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Thoughts on Myanmar

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has experienced a mass exodus of its Rohingya Muslim population. This heavily segregated country is home to 8 major racial groups The Rohingya populate Rakhine state in the West, and they have been present in Myanmar since the 8th century. Nonetheless, the Burmese government, led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has denied these people citizenship, claiming that they are ethnically Bengali.

For several years the Rohingya have suffered from harassment from ethnic nationalists, including Burmese monks, who have attacked Rohingya and their villages. This violence has created a slowly growing refugee crisis.

On August 25th, several Rohingya attacked a military outpost, armed with knives and makeshift weaponry. Twelve were murdered in the operation, yet 370 were killed in retaliation. Following the attack, villages Gawdu Zara and Ah Lel Than Kyaw were burned, mosques and Islamic schools were destroyed, and religious literature was torn and scattered. Since then, over 400,000 Rohingya have fled the country, mainly headed towards Bangladesh. The refugee crisis has now escalated.

Aung San Suu Kyi believes that this media coverage is an example of “misinformation” which will serve to empower “terrorists,” and she has ordered a commission to uncover the truth behind the mass emigration. UN members think otherwise. While the leader denies any violence within Myanmar, human rights officials describe the situation as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and the most urgent refugee crisis in the world. Thousands of Rohingya lack food, medicine, and adequate shelter. Please join me in petitioning the UN and governments worldwide to take a stand.


Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi to miss UN General Assembly debate. (2017, September 13). Retrieved September 24, 2017, from

Ramzy, A. (2017, September 05). Desperate Rohingya Flee Myanmar Crackdown in Growing Numbers, U.N. Says. Retrieved September 24, 2017, from®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=8&pgtype=collection

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