• Is the world suffering from refugee fatigue?

    first_imgDear Editor,In a country called Myanmar (formally Burma), 450,000 Rohingya people, equivalent to almost half of Guyana’s population, have been forcefully expelled from their country of birth.The overwhelming majority of the refugees are children.The Rohingya people are now living in camps seething in squalor, disease, lack of sanitation and clean drinking water, no medical supplies nor schools. The living conditions in the make shift camps are unfit for human habitation. Yet the world sits on its hands and watches. In the meanwhile, trillions are being spent on arms and weapons of mass destruction.The Rohingya must do without an electric bulb and shelter over their heads forever. In contrast, their fellow human beings could not do without it for three days!And as far as the world is concerned, the Rohingya refugee crisis is a Burmese problem.There is a stubborn refusal to recognise that this is another manifestation of mass hatred that has reared its ugly head once again as it did in Rwanda, Bosnia, Kampuchea and Burundi among other countries where unarmed civilians were targeted because of their race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, or ideology.The destruction of the Rohingya community is a most shameful and shameless episode in human history. Why? Is the world suffering from refugee fatigue?Political leaders in the developed world who are about to face an election or who have just done so are afraid of the nationalist, xenophobic backlash as was just manifested in the German elections where the far right Alternative for Germany (AfD) have won 90 seats in the Bundestag – the German Parliament – for the first time?The utter indifference and cynicism displayed by the industrialised countries and even those in BRICS is most astonishing, if not disappointing.From all indications, it appears that the Rohingya people have been disqualified from any consideration because they are considered poor, uneducated, unskilled and dispossessed. That they are part of the human race appears to be irrelevant.It is wishful thinking to expect the poor developing in the South to come to the rescue or offer to impactful help to the suffering Rohingya people. Financially, they just can’t afford it.The expulsion of the Rohingya population from their homeland has been described in certain quarters as ‘ethnic cleansing,’ but to understand the sudden emergence of this human tragedy global developments must be taken into consideration.The authorities in Burma, having assessed the international climate and considered it favourable to move against the Rohingya people at this time, appeared to have made a well calculated and well-timed move, knowing that with the international community distracted by so many problems they stood the chance of getting away with the atrocities meted out against an ethnic minority of its own populace.The Burmese military surmised that India would not lift a finger in defence of the Rohingya people due to the fact that that country has its own economic and geo-strategic ambitions in the region.Bangladesh has neither the economic, financial, institutional nor administrative capacity to deal with a human crisis of this magnitude.How will the world respond?Yours faithfully,Clement J Roheelast_img

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