Candidate of Economic Sciences
Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Myanmar Keywords:, ethnic and religious conflict, Rohingya Muslims, Rakhine Buddhists
Myanmar's rapid progress on the path of reform and democratization, which we have seen over the past two years, is exciting, surprising, and sometimes disbelieving. But one thing is clear - all the players and participants in the process won. The military elite retained power, the accumulated wealth remained in the hands of the highest military officials and "oligarchs". Former Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council Tan Shwe and his family members are protected by constitutional immunity. The threat of an international investigation of war crimes has disappeared. Former prisoner of conscience Aung San Suu Kyi is not only free, but has also become an active politician. She was elected to Parliament and heads the Commission on Legal Norms and Stability. Almost all political prisoners have been released, and they have been granted the right to engage in politics. Finally, the Law on Freedom of the Press was passed, which abolished the censorship that had existed for 48 years.
The list of winners can be continued. But there was a group of the population that did not win anything.
This is a national minority-Rohingya Muslims living in the south-west of Myanmar. According to the UN classification, "this is the most persecuted ethnic group in Asia, because no country wants to grant them citizenship"1. A few years ago, there were 800,000 of them in Myanmar. Given the high birth rate, it is estimated that now there are already about 1 million of them. Previously, they lived in enclaves along the border with Bangladesh, but gradually settled throughout the state (national region) Rakhine (the traditional name of Arakan, continued until 1989), and by 2012, the Rohingya already lived in 14 of the 17 regions of the state. In its capital, Sittwe (until 1989). Akyab) the ratio of the numbe ... Read more