Rohingyas – the most persecuted minority in the world

Myanmar, previously known as Burma, is home to around 135 different ethnic groups which constitute the minorities. Buddhists are in majority. Out of all, Rohingya Muslims have suffered the most. They are an ethnic minority living in Rakhine state in Myanmar. The government believes them to have migrated from Bangladesh, while the people – as well as Bangladesh – deny it. This is where the problem starts. The Rohingyas have been very prominent in the news lately. It is because of their refugee crisis. Myanmar does not allow them citizenship under the Myanmar Citizenship Law of 1982. This law does not recognise Rohingyas as an ethnic minority. And since they are not given citizenship, they are deprived of any/all rights attached to it. This is a reason that they are fleeing Myanmar while risking their lives in the process. They are fleeing to countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Indonesia is basically only a transit county for them to reach the other countries.

In Myanmar, they are facing persecution at the hands of the government and the Buddhists. This forces them to flee to Thailand by boats. A lot of Rohingyas have died in the process of leaving, as the journey is highly dangerous and risky. They are not treated well in Thailand as well. Clearly no country wants to open its gates for the Rohingyas. They are referred to as “boat people” in Thailand, and are forced into slavery by the Thai fishing companies. A lot have died in slavery too. Malaysia is also not letting them enter. This makes up for an intense case of human rights violation and United Nations has often tried to curb the issue but has failed. No country is ready to accept them, making them displaced people.

According to the UN, Rohingyas are the most persecuted minority in the world. The Burmese forces have been committing “crimes against humanity” to Rohingya Muslims. They have been executing them and forcing their disappearances. At the same time, they have also been committing sexual violence against them. But the element of surprise is that Aung San Suu Kyi, famous Burmese politician and a human rights advocate, has been silent on this matter. This whole scenario has forced the Muslims to make up guerrilla forces to counter Burmese armed forces. This was a case of religious intolerance between the Buddhist nationalists and Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, which has fueled to become such an internationally highlighted case of human rights abuse. They have run out of options to save their lives and apparently UN has failed to control this violence. If they flee Myanmar, they are killed either in the way or upon reaching destinations. And if they stay, they are surely persecuted by the Buddhist nationalists and the Burmese forces.

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