DhakaTribune
Saturday December 16, 2017 01:56 AM

Like lambs to the slaughter

  • Published at 07:34 PM October 10, 2017
  • Last updated at 08:28 AM October 11, 2017
Like lambs to the slaughter
It is not too late for the world to step up Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Is greed stopping China and India from doing the right thing?

We have yet to see any concrete measures be taken to end the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.

Barring Bangladesh’s magnanimous role in giving the persecuted minority, an organisation as powerful as the UN has been unable to do anything to stop Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing.

While other, more fringe organsations such as the OIC, Arab League, etc are doing whatever they can, not out of any humanitarian interest, but to shore up the Muslims of the world.

The Myanmar government does not seem to care about words of condemnation, nor is it realistic to expect it from them.

Their grand plan seems to be to push the Rohingya up against a wall to the point that they are compelled to leave their homeland, and that too with the added danger of tripping over minefields in the process.

For better or worse, it seems that Bangladesh has now become a major part of this crisis.

While our country does not possess the necessary power to force Myanmar into stopping their violation of human rights, the Bangladesh government has been quite deft in dealing with the issue through diplomacy.

But what good is diplomacy when there are still people dying from torture, from rape, from being hunted down like animals in their own country?

The suffering of the Rohingya seems to have boiled down to one thing: Monetary interests. To protect those interests, most countries within the region want to maintain good relations with the government of Myanmar, and to that end, it means keeping mum on the Rohingya crisis at best, and justifying the barbarity at worst.

It is well known by now that the Israeli government has been in cahoots with the Myanmar army through various arms deals.

To that end, the Israeli government has vociferously refused to stop their arms deal, despite knowing full well what the Myanmar army has been doing with the supplied arms.

Both China and India are supporting Myanmar purely out of their respective national interests — Myanmar happens to fall in the geographical location between the two most populous countries — both countries need natural resources, and Myanmar has enough of it

China, perhaps the biggest economy in all of Asia, has enough cache to resolve the Rohingya crisis in one fell swoop, but the nation’s “neither here nor there” stance has disappointed nearly everyone regarding the crisis, at least anyone with a conscience.

The powerhouse nation has yet to directly condemn the ethnic cleansing (not that words by themselves would achieve anything), but even some amount of showboating on part of China would surely have the Myanmar government quaking in their boots.

But perhaps the most offensive act of gross negligence comes in the form of China and Russia vetoing any action being taken against Myanmar by the United Nations Security Council, while India simply parrots whatever its much more powerful overlords (ie China and Russia) have to say regarding this issue.

Any expectation that Modi, through his visit to Myanmar, would throw his nation’s weight in keeping Ms Suu Kyi’s government proved to have been dashed with gusto.

The statement given by Narendra Modi clearly spelled out that he is, in fact, in favour of Myanmar’s inhumane actions.

Both China and India are supporting Myanmar purely out of their respective national interests — Myanmar happens to fall in the geographical location between the two most populous countries — both countries need natural resources, and Myanmar has enough of it.

With the expulsion of the Rohingya from their own land, it leaves a wealth of resources just ripe for the taking, ripe for foreign business to come and set up shop, ripe to be raped and used up just like the people who once inhabited it.

The world has declared the Rohingya as the sacrificial lamb to be placed at the altar of corporate greed, and the nation that would benefit most from it is all too pleased to comply.

Md Yamin Khan is UP Secretary of No 12 Chandra Union, Bhanga, Faridpur.

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