Monday, October 24, 2011

Rohingyas, Harn Yawnghwe, and Fraudulent Claims?

(Direct translation of Aung Than Oo’s article “Human Rights and Self Interest”.)

EBO-OIC Signing in Saudi Arabia for Rohingya Claims?
The topics I’m going to write about in this article basing on my past experiences and what I could intellectually think of are the dishonest land claims of foreign-born Bengalis illegally entering Burma from the neighboring Bangladesh.

In this article I tried my best to avoid the two common prejudices of race and religion even though my aim is to prolong our race Burmese and our religion Buddhism, and at the same time I am extremely careful not to attack or insult other races and other religions.

Principally I am going to write about the so-called Rohingyas who under the cover of human-rights issues in Burma are recently and presently claiming that they are an authentic ethnic race of Burma while hiding their original Bengali roots, especially now that they are making so much noise and attracting undeserving international attentions and Arab money generously as Muslims.

We could even accept them in Burma as the settlers if they honestly admit that their ancestors were and they themselves are the cheeky illegal migrants from Bangladesh into our naturally-endowed Burma. But their lies as a true ethnic group trying to demand aboriginal rights and to impose their dominating religion Islam onto us  Burmese Buddhists brazenly and dishonestly are totally unacceptable.


Harn Yawnghwe with Burmese-Muslims in Saudi Arabia.
Back in Burma I never used to have hatred or anger based on race and religion and I had had many Bengali Muslim friends. As a tease I would say to them my childhood friends in Bengali, “Gan-mari-kar (Son-of-a-bitch) Lout-lar (Dick Head),” and they would reply, “Ma-lout-phu (Not enough in Burmese),” as a joke too.

And they would often greet me in Bengali, “Sar-lar (Pussy),” and I would reply, “Ma-sar-bu (Not hungry in Burmese),” as a joke back.

In reality those words are extremely-rude  Bengali swear words but for us those were just friendly greetings between us Burmese and them Bengalis. We could say those words to each other, for we didn’t really hate each other as different races and religions and we knew very well that we respect each other and treat accordingly.

But nowadays there have constantly been many religious-terrorism cases breaking out all over the world because of the Islamic-fundamentalist-driven religious extremism. For example Islamic Afghanistan was once a very Buddhist country since ancient times more than two thousand years ago.

Blowing Up of Two Bamiyan Buddhas.
Two massive Buddhas standing more than fifty meters tall and well known as the Buddhas of Bamiyan are the irrefutable evidence of Buddhism once thriving in Afghanistan.

(Translator’s Notes: The Buddhas of Bamiyan were two sixth century monumental statues of standing Buddhas carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamiyan Valley in the Hazarajat region of Central Afghanistan, situated about 150 miles northwest of Kabul. They were dynamited and destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban on orders from Mullah Mohammed Omar declaring that they were Buddhist Idols.)

But since Mullah Omar-led Taliban became the rulers after the Soviets’ departure the extreme Islamic fundamentalism has arrived in Afghanistan. And the Islamic fundamentalists hate other religions especially the Buddhism.

And despite their respectable religious iconic status and their high historical values the more-than-100ft-tall Buddhas of Bamiyan were soon smashed into thousand pieces by the Islamic Taliban with tanks and cannons and dynamites so that the truly-visible historical evidence of their Afghanistan once being a proud Buddhist country is permanently deleted.

The fact that, despite all the desperate pleads from the Buddhists all over the world and Christian organizations and world heritage organizations and even UNESCO, the extremist Taliban ignored the world and brutally destroyed the famous Buddhas of Bamiyan.


Famous Borobudur in Indonesia.
That act alone has proved the undeniable fact that a Buddhist country like Afghanistan could easily be turned into a Muslim country by brute force. Indonesia is another country that met the same fate as Afghanistan. World famous Borobudur is the proof of once thriving Buddhist society in now Islamic Indonesia.

