The Rohingya community of Arakan, Burma (Myanmar) is one of the most down-trodden ethnic
minorities of the world. They are victims of political oppression, economic exploitation and cultural
slavery in their ancestral land - Arakan - where they have been living for centuries.
Since the beginning of the 20th century the Rohingyas have been groaning under the crushing wheels of
tyranny decades after decades. Ignoring all the irrefutable historical evidences of Rohingyas’ glorious past
in Arakan, the Rohingyas have been suddenly made an illegal immigrant community in Arakan by the
Burmese military regime through an amendment to the Burma citizenship law in 1982.
With the loss of their legitimate right as the bonafide citizens of Burma, the Rohingyas have become
homeless in their own home. The authority has been subjecting them to severe persecutions including
serious restrictions of their movement even from village to village, ban on their marriage without
government permission, religious persecution, extortion, land confiscation and restrictions on access to
education. Arakan State is a closed zone for the media and so there is no scope for the world media to
cover what is going on with the Rohingyas inside Arakan.
A life with fear – is the life of Rohingyas. They pass their life in sub-human condition with half naked
body full of hunger and grief. Tears are their permanent companions. They cry in corners and eventually
die in silence.
Rohingyas want peace. They want their legitimate right as the ethnic community of Arakan. They want a
society which would be free from political oppression, economic exploitation, social anarchy and cultural
slavery through the restoration of democracy in Burma. They are in quest of justice and peace. They want
to achieve their goals through all peaceful and lawful means.
Rohingyas: Tears Down the Cheeks is a collection of some of my articles which have been published by
different news media. Despite my limited knowledge and linguistic limitations, I have tried to tell the
stories of agonies of the oppressed Rohingyas. I have also tried to tell the stories of agonies of the people
of Burma who have been groaning under the military rule decades after decades.
I strongly believe that the Rohingyas, with some 3.5 million population, whose historical presence in
Arakan started nearly a millennium ago, will never disappear from the world, simply because they have a
language of their own which they will never forget and start using a different language as their mother
tongue. As long as they exist in the world, they will speak in their Rohingya language and so their history
will run for all the time to come.
Finally, I take my hat off to all the brilliant sons of the Rohingya Mother for all their contributions and
sacrifices for the peace and human rights of their oppressed community in the past, present and also in the
future. I also take my hat off to all those who struggle through all lawful and peaceful means to bring a
smile to the distressed humanity.
From the core of my heart all that I wish and pray is a peaceful life for the groaning Rohingyas, a peaceful
life for the suffering people of Burma and a peaceful life for the distressed humanity around the world.
Ahmedur Rahman Farooq
2975, Vang I Valdres, Norway