DHAKA: An expert geographer Saskia Sassen has alleged that the Rohingya Muslim persecution is in reality a big land grab scandal and Rohingya Muslims are victims of this land grab scandal .
She in various articles which were published in some global publications said that the Rohingya Muslim problem is not a religious ethnic issue but in reality, it is a military – economic interest which is uprooting Rohingyas for big land grabs.
In one of her articles, Saskia Sassen revealed that the Myanmar government had designated 1.27 million hectares of land in Rakhine state for agricultural development.
“Expelling them ( Rohingya Muslims ) from their land is a way of freeing up land and water ,” she said.She also noted that the new Chinese ports and SEZ ( special economic zones ) being developed at Kayukphiyu is a clear indication of economic reasons behind the persecution of Rohingya ethnic minority in Rakhine state .
She opined that the lands freed by forcing Rohingyas to flee might have become of interest to the Myanmar military. The gas and oil pipeline by China which runs from Kayukphyu is also presumed to be the real reason behind massacre of Rohingya .
The geographic expert Saskia Sassen said , “ Religion may be functioning as the veil which Myanmar military leaders can use to minimize attention on the land grabbing aspect of this economic development part of their agenda.”
A Bangladeshi writer however, expressed surprise over the Myanmar governments shocking announcement within the days of pogrom of the state’s intention to develop an SEZ in Maungdaw , at the center of recent violence .He urged that this must be investigated .
There are reports which confirm the efforts of land grabs in Myanmar for mines, SEZs , ports , dams , agro business projects , plantations which according to the reports , certainly fuelled ethnic conflicts in the country .There are demands that there must be an impartial inquiry by international organizations into such allegations .Support for such demand is also growing .