Adolf Hitler was once quoted as saying, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians” in a speech justifying the genocide of Jews and other social groups in the Holocaust. The providence of the quotation is disputed, but the underlying point is a reference to continuously denied and often forgotten Armenian genocide. Conducted by the Ottoman Empire in it’s last dying days, which aimed to systematically exterminate Armenians as a people and ended up killing more than a million people. The Holocaust has yet to be forgotten, yet similar amnesia has set in regarding so many other atrocities.

Case in point, the ethnic cleansing of the Lhotshampa (ethnic Nepalis) in Bhutan, the majority fearing ethnic dilution (similar to many current alt-right demographic replacement fears) ordered the ethnic cleansing of the population under the grounds that they were not citizens but rather illegal immigrants. Almost 1/6th of the country’s entire population fled into Nepal where after a failure of talks to allow them to return, most of them have been resettled far from their home. Their situation has uneasy parallels to that of the Rohingya. Expelled from their native country on the grounds of lacking citizenship while languishing in refugee camps with broke-down talks that give them little hope of ever returning.

The fate of the Lhotshampa shows a dim portrait of the future of the Rohingya post the ethnic cleansing. The Bhutanese elites were free to pursue their PR campaign to make their country look like a “Paradise” with draconian laws such as the banning of jeans reframed as “Cultural Protection” and GDP being replaced with HPI(Happy Planet Index) which the country scores well on despite having one of the highest suicides rate in the world.

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