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Sunday, May 26, 2013

It's official now! The new Myanmar has a Nazi party and its reps are sitting in the Parliament.

By Maung Zarni

(First published in the author's website Zarni's Blog on Saturday, May 18, 2013)

After having barked human rights and genuine democratization in Burma since the end of the Cold War, the west-led "international community" has of late come to play the role of "genocide enablers".  That is, from the United States to the European Union, from Britain to Japan, the Paris Club and the ADB, not to mention the "Burma-pernicious" International Crisis Group, as Australian economic adviser to Aung San Suu Kyi, Sean Turnell put it wryly.

A Truck with Nazi and Hitler Signs is driving around Mrauk U Township to celebrate the coming Buddhist New year; April 16, 2012; Arakan state, Burma. (Photo courtesy: Sophie Ansel, France. Published with permission. For more pictures, click here.)

IT's official now!

The new Myanmar has a registered Nazi party.  And it's called the Rakhine National Development Party (RNDP).

I just finished reading "Toe-tet-yay" or Progress, the official publication of the RNDP Information and Research Department, Volume 2, No. 12, 2012.

Naypyidaw has apparently incubated this party while Aung San Suu Kyi has wined and dined publicly with the leaders of the RNDP such as its Chairman MP Dr Aye Maung, a vet.

Nominally separate branches of the State - Presidency of Thein Sein, the Parliament, and the Judiciary - all tolerate, nay, tacitly back,  both the neo-Nazi Buddhist movement known as "969" led by fascist monks such as Wirathu (45) and the RNDP led by Aung Maung, himself a Bangladesh-born Rakhine.
A house being burned during the riots during the 2012 Rakhine State Riots (Photo by: Hmuu Zaw; source: Wikimedia Commo

In contrast, the State in Myanmar recently sentenced a Muslim customer who peeled a 969 sticker off the mirror at a street vendor with his motorcycle key to 2 years imprisonment for 'insult to religion'.  Never mind that 969 with its racist, hate-soaked messages isn't about Buddhism, but about the rising Burmese strain of Ku Klux Klan. . Worse, the Thein Sein administration in Naypyidaw has chosen not to bring to justice anyone who participated in the broad-day light slaughter10 Muslim pilgrims in public space in southern Rakhine town of Taung-gok in early June 2012.

With this type of blatant impunity and neo-Nazi biases, it is little wonder that the Rakhine National Development Party (RNDP) openly subscribes to Neo-Nazism, claiming Rakhine and Burma to be a "Buddhist state".

Its official journal "Toe-Tet-Yay" (or Progress) is littered with the word "beasts", reference to all Muslims of Myanmar who are supposedly empathetic to the Rohingya cause.  In media interviews after interviews, as well as in the Parliamentary discussions, the RNDP leaders publicly have with discernible admiration talked about how the Rakhine patriots should look to Israel and its apartheid, colonial state vis-a-vis the Palestinians as a model to handle their enemies - "Bangali", whom they consider neither humans nor ethnic group.

Progress's editorial (Volume 2, number 12, November 2012) endorsed the horrendous view - that Hitler may be a monster for Jews; he was the Hero for the Germans. This is the view that my Germans in their right mind would find extremely repulsive and difficult to sympathize.

This homegrown Nazi party of the Rakhines calls for the national level authorities in Naypyidaw  not to yield to any international pressure in dealing with the "Bengali 'viruses', to borrow a typical Rakhine reference to the Rohingya, decisively.  They mean to implement forcibly the racist 1982 Citizenship Act designed to exclude any Rohingya who didn't have any documentation to prove that their ancestry has been in Burma before the first British defeat of the Burmese feudal kingdom in 1824.  (Incidentally, printing machines arrived  in the palm-leaf society of feudal pre-colonial Burma only around the mid-19th century, and even then it was thanks to the Christian missionaries.  By this standard, 99% of the 'pure-blooded' Burmese would be rendered ineligible for citizenship.)

Equally, the leadership in Naypyidaw with its version of neo-Nazism as evidenced in the blood-based views reiterated in New York by Myanmar Immigration Minister and ex-police chief Khin Yi will do just that: continue to apply Citizenship Act of 1982 to the Rohingya who survived the pogroms last year.

Khin Yi with no exposure to the liberal West or little in terms of critical education may be forgiven.

Incomprehensibly, Myanmar's cream of the crop, western educated elite with PhDs and other advance credentials from the Ivy League schools and Oxbridge have echoed Khin Yi's home-grown but official racist stance on citizenship.

Watch here the 12 May VOA Burmese interview with Dr Yin Yin Nwe (PhD Geology Cambridge, Thein Sein's gem stones adviser, a presidential Rakhine Inquiry Commissioner, the older daughter of the late Burmese authors Mi Mi Khaing and Shan feudalist Sao Sāimöng Mangrā below where she in effect talked about the Rohingya women with visible disdain and endorsed in effect eugenic.

Her fellow commissioners such as Dr Myo Myint and Dr Kyaw Yin Hlaing (both Cornell PhDs in social sciences), respectively chair and secretary of the Arakan Sectarian Violence Inquiry Commission appointed by Thein Sein have officially endorsed to the very same racist Citizenship Act of 1982 while committing wittingly the ethnocide of the Rohingya.

One of the printed essays in the RNDP's 20-page publication talked about why certain individuals - despite having heads on their shoulders - cannot be considered human beings, hence not being entitled to the universal human rights.

