The Buddhist world must stand with Buddhist Myanmar in its hour of need
Shenali D Waduge
If the people of the West can demonstrate and protest against immigrants, the people of Myanmar have every right to voice their objections against a wave of incursions taking place. Myanmar is just one of the many countries plagued with problems that colonial British manufactured during their rule. What cannot be ignored is the forced migration during British rule of Bengali laborers to Arakan & the fact that before colonial rule there were no sovereign land demarcations to claim ‘national race’. The other more important factor is the fact that Rohingyas are being trained as militants and are part of many jihadist groups while Rohingyas are being used by the West assisted by the UN, foreign NGOs and media to fast forward neo-imperialism in Asia. Sri Lanka and the rest of the Buddhist world must take stock of the wave of incursions taking place using Islamic terror.
There has been 3 Anglo-Burmese wars lasting 60 years. British completely colonized Burma in 1886. British rule in Burma lasted from 1824 to 1948. The British ruled Burma as a part of India from 1919 until 1937 & Rangoon was capital. In 1937, Burma was made a crown colony of Britain after officially separating it from India. Britain also brought in large numbers of Indians and settled them throughout Burma. It was growing into a big problem. The term ‘Kalar’ was in reference to these Indians and is associated with the Pali term ‘Kula’. It is not a word connoting insult as is often projected. The Burmese used kala-phyu, or “white kalars,” to refer to white rulers!
The British named the country Burma after the Burmans. Map of modern day Burma was a creation of the British – borders & boundaries all created at the whim and fancy of colonial Britain.
It was the British that divided people by race, tribe etc. They are the root cause of all the problems its former colonies are having. There was NO ethnic problems in Myanmar before the British arrived. Writings of Victor Lieberman & Edmund R. Leach prove this.
British displaced the traditional rulers and divided people favouring groups over others to purposely create resentment (Karens given superior place in military and administration). Incrementally the British began dismantling all of the political institutions and cultural structures that had hereto united Burma replacing them with cultures and practices that confused the Burmese and made them resist the impositions being forced upon them. These are all cut and paste policies that fellow Asian & African countries have experienced by their colonial masters. Today the very countries responsible for marginalizing people into ‘ethnic’ groups are preaching equality for them without acknowledging their role in creating the mess!
Another important factor that needs to be never forgotten is that before colonial invasions there were no such demarcations of ‘sovereign’ nations as is understood presently. This necessarily erases claims of ‘national race’ on the basis that they inhabited an area before colonial rule. That argument however is irrelevant to Sri Lanka which has been an island and without borders.
According to Burma’s Citizenship Law passed in 1982 only those ethnic groups which were already in Burma in 1823 qualify as “national races.”
Derek Tonkin, former British ambassador to Thailand and editor of the website Network Myanmar claims to have not found a single shred of evidence to prove the existence of a group of people named Rohingyas in British Colonial records. The basic criteria is missing, not only are Rohingyas not a race/ethnic group but they do not even have their own language. They speak Bengali, the language spoken by Bangladeshis. They are not stateless at all, they originally belonged to India and thereafter to Bangladesh following its independence!
Area of Arakan was taken in 1826 by the British after their victory in the First Anglo-Burmese War. The delta region including Rangoon (Lower Burma) was annexed in 1852 after the Second Anglo-Burmese War. The importance of Arakan is described by archeologist Emil Forchhammer in 1891 who says Arakanese Buddhism was the inspiration of the Buddhism practiced in the rest of Burma. How is it that today, another community is demanding share of it?
Arakan has a range of mountains isolating it from the Irrawaddy delta and central Burma. There was no clear border between Burma and Bengal (present day Bangladesh)
No amount of hype about discrimination can erase the fact that there is terrorism training taking place along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border and madrassas are being used as training centres!
The aim of these groups and their handlers is to annex part of Myanmar which Burmese claim is to set up an independent state called Newrosia and media is being prepared to counter Myanmar action by projecting attacks on innocent civilians.
Let us not forget that in 1947 Muslims from Arakan requested Mohammad Ali Jinnah to annex Mayu region to Pakistan (East Pakistan is today Bangladesh)Lets also not forget that Bangladesh was overwhelmingly Buddhist for many centuries though it only has 0.7% Buddhists now!
What is relevant is that there was no reference to Rohingyas but “Arakan Muslims”. So how did this term ‘Rohingyas’ all of a sudden emerge??? The 1947 request is amusing for ‘Arakan Muslims’ claims they settled down in Arakan around 788 however it was in the 7th century that Islam began and Arakan was 5000miles away! It was only in the 13th century that Bengal area even started to become Muslim. The Buddhist University of Nalanda in India was destroyed by Muslim invaders in 12th century.
History Professor Aye Chan of Kanda University of Japan says that there is no Rohingya (as an ethnic group) in Myanmar, tracing back to centuries of Rakhine chronicle. He also confirmed that the existing problem was the bad legacy of the colonial rule for over one hundred year in Myanmar. He also raises a very important question “If peaceful coexistence is the goal, then why is money being raised for a holy war?” He goes on to say “There is request for cash donation to wage religious war (Jihad – – a holy war fought by Muslims to defend Islam). The handouts are distributed in the Islamic countries. Bank accounts for such donations are opened in Chittagong and Dhaka in Bangladesh. With such sinister scheme in the pipeline, will you believe the idea of peaceful coexistence with Rakhine nationals and Bengali?”
Prof. Chan concluded that the word “Rohingya” was first introduced in an article in the then Guardian daily newspaper published in Yangon by a person named Mr. Abu Gaffer, nationalities representative of Buthitaung Township of Rakhine State in 1951.
