Rakhine State affair and cooperation
- By Khin Maung Oo
- It was said there has been a growing concern among the global community that resurgent nationalism would appear in Myanmar concerning the Rakhine State affair. They are worried rising waves of nationalism will appear among social communities as a result of resurgent nationalism and thence become obstacles on Myanmar’s road to reforms and democracy.
A strong sense of nationalism did not occur in the minds of the people without rhyme or reason. Based on the false allegations that ethnic cleansing was being committed in Rakhine State, nationalistic spirit welled up in the hearts of the Myanmar people as the said accusations affected the national dignity and image of the country. The Myanmar people felt deeply hurt because they believed that the international community had decided to neglect the dangerous threats on Myanmar’s national sovereignty by swallowing lock, stock and barrel the propaganda lines churned out by the numerous channels with dubious names but with one definite single intent – to bring shame to the Myanmar people, discredit our leaders and hurl continuous baseless accusations against the Myanmar Armed Forces. The ease at which the international community has fallen prey to the sight of crying babies or tales of human rights abuses, brings into focus the power of the internet, Face Book and other mass communications tools to sway public opinion towards a certain cause. Perhaps they did not find time to read the news reports in detail which stated that the border police outposts were surrounded not by a few dozen militants but by a host of villages armed with sticks and knives. This being the case, it seems natural that these same villages would have immediately decided to flee once they heard the Myanmar Armed Forces entering the area to conduct clearance operations. It certainly does not take a legal expert to come to the conclusion that all those villages who took part in the raids are also punishable under the anti-terrorism law. This fact may perhaps explain why nearly half a million people decided to cross over to the Bangladesh side of the border. At least this may be one of the many reasons. The other reasons could be the lure of easy money in the refugee camps and perhaps the hope of getting refugee status in a third country for economic reasons.
Actually the problems in the Rakhine State could be best solved by taking an objective look at the situation without being overwhelmed by feelings of emotions. This is because the problems require careful study and deep understanding of the underlying causes which cannot be analyzed in simplistic terms. It needs a willingness to approach the complex problem from many viewpoints – such as historic, political, social, economic, communal and religious. It has been clearly publicized that those who will comply with rules and laws will be granted citizenship rights after undergoing a strict and careful process of scrutinizing Bengalis said to have fled into Bangladesh. Every nation, institution and individual desirous of solving the Rakhine State affair with unadulterated minds are required to enthusiastically take part in implementing the process successfully. And they must collectively help by taking part in launching development projects in Rakhine State, as backwardness in economic development is one of the reasons which caused the current problem. We therefore humbly urge the international community to collectively solve the problem hand in hand with the Union Government in a spirit of cooperation, sincerity and genuine good intentions to alleviate the suffering of all communities in the Rakhine State.