Myanmar Rohingyas : Challengers Confronting a Persecuted Minority and Implications for National and Regional Security
Sosial & Politik
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Penulis: Bilveer Singh
Dilihat: 2884 kali
Ditambahkan: 30 January 2018
Even though Myanmar is dominated by nearly 70 percent Buddhists, there is also a sizeable Muslim minority. While many Muslims have been integrated into the mainstream Myanmar society, the Rohingyas, who constitute the majority of the Muslims, are an exception.
Even though Myanmar is dominated by nearly 70 percent Buddhists, there is also a sizeable Muslim minority. While many Muslims have been integrated into the mainstream Myanmar society, the Rohingyas, who constitute the majority of the Muslims, are an exception. Largely originating from neighbouring Bengal in present-day Bangladesh, they have been migrating to the Arakan region since the 18th century. Relations between the Muslim Rohingyas and the Buddhists Arakanese were largely amicable and this changed dramatically during the Second World War. Since then, hostile relations between the majority Buddhist Arakanese in the Rakhine State and the Rohingyas, and even the Government of Myanmar as a whole, have created a conflict situation with implications not just for Myanmar but also beyond. While tensions have tended to be confined to the Rakhine State where most of the Rohingyas reside, with growing democratization, Buddhist-Muslim tensions have spread to other parts of the country. This has also raised questions of increasing radicalization of Rohingyas, especially as they find themselves helplessly persecuted, on the one hand, and being exposed to radical ideology and possibly terrorism, on the other. The issue of whether the Rohingyas will become the next 'Pattanis' or 'Moras' of Southeast Asia, akin to persecuted Muslim minorities in Southern Thailand and Southern Philippines, has also been raised. This has not been helped by the gradual internationalization of the Rohingya issue as many of them are not just stateless but also live in many South and Southeast Asian states and the Middle East. Throughout 2012 and 2013, the Rohingyas' issue, persecution and potential for radicalization have emerged as the hot-button concern and where this will eventually move and how it can be resolved is discussed in this study.