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Issues & Insights Vol. 17 – No. 8 – Gradual Approach Needed for the Human Rights Issues in Myanmar: The Intertwined Causes of the “Rohingya” Crisis

As stateless people residing in Rakhine state of Myanmar, the Rohingya group is known to suffer from the lack of basic human rights. For the humanitarian situation in Rakhine, a part of the international community often resorts to political and economic pressures on the government of Myanmar. However, the Rohingya crisis cannot fundamentally be resolved by banal proposals such as granting citizenship or providing aid. There are at least three other factors that are vital to address the Rohingya crisis. It includes the national identity as Buddhist-Burmese in the general population, the concern about risk of instability in Rakhine posed by the armed group involving Rohingya, and the internal politics within Rakhine state. Analysis on these elements suggests that the Rohingya issue should be based on a gradual and inclusive approach. In other words, achieving social integration with sufficient timeframe for building mutual recognition and trust between social strata in Rakhine must be a priority in dealing with the humanitarian issues in Rakhine.