Rohingyan Refugee CrisisRohingyans are a group of Muslim minority in a majority Buddhistcountry, and are said to be among the world’s most persecuted minorities. Theirlineage can be traced back to 15th century Burma. Sadly, the government claimsthat they are illegal immigrants, causing them to be excluded from the 1982citizenship act that recognized 135ethnic groups, leaving 1 million Rohingyans as a stateless group. As if revoking their nationality wasn’t already cruel enough, the militaryhas 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’sRakhine state, leaving hundreds dead and driving more than 410,000 of theRohingya minority from Myanmar into neighbouring countries like Bangladesh,China and Malaysia. On 19 September 2017, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi condemnedall human rights violations in the Rakhine state, even stating proudly that hercountry does not fear international scrutiny on the Rohingya crisis, claimingthat anyone responsible for abuses in the Rakhine state would face the law. Evidently, the words of the 72-year-old Noble laureate that hadpreviously come under intense criticism for staying silent on the militaryoperations were empty promises. Till now, persecution of Rohingyans continue asthe military most recently planted landmines along the myanmar-bangladeshborder to prevent them from returning. The Rohingyan Refugee crisis not onlyhas not subsided, but in fact has worsened. Marawi SiegeThe Marawi Siege is 5-month-long armed conflict that began on 23 May2017.
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It was a fight involving the Philippine government security forcespushing out the militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and theLevant (ISIL). ISIL, an extremist group linked to the Islamic State in Iraq andSyria (ISIS), sent in 400 militants toinflict terror and occupy Maraw with the objective of raising an ISIL flag, declaringa provincial ISIL territory (wilayat) in Lanao del Sur. On 17 October 2017, the day after the militant leaders Omar Maute andIsnilon Hapilon had fallen, Philippine President Duterte declared that Marawi hadfinally been “liberated from terrorist influence”. Later on 23October 2017, the Defense Secretary also announced that the five-month terrorbattle against the terrorists in Marawi had finally ended.
In response to the conflict, Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen commentedit was fortunate the conflict was resolved quickly. If tensions were allowed toescalate, it would pose to Asean countries decades of problems. Inefficientaction taken to end the battle would only make Philippine a vulnerable pullingground for would-be jihadists. Despite being a relatively short fight, thesiege was a spectre of terrorism in the Asean region that proved to be real andmulti-dimensional.