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Why do Rohingya people face crisis?

The systematic Rohingya persecution was brought to light after violent crackdowns by the Myanmar government in response to attacks by a group of Rohingya militants hit the headlines in 2016. Since then the military have conducted extrajudical killings, burning of Rohingya villages and mass rapes with such brutality that the UN accused them of “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide”. A study in 2018 estimated that more than 24,000 Rohingya people were killed by the Myanmar military and local Buddhists since the “clearance operations” started on 25 August 2017. The study also estimated that over 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped, 116,000 beaten, and 36,000 thrown into fire. As a result, about 740,000 Rohingya people have fled to neighboring Bangladesh and are forced to live in refugee camps. Why are they persecuted? Is this crisis ever going to end?
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The lack of true democracy in Myanmar
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Religious Persecution
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Rohingya people are considered to be illegal immigrants in Myanmar
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The lack of true democracy in Myanmar

Under the strong influence of the military forces, the Myanmar government has failed to address the Rohingya issue. There is consensus that the former military junta (1962–2010) was one of the world's most repressive and violent regimes. Major international organisations including the UN have repeatedly condemned them for the widespread and systematic human rights violations in Myanmar, which included child soldiers, forced labor and human trafficking as well as crimes against ethnic minorities. When Aung San Suu Kyi's party won a majority in both houses in the 2015 elections, many hoped that the situation was going to improve. But it didn’t. Suu Kyi’s power is restricted under the 2008 Constitution of Myanmar and the military remains a powerful force in politics. Suu Kyi herself, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has drawn heavy criticism from several countries and organisations over her alleged inaction in response to the persecution of Rohingha and refusal to accept that her country’s military forces have committed genocide. The 2015 elections were touted by international monitors as free and fair, but it is worth pointing out that no parliamentary candidate was of the Muslim faith. Myanmar may have successfully led a compelling public relations campaign showcasing their political and social reforms towards democracy: the freedom of the press, the release of political prisoners, and the liberalization of its economy. But the democratic project will never be complete as long as the voices of the weakest and most discriminated continue to be unheard.

cfr.org/backgrounder/rohingya-crisis thediplomat.com/2012/10/the-rohingyas-place-in-a-democratic-burma

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Religious Persecution

At the heart of the crisis lies the historical conflict between predominantly Buddhist Myanmar and Muslim minorities. The first documented execution of a Muslim dates back to 1050 AD. The Burmese King Bayinnaung (1550-1581 AD) who was an orthodox Buddhist, banned consumption of halal meat. Burma experienced an upsurge in anti-Indian and anti-Muslim sentiments during colonial rule, as Rohingya were seen as having benefited socially and economically from the British. The British had even promised to create an autonomous area for the Muslims in exchange for support, though this promise was broken as Burma gained independence in 1948. A nationalist movement and Buddhist religious revival further contributed to the growing hatred. Some Rohingya were determined not to be silenced. A number of uprisings against the government’s oppressive policies were staged, which were brutally crushed and only served to fuel the anti-Muslim sentiments in increasingly nationalist Burma. Buddhist nationalist groups continues to discriminate against Muslims in Myanmar by regularly calling for boycotts of Muslim shops, expulsing Muslims and attacking Muslim communities.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Muslims_in_Myanmar#cite_note-Maurice_Collis,_Trials_in_Burma-33 thediplomat.com/2012/10/the-rohingyas-place-in-a-democratic-burma hrw.org/reports/2000/burma/burm005-01.htm cfr.org/interactive/global-conflict-tracker/conflict/rohingya-crisis-myanmar

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Rohingya people are considered to be illegal immigrants in Myanmar

The Myanmar authorities have consistently ignored Rohingya’s historical presence in this region and accused them of being illegal immigrants.Rohingya people are said to have their roots in the 9th century Arab merchants who frequented this area en route to China. Missionary activities and intermarriage with the local ethnic groups by these early settlers led to rapid growth of the Muslim population in Burma. The number of Muslims in Burma grew significantly during the period of British rule in which colonial policies encouraged migrant labor from parts of India. The majority of these Indian immigrants happened to be Muslims, and consequently the Indian Muslims and Burmese Muslims, including Rohingya, were collectively classified as “Indians” by the colonial government. The Burmese government officially rendered Rohingya “stateless” when the 1982 Citizeship Act was enacted. While this law was essentially introduced in order to eradicate Indians who migrated to Burma during British colonial era, Rohingya were also denied citizenship. Many were forced to flee, and those who were allowed to stay as “resident foreigners” suffered from grave violations of human rights in every aspect of their lives.

theconversation.com/the-history-of-the-persecution-of-myanmars-rohingya-84040 hrw.org/legacy/backgrounder/asia/burmese_muslims.pdf

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