Popular Burmese Buddhist Monk Tells Burma's Military: "Genocidal killing is OK in Buddhism"

Dr. Maung Zarni, a Burmese scholar and democracy activist, has translated a portion of a speech on his blog by Sitagu Sayadaw, one of Burma's most popular monks, that was delivered to packed hall of soldiers from the Burmese military. Sitagu, tells the soldiers that "Genocidal killing is OK in Buddhism."

Sitagu has a long trackrecord of such statements and positions. In the past, Sitagu justified genocide and fanned the flames of Islamophobia against Burmese Muslims and the Rohingya. It goes without saying that Buddhism opposses genocide and violence, and instead teaches compassion, as many Buddhist organizations, temples and monks have reiterated while officially condemning Burma's ongoing atrocities and genocide against the Rohingya Muslims.

 
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What Will It Take To Stop The Genocide

Help stop the brutal genocide of the Rohingya in Burma. The Burmese government is oppressing the Rohingya people to the point that seven Nobel Peace laureates declared their actions a genocide. We will work tirelessly to pressure international governments to take action against Burma until they end the persecution. We have 3 asks that will help the Rohingya.

WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO STOP THE GENOCIDE?

Family of Faith Addressing Rohingya Genocide

October 5, 2017 Burma Task Force Chairman, Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, spoke about the Rohingya genocide taking place in Burma and how communities of all faiths can work together to stop it.

GENOCIDE OF ROHINGYAS IN BURMA - WEBINAR - 100717

It’s Not Ethnic Cleansing. It's Genocide.

Have you heard of Tula Toli? A massacre took place here. Genocide is an international crime and it is happening in Burma. It is the responsibility of the international community to protect populations from genocide. Some politicians call it “ethnic cleansing” to avoid having to take action.

Ask the United Nations and human rights organizations to call it what it is; genocide.

IT'S NOT ETHNIC CLEANSING. IT'S GENOCIDE.

The Congressional Women’s Caucus Must Speak Up For Rohingya Women

Salam,

Last Thursday we conferenced with new volunteers and developed a concrete strategy to push the campaign against rape of Rohingya women forward; watch for updates soon. 
 
According to the UN, 52% of Rohingya women fleeing to Bangladesh reported being raped, Cyclone Mora has destroyed Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh where 80% of the populace is women and children, making them even more vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking.
 

Mass Sexual Violence Leaves Rohingya Women Traumatized and Stateless

The United Nations has documented shocking accounts of sexual violence, including gang rape, against Rohingya women and girls at the hands of Myanmar’s military. News Deeply spoke with a U.N. investigator about what she found when she talked to survivors.

WRITTEN BYAlexandra Bradford PUBLISHED ON Jun. 8, 2017 READ TIMEApprox. 5 minutes
 

Bangladesh myanmar refugeesRohingya women and children were targeted by military forces in October 2016 and the four months afterward, and have fled to refugee camps in Bangladesh. Samsul Said/NurPhoto

MASS SEXUAL VIOLENCE against the Rohinyga minority in northern Myanmar has been documented in a recent United Nations report.

The spate of violence, which includes gang rape and involves survivors as young as 11 years old, was found to have been perpetrated by Myanmar’s security forces,

On October 9, 2016, the Burmese military entered northern Rakhine state – and over the next four months detained and killed men, women and children. Soldiers burned down houses and raped women and young girls. The U.N. report says these actions amount to possible crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.

The military insists this “clearance operation” was a justified counterinsurgency operation following an October 9 attack on security forces near the Bangladesh border, which resulted in the deaths of nine policemen. The violence caused more than 69,000 Rohingya to flee from Myanmar to Bangladesh, where they are currently living in eight makeshift camps in Dhaka and Cox Bazar.

Myanmar’s Rohinyga population lives in villages in northern Rakhine state, near the Bangladesh border. They are known as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. Their Muslim faith is viewed as a security threat by Buddhist groups in Myanmar, which means they receive limited access to basic services such as education. They are also prohibited from claiming citizenship and moving freely throughout the country.

The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) sent a four-person team, including human rights officer Ilona Alexander, to Bangladesh in early January of this year to investigate these human rights violations. Their investigation included testimony from 101 Rohingya women who experienced violence at the hands of the military: More than half reported being sexually assaulted.

Women & Girls spoke to Ilona Alexander about the evidence she gathered on the sexual violence inflicted on Rohingya women and girls.

Women & Girls: The military indicated that it was conducting “area clearance operations” in the region – what exactly does this mean?

Ilona Alexander: Based on the interviews we conducted, the “area clearance operations” followed this pattern: Large numbers of armed men (often from both the Myanmar Armed Forces and the police, sometimes accompanied by Rakhine villagers) would arrive in the village. As is confirmed by satellite imagery analysis, they would proceed to destroy many houses, mosques, schools and shops.

They would separate the women from the men. Women would be rounded up, and either told to stay inside a school or other building or outside in the burning sun. Many would be raped or would experience others forms of sexual violence, often during strip searches, either during roundups or in homes.

“Families may have had members killed, beaten, raped or taken away to an unknown location, while at the same time their homes were burned and looted.”

Women & Girls: How did the victims describe the attacks?

Alexander: The vast majority of those interviewed had experienced multiple violations. Families may have had members killed, beaten, raped or taken away to an unknown location, while at the same time their homes were burned and looted. For most interviewees, separation from their families is a major concern.

Many of the men have been detained or killed. This is one of the saddest things, because these women have experienced tremendous sexual violence – but sometimes they broke down even more when they talked about their missing husbands.

For me, the touching thing was hearing stories from the little boys who feel that now that their fathers are gone, they are responsible for protecting their mothers and sisters. But these boys have had to watch their sisters and mothers being beaten and raped, and now they feel like they have failed to protect their mothers.


