Sorrow & Plight of Nobody’s People In a No-Man’s Land

January 16, 2013 3:13 am 368 comments __
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Passport-Shib_S-2By Shib Shankar Chatterjee

The Rohingyas are Muslims from Rakhine (previously say – Arakan) State of Myanmar. They are of Bengali origin, who migrated to the Arakans after the British occupation of Myanmar. But, the Rohingyas trace their origin to those Bengalis, who accompanied King Naraimeikhla of Arakans, who regained his throne with the help of the Bengal sultan in 1434.  Their population however rose sharply after the British occupation and they came to dominate the northern part of the Arakans state.

In the 1940s, they were involved in violent rioting with the Buddhist Rakhines, who see themselves as son of the soil in Arakans. During the Second World War, the Rohingyas supported the British, while the Rakhines and Burmans sided, at least initially with the Japanese. After the War, some Rohingyas formed the Mujahid party seeking an ‘autonomous state’ in northern Arakans, but that was never granted. After Bangladesh went under military rule, President Ziaur Rehman asked his intelligence agencies to back the Rohingya insurgent groups to create an ‘Islamic State’ in northern Arakans. The Burmese military junta responded with a heavy handed operation Nagamin (Dragon King) that sought to oust the Rohingyas from the Arakans. A quarter of a million Rohingyas fled into Bangladesh to escape the atrocities unleashed during Nagamin.

In 1982, Myanmar enacted a new citizenship law excluding the Rohingyas from citizenship and suddenly rendering them a stateless community.  Ten years later, a fresh wave of another quarter of a million Rohingyas fled into Bangladesh, looking to escape the Burmese military persecution”.

In recent years, Bangladesh has sought to send back the Rohingyas to Myanmar but neither the military junta nor the quasi-civilian regime of President Thein Sein are too keen to receive them. Many believe that to disrupt the repatriation process, the Burmese military intelligence triggered the Rakhine-Rohingya riots several times this year. Hundreds have died in the riots, mostly Rohingyas. Close to 80,000-numbers of Rohingya have been forced to take shelter in makeshift camps. Many have fled to Bangladesh, where the Sheikh Hasina led Awami League Bangladesh Government is unwilling to take them because they are believed to be far too radicalized.

Meanwhile, thousands of Rohingyas have covertly migrated to all over the world from Australia in the east to Saudi Arabia in west – many finding their way even to the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK). Former BBC correspondent Subir Bhaumik, who exposed the Thai police for throwing back the Rohingyas on the high seas after taking away the motors in their leaky boats, says that the Rohingyas are perhaps the ‘most unwanted people’ anywhere in the world. Nobody wants and cares them – not their native Myanmar, neither neighboring countries like Bangladesh or India, nor anybody else”. Today, they are nobody’s people in a no-man’s land and their sorrow and plight have still existed, which is endless.

(Shib Shankar Chatterjee;Former Contributor-cum-Photographer of BBC, AP, AFP & PTI of Northeast India/specializes in the subjects of South Asia & Indian Northeastern States region Affairs)

 

Sajida (03-years-old) is standing in front of her makeshift camp at the outskirts of Delhi State of India. More than 10,000-numbers of Burmese Rohingya Muslim refugee took shelter in Indian (Hyderabad) Andhra Pradesh, (Mewat) Haryana, (Kanchankunj) Delhi and Jammu States after ethnic strife between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists that had been started since 1940s. Still so many peoples of aforesaid community have been living at various refugee camps in Myanmar, Bangladesh and India chiefly. Rohingya Muslims of Buthidaung, Rathedaung and Sittwe of Rakhine (formerly, Arakan) State, who ran away from Myanmar (that is, Burma) to Bangladesh to India and others South-Asian countries to escape socio-political-religious violence. (Photo/Shib Shankar Chatterjee)

Sajida (03-years-old) is standing in front of her makeshift camp at the outskirts of Delhi State of India.More than 10,000-numbers of Burmese Rohingya Muslim refugee took shelter in Indian (Hyderabad) Andhra Pradesh, (Mewat) Haryana, (Kanchankunj) Delhi and Jammu States after ethnic strife between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists that had been started since 1940s. Still so many peoples of aforesaid community have been living at various refugee camps in Myanmar, Bangladesh and India chiefly. Rohingya Muslims of Buthidaung, Rathedaung and Sittwe of Rakhine (formerly, Arakan) State, who ran away from Myanmar (that is, Burma) to Bangladesh to India and others South-Asian countries to escape socio-political-religious violence (Photo/Shib Shankar Chatterjee)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inmates are washing their cloths, bathing and taking drinking-water from this particular tube-well in their unhygienic makeshift camp at the outskirts of Delhi State of India. More than 10,000-numbers of Burmese Rohingya Muslim refugee took shelter in Indian (Hyderabad) Andhra Pradesh, (Mewat) Haryana, (Kanchankunj) Delhi and Jammu States after ethnic strife between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists that had been started since 1940s. Still so many peoples of aforesaid community have been living at various refugee camps in Myanmar, Bangladesh and India chiefly. Rohingya Muslims of Buthidaung, Rathedaung and Sittwe of Rakhine (formerly, Arakan) State, who ran away from Myanmar (that is, Burma) to Bangladesh to India and others South-Asian countries to escape socio-political-religious violence. (Photo/Shib Shankar Chatterjee)

Inmates are washing their cloths, bathing and taking drinking-water from this particular tube-well in their unhygienic makeshift camp at the outskirts of Delhi State of India.  (Photo/Shib Shankar Chatterjee)

A view of an unhygienic makeshift camp at the outskirts of Delhi State of India. More than 10,000-numbers of Burmese Rohingya Muslim refugee took shelter in Indian (Hyderabad) Andhra Pradesh, (Mewat) Haryana, (Kanchankunj) Delhi and Jammu States after ethnic strife between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists that had been started since 1940s. Still so many peoples of aforesaid community have been living at various refugee camps in Myanmar, Bangladesh and India chiefly. Rohingya Muslims of Buthidaung, Rathedaung and Sittwe of Rakhine (formerly, Arakan) State, who ran away from Myanmar (that is, Burma) to Bangladesh to India and others South-Asian countries to escape socio-political-religious violence. (Photo/Shib Shankar Chatterjee)

A view of an unhygienic makeshift camp at the outskirts of Delhi State of India.  (Photo/Shib Shankar Chatterjee)

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