The same article talks about the Rakhines as the only Bumiputra or Tai-yin-Thar of the Rakhine State while the Muslims were not native-sons of the soil and why their own self-referential ethnic name must not be recognized or accepted and their right to co-exist peacefully cannot be granted, from a perspective of "national security".

This 'we-must-privilege-national security-over-human-rights' stance is also shared by the George Soros-funded 88 Generation Peace and Open Society Group leaders such as Ko Ko Gyi since his meeting with the USDP Chairman and the presidential-hopeful ex-General Shwe Mann last year.

As far as the Rakhine State Administration which collaborates with Aye Maung Rakhine National Development Party (RNDP), slaughtering in a coordinated and organized fashion a large number of the Rohingya doesn't qualify as 'ethnic cleansing'.  For the Rohingyas are not really an ethnic group!

Alas, from Presidential spokespersons such as Zaw Htay and Ye Htut and Myanmar's National Human Rights Commission to western-donor-financed Myanmar human rights educators such as Aung Myo Min of Human Rights Education Institute, the self-styled "civil society" leaders and organizations find it equally 'unacceptable' that the two bouts of mass violence in June and October last year which were targeted against the Rohingya and other Muslims of Western Burma be characterized by the Human Rights Watch as 'ethnic cleansing' or 'crimes against humanity'.

Of course, in their warped, Nazi-inspired minds they are right in rejecting the term 'ethnic cleansing' or 'crimes against humanity' against them.  The Rohingyas are neither humans nor ethnic people, or so they apparently believe.

As the Rakhine State Spokesperson Win Myaing recently put it to Reuters, "How can it be ethnic cleansing? They are not an ethnic group".

I wouldn't be surprised if Myanmar's new Nazis among the Rakhine and the multiethnic public at large, may be inclined to learn German so that they could read Hitler's Mein Kampf.

 According to a retired German Ambassador to Burma who wrote a commissioned analysis on the rise of what I call "neo-Nazi Buddhist movement",the German Foreign Ministry was adamant against his use of  the label "Nazi or neo-Nazi" to describe what he sees as a visibly Nazi "Buddhist" movement in my country.  It sounds the word "Nazi" is too close to home for Berlin.

How about Goethe Institute opening, after a long anticipation, an office in Rangoon and offering the Rakhine and the Burmese fascists some German language programs so that they may read Mein Kampf in German original?

Why not?  As early as 2004 the Rakhine dissidents in exile based along the Thai-Burmese border areas such as Mae Sot were found to be reading and discussion Hitler's infamous tract: Mein Kampf or My Story.

The German officials are not alone in feeling increasingly squeamish about the labeling of developments that are genocidal and Naziesque.  Western diplomats in their Rangoon outposts were said to be hostile to anyone who characterizes the definitely coordinated and Naypyidaw-backed mass violence against the Rohingya and other Muslims in Burma as 'ethnic cleansing', not to mention the choice of the term 'genocide'.

After having barked human rights and genuine democratization in Burma since the end of the Cold War, the west-led "international community" has of late come to play the role of "genocide enablers".  That is, from the United States to the European Union, from Britain to Japan, the Paris Club and the ADB, not to mention the "Burma-pernicious" International Crisis Group, as Australian economic adviser to Aung San Suu Kyi, Sean Turnell put it wryly.

Here is my favorite list of concrete ways in which external players have instilled  in Thein Sein's fascist leadership -and his proxy Rakhine Nazis on the ground -  a sense of invincibility - while enabling the latter to carry on with their neo-fascist agenda about the Rohingya - and the Burmese Muslims.

•Obama stops in in Myamar for 6 hours claiming it to be his foreign policy 'success story', Nov 2012
•Paris Club cancels $5.7 billion Myanmar Debt, 25 Jan 2013.
•Aung San Suu Kyi goes to Japan, Apr 13, 2013
•Japan forgives $3.7 billion Myanmar debt, Apr 21, 2013
•HRW releases its report All You Can Do is Pray": Crimes Against Humanity and Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Burma’s Arakan State, 22 Apr 2013
•International Crisis Group awards Thein Sein “In Pursuit of Peace Award” in New York, 22 Apr 2013
•EU lifts sanctions on Burma, 23 Apr 2013
•Indonesia increases its investment in coal mining and cement industry
•Brunei wants to do joint oil and gas ventures.

With international friends like these little wonder Naypyidaw considers all its critics 'barking dogs barking up the full Moon'.

We can be sure that when President Obama meets his Myanmar counterpart Thein Sein in the White House this Monday, 20 May he would find it too impolite to call the Rohingya ethnic cleansing by its proper name.

After all, who would want to call their business partners a 'genocidist' or a 'criminal against humanity'?

That just wouldn't be politic.  So, Mr President, Heil Thein Sein!  Viva RNDP!  And to Hell with those "Bangali viruses' and Myanmar's 'beastly Muslims'!

Currently a visiting fellow (2011-13) with Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit, the London School of Economics and Political Science, Maung Zarni or Dr Zarni is a noted exile, commentator, and expert on Burmese affairs, staunch advocate of unconditional human rights, as well as ethnic and gender equality. 
He is also co-founder of the Free Burma Coalition, one of the Internet's first and largest human rights movements, in 1995. He was educated at St Peter's Boys School in Mandalay and the universities of Mandalay, California, Washington and Wisconsin.

This article first appeared in his website on May 18 and an adapted version appeared on Asia Times Online on May 23 as 'Neo-Nazi denial in Myanmar'. It has been republished here with personal permission from the author.

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