Ashin Wirathu, dubbed the face of Buddhist terror by the Time magazine in 2013, is in his elements again it seems and Rohingyas are his punchbag.
A video shared by a Rohingya activist Ro Nay San Lwin shows Wirathu giving a speech with twisted humor in Kayin State on Sunday.
The Monk is seen talking about Rohingyas and asking a sniggering crowd:
“Do these animals (Rohingyas) eat with their asses when they have meals? Do they put rice into their bottoms instead of their mouths? When they go to toilets, do they invert their asses and excrete from their mouths?”
— Ro Nay San Lwin (@nslwin) September 12, 2017
He then targets Rohingyas and says: “Some beasts, who are opposite to all in everything, are claiming that they are natives.”
This was nowhere moderate than what he had called Rohingyas earlier, snakes, and even charged them with the destruction of Buddhism in Myanmar.
Wirathu is a member of the Patriotic Association of Burma also known as the Ma Ba Tha movement and is known for using slurs, but the target may vary. In 2015 Wirathu called the United Nation’s envoy to Burma Yanghee Lee a “bitch” and a “whore.”
He also has no problem with being called the “Burmese Bin Laden.”
But how was Wirathu able to give a hate speech against Rohingyas?
Nationalist Wirathu preaches no words but sits in his chair with his mouth gagged. Weeping, attendents listen to his sermons on cassette. pic.twitter.com/bA1kjK21Rn
— Thant Zin Htut (@ThantZinHtut2) March 11, 2017
State Sangha Maha Nayaka, a top Buddhist body, in March this year banned him from giving sermons until March of 2018.
It said in a public statement:
“As he has repeatedly delivered hate speech against religions to cause communal strife and hinder efforts to uphold the rule of law”, the monk “was banned from delivering sermons across Myanmar for one year from March 10, 2017, to March 9, 2018”.
This major indictment was even confirmed by Aung San Win, the director of the Ministry of Religion of Myanmar to news agency AFP, so what happened now? When did the ban get lifted that he was able to address such a large gathering?
Cow slaughter and Wirathu
Cow slaughter has been a major issue for Ma Ba Tha, a cause also close to Hindus in India and worldwide. In 2015, on Muslim sacrifice festival Eid, the group sent a letter which called cow- a working companion of farmers and a true benefactor of human beings and demanded its protection. Wirathu hasn’t shied away from speaking out against cow slaughter. This is what has endeared him to Hindus. But Hindus, often dubbed Indians, too have faced similar issues which Rohingyas are facing today.
Myanmar is not a secular state like India but a state where Buddhism is protected by the state, much like Sri Lanka. This means that every other religious group is below Buddhists. Until 1937, Myanmar was part of the British India and many Indians worked in the region. There were riots against Indians many times during the British occupation and in 1962 after capturing power Myanmarese General Ne Win ordered the expulsion of ‘Indians.’
There was no distinction made between Hindus or Muslims but the biggest victims of this move were the Hindus. Those expelled Indians who found it difficult to settle down in India tried to later go back, thinking that the racial tempers may have cooled down but at the border crossing the Burmese soldiers stopped them from entering the country. This expulsion and the subsequent silence of the Indian government in condemning the treatment meted out to the expelled Indians should not be forgotten and the pressure needs to be put on India to ensure that this time Rohingyas are not used to oust the minuscule Hindu community which has suffered much. Hindus only have India to ensure this while Rohingyas have major Muslim nations backing them.
India’s response and Hindu plight
Indian response so far has been to engage Myanmar and it also shares concerns over the Rohingyas settling down in sensitive Jammu and other parts of India.
This chorus of branding India as villain on Rohingya issue is a calibrated design to tarnish India's image. It undermines India's security.
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) September 13, 2017
Many Rohingyas have been found involved in human trafficking and other crimes which are a headache for the Indian government, however, such is not the case with the Myanmar’s Hindus who have found themselves sandwiched and had to flee to Bangladesh to save their lives. There have been no attempts nor have there have been even murmurs of bringing them back to Myanmar.
Hindu organization should write to Myanmar Government for save Hindus of Arakan state who are persecuted by Myanmar Army.
— Narayan Charmakar (@ukilnarayan) September 4, 2017
When 412 Hindus crossed Bangladesh border from Myanmar ,local Hindu took them as guest, provide shelter in the Hindu villages of Coxs bazar.
— Narayan Charmakar (@ukilnarayan) September 4, 2017
A statement issued by Bangladesh Minority Watch’s advocate Rabindra Ghosh noted that due to atrocities committed by “Myanmar Army and the Government” Hindus have come to Bangladesh.
He also said these Myanmar Hindus who lost their home and hearth during the attack were living in Myanmar as the valid citizens but they were treated as ‘Bengali’ by the Myanmar Army, a term used to define the Rohingyas by Buddhist nationalists, and forced them out due to “their religious faith.” This is indeed worrisome as Chakma refugees who are Buddhists from Bangladesh, have been getting far favorable treatment in India, as India is a secular state, whereas Hindus are being pushed out merely for their faith and ethnic ‘Bengali’ identity in nearby Myanmar!
Christians in 1940s, Chinese in 1950s, Hindu-Sikhs in1960s. The ethnic cleansing drive by Burmese Budha Supremacists has been consistent.
— Rofl Gandhi (@RoflGandhi_) September 10, 2017
A thorough investigation on this charge needs to be undertaken to ensure rights of Hindus of Myanmar. Here it is prudent to state that Hindus have never led ‘separatist or armed’ movements which cannot be said of the Rohingyas but they too have to suffer.
Their fate should be a priority for India as these people are unlikely to live in peace in Bangladesh, where they are camped right now. The good news is that local Bangladesh Hindu groups (Check the pictures here) have already given them assistance but Bangladesh is also no heaven for minority Hindus as we have reported many times earlier.
India has said that it will provide humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh and said it would consist of the relief material required urgently by the affected people, namely rice, pulses, sugar, salt, cooking oil, tea, ready to eat noodles, biscuits, mosquito nets etc.
The relief material will be delivered in multiple consignments, the first tranche of which will be brought to Chittagong by an Indian Air Force plane on 14th September 2017.
Latest update on Rohingya situation:
ARSA, the militant wing of Rohingyas, released a statement in which it highlighted the massacre of Rohingyas but it also made it clear that it has no links with Al Qaeda, ISIS or Pakistani terrorist network Lashkar-e-Taiba. It even said that it “calls on states in the region to intercept and prevent terrorists from entering Arakan and making a bad situation worse.’
Let’s hope an amicable situation can be reached sooner than later.