۱۷ تیر ۱۳۹۹ | Jul 7, 2020
Exclusive: 'Rohingya issue, not Muslims v/s Buddhist paradigm'

Born in a Burmese Buddhist family, Zarni said a campaign of ignorance was manufactured in his country through schools, mass media, and Buddhist organizations against Rohingya, which eventually culminated in the genocide.

Hawzah News Agency - Maung Zarni, 56, scholar and activist, known for his opposition to the violence in Myanmar and his support to the Rohingya population said the Burmese military was taking advantage of strategic rivalry between China and India and blamed genocide of Rohingya to an institutional hate campaign.

Born in a Burmese Buddhist family, Zarni said a campaign of ignorance was manufactured in his country through schools, mass media, and Buddhist organizations against Rohingya, which eventually culminated in the genocide.

“The Burmese public has been made ignorant of the facts about Islam and Muslims,” said Zarni .

Co-founder of the Free Rohingya Coalition and the Forces of Renewal Southeast Asia, the UK-based scholar said there was no reason for the Burmese government to target Rohingya as they do not demand secession, independence, or even a regional autonomy.

“Rohingya are not fighting with any community or with the government. They want to live in Burma as peacefully as anybody,” he said.

He said it is Rakhine Buddhists who are fighting the central government of ethnic Burmese to reclaim their sovereignty, they have lost 200 years ago.

Zarin said the Rohingya have become sandwiched between the two waring Buddhist parties.

“That is the only conflict there, “he said, adding that the world does not know these facts about Myanmar and tends to focus on Muslims versus the Buddhist paradigm.

The activist further said that the Burmese military was also taking advantage of strategic rivalry between China and India in the region.

“The multi-billion-dollar projects along the Arakan the coastline, or like giving the mineral rights concessions or gas exploration rights, you will see a pattern of the Burmese military, making sure both India and China received something. In other words, while they are playing India and China against each other, to maintain the benefits of being allies with both powers,” he said.

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