Monday, October 16, 2017

Vulture Speaks

I have an affinity with birds
The strangest thing happened this Thursday October 12. Our house is a magnet for wild life but this time, a rook of Turkey Vultures landed in our backyard, which we'd never seen before. They were magnificent.
My first thought was someone's dead. (Vultures are associated with death) When an aunt passed away a few years back a dove had crashed in our window-see Message From A Dove Later in the day, received a note that a friend had died suddenly in Florida. He was only 41. So I was inspired to write about it.
But my message is a continuation of an earlier article A Bird Came For Healing when an ill American Bittern flew into our yard and I helped it get better.
We all have a passion for learning, and the freedom to follow our path.
And my friend C. who at her wedding near Hamilton a Turkey Vulture got caught in a tree and I helped release it.
The message is, follow your path, and do not let anger, fears or emotions hold you back.
And, this is about the imbalance between earth and spirit.  
When birds appear they are always messages from spirit
 So everyone who was there at the wedding, followed our paths.

Vultures are sacred birds in many cultures, Egypt, Sumer, Çatal Hüyük The Vulture As Totem
In the 1950's the husband/wife archaelogist/anthropologist team of Ralph and Rose Solecki began excavating a cave site 250 miles north of Baghdad along a tributary of the Tigris River called the Greater Zab that rises out of the Turkey-Kurdistan border area. The cave had been used for burials by an ancient tribal people called the Zawi Chami around 8870 BCE (plus or minus 300 years, according to carbon-dating) --over 10,000 years ago-- which is well over 4,000 years before the beginnings of any of the various cultures mentioned above. In their dig the Soleckis found a number of wing bones of large predatory birds, which turned out to be Gyptaeus barbatus (the bearded vulture) and Gyps fulvus (the griffon vulture).
That very same overall innate nature imbeded in the actions and life of the vulture, never killing or hurting a living thing or its own fellow creatures, is reflected for the most part, in and by the the actions and life of the person that truly has the vulture as a totem animal. 
And my daughter had a dream where she was speaking words of power in Assyrian, from that same location.

This message wasn't about the person who passed away, but was for me. Still, I did have a feeling of sadness when I first met him. This was possibly his last comment, October 08, 2017:

Shamans are a bridge between earth and spirit, so Vulture was a message for me. For the restless spirit, to help ease its passing. For me, to keep following that path, which now looks like there will be changes coming anyway.
I look at the nature of Scorpio. It can be about death, and maybe we need to die or in some way, let go. For me, it is about regeneration. The countless deaths that have taken place was just to let us know we cannot continue in this way. There will always be sadness, but we must change. All these calls for "resistance" are just illusion, designed to keep us spinning wheels.
The path to change is to look after our bodies, our feelings, our spirit. Perhaps, this is the message that Vulture brings to you.

Friday, October 06, 2017

The Valor of Soldiers in Combat-Arakan, Burma, WWII

From A HILL CALLED MELROSE --WW2 in Burma.......A true story....

"May I have a light?" I looked up to see a Japanese – more or less my age – with an unlit cigarette in his hand. I reached for my lighter. He lit up. We were on a train travelling from Berne to Geneva in the autumn of 1980. “Indian?” he asked. “Yes” I replied. We got talking. He was an official in the UN and was returning to home and headquarters at Geneva. I was scheduled to lecture at the university. We chit-chatted for a while; he gave me some useful tips on what to see and where to eat in the city. Then, having exhausted the store of ‘safely tradable information’, we fell silent. I retrieved my book – ‘Defeat into Victory’, an account of the Second World War in Burma by Field Marshal William Slim. He opened the newspaper. We travelled in silence. After a while he asked “Are you a professor of Military History?” “No” I replied- “just interested. My father was in Burma during the war”. “Mine too” he said.

