ROHINGYA CRISIS – By ASHIK PAL


Who are Rohingya?

The Rohingya people are a stateless Indo-Aryan ethnic group who predominantly follow Islam and reside in Rakhine State, Myanmar. They are said to be one of the most discriminated people in the world. They mostly reside in the Rakhine state of Myanmar. The Myanmar government considers Rohingya as colonial migrants of early Bangladesh. Because of this Rohingya are denied citizenship. There are restrictions on freedom of movement, education, and civil service jobs.


Rohingya Genocide

The persecution of Rohingya’s dates back to the 1970s. Since then, the Rohingya people have been persecuted on a regular basis by the government and nationalist Buddhists. The Burmese military was accused of ethnic cleansing and genocide by various UN agencies, International Criminal Court officials, human rights groups, journalists, and governments. The genocide has consisted of two phases to date: the first was a military crackdown that occurred from October 2016 to January 2017, and the second has been occurring since August 2017. The crisis forced over a million Rohingya to flee to other countries. Most fled to Bangladesh, resulting in the creation of the world’s largest refugee camp, while others escaped to India, Thailand, Malaysia, and other parts of South and Southeast Asia where they continue to face persecution. The United Nations (UN) has described the violence against the Rohingya community as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. The
crisis has also acquired a security dimension with concerns being raised over the infiltration of Islamic extremism amongst the Rohingyas, who have grown increasingly desperate over their plight. The massive refugee outflow has created a serious humanitarian crisis that carries implications for regional stability and security.

Cause

In late August 2017, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacked security posts of their border police. After this military launched a bloody crackdown in Rakhine State which forced Rohingyas to leave their villages and run to save their lives. This violence has displaced several hundred thousand Rohingyas within Myanmar and driven out about 7 lakh of them to Bangladesh(as of 2021 there are more than 10 lakh Rohingya in Bangladesh living in refugee camps).


What is happening at present?

History may be repeating itself in Myanmar. After its independence from British in 1948, it was ruled by the military from 1962 to 2011. After many years, the country witnessed its first elections in 20 years. But this was for not much time, when Myanmar’s military seized control on 01 February 2021 and decided 1-year emergency in Myanmar, following a general election which Aung San Suu Kyi won by a majority. This has given a lot of concerns to other nations over the further condition of Rohingya’s. Since December 2020 Bangladesh government has moved nearly 20,000 Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char, a remote and flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal. Even now in November 2021, refugees are being sent to Bhasan Char.

India’s stand on Rohingya?

India’s view on Rohingya is shaped by various factors, including diplomatic, domestic political compulsions, humanitarian, security and geopolitical considerations. The importance of these factors has also changed over time. Actions taken by India will be key in determining India’s regional and global standing. As a rising power with global aspirations, and with a long tradition in dealing with refugees, India is duty-bound. In the end, India may be in a better position to shape regional and global discourses on emerging issues affecting global governance, including on refugees. Thus, actions taken by India will play a key role in determining India’s regional and global standing.

What could be done?

 Crime against Rohingya should be exposed and concerned leaders should be punished. A US investigation team said that top military leaders of Myanmar should be prosecuted.

 Sanctions should be imposed on Myanmar security forces as well as the government.

 Genocide against Rohingya should be stopped. Rohingya’s in Bangladesh are also at risk, they should also be protected

 Recognition of Rohingya’s and providing them citizenship.

 UN and other countries should intervene and also provide aid to the population.

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