origin & brief history:
The Rohingya are ethnic muslim minority group from Rakhine (Arkan) State in Myanmar. The total area of Arkan is 13,540 square miles, and is a strip of land along the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal from the Naf river on the border of Chittagong to the cape Negarisehe. Rohingyas differ from Myanmar’s dominant Buddhist groups ethnically, linguistically, and religiously.
The Rohingya trace their origins in the region to the earlier centuries, when thousands of Muslims came to the former Arkan kingdom.
Ever since its independence in 1948 the successive governments of Burma renamed as Myanmar in 1989 have been refuting the historical claims of Rohingya’s as one of the country’s 135 official groups and have been denying the groups recognition. Inspite of the historical origins the Rohingya,they are considered illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Rakhine State is Myanmar’s least developed state, with a poverty rate of 78 percent compared to the 37.5 percent national average, according to World Bank estimates. Widespread poverty, poor infrastructure, and a lack of employment opportunities in Rakhine have exacerbated the cleavage between Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya. Rakhine is filled with “ghetto-like camps” and lacks access to education, healthcare, services, homes, water, etc., stripping the people of basic human needs.
“Myanmar’s Military Planned Rohingya Genocide, Rights Group Says”- The Newyorktimes (July 19, 2018).
Fortify Rights a prominent human rights group documented how the perpetrators(Burmese government, military, police, Buddhist monks) murdered a significant number of Rohingya civilians; inflicted physical and psychological injuries on Rohingya civilians, particularly while committing massacres, acts of sexual violence, and other violations that constitute serious harm; and destroyed Rohingya villages and withheld food and essential aid, creating conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction.(forty rights, July 2018)
“The Rohingya have been subjected to systematic discrimination amounts to apartheid, a crime against humanity under international law.”(Amnesty,2018).
A brief chronological events in successive ethnic cleansing of Rohingya:
In 1991 Myanmar’s military launched a ethnic cleansing campaign/operation named “Operation Clean and Beautiful Nation”. around 250,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh, which the tensions continued to build against the Rohingya in the 2000s.
A oppressive and tyrannical citizenship law In 2000: The Burmese military government adopts the Burma Citizenship Law, where these repressive laws strip the Rohingya of their citizenship. The government passed the Citizenship Act recognizing 135 ethnic groups, where the Rohingya which had a population of about one million were not on the list. As a result, the entire Rohingya population is rendered stateless in their own ancestral homes.
In 2012 a major violence broke out upon accusations of rape and murder of a Buddhist woman in Rakhine state by four Muslim men, Buddhist nationalist backed by security forces attacked Muslim neighborhoods, burned homes displaced tens of thousands of Rohingya again.
The neighborhoods were burned to ashes, an estimated 135,000 to 250,000 Rohingyas are herded by the military into about concentration camps. Human Rights Watch deemed it an ethnic cleansing campaign. By this point, the Rohingya were persecuted, disenfranchised and stateless. Consequently the then Burma’s president, Thein Sein, asks the UN to take responsibility for the 1,000,000 Rohingya population, and resettle them to a third country
Rohingya is “world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis.” (United Nations).
The U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (O.H.C.H.R.), states:
"Credible information indicates that the Myanmar security forces purposely destroyed the property of the Rohingyas, scorched their dwellings and entire villages in northern Rakhine State, not only to drive the population out in droves but also to prevent the fleeing Rohingya victims from returning to their homes. The destruction by the Tatmadaw of houses, fields, food-stocks, crops, livestock and even trees, render the possibility of the Rohingya returning to normal lives and livelihoods in the future in northern Rakhine almost impossible. It also indicates an effort to effectively erase all signs of memorable landmarks in the geography of the Rohingya landscape and memory in such a way that a return to their lands would yield nothing but a desolate and unrecognizable terrain. Information received also indicates that the Myanmar security forces targeted teachers, the cultural and religious leadership, and other people of influence in the Rohingya community in an effort to diminish Rohingya history, culture and knowledge." (September 13-24, 2017,UN O.H.C.H.R).
In late August, 2017 Facing extreme violence in the northern part of Rakhine state more than 740,000 people fled to Bangladesh on the countries western western Bay of Bengal coast. They have flood into the camps near the town of Cox’s Bazar joining more than 200,000 people who fled to Bangladesh years earlier. The current estimates are about 55 % of Rohingya refugees are children. In addition to the refugee crisis seasonal floods, monsoon, landslides aggravated poor conditions to worse The refugees has brought little with them and are dependent on humanitarian aid for shelter, food, clothing and health care. Aid agencies estimate 1.2 million Rohingya people need acute help and assistance as they continue to live in flimsy shelters.
The UN report also highlights that prior to the incidents and crackdown of August 25, a strategy was pursued to: 1) Arrest and arbitrarily detain male Rohingyas between the ages of 15-40 years; 2) Arrest and arbitrarily detain Rohingya opinion-makers, leaders and cultural and religious personalities; 3) Initiate acts to deprive Rohingya villagers of access to food, livelihoods and other means of conducting daily activities and life; 4) Commit repeated acts of humiliation and violence prior to, during and after August 25, to drive out Rohingya villagers en masse through incitement to hatred, violence and killings, including by declaring the Rohingyas as Bengalis and illegal settlers in Myanmar; 5) Instil deep and widespread fear and trauma — physical, emotional and psychological — in the Rohingya victims via acts of brutality, namely killings, disappearances, torture, and rape and other forms of sexual violence(September 13-24, 2017,UN O.H.C.H.R)
Refugees’ living conditions:
Refugees are suffering from psychosocial conditions and physical illnesses that spread easily in overcrowded, unhygienic camps. With such a high concentration of people, any disease outbreak has the potential to kill thousands. After fleeing violence in Myanmar, refugees have battled to survive seasonal monsoon rains and the continuing threat of cyclones. They’ve faced flooding, landslides, collapsed or damaged shelters, contaminated water overflowing latrines, and disease. Common diseases effecting children and adults include Diarrhea, acute jaundice syndrome, and respiratory infections additionally less than 3 % of refugees are immunized and are vulnerable to disease like measles and diphtheria.Though families receive basic food supply from U.N.agencies and humanitarian organizations there is acute shortage of food and women and children suffer from malnutrition, predominantly(65%) woman suffered from sexual violence and are survivors or witness to these crimes in areas like the Balukhali settlements. As these refugees has no legal status in Bangladesh, girls are vulnerable to sexual violence, neglect,exploitation, abuse and child marriages. Women and girl Childs are in desperate need for health and security. The other major group affected by this humanitarian crisis are children. The majority of refugee children are orphans, live in extreme poverty and are vulnerable for child labor, violence from caregivers, WHO reports that In addition to malnutrition (37% of children ages 6 to 59 months suffer from chronic malnutrition or stunting) there are outbreaks of measles, Diarrhea, acute jaundice syndrome, and respiratory infections. About 98% of refugee children and adolescents aged 15 to 24 years have no access to education.
we (Swedish Arkani Rohingya Organisation) sincerely request you to join us and support us in helping the oppressed people of Rohingya.
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