New Found Democracy in Myanmar Does Not Apply to Rohingya Population

(Originally published in The World Room)

As the world acclaims the victory of Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, a minority Muslim group is still the victim of severe human rights violations that cast a shadow on the newfound democracy in Myanmar.

The Rohingyas, who are based in the southwestern Arakan State of Myanmar, have historically been denied citizenship and have been faced with violent attacks from Buddhist, which hit their highest point in 2012. Earlier this year, their right to vote was revoked and they continue to live in inhumane conditions without access to proper food, health care or shelter.

Many Rohingyas acknowledge that the National League for Democracy’s victory is a good step for Myanmar, but it is not a victory for them. They feel as though their own plight is far from being resolved. The violence they face along with the violation of many of their basic human rights have led Rohingyas and many experts and to conclude that the Rohingyas are experiencing a genocide, one that is not recognized by local Burmese officials or by the international community. This has caused the Rohingyas to feel uncertain of their future, regardless of the outcome of these elections.

“I am cautiously optimistic,” said Dr. Wakar Uddin, the director general of Arakan Rohingya Union, an association that claims to represent the approximately 2.6 millions Rohingyas in the world: half of them in Myanmar, and the other half living abroad…Read More

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