The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

Myanmar genocide ignored by the media

MAX GREENWOOD

MAX GREENWOOD

Madeleine Cary

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We are glued to our Twitter feeds, distracted by meaningless gossip and our anxious anticipation of the latest crisis and catastrophe from Washington like an absent parent looking at her phone while crossing the street with a stroller.

We are caught up in a deluge of bull—- while leaving desperate nations and people out to dry. There is currently a horrific genocide underway in Myanmar that no one is talking about.

Myanmar is a Buddhist-majority country with 135 officially recognized ethnic groups according to a Sept. Al Jazeera article. The Myanmar government refuses to count the Rohingya Muslim ethnic group as one of those 135.

As a consequence, the Rohingya people have suffered as social and legal outcasts, unable to exercise basic rights and freedoms, including education, healthcare, employment and marriage enjoyed by legal citizens of Myanmar.

The genocide began in October 2016 after Rohingya militiamen killed nine border patrolmen. Since then, over a million people have been forced out of their homes.

Half a million Rohingya refugees are now crowding in a grossly under-equipped desolate refugee camp in Bangladesh–a country that is struggling to feed its own native population.

Most recently, Rohingya militiamen attacked police outposts and killed a dozen policemen Aug. 25, according to a Sept. 28 Associated Press article.

In retribution, troops zeroed in on Rohingya settlements in the Rakhine State of Myanmar and opened fire, according to a 2017 Al Jazeera article

Villages have been bombed and buildings torched. Women attempting to escape the chaos face gunfire or systematic rape by Burmese soldiers, according to the article.

The Arkan Rohingya Salvation Army is preventing men and able-bodied boys from leaving the Rakhine State so they can stay and fight the Burmese Army, according to the article.

A majority of the desperate and starving refugees fleeing on foot are women and their children. The refugee camps in Bangladesh cannot accom- modate the influx of desperate terrified people, according to a 2017 New York Times article.

Aung San Suu-Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the defacto leader of Myanmar, refuses to condemn or even acknowledge the plight of the Rohingya people. Meanwhile, millions of men, women and children are fighting for their lives.

Shut down the distractions, pick up a newspaper and pay attention. The minute we start to turn our backs, innocent people will slip through the cracks.

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The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883
Myanmar genocide ignored by the media