In December 1941, Japan invaded Burma and opened the longest land campaign of the entire war for Britain. There were two reasons for the Japanese invasion. First, cutting the overland supply route to China via the Burma Road would deprive Chiang Kai Sheik’s Nationalist Chinese armies of military equipment and pave the way for the conquest of China. Second, possession of Burma would position them at the doorway to India, where they believed a general insurrection would be triggered against the British once their troops established themselves within reach of Calcutta. Entering Burma from Thailand, the Japanese quickly captured Rangoon in 1942, cut off the Burma Road at source and deprived the Chinese of their only convenient supply base and port of entry. Winning battle after battle, they forced the allied forces to retreat into India. The situation was bleak. The British were heavily committed to the war in Europe and lacked the resources and organisation to recapture Burma. However, by1943 they got their act together. The High Command was overhauled; Wavell was replaced by Mountbatten and operational control was given to General William Slim, a brilliant officer. Slim imbued his men with a new spirit, rebuilt morale and forged the famous 14th Army, an efficient combat force made up of British, Indians and Africans. The Japanese, aware that the defenders were gathering strength, resolved to end the campaign with a bold thrust into India and a simultaneous attack in the Arakan in Burma.

In the ebb and flow of these large events chronicled in Military History, my father, a soldier, played a part – first in Kohima in clearing the Japanese from the Naga Hills, then in Imphal and finally in the deeply forested mountains of Arakan. Destiny took him there. In the blinding rain of the monsoons in 1943, the Supreme Allied Commander’s plane landed at Maugdow where the All-India Brigade of which his regiment was a part was headquartered. Mountbatten was accompanied by his Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Browning, who had been my father’s Adjutant at the Royal Military College in Sandhurst. He and the two other Indian commanders – Thimayya and Sen - were introduced to Mountbatten who made casual but searching enquiries regarding their war experience. Thereafter he was closeted in the ‘conference tent’ with the senior commanders for a long time. As they came out he turned to Reggie Hutton, the Brigade commander and said, “All right Reggie let your All-Indian Brigade do it. But, by God, it is going to be tough”. Then turning to the three of them he said, “Gentlemen, the Japanese are pulling out of upper Burma. You have been selected to intercept their withdrawal from there into the South. You will concentrate at Akyab, proceed to Myebon by sea, capture Kangaw, penetrate Japanese-held territory and convert the Japanese retreat into a rout. Is that clear?” It was.

My Japanese friend who had been listening intently leaned forward and asked “Did you say your father was in the All India Brigade?” “Yes”, I replied. Our conversation paused for a while as the waiter served coffee and croissants. Later, picking up the threads he persisted “Was he a junior officer at the time?” “Not really” I replied. “He was a Battalion commander”. He digested the information and said “Which regiment?” “The Punjab Regiment” I replied. His face turned colour. Maybe it was a play of light and shade or maybe it was just my imagination but I thought he was going to be ill. “Are you okay?” I queried? He nodded. “Please carry on”.

After marching through hostile territory, the brigade finally landed at Myebon. Their dis-embarkation was not opposed. They proceeded to Kangaw little knowing that forty-eight hours later they would be locked in a battle which was to last for a fortnight and claim the lives of three thousand men.

Mountbatten had been right. The withdrawal route of the Japanese was dominated by ‘Hill Feature 170; Melrose. It was firmly held by the Japanese and gave them the enormous advantage of having the ‘commanding heights’. Worse, intelligence reported that they had two brigades. The Indians had one. Brigadier Hutton realised that if the withdrawal had to be cut, the hills would have to be captured irrespective of the numerical disadvantage. He took the call. The first attack by the Hyderabadis under Thimayya mauled the enemy but did not achieve the objective. The second by the Baluchis under Sen met a similar fate. It was then that ‘Reggie’ asked the Punjabis to make a final effort. Artillery and air support was coordinated. The zero hour for the attack was set at 0700 hours on 29 January 1944. At dawn as the leading companies moved forward, the Japanese opened machine gun fire. The Artillery provided cover and laid out a smoke screen. The Punjabis began to climb the hill. Safe from amongst well dug bunkers the Japanese rained fire on them. The Indian casualties mounted as men began to drop. The air cover which was a key part of the plan failed to materialise - bad weather and bad luck. Taking a calculated risk, the commander pushed on. They were hardly a hundred yards from the top when the Japanese threw everything they had at them. In the face of such unrestrained fierceness, the advance faltered hovering uncertainly on the edge of stopping. For the commander, it was the moment of truth – to fight or flee? As he saw his men being mowed down by machine gun fire a rage erupted within him. Throwing caution to the winds he ran forward to be with them. The scales ‘tipped’. The troops rallied, ‘fixed bayonets’ and charged into the Japanese with obscenities and primeval war cries. A fierce hand to hand combat ensued. Neither side took or gave a quarter. The Japanese fought like tigers at bay. The conflict went on unabated through the night. The Japanese counter-attacked in wave after wave but the Indian line held firm. Then the last bullet was fired and there was silence.

