Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Rakhine-Rohingya Conflict

Rakhine state(highlighted)

What is Rakhine??

It is a state in Myanmar.
Situated on the western coast, it is bordered by Chin State in the north, Magway Region, Bago Region and Ayeyarwady Region in the east, the Bay of Bengal to the west, and the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh to the northwest

What is Rohingya??
The Rohingya are a Muslim people who are descendent of Bengali people and currently living in the state of Rakhine (Arakan).
According to the UN, they are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.

The Rohingya immigration issue has been around for years.
Most of them migrated to Myanmar from Bangladesh during the colonial era.
After independence, Myanmar’s first prime minister, U Nu, offered them certain opportunities, such as their own language program on the radio, to get more votes.
However, during 1978, Myanmar army launched Na Gar Min Operation and thousands of them fled back to Bangladesh.
In short, most of  the Rohingya are now stateless and refugees living on the border of Bangladesh and Myanmar.
They have been requesting ethnic rights in Myanmar, but neither the government nor the public can agree on it. Ko Ko Gyi, a famous political leader who was freed from detention last January, mentioned that if they are able to speak one of the official ethnic languages in Myanmar and prove that they have lived in Myanmar for a number of years, they should be granted citizenship but not the rights of an ethnic minority.

 Current Situation
 Rohinya people in Rakhine State are attacking local Rakhines. They are burning houses, robbing and killing people. People are taking refuge at monasteries and schools where government armed forces provide security.

Why did it happened
A Rakhine girl was raped and killed in Kyat Ni Maw, Rakhine, on 28 May. Her private parts, ears and shoulders were cut.
Three Rohingya Muslims were detained as suspects while hundreds of local Rakhines protested against the crime. Five days later, nine Muslims were killed in a targeted attack on the bus by a crowd of vigilantes in Taung Kote, Rakhine.
The government newspapers used the term ‘Kala’ while reporting this event, which may have annoyed Muslims as they dislike being associated with the word even though it has been used officially in Myanmar since 1942. Muslims in Yangon protested against the use of the term.
Government action
Frequent curfew in the state. Emergency announcements.

Some questions to think on:
What could be possible solution?
Should India intervene?
Why UN and other world organizations are not taking initiatives? 

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