human rights violations under the Myanmar junta since 1978, and many have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh as a result:[44]

“The Rohingyas’ freedom of movement is severely restricted and the vast majority of them have effectively been denied Myanmar citizenship. They are also subjected to various forms of extortion and arbitrary taxation; land confiscation; forced eviction and house destruction; and financial restrictions on marriage. Rohingyas continue to be used as forced labourers on roads and at military camps, although the amount of forced labour in northern Rakhine State has decreased over the last decade.”

“In 1978 over 200,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh, following the ‘Nagamin’ (‘Dragon King’) operation of the Myanmar army. Officially this campaign aimed at “scrutinising each individual living in the state, designating citizens and foreigners in accordance with the law and taking actions against foreigners who have filtered into the country illegally”. This military campaign directly targeted civilians, and resulted in widespread killings, rape and destruction of mosques and further religious persecution.”

“During 1991-92 a new wave of over a quarter of a million Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh. They reported widespread forced labour, as well as summary executions, torture, and rape. Rohingyas were forced to work without pay by the Myanmar army on infrastructure and economic projects, often under harsh conditions. Many other human rights violations occurred in the context of forced labour of Rohingya civilians by the security forces.”

See also

  1. Persecution of Muslims

  2. Islam in Myanmar

  3. Rohingya People

  4. Burmese Indians

  5. Islam in India

  6. Islam in China

  7. Islam in Asia

  8. Islam

  9. Burmese Chinese

  10. Panthay

 References

  1. ^ Pe Maung Tin and G.H.Luce, The Glass Palace Chronicle of the Kings of Burma, Rangoon University Press, Rangoon, Burma, January 1960.
  2. ^ “A study of a minority Group”, by Moshe Yegar, page 2, paraaph 3
  3. ^ idib
  4. ^ Pe Maung Tin and G.H.Luce, The Glass Palace Chronicle of the Kings of Burma page 83 paragraph 3, line 2&3
  5. ^ “The Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar page 2, line 1&2
  6. ^ Pe Maung Tin and G.H.Luce, The Glass Palace Chronicle, page 103, paragraph 3
  7. ^ “The Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar, 1972, Otto Harrassowitz. Wisbaden.page 21, paragaph 2,pp22,23&24.
  8. ^ Colonel Ba Shin, “Coming of Islam to Burma down to 1700 AD, Lecture at the Asia Histoy Congress. New Deli:Azad Bhavan 1961 Mimo.
  9. ^ H.R. Speaman, Britih Burma Gazetteer (Rangoon,1880)I,293-294.
  10. ^ Hall, Histoy of South East Asia, pp 33-341.
  11. ^ Desai, A Pageant of Burmese History, pp61-63.
  12. ^ Harvey, G.E. “The fate of Shah Shuja, 1661, JBRS,XII (Aug 1922) pp107-112.
  13. ^ “The Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar, page 10, line 11&12
  14. ^ idib page 10 line 10 to 16
  15. ^ “The Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar, page 10, line 21
  16. ^ “The Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar, page 12, paragaph 3
  17. ^ ibid
  18. ^ Siddiq Khan, M “Captain George Sorrel’s Mission to the cout of Amarapura, 17934., Journal of h Asiatic Socity of Pakitan (Dacca). II (1957), 132-140
  19. ^ Maurice Collis, Trials in Burma
  20. ^ Moshe Yegar, Muslims of Burma, page 32
  21. ^ Moshe Yegar, Muslims of Burma, page 29 paragraph 1 and foot note 1. Page 31 line 1, 2, 11
  22. ^ Maurice Collis, Trials in Burma
  23. ^ Maurice Collis, Trials in Burma
  24. ^ Moshe Yegar, Muslims of Burma, page 111, paragraph 4, line 8 to 15. Page 27, paragraph 4, line 5,6,7. Page 31 paragraph 2. Page 32 paragraph 4
  25. ^ Maurice Collis, Trials in Burma
  26. ^ Democratic Voice of Burma, Media conference (July 19-20, Oslo) Burmese Media: Past, present and future by U Thaung (Mirror/Kyae Mon news paper Retired Chief Editor)
  27. ^ Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar,Page 32 paragraph 4.Page 36, paragraph 1, line 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15
  28. ^ Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar,Page 36, paragraph 3.
  29. ^ Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar,Page 36, paragraph 4. Page 37, line 1,2
  30. ^ Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar,Page 37, paragraph 2.
  31. ^ Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar,Page 38, line 1
  32. ^ Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar,Page 38, paragraph 2
  33. ^ Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar,Page 38, paragraph 2, line 12,13,14
  34. ^ “The Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, Moshe Yegar, page 75 to 79
  35. ^ “The Muslims of Burma” A study of a minority Group, by Moshe Yegar, page 75 footnote last paragraph
  36. ^ Houtman, Gustaaf. Mental Culture in Burmese Crisis Politics: Chapter 5 Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa Monograph Series No. 33. Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, 1999, 400 pp. ISBN 4-87297-748-3
  37. ^ IMAGES ASIA: REPORT ON THE SITUATION FOR MUSLIMS IN BURMA May 1997 http://www.ibiblio.org/freeburma/ethnic/rohingya1.txt
  38. ^ http://www.cidcm.umd.edu/mar/chronology.asp?groupId=77501
  39. ^ Crackdown on Burmse Muslims, Juuly 2002 http://hrw.org/backgrounder/asia/burmese_muslims.pdf
  40. ^ Burma Net News:July 16,2001 http://www.burmalibrary.org/reg.burma/archives/200107/msg00034.html
  41. ^ Crackdon on Burmese Muslims, Human Right Watch Briefing Paper http://hrw.org/backgrounder/asia/burma-bck4.htm
  42. ^ Crackdon on Burmese Muslims, Human Right Watch Briefing Paper http://hrw.org/backgrounder/asia/burma-bck4.htm
  43. ^ Crackdown on Burmese Muslims, Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper http://hrw.org/backgrounder/asia/burma-bck4.htm
  44. ^ Myanmar – The Rohingya Minority: Fundamental Rights Denied, Amnesty International, 2004.