The groundwork is already been laid out and UN is also been roped in no different to the role the UN played in the break up of Yugoslavia, creation of Kosovo, chaos in Iraq, Libya and now Syria. Is Myanmar equipped to deal with assymetrical warfare which has connivance of Islamic nations supporting terror groups and Western interest groups?
INCA News Agency Turkey has released videos & photos of Bengali-Muslim terrorists from RSO (Rohingya Solidarity Organization) receiving military training. In May 2011 the Arakan Rohingya Union was established with financial assistance from OIC, Saudi Arabia and Turkey!
The same news agency bragged about jihadists killing 25 Buddhist monks publishing the photos of dead and injured Buddhist monks. https://archive.org/details/ArakanVids
US State Dept Country Reports on Terrorism in 2008 & 2009 identifies the links of Islamic Rohingya Terrorists to their counterparts in Bangladesh & other countries. So, tell us how innocent are these Rohingyas? Then in 1992 Hakrat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami was formed with support from Osama bin Laden himself. This group is supposed to be led by Maulana Farid in Chittagong and is recruiting Bangladeshi’s from more than 60,000 madrassas and refer to themselves as Bangladeshi Taliban. Note Hillary Clinton admits US created Al Qaeda! A Wikileaks report also confirms that Osama bin Laden met with leaders of the Rohingyas on 15 May 2000.
The Rohingyas are so innocent that they have also developed ties with other Islamic militant groups – Gulbuddin Hekmatyr’s Hzb-e-Islami in Afghanistan, Hizb-ul-Mujahiden in Jammu & Kashir and the Angkatan Belia Islam sa Malaysia. In 2011 the Bangladeshi govt stated that at least 70 Islamic terrorist groups were operating in Bangladesh of which Islamic Rohingya Terrorists were also named – Rohingya Patriotic Front, Rohingya Solidarity Organization, Arakan Rohingya National Organization. It is obvious that these trained militant groups are being transported to all corners of the world and presented as ‘innocent’ to advance greater agendas.
The International Crisis Group in an interview to Deutsche Welle claimed that Rohingya insurgency has links with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan following the killing of 9 Myanmar policemen in 2016. But the whole international media attention is ONLY on Myanmar’s violations against Rohingyas without a single comment against Rohingyas being trained as Islamic jihadist terrorists, many of whom must be joining these jihadi camps purely for economic survival!
Take the social media, the press releases from governments and western government supporting NGOs and their 24×7 news will only be about persecutions against Rohingyas completely degrading Myanmar and the Buddhist majority populace. Nothing balanced whatsoever in the reporting. Even the one Buddhist monk who openly puts valid arguments forward is branded a Taliban terrorist when all of the murders have been thus far committed by these Islamic terror groups trained by Al Qaeda & ISIS. Why are their heinous crimes never highlighted or does it get highlighted only when someone in the West gets killed by an Islamic terrorist! No one has even spared a minute to listen to the other version. That is because any version is irrelevant because the plan of the West has nothing to do with Rohingyas or Buddhists but simply to grab Myanmars natural resources & put a foothold into a country that is nearer to China.
These are the people United Nations and Amnesty International claim to be “the most persecuted refugees in the world.” Myanmar has every right to defend itself from these incursions and terrorist acts.
It is not out of any love for Rohingyas that the West and their ‘delivering democracy’ machines are now on a witch hunt against Myanmar. The easiest way to forcefully enter countries and forcefully make countries open up their borders and infuse systematic change in how these countries administer themselves is to use the ethno-religious minority card. That was how Kosovo was given liberation and so too was South Sudan. You may ask why the world is so gaga over an ethnic minority – it’s the natural resources all the time. Myanmar is rich in energy, precious stones, biomass (charcoal), 11–23 trillion cubic feet in natural gas reserves and 50 million barrels of crude oil reserves, Myanmar accounts for 80 percent of global teak. Now the picture is getting clearer and everywhere the West shows interest there is always some jihadist backing! The West is doing a grave injustice in making a cocktail mess out of problems they originally created and left for countries to sort out by returning again to infuse more tensions and conflicts simply to walk away with the profits and plunder these countries again.
It is in this context Sri Lanka must stand with Myanmar as its Theravada roots are now being challenged and targeted using Islamic jihadism as a neocolonial imperial strategy.
What needs to be further highlighted is that no group of people claiming to be stateless has any business to take up arms and get trained in armed militancy and travel all over the world for training programs. This is where people who are supportive of the Rohingyas must also ponder what type of precedence this is creating.
The British used Indian sepoys to capture Burma while present day tactic is to use Sepoy international civil servants like the UN’s Christian Special Rapporteur. When Christians and Muslims close ranks whenever their people are pressed against the wall, it is time for Sri Lanka and the Buddhist world to come to the assistance of Myanmar and fellow Buddhist nations that are now targets of Western-Islamic-Christian incursions.
Sri Lanka Myanmar ties are longstanding. The first king of Bagan, Anawrahta arrived in 11th century to obtain a replica of the Tooth Relic from his friend Vijayabahu I. Myanmar also helped us when Cholas invaded. In the 12th century Yasawinkyi, King of Myanmar visited Sri Lanka. http://www.sundaytimes.lk/091108/Plus/plus_16.html Bhikkhus mastered the Tripitaka introduced by Sri Lanka. Sinhala Bhikkhus received Higher Ordination back from Amarapura and Ramanna Bhikkhu lineages. http://arakanindobhasaa.blogspot.com/2014/04/sri-lanka-myanmar-historical-relations.html
Sri Lanka’s ties with Myanmar are special, longstanding and cannot be erased by governments who come to power on the strength of the anti-Buddhist lobby. It is the duty of the Buddhist public, the Buddhist organizations and the Maha Sangha as well as the Armed Forces to stand with Myanmar as they are being cornered by a well calculated and orchestrated global plot.
Shenali D Waduge