See More on Facebook

Analysis

Rohingya Genocide: Myanmar planned it long before ARSA attacks

The UN has found that the Myanmar military had planned the Rohingya genocide long before the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) attacked the country’s security personnel.


Written by

Updated: August 30, 2018

The Myanmar government, including its de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has repeatedly said that ARSA’s attack forced the army to launch the crackdown.

The UN report found that the ARSA attacks and ensuing “clearance operations” did not occur in a vacuum. “They were foreseeable and planned”.

Between May and July last year, ultranationalist monk Wirathu visited northern Rakhine twice to conduct sermons. The village of Zay Di Pyin (Rathedaung Township) was blocked by Rakhine villagers and security forces throughout August, the report said.

Amid heightened tension before August 25, Myanmar media increasingly reported on alleged ARSA activity in an inflammatory manner while state-sponsored hate speech targeting the Rohingyas continued, it added.

A build-up of troops and military equipment across northern Rakhine began in earlier that month, following a meeting between Rakhine politicians and the Tatmadaw commander-in-chief.

Soldiers from the 33rd and 99th Light Infantry Divisions were airlifted into Rakhine, with additional deliveries of military equipment.

“The increased presence was evident,” it reads.

Soldiers took over Border Guard Police posts. Rakhine men were recruited into the security forces. There was “fast track” recruitment into the police. Local Rakhine men were mobilised and armed, the report said.

This build-up required logistical planning and time to implement and indicated that the subsequent operations were foreseen and planned.

The UN report also contains recommendations of the mission on Myanmar.

The three-member mission, established by the UN Human Rights Council last year, meticulously assembled hundreds of accounts of displaced Rohingyas, research, analysis, satellite footage and other information to prepare the report.

While Myanmar claimed its “clearance operations” ended on September 5 last year, military engagement continued well into October. Freedom of movement was further constrained, restricting remaining Rohingyas to their houses, with limited access to markets and livelihoods and exacerbating malnutrition.

“Humanitarian access was severely restricted or blocked. Conversely, no protection was provided to Rohingya against vigilante attacks and the theft of property, livestock and other possessions by civilians of other ethnic groups. Sporadic attacks, including sexual violence, continued. These factors forced more Rohingya to Bangladesh, an average rate of 1,733 per month since the beginning of 2018.”

The mass displacement and burning of Rohingya villages was followed by systematic appropriation of emptied land. Bulldozers flattened, burned and damaged even surviving structures to erase trace of the Rohingyas and destroy criminal evidence.

In the place of Rohingya villages, new structures for security forces and new housing for other ethnic groups were built.

While the Government has, in principle, committed to Rohingya repatriation, nothing thus far indicates this will be in a manner ensuring respect for human rights, essential for a safe, dignified and sustainable return of the refugees from Bangladesh.

“The root causes of the exodus, including state-sanctioned oppression and an exclusionary and divisive rhetoric, are denied and continue unabated.”

WHAT HAPPENED ON AUG 25

According to the report, ARSA in the early hours launched coordinated attacks on a military base and up to 30 security force outposts across northern Rakhine State, in an apparent response to increased pressure on Rohingya communities and with the goal of global attention.

A small number of minimally-trained leaders had some arms, and a significant number of untrained villagers wielded sticks and knives. Some had improvised explosive devices. Twelve security personnel were killed.

The security forces’ response, starting within hours, was immediate, brutal and grossly disproportionate. Ostensibly to eliminate the “terrorist threat” posed by ARSA, in the days and weeks that followed, it encompassed hundreds of villages across Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung. The operations targeted and terrorised the entire Rohingya population.

Read More



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Daily Star
About the Author: The Daily Star is a leading English-language daily newspaper in Bangladesh.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Analysis

Asian economies suffer mixed results as trade war continues

By Ishan Joshi and Cod Satrusayang. In the years before the current trade war, China and the developing countries in Asia enjoyed sparkling growth rates as a result of the region’s intertwined free trade and special economic zones and relatively cheap labour. But as the United States, has increasingly under President Donald Trump, looked inward with protectionist and mercantilist policies, the region’s growth rates have come under threat. A trade war between the United States and China have made the headlines but economic data from around the region points to struggling economies and a scramble to find alternative outlets for exports.


