With the ongoing violent attacks against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and the silent treatment given to the massacres by the world, it is important to understand that Buddhist-endorsed violence is nothing new. The current political and ethnic chaos can be understood as resentment taking its toll on a community. From the article: “The constant fear and violence took a toll on them. Monks talked about the guns they had bought and now kept at their bedsides. Others spoke heatedly about the violent militant attacks on Buddhist civilians and monasteries. Although the cause of the violence is multilayered—owing much to corruption, drug trade, and corporatization—many monks also felt Islam was to blame. In their minds, the conflict was anchored to the larger discussion of religious violence: Muslims against Buddhists. […] To these monks, peacemaking requires militancy.”
In a recent article by The Independent: Buddhist monks have been found to block aid to Rohingya Muslims. ”In a move that has shocked many observers, some monks’ organisations have issued pamphlets telling people not to associate with the Rohingya community, and have blocked humanitarian assistance from reaching them. One leaflet described the Rohingya as “cruel by nature” and claimed it had “plans to exterminate” other ethnic groups. […] Aung San Suu Kyi has also been criticised for failing to speak out. Amal de Chickera of the London-based Equal Rights Trust, said: “You have these moral figures, whose voices do matter. It’s extremely disappointing and in the end it can be very damaging.”
The question is if Aung San Suu Kyi herself actually supports the Rohingya. The assumption was, since she opposed the regime, that she’d oppose the oppression of the Rohingya under them. But the only thing Suu Kyi’s said on them is that she “didn’t know” if the Rohingya are Burmese and little else, which doesn’t seem very promising.