Burma Times Desk Report: August 03, 2015
For the past few years, many Buddhist nationalists especially those who will not be affected by it will be hoping for the scenario. A a cyclone, which is common in this part of the world can be devastating if it makes a direct landfall. A cyclone can kill hundreds of thousands of people especially if prior precautions are not taken (in 1970, a cyclone killed half a million people in modern day Bangladesh, which is more than half the number of Rohingyas living in Arakan state).
In May 2013 during cyclone Mahasen, the government ordered all Rohingyas to evacuate and dispatched the police in some areas. Yet in many areas, nationalists actually pushed the Rohingyas out to the shores in the hopes they will perish.
Even without any intervention, the Rohingya populace is at a precarious position if a cyclone makes landfall in the Arakan. Rohingyas don’t have access to cyclone shelters which are all reserved for the Rakhines. The authorities and the Rakhines will turn out Rohingyas running for shelter as they did in Kyauktaw this time. Even if they don’t, Rohingyas wont share shelters out of security concerns.
As a result, there is a possibility that hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas might perish in a direct cyclone. That would wipe out a good percentage of the total Rohingya populace left in Arakan which might be anywhere between 800,000 and 1.2 million.
That would solve the stated aims of the Buddhist nationalists who want to exterminate the beleaguered community. Even better, it would be done without the sword and the international pressure that is sure to come in the event of another bout of ethnic cleansing. Make no mistake, the Buddhist nationalists and the military government want to exterminate or at least expel the remaining Rohingya Muslims from this land in the coming years.