Monday, April 28, 2014

The Rohingya Scenario: Role of Bangladesh and India in Myanmar’s Concealed Tragedy

In Myanmar around June 2012, a Buddhist woman was raped and killed by three Muslim men. In a revenge attack following the incident, ten Muslim men were killed, and the rest of the story has been hidden from the rest of the world. This was only the story that seemed to be the last straw of the ongoing crisis between the two ethnic groups: the Buddhist majority and the Muslim minority. It soon created a domino effect, with the Rohingya Muslims toppling over in a tragic game of life and death, which led to them getting internally displaced. Further tension caused some of the 140,000 internally displaced to attempt to flee across the border.

Who are the Rohingya?

The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic minority of Myanmar living in northern Arakan/ Rakhine State in the western part of the country. There are approximately 1.33 million Rohingya in Myanmar, but the country's 1982 Citizenship Law denies them citizenship, despite the fact that Rohingya have lived in Myanmar for generations. The Burmese President Thein Sein blatantly has denied the existence of the Rohingya as an ethnic group of Myanmar, and instead, has called them ‘Bengali’, which in that region is a discriminatory, racist term used to imply that Rohingya are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, which however, is false.

The Unspoken Crisis in Bangladesh:

In April 2011, the Rohingya were trapped between serious constraint in their country and ill-use in neighboring nations. Bangladesh had facilitated a huge number of Rohingya people escaping mistreatment for more than three decades, yet no less than 200,000 Rohingya refugees had any legitimate rights there. Even now, they live in griminess, get extremely constrained support and are liable to capture, blackmail and confinement. Unregistered exiled women and young girls are especially defenceless against sexual and physical strike. The global group must urge the Bangladeshi government to enrol undocumented refugees and enhance insurance for all defenceless Rohingyas. Contributor governments should likewise work to restart and expansion resettlement of displaced people to a third nation and increment help for groups facilitating these refugees.

Treatment of the Rohingya in Bangladesh:

Even after decades of the Burmese Rohingya escaping mistreatment and acquiring shelter in Bangladesh, tension was unwavering. Inter communal viciousness in Myanmar's Rakhine State, and ensuing state-supported mistreatment and focused on ambushes against Muslim populaces, have thrown a global focus on this disregarded populace, and offered an open door to resolution the status of both stateless Rohingya inside Myanmar and those Rohingya who are outcasts in neighboring nations. This could have been an open door for Bangladesh to seize the issue and create a much required refugee arrangement. However, the country is mobilizing against the Rohingya by declining entry to the refugees and confining philanthropic help. This reaction, other than speaking to a break of global law, will debilitate Bangladesh's capacity to secure universal backing as exchanges of the Rohingya's situation increase. The legislatures of Bangladesh and Myanmar ought to be participating in reciprocal - and maybe multilateral - examinations about how to ensure the privileges of the Rohingya group, which is clearly not being carried out.

India’s Role:

The role of India in the issue has been heavily debated. The 2013 blasts in Bodh Gaya triggered suspicions of terrorist linkages to the Rohingya. Responding to the incident in 2013, “Blasts like this have the dual purpose of attacking Buddhist shrines, and attacking India,” Ajai Sahni of the South Asia Terrorism Portal said.

So, caught between the Buddhist-dominated Myanmar and Muslim-dominated Bangladesh, the Rohingyas are entering India through the northeast, say officials. But this is not considered good news for the Indian Home Ministry. The refugees who have been detained under the Foreigners Act, 1946 are to be sent to the Tihar Jail, Delhi, the only place where the UNHCR has jurisdiction. After acquiring refugee status, they will be sent to the refugee camp in Jammu. However, there is a problem of plenty as India does not have the resources to house such a large number which is anticipated.

Their Plight Today:

Myanmar has about 800,000 stateless Rohingyas, without access to basic healthcare or education. About 30,000 Rohingya outcasts formally live in Bangladeshi camps today. Informally, there are more are 200,000 unregistered Rohingya there. The enrolled ones are given help and backing by The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Bangladesh government. Unregistered refugees are entitled to nothing. Bangkok-based UNHCR agent Vivian Tan portrayed this as an extremely “dire situation.”

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