Many years later Mountbatten would describe what took place as “The bloodiest battle of the Arakan” and correctly so. The price of victory was two thousand Japanese and eight hundred Indians dead in the course of a single encounter. Fifty officers and men would win awards for gallantry. The battalion commander would be decorated with the DSO for ‘unflinching devotion to duty and personal bravery’. But all that was to happen in the future.

At that particular moment on the field of battle, the commander was looking at the Japanese soldiers who had been taken prisoners of war. They had assembled as soldiers do, neatly and in order. On seeing the Indian Colonel, their commander called his men to attention, stepped forward, saluted, unbuckled his sword, held it in both hands and bowed. The Indian was surprised to see that his face was streaked with tears. He understood the pain of defeat but why the tears? After all, this was war. One or the other side had to lose. How could the Japanese explain to the Indian that the tears were not of grief but of shame? How could he make him understand what it meant to be a Samurai? Given a choice he himself would have preferred the nobler course of Hara Keri than surrender. But fate had willed otherwise. The ancestral sword in his hands had been carried with pride by his forefathers. Now he was shaming them by handing it over. All this was unknown – unknowable - to the Indian commander. He came from a different culture and had no knowledge of what was going on in the mind of his adversary. Yet there was something in the manner and bearing of the officer in front of him which touched him deeply. He found himself moved. Without being told he somehow intuited that the moment on hand was not merely solemn but personal and deeply sacred. He accepted the sword and then inexplicably, impelled by an emotion which perhaps only a soldier can feel for a worthy opponent, bent forward and said clearly and loudly in the hearing of all “Colonel I accept the surrender but I receive your sword not as a token of defeat but as a gift from one soldier to another”. The Japanese least expecting this response looked up startled. The light bouncing from the tears on his cheeks, reflected an unspoken gratitude for the Indian’s remark. Coming as it did from the heart, it had touched his men and redeemed their – and his – honour. The Punjabis – Hindus and Muslims - who had gathered around also nodded in appreciation. Battle was battle. When it was on, they had fought each other with all their strength. And now that it was over there was no personal or national animosity. Maybe the Gods who look after soldiers are different from those who look after other mortals for they bind them in strange webs of understanding and common codes of honour no matter which flags they fly.

The moment passed. He looked at the Signal Officer and nodded. The success signal was fired. Far away in the jungles below, Brigadier Reggie Hutton looked at the three red lights in the sky and smiled. His faith in his commanders had been vindicated. He would later explain that at stake that night was not only the battle objective but the larger issue as to whether Indians ‘had it in them’ to lead men in war. There had been sceptics who felt that his faith was misplaced. He looked at Melrose and smiled. Its capture had vindicated his faith.

I looked out of the window lost in my thoughts. Suddenly I heard a sob to find that my Japanese friend had broken down. He swayed from side to side. His eyes were closed and it was clear that he was in the grip of an emotion more powerful than himself. He kept saying ‘karma, karma’ and talking to himself in his own language. After a while he looked up with eyes full of tears and holding both my hands said in a voice choked with emotion, “It was my father who gave battle to yours on Melrose. It was he who surrendered. Had your father not understood the depth of his feelings, he would have come back and died of shame. But in accepting our ancestral sword in the manner that he did, he restored honour to our family and my father to me. That makes us brothers – you and I.

The train pulled into Geneva station. We got down. What had to be said had already been spoken. He bowed. Goodbye I said. Keep in touch. Incidentally, would you like me to restore the sword back to your family. He smiled, looked at me and said “Certainly not. The sword already rests in the house of a Samurai”.

That was the last I saw of him.

Usha tells me that the probability of our meeting defies statistics. She should know. She studied economics and statistics. There was a World war going on. Good. My father was in the Indian army; his father was in the Japanese army; perfectly okay. They fought in the same theatre of war – Burma; understandable. They fought in the same battle; difficult but believable. The war finished, they went back to their families; plausible. But that their sons grew up in two different lands, happened to go to Berne at the same time, board the same train, get into the same compartment, share coffee and cigarettes, have a conversation on something that had happened four decades ago, discover their fathers had fought on opposite sides in the same battle – that undoubtedly is insane.

