Area: Rakhine, Burma (Myanmar)
Cause of Death: Gun shots, Explosions, Dismembering, Torture, Rape
Responsible: Rohingya forces made up from British sponsored, V-Force Guerrilla Unit
Death Count: 20,000
Time Period: 1942 (20,000 Buddhists), 2017 (100 Hindus)
Dharmic Faiths: Indigenous Rakhines & Buddhists & Hindus
There are many articles, videos and coverage of the Rohingya side of the story and almost no fair coverage from the native Buddhist, Hindu and Indigenous populations. We find it hard to believe that this story is simply a one sided attack on the majority muslim Rohingya's and in the article we present events from the Buddhist, Indigenous and Hindu viewpoints that could have spurred off this resentment and treatment of the Rohingya people. We are aware there were atrocious acts committed by both sides of this story and we do not condone mistreatment of any innocent living beings. You may argue that we are being biased, but the same Humanitarian groups that claim the Rohingya crisis to be the worst crisis of the 20th Century say nothing of the 8+ million Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists that have gone missing in Pakistan since partition. We feel that the Genocide of 20,000 Rakhine Buddhists, including Deputy Commissioner U Oo Kyaw Khaing and 100's of Hindus cannot be ignored as a significant event that contributed towards the Rohingya crisis.
Ashwin Wirathu - Leader of Myanmar's 969 group
Buddhist monk and leader of the '969' group has seen a lot of controversy for his statements against the Rohingya populations of Burma. He actively speaks out about what he says is destruction of the native culture of his country. He speaks out against what he see's as tactics used by Rohingya's to turn Burma into yet another Islamic state including destruction of Buddhist and Hindu spiritual sites, forced conversions and the massacres of non muslim communities. He has been attacked and even thrown in Jail for his views, accused of stoking violence. But is he being attacked for simply trying to defend his Dharmic way of life, we look at some of the events below.
Ashwin Wirathu, leader of the '969' group and Ma Ba Tha Movement
Even before WW2 the British had overseen the movement of a significant amount of Indian Muslims into Burma. So much so that they changed the demographics of the entire country with yearly migrations of up to 480,000 people a year (1927) into a native population of just 13 million.
Did Britain then once again mistakenly (or so they say) sows the seeds of conflict between the Muslim and Buddhist populations of Burma by arming, recruiting and training the Rohingya Muslims with a unit called V-Force in 1942. V-force was a guerrilla unit designed to stay behind and prevent the Japanese from launching an attack on India, which actually happened two years later in 1944. It was led by Brigadier A. Felix Williams and other British officers were active in this unit. The British armed Muslims in North Arakan that could create a buffer force to prevent the Japanese from attacking if they retreated and to provide a counter balance to pro Japanese Rakhine people.
Some British officers like Andrew Irwin believed that Muslims should be regarded for their efforts and this was echoes in the sentiments of Muslim leaders, who believed the British had promised them a Muslim National Area in Maungdaw region. Once WW2 was over and V-force had provided some disruption to the Japanese, the Muslim Rohingyas of V force turned their guns on the indigenous Rakhine's and the resulting genocide resulted in 20,000 dead and the destruction of Buddhist monasteries, pagodas, and houses in the Arakan Massacres 1942.
The British trained the V-Force Guerrilla Unit, seen here in Burma
The V-Force Guerrilla Unit, many of it's ranks would later to go on to form Rohingya Extremists
″It’s hard to ignore the sheer brutality of ARSA’s actions, which have left an indelible impression on the survivors we’ve spoken to. Accountability for these atrocities is every bit as crucial as it is for the crimes against humanity carried out by Myanmar’s security forces in northern Rakhine State ... In this brutal and senseless act, members of ARSA captured scores of Hindu women, men, and children and terrorised them before slaughtering them outside their own villages. The perpetrators of this heinous crime must be held to account″
Tirana Hassan, Crisis Response Director at Amnesty International
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