Another country turning Muslim in modern time is Lebanon. Originally Christian but in Lebanon the Muslims gradually outnumbered the Christians as the Palestinians slowly moved in after all the Arab-Israel wars. Finally a long civil war broke out between Christians and Muslims and Christian lands were forcefully taken over by the Muslims.

I strongly believe that it is the patriotic duty of every citizen of a country or society to defend their race and religion, and to fight back if the foreigners illegally entering their country have either conspired or even intended to swallow up the original inhabitants by imposing their race and religion through the cross-marriages with local women and then forced-conversions.

NLD Tin Oo with ASSK (1988).
Retired General Tin Oo (Now NLD Vice-President) who once took stern actions against illegal Bengali Mujahedins from neighboring Bangladesh in 1950s as the Commander of Burmese Army Western Command was recently condemned by so-called Rohingya Dr. Waka Hudin, a naturalized Bengali-American, on RFA (Radio Free Asia).

I have decided to write this article when I heard the rude demands of Waka Hudin on the RFA for our U Tin Oo to apologize him as U Tin Oo’s mentioning of so-called Rohingyas as the Bengali descendants was an insult.

Dr. Waka Hudin also persistently maintains his fraudulent and make-believe theory that the so-called Rohingyas are the descendants of seagoing Arab traders shipwrecked and stranded on the Arakan Coast and ended up settling there with the local women whoever they were.

But Arabs are basically a Caucasian race and they are generally tall and white. But the so-called Rohingyas are short and dark like the Bengalis from neighboring Bangladesh. Not only that they do speak fluent Bengali and do not speak Arabic at all and do not speak Burmese well like any other ethnic nationalities of our Burma. Everything about their behavior and culture and appearance is exactly same as the Bengalis from Bangladesh.

Fenced Burma-Bangladesh Border Line.
Oh one more thing! I had to laugh out loud when Waka Hudin added in his interview on RFA that his Rohingyas also wear lon-gyi (sarongs) like the Burmese. Our honorable Dr. Waka Hudin had forgotten the fact that the Bengalis also wear lon-gyi.

My proposal to end this controversy of whether the so-called Rohingyas are the Arabs as they themselves have fancied in recent years or the Bengalis as Burmese have been labeling them for hundreds of years is the scientifically-proven and time-honored DNA test.

Just do DNA tests on the blood samples of those fanciful Rohingyas and my challenge to them is if the DNA test said they are non-Bengalis then we will let them stay in our Burma and if they are Bengalis will they go back where they came from, the miserably crowded Bangladesh?

(Translator’s Notes: Please do look carefully at the following comparative population densities i.e. Population per square mile in 2010.

Whole Bangladesh (Muslims)                       1,217
Maungdaw Township (Muslims)                     870
Taungbyo  Township  (Muslim/Buddhists)      700
Whole Arakan State (Buddhists)                      233
Whole Burma (Buddhists)                                191

Like water people must naturally flow down from the higher level of population density to the lower level of population density.  Not just natural migrant flow, the Muslim reproduction also is much much higher than the Buddhists for the obvious religious reason. Our Burma is the last bastion of Buddhism against unrelenting tide of Islam.)


Ilegal Immigrants on the US Border.
Just look at the United States of America. Thousands of Mexicans from Mexico are illegally entering the neighboring states of Texas and California and Americans are using their Border Guard Forces to capture them and send them back.

Even with such tough measures the Spanish-speaking Mexicans and other Latinos are now rapidly filling the states of Texas and California. Nowadays California is 50% Mexicans and 50% Americans. But these Mexicans still call themselves American-Mexicans. They have never claimed they were the Natives of North America. Even the American-Whites do not call themselves Natives. Because everyone knows that the true Native Americans are only the Red-Indians.

Dr. Waka Hudin has claimed the so-called Rohingyas have been living there in the Arakan State of Burma for thousands of years. But in reality the term Rohingya was not even mentioned once in the well-established and extensively-studied history of Arankan State and her Yakhine people.