Personally, I do not believe that there are outcomes in life which are necessarily bound to happen?Yet, sometimes I am not so sure. You can never connect events by looking into the future; you can only connect them by looking at the past. Maybe it is comforting to believe that because the dots connect backward, they will connect forward also. I don’t know. Perhaps in the end, you have to trust in something. The sword has a pride of place in our home. Whenever I see it, my mind goes back to the jungles of Arakan where in the midst of the madness of war, two soldiers were able to touch each other and their compatriots with lasting humanity

By Dr Yashwant Thorat, son of Lt Gen SPP Thorat KC DSO.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Memories of Catalunya

Barcelona, 1936
The people of Catalonia will vote October 01, 2017 in a referendum to decide if they want to secede from Spain. Catalonia's High Court and Spain's Constitutional Court have already declared the referendum illegal. The minority right wing government of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has seized millions of ballots and moved troops and Gardia Civil  police to prevent the vote, and hundreds of thousands of Catalans have taken to the streets to defend their right to self determination. How did it come to this?
The Catalan Revolt
Originally a principality within Aragon, it lost its independence during the war of Spanish Succession in the 18th century, though Catalan Nationalism resurged in the mid 19th century with the promoting of their language and culture. But the Catalan Revolt goes back a lot further; its political tradition of independence The rebellious nature of Catalans has been noted since 1285.
Catalonia was awarded limited autonomy in 1931 by the Socialist Government of Spain but there still was unrest. The right won back government in 1933 and the Catalan Independence Declaration of 1934 was defeated by troops and autonomy suspended. This, and the Asturias miner's strike led to the Spanish Civil War of 1936-38. Spanish dictator Francisco Franco imposed a new constitution depriving Catalonia of autonomy though it continued to agitate, driven by its 'rebellious nature' perhaps?
The present drive for autonomy:
The October 1 vote is the culmination of a fallout between Barcelona and Madrid that started in 2003, when Catalonia sought a deal to increase autonomy — and failed.
Even though separatist parties were elected to the regional parliament and tried to negotiate greater autonomy on terms of language and finance, the central government and Constitutional Court, perhaps not acting in good faith, watered down and rejected almost all the proposals. When the final decision was handed down in 2010, a million people protested in Barcelona "We are a nation, we decide!".

With each request for negotiation being denied the movement for an independence referendum grows. The central government is caught conspiring with news agencies to discredit separatist officials.

Final clash: September 06, 2017
The Catalan parliament passes a referendum law and the regional government formally calls the October 1 referendum on secession from Spain. The parliament also passes a law that would regulate the transition to independence if there was a Yes vote. Madrid's central government says these laws represent the "death of democracy" and brings them to the Constitutional Court, which calls for an immediate suspension. The Socialists and Ciudadanos support Rajoy's call to stop the vote.
This is where we're at now. What next, after October 01? Funny, but I wrote a chapter in my book
Man From Atlan and it's called The Man Of Spain-1936 A.D.

You can read it here

The Man of Spain Part I
The Man of Spain Part II

It's a work of fiction, it's a true story of my past life in Catalonia. It's not a story about politics though set in the background of the Spanish Civil War, it's a love story about a man who avoids war but is forced again and again, to fight for his ideals. Some excerpts:
The Bull had always been there in the field that he passed by on his way to school. He remembered the first day. He had looked into the field and saw far away the proud black figure of the Bull. "Ay, Toro," he whispered and knew the Bull heard him. He had seen it there every day for many years, and always it was the same as on the first day. He was as it was and one day he would fight it.
The father looked at him sadly, knowing that his son was set on becoming a matador. "I had hoped you would be a doctor." 
"Why a doctor?" 
"Because this is what Catalonia needs. It is growing so fast, and already people are realizing how much we're lacking in the people we need. Scientists, engineers, doctors. Soon we will need them even more." 
"Because one day we will be independent." 
From then on, they talked often about the politics and history of Catalonia. Rapidly becoming one of the most industrialized areas in Spain, Catalonia resented the tariffs the other more influential provinces were putting on their products, so that it was at a disadvantage. The Catalans had always felt different from the rest of the Spanish peoples and for many years agitated for a separate homeland. Its industrial base, its trade unions and political parties were lifting its people out from the poverty which was still rife in the rest of Spain. It was a problem to the government in Madrid. 
Yet because it was a problem which hadn't been solved for so long, the extremists were coming to the fore. Political murders were being committed almost every day in Barcelona, the capital. There were moderate people like his father who wanted Catalonia to have more independence but still be a part of Spain. Yet, they had been crushed so many times whenever they agitated for freedom for Catalonia that the moderates and the militants together planned for a time when Catalonia could declare its independence. 
These were things which meant everything to the people of Catalonia, yet his father could see they meant nothing to him. His son wanted to be a matador, so let it run its course and in time it would die, as did all the dreams of children. 
He knew it would not, for he saw the Bull waiting for him.  
 Read the rest; it's a lovely story I think. It was a glorious time, fighting for a good cause, not "Independence" but people who resisted fascism. No, I wasn't too fond of the communists and anarchists who splintered the Spanish loyalists but it's a wonderful memory, still.

