Chapter

Complexities, Misconceptions, and Context

Anthony Ware and Costas Laoutides

in Myanmar's 'Rohingya' Conflict

Published in print October 2018 | ISBN: 9780190928865
Published online June 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780190055899 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190928865.003.0001
Complexities, Misconceptions, and Context

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This chapter introduces the complexity of Myanmar’s ‘Rohingya’ conflict, and address a series of misconceptions widely held about it in the international community. It discusses the scale of recent violence, extent of displacement and degree of international condemnation, including discussion of Aung San Suu Kyi’s failure to adequately address the conflict. It also expresses serious concern about international advocacy campaigns, arguing many undermine any chance of cooperation by the very actors who are most required to implement any solution. The chapter then deals with three misconceptions about the conflict in some detail, arguing that the conflict is not recent, not merely oppression of a despised ethnoreligious minority, and not about denial of citizenship and statelessness per se. Instead, it notes profound social cleavages dating back more than a century, with multiple bouts of devastating violence. It identifies the conflict as tripartite, between the Burman-led state, local ethnic Rakhine and the ‘Rohingya’. And it argues that citizenship and statelessness is a by-product of a deeper power struggle over Myanmar polity and political power. The chapter concludes with an introduction to the geographical, historical, economic and socio-political context.

Keywords: Rohingya; Rakhine; Myanmar; Myanmar polity; Aung San Suu Kyi; Ethnic cleansing; Citizenship; Atatelessness; Conflict; Violence

Chapter.  9965 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Conflict Politics

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