Analysis, rohingya, Side Feature, South Asia

Rohingya Muslims have no protection in Burma

On 10th November 2015, Aung San Suu Kyi tells Burma’s military to respect ‘people’s will’ after election landslide. Aung San Suu Kyi has urged Burma’s powerful military to respect “the people’s will” as her opposition party heads for a landslide electoral victory. The former ruling junta ignored the results of the last contested election in the country also known as Myanmar in 1990 when the National League for Democracy also secured a crushing victory. (Source: The Telegraph)


When Nobel prize winner for democracy and human rights, Aung San Suu Kyi asked the Burma’s military to respect the “the people will”, does this includes the will and the right of Rohingya Muslims in Burma?

As a democratic party leader who was fighting for democracy and human rights in Burma for many years, she should know the rights for Rohingya Muslims on the land of Arakan (Rakhine State), as the right as a human to live and to be treated fairly like other human beings. This is the fact that should not be ignored though the Burma government has denied the citizenship of Rohingya Muslims in 1982.

Will the newly elected democratic government led by Aung San Suu Kyi change the Burmese nationality law to restore the citizenship of the Rohingya?

If we still remember, in May 2015 hundreds of Rohingya refugees stranded in the middle of the seas of Strait of Malacca and Andaman Sea. Many of them died from lack of food or water and boats having capsized. Initially no countries were willing to help them and the neighbourhood countries pointed fingers to each other on helping the “stateless” Rohingya although they are proudly “working together” as ASEAN members. We still remember how Aung San Suu Kyi kept silent on the issue, very cautious to comment due to the power of Buddhist nationalist group who is patriotically protecting the Buddhist state and held a major influence on the election result. We as Muslims still remember the Rakhine state riots that happened in 2012, a conflict between Rakhine Buddhist and Rohingya Muslims whereby the Muslims were killed and thousands were displaced.

The Rohingya Muslim is facing genocide, ethnic cleansing and boycott as long as the Buddhist Nationalist is at the back of the power regardless who wins or leads the country. Besides the change of power from a Military stronghold government to a democratic elected government is merely showing the pressure and major influence of world power in Burma but will never change the status and protection for Rohingya Muslims.

The fate of Rohingya Muslims are constantly ignored and it is so unfortunate that the Muslim leaders failed to recognise their existence. In May 2015 during the Rohingya refugee crisis, Turkey could only send a ship to help but not to provide them a permanent land to live or take back the Muslim land of Arakan. What a shame that the descendants of the “Ottoman Empire” could not defend the right and dignity of Muslims in Burma, and in other countries like southern Thailand, southern Philippines, and Kashmir.

Remember how Sultan Abdul Hamid II protected the Muslim land and Ummah, responded to Theodor Herzl when the Zionist wanted to pay 150 million pounds of gold for the exchange of Palestine land. He said, “Even if you gave me as much gold as the entire world, let alone the 150 million English pounds in gold, I would not accept this at all. I have served the Islamic milla [nation] and the Ummah of Muhammad for more than thirty years, and never did I blacken the pages of the Muslims- my fathers and ancestors, the Ottoman sultans and caliphs. And so I will never accept what you ask of me.”

Ahmad Yousuf