Buddhists comprise a major part of the population of Myanmar but the presence of a minority group known as Rohingya Muslims continues to be a cause of concern for the country for many decades now. Rohingyas have a complicated origin which has made their presence in Myanmar problematic in the opinion of most people.
The Rohingya community is considered the “most persecuted minority group in the world” by the United Nations and known to have been facing brutal assaults from the state and military of Myanmar. There have been a number of news reports of the Burmese army carrying out “ethnic cleansing” by burning down Rohingya villages, murdering people and raping their women. Thousands of Rohingya Muslims have rushed to Bangladesh as refugees and some to India as well.
However, just the way a coin has two sides, this controversy too, has another aspect associated with it. That is of Buddhists claiming of being attacked by Rohingya Muslims. On Monday, we reported that a Rohingya terror group had called off their terrorist activities temporarily and now a video of a Buddhist sharing the ordeal of Buddhists being victimized by the violence by Rohingya Muslims has surfaced on social media. In the video, a Buddhist boy makes several revelations about the attacks on his community. In the video, he can be heard saying,
The Muslims were in the mosque over there, they came out after the Friday prayers, so many of them, and they came to the edge of our Buddhist village. They were gathering, more and more were coming, they were going to burn the village at night. They yelled, “Run away, go away now. This is our land now, you Buddhists are infidels, and you should run away, or we kill you. Later more and more came, bringing weapons- long knives, machetes, spears, wooden clubs. The whole village was frightened. We had to run away. If they didn’t attack us that night, they would do it another night soon.
Also in the video is a Buddhist woman who is sharing the same incident and, towards the end, the popular Buddhist monk, Ashin Wirathu, says,
You can’t underestimate a snake just because there’s only one. It’s dangerous whatever it is. Muslims are just like that.