 External links

  1. Myanmar Muslim Information Centre(MMIC)- [8]

  2. Myanmar Muslim news- [9]

  3. Burmese Muslims Network- [10]

  4. Islamic Unity Brotherhood [11]

  5. Arakan Rohingya National Organization- [12]

  6. Rohingya Language- [13]

  7. Free Rohingya Campaign- [14]

  8. Myanmar Muslim political Awareness Oranization- [15]

  9. Panthay on line community- [16]

  10. Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights[17]

  11. US Department of State, International Religious Freedom Report 2005 on Burma[18]

  12. US Department of State, Burma, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2005.Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor[19]

  13. Amnesty International’s report on Burma[20]

  14. UK Conservatives’ Human Rights[21]

  15. Refusal of Identity Cards for Burmese Muslims[22] [23]

  16. Refusal of Identity Cards for Burmese Muslims (in Burmese. We also love Burma.)[24]

  17. Racial Discriminations on Burmese Muslims[25][26]

  18. Human Rights issues in Burma [27]

  19. PRAYERS FOR BURMA [28]

  20. Priestly, Harry. “The Outsiders“, The Irrawaddy, 2006-01. Retrieved on 200607-07. 

  21. Butkaew, Samart. “Burmese Indians: The Forgotten Lives“, Burma Issues, 2005-02. Retrieved on 200607-07. 

  22. The Persecution of Muslims in Burma, by Karen Human Rights Group

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That wasn’t protesting. That was set up by the military Juntas between Buddhist and Muslims in Burma. I was there in Mandalay when that happened. The buddhist monks sheltered the Muslims in their monestries while other monks are destroying the mosques. Who were the people doing that? At last 3 monks were caught by the civilians who were trying to protect their homes and the monks going the city were not the real monks. Just shaved their heads with the boots underneath the robes. Why the people did not join them if that is a clash between Muslims and Buddhists? We were still hanging out and helping each other.

 

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