Tuesday, 5 September 2017

A Tale Of World's Most Persecuted Minority

It all began when some Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, killing 12 police officers. The response was brutal; setting fire to Rohingya villages and shooting civilians which caused At least 123,000 Rohingya to flee western Myanmar into neighbouring Bangladesh since late last month, said the UN.  

 Not that Bangladesh is being considerate as the country, in the past has tried to block Rohingya from entering the country considering them who have crossed its borders as having "illegally infiltrated" the country, but is not stopping the new flow, in part because their numbers are so great.

Little background; Rohingya are an ethnic Muslim group who have lived for centuries in the Myanmar. Currently, there are about 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims who live in this Buddhist majority country.
Shortly after Myanmar's independence from the British in 1948, the Union Citizenship Act was passed, defining which ethnicities could gain citizenship. The Rohingya were not included. However, those whose families had lived in Myanmar for at least two generations were allowed.
After the 1962 military coup, things took the worst turn for the Rohingya. All citizens were required to obtain national registration cards. The Rohingya, however, were only given foreign identity cards, which imposed myriad limitations on them.

So, to recapitulate; they are not considered one of the country's 135 official ethnic groups & have been denied citizenship which has effectively rendered them stateless. Such an irony that someone who has lived in the area now known as Myanmar since as early as 12th century is still being denied the citizenship of that place.

Several predominantly Muslim countries have voiced concerns about the deteriorating situation & are willing to help the refugees.

 Turkey, last week called on Bangladesh to open its doors to refugees, saying Turkey would pay the bill. Turkey has so far contributed $70 million in relief assistance to the Rohingya. The Afghan Taliban, who itself has killed millions of civilians, is condemning Myanmar’s campaign infamously known as “ethnic cleansing”.

State Chancellor Aung San Suu Kyi, has refused to discuss on predicament of the Rohingya.
According to chancellor and her government, they do not recognise the Rohingya as an ethnic group and have blamed all the violence that is happening on what they call "terrorists".

The fact is, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate does not have control over the military & has been criticised for her failure to stand up for the rights of 1.1 million Rohingya in Myanmar.

Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi and her government have argued that the Rohingya are migrants from Bangladesh who do not deserve citizenship rights.

It’s unfortunate that government of one of ethnically diverse countries in the world is making such asinine comments fully knowing that most of these “migrants” roots in the area that go back generations.

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