Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rohingya muslims

  • 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 

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