The picture above? 17 year old Marina Ginestà.
Marina Ginestà - obituary
Marina Ginestà, who has died aged 94, was believed to have been the last surviving French veteran of the Spanish Civil War. As a 17-year-old member of Spain’s Unified Socialist Youth she was immortalised in a photograph taken on the roof of the Hotel Colón in Barcelona in the first flames of the conflict; it was to become one of the most famous photographs of the war.

What next for Spain?

Looking at its national horoscope, I don't see independence for Catalonia but Spain will suffer in its association with other regions and with Europe. There will be continued unrest as people demand an end to austerity policies and its economy takes several hits. There will be continued repression, and while I don't think people really wanted to be independent, just a greater autonomy within Spain, the central government's heavy response can only make people more willing to split with it.

A final word from:

United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner
GENEVA (28 September 2017) - UN experts* have called on the Spanish authorities to ensure that measures taken ahead of the Catalan referendum on 1 October do not interfere with the fundamental rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association, and public participation.
And there you have it. Maybe Catalonia does not have a constitutional right to secede. But the government's actions have been an appalling violation of human rights. I wish the people of Spain, and Catalonia, well.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Rohingya crisis

Why am I writing about Rohingya crisis? It's in the news  but there are so  many atrocities taking place. Still, Are Myanmar’s Rohingya facing genocide or ethnic cleansing?
THE HAGUE: Muslim Rohingya fleeing their homes in Myanmar are facing “ethnic cleansing” but whether they are victims of genocide remains unclear, international justice experts told AFP.
About 422,000 refugees from the stateless Muslim minority have fled Myanmar’s westernmost Rakhine state to Bangladesh since August 25, alleging torture and rape by Myanmar troops and Buddhist militias.
Their plight has sparked UN accusations of military-led ethnic cleansing, but French President Emmanuel Macron has said the attacks amount to genocide.
September 22 – Seven judges of the Rome based Permanent People’s Tribunal on Myanmar have unanimously declared Myanmar guilty of genocide against Rohingyas and crime against humanity against other ethnic minorities.
Recently, however, I've seen too many "independent" journalists play loose with the facts, downplaying for ideological reasons, the scale of this tragedy. I hate this, because if reporters can't be trusted to report truthfully, what price democracy and a free society?
First, the lie the Rohingya are "Bengali immigrants". No, they've been there centuries Who are the Rohingya? 
The Rohingya are Muslims native to the northern Arakan region of Burma, which borders Bangladesh. The name Rohingya is taken from "Rohang" or "Rohan," which was the name used for the Arakan region during the 9th and 10th centuries. According to Rohingya history, the group is descended from 7th century Arab, Mughal, and Bengali merchants who settled in Arakan territory. The Rohingya live alongside the Rakhine, a people descended from Hindus and Mongols who make up the ethnic majority in the region. 
The Rohingya language is known as Rohingyalish and is linguistically similar to the Chittagonian language spoken in the southernmost area of Bangladesh bordering Burma. While the language has been successfully written in scripts including Arabic, Hanafi, Urdu, and Burmese, the modern adaptation uses a script based on the 26 letters of the Roman alphabet with two additional Latin letters. 
The Rohingya had autonomous rights till the military dictatorship of 1962 disenfranchised them all, and Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Prize winner is a figurehead unable to do anything to stop this. The West, with its eye on Burma's mineral wealth would like to normalize relations with Myanmar

The dirty fossil fuel secret behind Burma's democratic fairytale

but now that China has plans to develop an extension of its "silk road" to the Burmese coast there are all of a sudden competing geo-political interests, and, a lot of misinformation, sigh.

