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Myanmar, rights tragedy like Palestine

An analyst says the sanctioned ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority in Myanmar by the country’s government is akin to the human rights abuses carried out by Israel toward the Palestinians. 
 Myanmar, rights tragedy like Palestine

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – Interview with Allen Roland, online columnist from California about the growing awareness about this continuing tragedy in Myanmar. The following is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Q: The international community’s silence on the persecution of the Rohingya Muslims that is taking place in Myanmar is very telling. Was the drum beat of democracy and human rights only restricted to Aung San Suu Kyi?

Roland: Is this any different than the apartheid that is being practiced by Israel against the Palestinians? And we are largely silent on that one too.

We’re (the US) silent when it comes to human rights although we talk the big talk and carry the big stick, we’re silent on it.

We are really still all about money, power, control and manipulation. That’s why we’re silent. This should not be any surprise to you i.e. the posture the West is taking right now. It’s all about power; it’s all about manipulation and very little about human rights.

Q: What does the West gain from ignoring the plight of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar specifically in the context of a country like Bangladesh that considers the strengthening of bilateral ties when it deports Rohingya Muslims to a country where it knows they will be persecuted?

Roland: I just answered that question, but at the risk of being redundant… it gains nothing. It gains nothing, but there’s absolutely no reason that the West needs to say anything. That’s actually our general posture in situations like this.

Once again, let’s make the analogy – a great analogy by the way – with Israel and the Palestinians – totally ignoring the human rights. Actually apartheid exists there in Palestine. Are we doing anything different right now? Unless it serves our vital interests, we turn our head the other way.

Q: Do you think there is going to be any difference in the way the world has acted with regards to Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar for the past years now that there is more awareness among the masses through social networking websites?

Roland: Yes. There is always a first step. The first step is to bring it out of the darkness and you become aware of the injustices that are happening. That’s the first step.

However, before you get to step three with anyone doing anything about it, it’s always met with ignorance and with people just ignoring it. So that’s the first step, social networking etc making it aware to everybody, but we are far… we are a far distance way from actually doing anything about it.

But it’s getting closer and the fact that we are aware of that is very positive, but does that mean we’re closer to making any change or recognizing it – No… Not unless it affects the vital interests of the West, that’s what the West is all about.

It’s not about human rights, it’s already lost all of its moral values, it’s about vital interests, power, manipulation, domination. That’s the code word for the West.

Q: Do you think that human rights organizations internationally speaking have done enough for this situation and for the Rohingyas considering we’re now only getting statement from organizations like Amnesty International in condemnation of what’s been going on for years now in Myanmar?

Do you think the international human rights community has failed the Muslims in Myanmar?

Roland: No. I think they’re just barely getting a glimpse of it. It’s got a ways to go before it basically rises to the surface where it starts to get some after effects.

Now, people becoming aware of it are a first step… I was not aware of it until recently. It’s surfacing to our level of consciousness in the world and that’s where Amnesty International and social networking helps. But it’s far away… it’s a far step away from basically having people say we’ve got to do something about this.

But it’s at least a first step… that’s a vital step.

SOURCE:  http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=330509

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