Rohingyas fall victim to UN’s corporate-dominated agenda

TEHRAN, Jun. 20 (MNA) – Strategist and activist supporting Rohingya rights in Myanmar says a document recently revealed about UN mission in Myanmar shows how its humanitarian goals are ignored by the corporate-dominated agenda of the UN.

When a year ago, in June 2016, the United Nations bowed to pressures of Saudi Arabia to remove the kingdom from the list of countries killing children due to the Saudi-led war against Yemen, a disastrous reality was unveiled; everyone witnessed that the international body is not abiding by its own principles and acts in several cases in accordance to political ties and pressures and is being bribed by financial supports.

Now a recent leak of an internal document from the UN about its mission in Myanmar has shed light on the reasons why the UN is not taking proper measures regarding the situation of Rohingyas in the Southeast Asian country. To know more about the UN conflict and situation of Rohingyas, we have talked to Shahid Bolsen who is chief strategist of the #WeAreAllRohingyaNow Campaign which seeks justice for Rohingyas.

A leaked internal document from the UN shows differences among US people in Myanmar where Rohingya Muslims are under pressure; what is it all about?

The leaked UN documents revealed that there is a great deal of internal dispute at the United Nations regarding their approach to the Rohingya genocide. This is to be expected. There is a clash between the genuine humanitarian goals of the UN and its increasingly corporate-dominated agendas; the emphasis on development investment as a solution to Myanmar’s problems has inevitably crippled the UN’s will to take any meaningful action to halt the gross human rights abuses being committed by the regime because they fear doing so would jeopardize potential business contracts and investment projects being sought by multinational corporations. This is essentially what the leaked documents exposed.

How do you evaluate UN forces’ performance in protecting Rohingyas?

Again, there is a contrast between words, actions, and indeed, results. One of the most important things the UN did was to pass a non-binding resolution calling for the restoration of Rohingya citizenship; but nothing whatsoever has been done to implement this resolution, because, of course, it is non-binding, and not even eligible for implementation.

In fact, the UN’s almost cyclical condemnations of atrocities, commissioning reports, carrying out investigations, and so forth, has become an instrument for perpetuating the crisis. They are permissive condemnations. In other words; the Myanmar military and the regime understand at this point that the UN’s response to atrocities will be reliably toothless, but by condemning the ethnic cleansing in Rakhine, and by ordering investigations and reports, the UN appears to be intervening while it is in fact doing nothing. This appearance of involvement becomes a delaying mechanism for any actual intervention or action. So in reality, on a practical level, the condemnations function as support for the regime, not for the Rohingya.

While a terrorist attack in the west draws all attentions of the media and public opinion and politicians in condemning it, massive killings and brutal pressures on Rohingyas in Myanmar is faced with silence which more seems to be a boycott. If so, who would benefit from this silence?

Terrorist attacks should be condemned, wherever they are committed. Western media unsurprisingly cares more about incidents in the West. The response to any crisis, conflict, or humanitarian disaster is always going to be determined according to its impact on business interests; based on this, the crisis will either be ignored, perpetuated, resolved, or escalated.

It has to be understood that the strife in Rakhine, the persecution of the Rohingya, is part of an overall management strategy by the central government, by the military and Burmese elites, to maintain power. They are the ones with whom international investors are dealing; they are their partners; so they have a stake in preserving the ruling order in Myanmar, by any means necessary.

The central government’s real problem is the Rakhine, not the Rohingya. The Rakhine are an ethnic minority living in a resource-rich, and strategically important state, who have a history of secessionist ambitions. They are oppressed, exploited, and impoverished, and if they rose against the government, it would be a lethal blow to the Burmese. As long as their resentment and hostility are directed against the helpless Rohingya, the regime is secure. Internal conflict in Rakhine state, therefore, is useful to everyone who matters.

What countries are supporting and giving the green light to the government in Myanmar in its policy toward Rohingya Muslims?

Well, of course the major supporter of the regime is China. But the US has prioritized improving its relationship with both the regime, and especially the military, precisely to try to offset Chinese influence.

What is more significant to look at is which foreign companies are investing in Myanmar. This will reveal the true position of any country’s government on the issue. For example, the Norwegian telecom company Telenor is a major investor in Myanmar, and it is itself majority state-owned. Furthermore, some of these corporations are themselves larger than states, and really need to be treated as global powers on par with countries. That is why the #WeAreAllRohingyaNow Campaign has decided to focus on reaching out to multinational companies rather than the conventional approach of lobbying governments.

Will a change in UN team in Myanmar make any improvements in the performance and support for the Muslims or the problems are at higher levels and in policies?

Any new UN team will continue to fulfill their institutional role within the framework of the UN strategy on Myanmar. And it is entirely possible that part of their role is to eventually be dismissed and replaced.