Now this Waka Hudin guy, who can speak only broken-Burmese and who is constantly telling the porkies about his great fanciful Rohingya race, is demanding that our NLD leader U Tin Oo apologize him for saying the truth about the so-called Rohingyas being the illegal Bengalis. For me it is the rudest insult possible to throw at us Burmese by a so-called Rohingya.

(Translators’ Notes: Maybe after a few more years there in America Dr. Waka Hudin will eventually be claiming his great-great-great-------grand parents were a shipwrecked Arab trader and Pocahontas, just kidding. One thing about these Musulamen is they will take any racial cover to suit their environment but never abandon their religion and thus they always need an Arab male, preferably a Saudi for financial convenience, at the root of their blood line.)

At the same time I would like to report to the readers the related case of unscrupulous dealings between so-called Rohingyas and Harn Yawnghwe’s EBO (Euro Burma Office). The whole thing had been bottling inside of me for so long and now this wild insult spitted at our great NLD leader by broken-Burmese-speaking Waka Hudin had prompted me to blow the whistle on both Harn Yawnghwe and Waka Hudin’s so-called Rohingyas.


The existence of EBO in Brussels was mainly due to the financial and humanitarian aids given generously by the NGOs and the governments of European democracies since our LDC (Least Developed Country) listed Burma the rare military-ruled Socialist country has fallen so far from being a star of SE Asia to one of the poorest countries of the world.

Harn Yawnghwe became active very early in Burmese-Exile politics by forming ADDB (Associates to Develop Democratic Burma) in Quebec City and publishing Burma Alert journal.

(Translator’s Notes: 100 US$ a pop for annual Burma-Alert subscription direct to his bank account had once made him a rich exile in Canada and given him a taste of blood money or political funds from the sympathetic donors. Being the youngest son of Burma’s former President late Sao Shwe Thaik the last saw-bwa of Nyang Shwe also helps his cause.)

Because of his western education and his English proficiency and his famous Shan background he was picked by so-called Burmese Exile Government (NCGUB – National Coalition Government of Union of Burma) as their sole Representative in Europe.

His successful approaches to the EU and the European governments to economic-blockade Burma by submitting the Burmese military government’s serious violation of human rights in Burma had made him an exile politician trusted and relied on by us the Burmese democracy activists here in Europe.

We’ve also known the fact that he has received substantial amount of funds donated by the European Union (EU) and also other European governments for restoration of democracy in Burma.

Even though Harn Yawnghwe had received millions of Euro for NCGUB and also to implement many of his proposals with various titles, we’ve never seen or heard how much he got, or from which organization, or how and where he’d spent that millions of Euro. Not a word about their accounts from Harn Yawnghwe or NCGUB.

Later when the EU countries especially my Germany have changed their Burma policy from isolation to engagement and started diverting their funds to the NGOs and other democratic organizations inside Burma our Harn Yawnghwe has again followed the money trails and  started cooperating with so-called the Third Force inside Burma.

VAHU's Dr. Zaw Oo
By cooperating with pro-SPDC (State Peace and Development Council, now defunct) Ne Win Maung (the founder and owner of Myanmar Egress, Myanmar Partners, the Voice Journal, and Living Color Magazine) and so-called exile-economist Dr. Zaw Oo of VAHU Institute at Chaing Mai University, our chameleon Harn Yawnghwe has changed his political-color overnight from Sanctions Policy to no-Sanctions Policy, totally against the strong wishes of us democracy activists and the people of Burma.

Then I had another shocking experience of Harn Yawnghwe’s alarming behavior at the Burma Day Discussion chaired by East-Timorese President Ramos Hose at Belgian Brussels on 5 May 2010. 

During that discussion our group had tabled two proposals against Military Government in Burma. One was for the international community to neither recognize nor accept the 2010 Burma’s election based on 2008 sham Constitution.  Other one was for the European countries to support forming the International Inquiry Commission to investigate war crimes and war criminals in Burma.

But we all were unbelievably shocked when Harn Yawnghwe stood up and demanded if Burmese war criminals were to be listed for prosecution in the International Court our NLD Vice-Chair General Tin Oo must also be listed as a war criminal and charged.


