Monday, September 4, 2017

Myanmar : The Rohingya problem, nobody wants to deal with:

(Myanmar) You may have heard on the news about the mass migration of Rohingya Muslims from Burma (Aka Myanmar) to well anywhere.  So what is it all about:

There are around 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims, (an ethnic Islamic group) living in majority Buddhist Myanmar.  Nearly all of them  reside in the western coastal state of Rakhine, one of the poorest states in the country with ghetto-like camps and a lack of basic services and opportunities and they are not allowed to leave without government permission.

During the British rule (1824-1948) of the area, there was a significant amount of migration of labourers to what is now known as Myanmar from today's India and Bangladesh, such migration was considered internal. (And simply followed the direction of people who have been migrating for hundreds of years before the British arrived)  After the region’s  independence from the UK in 1948, the Union Citizenship Act was passed, defining which ethnicities could gain citizenship, The act, allowed those whose families who had lived in Myanmar for at least two generations to apply for identity cards.

However after the 1962 military coup in Myanmar, things changed for the Rohingya. All citizens were now required to obtain national registration cards. Rohingya, however, were only given foreign identity cards, which limited the jobs and educational opportunities they could pursue and obtain. Their lot wasn’t helped when In 1982, a new citizenship law was passed, which effectively rendered the Muslims stateless. Under the law, Rohingya were again not recognised as one of the country's 135 ethnic groups. Since the 1970s, a number of crackdowns on them  in Rakhine State have forced hundreds of thousands to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh, as well as Malaysia, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries.

Last October 2016, an attack by a terrorist group (Rohingya Muslims based out of Bangladesh) killed 9 soldiers. The killings led to a security crackdown in Rakhine state. And that was where things stood until the latter part of August when over 100 armed men attacked 20 border posts between Bangladesh and Myanmar resulting in a large number of deaths (over 70 attackers, no figures on Burmese Military) which has seen more troops sent to the area and in turn (but helped by the military) a large exodus of Muslims out of the country. The thing is, whilst all the neighbours are bitching something rotten about this, nobody is prepared to take in 1 million Rohingya Muslims.