Friday, October 26, 2012

Burma - Arakan Violence - Analysis by Anonymous -

Analysis from Anonymous: Date: Thursday, October 25 and Oct 26, 2012. Here are some of the crucial factors that are at work behind a misleadingly oversimplified media and regime's narrative of "sectarian violence": 1). Kyauk Hpyu, the designated location for the multi-billion dollar economic projects including the Special Economic Zone, a deep-sea port where China's Mid-East oil will be destined for re-transportation overland to the Southern Chinese Providence of Yunnan. (The two Burmese off-shore gas pipeline and the Mid-East oil pipelines projects will be located here. This is what connects the war in Kachin State, which the pipelines will run through, before they reach Yunnan, and the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Western Burma. The pipeline will run almost due west to east. The economic motivation behind the violence, probably state sanctioned, has to date only been picked up by a few analysts, and not by Myanmar Government and the international media. 2). From the Burmese regime's perspective they “see the fingerprints of the Taliban” in the violence in Western Burma, involving Rohingyas - and now ALL Muslims - and the Rakhine. So, the generals want to make sure they preemptively purge Kyauk-hpyu of any Muslims - not just Rohingya - to protect against, preemptively, their Chinese-joint venture economic assets/projects. These are areas where Muslims, Rohingya or otherwise, have lived side by side and mingled for generations. So, even some Rakhine (Arakanese) veterans of the Burmese Military were upset by the fact that the troops there were allegedly ordered by Naypyidaw to let the Muslims and Rohingya (or Bangali in their lingo) run for their lives - despite the fact that these targeted victims have nowhere safe to run to. There have been consistent reports from the ground that the government firefighters were not putting out the fires, but spraying petrol on the burning houses to accelerate the burning. 3). The Bangladeshi-born and/or connected "Bangali Rakhines" who are active with the Arakanese Liberation Party/Army - an armed organization whose mission is to purge the Arakan of all Muslims - is heavily involved. The Bangladesh-born Rakhines (Arakanese) are known to be far more rabidly racist towards the Muslims and the ALP-supporting Rakhines are, essentially, threatening the more moderate "Bama Rakhines" (Burman Arakanese) to partake in the final wave of ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya and the Muslims. Some of the armed ALP elements are said to be coming from Bangladesh. (An ALP leader, a woman, recently returned from Bangladesh with official permission from Naypyitaw, and has set up an office in Arakan State) 4). Recent attacks on Buddhist temples and monasteries in Bangladesh are a sign of things to come and can trigger full-scale Buddhist-Muslim hate-killings in both countries. 5). Not all Rakhines are racist and neo-Fascist. Many in fact have lived peacefully with various Muslim communities for generations in integrated villages and towns. Emphatically, Rakhine Ethno-Nationalists such as Bangladesh-born national-level MP Aye Maung and local/provincial level Than Htut Aung (MP for the local Rakhine State Parliament) are said to be directly involved in mobilizing anti-Muslim, anti-Rohingya protests and the latest wave of violent attacks. Several more factors that help explain the recent spate of violent attacks against the Rohingya. 6. Naypyidaw itself - that is, President Thein Sein and his office -- is aggressively dodging any inquiry being carried out by the 27-member Presidential Riot Inquiry Commission. 7. The key, most crucial members of the Commission - the two-Cornell trained members: the historian Dr Myo Myint, retired Director-General of the Religious Affairs Ministry and the political scientist from Singapore Dr Kyaw Yin Hlaing - are no longer showing any interest in the Inquiry. Myo Myint was a Fulbright scholar in the USA. Kyaw Yin Hlaing was pushing for engagement as early as 2002, and a regular visitor to Burma. He accompanied President Thein Sein to the USA recently, and acts as adviser and interpreter. He is probably the one who told the BBC Hardtalk journalist that if he “did not like the question, he might ask Thein Sein not to answer it.” 8. The Commission's strategic role, in retrospective, has served Naypyidaw's purpose of preempting any push for a truly independent, external inquiry about the ethnic violence in June in Western Burma. Thein Sein’s “commission” is there just to placate western critics and to put democracy advocates such as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the comedian Zarganar and U Nu’s daughter Daw Than Than Nu in a spot. 9 The Border Affairs Minister - Lt-General Thein Htay, a Danu from Shan State and informal regime contact between Aung San Suu Kyi and the senior generals - is one of the most trusted pets of the 'retired' Senior General Than Shwe (Thein Htay, an engineer by training from Rangoon Institute of Technology) serves or served as a key member of the Myanmar Economic Holdings, the military's umbrella corporation overseeing its institutional assets. (It’s former name was BEDC – Burma Economic Development Corporation – headed by Brig Gen Aung Gyi who died a few days ago. UMEH – Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings, Ltd., is widely regarded as the economic front of "Burmese Military Incorporated". 10. There is every reason to believe that these men are carrying out their strategic plans/goals - including purging Western Burma of Muslims, not just Rohingya - as blessed by Than Shwe himself. Glossary and who’s who. Thein Sein – nominal “reformist, moderate” President. Than Shwe, hard liner, former President – said to be “retired” Arakan (now called Rakhine) – coastal strip state in Western Burma. Burma, now called Myanmar by junta. Arakanese (Rakhine) – an ethnic group. Rohingya, a subset of all Burmese Muslims, living in Western Burma since 9th century. Burman, mainstream majority, subset of Burmese. Naypyidaw or Naypyitaw - purpose-built capital city -- started 2005 in Central Burma - site of Than Shwe's home - use Google Earth to look for it - and the Hluttaw or "parliament". Aung San Suu Kyi was under her latest stint of house arrest, May 30, 2003 to Nov 13, 2010, when it was built. ***