Hello readers! before we move on, I am pretty sure that you have heard about the Rohingya Muslims across news channels. But the question is why are they in the news? Is there something wrong because of which they are being ill-treated? Why are they fleeing from the country of Myanmar?
Myanmar is a south-east Asian country with Naypyidaw as its capital. Myanmar gained its independence from Britain in 1948 and became a democratic country.
The first prime minister of Burma was named U Nu. Burma was renamed Myanmar in 1989.
After independence, the majority of Rohingya Muslims migrated into the Rakhine state of the country from the Bengal region. The country compromised of 7 states known as Dyinè.
The Rohingya Muslims were a minority in the country (even today) with the majority following Buddhism. In today’s era, more than 80 percent of the population follow Buddhism.
Fearing that Rohingya Muslims would dominate the Buddhist majority country, they were ill-treated and their basic human rights were compromised since independence.
The conditions of the Muslims were growing worse as time passed by. In 1962, the democratic rule in Myanmar was overthrown by military rule. General Ne Win came to power backed by Burma Socialist Programme Party which was the sole party allowed to exist. And with this, the status of Muslims deprecated further. The military rule continued to exist till 2011.
In these 49 years of military rule, the Rohingya Muslims lived hellish lives. With the military rule, they were ill-treated in every inhuman way. Women were raped, tortured, people were killed on the agenda of ethnic cleansing.
In 1982, a new act called the Burma Citizenship Act was passed that did not recognize the Rohingya Muslims as one of the country’s 135 official ethnic groups. This denied their citizenship.
This worsened their condition and hence the Rohingyas started fleeing to Bangladesh and India for shelter.
People were assaulted and mass genocide was common since they believed in ethnic cleansing. Even the foreign journalists were not allowed in the Rohingya region of Rakhine, which made reporting very difficult.
Myanmar reinstalled democracy after the military rule fell in 2011.
Things were envisioned to be better after 2011 when in 2012 three Rohingya Muslim men were convicted of raping a local Rakhine Buddhist woman, which led to the mass riots across the state known as the 2012 Rakhine State Riots.
These riots continued for years and are still active in Myanmar.
In March 2019, Bangladesh closed doors for the Rohingya Muslims fleeing from Myanmar.
The world’s longest internet shutdown took place in the provinces of Rakhine and Chin starting from 21st June 2019 till 2020.
This was done to prevent any circulation of images or news to the outside world.
To address the ill-treatment of Rohingya Muslims the UNHCR (United Nations Human Rights Council) launched the Joint Response Plan in 2020 and appealed for humanitarian aid to provide basic amenities and shelter to a million Rohingya refugees.
Also, Bangladesh has been trying to relocate its Rohingya Muslim to the silt island of Bhasan Char. Though they have shown some resistance, most of them have accepted to shift themselves.
We all hope that their condition improves soon!
I would like to thank my readers for dropping here. I hope the time you spent reading my article has been fruitful.😊