March 6, 2013
One fails to understand the unperturbed attitude with which regional and international leaders and organizations are treating the unrelenting onslaught against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, formally known as Burma. Numbers speak of atrocities where every violent act is prelude to greater violence and ethnic cleansing. Yet, western governments’ normalization with the Myanmar regime continues unabated, regional leaders are as gutless as ever and even human rights organizations seem compelled by habitual urges to issue statements lacking meaningful, decisive and coordinated calls for action.Read the rest here.
Meanwhile the ‘boat people’ remain on their own. On February 26, fishermen discovered a rickety wooden boat floating randomly at sea, nearly 25 kilometers (16 miles) off the coast of Indonesia’s northern province of Aceh. The Associated Press and other media reported there were 121 people on board including children who were extremely weak, dehydrated and nearly starved. They were Rohingya refugees who preferred to take their chances at sea rather than stay in Myanmar. To understand the decision of a parent to risk his child’s life in a tumultuous sea would require understanding the greater risks awaiting them at home.
*****Comment: I know that Desmond Tutu recently met with fellow Noble Peace Prize recipient, Aung San Suu Kyi, but I have not heard that the issue of the Rohingya was raised.
Do you perhaps know more? DD have you heard anything?
Suu Kyi has lost all credibility here on the blog and elsewhere for her insistent refusal to speak against the abuses suffered by the Rohingya in her country.
As Ramzy Baroud points out above, other Nobel Peace Prize recipients are speaking out: See José Ramos-Horta and Muhammad Yunus: "Rohingya: Testing Democracy in Myanmar" (Huffington Post: February 20).
*****Update (March 7): DD sent me this link to an article entitled "Tutu Says Burma Must Avoid ‘New Apartheid’" (February, 27).
Read some of the comments below the article. I think scary is the right word to describe some of the racist comments - but some of the responses are also very encouraging.