Now what Waka Hudin said on the RFA (Radio Free Asia) demanding U Tin Oo to apologize for saying a lie that his so-called Rohingyas are just common vanilla Bengalis from Bangladesh was exactly same as Harn Yawnghwe’s calling our U Tin Oo a war criminal.

Obviously what Harn Yawnghwe has been doing recently is actively recruiting non-Burman groups, both ethnic and non-ethnics, by throwing donated Euros from Europe at them so that they would all be bitterly against the majority Burmans. We are now even so concerned about Harn Yawnghwe’s involvement in our UNFC (United Nationalities Federal Council).

(Translator’s Notes: UNFC was formed in mid-February 2011 by KIO (Kachin Independence Organization), NMSP (New Mon State Party), SSA-North (Shan State Army-North), KNU (Karen national Union), KNPP (Kareni National Progressive Party), CNF (Chin National Front), and few other ethnic organizations.)

OIC Emblem.
Just recently he has been cooperating with Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah based OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) the second largest International organization in the world after the United Nations and receiving funds and other assistance from the OIC to further the Rohigya cause by exploiting current human rights violation in Burma against illegal Bengali Muslims.

As I have said before I do not have any hatred towards Muslims. But I bitterly hate the extremist fundamentalist Muslims like Afghan Taliban. Accordingly the Burmese Muslims should not be lying to the world by re-labeling themselves as Rohingyas. For us Burmese they could only be acceptable if they honestly admit they are just Bengali-Burmese-Muslims born in our Burma.


Harn Yawnghwe & Daughter at Rangoon Airport.
I honestly believe this Rohingya fiasco is dangerously pushing to create not just the racio-religious clashes between Burmese Buddhists and Burmese Muslims but also the serious threats on the racial, religious, and territorial integrity of our Burma. The whole Rohingya issue is also mucking up our democratic struggle as the complex religion and race issues do not mix well with politics.

Right now Harn Yawnghwe and his daughter are in Rangoon taking the first concrete steps to open an internal hunting-ground for them together with Ne Win Maung’s Egress and Zaw Oo’s so-called VAHU think-tank.

They are well used to receiving foreign funds from international donors and now they can foresee the money coming as social-aid for Burma. Obviously they can also smell the generous amount of easy money coming from Europe as the European countries started diverting their aids from the exile groups to the social organizations inside Burma.

By this article I have gathered and highlighted the dishonest and self-serving activities of EBO’s Harn Yawnghwe and the so-called Rohingyas so that Daw Aung San Su Kyi and her NLD as a political party could avoid them at all cost.


(The author Aung Than Oo now residing in Germany is one of the founders of FBE (Forum for Burmese in Europe) and also a prominent student leader of the Shwedagon Strike in June 1975. Then a GTI (Government Technical Institute) Civil Engineering student he was captured and jailed for a long time by the Ne Win’s Military Government till 1980. He left Burma in 1987 for political asylum in Germany.)

From: Harn Yawnghwe
Subject: Rohingya Unity and Consultation
To: "Harn Yawnghwe"
Cc: "Jack Sterken" , "Sarah Collen" , "Mael Raynaud"
Date: Tuesday, July 14, 2009, 4:45 PM

Dear Rohingya brothers, friends and colleagues,

Assalamu Alaikum. Mangla ba.

Many of you have written to me regarding the proposed Rohingya consultation in Saudi Arabia to be held by the Euro-Burma Office and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). My apologies for not responding sooner.

Part of the delay is due to circumstances - the trial of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and other developments in Burma. The main reason for the delay is Rohingya disunity.

The first part shows that time is not on our side. The willingness of the OIC to host the consultation could disappear anytime. The world has already forgotten the Rohingya issue after the big news about the refugees at the beginning of this year. The 2010 elections will be the next big issue that the world will pay attention to. No one will care about the Rohingyas then. We do not have the time to be fighting each other for the leadership of various organizations. We need to settle personal differences in order to concentrate on the bigger issue - the future of the Rohingya people.

