Essay On Rohingya

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Who is the Rohingya? In a way, it depends on whom you ask — and that it may be at the core of the conflict. To most of the world (and the minority themselves), the Rohingya are a mostly-Muslim minority in Burma, the Buddhist-majority nation in Southeast Asia also known as Myanmar. But the Burmese government says the Rohingya do not exist. In fact, they object to the very use of the word “Rohingya” at all, instead arguing that they are Bengali and entered what is now Burma during the timbe of the British Empire or later as illegal immigrants after Bangladesh's war for independence in 1971. More than 1 million Rohingya is estimated to live in the country, mostly in the northern part of Rakhine state along the border with Bangladesh and India, and almost as many live outside of it. Though the word Rohingya only came into widespread use in the 1990s, there are records of similar words being used to describe…show more content…
This dispute over the identity of the Rohingya has big consequences in Burma. The minority is not among the 135 officially recognized ethnic groups in the country, and despite their considerable numbers and local roots in Burma, they are not considered citizens and are denied access to government services. The Rohingya long faced discrimination — in 2009, a U.N. spokeswoman described them as “probably the most friendless people in the world” — but there has been a marked deterioration in their situation since the Burmese military began to relinquish power in 2011. A growing Buddhist nationalism in Burma, where 90 percent of the population identifies with Buddhism, has led to a number of laws on religion, including restrictions on interfaith marriage. There has also been major ethnic violence in Rakhine; most notably in 2012, when sectarian riots after the rape of a woman in the state led to large-scale displacement of Muslims, with many moving into squalid camps for internally displaced people. Why are so many Rohingya fleeing Burma

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