A Burmese’s (Myanmar’s) request to all Medias : “Stop Pushing a Religion War to my Country”
This post is entitled to all the media who are responsible for the news they are creating which are recently concerned with the latest news with Rohingya people in my country.
My name is Htet San, a born and raised artist from Burma (Myanmar).
It’s been a world known fact that my country was suppressed by Juntas for decades and only recently, the people from Burma and the country itself are starting to get brighter hopes for their future, the hopes arising from the positive reforms of the country. I am one of those majorities with high expectations who want to see my native land shines with the hopeful smiles of the people again.
Even though Burma does not have a fully functional democracy yet, there’s never a racist problem among the people living in there. We have our own freedom of choice for religion and different people with many different religions, Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and many others, are living inside the country very peacefully.
Recently, riots between the Rohingya people and our ethnic group, Arakanese are happening in the North West part of the country. There are scandals created by outsiders and some countries that “Rohingyas” as one of our ethnics groups and nationality but in fact, they are merely the descendants and refugees of Bengali. Our historians have proved historically on that topic and if any scholar is in doubt, they would be happy to explain with facts.
Many countries accuse Burma of not respecting human rights for Rohingyas but it’s only Burma who let them stay in our ground for many decades. But, demanding to give away a national territory and an ethnic identity is the matter beyond humanitarian concerns that a nation has to consider for its own people. I want to ask all the human rights activists, developed countries and media who are forcing Burma to do such giveaways. What will your countries do in that case? Will you even let them stay in your ground? Why are you all pushing to accept more burdens to a small country which has very limited resources for its own people?
Rohingya people are currently burning down many of our villages and killing our ethnic people. Majority of the locals became homeless in addition to their already harsh lives.
What is the responsibility of a nation when its national security is threatened?
Burma is not declaring a war against any race or religion. It’s true Rohingyas are muslims. But, the concept of the respond act is not fighting against the Islamic community and Muslims. Burmese government is just protecting our ethnics groups from Rohingya’s violent attacks. But, some of the medias don’t see this concept as exciting enough.
Starting from BBC, VOA, RFA, DVB, even Reuters and New York Times, whenever I read the news, the headlines about this incident is titled as “Buddhists vs. Muslims” or “Burmese vs. Muslims”. Some medias even stated initially that “ Rohingya’s abuse as Burma’s attack”. People in Burma already stated publicly that this is not the case against religion. Even the Musilm Associations in Burma announced that they agree Rohingya’s actions as violent attacks. We have statements ready to prove.
But, are our voices not loud enough or just plainly neglected?
Foreign medias keep spreading propaganda about Burma having religious conflicts within the region and making statements against the truth that can worsen the country’s situation right now. It’s like all the major medias are trying to shift the attention of the Islamic community around the world to Burma and pushing a major religion war to happen inside the country.
Is it intentional or ignorance?
I understand the fact that picking up the controversial ideas would make a news piece interesting but what if that idea doesn’t tell the truth and gonna make things worse? Isn’t the medias’ responsibility to investigate the facts properly before announcing a news to the world? Or, being able to grab more attention and increased rating is the modern value of journalism?
Medias have a great power to shape the world. What if what you wrote would cost more wars and ruin more lives? Will you write the same thing if your little son or daughter, your beloved husband/wife or your elderly father and mother is in the war zone? I highly doubt if any of those writers who wrote recent news about Burma that I mentioned above had a real life experience living in Burma. If you have never been in someone’s shoes, be careful in your guessing games. Sitting comfortably in your chair writing made-up stories about recent news without proper knowledge and experience will not make you realize the real truth like Rohingyas burnt their own houses first before they burn Arakans’ to manipulate the media about them being abused.
I don’t think the primary intention of people who study journalism is to create more wars and kill more people with your pen. Please be careful.
I am deeply very sorry about all the lives that cost from both sides of this riot. Like Rohingyas, there are also lakhs of Burmese refugees living in the borderline of Thailand-Burma. But, have you ever heard such an issue of Burmese refugees’ abusive action towards the host country? I understand that Rohingyas are also human beings and wish no further harm would be involved to them. We oppose to Genocide but, like every country in the world, Burma also has principles to those who broke the laws.
I read an opinion piece on Aljazeera article today. It’s very amusing to see how the writer judged on Burma based on peoples’ angry comments on Facebook that makes me want to question him. How would you react first if your mother was stabbed on her back? How did the whole world react first when World Trade Center crashed down? The sudden furious state of mind in respond to the news of their relatives and friends’ getting hurt doesn’t mean Burmese as racists and Burma as a racist country. At least, we are not invading other countries and declaring a war. We are protecting our people. If you are not familiar with the law of religion freedom in Burma, welcome to our country.
The author also stated Islamophobia and the fear of “the other” in Burmese. This does not really make sense, especially the latter part but just to let you know, I am free from both disorders. In fact, I have a lot of Muslim friends in which one of them is my best friend who is one of the kindest and intellectual people I have ever known. Plus, I love eating Biryani and Muslims food. My country, Burma, is open to any religion and we have respect to people with different religions. Burmese are very peaceful people who are able to smile everyday even under the harsh authority of Military Juntas in the past. If you have ever been to Burma, you will know what I mean.
This is all I want to say. I know my voice is small and might not be able to influence any of the current events happening.
But, I believe that I am representing many of the Burmese voices. We hope our leaders would make an effective resolution towards this current affair.
We all Burmese people want peace and want the country to be able to precede the positive reforms it has been waiting for so long. So, I would like to request all media one thing, please support us or if you can’t do this, please don’t exaggerate the wrong facts and murder the hope of millions of people.
Again, this recent riot is NOT about the religions and races. We are just defending from violence which is what every country would do if their nationalities are harmed. Burma is NOT a racist country.
Thank you for reading ‘til the end.