Suu Kyi was strongly supported by the West and the UN when she was under arrest before coming to power as an icon of democracy and freedom; now, the same person comes to power and we see genocide of Rohingyas. Why is she doing so and do the supporters still support her?

She has disappointed many people, and she has lost a lot of international support, there are even calls for her to return her Nobel Peace Prize. It is not for me to speculate about why she is doing what she is doing, nor does it really matter. The fact is she has become part of the apparatus for perpetuating the crimes against humanity taking place in Rakhine state against the Rohingya. She may or may not have her own rationales for why she is doing this, but that is what she is doing.

Can you tell us more about #Black4Rohingya campaign? Where and how it began and what the campaign seeks and who has joined it?

This is an initiative started by South African lawyer and activist Shabnam Mayet a few years ago. The idea is to build and express solidarity with the Rohingya by having participants wear black for one day, and post pictures of themselves on social media. This can both let governments, business leaders, and others see that there is widespread international, popular sentiment in support of the Rohingya, and to let the Rohingya themselves see that they have this kind of support globally.

It is an important initiative, and we were proud to participate in it. Getting a diverse group of people from every corner of the globe to unite upon a single, simultaneous action is truly inspiring, and offers us just a hint of what can be done when we build real solidarity on any issue.

Interview by: Hamid R. Gholamzadeh

Link for interview:

خلافة الأنقاض                                     Khilafah of rubble


دعونا نتظاهر أنكم ستبدؤون حملة حرب عصابات في مصر ضد قوات الشرطة والأمن، وبما أننا نتخيل فدعونا نتصور أنكم تمكنتم من تأمين التمويل والسلاح والتدريب لهذه الحملة، ومن مصادر أخرى غير وكالة المخابرات المركزية والإسرائيليين، أو أي وكالات استخبارات أجنبية الأخرى، ومن عند غير العرب من دول الخليج الغنية التي ترغب في هدم مصر من أجل مصالحها الخاصة…  نعم، سنبالغ جدًا في الخيال هنا.

حسنا!  لديكم بنادقكم وقنابلكم، ولديكم تمويلكم الخاص، وسنتخيل أيضا أنكم تمكنتم من تجميع عدد كبير من المجندين، ولهذا فأنتم مستعدون لبدء العمليات.  أفترض أنكم ستهاجمون مراكز الشرطة ونقاط التفتيش والثكنات العسكرية والقوافل، وربما السجون، وربما المباني الحكومية وأي ضباط مخابرات ستكونون قادرين على تحديدهم من خلال شبكة جمع المعلومات الاستخباراتية التي سنتخيل أيضا أنكم قمتم فعلا ببنائها.

أنتم من الفدائيين، ولهذا فأنتم دائمي الحركة، مثل فكرة قوات التدخل السريع المسماه بالقوات الطائرة (Flying Columns) التي ظهرت في وقت مبكر من الجيش الجمهوري الايرلندي، وستكونون قادرين على القيام بهذا كله لأننا سنتخيل أيضا أنكم قد بنيتم قاعدة من الدعم الشعبي الواسع، والمتعاطفين من الشعب سيكونون مستعدون لترككم تبيتون في منازلهم، وسيطعمونكم، ويخفونكم سريعًا عند أول إشارة خطر… هذه الشبكة التي نتخيلها من الدعم ستوفر لكم معلومات عن الشرطة وتحركات الجيش، بحيث تكونوا دائما أمامهم على الأقل بخطوتين… وهم كذلك سيخبئون الأسلحة لكم، ويقدمون الرعاية الصحية لمصابيكم، لأننا سنفترض أن هناك أطباء بينهم.

جميل… أنتم الآن تضربون الشرطة والجيش… عظيم! وهم يردون من خلال مهاجمة شبكة دعمكم، لأنهم لا يجدونكم ويعجزون عن الإمساك بكم، فيقومون بعمل اعتقالات جماعية لأحياء بأكملها، ويأتي زوار الفجر ومنتصف الليل، وتأتي حملات العقاب الجماعي، وتعذيب للمدنيين… الخ. وبينما تقومون أنتم بالتصعيد، يتم تحديد أحياء بعينها كبؤر لدعم الثوار، وربما يتم قصفها، فالنظام يطلب ويتلقى مساعدات عسكرية ومالية من الحلفاء الغربيين لتنفيذ حملات لمكافحة الإرهاب، وحملات لمكافحة التمرد.  وسرعان ما تجدون لديكم عشرات الملايين من المصريين المشردين داخليا وهم يحاولون الفرار من مناطق النزاع، وملايين اللاجئين، ما لا يقل عن 3 مليون فقط من القاهرة… وأنا لست متأكدا أين سيذهبون، أين برأيكم؟ السودان؟ بالتأكيد لن يذهبوا للمملكة العربية السعودية… تركيا مثلا؟ لا تعولوا كثيرًا على هذا.

