There’s a bit of a humanitarian crisis in Burma (the wonk class now call it “Myanmar”, but nobody cares, because it’s freaking Burma); the majority Buddhist population is carrying out ethnic cleansing against a small Muslim minority, with the blessing of the military (who worry about a Muslim population on the border with majority-Islamic Bangladesh).
And it’s ugly:
(Human rights activist Maung Zarni): Simply put, the military in Burma today uses what the Nazis used in the 1930s – that they have misframed the Rohingyas the way the Nazis blamed the Jewish people for everything that was wrong with the society, all the frustration and anger. So I think the military has cleverly diverted public frustration towards the Rohingya, who are completely unarmed and helpless. And they’ve been sitting ducks for the last 40 years.
More disarmed people at the mercy of their masters. But I digress.
There are a couple of “unlikely” suspects in this crime against humanity, too. Keep this one in mind when your dippy nephew says he’s experimenting with Buddhism because of its’ universal love for humanity:
ZARNI: Well, there is no someone else inside the country. Even Buddhist monks justify openly to the military, to the public that killing the nonbelievers, non-Buddhists, the Rohingyas does not amount to bad karma. It is not a crime.
And – “Surprisingly”, if you have not completely given into cynicism about the Mainstream Media’s take on the world – this suspect:
(NPR talking voice Kelly McEvers): And human rights groups have said that Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar, is part of the problem here. This is a woman who of course won the Nobel Peace Prize. She’s considered a champion of human rights. Yet she will not say that what’s happening to the Rohingya is ethnic cleansing. Why? Why is she not getting more involved in their case?
ZARNI: Well, you know, I’ve known her personally, and I’ve supported her for the first 15 years of my activism. And simply put, she is anti-Muslim races. She is Islamophobe. I mean, she is a big part of the problem.
Why, it’s almost as if the Nobel Peace Prize is of no value…
The whole thing is worth a read.