The Rohingya refugees: Stranded in no man’s land?
- September 14, 2017
- Posted by: admin
- Category: General Knowledge
Last week was momentous with respect to India-Myanmar relations for two reasons: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Myanmar where he met Myanmar’s President Htin Kyaw and also State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi; and at the World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development in Bali, Indonesia, India refused to be a signatory to the Bali Declaration.
Both these developments come in the wake of the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, following a spate of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where the majority of the Rohingyas live. Following the threat to their lives, thousands of Rohingya Muslims are fleeing to Bangladesh, India, and other Southeast Asian nations such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
Who are the Rohingyas?
The Rohingyas are:
- an ethnic Muslim minority who follow the Sufi-inflicted variation of Sunni Islam;
- trace their roots to the fifteenth century when several thousands of Muslims came to the erstwhile Arakan kingdom while many others arrived during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when Rakhine was under colonial rule as part of British India;
- majority live in Rakhine state in Myanmar, and comprise more than 1/3 population of the Rakhine state of Myanmar;
- are linguistically, religiously and ethnically different from Myanmar’s dominant Buddhist groups.