South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

The recent on-going genocide on the Rohingya community comprising a major Muslim population has risen ample of questions on Human Rights Violation. While the uproars are on peak on social media and among public intellectuals across the world against the gross violation of Human Rights in Myanmar, much of the countries have been silent over the issue. The United Nations is battling to curb the crisis but much couldn’t have been achieved. UN Human Rights council is also lacking cooperation from world’s self-proclaimed peace keeping states. While carnage, rapes, arbitrary amputation is on, neighbouring countries are averse of harbouring the exiled Rohingyan refugees.

Who are Rohingyas?

Rohingyans are an unrecognized ethnic minority of Myanmar who have been living there for more than a century. They were the indentured labour from Bengal brought by the British to the Rakhine state of Burma and were forced to work as plantation labourers. Burma was a part of Indian British colony up till 1937 and got independence in 1948. The same year when Myanmar was freed from British imperialism, it passed its Union Citizenship Act which excluded the Rohingyas. A 2015 report of International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School claims that only families living for more than two generations were allowed to apply for identity cards. After the Military coup in 1962, registration of all citizens was required. Ironically, Rohingyas who were living there for more than a hundred year were then registered as foreigners.  A New Citizenship Act came in 1982 which denied complete citizenship to the Rohingyas leaving them as stateless. Out of 135 ethnic groups Rohingyas were not recognized; since then their basic rights like marriage, having children, mobility, education, work etc. have been scrutinized by the government. 

 Human rights violation and genocide

Since 1948, more than 1 million Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar and have been living in different countries like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and so on. Conspiracies were hatched so that to accuse Rakhine Muslim’s of creating mayhem in the country as a result to pave way for their ethnic cleansing. As a result of this propaganda (islamophobia) cycles of violence’s erupted in every nook and cranny of country and Innocent Rohingyas were mercilessly butchered, raped, maimed, burnt alive and persecuted in all possible ways by the state orchestrated militants and the army of Burma. The grave human rights violation was so high that mankind could have never imagined before and the irony is, the world leaders did nothing for stopping this horror full genocide except some formalities by UNHRC .Myanmar behaved as a rogue state since 2012, the Government of Myanmar arrested 10 UNHCR workers and charged three with “stimulating” the riots. In 2012 António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (current Secretary General), visited Yangon and asked for the release of the UN workers to which Myanmar’s President Thein Sein said that he would not allow but asked if the UN would help to resettle up to 10,00,000 Rohingya Muslims in either refugee camps in Bangladesh or some other country. The UN rejected Thein Sein’s proposal.

 Refugee crisis

The recent upsurge in violence on Rohingyans raised ample of questions on neighbouring countries on the refugee accommodation and their recognition. Aung San Suu Kyi, the noble peace prize keeper and councillor of Myanmar has also been vehemently criticised for stating the violence as internal conflict, she stated, “I think ethnic cleansing is too strong an expression to use for what is happening.”

Many of the countries have opened their doors for the refugees but their stand seems ostensible. Bangladesh has been acting strict on the Myanmar border to stop infiltration. In India the government is on its stand to deport the refugees back to Myanmar for “security reasons” and much more to that. Countries like Turkey having over 2.5 million refugees; Pakistan, 1.6 million; and India, more than 0.3 million. Whereas in Bangladesh currently more than 4,00,000 Rohingyan refugees are living while more than 32 thousand have been registered under UNHRC. As per Dhaka Tribune news report Noble Laurite Professor Muhammad Yunus and 15 other global eminent people have sent an open letter to the President and member of states of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to intervene into the Rakhine State and take appropriate action to curb the genocide. 

India’s take on Rohingyan refugees

More than 40,000 Rohingyan refugees have been living in India in different pockets of Delhi, Jammu and other major cities of the country. India claims itself to have opened its door for all persecuted and exiled communities. It has given asylum to controversial writers from Pakistan and Bangladesh like Tarek Fateh and Tasleema Nasrin. India also whole heartedly harbours the Hindu minority from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and now granting them citizenship [CAA]. However, in case of Rohingyan refugees the Modi-led-dispensation is insisting to deport them back to Burma where lethal genocide is on track. As per the report published by The Hindu it states that more than 7000 Rohingyan refugees who have been living in Jammu were accused in involvement of terror activities by the right-wing parties in India, this led the settlers to move to Supreme Court to seek relief from the arbitrary deportation. The Supreme Court has objected to the deportation but vulnerability and a sense of insecurity has raised among the Rohingyan refugees.

 [email protected]


Updated On: January 02, 2020