Photo Credit: Nora Rowley
The Rohingya of Burma/Myanmar, a Muslim people who live in the Arakan region and
speak a dialect of Bengali, are among the world’s most persecuted peoples.
Successive Burmese governments have discriminated against the Rohingya,
asserting that they are foreigners with no right to live in Burma, a view shared
by much of the Arakan population. In 1982 a law excluded them from Burmese
citizenship. Rohingya are not allowed to travel without official permission, are
banned from owning land, and are required to sign a commitment not to have more
than two children. Neighboring Bangladesh and Thailand have refused to allow
Rohingya refugees into their countries. In June, tensions between the Rohingya
and Rakhine peoples erupted into violence, as Rakhine and Rohingya mobs attacked
homes, shops, and houses of worship. Both groups perpetrated violence, but it is
noteworthy that Buddhist monks urged the Rakhine to attack the Rohingya and
expel them from the country, and Burmese security forces joined in those
attacks. This forum looks at the history and current situation of the Rohingya
from a number of different perspectives.
Join CSAMES on November 8, 2012 from 1-6 p.m. at Heritage Room, ACES Library, Information and Alumni Center, (1101 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana) to hear a panel of experts discuss the history of this conflict and the reflect on the future prospects for the Rohingya people.
Go to http://rohingyaforum.csames.illinois.edu/rohingya/ to view videos of presentations.