We strive to save the rhinos from extinction but not the Rhoyinga.

2016-11-26 04:03

What if the Rhoyingas were rhinos? Would South Africans do more as they are doing in the fight to save rhinos from extinction? The Rhoyinga are Muslims, so if you are not interested read no further.

Permit this scribe from venting his feelings of despair and helplessness whilst South African activists focus efforts and energies fighting the oppression and dispossession in Palestine and Kashmir whilst Rohingya Muslims are being slaughtered in Myanmar. What is also so shocking is the silence on the part of adherents of the Buddhist community in SA.

What goes the heart of the issue is that Lord Buddha himself never preached violence or killing another human being and his simple teachings are being ignored.

Just in case you reading this need a primer, Mynmar, formerly Tibet, borders Bangladesh which, itself is facing challenges including lack of resources, but is refuge to persecuted Muslims and currently over half a million people, human beings, who are wondering where is the moral outrage, the protest actions, sanctions that informed the perpetrators in Palestine that the world has served notice that such misconduct violates human rights.

Do the Rohingya Muslims take up armed struggle which, in a Islamophobic world, will swiftly find themselves labeled terrorists or they have been infiltrated by ISIS or Al Qaeda by the media?

Only the NGO the Al Indaad Foundation is rendering humanitarian assistance to alleviate the plight of the Rhoyingas whose right to live in peace and to practice their religion and culture has diminished to the status of vermin and therefore unworthy victims of a country whose Nobel Peace Laureate Aung Sung Su Kyi is silent about.

What is the state of affairs currenty?

Tens of thousands of Rohingya have been displaced after the worst round of violence since 2012 broke out against the persecuted minority in October 2016. The violence followed an attack on a Myanmar border post by suspected militants but the ensuing military crackdown has affected the entire Rohingya community.

Ongoing for 6 weeks now, the violence has displaced over 30 000 and killed close to 100 thus far. At least 1250 buildings have been torched and many women have reported being raped and abused. In addition, over 150 000 people have been cut off from humanitarian aid for over six weeks while the military engages in ‘clean-up’ operations in the district of Maungdaw.

What can we South Africans do?

We have three courses available to us. Firstly, support armed resistance by Rhoyingas which I do not support though in desperate times, desperate measures are morally acceptable.

The second course of action is for South Africans to demand and persuade our UN Security Council representative to have the tragedy of the Rohyngas declared as a crime against humanity and therefore an indictable crime.

The UN should then set up an Tribunal to prosecute perpetrators.Amnesty International has collected and collated evidence enough to bring their attention to the UN. The third course of action is to render assistance through NGOs such as Al Imdaad Foundation to a people slowly being exterminated as the Hereros were in Namibia.

The silence on the part of South African activists who at best offer lukewarm support is shocking and almost complicit by their silence of the status of Rohyngas as unworthy to deserve any action beyond sympathy.

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