EXTREME BUDDHIST NATIONALISM IS ON THE INCREASE IN BURMA
15 imagesWhile the whole word is looking at Syria and at the enormous influx of refugees in Europe, other countries are going through conflictive situations with regard to refugees too, which are often ignored by many people. Extreme Islamism is being talked about a great deal, and the terror this brings about as violence spreads in the world. Some countries take precautions in a secretive way, actually resembling genocide to protect their countries from the risks of attack. This is the case in Burma where an ethnic Muslim religion called Royingia is being denied their rights, even though they have lived there for several generations. In Burma, where Islam represents only 4% of the population and Buddhism 90%, the government is adding pressure to Islamphobia by supporting a nationalist Buddhist movement called 969, lead by an influential monk Ashin Wirathu (Mandalay). In spite of the fact the government insists that Royingias comes from Bangladesh, the Royingias reiterate they are not Bangladeshis, but Royingias; the Burmese Citizenship law of 1982 denies citizenship to the Rohingya population. The current government has deprived them of their ID and freedom and this stems from a wave of ethnic violence in 2012, after news spread of 3 Rohingya men who supposedly raped a woman belonging to the ethnic Buddhist group Rakhine. More than one million Royingias are enclosed in a refugee camps called ID Camps, the majority are in Sittwe in the Arakan region near Bangladesh. During the elections in October 2015, the Royingias were denied the right to vote, thus isolating them even more. It’s been 3-years now since the refugees have been held in the ID Camps, with scarce food supplies and deprived of healthcare. NGOs do not have direct access to enter, however some can be represented by accredited refugees. Private Organisations -mainly Muslim- attempt to deliver food and other aid to them. Only the Burmese can access the Camps without authorization and journalists are controlled by police throughout their visit; tourists can get in easier than journalists although the police are constantly present. At the camps located near Sittwe, survival seems to be built on the grounds of basic knowledge. Some of the refugees choose to not eat part of their food but to sell it. With this money they can buy medicines and set up their own pharmacy or other business on camp. At the Aung Mingalar camp in the city centre of Sittwe, the lack of freedom is more obvious there; it is surrounded by police and barriers, there are 2 perpendicular streets where there are some very dilapidated houses and where living conditions are extremely poor. At the beginning of 2015, several rubber boats carrying Royingias were drifting in the Andaman Sea waiting and hoping that a country in South-East Asia would take them in and massive exoduses are not ruled out in the coming months.
27 imagesIn Myanmar, the 1982 Citizenship Law doesn't recognize the Rohingya as a national ethnic group and denies citizenship. In 2012 Rakhine State riots were a series of conflicts primarily between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims. The Authorities and RNDP Rakhine National Democratic Party joining both attacked, fired, killed Muslims in every part of Rohingya Muslim were living. Rohingya villages and quarters that were not evacuated or destroyed have been surrounded and contained by security forces creating ethnic ghettos that lack access to food, water and medical supplies. Sittwe the capital of Rakhine was one of the major flashpoints of the 2012 riots, which drove around 140 000 Rohingya people into internally displaced persons (IDP) camps throughout the state. Attacks perpetrated against the Rohingya have continued periodically over the last three years The Rohingya have been described as "the most persecuted minority in the world" by the United Nations. Actually donation is giving by WFP (World Food Programme) and some NGOs provide hygiene kits and work to improve health