The world is bursting at the seams with an overwhelming number of refugee crises. To sift through the myriad of issues that combat us each day makes the average person cringe with information overload, often retreating to the world of Netflix to deny reality altogether. The citizens that aren’t informed are the most dangerous ones, though. The refugee issues accost us each day, but it is important to not to disregard a group just because we are feeling fraught with news overload.
The Rohingyas, a Muslim minority group in Myanmar or otherwise known as Burma, are fleeing at a staggering rate to nearby Bangladesh. To get into what the conflict is all about, the country of Myanmar must be looked at first. For one, this country is predominantly Buddhist, with the Rohingya being only one of many minority groups within the country. According to Alan Taylor, of The Atlantic, more than 420,000 people have fled Myanmar since August of this year, with most of them being Rohingya Muslims.
Why the sudden fleeing of Burma by the Rohingyans? In an article written on September 25, 2017 for The Atlantic, Krishnadev Calamur writes that the surge of refugees to Bangladesh is what a UN human-rights chief has called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”, being undertaken by the Burmese military. Unfortunately, this issue is complex and layered, some seeing it as a necessary way to ward off potential terrorist threats, while others argue it is a human rights issue.
For one, human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi, who is considered the de-facto Burmese leader according to Krishnadev Calamur, has not even spoken up for this group, which further muddles for many what the future holds for Rohingya refugees. Calamur very eloquently sums up how confusing it is:
But where humanitarian groups and Western nations see the world’s most persecuted minority, the government of Burma (also known as Myanmar) and an overwhelming majority of its people see a foreign group with a separatist agenda, fueled by Islam, and funded from overseas. It’s this difference in perception that will make any resolution of the Rohingya issue extremely difficult. (The Atlantic, September 25, 2017)
Yet, at the heart of all this is women and children that are now in a foreign land, trying to survive in refugee camps that are being overrun by an overwhelming amount of humans coming across the Bangladesh borders from Burma. So, regardless of how this issue is viewed by the world, Burmese government or Burmese citizens, real people that often have no say about how they feel about this issue, are pushed out of their homes and forced to flee to a place does not want them and leaves them struggling to survive.
Hopefully this blog gives you a bit of insight into just how complex this refugee issue is, but to also understand that regardless of how it is viewed, many humans are suffering.
Blog written by Susan Saylor