The Rohingya Of Myanmar - Pawns In An Anglo-Chinese Proxy War Fought By Saudi Jihadists

While the ethnic conflict in Rankine state is very old, it has over the last years morphed into an Jihadist guerilla war financed and led from Saudi Arabia. The area is of geo-strategic interest:
Rakhine plays an important part in [the Chinese One Belt One Road Initiative] OBOR, as it is an exit to Indian Ocean and the location of planned billion-dollar Chinese projects—a planned economic zone on Ramree Island, and the Kyaukphyu deep-sea port, which has oil and natural gas pipelines linked with Yunnan Province’s Kunming. 
Pipelines from the western coast of Myanmar eastwards to China allow hydrocarbon imports from the Persian Gulf to China while avoiding the bottleneck of the Strait of Malacca and disputed parts of the South China Sea.
Whenever people, even in this case with the best intentions, go on about "jihadists" I get annoyed and ask for sources. They certainly are the worst "Saudi-armed jihadists" I've ever seen, having to get arms by raiding police stations. Sure, the leadership of the resistance might ne based in Saudia, but it's a stretch otherwise. And the mistreatment began in 1962, with Buddhist mobs and police
attacking Rohingya villages since 2012, and the refugee crisis then. So resistance beginning in 2016 is cause for genocide?

His article and comment, and I generally enjoy them, is a pastiche of poorly sourced opinion, and the analysis particularly weak. Posted a reply which is still not up, so I'm writing here.

Hi, M of A,

Not sure where you get "minor ethnic violence in Myanmar" and "The refugee wave is quite small compared to other events" but UNHCR says "number of Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar edges towards half a million" so obviously it is a humanitarian catastrophe not excusable by the presence of a few poorly armed "Islamic insurgents" and "Tafkiris" attacking police stations and army outposts

Likewise, some quibbles about the Pakistani newspaper Dawn report there are more than 500,000 Rohingya in Karachi. Those, discredited figures by the defunct Pakistani agency NARA were based on "estimates by senior officials". Other estimates by the same agency say 200,000 but no one knows for sure, since, the agency never counted them. Indeed, a Sindh High Court judge censured them for not keeping track of foreign nationals and the President merged the agency into NADRA.

On the one hand, those born in Bangla Desh have a right to Pakistani citizenship, on the other, those falsely called Rohingya can be denied essential services in Karachi. Too many sources to link here, but there are competing interests to ensure those figures are inflated or underestimated.

Likewise, the Muslim presence in Myanmar goes back to the 9th century and since then, the Muslim Tatar armies of the Mongols also invaded Burma around the 13th-14th centuries. It is shameful that later immigration by Bengalis in the 19th century should be used to deny the Rakhine Muslims (Rohingya is a misnomer) their civil rights.

Now, your major, geo-political theme about nefarious interests trying to disrupt the Chinese silk road. Ataullah has already made peace overtures to Myanmar; stop persecuting Muslims, make peace. If Myanmar won't listen, and refuse to allow UN inspectors, fine. But the major plan by China is not to build a pipeline through Myanmar, but through the Pakistani port of Gwadar. The Iran/Pakistan gas pipeline's already well under way, and eventually carry up to China. This will be built along the China-Pakistan highway as part of the China-Pakistan economic corridor.

Gwadar - a port built by China - is the absolute key. It is the essential node in the crucial, ongoing, and still virtual Pipelineistan war between IPI and TAPI. IPI is the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, also known as the "peace pipeline", which is planned to cross from Iranian to Pakistani Balochistan - an anathema to Washington. TAPI is the perennially troubled, US-backed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline, which is planned to cross western Afghanistan via Herat and branch out to Kandahar and Gwadar.--Pepe Escobar, "Balochistan is the ultimate prize," Asia Times, May 9, 2009 

So whoever "wins" Balochistan incorporates Pakistan as a key transit corridor to either Iranian gas from the monster South Pars field or a great deal of the Caspian wealth of "gas republic" Turkmenistan.--Robert D. Crane, "Baluchistan: Pivot of Asia, Revisited,", May 9, 2009

There is indeed, a hybrid war against China taking place, but that is in Pakistan. Why should oil tankers go around India to dock in Myanmar when Gwadar, a deep sea water port is a lot closer? The gas pipeline from Iran’s Pars field extend from there to China?

This is where the next battle between US and Chinese interests will take place. The Rohingya, sadly, are grist for the mill.