Kofi Annan’s warning to Myanmar on Rohingya Muslims
Hours after the Advisory Commission on Rakhine state headed by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan submitted its finding on 23 August 2017, Myanmar’s armed forces began slaughtering Rohingya Muslims. Within 48 hours, up to Sunday, around 100 people have been chopped and butchered and around 3,000 Rohingya Muslims fled to Naf River separating Bangladesh and Myanmar trying to cross over.
Barbarity unleashed was unprecedented. For example, a child’s throat slit while mother was raped. One mother recounted how her five-year-old daughter was trying to protect her from rape when a man “took out a long knife and killed her by slitting her throat”.
A 14-year-old girl also told of how, after being raped by soldiers, she saw her mother beaten to death and her two sisters, aged eight and 10, killed with knives.Many witnesses and victims also described being taunted while they were being beaten, raped or rounded up, such as being told “you are Bangladeshis and you should go back” or “what can your Allah do for you? See what we can do?”
Hundreds of Rohingya crossed into Bangladesh near the border village of Gumdhum as gun shots could be heard from the Myanmar side. They could be seen squatting in a marshy area, hiding in the bushes from border guards. Rohingya have been fleeing Myanmar to Bangladesh since the early 1990s and there are now around 400,000 in the country, where they are a source of tension between the two nations who both regard them as the other country’s citizens.
During the killing spree armed members of Burma’s armed forces are said to have rounded up Rohingya men and taken them away in vehicles, before then going from house to house gang-raping or sexually harassing women, and sometimes killing children who cried or tried to protect their mother.
The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, described the “devastating cruelty” against Rohingya children as “unbearable”, saying the allegations of babies being stabbed “beg” a reaction from the international community.“The devastating cruelty to which these Rohingya children have been subjected is unbearable – what kind of hatred could make a man stab a baby crying out for his mother’s milk,” he said.
The Myanmar army killings last year was heavily criticised internationally amid reports of civilian killings, rape and arson that a United Nations investigation said probably constituted crimes against humanity.
Shocked at the barbarity Pope Francis issued a swift and blunt condemnation within 48 hours on Sunday 27 August 2017. Pope Francis appealed for an end to the violent persecution of the minority Rohingya population in Burma. Speaking to pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said, “Sad news has reached us of the persecution of our Rohingya brothers and sisters, a religious minority. I would like to express my full closeness to them – and let all of us ask the Lord to save them, and to raise up men and women of good will to help them, who shall give them their full rights.”
“They have been suffering, they are being tortured and killed, simply because they uphold their Muslim faith,” Pope Francis said of the Rohingya in his weekly audience at the Vatican. He asked people to pray “for our Rohingya brothers and sisters who are being chased from Myanmar and are fleeing from one place to another because no one wants them”.
Now the unanswered question is where are the voices of condemnation from Muslim countries and their leaders subservient to their western masters? Where is Saudi Arabia, the so-called champion of Islam and self-declared custodian of Holy Shrines in Makkah and Madina. Perhaps busy with their multi-million-dollar holidays in Morocco and luxury resorts in Maldives besides bombing and killing Muslims.
Where is the great imam in Makkah who prayed for the success of the meeting between Saudi Ruler Salman and United States President Donald Trump- Zionist stooge and sworn enemy of Islam and Muslims. He has no time to pray for the brutalized and slaughtered Rohingya Muslims.
This is the disgusting state of affairs in the Muslim world.
Today it is Rohingya Muslims and Muslims worldwide. Under the circumstance Muslim of Sri Lanka should come forward to condemn this barbarity on helpless, voiceless, poverty stricken and illiterate Rohingya Muslims.
Isn’t it time that Kuthba sermons island wide are devoted to highlight the plight of not only Rohingya Muslim but Muslims worldwide including Sri Lanka Muslims who are also threatened by racist elements backed by powerful local and international forces.
Unfortunately, Muslim politicians are corrupt and sell outs while so called mullahs are refusing to come out of their medieval mindsets. Perhaps they do not know what is happening to the Muslims worldwide.
Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi has also been accused by some Western critics of not speaking out for the long-persecuted Muslim minority, and of defending the army’s counter offensive after the October attacks. Some reports said that Suu Kyi is blocking the UN-mandated probe into the allegations.
The Advisory Commission on Rakhine State chaired by Kofi Annan was founded as a neutral and impartial body which aims to propose concrete measures for improving the welfare of all people in Rakhine state. It is composed of six local and three international experts.
After one year of consultations held across Rakhine State and in other parts of the country and the region, the Advisory Commission submitted its final report to national authorities on 23 August. The report recommends urgent and sustained action on many fronts to prevent violence, maintain peace, foster reconciliation and offer a sense of hope to the State’s hard-pressed population.
“Unless concerted action – led by the government and aided by all sectors of the government and society – is taken soon, we risk the return of another cycle of violence and radicalization, which will further deepen the chronic poverty that afflicts Rakhine State”, said Kofi Annan.
“The Commission has put forward honest and constructive recommendations which we know will create debate,” Commission Chair Kofi Annan said. “However, if adopted and implemented in the spirit in which they were conceived, I firmly believe that our recommendations, along with those of our interim report, can trace a path to lasting peace, development and respect for the rule of law in Rakhine State.”
However, Myanmar’s armed forces barbarity unleashed within hours after the release of the Advisory Commission report, sends a clear message to Kofi Annan and the world. The message is” we care a damn for Kofi Annan and the the world and will continue to kill, rape and slaughter Rohingya Muslims.Ends