Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Forced Migration and Images of State Failure

Priyanca Mathur Velath and Aparajita Das

While the world is reeling under the increasing burden of the Syrian refugees, there is need to draw attention to the fact that regions outside Europe also continue to face uncertainty and the fear of displacement in a recurring manner, due to reasons like civil war, genocide, ethnic conflict, riots and forced eviction. In this issue of Refugee Watch Online, weattempt to highlight incidents of forced migration that trigger flows of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in West Asia, South Asia, South East Asia and within India.

One cannot ignore Syria, which has exploded into the biggest humanitarian crisis in recent times. More than 2.2 million Syrians have fled their homeland and have taken refuge in five neighbouring countries viz., Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan. So the first article by Aparajita Dastalks about the Syrian crisis which remains a continuing challenge for not just aid providers but also the international community on burden sharing.From Syria we move to Pakistan in South Asia, where Portia B. Conrad seeks to address the challenges of settlement and safety of thousands of people who have been displaced due to low intensity conflict caused by government crackdown on terror groups.Then, Ashwathy Vijayan, in her article on Sri Lankan Tamils revisits the myriad unresolved issues confronting those displaced in the civil war, which continues to attract sharply polarised reactions from across the globe.

Following this Kriti Chopra recounts the perilous journeys undertaken by the statelessRohingyasto resettle in countries such as Australia, and Thailand.Closer home in India in the state of Uttar Pradesh Umakantha V. draws attention to the incidents of communal riots in Muzzafarnagar which rendered the members of a minority community homeless and left them with an uncertain future without adequate state assistance in camps.Next Priyanca Mathur Velath deliberates on the outcomes of the sudden forced eviction in the Ejipura housing colony for the economically weaker sections of the society, in the IT hub of Bangalore.

We finally conclude with a note by Paula Banerjee on A Response from the Global South: On “Negotiations of Engaged Scholarship and Equity through a Global Network of Refugee Scholars”. We look forward to your valuable comments and feedback.

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