The continuing failure of the Myanmar government to act decisively and urgently to protect civilians from the raging crossfire between the security forces and insurgents is shocking. The recent clashes in the western State of Rakhine have claimed over 70 lives and forced thousands of Rohingya to flee across the border into Bangladesh, in a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis. Most of the victims are women and children, according to the UN’s International Organisation for Migration, which has called for additional aid to cope with Dhaka’s refugee situation.
The latest flare-up began last Friday when militants suspected to be from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacked military and police outposts. That should have served as a caution against an excessive counter-insurgency operation, a real possibility given the history of systematic persecution of the Muslim minorities in Rakhine. The military crackdown that followed has been widely condemned as disproportionate and the government accused of being an onlooker. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has even rebuked Aung San Suu Kyi’s office for what he described as irresponsible statements that could disrupt aid and relief activity. Ms. Suu Kyi is not just the foreign minister; as a Nobel peace prize winner she has also failed to exert any moral pressure to secure humane treatment and humanitarian assistance for the systematically persecuted Rohingya. She has rightly come under criticism for her continued silence over the army brutalities.
In fact, the UN agency’s report in February, based on a study of the military crackdown, had described the slaughter of thousands and displacement of even larger numbers as crimes against humanity. But the reactions of the radical Buddhist nationalists, who have traditionally resisted recognition of the Rohingya as citizens of Myanmar, have been predictable. They have demanded even tougher action from the government in the wake of the terror unleashed over the past week, and rubbished the findings of the officially appointed Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, headed by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. The Myanmar government has an obligation to act on the recommendations of the Commission, on the guarantee of citizenship rights to the Rohingya, freedom of movement and enforcement of the rule of law. It is inconceivable that the country’s yearning for peace and normal life could be fulfilled in the absence of these minimum prerequisites. The ruling National League for Democracy, which takes legitimate pride in its heroic defiance of the military junta, has a largely unfinished agenda on democratic transition. Enormous powers are vested in the military. The further consolidation of the hard-won freedoms from dictatorship will remain an arduous task so long as a large minority of the population is systematically excluded from the political process.
– Rage: feel or express violent uncontrollable anger.
Example: He raged at the futility of it all
Synonyms: be angry, be furious, be enraged, be incensed
– Crossfire: gunfire from two or more directions passing through the same area.
Example: A photographer was killed in the crossfire
– Insurgent: a rebel or revolutionary.
Example: An attack by armed insurgents
Synonyms: rebel, revolutionary, revolutionist, mutineer, insurrectionist
– Deteriorate: become progressively worse.
Example: Relations between the countries had deteriorated sharply
Synonyms: worsen, decline, degenerate, fail, slump, slip, go downhill
– Migration: movement from one part of something to another.
There is virtually no cell migration in plants
– Refugee: a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
Example: Tens of thousands of refugees fled their homes
Synonyms: émigré, fugitive, exile, displaced person, asylum seeker
– Flare–up: a sudden outburst of something, especially violence or a medical condition.
Example: A flare-up between the two countries
– Suspected: doubt the genuineness or truth of.
Example: A broker whose honesty he had no reason to suspect
Synonyms: doubt, distrust, mistrust, have misgivings about, be skeptical about
– Salvation: deliverance from sin and its consequences, believed by Christians to be brought about by faith in Christ.
Example: Christ died for sin, but His death brings no salvation from sin apart from faith.
Synonyms: redemption, deliverance, reclamation
– Excessive: more than is necessary, normal, or desirable; immoderate.
Example: He was drinking excessive amounts of brandy
Synonyms: immoderate, intemperate, imprudent, overindulgent, unrestrained
– Persecution: hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.
Example: Her family fled religious persecution
Synonyms: oppression, victimization, maltreatment, mistreatment
– Onlooker: a nonparticipating observer; a spectator.
Example: A crowd of fascinated onlookers
Synonyms: eyewitness, witness, observer, looker-on, fly on the wall, spectator
– Rebuke: express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions.
Example: She had rebuked him for drinking too much
Synonyms: reprimand, reproach, scold, admonish, reprove, chastise
– Irresponsible: not showing a proper sense of responsibility.
Example: It would have been irresponsible just to drive on
Synonyms: reckless, rash, careless, thoughtless, foolhardy, foolish
– Humane: having or showing compassion or benevolence.
Example: Regulations ensuring the humane treatment of animals
Synonyms: compassionate, kind, considerate, understanding, sympathetic
– Brutality: savage physical violence; great cruelty.
Example: Brutality against civilians
– Crackdown: severe measures to restrict or discourage undesirable or illegal people or behavior.
Example: A crackdown on crime and corruption
– Predictable: able to be predicted.
Example: The market is volatile and never predictable
Synonyms: foreseeable, (only) to be expected, anticipated, foreseen
– Unleash: release from a leash or restraint.
Example: We unleashed the dog and carried it down to our car
Synonyms: let loose, release, (set) free, unloose, untie, unchain
– Obligation: an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment.
Example: He has enough cash to meet his present obligations
Synonyms: duty, commitment, responsibility, moral imperative
– Inconceivable: not capable of being imagined or grasped mentally; unbelievable.
Example: It seemed inconceivable that the president had been unaware of what was going on
Synonyms: unbelievable, beyond belief, incredible, unthinkable
– Yearn: a feeling of intense longing for something.
Example: He felt a yearning for the mountains
Synonyms: longing, craving, desire, want, wish, hankering, urge
– Legitimate: conforming to the law or to rules.
Example: His claims to legitimate authority
Synonyms: legal, lawful, licit, legalized, authorized, permitted, permissible
– Enormous: very large in size, quantity, or extent.
Example: Her enormous blue eyes
Synonyms: huge, vast, immense, gigantic, very big, great, giant, massive
– Arduous: involving or requiring strenuous effort; difficult and tiring.
Example: An arduous journey
Synonyms: onerous, taxing, difficult, hard, heavy, laborious, burdensome