In his post titled "Letter in Wish for Secession from the so-called Union (of Myanmar)" on Facebook on Saturday (Jan 5), a Maungdaw-based Rakhine journalist, Kaung Mrat Naing, claimed that they (Rakhines) possessed evidences of the crimes against Rohingyas (in his term, Bengalis) by the Myanmar armed forces and Government officials. The letter apparently came in response to rampant abhorrent comments against the Rakhines by the Burmese on social media after AA (Arakan Army), Rakhine rebel group, attacked four Myanmar’s Border Guard Police (BGP) Posts in the early hours of Friday (Jan 4). After the attacks, the AA took away fourteen policemen and four women as captives, who were released later on the day, according to a statement released by the AA on its official Facebook page.
The Myanmar Police on Saturday announced that they would be charging the AA in Court under Anti-Terrorism Acts, indirectly calling the group terrorists. Many Burmese took to Facebook and began to accuse AA of colluding ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army) or at least, following their footsteps. The Rakhines along with the AA are increasingly accused of being secessionists through violence. Both AA and Rakhines also admit that, because they are discriminated and treated as inferior to the Burmese, they are fighting for an independent state, while emphasizing that their preferred method for Independence is not violence or fighting with the Myanmar forces.
Kaung Mrat Naing claimed that AA was fighting with the Myanmar forces because the “Myanmar state refuses to listen to Rakhines” and they normally wouldn't need to secede Arakan through violence as they had evidences of the crimes against the Rohingyas by the Myanmar armed forces. He wrote that AA could create a situation to call for International R2P (Responsibility to Protect) without a need to attack the Myanmar army and Government, if it really collaborated with ARSA, as Rakhines were fully aware of the crimes against the Rohingyas (in his term, Bengalis) and still possessed their evidences.
In his post, Naing further wrote "the eye-witnesses of the incidents in Tula Toli, Chut Pyin, Gudar Pyin, Phaung Taw Pyin, Kwan Thi Pin Chaung Wa etc are Rakhines and their evidences (of the crimes) are with the Rakhines.
“If Rakhines collaborate with Bengalis (Rohingyas) and AA does the same with ARSA, we can secede (the state) from Myanmar without even fighting with the Myanmar army and Government. We just need to become witnesses of the Crimes against the Bengalis (Rohingyas) to the International Bodies (with authorities).”
He went on to hint that the Rakhine people are fully with the AA and ended his post saying “I pray we don't see the authorities responsible for the human rights violations in the ICC (International Criminal Court).”
Early this year, on February 4, renown Rohingya activist and journalist, Ro Nay San Lwin wrote a post on his Facebook wall “Will the Evidences of Genocide against Rohingya Become Tools of Political Power Struggles between Rakhines and Burmese?” The post reinforces the claims made by the Rakhine journalist, Kaung Mrat Naing.
In the post, Ro Nay San Lwin reported “the AP's Report (on Gudar Pyin Massacre) was published on February 1 and on the same day, Burmese soldiers arrived at the village. And they left the village around 9 am next day (Feb 2).
“Around 10 am (one hour after they left), two Rakhine men arrived at the village on a motorcycle and met the village in-charge. And they introduced themselves to him as being SaYaPha (Defence Service Intelligence) and asked him to show them the places of the mass graves of the Rohingyas. The village in-charge also showed them place because he thought they were actually SaYaPhas. The men pretending as SaYaPhas took photographs of the mass graves carefully."
ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army) launched attacks on apparently more than 25 Border Guard Police posts including one military battalion across three townships – Maungdaw, Rathedaung and Buthidaung – in the early hours of 25 August 2017 (which, according to ARSA’s statements, happened as a result of decades-long oppressions and slow-burning Genocide of the Rohingya people). After that, fightings between the Myanmar Armed Forces (the military and the BGP) and ARSA broke out. A day later, the Myanmar forces went after the whole Rohingya population in disguise of ‘Clearance Operations.’
During the operations, the Myanmar forces committed summary executions of thousands of Rohingya including children and old and buried them in mass graves; burned down their entire villages and large swathes of their home-lands; arbitrarily arresting and imprisoning thousands; raping and gang raping thousands of women, driving out almost two third of its whole population nearly one million to Bangladesh. Some of the places where mass graves uncovered by the international news agencies and human rights groups are ‘Inn Din, Tula Toli, Chut Pyin, Gudar Pyin and so on.’
The Independent International Fact Finding Mission (IIFFM) mandated by the UN Human Rights Council called the Crimes against the Rohingya population as Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity. So did by many human rights groups. Canada has officially called it Genocide. After the US State Department calling the crimes ‘Large Scale Planned and Coordinated Violence’ and ‘Terrorizing the Population’ (of the Rohingya), the US House of Representatives has recently unanimously passed a resolution calling the crimes Genocide.
Some extremist members of the Rakhine community led by politicians like Dr. Aye Maung and others coordinated with the Myanmar armed forces in the genocidal violence on the Rohingya population in 2012, 2016 and 2017 respectively. Therefore, during the violence, many of the Rakhines, collaborators of the Myanmar forces or not, had the first-hand accounts of the crimes against the Rohingya people. Of all, they had opportunities to document hard evidences of the crimes, sufficient enough to call for R2P and drag the responsible Myanmar Generals to the ICC or other Independent International Crime Tribunals.
Some usages in the article:
– Burmese/Bama for the majority Buddhist people in Myanmar
– Myanmar for the Nation’s Armed Forces and the Governnent
– Arakan State for the State now called Rakhine State
– Rakhine for the Rakhine Buddhist people in Arakan
– Rohingya for the Rohingya Muslim people in Arakan