Apr 23 7 Comments

When your only goal is to die.

Mosuda

Mosuda

I have been putting it off long enough. As I am sitting in my living room, contemplating what to make for dinner, and how to get the house clean, the media is full of stories of politicians sexually assaulting minors, of lone rangers making bombs that they intended to use for killing many, of financial crisis and of other stuff that I really wonder if many are interested in reading. But people surprise.

Nobody talks of Mosuda. Her story has not been shared world-wide. It is upsetting, but not surprising. The world wants Justin Bieber and glamour. They don’t want to hear stories of women who sob. Especially not Muslim women who sob. Especially not Muslim women who sob that belong to a despised people group.

My blog is not an arena that gets visits from thousands. But perhaps you who read the story can share it. Perhaps Mosuda’s story can challenge the world to think about different matters.

Mosuda was wealthy. Not wealthy in money, but wealthy because she was the mother of many children. She had eight daughters and sons. And she was blessed with 18 grandchildren. All of them full of life and energy. The voices of her family members could be heard all over her village. Her life was full.

On October 24, 2012 her life ended.

There had been rumors of attacks for a while. They had heard of other villages being attacked, of other Rohingyas being killed, brutally and violently. She knew that her Buddhist neighbors did not appreciate hers, or her people’s, presence. But what could they do? Could they change their skin color? Could they change the fact that they were born into a country that wanted them gone? Where were they supposed to go to? And, besides, her village was the only place she had ever called home.

Her neighbors in her village walked anxiously around, not sure what to do to protect themselves if an attack happened. Mosuda talked to her sons and daughters, and together they decided to get away while there was still time. Better to escape before it was too late.

Their village was by the water. There were many boats, and they got four middle-sized boats to take them up the river, to a safer place. One hundred of them crowded into the four boats, and at 11.00 a.m. they were off with a few of their belongings. Mosuda thought that the most important thing was that she had her whole family close to her. It would be sad to lose all their belongings in the village, but at least they had each other.

At 1.30 p.m. they spotted a boat approaching them. It was a lot bigger than their four boats. Mosuda’s heart sunk. She had a bad feeling about the people on the boat. She recognized one man on the boat. He was the owner of the biggest hotel in town, the Noble Hotel. He shouted to them to go to a village near by. “Go to the Rakhine village,” he urged them. But why would they go to a Buddhist village, when it was the Buddhists who wanted to kill them? They did not do as they were told. Instead they tried to make the boats move faster. Instead they tried to get away from the hostile people on the big boat.

But it didn’t work. 

When they did not obey the commands, the big boat rammed into Masuda’s family’s boats, causing all of them to capsize. As the people fell into the water, it was like they were considered fish to be killed. With spears and swords the Buddhist rebels started killing them one by one. To make sure nobody would get away, they called their friends over to come and help finish them off. Soon more boats arrived, all of them full of people intent on killing the desperate people who were trying to save their lives. Some of them managed to swim to shore, hoping they would be safe there. But they were not. On the shore were others waiting with swords, spears and knives. All the villagers were all hacked down.

Mosuda held on to a plastic container that had ended up in the water. It worked as a floating device. Her daughter and daughter in law held on with her. They waited for the final blow. It came. Mosuda was stabbed in her neck and in her side. Right before she passed out she saw her daughter and daughter in law getting dragged onto the enemy’s boat.

She woke up many hours later and did not know where she was. Desperately she hoped she had just had a terrible dream. But then she felt the pain, and she noticed the blood. As by a miracle she made it to shore where friendly Rohingya cared for her. But there was no joy in her survival. She soon found out that all her family members, her children, her grandchildren and her sons and daughters in law had been killed. 29 of them were gone. Of the 100 people on the boats, only three survived. She was one of them.

There was nothing else she could do. In a haze she let her neighbors from her village take care of her. They put her on a new boat. This time all the villagers, 70 boats all together, had decided to leave the village to escape attacks and more death. They went the same way Mosuda had gone the day before. As they got closer to the place of the massacre Mosuda, to her horror, saw that the bodies of the dead were still floating in the river. It was like the most terrible nightmare. Her neighbors wanted to take the corpses out of the river and give them a proper funeral. This was the least they could do for their fallen friends and neighbors. But even this was denied them. As soon as they tried to pull a body up, the navy officials told them they were not allowed to. In fact, they were told that they were not allowed to move further. They would have to stay in their boats, at the exact same spot until they got permission to leave.

So surrounded by corpses and hostile government officials they started their long wait. They were all so afraid that they could hardly contain their fear. What if they were waiting for a new massacre? The children cried. The adults tried to act brave, but it was not easy.

Some of the village leaders took up their mobile phones and called some of their Muslim friends in the capital and begged for help. “Whatever you can do to help us!”

The next day they were allowed to leave. But they heard that their Muslim friends had given a considerable bribe for their release.

When Mosuda was done telling her story she just looked blankly into the air. “I cannot sit down. I cannot do anything anymore. I cannot sleep. I just want to go to my children,” she said. “Sometimes I walk down to the river and there I hear the voices of my grandchildren calling me.” “Why did I not die with them? What is the point of me being alive any more? There is no point in my being here.”

Then she broke down and sobbed.

7 Comments

  • victoria says:

    for en hjerteskjærende historie…

  • Aung Aung says:

    I highly appreciate you for the story which is the reality, when I tweeted the same story , the real incident some people asked me the evidence, I had no evidence except honesty, I heard several same stories via phone calls, some people say I am Rohingya , I may be bias, some say I am Muslim ,I can write against Buddhists, but for me all human being are the same, I don’t understand why do people look us as Muslims, why don’t they look us as human being, we all are human being before we have no knowledge of any religion. Our parents, our society, our environment taught us religion, before we learn religion ,we are the most honest human being on Earth. Our environment taught us hatred,bias,&inhumane character. We must keep in mind that all human being are the same regardless of color, race and religion. I love HRW because its mission,vision,and philosophy is based on humanity, not religion , race or color. We should make HRW ,more stronger by supporting.

    • oddnygumaer says:

      Thank you so much for your thoughts, Aung Aung. I agree with you. Keep strong, and keep up the good work you are doing.
      Oddny

  • John H. Quinley, Jr. says:

    My heart aches. I have never known any approachable sorrow as this woman. God has mercy. May Burma’s people find mercy in the midst of this horror. Only God knows how to help, and may we care with all we are.

  • Leigh says:

    Oh my gosh that is just awful.We here in the west just don’t know how lucky we really are. The pain emotionally not to mention physically must be incredible for this poor mother/grand mother. I want to say that I can imagine what she must be feeling like but I can’t. I know as a mother of 6 how heart wrenching it would be to loose them all before my eyes in such a violent meaningless way and not to be able to do anything to stop it, let alone loosing my grandchildren too in such a senseless brutal way. God must be looking down from Heaven and be so over whelmed with sorrow for the cruelness of His creation one to another…..it must break His heart at the waste and destruction of His children’s lives……Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallow be thy name, thy kingdom come ,thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven….Lord Jesus I can’t wait to see you coming on the clouds with your army of Angels gathering the innocent both here and asleep into your arms where pain brutality and death has no place……Lord please comfort and protect the 3 remaining members of this devastated family….Amen. Leigh >

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