Rohingya, the Palestinians of Southeast Asia: A Forgotten Genocide


Maung Zarni | VOICESEA - TRANSCEND Media Service

27 Feb 2024

This month marks 3 years since the military coup of February 2021 in Myanmar. There are estimated 130,000 Rohingya people and other Muslims remained in squalid camps in Rakhine State and about a million people in neighbouring Bangladesh. Being one of the most persecuted communities in the world, the Rohingya people are victims of genocide, and continue to be denied basic human rights including access to adequate food, healthcare and education. The crucial humanitarian assistance for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other marginalized groups in Myanmar are often obstructed, and refugee camps are under highly restrictive control of authorities.

In the dire situation, many Rohingya people have no choice but to take dangerous journeys for survival. Indonesia is one of the destinations for those who flee through the sea. However, a lack of understanding of root causes of the systemic oppression of Rohingyas is leading to discrimination against them in their new land. Since late 2023, harmful hate narratives against Rohingya people seeking asylum have been heard increasingly in Indonesia.

In this episode, VOICESEA Podcast had an opportunity to talk with Maung Zarni, a scholar of genocide (, who explained us the context in which Rohingya people are so marginalised and vulnerable that they have no choice but to seek asylum in neighboring countries. We also explore how the coup in 2021 affected conditions faced by the Rohingya communities and changed the perspectives of people in Myanmar towards Rohingya communities. How can solidarity among people of the world advocate for the human rights of victims of genocide, people fleeing political persecution, conflicts, and other human rights violations?

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 4 Mar 2024.

Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Rohingya, the Palestinians of Southeast Asia: A Forgotten Genocide, is included. Thank you.

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