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Burma Village 'Under Attack by Petrol Bombs,' Say Unconfirmed Reports

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
PHUKET: Alarming reports are coming today by telephone of a new petrol bomb attack on a Rohingya village in Burma.

Four separate callers to Phuketwan in quick succession have claimed that another village was being torched this morning.

The reports come during a lull in ethnic cleansing after a second wave of attacks left scores more dead and thousands of homes destroyed in Rakhine state, also known as Arakan.

The difficulty is that, like so many reports emerging from Burma, the information from these callers cannot be verified.

Like aid organisations, rights groups and other international media, Phuketwan is struggling to sort truth from fiction amid this 21st century nightmare.

Satellite photographs have reveal the enormous levels of destruction that has occurred this week. But on the ground, communications are primitive.

When we receive alarming telephone calls that a village is about to be put to the torch, there is nothing that we can do except report the information as possibly true.

This is modern Burma, trapped in a new dark age that simply puts old hatreds and needless violence in a context where there are no emergency services to respond to the sad cries, and no prospect of outside help.

What the callers told us today was that a village with a name that sounded like ''Jakimo'' was coming under attack from people who were throwing petrol bombs.

Those making the attack were not the neighbors of the Rohingya residents but Buddhists trucked in from another part of Burma.

The Burmese army - which should be maintaining the peace - has been tacitly encouraging attacks.

Another caller said that Rohingya who have managed to flee to rough displaced persons camps near the state capital of Sittwe find themselves with little food and water.

Scores of injured are without doctors or nurses, and at least one mother in a camp has died through lack of care, a caller said.

While the calls are believable, there is no way of confirming the truth of what's being passed on.

More reliable sources say the people in at least one of the Sittwe camps can see smoke on the horizon from time to time, but as camp captives they have no way of knowing whether it's a village or a plantation burning.

The tragedy of Burma this week is not just about the deaths and the devastation but the hatred at the heart of a country and the willingness of its rulers to let the horror play out.

The world will not know the truth about today's possible addition to the nightmare until a satellite shows us fresh before and after images in days or weeks.

By then it could be too late for a village said to be home to 1500 families, possibly as many as 5000 people. For Burma, it may already be too late.

Comments

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Maybe giving the Nobel Peace prize to Aung San Su Kyi was a mistake.
Her silence on this matter is deafening and a disgrace.

Posted by Sir Burr on October 30, 2012 10:35

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unconfirm report? that mean may be not true!

Posted by googu on October 30, 2012 11:01

Editor Comment:

Yes, as the article says. But we think it's better to let readers know that Burma had entered a new dark age. For many, the promise of a new open country has just meant deeper persecution. Media, aid groups and rights organisations are unable to tell what's happening. What we can confirm is the new dark age.

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How many did they get per litre? Would be good or bad consumption? Poor people, always hated and never ever going to be accepted anywhere in the world. Aung San Su Kyi is a disgrace to her nation. Go back to house arrest, you were more famous there. You care nothing for your fellow human beings in Burma. FAIL !

Posted by Anon on October 30, 2012 20:15


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