The violence began when a so-called influential Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu initiated a nationalist campaign called the “969 Movement” against Islam’s expansion in a predominantly Buddhist country.
Soon enough, the riots took the ghostly form of a genocide – an ethnic cleansing which human rights advocates frequently compare to the events that tore apart a nation and killed 800,000 in Rwanda almost two decades ago.
Disappointed by complete inaction over blatant atrocities against the Rohingya people, activists – exiled and overseas – initiated the hashtag
Rohingya10June on Twitter, an online campaigncalling on the international community, world leaders and human rights organizations to put an end to the bloodshed.
Around 300 Rohingya Muslims have been ruthlessly killed and up to 140,000 displaced in the South Asian country, according to data provided by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates, there could be as many as 500,000 unregistered Rohingya refugees inside neighboring Bangladesh.
President Thein Sein, also a former military commander, made matters worse when he suggested the world body resettle ethnic Rohingyas abroad because they didn’t belong in Myanmar – despite living there for hundreds of years.
Even worse is the country’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s inexplicable silence and inaction over the issue.
The hashtag, mostly being used by independent activists, non-profit and exiled news organizations, is highlighting how miserable life has become for the Rohingya community in Myanmar.
Given the fact that the Burmese government has not done anything substantial to secure the lives and livelihood of the Rohingya Muslims in the past two years, one wonders how much more time and bloodshed is it going to take to draw Aung San Suu Kyi and Thein Sein’s attention.