Ordeal of the Rohingya

By H.E. Orhan Atalay, Member of Grand National Assembly of Turkey

The ordeal began with the Britain occupation and colonization of the country of the Muslim Rohingya, known as Burma, in 1826. Then successive crises and disasters afflicted the Muslims there over the years. The world was a witness to these bloody and unjust developments.

The story which we talk about or hear or narrate about the Rohingya is one of the stories of colonization. From ancient time and until the advent of the white man there, people were living in peace and conciliation, even though they differed in ethnicity and religion, especially during the reign of the first Muslim state in 1430 under the rule of the Sultan Suleiman Shah. That state continued to rule until 1784.

The white man, in possession of fatal and destructive weapons, was roaming the world, not for scientific discovery but for colonization alone.  He was seeking to turn his country into paradise by the riches and blood and labor of other people. His only aim in life was to usurp the riches of others; wherever he finds them he plunders them and takes them to his homeland, being unlawful and immoral, and without the permission of the owners. He believes that might is right. His belief, promise and honor are focused on the riches and nothing else.

The white man continued to carry out his shameful deeds over the years until the time of his return to his country. The British were forced to leave this country. But he wanted to leave behind something which is true to his nature. He left behind divisions, differences and sedition among the peoples of Arakhan so as to achieve his aim. The British colonial administration gave the new Buddhist government a document bearing the names of the people who live in the region. Name of the Rohingya people was left out because they are Muslims.

There is a saying that “when you see two fishes fighting in a pond be sure that a white man was in the area before”. After the British departed in 1948, a Buddhist government was established. It started to violate the rights of the Muslims with the collaboration and support of the British government, citing fake excuses.

Tensions continued until 1982 when the Buddhist state enacted the Citizenship Law which deprives Muslims of citizenship rights because the law defines Muslims as “foreigners”. In fact, the source of all problems facing the Rohingya today is this law. The law denies Muslims the right to own estates, engage in trade, occupy government posts, or vote in parliamentary elections.

In recent years and after the spiraling of tensions, pressure and murder, about a million Rohingya Muslims migrated to Cox’s Bazar area in Bangladesh where they live under hard circumstances.

Last year the PUIC Conference adopted a resolution on visiting the Rohingya in Bangladesh. A PUIC delegation composed of deputies from parliaments of Turkey, Iran, Algeria, Morocco, Pakistan and Sudan, led by the Secretary General visited Bangladesh in September, 2018.

The PUIC Delegation met with the lady Speaker of the Parliament of Bangladesh and the Foreign Minister who briefed the delegation on the conditions of the Rohingya refugees and the memorandum exchanged with other states in this regard.

The next day, the delegation, including deputies from Bangladesh visited the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, and saw the situation on the ground.

The picture we saw calls on the world:

“Where are the organizations that claim to be defenders of justice, rights and peace?”

 

More Images: