Refugee crisis in Myanmar includes Buddhists and Hindus
IS IT not intriguing that the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar is being projected as a Muslim one? The media in South Africa, especially certain publications of Independent Media, are guilty of this bias.
Rakhine State’s Buddhists and Hindus in their thousands fled their homes when Rohingya Muslim militants attacked their village on August 3. They sought refuge in Buddhist monasteries in other parts of the country.
When retaliatory attacks against the Rohingya started, Hindus (and perhaps some Buddhists) came under attack again.
Since the beginning of the month, many overseas publications have mentioned the Hindu refugees, but not in South Africa.
Safm discussed the issue in Sakina Kamwendo’s The Forum@ Eight on September 19. The Hindu victims were airbrushed out of the discussion.
Presumably victimhood is the prerogative of one particular group in this country. Certainly the cacophony of callers to the discussion thought so. Even the Dalai Lama came in for a bashing. For the record, His Holiness follows Mahayana Buddhism, while Theravada Buddhism is preferred in Myanmar. To expect him to comment on Myanmar is akin to holding Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei accountable for what Saudi Arabia’s clerics do.
In the latest round of violence, more than 500 Hindus from Myanmar have crossed to Bangladesh and are housed in Hindupara, a Hindu area in the Kutupalang camp. They told of gun-toting masked men unleashing terror for six days in their village. Victims were hacked and houses looted and burnt. Women were raped and murdered. Eighty Hindus were killed, some beheaded.