Numbers speak volume: in 1978, 280,000 (in 4 months); in 1991-92, 260,000; in 2012 (130,000 IDP + 100,000 boat people)
The framing has changed since the army's concerns about the cross-border migration of a people whose presence in the region predates drawing of post-WWII boundaries between then East Pakistan and the Union of Burma in the 1950's and 1960's.
By 1978, the military adopted a radical strategy of draining Southern and Middle part of the old Arakan region - renamed Rakhine - of Rohingyas.
But the threat of the military regime of the newly independent Bangladesh (since 1971) to arm 280,000 Rohingya refugees on Bangladeshi soil forced the Burmese military's hand: over 230,000 were taken back via UNHCR assisted repatriation program.
By 1991, the military stepped up its anti-Rohingya project and founded an inter-agency tool for persecution - Na Sa Ka (or border affairs unit) with the then Chief of Military Intelligence Gen. Khin Nyunt as its head. And a new exodus of over 260,000 ensued as the result of the new persecution.
By 2012, the persecution was outsourced to the local Rakhine nationalists, who were increasingly vocal about their demands for fair-revenue sharing and greater political autonomy from the Burmese-controlled central government. Rakhines dropped their demands and gave into their powerful racist instincts to beat up the weak, rather than confront the powerful colonizer - the Burmese military. (The Burmese feudal court destroyed multi-ethnic coastal Arakan kingdom of Buddhist Rakhine kings on 1 January 1785).
The Myanmar Gov, with the help of media and external players such as the ICG cleverly framed the state-directed persecution as "communal or sectarian conflict", primarily, thus absolving the state of its primary role in it.
By 2016, the government allowed a small desperate gang of Rohingya youth to attack its border posts - nothing happened in the Rohingya communities, without the knowledge of the intelligence as the Rohingyas' physical movements are severely restricted and closely monitored - and pounced on the entire Rohingya region in N. Arakan, framing the lured attackers as "Muslim insurgents" "Jihadists" "terrorists", etc.
Myanmar Generals sacrifices routinely thousands of Burmese rank and file soldiers in East and Nothern Burma's battles with Kachin, Shan, Kokant, etc. Loss of 9 soldiers in 3 separate if coordinated attacks by sword-wielding Rohingya "militants" is not even an issue worthy of War Office discussion.
This evolutionary pattern of persecution - with the sole intent of destroying the Rohingyas - its identity, its history, its material foundations, its cultural foundations, its literal existence - is what i consider unequivocally a full-fledged GENOCIDE.
Hitler only had less than 15 years to pursue his inhuman projects: but the Burmese military has all the time in its hands. For the world sits on its hand - since the first exodus of Rohingyas - numbering nearly 280,000 fled (by ex-General Khin Nyunt's own admissions) in 4 months in 1978 (12 Feb 1978 till June, with the month of May as a lull).
65,000 Rohingya flee from Myanmar to Bangladesh following crackdown: UN
The Rohingya Are Ready to Talk About the Atrocities in Burma
But they need the help of the international community, not only Muslim countries, if they are to be heard.
Jan. 9, 2017 12:34 p.m. ET
Wall Street Journal
‘There Are No Homes Left’: Rohingya Tell of Rape, Fire and Death in Myanmar
By ELLEN BARRY
JAN. 10, 2017
New York Times