… and plays it safe
Burma Times Desk Report: January 27, 2015
The appointment of Archbishop Charles Maung Bo as the country’s first Roman Cathiolic Cardinal is a welcome news not only for the country’s long Christians, but other persecuted religious minorities, especially the Muslims.
As the military backed government increasingly relies on a militant form of Buddhism to entrench their rule, the country’s religious minorities face increasing fears of persecution. Things have been especially bad for the country’s Muslim minority which has been subjected to genocidical pogroms in recent years.
This is a time when Muslims and Christians needed to stand side by side. That is not happening. But in an interview to the respected Burmese news organisation Mizzima News, the Cardinal has stressed that religious representatives from all religions must come forward to address the issue of religious intolerance currently sweeping the country.
The Cardinal also says that the government should give citizenship to some ‘worthy cases’ without mentioning the term Rohingya. The government and many in the country consider Rohingyas as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh. By not saying the controversial name and stressing that the government should study this case by case, the Cardinal is playing it safe in a country where hatred against a persecuted country has been described as being unparalleled in the world.
This is a reminder once again that Rohingya Muslims might not get the required support in a time of crisis from respected human rights activists inside the country.
At least, the Cardinal mentioned that humanitarian assistance should be readily available. In current day Burma, maybe this is the most Rohingyas can ask for as they spend their days in near starvation circumstances.