Gearóid Ó Colmáin — gearoidocolmain.org Feb 6, 2017
The United Nations has accused the Government of Myanmar of committing ‘genocide’ against the Rohingya Muslim minority in the country’s troubled Rakhine State. In recent weeks the crisis in Myanmar has escalated, with human rights groups and NGOs publishing copious denunciations of the alleged human rights abuses and mass murder committed by the Myanmar Armed Forces, (Tatmadaw). The Myanmar government claims that they are fighting a war on terrorism against forces which seek to destabilise the state, Islamist forces in particular. They also claim that the so-called ethnic minority commonly referred to as ‘Rohingya’ are really illegal East Bengali immigrants.
Despite thousands of serious allegations of rape, pillage and mass murder committed by these Bengali immigrants in Myanmar, human rights groups and the ‘international community’ have blamed all the violence on the Burmese authorities. Who are the Rohingya and why have they now become the focus of international attention? Why has the position of the Burmese authorities been ignored or dismissed? What geopolitical objectives could be behind an attempt to destabilise the country, as Burmese authorities have alleged?
Who are the ‘Rohingya’?