Rohingyan Refugee Crisis
Rohingyans are a group of Muslim minority in a majority Buddhist
country, and are said to be among the world’s most persecuted minorities. Their
lineage can be traced back to 15th century Burma. Sadly, the government claims
that they are illegal immigrants, causing them to be excluded from the 1982
citizenship act that recognized 135
ethnic groups, leaving 1 million Rohingyans as a stateless group.
As if revoking their nationality wasn’t already cruel enough, the military
has been killing and raping the Rohingyans, setting their villages on fire.
This is regarded by the as a ” textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
Since Aug 2017, violence has been entrenched in western Myanmar’s
Rakhine state, leaving hundreds dead and driving more than 410,000 of the
Rohingya minority from Myanmar into neighbouring countries like Bangladesh,
China and Malaysia. On 19 September 2017, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi condemned
all human rights violations in the Rakhine state, even stating proudly that her
country does not fear international scrutiny on the Rohingya crisis, claiming
that anyone responsible for abuses in the Rakhine state would face the law.
Evidently, the words of the 72-year-old Noble laureate that had
previously come under intense criticism for staying silent on the military
operations were empty promises. Till now, persecution of Rohingyans continue as
the military most recently planted landmines along the myanmar-bangladesh
border to prevent them from returning. The Rohingyan Refugee crisis not only
has not subsided, but in fact has worsened.
The Marawi Siege is 5-month-long armed conflict that began on 23 May
2017. It was a fight involving the Philippine government security forces
pushing out the militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the
Levant (ISIL). ISIL, an extremist group linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and
Syria (ISIS), sent in 400 militants to
inflict terror and occupy Maraw with the objective of raising an ISIL flag, declaring
a provincial ISIL territory (wilayat) in Lanao del Sur.
On 17 October 2017, the day after the militant leaders Omar Maute and
Isnilon Hapilon had fallen, Philippine President Duterte declared that Marawi had
finally been “liberated from terrorist influence”. Later on 23
October 2017, the Defense Secretary also announced that the five-month terror
battle against the terrorists in Marawi had finally ended.
In response to the conflict, Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen commented
it was fortunate the conflict was resolved quickly. If tensions were allowed to
escalate, it would pose to Asean countries decades of problems. Inefficient
action taken to end the battle would only make Philippine a vulnerable pulling
ground for would-be jihadists. Despite being a relatively short fight, the
siege was a spectre of terrorism in the Asean region that proved to be real and