Sudha Rajput: May 29, 2013, 4:49pm
Extracted from source cited below
My title for today’s post: Why the displacement in Myanmar:
Myanmar’s 64 million people view the country’s 800,000 Rohingya as illegal migrants from what is now Bangladesh, and refer to them as Bengali.
President Thein Sein has tried to contain violence against Rohingya, who are denied citizenship in Myanmar, and other Muslims in the Buddhist-majority country, he has also allowed greater political freedom since taking power two years ago.
Fresh anti-Muslim violence broke out again on May 28, 2013 in northern Shan state when a mob torched a mosque, religious school and 11 shops after police refused to hand over a Muslim man accused of burning a Buddhist girl.
Per Human Rights Watch, 70 Rohingya were killed in a massacre in Mrauk-U township on Oct. 23, including 28 children who were hacked to death, part of violence in the region last year that killed 180 people and displaced more than 100,000. In March, anti-Muslim violence in central Myanmar killed more than 40 people, displaced 20,000 others and left about 1,400 buildings destroyed, including mosques.
Last month, a government commission investigating the violence in Rakhine state cited population growth as a factor fueling tensions between ethnic groups. While it proposed family planning measures, it said none should be discriminatory.
“Implementation of this callous and cruel two-child policy against the Rohingya is an example of the systematic and wide ranging persecution of this group, the target of an ethnic cleansing campaign,” said, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Governments who care about reform in Burma need to speak out about the persecution.”
Sudha Rajput: May 24, 2013, 3:16pm
My title for this post: ‘Myanmar – why the effort is slow’
Rakhine houses approximately 140,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) of the sectarian violence perpetrated on the Rohingya Muslims in 2012. Aid agencies such as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and Amnesty International, have been working to resolve the Rohingya crisis over the past year. Almost 70,000 IDPs remain in makeshift shelters in low-lying areas along the Bangladesh coast, which are highly susceptible to tidal surges and flooding. The flood waters from the neighboring Bangladesh make things work for those in the camps.
Complications with relocation of IDPs relates to the widespread anti-Muslim sentiment that took root in ethnic clashes between the Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims early last year. The government is wary of stirring up violent responses to their resettlement strategy, and finds itself with limited options.
Sudha Rajput: May 20,2013, 3:03 pm
Myanmar (neighbor of Bangladesh):
Myanmar, Rakhine state is full of makeshift settlements, housing up to 140,000 people, namely Rohingya Muslims — displaced by sectarian unrest that began in 2012, claiming many lives, and fracturing whole villages. The camps have been constructed from bamboo and tarpaulin, located in soggy paddy fields.
Rohingya are now totally dependent on humanitarian aid, with total segregation of Buddhist and Muslim communities.
Background; “Myanmar views its population of roughly 800,000 Rohingya as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and denies them citizenship —considered by the United Nations to be one of the world’s most persecuted minorities…Attacks against Muslims — who make up an estimated 4 percent of the population — have spread to other parts of Myanmar, overshadowing widely praised political reforms as the country emerges from decades of military rule”. Finally after continuous warnings from rights groups and aid organizations, local authorities are now starting to build enough wooden shelters before the tents are swamped.
Ongoing cyclones and flood waters threaten the lives of those living in these camps.
Similarity between displaced Kashmiri Pandits: “The semi-permanence of the wooden structures has caused concern that they will prolong segregation of communities — a solution, albeit temporary, that was advocated by a recent official report on the unrest”. This is similar to the Kashmiri Pandit Jagti community housed in “township” like apartments as a temporary solution but now who find themselves totally isolated from Jammu’s mainstream. Understandably it is a challenge to provide the IDPs some form of permanence without creating barriers between this group and the locals. The reality is these camps often become permanent settlements. Just like with Kashmiri Pandit community the reasons behind the temporary shelters is the aim of eventually returning the displaced to their original communities. But with prolonged settlements, the IDPs begin to lose faith in the authorities.