The Rohingya Ethnic Crisis in Myanmar

About the Rohingyas

Who are they?

Described as the world’s most persecuted people, 1.1 million Rohingya people live in Myanmar. They live predominately in Rakhine state, where they have co-existed uneasily alongside Buddhists for decades.

The Rohingya are reviled by many in Myanmar as illegal immigrants and they suffer from systematic discrimination. The Myanmar government treats them as stateless people, denying them citizenship. Stringent restrictions have been placed on Rohingya people’s freedom of movement, access to medical assistance, education and other basic services.

Click this to read more from The Guardian

The Rohingya Crisis

On the 25th of August, violence broke out in northern Rakhine state when militants attacked government forces. In response, security forces supported by Buddhist militia launched a “clearance operation” for the Rohingya people that has killed at least 1,000 people and forced more than 300,000 to flee their homes. The UN’s top human rights official said on 11 September that the military’s response was “clearly disproportionate” to insurgent attacks and warned that Myanmar’s treatment of its Rohingya minority appears to be a “textbook example” of ethnic cleansing.

Damages

Refugees have spoken of massacres in villages, where they say soldiers raided and burned their homes. The government claims the Rohingya have burned their own homes and killed Buddhists and Hindus, a claim repeated by some residents. 

Estimates of the death toll vary:

  • the Myanmar government says that about 400 people have been killed so far
  • The UN estimated on 7 September that 1,000 had been killed.
  • Bangladesh’s foreign minister, AH Mahmood Ali, said unofficial sources put the death toll at about 3,000. More than 310,000 people had fled to Bangladesh by 11 September. Those who have made it to the border have walked for days, hiding in jungles and crossing mountains and rivers. Many are sick and some have bullet wounds.

What can be done?

My solution is as follows:

  • Reaffirming Article 15  – “Everyone has the right to a nationality” which has been allegedly violated by the Myanmar government and not giving the Rohingya people citizenship,
  • Alarmed by the fact that 400,000 Rohingya people were forced out of their homes and villages by the Myanmar government,        
  • Recognizing that Rohingya people are being stripped of their citizenship to Myanmar due to their religious beliefs,
  • Emphasizing that over 1,000 or more Rohingya people were estimated to be killed during military attacks upon villages of the Rohingya people during August,
  • Realizing that the Myanmar government has refused VISA to UN team investigating abuse of the Rohingya people and human rights investigation in the territory of Myanmar,
  • Fully alarmed that the conditions within Rohingya camps in Myanmar have been deemed inhumane, with a widespread lack of basic necessities, as well as crimes such as rape being common,
  1. Urges the enforcement of UN peacekeeping troops at areas from Myanmar to Bangladesh to achieve goals such as but not limited to:
    • Protecting the Rohingya people from attacks by the Myanmar government by placing peacekeeping troops at areas around a must past river from Myanmar to Bangladesh and ensuring that no Rohingya are followed by Myanmar’s military while escaping.
    • Preventing the Rohingya people from drowning in rivers while travelling to Bangladesh by preventing boats from overloading causing the death of people and checking to make sure that all boats are safely assembled with no holes or cracks.
  2. Rohingyas using boats to flee from their homeland

    Requests the creation of a UN Subcommittee to discuss, act upon, and protect the rights of the Rohingya people in Myanmar with goals such as but not limited to:

    • collaborating with the government of Myanmar to reduce the tension and the attacks upon the Rohingya people:

      • negotiating with Myanmar to allow UN investigators and reporters to have access into Myanmar to evaluate the severity of this crisis

      • working together with the Myanmar government to change the mindset of the citizens of Myanmar

    • discussing how MEDCs, NGOs, and UN organizations can support the Rohingya people in all ways possible
  3. Calls upon the member states to educate citizens on ethnic matters in order to close the discrimination gap and change the mindset of the Rohingya people through ways but not limited to:
    • Broadcasting the significance of ethnic tribes, by educating citizens from all member states about the Rohingya people, their history, their religion, their significance and how they are currently treated through ways but not limited to:
      • Social media sites such as Facebook
      • Billboards, posters and flyers
    • Education campaigns in schools to educate children about ethnic tribes of Myanmar and the ethnic values of the Rohingya people, which can give students a positive perspective of the ethnic tribes in Myanmar.

      A group of Rohingya refugees after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, September 1, 2017. Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters
  4. Encourages all relevant bodies of the United Nations to provide aid and support to the Rohingya communities who have taken refuge in other nations in ways such as but not limited to;
    • raise awareness amongst citizens in order to generate empathy and
    • Forming NGOs internationally which would provide basic necessities  for the Rohingya people
  5. Recommends the government of Myanmar to create a citizenship policy which is fairer to the Rohingya people such as but not limited to:
    • Providing people with citizenship as long as they have proof of an ancestral link to the land of Myanmar
    • Requiring a citizenship test to test the people’s knowledge about Burmese country and history of the country
    • Granting citizenship to all people born in Myanmar or anyone who has been living in Myanmar for more than 5 years
  6. Suggests member states impose sanctions on Myanmar if the oppression of the Rohingya prolongs such as:
    • tariffs and subsidies
    • embargoes on Myanmar’s main export products such as but not limited to:
      • natural gas
      • wood products
      • pulses and beans
  7. Further recommends the United Nations to request the Myanmar government to recognise Rohingya Islam as one of the religions within the Rakhine state, through ways such as but not limited to:
    • raising awareness about the issue in other member nations
    • supporting the development of places of worship built by Rohingya Muslims
    • accepting the expressions of religion by Rohingya Muslims
    • if the Myanmarese government fails to comply, the consequences of clause 6 will be applied;
  8. Supports improving circumstances for Rohingya Muslims in camps, in ways such as but not limited to:
    • improving the facilities in Rohingya camps in ways such as but not limited to:
      • obtaining clean drinking water and food,
      • providing medicine, hygiene supplies and health care,
      • building and setting up better shelters
    • building schools for young Rohingya, which can be done in ways such as but not limited to:
      • receiving funding from willing foreign governments and NGOs,
      • building schools near the camps for efficiency,
    • increasing security levels in these camps, in ways such as but not limited to:
      • stationing more guards,
      • placing Closed-Circuit Television(CCTV) cameras around the camps,
      • building watchtowers,
    • nations pushing for media access into existing Rohingya camps,
    • enlisting the help of NGOs to build more sound infrastructures in camps through ways such as but not limited to:
      • recognising these camps as official camps
      • receiving funding from willing foreign governments and NGOs,
    • raising awareness about the inadequate conditions of the camps in wealthier countries in order to:
      • raise money for funds to improve conditions in these camps via charities
      • call for camps to provide education for Rohingya
  9. Suggest all governments to keep their borders open to asylum seekers and not coerce returns which prohibits the return of refugees to places where they would be:
    • persecuted or face risks of:
      • torture, or cruel
      • inhuman or degrading treatment  
  10. Calls upon Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) such as Doctors without Borders, Refugee One, International Rescue Committee (IRC), and Global Giving to provide essential needs through ways such as but not limited to:
    • hosting booths and presentations to raise awareness about the current situation of the Rohingya people in Myanmar for reasons such as but not limited to:
      • collecting voluntary donations from audiences of these booths and presentations to support the Rohingya
      • seeking for volunteers wishing to help the Myanmar situation as a whole
    • creating platforms and conventions to facilitate cooperation for the delivery of said aid.

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