The Editorial Staff
According to the UN, the Rohingya Muslims are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, and have been described: “among the world’s least wanted”. Living in the state of Rakhine (Arakan) in western Myanmar (Burma), they are a people who nobody wants. The Myanmar government classifies them as stateless Bengali Muslims, and the Bangladesh government refuses to acknowledge them. Many have fled to refugee camps in Bangladesh (where they receive no aid), or along the Thai-Myanmar border (there have been reports of boatloads of Rohingya being abandoned in the open sea). They have been subject to all kinds of persecution and recently they have become targets of violence by Rakhine Buddhists. The Burmese army and police have been accused of targeting Rohingya Muslims through mass arrests and arbitrary violence. A number of monks’ organisations that played a vital role in Burma’s struggle for democracy have taken special procedures to block any humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya community. The scale and viciousness of the attacks have increased in the past year and have finally prompted some statements from the Dalai Lama and from human-rights champion Aung San Suu Kyi (of Myanmar). Strangely, the Myanmar government, while doing nothing to stop these massacres and ethnic cleaning, has been feted by the US and other governments who see the country as an economic and strategic (i.e. against China) opportunity. President Obama visited the country in 2012, and hosted President Thein Sein in 2013.