Not Forgetting the Rohingyas 142

The news cycle moves on, and having had their fifteen minutes of Western compassion, whole peoples are left to struggle on with the wreck of their lives. Today the media suddenly recall again the terrible dispossession and oppression of the Palestinian people. In a couple of weeks time, they will be back to claiming that anybody who recalls that is an anti-semite. The fashion for worrying about the Rohingyas has entirely passed; the TV crews have gone and the Hollywood celebrities moved on to their next fad. But the plight of the dispossessed has still worsened.

The British conquest and occupation of what they knew as Burma met with some of the stiffest national resistance – characterised by the British as “fanatic” – the British ever encountered, as the invaders advanced up the rivers in a series of 19th century wars and were resisted from behind multiple fortified bamboo stockades. It is a very little known episode in British history, largely because it was so inglorious. The Burmese never did become docile under Imperial rule, and for that reason a high proportion of the ancestors of the present day Rohingya were employed as Imperial functionaries (not only military and police), in a classic British move of exploiting ethnic and religious tensions, which policy was absolutely conscious and deliberate at the time. The Rohingyas had themselves in large part been driven out of an expansionist Burma in the 1780’s, and the British returned a great many from Bengal, exploiting a pre-existing conflict in classic fashion. This background, which in no way justifies the recent ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas, is essential to understanding the root of recent events; it is a perspective almost entirely absent from media narrative.

Nadira’s next film venture as co-Producer is a documentary on the Rohingya situation which will endeavour to explain what is happening in much more depth than simply the recital of individual atrocity stories, terrible though these are. The Director will be our friend Shahida Tulaganova. They are currently attempting to raise funds towards the production costs, and here is their fundraising appeal. Help would be much appreciated. I should add that I have no input to this at all, other than making cups of tea, and any views expressed will very probably not concur with my own, with which I am very comfortable. As I have always said, the entire purpose of this blog is not to make people think like me, it is just to make people think.

You can make a contribution through kickstarter. That site works on the premise that if the full donation target of £15,000 is not reached, then the money is not given and returns to the donors. To date they have raised £4,526 and have eleven days left.

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142 thoughts on “Not Forgetting the Rohingyas

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    • Neil

      Sorry to rain on your parade, Sharp Ears, but it is quite right that that article on Philip Cross was deleted.

      I am a Wikipedia editor, and I wouldn’t like it if someone created an attack page against me. The same rule applies to everybody.

      It should be obvious that setting up an attack page is a big no-no (actually that applies in general, not only to Wikipedia editors).

      Here’s my Wikipedia user page:

  • certa certi

    What the Tatmadaw is doing to Rohingya in Rakhine is genocide as defined by the UN Convention.

    The borders of Burma have shifted and people have moved across them for centuries. Rohingya are not the only Muslim minority in Burma. Arakan was once ruled by Muslim Kings, Islam grew with the Moghuls and freed Portuguese slaves. During WW2 the Brits called the Muslims of North Arakan ‘Chittagonian Muslims.’ Chittagong had once been part of Burma. The population of Rohingya in North Arakan increased rapidly under British rule but this in no way can be used by contemporary Myanmar as an excuse for their abject failure to create a multicultural nation. Where the Brits should be called to account is for having encouraged aspirations of autonomy, even independence in both Arakan and the Malay Pattani entities now in Thailand, as an inducement to gain allies in the fight against Japan, and then backtracked.

    I see commenters on Mr Murray’s have almost totally ignored the Rohingya and continue to continue ranting about Israel.

    ‘Sitagu Sayadaw is one of the most respected religious leaders in Myanmar… It therefore surprised many in his native Myanmar and worldwide when he gave a sermon in Kayin State on 30 October with a particularly striking message. The sermon appeared to suggest that the killing of those who are not Buddhist could be justified on the grounds that they were not complete humans, or indeed humans at all.’

    • Arby

      So, Do you want regime change in Maynmar? I can tell you that the US, which is always eager to add one more base/pearl in its string surrounding China, would be happy to oblige.

      Here’s how you know whether someone – progressive or not – reporting on the Rohingya (not even an ethnic group) has been duped or is duping: He (or…) does not mention the US in the reportage.

      Here’s what the establishment does: New York Times Cairo bureau chief, Declan Walsh, went to Benghazi, Libya, in order to find out how it got that way and didn’t mention the US aggression toward Libya that triggered its eventual complete collapse into chaos and bloodshed and humans in cages being sold. See Jim Naurecka’s article for the full story:

      See Gearóid Ó Colmáin’s info about the Rohingya:

      How many times will progressives be duped into going along with regime change under the guise of humanitarian intervention before they learn?

  • SA

    The recent criminal action of the most moral army in the world in firing live ammunition at peaceful demonstrators have also established another low in hypocrisy by those who justify this action and in establishing that even peaceful demonstration is no longer acceptable by this racist state and its supporters.

  • quasi_verbatim

    Eric Blair, trampling elephants, the Chindits, Orde Wingate, Rohingyas by any name but Muslims and the Forgotten Army.


