Facts: Rakhine Vi­o­lence

Mus­lims from di­verse back­grounds, such as the Ka­man, are con­sid­ered to have had pres­ence in Arakan for sev­eral cen­turies.

Norway-Asia Business Review - - Snapshots - LARRY JAGAN

In the late 19th and early 20th cen­turies, the num­bers of Mus­lims in­creased dur­ing the mi­gra­tion of set­tlers from Ben­gal in Bri­tish In­dia into Myan­mar more gen­er­ally.

Many Mus­lims of North­ern Arakan speak a ver­sion of Ben­gali – akin to the Chit­tagong di­alect – but mixed with the Myan­mar lan­guage.

The eth­nic term Ro­hingya came into promi­nence af­ter World War II. The term Ro­hingya did not ex­ist in of­fi­cial records dur­ing Bri­tish colo­nial days.

Some com­mu­ni­ties pre­fer the term Arakanese Mus­lims, but oth­ers lead­ers pre­ferred to pro­mote the term Ro­hingya. By the 1990s, “Ro­hingya” was the pre­ferred way most of the north­ern Rakhine Mus­lims re­ferred to them­selves.

In 1978 and again in 19911992, hun­dreds of thou­sands of Mus­lim refugees from Rakhine fled to Bangladesh in the wake of army se­cu­rity crack­downs. KOFI AN­NAN COM­MIS­SION REC­OM­MEN­DA­TIONS So­cio-eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment

In­vest in in­fra­struc­ture in­clud­ing roads, jet­ties, elec­tric­ity, drink­ing wa­ter and In­ter­net ac­cess. En­sure ad­e­quate com­pen­sa­tion for con­fis­cated land. Cit­i­zen­ship

Ac­cel­er­ate the cit­i­zen­ship ver­i­fi­ca­tion process us­ing the 1982 Cit­i­zen­ship Law. Re­visit the law lat­ter, and align it with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards. Free­dom of Move­ment

En­sure free­dom of move­ment for all peo­ple, ir­re­spec­tive of re­li­gion, eth­nic­ity or cit­i­zen­ship sta­tus. End all re­stric­tions, both for­mal and in­for­mal. Com­mu­nal Par­tic­i­pa­tion and Rep­re­sen­ta­tion

Ur­gent steps be taken to pro­mote com­mu­nal rep­re­sen­ta­tion for all un­der­rep­re­sented groups, in­clud­ing eth­nic mi­nori­ties, state­less and dis­placed com­mu­ni­ties, es­pe­cially Mus­lims. En­sure women are in­cluded in the po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sion­mak­ing. In­ter­nally Dis­placed Peo­ple (IDPs)

Act swiftly to close all IDP camps, and re­turn them to their vil­lages or re­lo­cate them, in ac­cor­dance with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards, and in a vol­un­tary and safe man­ner. In the in­terim en­sure dig­ni­fied liv­ing con­di­tions in the camps: im­proved shel­ter, wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion, pro­vide ed­u­ca­tion and liveli­hood op­por­tu­ni­ties. Cul­tural De­vel­op­ment

The gov­ern­ment should list and pro­tect his­toric, religious and cul­tural sites of all com­mu­ni­ties in Rakhine. Mrauk U in par­tic­u­lar should be a can­di­date for UNESCO her­itage site sta­tus. In­ter­nal-com­mu­nal Co­he­sion

In­ter-com­mu­nal di­a­logue must be fos­tered – at town­ship, state and Union lev­els. Cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment con­ducive to di­a­logue in­clud­ing joint vo­ca­tional train­ing, cul­tural events, es­tab­lish com­mu­nal youth cen­tres. Se­cu­rity of all com­mu­ni­ties

Pur­sue a cal­i­brated ap­proach: com­bin­ing po­lit­i­cal, de­vel­op­men­tal, hu­man rights and se­cu­rity ap­proaches, that ad­dresses the root cause of vi­o­lence and re­duces in­ter-com­mu­nal ten­sions. Im­prove polic­ing; sim­plify the se­cu­rity struc­ture, with a sin­gle chain of com­mand; and im­prove train­ing; and more rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the pop­u­la­tion, in­clud­ing women and mi­nori­ties. Bi­lat­eral re­la­tions with Bangladesh

Bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Myan­mar and Bangladesh should be fur­ther strength­ened to se­cure the border and other shared chal­lenges, like drug traf­fick­ing. Im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Com­mis­sion’s Rec­om­men­da­tions

Ap­point a Union-level min­is­ter or com­mit­tee to en­sure the ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Com­mis­sion’s rec­om­men­da­tions, with the sole func­tion of co­or­di­nat­ing pol­icy on Rakhine, with a sec­re­tar­iat and sup­port per­son­nel.

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