By Asia News Network
July 23, 2019

Analysis

Pro-independence group forms political party in Taiwan

The move will unlikely improve cross strait relations. The pro-independence Formosa Alliance formed a political party on July 20, saying that it hoped to field at least 10 candidates in the legislative election next January and give independence-leaning voters an alternative to the current ruling party. The Formosa Alliance will not compete in the 2020 presidential election, said Lo Jen-kuei, a minister in the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, who was elected chairman of the new party. He said the Formosa Alliance was formed not out of dissatisfaction with the performance of President Tsai Ing-wen but rather to give pro-independence voters a choice other than her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). In fact, Lo said, it would be a blessing for the Taiwanese people if the DPP won the 2020 presidential election. He said he hoped to see Tsai team up with former Premier William Lai on the DPP pres


By Asia News Network
July 21, 2019

Analysis

Dozens die in suspected arson at animation studio in Kyoto

The perpetrator has been arrested. More than two dozen people died when a fire, possibly caused by arson, broke out at a studio managed by animation production company Kyoto Animation Co. in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, on Thursday morning. The Kyoto city fire department initially confirmed that one person had died, but dozens were later found in cardiac arrest inside the three-story building. The Kyoto Prefectural Police later confirmed that 25 people had died. According to the fire department, a nearby resident made an emergency call at about 10:35 a.m., saying they had heard the sound of an explosion. Officials of the prefectural police rushed to the studio and found a man, 41, on a road near the studio. The man told them, “I sprinkled liquid on the first floor and set it on fire.”


By The Japan News
July 19, 2019

Analysis

India, Pakistan both claim victory on ICJ spy case

Though there was only one ICJ verdict both countries have claimed victory. The International Court of Justice, the top United Nations Court, on Wednesday ruled that Pakistan had violated international law by denying consular access to Indian Navy Officer Kulbhushan Jadhav. The ICJ also ordered that Pakistan review the death penalty it handed down to Jadhav for spying. Jadhav was arrested in a restive Pakistan province in 2016 that is home to a simmering insurgency which Pakistan blames on India. India says that Jadhav was kidnapped by Pakistan agents while he was in Iran. In 2017, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military tribunal. The ICJ ruled that Pakistan in this instance failed to inform the navy officer of his right and was breaking international law when it failed to allow consular access to the imprisoned man. Despite the verdict, both India and Pakistan have claimed victory in t


By Cod Satrusayang
July 18, 2019

Analysis

Death toll in Mumbai building collapse likely to rise

A massive rescue operation is underway in India. The death toll in the building collapse in India’s financial capital Mumbai rose to 14 on Wednesday as rescue operations continued for the second day after the 100-year-old structure crumbled to the ground under incessant rains on Tuesday.   The death toll is likely to go up further as the rescue operations progress, an official from the Mumbai disaster management cell said. Dozens are still feared trapped in the rubble. At least 40 to 50 people were feared trapped under the debris of the four-storey building in the Dongri locality of Mumbai, local residents said. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is also carrying out rescue and search operations with the help of sniffer dogs. Nine people, including two children, have been rescued so far. Three NDRF teams were joined by the fire


By Ishan Joshi
July 18, 2019

Analysis

Korea says Japan’s arbitration process offer unacceptable

Seoul has taken Japan to the WTO with an official complaint. A couple of days ahead of the deadline set by Japan for South Korea to respond to its offer of a formal arbitration process over historical disputes, the office of President Moon Jae-in made clear Tuesday that it won’t accept the call. Cheong Wa Dae’s stern stance came amid Tokyo‘s threat of additional trade measures against South Korean companies. It heralds a possible deepening of the rift between the neighboring countries. “There’s no change in the government‘s position,” a senior Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters. Asked whether that means Japan’s demand is unacceptable, the official said, “Yes it is. I think that‘s clearly conclusive.” At the center of the latest Seoul-Tokyo stand-off is compensation of Koreans forced to toil at Japanese factories and mines during World War II. Korea was under Japan


By The Korea Herald
July 17, 2019