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Rohingya refugees

Rohingyas, predominantly Muslims, who were formerly under the Arakan Kingdom, were later governed by the colonial power as part of British India. Since the independence of Myanmar in 1948, the Rohingya community has been facing identity hardships as they were not recognised as an official ethnic group in Myanmar, earlier known by the name Burma. The country was named Myanmar by the ruling junta in 1989.

In 1937, Myanmar was separated from India and made into a crown colony. After the Japanese invasion in 1942, which was liberated by Britain, and even after becoming an independent nation, Myanmar struggled with coups, ethnic violence and ousting of its leaders. The Rohingya situtation's origin in rhetoric can be traced back to when the Burmese junta in 1989 passed a law identifying eight ethnicities and entitling them with citizenship.

Rohingyas were not part of this, although they had enjoyed equal rights as others since independence. Being stripped off citizenship, victimised by violence and allegedly accused of raping a woman, Rohingyas are now part of a larger crisis — religious violence.

It is estimated that more than 168,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since 2012 and around one million since the 1970s.

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