The Rohingya have certainly gotten one of the worst deals in Burma, but the mainstream media is really reporting on them no less than they report on the Arakanese, or Kachin, or Naga, or any of the other ethnic minorities. It has only been very recently that Washington has noticed the Chin and Karen, and only because of concerted lobbying efforts by certain groups. The deliberate portrayal of these groups as mainly Christian probably does have a lot to do with it, though. Of course,there’s no doubt that Bush himself will never speak out on behalf of the Rohingya. His moralizing platitudes and expressions of outrage don’t really do anyone any good, though.
It’s worth noting that many of the Buddhist-Muslim conflicts that occasionally erupt in western Burma are instigated by government thugs. I’m sure there were many genuine monks who participated in the incident you refer to, but it’s a fair bet that there also government provocateurs who set the thing off or egged things on.
There are a lot of prejudices across all ethnic groups fueled by junta propaganda. The ethnic minorities have good reason to resent the ethnic Burmese, but the lack of information flow within the country means there are a lot of prejudices all around. There are people in other parts of Burma who honestly don’t even know the Rohingya exist. Everyone has a long road of reconciliation ahead of them, but it’s promising that many of the communities in exile are already working on this. As long as leaders from the ethnic states are excluded from the upper eschelons of government, though, whether military or otherwise, the situation for minorities will not improve.
Comment from: [Member]
Thanks for your comment. Yes, it sounds plausible that many of the Buddhist-Muslim conflicts are instigated by government thugs. It would not have been the first time that governments use religion or ethnicity in this way. Somewhere I’ve read that the monks are divided concerning the protests. Some do support the government, some do not.
One Blogger (Ko Htike?) wrote, that attacks on muslim mosques were initiated by militaries or mercenaries in robes and not perpetuated by “normal” monks.
While there is a sub-message of “modern medias dont’t report about good muslims", my experience with the common information-networks is, that the role of muslims within the protest is rather highlighted and given respect, maybe to engage Malaysia more. By the way, the christian minority receives the same discrimination and persecution.
Comment from: Thergee Blood [Visitor]
We find any hints of historical facts that muslims settled in the Land of Rakhine. Now, just like in other countries, Rakhine face being cheated by muslims, immigrants from Bangledesh.