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Tommy Soeharto: In Burma Under Muslim Depopulation


BaliNews | The abominations experienced by the Rohingyas in Myanmar have sparked a great reaction from the world community. In Indonesia, harsh criticism also emerged from various parties. Even a number of national figures not only condemned, but asked the Indonesian government to immediately cut off diplomatic relations and expel Myanmar Ambassador from Indonesia.

The strong reaction also came from the second son of the 2nd President of Indonesia, Soeharto, Hutomo Mandala Putra. According to the man who is familiarly called Tommy Soeharto, what is happening in Myanmar today is not really the first time, but it has happened many times in the last two centuries.

"But there is no attempt at all from the Myanmar government to stop the conflict," Tommy said in a press statement received by the editor.

In fact, he added, the conflict could end if the government of Myanmar teaches or educates its citizens about the beauty of diversity, tolerance among religious people, and cooperation in the unity of the state.

From historical reviews, says Tommy, Rakhine Province is actually part of the Arakan Kingdom since the 1400s. And the Rohingya Muslims have settled there and recorded as part of the royal government and military led by King Narameikhla (Min Saw Mun). But in 1785, the Burmese Buddhist Empire in the South colonized parts of the Arakan kingdom that caused more than half of Rohingya's Muslims to be executed and fled to Bengal.

Tommy continued his explanation. In 1826, when the British colonized the Arakan Kingdom from the West to fight against the Burmese kingdom, they brought back the Rohingya Muslims in Bengal to the present Arakan area of ​​Rakhine. This is what makes the heat of the political temperature in the region to cause conflicts and inconveniences between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhist Rakhine.

Post-World War II, the conflict between Rohingya and Rakhine (Buddist Myanmar) broke out again. The reason for the outbreak of war between Rohingya and Rakhine was because after Myanmar's independence in 1948 the Rohingyas who had descended descend there appealed for their right as citizens of Myanmar. But it is not granted because Rakhine considers them as different ethnicities, ie Bengali (Bangladeshi), whereas Rohingyas consider themselves part of Myanmar. This racism and discrimination sparked Rohingyas' desire to separate from Myanmar and establish their own state. But the Myanmar government on behalf of the state unity does not want some of the Rakhine provinces to split up.

The problem became more complicated when the 969 Movement was initiated by the monk Ashin Wirathu. The movement that takes its name from the symbol of sanctity in Buddhism and is a movement that marginalizes certain religious tribes in Myanmar, whose purpose is to magnify the influence and dominance of Buddhists in Myanmar. Ashin even said that he feared that Myanmar would be like Indonesia which in the past was dominated by Hindus and Buddhists, but at the end of the 16th century had changed dominated by Islam. This action became more and more massive as news spread that Myanmar's central government supported the movement.

With such a historical background, added Tommy, it can not be denied that the tragedy of massacres and the expulsion of Rohingya Muslims stemmed from the ethnic majority's hatred there against the Rohingya minority. The fact that the Rohingyas in Rakhine Province has a slightly better economic life than Buddhist Rakhine, is also a lighter for the emergence of social jealousy that leads to conflict.

"The deep-rooted ethnic hatred mixed with social jealousies can actually be detected by the Burmese government, but that's not what we do," said Tommy Soeharto, in almost every region of Burma today.

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