Rohingya Crisis: Ethnic Cleansing

Rohingya Crisis: Ethnic Cleansing 15 January 2013

”More than a million Rohingya are currently caught in a cycle of violence and poverty. They have being denied citizenship in Myanmar under a law that was passed 30 years ago”.

Arakan, formerly called Rohang, lies on the north–western part of Burma with 360 miles coastal belt from the Bay of Bengal. It borders 167 miles with Bangladesh both by land and sea. Rohingyas have been living in Arakan from time immemorial.They are a people with distinct culture and civilization of their own. They trace their ancestry to Arabs, Moors, Pathans, Moghuls, Bengalis and some Indo-Mongoloid people. Early Muslim settlements in Arakan date back to 7th century AD.

RohingyaBurma is a home to numours ethnic groups and about 60% of the area is inhabited by nearly 140 ethnic races and Rohingya is one of them. Burma has a population of about 50 million of which nearly 8 million are Muslims. Of the Muslim population, about 3.5 million (both at home and at the places of refuge) are Rohingyas of Arakan. The Rohingyas are a majority community in Arakan.

Due to large-scale persecution through ethnic cleansing and genocidal action against them, about 1.5 million Rohingyas are forced to leave their hearth and home since Burmese independence in 1948.

As a result of physical extermination, ethnic cleansing operations, large scale persecution and uprooting of villages and eviction of inmates, there were unprecedented refugee influxes into Bangladesh once in 1978 and the other in 1991-1992 with constant trickle of refugee exodus all along.. About 1.5 million Rohingyas have so far been evicted from Arakan since the year of Burmese independence in 1948.

More than a million Rohingya are currently caught in a cycle of violence and poverty. They have being denied citizenship in Myanmar under a law that was passed 30 years ago.

Thousands of Rohingya refugees, mostly Muslims, are now living in makeshift camps in Myanmar after clashes with Buddhist locals, Many of those are being denied access to aid in neighbouring Bangladesh, where an estimated 30,000 registered Rohingya refugees are living in UN camps.

In June 2012,dozens of people were killed in ethnic clashes sparked by reports of a Buddhist Rakhine woman allegedly being raped and murdered by three Rohingya Muslim men. The ensuing violence forced around 80,000 Rohingya to flee their homes.

Both sides have been accused of committing atrocities but the latest clashes appear to have deepened long-held prejudices against the Rohingya. Many Rohingya have fled the polarised region, fearing revenge attacks and increasing discrimination. Their status has sparked international concern and disagreement.
All the world main rights groups have condemned the violence. The Myanmar regime has denied any wrongdoing, while neighbouring Bangladesh has banned an influx of refugees and slashed access to aid.

For those Rohingya caught up in the dispute, the day-to-day situation is rapidly slipping from desperate to dire.