Monday, November 27, 2017

Pope, say "Rohingya" when in Buddhist Burma

Jasmine Garsd, Staff (PRI, Nov. 27, 2017); A. Nguyen, Ashley Wells (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
Pope Francis is welcomed at Yangon Airport, Burma, Nov. 27, 2017 (Max Rossi/Reuters)
Hey, these Asian Buddhists are funny (SL).
The [current Catholic] pope may not use the term "Rohingya" during his trip to Burma [called "Myanmar" by Burma's lingering military dictators led by Gen. Than Shwe from their newly built semi-underground capital at Naypyidaw]. Here's why.
Pope Francis on Monday arrived in Rangoon, Burma (Yangon, Myanmar) -- the first stop of his six-day trip to Burma and neighboring [Muslim majority, Buddhist minority] Bangladesh.
The pontiff’s visit comes as Burma is being accused of violently [conducting a genocide and] pushing out hundreds of thousands of minority Rohingya Muslims. The United Nations and US Secretary of State [former Exxon CEO] Rex Tillerson have accused the country’s army, the Tatmadaw, of conducting a campaign of "ethnic cleansing" against the Rohingya.
Don't worry, Dictator Than Shwe, I will not say "Rohingya." I'll call them "Bengalis."
Suu Kyi must be very deferent to Than Shwe
As the pope embarked on his visit on Monday, many were waiting to see whether he would use the term "Rohingya" to describe the group. The word is not used in Burma; there, the group is described as "Bengalis" -- even by former dissident and current face of the country, Aung San Suu Kyi] -- suggesting they are [illegal migrants] from Bangladesh [who came to settle and sided with the Colonial British who were defeated when Burma, like neighboring India, gained its independence].

I call them Bengalis, Mr. Pope. How about you?
The pope has used the word Rohingya in previous speeches but has been advised by the church’s sole Catholic cardinal in Burma to forgo using the term, so as not to stir up violence in Buddhist-majority Burma, where Catholics make up approximately 1 percent of the total population.
Despite testimony by refugees pointing to a widespread campaign of rape, murder, and arson, Burma denies any wrongdoing. More
  • Agence France-Presse (AFP) reporting was used in this story. Listen to an interview with The World Correspondent Jasmine Garsd, who's on the ground in Bangladesh.

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