Yanghee Lee (second left), the U.N.’s special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, visits the Balu Khali Rohingya camp in Cox’s Bazar on February 21, 2017. (AFP)

Women & Girls: Your investigations found that one girl as young as 11 years old was gang raped by military forces. Can you describe this case?

Alexander: For this girl, she started by describing to me how life was peaceful in her village before … suddenly the military appeared and started killing people [and] abusing women.

“He left the girl at home with her mother and two little brothers because he thought the military wouldn’t hurt children.”

She told me how she witnessed a man who was about 40 years old have his throat cut with a cleaver in front of her. After, the military came to her house and badly beat her parents.

After this incident, her father went into hiding from the military and took her two older sisters with him so that they would be safe. He left the girl at home with her mother and two little brothers because he thought the military wouldn’t hurt children.

The military came back to their house twice. The first time, the military came and removed her clothing and kicked her. After the clothing was removed and the girl was beaten, the military suddenly left. The next day they returned with seven soldiers and removed the mother from the house. The soldiers locked themselves in a room with the girl and gang raped her. The girl told me that she doesn’t even know how many of them raped her because she fell unconscious at times and awoke bleeding and injured after.

Women & Girls: Why were some of the women you spoke to targeted for gang rape, while others weren’t?

Alexander: They wanted to terrorize the population, so they took some women into public places like mosques and gang raped them while other women were outside and listening. They wanted the women outside to know what was happening so they were terrorized.

They would have around eight women and 20 men from the military in the mosque, and the men would take a turn with each woman.

I had this one 15-year-old girl tell me that she was only raped by one solider because she was not as beautiful as the girls who were gang raped. When she told me this I thought, “My God, what kind of culture is this where women think they aren’t beautiful enough to be gang raped?”

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Canada: Andrew Day's Photo Exhibit "Testimony"

Freelance photojournalist Andrew Day's photo exhibit, "Testimony" sponsored by the Burma Task Force ran from May 8-14 in Toronto, Canada. The opening reception of the event was a success. Ahmed Ramadan, Outreach Coordinator for Burma Task Force-Canada also spoke at the reception about the work that BTF is doing to end the genocide against the Rohingya and to reach a just and humanitarian solution to their plight.

Also see Andrew Day's e-book which provides an in depth description and tells the stories from the refugees:

•Fleeing across the border

•Human Trafficking

•Repatriation

•The Camps - Living conditions in the UNHCR and unregistered camps - lack of medical care in the camps

•Shortage of food supplies; the trade of food rations and food cards for survival

•Education & Illiteracy

•Exploitation within camps

•Plans to relocate the refugees &

the impact from the plan to develop Cox's bazar tourism

 

 

Suu Kyi: Apologist For Genocide

British journalist Mehdi Hasan, wrote an excorciating article on Suu Kyi published on The Intercept that has gone viral.

AUNG SAN SUU KYI IS ONE of the most celebrated human rights icons of our age: Nobel Peace Laureate, winner of the Sakharov Prize, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an Amnesty International-recognized prisoner of conscience for 15 long years.

These days, however, she is also an apologist for genocide, ethnic cleansing and mass rape.

For the past year, Aung San Suu Kyi has been State Counselor, or de facto head of government, in Myanmar, where members of the Rohingya Muslim minority in the northern Rakhine state have been shot, stabbed, starved, robbed, raped and driven from their homes in the hundreds of thousands. In December, while the world focused on the fall of Aleppo, more than a dozen Nobel Laureates published an open letter warning of a tragedy in Rakhine “amounting to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”

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#Unilever: Live Up To Your Commitment For Socially Responsible Investment. Pakistan Petition: Don’t Sell Jets To Burma Until It Ends Genocide vs. Rohingya

Action Item: #Unilever: Live Up To Your Commitment For Socially Responsible Investment. Pakistan Petition: Don’t Sell Jets To Burma Until It Ends Genocide vs. Rohingya

It only takes a few minutes, please take the following actions:

a. Rohingya activists have developed a campaign targeting corporations investing in Burma to live up to their proclaimed standards of being “ethically responsible” in their investments. Follow their website:AllRohingyaNow.com, Twitter: @allrohingyanow

Contact: #Unilever CEO Paul Polman, Contact Form. Twitter: @paulpolman 

Ask: 1)Aside from personally signing the letter of concern addressed to the UN Security Councilregarding ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity committed against the Rohingya, what, if anything, is Unilever doing to advance a positive outcome in this matter? 2.) Can you tell us how peace and stability in the state of Rakhine matters to Unilever?

b. Burma Task Force will deliver a petition to the Pakistani Chief of Army Staff and the Prime Minister: asking them to reconsider selling their JF-17 Fighter Jets to Burma. Such a sale should be conditioned on improvement of Rohingya rights. Not doing so violates the human and Islamic values that Pakistan proclaims. SIGN & SHARE THIS PETITION.

#Unilever CEO “Stands Firm” with Nobel Laureates Call For Investigation

Unilever's CEO, Paul Polman expressed his personal support for the rights of the Rohingya and after a week of tweets, contacts and the campaign by #WeAreAllRohingya Unilever has officially stated, through a tweet that it "stands firm" with the two dozen Nobel Laureates who have pressed for Burma to end atrocities against the Rohingya and restore their rights. 

Unilever stands firm with Nobel Peace laureates calling for action from UN Sec Council to protect the Rohingya 

 

This is a welcome and positive development, however more needs to be done. We urge Unilever to continue its positive engagement, after all it invests half a billion dollars in Burma and proclaims to be a "socially responsible" corporation. It can definitely do a lot more and doing so would set it apart as a unique multi-national.

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