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Op-Ed: The Chinese and Bangladeshi role in worsening the Rohingya crisis

Shipan Kumer Basu explains how both China and Bangladesh have played a pivotal role in worsening the plight of Rohingya refugees.
Rohingya refugees Photo Credit: EPA-EFE

The Rohingya people of Myanmar have been suffering immensely recently and China has played a pivotal role in igniting the crisis. China has vast business interests in Myanmar. It needs thousands of hectares of land. China created pressure on Myanmar in order to manage the land, threatening to abandon Myanmar if they did not do so. China is the one who got the Myanmar Army to oust the Rohingya so that they could get land especially the Arakan and the Rakhasine, which are the most important to the Chinese business interests. As a result, the Myanmar Army started to remove the Rohinya from the area. But China is not the only foreign power with a problematic record on this issue.

When Myanmar started to drive the Rohingya people out of their homeland, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina began to receive them in her country. She ordered the opening of the borders and gave them shelter. The Rohingya are not only Muslim but also Hindu. Her goal was to capture the attention of the UN and different countries around the world in order to obtain sympathy. However, she only gave the Muslim Rohingya relief.

Meanwhile, the Hindu Rohingya are tortured. There are numerous documented cases of abuse against Hindu Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Bangladeshi Muslims are compelling them to convert to Islam. Where is Sheikh Hasina? Is she blind or dumb? Actually, Sheikh Hasina is the No. 1 Hindu hater. She delivered a speech, falsely claiming that Hindus enjoy equal rights in Bangladesh. However, In the country, Hindus do not get the same rights. Hindu officers are deprived of promotions and cannot reach the top posts. Sheikh Hasina will never appoint a Hindu Army Chief.

After some lobbying, she did appoint a chief justice, but she expected Chief Justice S.K. Sinha to give a verdict in favor of her government and her party on the 16th amendment. This did not materialize. When he started to be neutral, she and her party became angry. The government tried to manage him at any cost. This resulted in Roads and Bridges Minister Obeydul Quader slapping him. Later on, General Akbar Ali took it upon himself to eradicate Sinha. He hit him with his pistol and compelled him to sign a leave of absence application. Sinha fell from being hit with a pistol. Ali then took him to his car and went to his residence. He threatened to kill him if he speaks out against the Awami League.

This is the reality that Hindus experience under Sheikh Hasina’s government. They live under a threat of terror. Many of the Awami League leaders and activists support terrorists. The Sheikh Hasina government props up terrorists because it is in their interest to have Sheikh Hasina serve for life. Sheikh Hasina wants to reign Bangladesh in such a way that no one can resist her. If anybody criticizes or opposes her, she arranges to have them killed. She is a dictator who will do anything to continue her reign.

The Awami League activists have killed many Hindus in many ways, but she did not arrest the perpetrators. A poor tailor named Biswajit was killed in broad daylight by an Awami League activist. The court did not punish the main perpetrators. On the other hand, someone who threatened the life of Sheikh Hasina got the death penalty. Is that real judgement? Everywhere, Sheikh Hasina seeks to assist the terrorists within her party. And she wants to prevent the Bangladesh Nationalist Party from challenging her, so she can be elected Prime Minister at any cost. Thus, it is well documented that she is using the Rohingya issue in order to obtain support for her leadership.



JOL Blogger | Shipan Kumer Basu

Shipan Kumer Basu is the President of the Hindu Struggle Committee, Bangladesh.


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