By Mahmut Osmanoglu
Rohingya Muslims are going through a very hard time in front of the whole world. The Myanmar army and some Buddhist groups are murdering people in the Rakhine State including babies, children, women and the elderly. They commit widespread rape, loot houses, and burn down villages.
The European Rohingya Council has described the situation as a “slow-burning genocide”. However, it has gained pace after Aug. 25. There are almost no Muslims left in Rohingya Muslims' historic homeland of Rakhine.
According to the latest UN figures, an estimated 620,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh since Aug. 25, and the number keeps increasing.
Back in September, Bangladeshi Foreign Affairs Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali said some 3,000 Rohingya Muslims were killed following the security operation in the Rakhine State. However, it is not possible to give an exact number as there is no access to the region. Therefore, the real number may be higher.
In 2016, after a similar massacre by the Myanmar army, the UN published a report and documented that Myanmar security forces were involved in massacres, mass rape and other inhumane acts in the region.
Turkey and some few other countries aside, the international community, and in particular, the U.S., China, Russia, and India, continue to adopt the ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ approach despite all these crimes and the accelerated "slow-burning genocide".
The last example of this was the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who visited Myanmar on Nov. 15 and met with Myanmar’s de-facto leader, San Suu Kyi, and military chief Min Aung Hlaing.
During his one-day visit, Tillerson announced that he would not advise "broad-based economic sanctions" against the entire country.
With this move, Tillerson, and thus the United States, reduced the UN-documented serious violations in the region -- including rape, child killings, looting, house burning, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people suffering an ethnic cleansing and "slow-burning genocide" by international organizations -- to the isolated acts of a few soldiers on the field and pro-extremist Buddhist individuals.
He called on the Myanmar government to hold the perpetrators accountable pending "credible" reports.
Tillerson pointed out the military operations and conflicts in other parts of Myanmar in an attempt to downplay the significance of the incidents in Rakhine.
"The recent serious allegations of abuses in Rakhine State demand a credible and impartial investigation and those who commit human rights abuses or violations must be held accountable," he said.
Asked if the U.S. Congress recommended the State Department to use the term “ethnic cleansing” against Rohingya, Tillerson said they were "evaluating the criteria and the information available" to them, adding they would make a determination “probably after I return”.
This clearly demonstrates the myopic approach of the U.S. administration, which has failed to recognize the inhumane acts in Rakhine State as "systematic" by claiming that "this started with an attack by the Arakan against Myanmar security forces", referring to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).
"And then it was in the response that things have seemed to have gotten out of control," he added. This is indeed a very high degree of myopia.
Only a year ago, the Myanmar government repeated exactly what it did after Aug. 25. It has a long track record of such inhumane crimes.
The fact that the U.S. can relate a huge history of persecution to the Aug. 25 attacks on some security posts -- albeit with primitive weapons -- despite the UN definition of “the most persecuted people on Earth” for the Rohingya Muslims should be the subject of a deeper analysis.
Long story short, Tillerson's visit to Myanmar revealed the true