Before we blame Myanmar, the government and the people, for the atrocities, it is necessary to try and understand how/why there is so much hatred, which led to the inhumanity we currently are witnessing.
Trying to understand the situation is important to make sense of the probable workable solutions. You cannot just throw the ball here and there. Over simplified solutions include:
- "asking the Myanmar government to sort out the issue before more refugees die trying to get out of Myanmar"
- "sending them back to Myanmar"
Even the democracy champion Aung Sang Suu Kyi has remained cautious with her statements on the issue. When the Dalai Lama asked her to help to sort out the problem, even she said it is not so simple, in fact it is a highly complicated issue. It would be easy if it was pure genocide, pure racism ... but there is bad blood that runs much deeper than the surface. You do not get so much hatred just based on race issue or just on having different religion.
Desmond Tutu and George Soros have basically called for a total restoration of citizenship, nationality and basic human rights to the Rohingya. If only it was that simple. The model answer masks the hard facts and deep seated hatred that would make such solutions untenable over the long run.
Soros said he visited a Rohingya settlement in January and saw parallels to his youth as a Jew in Nazi-occupied Europe. “You see, in 1944, as a Jew in Budapest, I too was a Rohingya,” he said. That was a heartfelt comparison but unlike the Jewish people, who were basically persecuted based on their faith, the situation is quite different for the R. They are not as blameless as the Jewish people.
Myanmar refuses to recognize the term Rohingya and calls the people Bengali instead, suggesting that they come from neighboring Bangladesh. Officials in Myanmar said they would not attend the government meeting in Thailand if the term Rohingya were used.
WIKIPEDIA: According to Rohingyas and some scholars, they are indigenous to Rakhine State, while other historians claim that they migrated to Burma from Bengal primarily during the period of British rule in Burma, and to a lesser extent, after the Burmese independence in 1948 and Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
Muslims have settled in Arakan since the 16th century, although the number of Muslim settlers before the British rule is unclear.After the first Anglo-Burmese War in 1826, British annexed Arakan and encouraged migrations from Bengal to work as farm laborers. The Muslim population may have constituted 5% of Arakan's population by 1869, although estimates for earlier years give higher numbers. Successive British censuses of 1872 and 1911 recorded an increase in Muslim population from 58,255 to 178,647 in Akyab District. During World War II, the Rakhine State massacre in 1942 involved communal violence between the British-armed V Force Rohingya recruits and Buddhist Rakhine people and the region became increasingly ethnically polarized.
In 1982, General Ne Win's government enacted the Burmese nationality law, which denied Rohingya citizenship. Since the 1990s, the term "Rohingya" has increased in usage among Rohingya communities.
As of 2013, about 735,000 Rohingyas live in Burma. They reside mainly in the northern Rakhine townships, where they form 80–98% of the population. International media and human rights organizations have described Rohingyas as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
Many Rohingyas have fled to ghettos and refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh and to areas along the border with Thailand. More than 100,000 Rohingyas in Burma continue to live in camps for internally displaced persons, not allowed by authorities to leave. Rohingyas have received international attention in the wake of 2012 Rakhine State riots, and more recently due to their attempted migration throughout Southeast Asia in the 2015 Rohingya refugee crisis.