Authors: Khin KoKo Hsu and Kyi Shinn Khin
Photo credit: radionz.co.nz
Before we start this article, we would like to ask all of the readers — Do you trust everything you see on the news? CAN you trust everything you see on the news? Lastly, are you sure you know the truth of what’s going on in a foreign country?
In this piece, we are going to discuss an issue that you have probably heard of; the Rohingya crisis. If you are in Geography class, you might have heard about this. This is coming from two Burmese girls who were brought up in Myanmar; therefore, this is an opinion piece, and by no means are our opinions the absolute.
Media is what we rely on for news and basically everything we want to know. Such as major racial crisis like The Rohingya Crisis. According to the news, the Rohingyas are fleeing Myanmar due to the dire conditions in our country. That the Burmese people are persecuting them and treating them very horrifically. But what they are missing is a perspective; not only that of a Rohingya refugee, but also a Burmese citizen.
Yes, it is true that many Rohingyas are fleeing Myanmar to return to Bangladesh. But is it completely true that we are the ones that are beating them, scaring them away, and not allowing them into our country? Is it a safe opinion to say that we are the only ones that are wrong? Not at all. On a very shallow surface level, everyone believes in the media. So if they say the Rohingyas are the only ones suffering, they believe it and blame it on Myanmar. By no rights are we saying that Myanmar is completely innocent and that the Rohingyas are the ones doing wrong things; the thing is, NEITHER sides are innocent.
The Rohingya crisis has been going on in Myanmar for a long time. They were people who had illegally migrated over to Myanmar and were given a place to stay in Rakhine state. And for a long time, it was a very calm period. They were safe in Myanmar. What happened that led to a spark in this conflict was in 2015, when three Rohingyas raped, murdered and stole golden jewelry from a Burmese girl on the bus. There were many events before this but the girl’s murder led to a major outrage amongst the Burmese community. And thus the crisis began. Rakhine people burned down religious monuments of the Rohingya. The Rohingya have also murdered some of the people in Rakhine, and in the end, leads to a riot. The Rohingya finally resort to fleeing back to Bangladesh because they were considered an “ethnic minority”.
Media today has the power to choose what they want to make global and what they prefer to keep silent, which is its deadliest weapon. Try to remember the time when you opened the news in 2015; did you see any article about a Burmese girl being murdered, raped and robbed in global news sites such as BBC? If you searched up “the death of a Burmese girl in Rakhine on the bus” on Google, what do you get? Now go on Google and search “Rohingya crisis”. How many articles came up? 18,400,000 results in 0.62 seconds, and with thousands of relevant articles. The young woman’s death on the hands of the Rohingya? 531,000 results in 0.74 seconds, with the only one relevant one being a Wikipedia article. So ask yourselves this; why is it that they would not make an article about a murder of a girl on the bus, but make an article about a battle between two ethnics global, while making the article completely biased at the same time? The answer is, the power of the media.
In conclusion, the media is extremely powerful in manipulating the world. It’s up to them what goes global and what stays silent. Imagine you were in our shoes; the shoes of Burmese people, hearing all these articles about Burmese people being extremely evil to Rohingyas and that it’s all our fault when we already know that neither sides are innocent. Would you want your voice heard? Of course you would want to. That’s why we have taken our time to write this article; so that you can hear our voices and realize that the Rohingya crisis isn’t as one-sided as you thought it would be. No, we don’t hate the Rohingyas and no, we are not completely supporting our country’s decisions because we know that the government have made mistakes in the past like every normal person would. We are also not convincing you guys to not help them; do support them financially, and do make donations, for there is no such thing as a limit to kindness. However at the same time, we are NOT going to just sit down and accept what the media is telling because the entire world deserves to hear the truth. What did WE, all humans on earth, do to deserve false news? You, us, and everyone around the world; we all deserve to hear the truth about what is going on the world that we live today.