By Musfirah Hasan
“People killing, people dying, children hurt and you hear them crying. Can you practice what you preach? Or would you turn the other cheek?” – Black Eyed Peas
How ironical it is when the one who received the Nobel Peace Prize tightly shut her eyes upon violence that has happened in her country. A lot of protests are happening right now but still, no action have been taken. Will Aung San Suu Kyi continue to remain silent amidst brutality committed against humanity? Or will she release any statement to defend her status as recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize?
The issue has become bigger as many eyes are focusing on the legitimising of genocide that is happening right now in Myanmar. Despite living in the state of Rakhine for generations, the Rohingya are still viewed as outsiders and stateless. According to the Council of Foreign Relations, the Rohingya have yet to be granted citizenship and remain unable to vote.
It was reported that the Rohingya are being oppressed because they are the Muslim minority living in Myanmar, a Buddhist majority country. A United Nations official has said that Myanmar is currently carrying out “ethnic cleansing” to get rid of all of the Rohingya Muslims.
Even worst, the stateless Rohingya are being killed, slaughtered, raped and their houses were burned by the military. However, a spokesman for Myanmar President Htin Kyaw released a statement denying all the accusations.
Again, despite all the reports that have been made including evidences such as images and videos, Myanmar is still denying their action towards the Rohingya. Most convincing evidence is the image satellite by Human Rights Watch had identified more than 1,000 homes in Rohingya village had been razed in north-western Myanmar.
What seems funny is that even though the government is denying all the violence that is happening, they are preventing any journalist and human rights activist from entering Rakhine. The Rohingya are becoming more hopeless as all helps from the outsiders are curtailed when all they have to survive is by receiving food and medical aids from the outside.
According to a news report by CNBC, the conflict between the Rohingya Muslims and the Buddhists have escalated since 2012. The violence has caused thousands of Rohingya to flee to neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh. Since the latest attack on Rohingya, Bangladesh border guards have stopped around a thousand Rohingya at the border and sent them back to Myanmar.
Even in Malaysia, Rohingya refugees are given a temporary shelter and they are still waiting for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to relocate them. The Star Online reported that as October 2016, there are 54,586 Rohingya refugees registered with the UNHCR in Malaysia. What is more concerning is the fact that the Rohingya are starting to build families and the number keep increasing. Being refugees, it is hard especially for the children to receive proper education because of their status.
Talking about peace and human rights, what should we do as an individual? Protests have been made and number of countries including Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand have urged Myanmar to stop the ethnic cleansing. They are questioning the humanity value that is supposedly to be the practice by the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
The United Nations has considered the Rohingya as one of the most prosecuted minorities in the world. In fact, they are the victims of crime against humanity. Simple thing that we can do for the refugees is to give help in terms of food, clothes, education and medical aid. Be kind hearted even with just providing a little tiny help and prayer. ***