Recourse for the Rohingya
- SC stays release of all the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case
- Admiral DK Joshi was disturbed, requested me to accept resignation: AK Antony
- Narendra Modi beats Rahul Gandhi in popularity, says US think tank
- Lok Sabha polls: For Paswan & son, Gujarat 2002 is history for 2014
- Jayanthi scuttled, Moily clears GM crop trials
Rakhine state is one of the poorest states in Myanmar, and with political reform bringing the prospect of new economic opportunities, there is both hope and anxiety. Many Buddhist Rakhine see the situation as a zero sum game in which the Muslim population may be able to profit and expand at their expense. This could stem from the national mood of heightened anticipation mingled with apprehension, at a time when land grabbing increases, the courts continue to serve the interests of the executive branch and plans for massive infrastructure and commercial agriculture projects are laid.
This year, with the loosening of restrictions on the media and public gatherings, people have felt freer to voice their feelings in public and act on their emotions. While this is welcome, it has also unleashed hate speech and incendiary claims, which have stoked the violence.
In handling the crisis, President Thein Sein has struggled to find a response that could satisfy very different constituencies. His initial proposal to put the Rohingya in a refugee camp or send them to another country was applauded by many people in Myanmar, including those in the democracy movement. The United States, UN agencies and others reproached the government, calling for protection of the Rohingya population and the creation of a pathway to citizenship. Meanwhile, Aung San Suu Kyi talked about the rule of law and respect for human rights. However, in order to maintain a constructive working relationship with the Myanmar government and retain the support of the Buddhist population, she has remained largely disengaged from the situation.
The government has established segregated camps for the displaced, but international aid agencies have not been granted full access and conditions in Rohingya camps remain deplorable. Thein Sein recently gave the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation permission to set up an aid office in Rakhine state, but then suspended the plan after Buddhist monks and lay-people staged mass protest rallies. The spectre of ethnic cleansing and a spread of the violence to other parts of the country remains a serious concern.
- Fancy numbers: RTO in PCMC earns Rs 8 crore
- Alarm in Ukraine as Putin orders surprise army drills on border
- Arrests made but two sensational murders still unsolved
- Infosys ex-CFO not to contest polls for AAP
- Monsoon, not Manmohan, led to agri growth: Yashwant
- Now, BJP workers to donate blood equal to Modi’s weight