Rohingya Documentary: Stateless In Their Own Country
To commemorate the one year anniversary of the first outbreak of violence in Arakan state, Myanmar in June 2012, Restless Beings held a special exclusive screening of a Rohingya Documentary- Stateless In Their Own Country.
The documentary was filmed and produced by Swedish freelance journalist Kalle Bergbom and Jonas Gratzer. Bergbom has been working closely with Restless Beings, providing the much required information to assist the WFP in their analyses of the conditions of the people and the necessary steps needed to fulfill their basic needs for survival in the IDP camps of Sittwe. Although currently in Thailand, Bergbom will return to Myanmar once more this week to further investigate the anti-Muslim campaign and continue to work with Restless Beings.
Things need to change within the Burmese
The documentary - Stateless In Their Own Country serves as a visual reminder that though the initial targeting and razing of whole villages in Arakan and murders has ceased, the Rohingya are now facing a continually futile existence. Bergbom joined us via live video call and able to share further details of his week long stay in the IDP Camps, allowing for a Q & A session with the audience.
When asked about the distribution of funds and the way in which it was managed to benefit the community, Kalle responded tactfully, "send money if you're sure it's going to the right people." Furthermore, Our idea that political change demands patience, perseverance, and political "pressure [to] raise awareness" was reinforced by Kalle as "things need to change within the Burmese".
We need action on the ground
One member of the audience from the Rohingya community thanked Restless Beings for "being the only organisation who are 100% working for the Rohingya and they will never forget that." He continued, "the situation right now is still the same, there is no burning down houses but now direct killing because there is no food, no protection from rain" stating that all they can do "is keep praying and passing on information".
Assed Baig, a UK based journalist who had recently also visited Myanmar recently in March of this year also spoke of his experience of the very ‘’anti-Muslim attitude’'; the ‘’deep hatred’’ being evident even in central Myanmar outside of Arakan state. He also shared horrific accounts of a woman whose husband was murdered in front of her and or a friend who knew of man who was beaten, stabbed and thrown into a fire.
Assed Baig, a UK based journalist also spoke of his first hand experience of a recent visit to Myanmar, the ‘’anti-Muslim attitude’'; the ‘’deep hatred’’ was evident even in central Myanmar outside of state of Arakan. He also shared horrific anecdotes of a man murdered before the eyes of his wife and of another member of the community who was beaten, stabbed and thrown into a fire, for no other reason other than simply being Muslims.
Long standing friend of Restless Beings, Noman stated that ‘’more than ripples’’ are needed now; ‘’we need action on the ground’’. He recounted to the audience the murder of his 8 year old cousin last year in the first wave of the violence in June, and how she was barbarically cut into pieces.
The Myanmarese state is now seeking to force the Rohingya into signing that they are in fact Bengali and not Rohingya or citizens of Myanmar, in a bid to expel them from the land. Noman had said that his cousin having refused to sign, has been sentenced to imprisonment for 10 years. Meanwhile, his Grandmother who had no other choice but to sign, now faces an uncertain future in her own homeland.
Below is the video to expose the horrific conditions of the IDP Camps and the continual destitution of the Rohingya of Myanmar. Please share.
Sincere thanks and appreciation to Kalle Bergbom.
One Year On.
The Rohingya Continue to be Stateless In Their Own Homeland.