The Rohingya people of Myanmar are descendants of Arab traders and other groups. They are an ethnic minority in Myanmar. The Myanmar government views them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. The Rohingya people are being raped, killed, and having their houses burned to the ground. This is all happening because the Myanmar military is responding to an attack from a Rohingya military group in Rakhine state. 400,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh. Bangladesh has been detaining and forcibly returning those fleeing into their country. They do not see them as refugees. An investigation has been ordered to look into the human rights violations and possibly giving humanitarian aid by the UN. They have also asked neighboring countries to keep their borders open for refugees coming over in unstable boats. The Indonesia ambassador for London, Rizal Sukma, said that if a regional investigation was launched then his country, Indonesia, would get involved. When confronted by other countries, Myanmar said there was no ethnic cleansing or genocide going on. Myanmar’s National Security Advisor U Thaung Tun said that they were fleeing because of terrorists. The UN has tried to get involved, but Myanmar has stopped any help from them from getting in. The UN ambassador for the U.S., Nikki Haley, called out the Myanmar government for the atrocities that they are allowing to go on. Bangladesh’s representative to the UN, Masud Bin Momen, said it was very clear why people are fleeing.
I think what is going on in Myanmar is an atrocity. It’s upsetting to hear that things resembling the Rwandan genocide and the Holocaust are still going on today. It shows how much work still needs to be done in our world. It has a striking resemblance to what is going on with Syrian refugees. It is upsetting to read about what these families are going through. I don’t think anyone can truly understand how difficult life is for them until they go through it themselves. It’s especially hard seeing images of families fleeing. I could never imagine having to go through anything like that with my family.
I wish there was more being done to help the Rohingyas. It is sad to hear the Bangladesh is sending those back who they catch. I can understand why they are doing it. It is not always good to have a mass number of refugees enter your country all at once. I still think that they should be allowing at least some in. It must be horrible to finally make it out to where you think it is safe only to be sent back. I can only imagine the defeat and hopelessness they must feel after that. I think the UN should be doing more to stop the genocide. They know it is going on yet they still haven’t intervened to stop it. They have the power and the ability to go in and make a change but they aren’t using it. They need to take action soon before all Rohingyas are completely removed and killed. No other group has as much power as they wield in situations like this, so they need to use that power to act and stop the atrocities going on.
I also think this is an act of cultural genocide. They are having their homes and villages destroyed. This is, in turn, destroying cultural that was preserved in their homes and villages. We can’t let all of their culture and history go up in a fire. I wish there was something that I could do to help these people. It is so frustrating to know that events like this are going on, yet I can’t do much to stop it. I think that the U.S. should send the military in to help the Rohingyas and stop the Myanmar military. This would be a very controversial act though and could lead to conflict between the U.S. and other countries that think that the U.S. is getting involved where it shouldn’t be. I hope action is taken by some group soon, so the Rohingya people can get help and stop going through this horrible genocide.