Hot! No Home for Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh

Photo by Ahron de Leeuw

Many of the ostracized Rohingya Muslims living in Burma have tried to flee to Bangladesh to escape the country’s sectarian violence only to be denied entry.

A popular route for the displaced group is to cross the river to Teknaf. The ethnic Rhingya people, driven from their homes in neighboring Myanmar, have been arriving in Bangladesh due to violence between Buddhist Rakhine and the Rohingya in Arakan. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated 80,000 people have been displaced by the violence in Arakan.

Bangladesh authorities have refused refugees entrance and have even stopped charities from helping Rohingya with food and medicine. Even those who do make it across to Bangladesh are in fear of the police and usually have no means of income.

In June Myanmar declared a state of emergency deploying troops to quell the unrest while President Thein Sein suggested expelling all the Rohingya. The Myanmar government considers the Rohingya Muslims illegal immigrants from Bangladesh while Bangladeshi officials say the geopolitical reality of the region makes that impossible.

Even though Myanmar passed a law in 1982 stripping them of citizenship, the Rohingya say they have inhabited the area of western Burma for centuries.


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  2. For the term ethnic, there are ethnic Kachin people living in border, both China and Myanmar side. Also Tai people in Thailand and Myanmar, Nar Ga people in India and Myanmar. If Rohingya are ethnic, they should be liviing in Bangladesh as ethnic people.

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