- Several people have been killed and homes of several hundreds torched in ethnic clashes between Buddhists and the stateless Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine State
Who are the Rohingyas?
- They are Sunni Muslims and ethnic minorities in rakhine state
- majority population follows Theravada Buddhism
Where did they come from?
- Burmese military points to history, maintaining that the Rohingyas crossed over from present-day Bangladesh
How have the Rohingyas been treated?
- Under Pinlon Agreement of 1947 Rakhine was included in myanmar but the Rohingyas were kept out of nation-building
- After a military crackdown in 1978, Rohingyas fled in thousands to Bangladesh
- Under world pressure, the military agreed to their repatriation.
- Another crackdown in 1991 again sent Rohingyas across the border
- Some 30,000 still live in two refugee camps in Bangladesh
How did the Rohingyas become stateless?
- Burma Citizenship Law of 1982 sought to deny citizenship to people of Indian and Chinese descent and also targeted the Rohingyas
- full citizenship was granted to people of 135 national races who lived in Burma before 1823 — i.e. before British colonisation. Rohingyas were not in this list
Spill over effect of rohingya issue on India
- Many of these refugees are without jobs and could fall prey to radical ideologies.
- They may join the Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islam (HuJI) which has been accused of carrying out bomb blasts in Assam. Another aspect could be the fear of a major spill over of the conflict into India’s north-east in terms of refugee flow from across the porous Bangladesh-India border