Exodus of Rohingya to Bangladesh crosses 7 lakh

Jago News Desk Published: 11 September 2017, 07:20 AM | Updated: 11 September 2017, 12:09 PM
Exodus of Rohingya to Bangladesh crosses 7 lakh

Around 3 lakh Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh in the last 15-day since violence erupted in the Rakhine state of Myanmar in August 25 and the number of refugee crosses 7 lakh.

In a facebook post, Minister of State for Ministry of Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, revealed the information on Sunday.

Al Jazeera reports: Around 290,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since August 25, 2017, bring the total number Rohingya in the country 731,000.

It also adds: In October 2016, a military crackdown in the wake of a deadly attack on an army post sent hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh.

Similar attacks in August 2017 led to the ongoing military crackdown, which has led to a new mass exodus of Rohingya.


About one million Rohingya have fled Myanmar since the first brutal military action in 1977. The majority have taken refuge in Bangladesh, but other countries in Asia and the Middle East have also opened their doors to one of the world's most prosecuted communities.


There are 135 official ethnic groups in Myanmar, but the Rohingya have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982, which has effectively rendered them stateless.


Why aren't they recognized as Burmese?
The government in Myanmar refuses to recognize the Rohingya as citizens, claiming that they are Bangladeshi or Bengali. The UN refugee agency and human rights groups have in the past accused the government of ethnic cleansing through its repressive policies, reports CNN.

Having had such a long history in Myanmar, the Rohingya's ethnicity is more complex than the government makes out.

The government has argued that the Rohingya descend from farmers from what is now called Bangladesh. Many arrived in large numbers during British rule, from 1824 to 1948, when Myanmar was considered a province of British-administered India. The Rohingya were sent there as laborers, in what Britain considered an internal migration.


Many Rohingya, however, say they are descendants of Muslim traders, who can be traced back to the 9th Century. In reality, there is likely to be a mix of ethnicities among them.

When Myanmar gained independence in 1948, the Rohingya were able to apply for identity cards, which offered some rights, and some even served in Parliament.

But after a military coup in 1962, the Rohingya lost this status and were considered foreigners. They were granted foreign identity cards.

In 1982, a citizenship law only allowed the Rohingya to apply for citizenship if they could speak an officially recognized language and had proof their family had lived in the country before independence. But most Rohingya were never granted the paperwork to prove their roots, so they were effectively rendered stateless.

What's Nobel laureate Suu Kyi's role?
Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, seen as a national hero in Myanmar and the face of a free civilian government, has come under intense international criticism for failing to openly support the Rohingya.

Some have even said she should be stripped of her peace prize.

Suu Kyi has repeatedly denied accusations of human rights abuses against the Rohingya, and in April denied to the BBC that ethnic cleansing was taking place.


Some observers point out that the Rohingya issue is so heated in Myanmar that Suu Kyi would lose her popularity, and eventually possibly her position, if she backed the ethnic minority.

The youngest-ever Nobel peace prize laureate, 20-year-old Malala Yousafzai has called on Suu Kyi to condemn the treatment of the Rohingya.

"Over the last several years, I have repeatedly condemned this tragic and shameful treatment. I am still waiting for my fellow Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same," Yousafzai wrote.

"The world is waiting and the Rohingya Muslims are waiting."