  • Arby

    Who’s telling the truth about the Rohingya? Are they or are they not an ethnic group, for starters? And, I’m sorry, But to report on that trouble in Myanmar without mentioning the American designs on the country – no different than American designs on all countries surrounding China – is a big indicator of fishiness. I don’t take usually take Craig Murray’s reportage to be fishy. But…

    For a different view of the situation in Myanmar, check out Gearóid Ó Colmáin’s reportage:

    • certa certi

      ‘Who’s telling the truth about the Rohingya?’ Me.

      ‘Establishment’? Sounds like someone with a big chip on his/her shoulder, paid troll, or both.

      If the ‘establishment’ – yours or mine – wanted an R2P intervention it would have happened. The Tatmadaw and their troll factories have for years been fabricating propaganda about an International conspiracy and the ‘Palestianisation’ of Rakhine. It’s found fertile ground among extreme rightwing elements and the odious Daniel Pipes. Passing strange to see commenters here making common cause with such elements.

      Muslims in North Arakan can refer to themselves in whichever way they want, as Rohingya [derived from a local term meaning a leaf, blown by the wind] once used perjoratively, or otherwise. Shared history, layers of identity etc. Myanmar, like all nations, has a responsibilty to protect minorities. It doesn’t matter for how many generations those minorities have lived there, they are there. There are Arakan Buddhists in Bangladesh too. They now fight alongside the Kachin and have reportedly been offered land recently taken from Rohingya in Arakan to disarm. Both the PRC and the US have well known interests in Myanmar. If it fits the UN Covenant’s definition of genocide, it’s genocide. Don’t like the definition? Redefine it. The former East Germany called itself a Democratic Republic.

      Oxford Tea Circle is one of the most accessible sources for those interested in Myanmar, and who can’t go there themselves. Which is always the best option.

  • Arby

    Instead of feeling guilty about forgetting the supposed genocide against the supposed ethnic group called the Rohingya and going along with the establishment’s call for humanitarian intervention there, which will no doubt eventually entail a US military base on that peninsula, I want to propose something. Let progressives who care about Rohingya and any people being targetted by villains anywhere call first for more information about the situation.

    I’m sorry, but I have NOT forgotten the Rohingya. Nor have I forgotten the need for information (not from the establishment) about Myanmar. I wonder why? Repeating the establishment’s pro-regime change lines isn’t the same as reportage from truly independent journos. Is it?

  • Arby

    I trust VOA about as far as I can throw a piano and I can’t tell whether Shahida works for that org or not. Then there’s Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty. I’m sure that outfit is non establishment. Not. When journos working with entities like that leave in a huff and call for reform, unless they specify what sort of reform, it’s meaningless. Do we want more anti-Russian disinfo or less? The bio on the two female journos in the above vid dodges, dodges, dodges. What are their positions on Ukraine, for example. I don’t do Fluffbook and will not investigate there. Sorry. But here’s a hint at the bottom of the page I viewed, following links. (The page:

    == =
    Her latest assignment is as executive producer and anchor for “Current Time,” or “Nastoyashchee Vremya,” a daily Russian-language TV news program produced by RFE/RL to provide audiences in countries bordering Russia with a balanced alternative to the disinformation that is flooding the airwaves.

    Russia’s state media’s propaganda campaign, critics charge, has been instrumental in advancing its objectives in Ukraine and driving instability in the region.

    Produced in cooperation with Voice of America (VOA), “Current Time” is broadcast every day to partner television stations in Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The program draws on a network of regional and international reporters to present a 30-minute mix of live news coverage, interviews, original features, and political satire that is not otherwise available to most Russian speakers in these countries.
    = ==

    Shahida in her Facebook vid reports a Ukraine fighter saying he wants peace and is against separatist feelings. And she mutters something about them, the fighters she’s hanging with in the vid, saying that they don’t want another Crimea. Oh. My. Goodness!!! Does anyone think Crimeans wanted what happened? Now, If you speak Russian in Nazi Ukraine you are a target of murderous, fascist US-backed nationalists (of the worst sort). Gee, I can’t imagine why the Russian speaking (majority of the population) Crimeans wanted to re-join Russia? I think that readers here need to visit Consortium News or The New Cold War: Ukraine And Beyond before they funnel money to the above journos.

    “Every active player in world affairs professes to seek only peace and to prefer negotiations to violence and coercion – even Hitler; but when the veil is lifted, we commonly see that diplomacy is understood as a disguise for the rule of force.” – Noam Chomsky, pg 3 of “Deterring Democracy”

  • SA

    One of the interesting aspects of this tragic event is the fall from grace of Saint Aung San Suu Kyi, someone who was idlosed by Western media and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

  • Sharp Ears

    An illustration of Theresa May’s Home Office at work, now under Amber Rudd’s management.

    Fancy having the Border Force heavies appearing in your bedroom at 5.30am when you already have an appointment at the Home Office?

    Duncan Watkinson and his Chinese fiancée who is doing nurse training here having been recruited by an NHS drive in China.

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