Burma’s Muslims driven into the hands of human traffickers

While the issue of the mistreatment Rohingya Muslim minority has most involved Burma, it has roiled politics throughout Southeast Asia. Buddhist extremists have persecuted the Rohingya in Burma. In retaliation, a Buddhist monastery in Jakarta was attacked. And, Thailand now stands accused of winking at or being involved in human trafficking of the refugee minority.

“A Channel 4 News investigation uncovers secret jungle prisons in a Thai beauty spot, where traffickers deal in the desperation of Burma’s Rohingya Muslims.”

Channel4News has video:

3 Responses

  1. As an expat who’s living in a neighboring country; I’m less than thrilled by Aung San Su Kyi’s reaction to this travesty of human rights abuses.
    Her lack of speaking out strongly regarding this issue is extremely disturbing. As a fellow Gemini (same birthday month) I have been a huge fan of hers; but now find myself withered under her apparent inaction.
    That said; Asian, specifically S.E. Asian, cultures are complicated and not easily understood by western views and investments. So, I’m trying not to judge too quickly what is apparent on the surface, but lost to western understanding.
    The Rohingya have long been an abused minority and, frankly, one in which I’m very concerned for their future survival.
    It’s not looking good. They are exploited by every “other” they come into contact with.
    It’s also apparent that I’m powerless (as a farang [western white guy]) to really do anything to help.
    The international community is well aware of the situation and could certainly benefit from Aung San Su Kyi’s support; if she deems it worthy…

    • Like most opposition in Southeast Asia they tend to be manipulated by Western influences and the International Republican Institute. Its just like good old racist Sam Rainsy in Cambodia and his regular Youn speeches (racist term for Vietnamese), something never mentioned in Western Media. Its not the first criticism of Aung San Su Kyi, who has given a lot of support for foreign companies, such as the Chinese copper mine and I hardly think it will change since Burma is now opening to the West.

      However, in reference to the Rohingya, I am think their is more behind the violence than meets the eyes. Like much of the region you have to dig a little bit deeper to find the root causes. But, one is the Chinese-Myanmar pipeline which I think probably attributed to ethnic tensions in the region.

      On the other hand, to be slightly critical, despite condemning the violence I do agree somewhat with Aung San Su Kyi and Thein Sein. Many of the Rohingya have always been viewed as illegal citizens from Bangladesh, which Bangladesh denies and the West has often sided with Bangladesh’s opinion. This is the same way the Lhotshampa in Bhutan which have been viewed as Nepali citizens, yet Nepal denies. Just like in the West, you will always get the radical right exploiting these issues and during times of upheaval will result in sectarian violence. Although Aung San Su Kyi is wrong for not condemning the violence, she is standing on the safe side of politics, avoiding become embroiled in an argument between the nationalists and reformists.

      Nonetheless, the issue is not something the international community should be calling the Burmese government to resolve, but instead get directly involved. Personally the best solution would be a UN to fund the Burmese government to recognise the Rohingya and resettle them, because as long as there is development in the region and an unresolved citizenship issue, there will always be violence.

  2. I also find it extremely disheartening that Aung San Su Kyi hasn’t spoken out against what from all accounts is approaching genocidal conditions.

    Aung San Su Kyi is well known in the West; the Rohingya are not. From what I’ve read, a factor is that her support base is largely Buddhist.

    In a way, it feels like West’s hesitancy to take a realistic view of an honored human right’s activist might even be contributing to a lack of awareness on this issue.

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