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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2424

The World Disorder – Part 1

By Habib Siddiqui

The preamble of the United Nations states:

“We The Peoples Of the United Nations Determined

to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and

• to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and

• to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and

• to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

And For These

to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and

• to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and

• to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and

• to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,

Have Resolved To Combine Our Efforts To Accomplish These Aims

Accordingly, our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco, who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations.”

This past week during the 73rd UN General Assembly meeting, the world community heard loud and clear from the world leaders and dignitaries that the UN has failed to live up to the lofty goals for which it was created after the World War II. As a matter of fact, human race is in a dire state today than ever before in the last 70 years.

Millions of people have been rendered homeless as a result of war and political unrest and economic insecurity that have become the new norms these days. Some four million Syrians have fled their homes to escape murderous assaults from its own government - the criminal Assad regime. They have found refuge in neighboring Turkey, which continues to spend billions of dollars to look after them.

Almost a million Rohingya Muslims and Hindus have been forced out of the Rakhine (formerly Arakan) state of Buddhist Myanmar who have now settled inside Bangladesh since September 2017 to escape government-orchestrated genocide there. Tens of thousands of Rohingyas have also been killed and gang raped by Suu Kyi’s government forces and Buddhist fascists that want to make Myanmar religiously free of non-Buddhists. The Myanmar government forces are also at war with separatists in various Christian-majority states.

In next-door India, some 100,000 Kashmiri civilians have been killed by government security forces since 1989 to ensure that the Muslim residents of the restive territory are denied their overdue rights to a long-promised plebiscite to determine whether they want to secede or remain part of the so-called ‘democratic’ India.

Under Narendra Modi’s rule, Hindutvadi fascists are rejuvenated and making a mockery of country’s secular constitution and thousand-year old history of religious co-existence by lynching minority Muslims daily under the pretext of saving ‘sacred’ cows. In the BJP-run state of Assam some 4 million Indians have been rendered stateless a la Myanmar-style. Because of their non-Assamese heritage, they are falsely accused, much like in Myanmar, to be infiltrators from Bangladesh. Deleted from the NRC (National Registration Card) list are 3.8 million Bengali-speaking Indians of which 2.5 million are Hindus, the rest 1.3 million are Bengali-speaking Muslims. Names of some people who appeared on voters’ list way back in 1965 and 1966 were deliberately left out this time. Even family members of a freedom fighter have been excluded. Some 1,200 people, including children, have also been kept in detention camps because they protested.

India has also threatened to expel nearly 40,000 Rohingya migrants it says have illegally settled in the country, including 15,000 registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), provoking sharp criticism from the UN.

While their troops may be involved in periodic stand-offs on the disputed Himalayan border and they may be competing for influence in Myanmar both India and China are on the same page regarding the Rohingya crisis. Within the UN, they have tried to protect Suu Kyi’s government that has been committing war crimes against the Rohingya. These two governments have huge infrastructure projects in the Rakhine state, the ancestral home of the Rohingya.

The India-funded Kaladan multi-modal project is designed to provide a sea-river-land link to its remote northeast through Sittwe (formerly Akyab) port. The China-funded Kyauk Phyu port is to be the starting point of an oil-gas pipeline and railroad link to Yunnan state in China. The wider efforts to take Myanmar oil and gas from the Shwe gas field to Guangzhou, China, are well documented.

The broad and sustained offensive on human rights that started after President Xi Jinping took power some six years ago shows no sign of abating. The death of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo in a hospital under heavy guard last year highlighted the Chinese government’s deepening contempt for rights. The near future for human rights appears grim, especially as Xi is expected to remain in power at least until 2022.

In Xinjiang, a nominally autonomous region with 11 million Turkic Muslim Uyghurs, authorities stepped up mass surveillance and the security presence despite the lack of evidence demonstrating an organized threat. They also adopted new policies denying Uyghurs cultural and religious rights. The authorities have long persecuted them, collectivizing them, bulldozing their residences, requiring them to submit to invasive DNA and biometric tests.

The Chinese government has long conflated peaceful activism with violence in Xinjiang, and has treated many expressions of Uyghur identity, including language and religion, as threatening. Since October of 2016, authorities have arbitrarily recalled passports from residents of Xinjiang. Since about April of 2017 authorities have arbitrarily detained thousands of Uyghurs and other Muslims in centers where they were forced to undergo “patriotic education.” Authorities also ordered Uyghur students studying abroad, including in Egypt, to return to Xinjiang; and in July, Egyptian authorities rounded up those who had failed to return, possibly at China’s behest. By September 2017, about 20 Uyghurs were forcibly repatriated to Xinjiang while 12 were released. Some of those who returned were detained; a Xinjiang court sentenced Islamic scholar Hebibulla Tohti to 10 years in prison after he returned with a doctorate degree from Egypt’s Al-Azhar University. In April 2017, the Xinjiang Counter-Extremism Regulations, which prohibit the wearing of “abnormal” beards or veils in public places, became effective. Also, in April, Xinjiang authorities issued a new rule banning parents from naming children with dozens of names with religious connotations on the basis that they could “exaggerate religious fervor.”

Chinese officials, since early 2018, have imposed regular “homestay programs” on families in Xinjiang. These visits are part of the government’s increasingly invasive “Strike Hard” campaign in the region. During these visits, families are required to provide officials with information about their lives and political views, and are subjected to political indoctrination. Since 2014, Xinjiang authorities have sent 200,000 cadres from government agencies, state-owned enterprises, and public institutions to regularly visit and surveil the Uyghur people. Cadres also carry out political indoctrination, including promoting “Xi Jinping Thought” and explaining the Chinese Communist Party’s “care” and “selflessness” in its policies toward Xinjiang. They also warn people against the dangers of “pan-Islamism,” “pan-Turkism,” and “pan-Kazakhism” – ideologies or identities that the government finds threatening. The authorities expect all of these to be done through “heart-to-heart” talks about everyday life.

It is believed that as many as 1 million Uighurs are confined to re-education camps. There they are detained arbitrarily by Chinese authorities and subjected to forcible re-education that includes declaring Muslim worship sinful, until the government decides to release them. The camps are described as an organized form of “disappearances.” News reports indicate that the children of Uyghur parents sent to these re-education camps are put in orphanages, where, as one orphanage worker described it, the children are “locked up like animals in a shed.”

As of September 2017, more than 90,000 police and security officials were posted in the province. Reports indicate that Uyghurs experience increased beatings, arrests, interrogations, wait times at checkpoints, and forced assimilation. A Freedom House report on the state of religious freedom in China suggests that Uyghur Muslims are among the most highly persecuted religious groups in China.

It goes without saying that China’s deeply invasive forced assimilation practices against Muslims not only violate basic rights but are also likely to foster and deepen resentment in the region.

>>>> To be continued.

- Asian Tribune -

The World Disorder – Part 1
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