RAKHINE STATE, MYANMAR
Rakhine State has an area of 36,762 square kilometers (14,194 sq. mi) and its capital is Sittwe. The population of the state is 3,188,807. Different people of different religion live here. The religions include Theravada Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and others. Also, the ethnic composition includes Rakhine, Kaman, Mro, Rohingya, Khami and others.
LOCATION: Western coastal state of Rakhine
ISSUES: The Rohingya are often described as “the world’s most persecuted minority”. They are an ethnic group, majority of whom are Muslim, who have lived for centuries with the majority Buddhists in Myanmar. Currently, there are about 1.1 million Rohingya who live in the Southeast Asian country. The Rohingya speak Rohingya or Ruaingga, a dialect that is distinct to others spoken in Rakhine State and throughout Myanmar. Out of 135 official ethnic groups the Rohingya’s are not considered as one of the country’s ethnic groups and have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982, which has effectively left them stateless.
The Rohingya Muslims have no freedom of movement, access to food, water, sanitation, healthcare, education. Now the Rohingyas are facing the final stages of genocides.
DETAILS OF REFUGEE CRISIS:
NUMBER OF REFUGEES: 2,661,000 people.
HOST COUNTRIES: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia.
The political stakeholders include-
- Arakan League for Democracy.
- Arakan Liberation Party.
- Rohingya Solidarity Organization.
- Chin National Party.
- Chin Progressive Party.
- Communist Party of Burma (banned)
- Confederate Farmers Party.
- The National Myanmar Army.
- Democratic Party for a New Society.
DEATH TOLL: 2000+ people.
ECONOMIC IMPACT:Due to the movement, a huge impact has taken place in terms of the economic loss for the Rohingyas. Loss of home, loss of work and a displacement of lifestyles, customs and traditions. The conditions are becoming critical day by day.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: In a lot of cases, burnt villages and crop fields have destroyed natural habitat in Rakhine State. In Bangladesh, the influx of Rohingya refugees has added extra anthropocentric pressure on the environment as evidenced by the clearing of a 15 year long forestation project in just under 57 days. Along with this, the public health impact on host nations has been huge as many of the refugees are not vaccinated and have carried over diseases such as cholera, malaria and polio. The poor conditions of the refugee camps also makes it a fertile breeding ground for a lot of these mass-transmittable diseases.
IMPACT ON WOMEN: Murder, rape, sexual assault, malnutrition and psychological trauma. Pregnant women face miscarriages due to lack of care, lack of hygiene and sanitation.
LOCATION OF ECONOMIC ZONE: Maungdaw economic zone, located in Kanyin Chaung, SEZ (Special Economic Zone) located in Kyaukphyu town.
CONVENOR OF ECONOMIC ZONE: Rakhine State Government.
i) U Kyaw Aye Thein, State minister for finance, revenue, economics and planning, Rakhine State Government.
ii) Unlike other SEZs such as Dawei and Thilawa, the one in Kyaukphyu will be run entirely by private sector firms.
The star online: Gang rape horrors haunt Rohingya refugees (September, 2017)
Dhaka Tribune: Who really attacked the Rohingya Hindus in Rakhine?
Bangla Tribune: পাহাড় কাটলে পাহাড় হবে: মায়া (October, 2017)