Long, bloody history of anti-Indian riots in Burma
Info below covering the years 1930-2007 is sourced from:
Renaud Egreteau, Burma (Myanmar) 1930-2007, Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence, [online], published on 19 October 2009, accessed 29 May 2015, URL : http://www.massviolence.org/Burma-Myanmar-1930-2007, ISSN 1961-9898
1930; May-June: Several anti-Indian riots exploded in Rangoon and various Burmese cities and ports following a massive Indian coolies strike which began at Rangoon’s harbour on May 8.
1930; May 26: A night-long riot stirred up by ethnic Burmans in Rangoon’s Indian quarters left 120 people of Indian origin dead as well as more than 900 injured, according to British colonial government sources. More recent analyses estimate that more than 200 were killed and 2,000 injured, these figures are likely closer to reality.
1938; July-Aug: New waves of anti-Indian violence (more specifically anti-Muslim) were stirred up by the Burman population in the country’s major cities while general strikes (workers, civil servants and students) paralysed the economy of the province. Riots began on July 26 in Rangoon and lasted for a month, officially causing the death of 204 people and leaving 1,000 injured in the capital.
1942; March-May: Between 500,000 and 600,000 Burmese of Indian, Anglo-Burman and other ethnic origin (Arakanese, Kachins, Chins, Karens…) fled the Japanese invasion of Burma on foot, heading towards India. Their dramatic exodus through western Burma’s dense jungles left tens of thousands of victims.
HALF A MILLION FLED TO BANGLADESH
Exodus to Cox’s Bazar district, a boat ride away from Rakhine
1978; Feb – June: Villages were burned, ransacked and after four months of repression some 200,000 people had fled to neighbouring Bangladesh (June 1978).
1991; Dec – 1992; March: A massive and widespread police operation targeting Muslim communities (especially the Rohingyas) in Arakan State (now called Rakhine State) is orchestrated by the military authorities. Similar to the 1978 exodus, 250,000 Rohingyas fled to neighbouring Bangladesh by March 1992.
Early February: Beside 35 drowned, 20 Burmese Muslims were shot by local Nasaka security forces while attempting to cross the Naaf River to Bangladesh.
2001; February: Full-scale riots led by Burman Buddhist and Arakanese mobs targeted Muslim communities – mainly Rohingyas – in Sittwe (in Arakan State, west of Burma). Several dead and injured were reported (20 according to Arakanese activists). Curfew was imposed in the Arakan State neighbouring Bangladesh.
SEEKING A BETTER LIFE ELSEWHERE SINCE 1970s
Info from web page ‘The Rohingya: World’s Least Wanted People’ @http://www.rfa.org/english/news/special/rohingyas/home.html
The Rohingya have been leaving Burma and heading mainly into impoverished Bangladesh since the late 1970s.
In 1992, 250,000 Rohingya, around one-third of their total population, fled over Burma’s border into Bangladesh, citing persecution in Burma.
Rights advocates estimate that the number of Rohingya fleeing the Burma-Bangladesh border area to seek a better life elsewhere has increased from hundreds to thousands over the last five years.
A QUARTER MILLION ROHINGYA IN BANGLADESH
Current situation – UNCHR report
Some 30,000 registered refugees are in two government-run camps Kutupalong and Nayapara near Cox’s Bazar.
An estimated 200,000 unregistered Rohingya are living outside the camps.
The UN estimates that 120,000 Rohingya have fled the country during the past three years.
WHY NOT PROVIDE ASYLUM IN JERUSUBANG?
Rohingya claim they deserve to be Burmese citizens but over the last 75 years or so, they’ve been fleeing to Bangladesh in waves by the hundreds of thousands.
(The Moro people, on the other hand, have succeeded in getting their own autonomous region in Mindanao.)
What does the Council of Churches and its compassionate Malaysian flock suggest as a solution for the Rohingya?