The disunity of the Rohingya people is a very serious matter. The EBO has been working with the Rohingya people since 2000. Instead of uniting, people seem intent on splitting into smaller and smaller groups. There is no need to talk about the ARNO and RSO split. Everyone knows about it. Right after the Rohingya National Forum was formed in 2006, the NDPHR split into two.

Another attempt was made in 2008 to unite the Rohingya after consultation with the OIC. The idea was for the political groups to form one organization, and after that to form an Arakan Rohingya Council to bring the political and civil society (community and activists) groups together. But at the meeting in Chittgong, the ARNO, RSO and Dr Yunus could not agree and the political group was not formed. The other groups proceeded to form the ARC but without political leadership, ARC did not move forward.

Then in 2009, as EBO was consulting OIC to revive ARC, the RSO split into two. I am not blaming anyone. I know that there are serious reasons for these splits but this disunity is not helping the Rohingya people. It is very disheartening and demoralizing for me and for the Rohingya people in general. Can we not work together for a common cause? Can we put personal ambitions aside? If we cannot work together, the Rohingya issue will be forgotten and it will not mean much in the future to be head of a splinter Rohingya organization. No one will know what a Rohingya is.

I do not want to convene a Rohingya Consultation with OIC if we cannot guarantee unity. If we split again after the consultation, it will be a major embarassment and the OIC will never again host a Rohingya convention or work actively with the Rohingya people.

The question now is, are we serious about Rohingya unity? Are we ready? If not, there will be no consultation.

If we are ready, I would like to propose the following. Please give me your input. You have been copied because I believe you to be responsible political and community leaders who want to build a strong voice for the Rohingya people.

1. First, we need to see different roles for political groups like ARNO, RSO, and community groups like BRAJ and BROUK. Both are necessary but they perform different functions.

2. The political groups need to work together if not unite into one group. The ideal is to have one political group as was planned for the meeting in Chittagong in May 2008.

3. The united political group should then give political leadership for all the Rohingya community groups world wide. This does not mean that the political group will control all the community groups.

Each community group will remain independent and represent the Rohingya community in their local areas. The political group will define what is politically important and lobby for it supported by the community groups. For example - the rights of Rohingyas in Burma, citizenship, right to travel etc, will be the key issues for the political groups who will lobby the OIC and other countries, as well as to be represented in ENC, NCUB, etc. The community groups will support the political objectives and lobby for better conditions for refugees and Rohingya communities in Bangladesh, Malaysia, etc.

To do the above, I propose -

A. Convening a small meeting of political leaders in Saudi Arabia - ARNO, RSO and NDPHR Paris plus possibly other respected leaders - to agree to form one political organization. To do this we need:

i) RSO to unite the two current factions, or for both factions to join the new political organization and agree not to split further,
ii) ARNO as the leading political organization to draft a statement of what the new united organization stands for - its objectives, and how it will include different political groups. How the executive will be elected and what their functions will be. How it will raise funds. What it will do for the Rohingya people. We need to be practical. It is useless to form an organization, have Presidents and Vice-Presidents, and nobody does any work.

If we can agree on i) and ii), a meeting will be convened. If there is no agreement beforehand, we will not have a meeting.

B. If we have agreement to form a united political body, and have a draft agreement, the meeting will be convened for 1 day in Jeddah. Once the political body is formed, we will follow up with an international Rohingya consultation in Jeddah for 1-2 days.

Rohingya community organizations that really represent their community and are active will be invited together with the new politcal group to revive the ARC. To do this, we need to review the ARC constitution and procedures.

Unless we can agree beforehand what the ARC should look like and what it will do, we will not have a consultation.

So, brothers, please give me your input. Let me know if you agree or disagree. Make suggestion. Please make sure you reply to Jack Sterken, the EBO Operations Director, because I will be leaving on a trip and may not have access to email.

If we can do all the above, I am hoping OIC will agree to a meeting in late August or early September.

With respect,

Harn Yawnghwe
Executive Director
Euro-Burma Office