World View: Bangladesh Formally Protests Burma’s (Myanmar’s) Troop Buildup near Border

An increased Myanmar security presence has centred around a strip of "no man's land" at the border with Bangladesh where some 6,000 Rohingya sought shelter after fleeing a brutal Myanmar army crackdown last August

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Bangladesh formally protests Burma’s (Myanmar’s) troop buildup near border
  • April monsoon rains will have disastrous impact on Rohingya camps in Bangladesh

Bangladesh formally protests Burma’s (Myanmar’s) troop buildup near border

Rohingya refugees' tents are likely to be washed away in the flooding and landslides from the April monsoons (Guardian)
Rohingya refugees’ tents are likely to be washed away in the flooding and landslides from the April monsoons (Guardian)

Bangladesh summoned Burma’s (Myanmar’s) ambassador on Thursday as hundreds of Burmese armed soldiers and police came to a border fence near Burma’s border with Bangladesh, and appeared to be moving heavy weapons, including mortars and machine guns, to the area.

The Burmese troops have been surrounding a strip of land dubbed “no man’s land,” because it is beyond Myanmar’s border fence but on Myanmar’s side of a creek that marks the international border. There are about 5,300 Rohingya Muslims living in a makeshift camp in the no man’s land area.

Since 2011, Burma’s mostly Buddhist security forces have been committing mass atrocities on mostly Muslim ethnic Rohingyas living in Rakhine State, what the United Nations says is “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” and which some Western governments are calling genocide. The atrocities by Buddhist security forces include gang rape, violent torture, execution-style killings, and the razing of entire villages in a scorched earth campaign. The atrocities by Buddhist security forces worsened considerably last August, when Rohingya activists killed several Burmese security forces in attacks against 30 Burmese police outputs. Many Rohingyas were forced to flee into neighboring Bangladesh. Today, there are about 700,000 Rohingyas living in refugee camps in Bangladesh, and about 5,300 have stayed in the small no man’s land camp on the Burma side.

Myanmar’s unexplained military buildup near the Bangladesh border is raising new tensions between the two countries. As Burmese forces have repeatedly conducted mass slaughter and scorched earth operations against Rohingya civilians, it is feared that Burma is about to do it again. Burmese forces have already been using loudspeakers ordering the Rohingyas to get out, and according to some reports have been throwing stones.

After the Bangladesh protest on Thursday, the Burmese forces near the camp withdrew their heavy weapons, but the troops remained, and they began firing live bullets into the air.

Last year, under heavy international pressure, Burma agreed to accept the return of hundreds of thousands of refugees that had fled to Bangladesh. The agreement was farcical in that it is never going to happen. It is like the ceasefire that Russia and Syria agreed to as the exterminate civilians in East Ghouta. These agreements are only used as political cover to continue exterminations, genocide, and ethnic cleansing.

It is not known what the Burmese troops are planning, but no one would be surprised if they are planning a massive new attack on the civilians in the camp, including women and children. BD News (Bangladesh) and Daily Star (Bangladesh) and AP and AFP

April monsoon rains will have disastrous impact on Rohingya camps in Bangladesh

Nearly 700,000 Rohingyas have crossed the border from Burma into Bangladesh in just the last six months. Refugee camps were created for them by stripping the land of trees and other vegetation, to make room for shelters, mostly made from tarpaulin and bamboo.

Many of these shelters were built on slopes and hillsides. When monsoon rains arrive in April, these slopes will turn to mud, and many of these shelters will collapse and be washed away. It is believed that about 100,000 people will be displaced at the time.

Aid agencies are preparing in advance by setting up emergency medical centers to prepare for the spread of diseases like diarrhea, dysentery, and mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, malaria, and others. Light machinery will be installed and work crews established at ten strategic points across the district to clear major drains and waterways after landslides and mud cause road closures and blockages.

The Rohingya situation has been mostly out of the news for the last few weeks, but it could escalate to a major new crisis very quickly if Burmese troops commit new atrocities on Rohingyas while the monsoon rains displace hundreds of thousands of them.

Some people claim that Buddhism is a “religion of peace,” despite the massive Buddhist on Buddhist genocide in the Killing Fields of Cambodia in 1975-79. For the last six years, it has been clear that the Buddhists in Burma have been taking lessons from their brethren in Cambodia, and are repeating the Cambodia genocide on the Muslim Rohingyas in Burma. Some people claim that Buddhists are better than Muslims, but from the point of view of Generational Dynamics, there is no difference at all between Buddhists and Muslims except that they use different religious justifications when they exterminate, torture, and commit atrocities on innocent civilians that they don’t like. That’s the way the world works. UN Migration Agency and Reuters and Guardian (London)

Related Articles

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Burma, Myanmar, Bangladesh, No man’s land, Rohingyas, Islam, Buddhism, Cambodia, Killing Fields
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