RohingyanRefugee CrisisRohingyans area group of Muslim minority in a majority Buddhist country, and are said to beamong the world’s most persecuted minorities. Their lineage can be traced backto 15th century Burma. Sadly, the government claims that they are illegalimmigrants, causing them to be excluded from the 1982 citizenship act that recognized 135 ethnic groups, leaving 1million Rohingyans as a stateless group. As if revokingtheir nationality wasn’t already cruel enough, the military has been killingand raping the Rohingyans, setting their villages on fire.
This is regarded bythe as a ” textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. Since Aug 2017,violence has been entrenched in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state, leavinghundreds dead and driving more than 410,000 of the Rohingya minority fromMyanmar into neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, China and Malaysia. On 19September 2017, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi condemned all human rightsviolations in the Rakhine state, even stating proudly that her country does notfear international scrutiny on the Rohingya crisis, claiming that anyone responsiblefor abuses in the Rakhine state would face the law.
Evidently, thewords of the 72-year-old Noble laureate that had previously come under intensecriticism for staying silent on the military operations were empty promises.Till now, persecution of Rohingyans continue as the military most recently plantedlandmines along the myanmar-bangladesh border to prevent them from returning. TheRohingyan Refugee crisis not only has not subsided, but in fact has worsened. Marawi SiegeThe MarawiSiege is 5-month-long armed conflict that began on 23 May 2017. It involved thePhilippine government security forces and the militants affiliated with theIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). About 400 militants linked to theIslamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group overran and occupiedMarawi, with the objective of raising an ISIL flag, declaring a provincial ISILterritory (wilayat) in Lanao del Sur. On 17 October2017, the day after the deaths of militant leaders Omar Maute and IsnilonHapilon, President Duterte declared that Marawi was finally “liberatedfrom terrorist influence”.
Later on 23 October 2017, the Defense Secretaryannounced that the five-month battle against the terrorists in Marawi hadfinally ended. In response tothe conflict, Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said that if thesituation was allowed to even escalate or entrench, it would pose decades ofproblems for Asean cities and interests of other countries within Asean. If notaddressed adequately, it could prove a pulling ground for would-be jihadistswho can launch attacks from there. Despite being a relatively short fight, thesiege represented the spectre of terrorism in the Asean region that has becomemore real and multi-dimensional.