Report on Rohingyas Issue
10, Aug 2018
Prelims level : Mains level : Paper – II International Organisations
The turmoil taking place in Rakhine state and the alleged atrocities against Muslim populations residing in the region, alongside the outburst of a serious refugee crisis, has reached the spotlight of the international community
- The UN Security Council set up an ad hoc tribunal to analyse the human right situation in Myanmar.
- The three-member “fact-finding mission” and their team, working under a mandate from the UN-backed Human Rights Council, meticulously assembled hundreds of accounts from expatriate Rohingya, as well as satellite footage and other information for the report.
- It found that decades of state-sponsored stigmatisation against Rohingya had resulted in “institutionalised oppression from birth to death”
- There is sufficient information to warrant the investigation and prosecution of senior officials in the Tatmadaw (army) chain of command, so that a competent court can determine their liability for genocidein relation to the situation in Rakhine state
- Peace, stability and fundamental human rights in the area have been at stake since the independence of Myanmar (Burma at the time) by the British colony power.
- A long time British colony, Burma declare its independence in 1948. Since then, the county has been bifurcated by ethnic strife.
- In1982, the Rohingya were officially striped of their citizenship. Statelessness plays an important role in their mistreatment and the continuous violation of their rights, While statelessness directly violates the right to nationality, it indirectly jeopardises many other rights that derive from it.
- In the meantime, Myanmar has experienced rounds of violence and conflict in domestic level and high political tension, including military coups, whilst after 2015, a period of stabilization in political level seems to be in process.
- Rohingyas, Muslims living in Rakhine state, have been subject to oppression and marginalization policies from the very beginning of the independent Burmese state, now named “Myanmar”
- The deprivation of their fundamental rights and the forced displacement of many people either within the territory of Myanmar or to other states, mainly Bangladesh.
- The conflict between Muslim groups (mainly Rohingya) and the official security forces.
- The religious hatred grown within the population and especially the Buddhist majority of the country.
- The atrocities committed against Rohingya civilians, including women and children, by the official Myanmar authorities.
- The accusations for genocide or ethnic cleansing, expressed by official UN officers and many states, the fact that more than 1,000,000 Rohingyas are stalled in Bangladesh (a number overcoming the one of those being in Myanmar).
- The ongoing and evolving humanitarian crisis, accompanying the refugee one, with the latter being deemed as the “world’s fastest growing refugee crisis”.
- According to the UN, the Rohingya have been identified as the world’s most persecuted people.
- Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing constitute atrocious practices mainly committed in the context of armed conflicts, putting specific groups of people in huge jeopardy.
- Myanmar security forces are cooperating with local Buddhist armed individuals so as to implement organized, severe and coordinated attacks against Rohingyas with the aim to force them flee Myanmar or prevent them from returning to their homes, constituting thus the so-called effort to achieve Burmanization.
What is Genocide:
- Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide: “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
- Killing members of the group;
- Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
- Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
- Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
- Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
- It is critical to examine the variety of solutions and answers that could possibly be proposed and implemented. Nonetheless, as it has been thoroughly presented in the previous pages, the threat posed to the very essence of fundamental principles of humanity and international community by the situation in Myanmar is immense and it spreads out in a long period of time.
- Investigators working for the UN’s top human rights body said that Myanmar military leaders should be prosecuted for genocide against Rohingya Muslims.