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IHC Myanmar Conflict

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by

Wang Jiale

on 1 July 2013

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Transcript of IHC Myanmar Conflict

Causes
Initially, three Muslim men were caught for raping and killing a Buddhist woman. Henceforth, a chain reaction of deadly encounters between the Rohingya and Rakhine Buddhists was initiated. Although two of the men have been sentenced to death and the third hanged himself, violence continues.What are the root causes?
THE MYANMAR SECTARIAN CONFLICT
In Myanmar, the Muslim minority (4% of population) are not seen as citizens of the country by the native Buddhists.
A project by:
Toh Wei Xiong ; Wang Jiale ; Wu Yan Long ; Wu Yikai
Since independence, successive governments have not granted Muslim Rohingya citizenship
The Rakhines (Buddhists) have also named the Muslims as "Bengali Immigrants".
Intolerant rulers have also persecuted many Muslims for religious and political reasons for centuries in Myanmar
In a nutshell, the unfair treatment by both the government and citizens towards the Muslim minority resulted in tension between the two communities (Muslims and Buddhists). Such tension would easily allow small conflicts to escalate to unprecedented heights.
Consequences of sectarian conflict
Using the FPSP model:
We have found some consequences...
Physically:

Tousands of people were left homeless and more than 50 people confirmed dead. The region had become a mess, with destroyed homes and burnt mosques, as well as many dead bodies.
Psychological:

Citizens especially muslim minority, living in fear
One more consequence...

Religion and ethics: The sectarian conflict may result in increased tension between the buddhist and muslim communites, resulting in greater abuse of human rights in the future, especially abuse carried out by the buddhist majority.
Economic:

Deters foreign investors, due to lack of security/constant turmoil

Government and politics:

Lowers Myanmar status in united nations. May be labelled as a country which does not embrace human rights, consequently, may be ostracized by other countries, tarnishing international relations.
Aftermath of the riots
Could
a similar
situation
happen
in Singapore?
Possible, but chances are not high. Why?
Laws:

The Nexus laws in Singapore Constitution of Singapore, Sedition Act and Religious Harmony Act allows the different races and religions to live in harmony. The Sedition Act for example, restrains religious leaders or individuals from committing acts that will result in ill will or hostility between and among the different religious groups.
What the government has done:

From Singapore's beginning as a nation, the government has done much to maintain social cohesion. National service, for example, allows the different races to interact and undergo a shared experience. There are also various events to allow the different races to interact
BUT
We cannot
take today's racial harmony
For Granted!
HAPPEN
All we need is someone
to cause a dispute between
different races and religions
as a result of an insensitive
action or comment.
We already have people like
Amy Cheong

who made a negative remark of a
Malay wedding, which led to great
unhappiness among the malay
community
Choo Wee Khiang

a ex-PAP Member of Parliament who made a
racist comment which went "One evening, I drove to Little India and it was pitch dark but not because there was no light, but because there were too many Indians around."
So don't be the next person
To make such a comment or commit such an act
and actually make an encore of the Myanmar Conflicts
INSINGAPORE
What has Singapore done?
Building a National Identity
The government has tried to build a national identity through different means:
- National Education
- National Day Parade
With a national identity, Singaporeans will see people of another race or religion as fellow Singaporeans and not people of a different race or religion
Safeguarding Interest of Minority Groups
The Presidential Council of Minority Rights (PCMR) and the Group Representation Constituency (GRC) ensures that the interests of minority groups are achieved
PCMR consists of members from minority racial and religious groups, ensuring that no racial or religious group is disadvantaged with the laws passed in Parliament
Developing Common Space
Many policies are in place to ensure that common space is provided
- Ethnic Integration Policy
- Precints
This ensures that people of different races living close to one another have the chance to interact, improving their relationship
What he did as a result of unhappiness
What he will eventually return to find
The End
Full transcript