Saturday, March 29, 2014

Refugees from Myanmar

Last week I went to a seminar on experiential learning at the university of Hong Kong. It happens that on the same day, some students from the organisation Connecting Myanmar organised a seminar on the Refugees from Myanmar. I had known a bit about the issue, and the seminar deepened my understanding.  According to Prof. Ian Holliday, there are two major issues: the long-standing conflicts involving the ethnic minorities to the north and east, including the Karen and the Kachin.  Many refugees have fled from the conflicts and now languishing in refugee camps at the Thai border.  In recent years there is a peace process going on inside Myanmar, and there is hope that the conflicts can be resolved internally. 

The more worrying is the situation with the Rohingya, in the western Rakhine state, bordering Bangladesh.  They are Muslims.  Many Buddhists Burmese consider them foreigners from Bangladesh. These has been a lot of conflicts between the two groups.  Some Rohingyas have tried to move to other countries but nobody seems to want them.  It is a worrying situation. 

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