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Machatte Massacre in Arakan: The Hidden Face of Burma Exposed

Machatte Massacre in Arakan
The Hidden Face of Burma Exposed



Dr. Abid Bahar

From the military leadership, down to NASAKA, the Rakhine police, in the civilian front RNDP and even some leaders closely working with Aung San Suu Kui, the problem with the Rohingya people has been seen as a case of dealing with"illegal immigration" of Bengali people to Arakan. Fortunately, contemporary research on Rakhine-Rohingya relations shows it is not about illegals in Burma, Tohingya problem is about intolerance to a people, who are racially, culturally and religiously different from the mainstream racially mongoloid Rakhine-Burmese people.

Unfortunate though, even Burma's new government military backed government, the wolf in ship's skin continue to call Rohingyas as the noncitizens of Burma. It has been done in compliance with the 1982 Ne Win's Constitution Act that denied Rohingya Citizenship. Following this definition Burma is not actually doing anything wrong, it is only fighting against "intruders" into Burma who according to the authority came to Burma after 1824.

Fortunately, history proves over and again that it was not the Rohingyas that migrated to Arakan from Bengal, they were already there settled mostly by the sea.

(Link: of Muslim Identity and Demography in Arakan.php).

Contrary to the understanding that Rohingyas are intruders in Burma, we see, successive Burmese invasions of Arakan led to the settlements of nonBengali people in Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts.


The most recent one are the Rakhines in Cox's Bazar of Bangladesh who settled there during the British period. Not surprisingly, it is the colonial legacy that there is perhaps not a single nation state on earth emerged after the colonial rule, where nations emerged with a homogenous ethnic or racial group. Rohingyas are no different in Burma.


The recent anti Rohingya outbursts in the media by mostly Rakhine xenophobes, some of whom are even seeking asylum in the West by complaining about the military government at home at the same time denying the Rohingya's Burmese citizenship shows how half a century's long Ne Win's rule by fanning racism took strong foothold in the Arakan state and elsewhere in Burma. In extension, we see how successful the Rakhine monk and the layman have been in hijacking the Rohingya issue. The success in the Rohingya massacre all in the name of saving Buddhism.

The machete massacre

In the recent history of racism in Arakan, from the early signs of Rohingya genocide when we recounted Aye Chan's characterization of the Rohingyas as "Influx Viruses" to the the June 2012 machete massacre, we can see how meticulously the pogrom was carried out by the Rakhine leaders with support from the vast network in the Rakhine population with the help of Burmese government that continued to see Rohingyas as "intruders". The military's past record in the 1978 and 1991 and its denial of the Rohingya people's citizenship is an undeniable guide to its involvement.

As we see the faces of bloodied dead bodies, mostly killed by machetes, in one picture even a monk holding a gun, another monk dancing around a fire, the hidden faces of Burma in Arakan is enough exposed. Like in Rwanda, this time in broad light, machetes and guns were used to kill the Rohingya. In the mean time, in Bangladesh PM Hasina is witch hunting the Jamatis and doesn't want to allow the dying Rohingyas enter Bangladesh territory.

The West has been miserably fooled by the Burmese military backed government's cat and mouse policy. This is due to a promise of allowing democracy in Burma in exchange for something in the future. Thus, the West in its wait and see policy hopes that one day when Suu Kyi comes to power, she will allow the hungry entrepreneurs free access to exploit Burma's natural resources. In reality however, it is never going to happen but only until the military bases that procreates racism for a divide and rule policy in Burma have drone attacks from the sky by the Western super powers. It might happen because Burma has both oil and its rich natural resources which would go hand and hand with a movement for democracy in Burma.

In the mean time, Rohingyas continue to die on land and in the sea and the toothless UN keeps calling the continued Arakan tragedy and the fleeing of refugees not a genocide but a result of inter ethnic riot (strife). Isn't the same way UN experts reporting from former Yugoslavia, Cambodia and in Rwanda characterized the signs as civil strafes until it was too late to save human lives from the knives of the vigilantes and government forces then only it began to call the events as genocides!