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qnote 05

July 3, 2012

Dear Friends,

You know of my strong and continued concern for the plight of the Rohingyas. The other day I was so upset by the UN's inability or refusal to really do anything about it that I fired off a letter to the local newspaper. It was apparently good enough to get published so I thought I'd let you read a copy.

To the Editor:  Jun 25, 2012

Count your blessings that you are not a member of this group. They were born in a country that denies them citizenship, the rights to an education, the right to marry, the right to a job. The Rohingya, a Muslim minority in a Buddhist country, are persecuted by the Burmese, the Thais and the Bangladeshis. Some suffer quietly in their own country; others migrate to Bangladesh, where, if they are lucky, they can survive in city slums. More likely, they end up in a squalid camp with no resources. Some hazard the long treacherous boat journey to Malaysia, where they hope to find a place of refuge in a more generous country, but even there they have no rights to an education or employment. 

Even the icon of freedom and democracy, the Nobel laureate of 1991, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has refused to comment directly, saying that citizenship laws need to be clarified to be sure whether or not Rohingyas are Burmese citizens. It has to be said that the origin of the Rohingyas in Burma is a subject of some controversy. Some say they were shipwrecked off the coast of Burma back in the 8th century; others say they came from Bengal during the British colonial period. But wherever their origin, the Rohingyas have been living in Burma for centuries. To allow their repression to continue is an atrocity perpetrated by the nations of the world, and a shame on us all.

Thomas Brackett

Well at least I got it off my chest. 

Best Regards,

Tom