The Headlines Haven't Changed From 1978 Until Today: Burma Still Persecuting Rohingya
A headline from May 14, 1978 on the frontpage of the DAWN newspaper reads, Burmese Muslims Machinegunned. (via. Dr. Maung Zarni) The newspaper reported on the massacre of 30 Rohingya near the Bangladesh border by the Burmese army, after they were refused refuge into Bangladesh by Bangladeshi border guards.
It went on to provide an eyewitness account from journalist Francois Hautr, "In an eyewitness account, the Observateur's correspondent Francois Hautr affirmed that the massacre was an episode in a deliberate Burmese government plan to drive a million Rohingyah - Burmese Muslims from the Arakan province - out of the country."
These headlines from nearly forty years ago could have been written today. They are similar to reports that we see coming out of Burma daily, as the government continues to kill thousands, use rape as a weapon, arbitrarily arrest, and displace many more all the while preventing food, aide, education and a means of livelihood for the Rohingya.
It is nothing less than a sustained genocidal campaign while the world watches and does little.
Burma Task Force is working to change the status quo, and in some ways the Rohingya are getting more international attention. The campaign to end Burma's use of rape as a weapon of war against ethnic minorities has gained momentum, and the upcoming final session of the International Peoples' Tribunal will spotlight the Burmese military and government's crimes against humanity.