A tree with deep roots, if uprooted and planted in alien soil, might live but often sans its vigour. The same can be said for refugees. A couple of weeks ago, along with a bunch of my classmates, I visited the refugee camp of Burmese Rohingya Muslims at Kalindi Kunj in the vicinity of our university campus. The visit was part of an initiative to help them with old winter clothing after hearing about the unliveable conditions of the camp.
The Rohingyas, an ethnic group hailing from Myanmar (Burma), chiefly from its Rakhine (Arakan) State, happen to be one of the most oppressed people in the Asian sub-continent.
These days, the social media is abuzz with discussion on Myanmar. Interestingly, it is not even a constructive discussion but one which is meant for point scoring. The nature of the discourse has complicated the issue even more and thus calls for at least a couple of articles: one on the issue and another one meant to be an analysis of the situation of Burmese Muslims. It is important at this stage to disentangle the two dimensions to make sense of what is actually happening. Continue reading National contestation, not religion, responsible for the plight of Myanmar’s Rohingyas: Ayesha Siddiqa→
Burma’s imprisoned democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will mark her 64th birthday on 19 June 2009, her 14th year in detention. An iconic symbol of Myanmar’s political resistance, she is the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner. She has committed no crime, she is the victim of crime, yet her detention can continue for many more years. The United Nations has ruled that Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention is illegal under international law, and also under Burmese law. The United Nations Security Council has also told the dictatorship that they must release her. Comparable to the personal, moral and democratic power of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, her continued detention is a powerful reminder of the unrelenting repression in Myanmar, and what must be done to make democracy and human rights a reality. Continue reading 64 for Aung San Suu Kyi→