FOR quite some time now pictures and videos of atrocities against Muslims committed by local Buddhists and the Myanmar government are making rounds on social media websites but the silence of the international as well as of the national media is beyond comprehension. Myanmar has a long history of persecuting Rohingyas, the Muslim minority group.
During a military operation in 1978, Rohingya Muslims were subjected to widespread killings, torture and rape, forcing 200,000 Rohingyas to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh. Likewise, in 1991-92, another 250,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh following a wave of violence against them.
Currently, about 800,000 Rohingya Muslims are living in the northern part of Rakhaine state (formerly known as Arakan) of Burma in extremely miserable conditions without any citizenship and proprietary rights. According to unconfirmed reports, the latest outbreak of violence began in the first week of June 2012 after three Muslim men were accused of gang-raping and murdering a Buddhist woman. In retaliation, an angry Buddhist mob killed 10 Muslim bus passengers and since then thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been tortured to death and many more have been forced to flee or take refuge in temporary camps due to burning of houses, villages and mosques.
According to the UN, they are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
Rohingya Muslims are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
NASEEM AHMED Lahore