وفي غضون، لنقل ثلاث سنوات، ستنجحون في استنساخ الكارثة العظمى لسوريا، مع بنية تحتية مدمرة واقتصاد في حالة خراب، وأجيال من الأطفال المصريين خارج المدارس، ومعظم المتعلمين المهرة فروا من البلاد، وسيناء طبعا ستكون هي القاعدة المركزية لحركة حرب العصابات، وستسقط تماما خارج سيطرة الحكومة، لهذا وفي جميع الاحتمالات، فإن الإسرائيليين سيأخذون على عاتقهم تطهير الأراضي لأمنهم، لهذا سيكون هناك إما ضربات جوية يتم تنفيذها مباشرة من قبل إسرائيل، أو من قبل قوات التحالف التي تقودها الولايات المتحدة… هل كل شيء يسير بشكل جيدا حتى الآن؟

الإخوان المسلمين، إذا شاركوا في هذا على الإطلاق، سيضعون أنفسهم في خانة “الفصيل الاسلامي المعتدل”، وربما سيُدفعون للتقاتل مع الفصائل التابعة لداعش، ويتنافسون للفوز بالدعم الغربي للوصول إلى نوع من استراتيجية طويلة الأجل لتشكيل حكومة انتقالية من خلال المفاوضات… ونحن هنا نتحدث عن مرور حوالي 5 إلى 10 سنوات… فتكون سيناء قد ضاعت، والباقي من مصر في الرماد، والمنشآت النفطية المصرية تنتج جزء صغير من قدراتها والمرافق التي يسيطر عليها الثوار تنتج فقط ما يكفي للحفاظ على أراضيها… إذا حدث أصلا! أما الولايات المتحدة، وهي في هذا الحين ستكون مصدرًا صرفًا للنفط، ستجني الفوائد من الارتفاع الشديد في أسعار النفط، ونفس الشيء بالنسبة لدول الخليج بسبب تناقص الإمداد من الشرق الأوسط عن أي وقت مضى.

إذا كانت مصر سيتم بناؤها على الإطلاق، فسيتم بناؤها كاملة عن طريق الديون، وستكون الدولة كلها مملوكة بالكامل للشركات متعددة الجنسيات وحكومات مجلس التعاون الخليجي، ولن يتم الموافقة على أي حكومة بإجماع جميع الفصائل، ولهذا ستستمر الاضطرابات العنيفة على نار هادئة، حسنا لنقل… عقود، وسيتكلف هذا الملايين، وإلا فالآلاف، من الأرواح. ولكننا سنحتفل جميعا باستشهادهم، وهذا شيء جيد جدًا، أليس كذلك؟

وستنجح خلافة الانقاض في الوصول بنجاح إلى مصر، وستقوم بتسليم المسلمين كعبيد أكثر بؤسًا وألمًا مما نعانيه اليوم بالفعل.

إن كنتم صامدون فكبروا….!

Let’s pretend you are going to commence a guerrilla warfare campaign in Egypt against the police and security forces.  Since we are pretending, let’s imagine that you secure financing, weapons and training for this campaign, from sources other than the CIA, Israelis, other foreign intelligence agencies, and from other than rich Gulf Arabs who are interested in demolishing Egypt for their own interests.  Yes, we are engaging in a fantasy here.OK.  You have your guns and bombs a, you have your financing, and we’ll also pretend that you have been able to assemble a significant number of recruits; so you are ready to begin operations. I suppose you will attack police stations, checkpoints, army barracks and caravans, maybe prisons, perhaps government buildings and any intelligence officers you are able to identify through the intelligence gathering network we will also pretend you have built.

You are guerrillas, so you are constantly on the move; like the Flying Columns of the early IRA.  You are able to do this because we are pretending that you have also built broad grassroots support, and sympathizers among the public are willing to let you stay in their homes, feed you, and hide you at a moment’s notice. This imaginary network of support also provides you with information about police and army movements, so you can stay two steps ahead of the military.  They also stash your weapons for you, and take care of your injured fighters, because we’ll pretend that there are medical personnel among them.

Alright; you are hitting the police and the army. Great.They respond by attacking your support network, because they can’t find you.  Mass arrests of entire neighborhoods, midnight raids,   collective punishment, torture of civilians, etc.  As you escalate, neighborhoods will be identified as hotbeds of rebel support, and possibly bombed. The regime seeks, and receives military and financial aid from Western allies to carry out its anti-terror, counter-insurgency campaign. Soon, you have tens of millions of internally displaced Egyptians trying to flee the conflict zones, and millions of refugees; at least 3 million just from Cairo.  I’m  not sure where they will go, are you? Sudan? Certainly not Saudi Arabia.  Turkey?  Don’t count on it.

Within, say, 3 years, you have succeeded in duplicating the triumphant catastrophe of Syria.  Infrastructure devastated, economy in ruins, a generation of Egyptian children out of school, and most educated professionals having fled the country.  Sinai will have become the obvious central base for the guerrilla movement, and will have fallen completely out of government control, so, in all likelihood, the Israellis will take it upon themselves to purge the territory for their own security.  There will be either airstrikes directly undertaken by Israel, or by a US-led coalition.  So far so good?

The Muslim Brotherhood, if they participate in this at all, will position themselves as the ‘moderate” Islamist faction, and will probably be pitted against the Da’esh-affiliated factions, vying for Western support in some sort of long-term strategy of forming a transitional government through negotiations…we are now talking about 5 to 10 years later. Sinai is lost, and the rest of Egypt is in ashes. Egyptian oil facilities are producing at a fraction of capacity, rebel-held facilities are supplying enough to sustain their own territories, perhaps. The US is, by now, a net exporter of oil, and reaping the benefits of a skyrocketing oil price, as the Gulf states will too, due to the ever-decreasing supply from the Middle East.

If Egypt is going to be rebuilt at all, it will be rebuilt through debt, and the entire country will be owned, completely owned, by multinationals and GCC governments. No government will be unanimously accepted by all factions, so violent turmoil will continue simmering for, well, decades, costing millions, not thousands, of lives.  but we can celebrate their martyrdom, so that’s fine, right?

The Khilafah of rubble will have victoriously expanded to Egypt, and delivered the Muslims into slavery even more miserable and painful than we are already suffering.


خصخصة اللجوء السياسي                     Privatizing Asylum


من المقرر أن تقوم الأردن بخفض الأجور والتحول من التعاطف مع اللاجئين السوريين إلى الاستياء منهم وذلك من خلال برنامج جديد يهدف إلى دمج ضحايا الحرب ليصبحوا زمرة من العمالة الرخيصة للشركات الأوروبية متعددة الجنسيات.

وفي مقابل تحويل اللاجئين إلى عمالة مُسْتَغَلة ستتلقى الأردن “مئات الملايين من الدولارات في شكل منح وقروض رخيصة لمشاريع التنمية”، كما لو أننا بحاجة لإيضاح كيف سيتم التعامل مع العمال اللاجئين أو التعليق عليه!! يقول سفير الاتحاد الاوروبي في عمان، “في نهاية المطاف هذا قرار تجاري من قِبَل القطاع الخاص” … بمعنى أخر، فإن حقوق اللاجئين وحمايتهم سوف تخضع لربحية الشركات، وبالتالي ستتحول مخيمات اللاجئين إلى معسكرات سُخْرة.

وعلاوة على ذلك، فإن عقد صفقة تجارية جديدة مع الاتحاد الأوروبي “سيسهل” من شروط “قواعد المنشأ”، مما سيمكن الأردن من الحصول على المواد الخام وقطع الغيار وغيرها من السلع من بلدان أخرى، ومن ثم ستقوم ببيعها إلى الاتحاد الأوروبي مع وضع كلمة “صنع في الأردن” عليها، مما سيعني، على سبيل المثال، أن الأردن ستتمكن من جلب مواد من سوريا أو ربما حتى من المستوطنات الإسرائيلية، وتقوم بتمريرها من خلال المصانع الخاصة بها ليتم بيعها في أوروبا؛ وبهذا ستتجاوز العقبة المتمثلة في عقوبات الاتحاد الأوروبي ضد سوريا، وكذلك ستتحايل على حركة المقاطعة وسحب الاستثمارات وفرض العقوبة (BDS) المناهضة للمستوطنات الإسرائيلية.

يبدوا أن دور الأردن في تسهيل الأمور لأصحاب رؤوس الأموال العالمية آخذ في التوسع.

Jordan is set to lower wages and transform compassion for Syrian refugees into resentment through a new program that will integrate fleeing war victims into the cheap labor pool for European multinational corporations.

In exchange for converting refugees into exploitable workers, Jordan will “receive hundreds of millions of dollars in grants and cheap loans for development projects”. As if it needs to be clarified, commenting on how refugee-workers will be dealt with, the EU ambassador to Jordan said, “At the end of the day, this is a business decision from the private sector”…refugee rights and protections, in other words, will be subordinated to corporate profitability. Refugee camps will become labor camps.

Furthermore, a new trade deal with the EU will “ease its “rules of origin”’ conditions, thus enabling Jordan to acquire raw materials, parts, and other goods, from other countries, and still sell them to the EU with “Made in Jordan” labels. This may mean, for instance, that Jordan can bring materials from Syria, or perhaps even from Israeli settlements, and pass them through their own factories, to sell in Europe; thereby bypassing EU sanctions against Syria, and circumventing the growing success of the BDS movement against Israeli settlements.

Jordan’s role as a facilitator for the global owners of capital is expanding.